Sunday, October 7, 2018

Guilds of Alnwich: The Royal Mercantile Syndicate

The Royal Mercantile Syndicate

Rank: Merchant Rank 0-5.
In Charge: Non-adventurers similar to agents and innkeepers.
In the Ranks: As above, with some fighters (barbarians, knights, guards, scouts, and swashbucklers) for security.
On the Payroll: Commonly, agents, laborers, native guides, sages, servants, but virtually anyone except assassins, ninjas, and thieves are possible.
Influencing the AR: Merchant.

The Royal Mercantile Syndicate is a region-wide royally sanctioned guild that buys, transports, and sells nearly everything in Northmarch. While it employs its own soldiers, attacks competitors economically and physically, makes threats against the livelihoods of those who cross it, and employ soldiers to back up those threats, it is technically not a mafia. It’s a legal business by decree of the king. Nothing in the Northmarch may legally be bought or sold without an official RMS stamp.

The RMS maintains this stranglehold on commerce in the North by paying taxes to the crown, but with their mastery of finances and legalese, they are able to minimize this greatly and put substantial wealth in those with positions of authority within the syndicate. The leadership is based out of the capital, Dunmore, but a local adjunct oversees the operation from Alnwich. This adjunct has Rank 4 and is currently Lord Thurlow, who regularly hires adventurers to guard caravans, patrol local hinterlands for bandits, and curb smuggling and other illegal activities.

The RMS has several buildings in Alnwich, the largest of which is its trading house on Market Square. It also has several warehouses, a lavish guild hall with rooms for build members and space for meetings and offices, stables, and a barracks for their retained soldiers. All of their buildings are guarded around the clock, which occupies most of the soldiery’s time, and social events are often held in the guild hall to build and maintain relations with the local nobility.

What the Royal Mercantile Syndicate Wants

Like any business, the Royal Mercantile Syndicate wants money. This can also be said of most of its employees and leadership. They get this money by buying goods in one location, transporting them to where they are more expensive, and selling them there. In Alnwich, this means they want to purchase furs for sale elsewhere in Usk and transport a great many other goods from elsewhere to Alnwich to sell for a profit. Because of Alnwich’s remote location, this requires that the guild’s caravans travel through dangerous territory far from substantial garrisons and are subject to banditry and poor weather. This is where adventurers often come in – as guards and as magical stopgaps against inclement weather.

The RMS holds a monopoly on imported goods in Alnwich, also. The general lack of local soldiers means that the RMS must enforce their stranglehold on the market themselves. This largely takes the form of soldiers and leaders frequenting merchants and establishments for signs of smuggled goods, but the guild also hires adventurers to patrol outside of town for smugglers and bandits. Sometimes when they learn of specific clandestine shipments, the guild will hire adventurers to intercept and capture it, or when they are feeling less charitable, destroy it.

Lastly, there are times when the RMS must resort to muscle to collect on debts owed. Debtors may be skipping town, hiding in the woods, or simply have not delivered goods on an advance payment. While this is often handled by a squad of soldiers to arrest the offender, sometimes the offender has friends. That’s when the RMS hires adventurers to do its dirty work. This is generally avoided when dealing with the local clans, because it can quickly escalate to a war.

What the Royal Mercantile Syndicate Can Provide

The Royal Mercantile Syndicate deals in transporting goods, and they are absolutely filthy rich. They are willing to deal in absolutely anything of value and can acquire anything legal to possess. For the RMS, all mundane goods qualify for professional discounts.

Their skills and capabilities are otherwise not of much use to adventurers. They are good at accounting, administration, financing, market analysis, and such – not sneaking, stabbing, or looting. This restricts the kinds of skills and traits they can train to those on the bard and innkeeper templates, excluding Bardic Talent, artistic skills, Wild Talent, and any spells.

The RMS is willing to grant:
  • Accommodations. This usually means sleeping in a Syndicate dormitory.
  • Mounts and Vehicles. These are the primary tools of their trade. +3 to ARs.
  • New Gear. The Syndicate is a shipping company, and they can usually find some gear to help their members.
  • Provisions. Travelers work on their bellies, so the RMS is also good at getting travel supplies. +3 to ARs.
  • Replacement. The RMS always pays its debts. They are willing to help replace equipment lost or damaged in their service.
  • Transportation. This is the RMS’ raison d’ĂȘtre. If there’s anything they can do, it is move goods and people around. +4 to ARs and the effect is as if the requestor’s Rank were two levels higher.

The Royal Mercantile Syndicate is also capable and willing to spend money to hire outside resources for services beyond their in-house capabilities. Other ARs are at -2 or worse.

No comments :

Post a Comment