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By Greenleaf Vickers, head of Umbarth House, seventh richest House of Darokin.

Alas, it seems that Umbarth House might finally fall from its position as one of the wealthiest merchant House of Darokin. We took a hard blow last decade, as did most Houses, during the invasion by Hule. Yet, the other Houses soon recovered, while we lost our lucrative business with the now-exiled elves of Alfheim. The loss was significant, but not enough to ruin the House of Umbarth.

But now the shadow elves, may Asterius curse them, have taken over much of the Broken Lands and prevent our merchants from reaching our other main markets, notably those of Ethengar and Glantri. To make matters worse, those that do get through hardly find any market since those two very nations are now at war with one another.

Our only recourse was to concentrate on our local trade along the Streel Valley. What other choice was there, when most of markets of other nations are firmly under control by the other great Houses? We might have been able to survive with this, especially if I pulled in favours that many a merchants owes me or Umbarth House, but alas, it was not the end of our problems.

Goblinoids have somehow managed to enter our land and now rampage and pillage across the Streel Plains. Agricultural lands are destroyed, villages in which we trade in were burned down, and many of my caravans were also taken. Have I done something do offend You, oh great Asterius? Surely I must have for You to destroy Umbarth House so quickly.

Sadly, Umbarth House is not the only House to suffer by this. All of Darokin is being negatively affected. Many of the small Houses that thrive with their trade between Corunglain and Darokin City will probably be financially ruined before the goblinoids are dealt with. Toney House has lost its major farms in the area, destroying the profitable agricultural deals they had. Pennydown House is also suffering with its lost trade to Corunglain, although shipments to Selenica still get through.

Corun House has probably suffered the most. With their base in the city of Corunglain, most of their shipments must have been cut off. Many of their businesses in that town will suffer greatly if goods don't arrive soon. And just think of all the money they placed into the Great Darokin Wall just to learn that the goblinoids can still get through. Admittedly, the government did finance a large part of it, but Corun House was responsible for almost all of the non-government payments for its construction. I believe Corun House will probably fall to fifth or six richest House by the next Great Reckoning.

Even when this is all over, there will be many repercussions to deal with. All the farms and villages will have to be rebuilt. Worse, Darokin will probably have to import food so that there will be enough for the winter. I expect the price of food to increase again, a burden most families cannot deal with anymore. This is just one more major setback for Darokin's recovery ever since Hule invaded our land.