Fury of the Immortals
Great Merchant Houses
The Great Merchant Houses of Darokin are large trading companies usually dominated by and named for a single family. They tend to have a long history and take enormous pride in their traditions. They wield an enormous amount of influence over both the government and economy of the Darokin. As their members are the most likely to qualify to participate in politics, the Chancellorship, Inner Council and Outer Council are replete with their number. And, of course, their caravans typically dominate foreign trade.
The highest echelon of these houses are the 9 richest Great Houses. Currently, they are:
Al-Azrad House: Khalafi Al-Azrad was already a merchant of some repute when he left his native Ylaruam in 853 AC and moved to Akorros. Currently led by Eshram Al-Azrad, the house is the 7th richest of the great houses, due mostly to its connection to Ylaruam. Al-Azrad does more business with Ylarum than any other Daro merchant house.
Corun House: The Corun family has been a leading family in north central Darokin for 700 years. A Corun founded Corunglain and they led the efforts of its rebuilding after it was sacked by orcs. Today, Corun House is the 4th largest Great House with a business built almost entirely on domestic trade – setting them apart from the other houses. The house is headed by Natalie Kalimi the widow of Darokin's 3rd Chancellor.
Franich House: Franich House is a relative newcomer, only having been founded 63 years ago. Arturo Franich, the son of the founder, has almost single-handedly build it into the 8th largest of the Great Houses. Franich House is based in Darokin, at the center of the web of trade, and does not specialize in any particular products preferring to have at least a small piece of everything.
Hallonica House: Hallonica House has dominated business in Selenica and eastern Darokin as long as anyone can remember. The house is run by Bertram Hallonica whose father, Rypien, served as the fifth Chancellor of Darokin. It is the 3rd largest of the Great Houses.
Linton House: Linton House is an exception amongst the Great Houses in that they do a great deal of business on the seas of the Known World. Based in Athenos, Linton House has a substantial fleet of cargo ships and works closely with merchants of Ierendi and Minrothad. They have parlayed this almost exclusive hold on Darokin sea trade into being the 2nd richest of the Great Houses. The current leader, Lucius Linton, seems satisfied with status quote and does not get too involved in politics.
Mauntea House: Four out of the first six Chancellors were Maunteas and so is the current Chancellor. It is by far the richest of the Great Houses and has been the standard by which all other houses have been judged for the past 200 years. Naturally, it is based in the capital Darokin and the Maunteas have often led by example. They were the first to utilize the Darokin Diplomatic Corps and were the first to include dwarves, elves and halflings as partners in their business. They were also the first to share profits with deserving employees. All of these innovations are standard practice in Darokin now.
Pennydown House: Founded shortly after the Great Merger it is currently headed by Elissa Pennydown, great-granddaughter of the founder. Based in Darokin, it is the 5th largest of the Great Houses and has built its business by vertical integration of its trade with 100 or more retail stores. No other house owns its own distribution network and Pennydown employs numerous Travelers (domestic traders) and Keepers (shopkeepers).
Toney House: Toney House is the smallest of the Great Houses, but many of Darokin's minor houses would be happy to trade places. Based in Akorros, Toney has made its fortune through a combination of lake trade, foreign trade with Glantri and Ylaruam and domestic trade in the region just east of Lake Amsorak. They do not receive as much respect as the other houses and its current head, Mendel Callister, is intent on the house receive more respect.
Umbarth House: Umbarth House is somewhat isolated in that it is Akesoli. But, it has managed to build the 6th largest fortune through trade with Glanri, the [Ethengar Khanate]] and do business with most other nations in the Known World through and office in Darokin. It also does a lot of business with Alfheim and counts a number of elves amongst its high-level officers. Greenleaf Vickers is a descendent of Sasheme Vickers, Darokin's first diplomat, and also carries elven ancestry.
Naturally, any of the Great Houses might serve as excellent factions for player characters.