• Lore • [Rharne Faction] Merchants Guild

A guild of Rharnian business owners.

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Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:33 pm

Merchants Guild
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The Merchants Guild is a professional organization of Rharnian business owners. The breadth of businesses is wide – everything ranging from taverns to market stalls to herbal shops are welcomed into the guild without prejudice. They wield a significant amount of influence in Rharne thanks, in part, to their collective wealth, and they are one of the three most powerful factions in the city. The guild’s Trade Master is a member of the Council and frequently petitions them to makes decisions or changes that are in the interest of the guild’s members.

Any citizen who hopes to start their own business in Rharne is expected to join the Merchants Guild. Those who attempt to create businesses without first joining the guild tend to find themselves facing a myriad of problems: poor quality product, a lack of suppliers, absentee employees, an inability to build a regular customer base, and various building-related woes (for example, lease increases, structural concerns, unexpected fires). Not once has the Merchants Guild ever been directly linked to these problems, but there is such a significant pattern that some aspiring business owners request membership simply to avoid becoming victims.

The Merchants Guild runs the prestigious Rharne Bank and makes significant contributions to Rharne’s coffers. The guild donates nel to the Thunder Priestesses and the Lightning Knights in times of need, constructs public buildings and roads, and contributes to the city’s overall maintenance. It publicly employs people to work in their administrative offices at the Guild Hall, and privately employs mercenaries and guards to accomplish tasks ranging from guarding shipments to quiet intimidation (though, again, this has never been proven).
Requirements
For Joining:
  • You must own a business in order to join the Merchants Guild. Please see the Business Guide for information on how to start a business.
  • You must have a Novice-level Business Management skill.
For Remaining an Active Member:
  • Your business must remain active for each season that you are a member of the Merchants Guild.
  • All guild members must pay a membership fee of 50gn per season.
Benefits
1. The implicit benefit of membership to the Merchants Guild is that the individual’s business is allowed to exist in Rharne. Those who attempt to create businesses without joining the guild tend to find themselves facing a myriad of problems: poor quality product, a lack of suppliers, absentee employees, an inability to build a regular customer base, and various building-related woes (for example, lease increases, structural concerns, unexpected fires).

2. Upon joining the Merchants Guild, each guild member is given a bronze token stamped with the symbol of their rank. This token grants them free access to both the Guild Hall and the Guild Library.

3. Hired protection (ie. guards and mercenaries) for horses, wagons/ships, and goods when travelling for business is subsidized. The Merchants Guild will cover 50% of these costs for their members.

4. All guild members have free access to Business Management classes at the Guild's College, as well as regular mentorship from veteran business owners.

5. Membership grants direct access to Rharne’s network of merchants. This allows members to be more selective of their suppliers and gives them more negotiation power at higher ranks thanks to the credibility that comes with those who are part of the guild. Those who are Iron Merchants can deduct -5% from the price of all business-related goods, while those who are Diamond Merchants can deduct -10%.

6. Guild members are invited to a seasonal Guild Meeting where they may air their grievances, petition the guild, discuss local and global economic concerns, and vote for the guild's leadership. Attendance is optional, but encouraged.
Rankings
There are three distinct ranks within the Merchants Guild: Wood, Iron, and Diamond. Rank implies skill and experience, and higher-ranking members frequently benefit from an improved business reputation and profit margin.

Every business belonging to the Merchants Guild has a symbol on its sign or door to publicly convey its ranking. Wood Merchants use the symbol of a hatchet, Iron Merchants use the symbol of an anvil, and Diamond Merchants use the symbol of a diamond gem.

To move from one rank to the next, your character must contact the Merchants Guild and ask them to send a representative to review your business. Upon review, they will determine if your character is eligible to move to the next level. This must be played out IC in a thread (solo or moderated), and all skill and experience requirements must be met.

There is no limit to the number of guild members at each rank, with the exception of Trade Master. The Merchants Guild only has one Trade Master at a time. In addition to meeting the prerequisites, this individual must be formally voted into power at a seasonal Guild meeting. If your character meets the requirements, you must request a moderated thread from a local Prophet in order to attain this special rank.

Level 1: Wood Merchant
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The very first rank for novice members of the Merchants Guild is that of the Wood Merchant. At this rank, the member is often just starting out on their business ownership journey. They may have newly started a business, having never run one before, or they may be new to Rharne and starting fresh with years of business experience under their belt. Whatever the case may be, these merchants can be easily identified by the symbol of the hatchet that hangs either outside of their business or on their door.

