Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Merchant Lords of Murkeye

The Independent City of Murkeye is ruled by a council of seven Merchant Lords. Any Murkeye resident can petition to become a Merchant Lord, but to date only one has ascended to this title since the city broke away from the Empire. The Merchant Lords are:

Silas Winder
(Sy-Luss Winn-Der)
Neutral Evil Male Human, age 67
Fortune Made From: Pre-Devastation Inheritance, Shipping

Silas Winder was a nobleman in the Empire until he funded an assassination plot against the Emperor in 506. He and his allies of House Svarlock (including his wife), fled the Empire and spent several years hiding in the Free Nations. After Murkeye broke free from the Empire, Winder took up residence there and quickly rose to power due to his combination of monetary wealth and lack of scruples. Winder represents wealth without restraint or responsibility. He can be a powerful ally, but only so long as he considers an alliance worth maintaining. His wrath is legendary. Publicly, at least, Winder is known to be the wealthiest of the Merchant Lords.

"Everyone's got a price, and it's not always something measured in gold or silver. Luckily, there's usually someone who can provide it for gold or silver."

Rain Providence (Deceased)
(Rayn Prov-id-ense)
Lawful Neutral Female Half-Elf, age 52
Fortune Made From: Textiles and Fabric

Rain is the undisputed queen of all things textile. 85% of the cloth that circulates through the Reform cities has at some point been bought by her, sold by her, made by her or distributed by her. She has a fine business mind, but due to the constant turnover of the product she sells- and the need for hands on supervision of such a product- she is one of the least influential of the lords, despite being among the wealthiest. She serves as the representative from Murkeye and is always dressed in new fashions- yet she is not attractive due to the pinch of her face, constant talk of recriminations and the constant frown. Rain’s goals are obvious, by linking herself to the Reform as the leader of Murkeye any success the Reform makes will increase her own prestige.

"Cloth is, I think, a fine metaphor for finance. It binds civilized society together, and is lost on naked barbarians."

Rain Providence was killed by explosives runes hidden in her desk by the agents of Lord Magnusson in April of 525 GD.

Olaf Poundfist
(O-Luff Pound Fist)
Neutral Evil Male Gnome, 157
Fortune Made From: Crop monopoly, food distribution

Poundfist's origins are somewhat unclear, but it is known that he emigrated from the Underdark shortly before hostility between the Underdark and the Empire began. Poundfist's interest in food preparation and distribution is believed to be close to his own heart (or perhaps stomach), as his hedonistic lifestyle is well known. Despite his small frame (3'6"), Poundfist weighs in excess of 120 pounds.

"Moderation is the refuge of the weak. One can only be truly strong when decadent."

Ichigo Tanaka
(Ee-chee-go Tuh-nock-uh)
True Neutral Male Underfolk, 44
Fortune Made From: Weapons Manufacture

The strange isolationist that is Lord Tanaka left the Underdark in 512, when he began to doubt the safety of Underport amidst growing hostility with the Empire and plunging morale in the increasingly desperate war below ground. Tanaka is known to be quiet and emotionally detached, though some say this is mostly due to his upbringing in Underport. His appearance is somewhat freakish to most surface dwellers. He is an albino, but also nearly six foot five and under 175 pounds. Lord Tanaka is the most private of the Merchant Lords, appearing in public only when absolutely necessary. During daylight hours, the sensitivity of his eyes and skin to light require protective goggles and clothing.

"If you wish to make a fortune, invest in things whose need will not dissipate. I chose weapons, and have not been disappointed."

Stefan Magnusson (Deceased)
(Steh-fonn Mag-nuh-sun)
True Neutral Male Dwarf, 244
Fortune Made From: Precious Metals

After the smashing of the dwarven civilization during the Devastation, many dwarves fled to the lands of the Free Nations or the Empire. Magnusson instead capitalized on the abandonment of the Dwarven homelands, sending goblin scabs into the emptied, half-collapsed mines. Within a decade, Magnusson's unabashed rape of his ancestral homeland had made him the richest Dwarf in the Empire. By this point in history, nearly 50% of the Post-Devastation metal goods on the market have passed through the hands of Magnusson's agents.

"All that glitters is not gold, but can generally be exchanged for it."

Stefan Magnusson was killed in April of 525 GD when he attempted to overthrow the other Merchant Lords in return for handing Murkeye over to the Empire. He was confronted by a group of mercenaries led by Commander Allen Specter and killed by the Knight of the Storm's Eye Dormian Fireblood. Fireblood claimed the killing to be retribution for Magnusson's harvesting of the ruins of Dwarven civilization.

Lucius Black
(Lu-shuss Black)
Lawful Evil Male Human, age unspecified (estimated 40)
Fortune Made From: Artifacts and Enchanted Items

Lucius Black is the first Merchant Lord to join the group after Murkeye's secession from the Empire. Despite seeming to crave the attention of Murkeye's crowds and having a reputation for being the easiest Merchant Lord to gain a personal audience with ("easy" being a relative term), little is known of Lucius Black. His country of origin, cultural heritage, and even the source of his wealth is unknown. His age is also is disputed; some claim him to be no older than 30, while others insist that images dating back as far as the Serpent War depict a being who bears a striking similarity to Lord Black. Black seems to enjoy the mystery about his person and smirkingly refuses to release any further personal data. Rumors link Lord Black to several organized crime rings, perhaps explaining his shadowy past and his mysterious fortune. Publicly, Black makes his money on a seemingly endless supply of Pre-Devastation artifacts and post-Devastation items of exceptional quality.

"Information has power. Forgive me if I'm loathe to give it away."

"Queen" Ewa Grabowski
(Ay-Va Gruh-Bow-Skee)
Lawful Neutral Female Shadar-Kai, 39
Fortune Made From: Erotica and Prostitution

The exotic Shadar-Kai have only been known of in recent years, residing the country of Vashistan on the eastern coast of Sol. In 502, a grand Aurora swept across Vashistan's sky, leaving three out of every four Shadar-Kai remade into dragonlike humanoids--the Dragonborn. The remaining Shadar-Kai were labeled as impure--they had been judged by Bahamut, and had failed. Within a generation, the Shadar-Kai have become a gypsy class, unable to reap the benefits of Vashistan's collectivist society. Some Shadar-Kai have emigrated to Otep, the most successful of these being the Lady Grabowski. Since her rise to fame (or perhaps infamy) in the 510s, the Lady has crafted a veritable empire of smut of lust. Her morals are unconventional, but her business whit is unparalleled--except, perhaps, for the other Merchant Lords. The Lady Grabowski is known to have a tight alliance with Lord Tanaka, as both deal in industries considered beyong the moral ken of polite society; each fears the downfall of the other as momentum for their own demise.

"I don't understand this notion that I am immoral. Buying is legal. Selling is legal. Sex is legal. How should any combination therein be anything less than pedestrian?"

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