The Copper Table
Trade, Quality, Contracts
The wealth of the Royal Basin is controlled by the copper table and it takes those of natural nous and competence to keep that wealth flowing well. Caravans, fleets and huge stores of goods are under their jurisdiction and that kind of power needs guarding.
“The art of trading isn’t a skill that can be easily learnt, sure you can pick up numbers, arithmetic, learn trade routes, the names of decent dealers and the cost of a good in one harbour and its value in another. But does that make you a good trader? Does that mean that you have the nuance to make the deal or understand the trade? Do you have the gut, the instinct? Is the level of ability at your disposal from learning or from the very core of a Merchants Ken. It’s in the blood my boy, what we earn, the bread and butter of our meals; all of it is in our heart and soul. Spend a little and earn a lot, invest the cash in the right kind and quality of Merchandise, recognise a good deal, wheel and deal and keep your head above water. This time next year we’ll be millionaires!”Derryck Bhouy to Roderik Knee one drunken night down the Complaining Bonce.
Our society is one built of trade and commerce, relying heavily on uncharted routes across the wastes that are known only to the traders that have passed such paths down from parent to progeny. The Dukes and Duchesses who rule have patronised Basanic merchants for hundreds of years and many are the young and new traders who seek similar arrangements. Often a trader is from a family and already has some level of interaction with the wealthier and more influential but equally they may come from more humble beginnings. Each struggles to build a reputation or name for themselves, trading cargo, hauling goods or dealing in illicit goods behind closed doors. Trading licences and the like, along with the training of domestic merchants, the rules and implementations of that law are all under auspice of the Copper Table, the governmental table responsible for all things merchant orientated in the Royal Basin.
Merchants make a living by trading in goods. Unlike Traders, they do not often deal directly with the public; they are generally wholesalers rather than retailers. Dealing in anything that will show a profit, Merchants travel widely to acquire and transport goods and attend all the great urban markets. Trading at the lesser country markets and fairs is usually left to underlings. Merchants will often be powerful and respected members of local councils and other governing bodies and the Merchants’ Guild is a powerful organisation in its own right. Merchants are invariably wealthy and maintain at least one town house and several warehouses as well. They will have or are part of one or several of the major trading cartels of the Royal Basin – The Nine Stars, The Eagles Wing Trading Coster, Scourge Bourne Trading, Nightstar Trading and the trading families of Phyphor, Sung, Garalanis, Fat and Dumor. They have a responsibility not only to themselves but also to the guilds folk whom they heavily sponsor and ensure a good equilibrium and parity between. On top of that they are usually responsible for the resource hubs of the Royal Basin, maintaining the trade routes and leading debate and discussion with Copper Table and the Golden.
“As a merchant I command a lot of respect and you might say to me that this comes from my money and the holdings that I own and to an extent that is true. Power flows to the one that knows how and wealth is no different; people recognise this, they recognise what I have and how I control it and they want a slice of that pie, they want to taste it, in fact they want the Gods damn recipe for that pie. You probably think that I and others like me, spend our time feet up, chewing expensive cigars and living a life beyond compare? Sure I dress well and don’t eat the filfth you find in ‘restaurants’ but I work day and night for that. The responsibilities of leadership that come with sensible distribution of wealth are immense, everyone wants a piece of you and what you own and no-one believes that you deserve that wealth, you’re a cheat, a liar and you never, ever feel llike you earned respect, only enmity. The road to wealth is paved with loneliness but the road can take you and those you have chosen to sponsor to truly wondrous places.”Stoford Dumar of house Dumar
What Members of the Copper Table Are
Involved mercantile development on a local and Duchy area.
Capable of owning holdings and producing goods for sale.
Valuable parts of the guildic community.
Capable of using magics and a sword as well as having good business sense.
Economic heroes in their own right.
What Merchants of the Royal Basin Are Not
Penny grubbing filth merchants.
Abusers of human rights.
All rich and affluent.