Wood Merchants are frequently mentored by Iron Merchants, and have easy access to a wealth of business advice and knowledge. They are encouraged to attend the seasonal Guild Meetings, though their advice or recommendations may not be taken as seriously as that given by higher ranked merchants.

Skill Requirements:
  • Business Management (Novice)
Experience Requirements: N/A

Level 2: Iron Merchant
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An Iron Merchant is recognized by the anvil symbol that hangs from their building or door, and is expected to have a strong level of experience and skill when it comes to running their business. Customers know that they can trust the Iron Merchant to be professional and reputable in their dealings, which tends to have a positive impact on their ledger.

Iron Merchants are frequently mentored by Diamond Merchants and are often called upon to be mentors themselves. When they attend the seasonal Guild Meetings, consideration is made for their experience and their input is given more thought and consideration than Wood Merchants. At this rank, Iron Merchants may deduct -5% from business-related purchases and may add +5% to their seasonal business profits.

Skill Requirements:
  • Business Management (Competent)
  • Negotiation or Intimidation (Competent)
  • Leadership (Novice)
Experience Requirements: Business must be active for 2 consecutive seasons.

Level 3: Diamond Merchant
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Rharnians hold Diamond Merchants in the highest regard. The diamond symbol comes with the expectation that the merchant is very experienced, sells only the highest quality product or service, and is especially reputable in their dealings. Whether or not this is the reality is almost irrelevant. Status alone gives these business owners significant sway, and they will often find that they have a consistent and loyal customer base.

Diamond Merchants are often called upon to be mentors for Iron Merchants, and some may even be asked to be advisors for the Trade Master. Their advice carries much weight at seasonal Guild Meetings, and their needs tend to be prioritized when it comes to making guild-wide decisions. At this rank, Diamond Merchants may deduct -10% from business-related purchases and may add +10% to their seasonal business profits.

Skill Requirements:
  • Business Management (Expert)
  • Negotiation or Intimidation (Expert)
  • Leadership (Competent)
  • Logistics (Competent)
Experience Requirements: Business must be active for 4 consecutive seasons.

Level 4: Trade Master

At any given time, there is only one Trade Master leading the Merchants Guild. In addition to meeting the requirements, the Trade Master must have previously been a Diamond Merchant and be voted into power by the other guild members at a seasonal Guild Meeting. The Trade Master is guaranteed one arc as the guild leader. Beyond that, a vote may be called at any time by challengers and the Trade Master may keep their power only if they have kept the trust and confidence of the guild.

The Trade Master’s responsibilities include hiring employees to look after the administrative details of the running the guild, leading the seasonal meetings, sitting on Rharne’s Council, and petitioning the Council to make decisions or changes that are in the interest of the guild’s members. The Trade Master also weighs in on decisions related to the guild’s coffers, and typically has several friends and advisors at the Diamond Merchant rank from whom to gather guidance or advice.

Skill Requirements:
  • Business Management (Master)
  • Negotiation or Intimidation (Master)
  • Leadership (Expert)
  • Logistics (Expert)
  • Politics (Competent)
Experience Requirements: Business must be active for 6 consecutive seasons.
Key Locations
Guild Hall: All administrative business takes place at the Guild Hall - an imposing building located in the Glass Quarter. Along with the administrative offices, the Hall contains many meeting rooms that can be freely booked by any of the guild’s members. The Hall also holds a large ballroom, which is frequently used to host exclusive parties and events for business owners, suppliers, contractors, and powerful travelers from other lands.

Guild Library: The Guild Library is located in the Glass Quarter, and is owned and run by the Merchants Guild. It is the only publicly accessible library in Rharne. Guild members can access the library for free, while non-guild members are able to use it by shelling out 2 gold nel per visit. The library’s resources are extensive and contain a breadth of knowledge ranging from the history of Rharne to the economics of Nashaki. Both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts can be found on its well-crafted shelves. While books cannot be removed from the library’s premises, the library itself contains many desks that can be used for reading and research.

Guild's College: Like the other Merchants Guild buildings, the Guild's College is located in the Glass Quarter. The College is Rharne's only official school and uses a classroom approach to teach a structured curriculum, with classes that tend to consist of about twenty students per subject. The College is open to any who can afford the fees and has a strong business focus. Merchant families often send their children to the Guild’s College to learn, socialize, and build strong networks. Members of the Merchants Guild may also attend free Business Management classes here.

