The Merchant Houses of Zalanthas
- The History of the Merchant Houses of Zalanthas
- The Great Merchant Houses
- The Lesser Merchant Houses

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The History of the Merchant Houses

The Merchant Houses of Zalanthas are ancient entities, most dating back almost a thousand years. After the Dragon's second coming and his subsequent rampage in Tuluk, many of the inhabitants of the two major cities fled to refuge of the wilds. Over the next several decades, these refugees banded together into organized clans and families that were spread out across the Known World. By the Thirteenth Age, many of these clans had formed collective agreements with each other and had begun to band together in loosely organized merchant companies. Notable names among the familes during this period were Kurac, Nenyuk, and Kadius.

Over the next two hundred years, internal conflicts were waged between the various factions until the major dominating families consolidated their power. Developing their own peculiar niches, the Kadius and Kuraci clans absorbed their smaller competitors. It was during this time that another dunetrader company, calling themselves the Brothers of Steel and being led by the Salarri family, established itself as a premier arms broker to the two city-states. In 1161 Kadius, who by this time had swollen in power and wealth along with Kurac and the Salarri-led Brothers of Steel, established its first emporium inside the city-state of Tuluk. Kurac followed suit six years later, creating the first known spice market of the Known World. Salarr was the last of the Great Merchant Houses to establish an emporium and did so in Allanak in the year 1173. In contrast to the other three, Nenyuk quietly amassed influence and wealth throughout these years until it had consolidated a hold for itself as the major banking institution of the Known World.

At present, the four Great Merchant Houses of the Known World are House Kadius, House Kurac, House Nenyuk, and House Salarr. Each maintains a tight and ruthless control over their own markets and have gathered to themselves enough wealth and influence that they have become major players in the history and politics of Zalanthas.

The Great Merchant Houses

Dominating the economies of both Tuluk and Zalanthas are the four Great Merchant Houses. Rich with history and intrigue, each has established its own niche in the Known World and are among the wealthiest organizations to exist since the fall of the Empire of Man. House Kadius deals in clothing, furniture, jewels, and other luxuries. House Kurac maintains control of the spice market and also deals with desert gear. House Nenyuk has established banks within both city-states and is a major factor in controlling the finances of Zalanthas.

House Kadius
Dealing primarily in luxuries and rarities, House Kadius is one of the wealthiest of the Great Merchant Houses. It has emporiums in both city-states and its craftsmen are among the most talented and creative within Zalanthas. Its clothing lines and furniture designs make this House widely popular amongst the commoner populace of the two city-states as well.

After the fall of Tuluk, Kadius established the village of Freil's Rest and became a major political player within the Northlands. After Tuluk's liberation, it ceded its controlling interest in the village to the Tuluki Templarate and established a close alliance with the northern city-state. However, it has been careful to remain neutral in the ongoing conflicts between Allanak and Tuluk.

House Kurac
Perhaps the most enigmatic of the four Great Merchant Houses, Kurac's beginnings are almost as old as those of House Kadius if not older. The market it deals in is also shrouded in great mystery and shadow. From almost the beginning, the House has been the premiere source for spice and as the ages have progressed they have tightened their grip on that market so as to suffocate all competitors. They have a presence in Red Storm and both city-states, but the majority of their operations are based in Luir's Outpost. Their vast spice income, despite the ban on spice in Allanak, is supplemented by the money secured through their desert gear offerings.

House Nenyuk
Little is known about the Nenyuki, as their rise to power was quietly achieved. Pursuing mastery over the finances of Zalanthas, they are the only entity known since the Empire of Man to maintain banking institutions throughout Zalanthas. With the exception of that of the scattered desert tribes of the wilds, there is little wealth in Zalanthas that has not passed through the hands of the savvy Nenyuki.

House Salarr
The birth of House Salarr was conceived within the lands of Gol Krathu, but it has since proven itself to be a major asset to both city-states in their efforts to expand their influence through military means. Salarr's primary, and truly its only, product is arms and armament. Salarri smiths are considered the finest in Zalanthas and their blades and armors are highly sought after by nearly every organization in the Known World.

The Lesser Merchant Houses

While the concept of a Merchant House generally brings about images of the four Great Merchant Houses, there are other organizations that fit this classification as well. Though not as flush with wealth, they have still secured a place for themselves within the Zalanthan economy.

House Delann
Formerly known as House Kohmar, this once wealthy merchant house at one time specialized in selling hunting supplies and containers. Entering into a power-struggle with House Kadius, Kohmar was virtually wiped out. After it fell, it was purchased by several free-lance merchants who, after renaming it, attempted to carry on its lucrative trade in hunting supplies. Their efforts were largely unsuccessful, and Delann's only remaining holdings are a small stall in Luir's Outpost and in the Merchant Quarter of Tuluk.

House Deuring
House Deuring was devoted to the production of sandcloth for desert use and was eventually absorbed by House Kurac when the latter began its production of desert gear.

House Voryek
House Voryek is a minor Merchant House that deals primarily in art and antiquities. Based primarily out of the southern city-state of
Allanak, they have also secured minor holdings within Tuluk as well. In addition to their art dealings, the Voryeki are also known to be fanatical historians.

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Compiled on 25 September, 2004 by Laeris