Region: Arkonos


Trader's Union part 1
Tariglaive Port

Melita Hannimara sipped her wine a mulled over the letter she had received. Her application to the Astarte Trade Union had been denied. Her father's friend and her only ally, Jebel Baaliahon, sat across from her. The dwarf sipped his own wine and waited for her to finish. "This is bullshit," she said, "This is nothing more than a cop out. My books are clean, spotless even. Yes, we have had few bad years, so does everyone else."

Jebel sighed, "It not that. I was there for the deliberations. Your father was not a good business man. They are worried you picked up his bad habits." Melita set the letter down, "My father did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. He showed me the ledgers, the agreements. My family's troubles began long before my father took control. If you want to point the blame, blame my Grandfather. The man never hung onto his pennies long enough to rub them together."

"Your education does help, and if you read the letter further," Jebel explained and place his finger on the last couple of lines, "You'll see that the Union left room open for you to prove yourself. I disagreed." Melita reread the letter and stared the old dwarf down, "Why did you disagree?"

"Because the Astarte Trade Union is getting too big. Very soon, they'll have a monopoly on both Salt and Dyes. I know your family once dealt in Porcelain and Silk, still do if I recall correctly. But, there is still an open market for Salt and Dyes here in Tariglaive."

"So you want me to enter the Salt trade?"

"Everyone needs Salt. Hell, entire wars have been fought over Salt. But, that is not what I am talking about. There are other merchants going into Salt, enough to create competition, I was thinking Dyes."

"I don't have any facilities for Dyes," Melita said. Jebel held up a finger, "You have the money, yes? If not, find it. Then hire carpenters and the dye makers. Storage will not be a problem for you, just free up a few warehouses. You can even experiment with the Silk you have."

Melita sat back and thought about it, "Why are you helping me? This will hurt you and your business." Jebel smiled, "At first, yes. I will lose profits and may need to fire some staff, but in the long run it will benefit me and my family." Melita sighed and stood, "I'll have to think about it."

Hannimara Residence
Melita soaked herself in the porcelain basin that was her tub. It was something her family sold to wealth nobles and aristocrats in the Golden Bay. The soap was a local brand, recently made. A rune of heat was written inside the tub, paired with a rune of water. It was cheap, but expensive enchantments were out of her price range at the moment. She mulled over Jebel's words. Why would a merchant willing go out of his way to hurt his business now with the hope it would do better tomorrow? I bugged her, but he did have some wise words. The problem would be to build her business up without alerting the Astarte Trade Union. If they drop their prices lower than what she could do, she was done. Stepping out of her tub and toweling herself of, she walked over to her desk and wrote a letter to several foreign merchants who dealt in dyes. It was time to chart her own course.