Rharne Bank: The Rharne Bank, located in the Glass Quarter, is owned and run by the Merchants Guild and is an integral part of the city’s economy. The bank is owned and run by the Merchants Guild, and is an integral part of the city’s economy. Much of the deposited money and valuables belongs to business owners and merchants, and the bank itself often invests deposited money in local ventures. Along with offering personal & commercial bank accounts and private safes, the bank is very supportive of small businesses and provides loans to aspiring business owners who require start-up capital - as well as anyone else who might need a bit of help. But buyer beware: they are far less supportive of those who default on those loans, regardless of how successful or unsuccessful the business venture was.
Credit: Rumour
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"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
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Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:59 pm

Merchants Guild NPCs

Trade Master

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Name Daphne Lightsong
Race: Human / Biqaj
DoB: 15th Ymiden 688
Title: Trade Master, Rharne
Skills: Business Management (Master), Negotiation (Master), Leadership (Expert), Logistics (Expert), Cosmetology (Expert), Politics (Competent). Others: To be revealed at Prophet discretion.

More than one person has fallen foul of Daphne's beautiful face and youthful good looks. She is as shrewd a Trade Master as Rharne has seen for a lot of Arcs. She is a devoted servant of Ilaren, and a diligent and meticulous individual. There is no doubt that she has had to work incredibly hard to reach where she is, but she has been good for the Merchants' Guild of Rharne. She is politically savvy and is aware that she has popular opinion on her side. With a tendency to hoard power and court popularity, she would be a very difficult person to overthrow and that is just the way she likes it.


Credit: Faith


Moderator's Note: A Prophet must grant permission for this NPC to be self-moderated.

Varne Locklear

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Name Varne Locklear
Race: Human
DoB: 12th Ashan 689
Title: Merchants Guild Member (Diamond Rank), Rharne
Skills: Business Management (Expert),Negotiation (Expert), Leadership (Competent), Logistics (Competent). Others: To be revealed at Prophet discretion.

Varne is a serious individual who is focused almost entirely on personal gain. He is a shrewd businessman with a quick mind but his tendency to look only at his own needs and situation means that he is unlikely ever to rise to be the Trade Master. Which is, as far as he is concerned, a shame as he'd really like to be in that job. Varne does his best to build up alliances and he has a lot of friends on the surface, but they'd be gone in a heartbeat if things ever got bad - as he would, if things turned sour for them. In the Merchants' Guild, he will usually try and cherry pick the most promising new Wood Rank members, in the hope that some of their sheen will rub off on him and he can take the credit for their success. If they fail? He drops them like a hot rock.

Credit: Faith



Moderator's Note: A Prophet must grant permission for this NPC to be self-moderated.

Chip Stanning

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Name Chip Stanning
Race: Human
DoB: 54th Vhalar 691
Title: Merchants Guild Member (Diamond Rank), Rharne
Skills: Business Management (Expert),Negotiation (Expert), Seduction (Expert), Caregiving (Expert), Leadership (Competent), Logistics (Competent). Others: To be revealed at Prophet discretion.

Chip is, frankly, chipper. He is a friendly and gregarious individual who goes out of his way to make people feel comfortable and content. With an easy smile and a charm about him it is not a surprise that his private massage business has been so very successful. In business terms, Chip is focused on the client or customer having the best experience and therefore, telling others and returning. In the Merchants' Guild, Chip will vote for those things which benefit Rharne the most. He is a pragmatic man and is not out to change the world, but the bottom line is that happy people spend more and, most importantly, happy people spend more on getting a good massage. Chip is very much a living embodiment of the Rharnian approach to marriage and fidelity - his wife and he have a very open relationship and host some interesting parties if you weren't expecting it.

Credit: Faith

Moderator's Note: A Prophet must grant permission for this NPC to be self-moderated.

Kitt Keating

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Name Kitt Keating
Race: Sev'ryn
DoB: 24th Vhalar 694
Title: Merchants Guild Member (Diamond Rank), Rharne
Skills: Business Management (Expert),Negotiation (Expert), Meditation (Expert), Gambling (Expert), Leadership (Competent), Logistics (Competent). Others: To be revealed at Prophet discretion.

Kitt is the owner and proprietor of a very successful casino in Rharne - this gambling hall is one where people are always clear that all is fair. Anyone found cheating is dealt with swiftly and harshly, so cheating is minimal. Kitt herself is a serene and calm individual who has a keen eye for detail and the ability to make money out of almost anything. She absolutely loathes Chip and he seems to delight in teasing her. In terms of the Merchants' Guild, Kitt is focused on profit and she tries to maintain the bigger picture of making sure that the merchants of Rharne are well looked after.

Credit: Faith
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"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
Office | Rharne | Rharne Lore | Lightning Knights | Thunder Priestesses | Merchants Guild
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Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:59 pm

Faction Members: Players
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"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
Office | Rharne | Rharne Lore | Lightning Knights | Thunder Priestesses | Merchants Guild
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