Balic follows the merchants code?



May 12, 2005 11:04:08
I am currently working on the regions for my new Darksun campaign. As I was going over the information regarding Balic, some questions popped up.

Since Balic is contolled by merchant houses how do they effectively deny their citizenship? Within the merchants code all members of the merchant houses are not to be citizens. How does this work if the Merchant houses are controlling a City-State. Would the other City-States be wary of trading with these Merchant houses or do they even care?


May 12, 2005 13:42:44
As I see it, the "law" would be different in the three parts of the city controlled by the different houses. There's a neutral area at the gates to the west, where trade is conducted with visiting caravans etc. Here the merchant code would apply, but once you step foot inside one of the areas controlled by a House, the House's own laws apply. As for traders and the law, I see senior agents close to the family "above the law". Each House's laws would differ, depending on the nature of the house and its family members. For example, Wavir might not permit slaves, while Tomblador would.


May 13, 2005 2:00:04
The reason for their not being citizens was to alleviate any SK from suspicion that the merchants were spies for a rival SK. That is, to demonstrate that a merchant was truly neutral. Given that Andropinus is trapped in the Black, the merchant houses in control of Balic are certainly not working for him. Thus cause for immediate alarm is not so much warranted.

But, the ruling houses are in control of massive amounts of resources now, an entire city! THAT will concern the other Merchant Houses, with so much new resources and assets, the three Balic ruling Houses are a serious threat to the others.

Extending this situation to the SKs, a merchant class controlling a city is likely to resemble the situation of a few cities from the Green Age. Given that the SKs have spent time in these places, it seems reasonable that they all likely know how to manipulate or conquer such places.

I would expect one or more of the SKs to offer 'help' or advice to Balic's current leaders in the near future. Slowly extending their influence until they are ready to crush Balic.

Of course Andropinus will also be trying to get out of the Black (and apparently succeeds within a century).