Trade Consortium of Blix
“Oh, but sir! You can find the wonders of the world, if you have but the coin in your pocket. Wanna buy a pair of pockets?” - Anonymous Blixian merchant

Capital: Terrin
Settlements: Bossol (8,000), Calim (5,000), Daftin (5,500), Gelium (6,000), Junt (6,500), Mercst (9,000), Netun (8,800), Pult (7,000), Sart (7,500), Terrin (8,500), Urist (8,000)
Rulers: Trade-Master Tammerillion Godscoin
Government: Democratic Mercantile Senate
Races: Boggle, Halfling, Numistian, Ratfolk, and merchants of all races
Faiths: Any
Resources: Agriculture, trade goods
Languages: Common, Goblin, Halfling
Border Conditions: Limited (A porphyrite border limits access to the Gardens of Meynon)

History
After The Calling, Porphyra was in upheaval, as the world began to settle, and there were new races and realms in abundance. There were also areas unclaimed by the new powers or the old - one such area is where the Trade Consortium of Blix grew into an economic power. Previously inhabited by professionally servile agricultural halflings, the Scrolls of Mercantile Interchange record that the Consortium began as a gathering of halfling clans. The clan chiefs decided that, rather than compete with each other to supply the needy post-war world, they would each focus upon a particular area of goods, then pool their resources to further their collective interests. Thus the Great Trading Houses were born and the Republic of Merc was founded. The republic prospered but soon the Houses found themselves becoming overwhelmed by the demand for their goods. Production was failing to meet demand and trade routes were dwindling.

That is when Blix found his way to the republic. Blixander Coinspun was a halfling that had been bit by the wander-bug early in his life. After many adventures, he grew soft in the foot, and began to long for home and the pleasures of working through the maze of business agreements. So, he returned to the ailing Republic. Blix did not return alone, though, he brought with him the salvation of the land - boggles. He had befriended a clan of boggles in his travels, and found them a fascinating (and industrious) people. He then founded the final Great Trade House of the Republic. Driven by the industrious nature of the boggle clan he employed, Blix prospered, and soon began to outsource his boggles to the other Great Trade Houses. Before long, the entire Republic was revitalized, as production soared. Trade with the rest of Porphyra was never higher.

Then, disaster. Known forever as the beginning of the Great Depression, a plague swept across the Republic. If it were simply a viral or bacterial pandemic, it might have been contained. Rather, it was the Bon Flue, the boggle primordial drive to propagate the species. In a month, every boggle in the Republic had been affected. The goblinoids were no longer focused on creating new works, and their industrious natures had given way to fits of fanciful performances, communal gatherings, and massive amounts of unsettling noise. The records of the halflings that lived through the Great Depression emphasize that little sleep was had. The Republic was faltering, production ground to a near-halt, and trade was waning.

It was then that the numistians arrived, from somewhere in the southern sands. They brought with them a proposal for the Republic, and, more importantly, a cure for the Bon Flue. Elected by the council of chiefs to represent the Republic, Blix himself negotiated the terms at the Gelian Customs Accord (GCA). When the GCA was ratified, the Republic of Merc was no more, and in its place stood the Trade Consortium of Blix. Most of the halfling Great Trading Houses remained, reformed into the Eight Guilds, backed by the restored Boggle Labor Unions and bolstered by the exotic Numistian Import Syndicates. Once again the hub of commerce was restored to Porphyra, reaching even greater heights than before.

Current Events
The Trade Consortium is the hub of commerce and trade on Porphyra. It is said that no kingdom has deeper pockets and that no pocket is emptied without the Trade Consortium’s approval. Blix is ruled by the Mercantile Senate, composed of democratically elected representatives from each of the Guilds, Unions, and Syndicates. A Trade-Master is elected by the Senate to represent the Consortium’s interest in global matters; this occurs once every twelve years. The capital of the Consortium changes with the seat of the Trade- Master; thus it is a hotly contested position, and Election is a time of great flux in Blix.

Politically, the Consortium is staunchly neutral, sometimes bravely so, for the northern kingdoms dislike the equity with which the Blixians treat the southern ancestors of the elementalists; the Siwathu, the Ghadabi, and the orthodox zendiqi who are drawn from their number. Even Pyynians are welcome in Blix, though slavery is strictly forbidden within their borders. This pragmatic equality is hardly a beacon to the world, but it is ironically fairer than the kindest of clerical orders to be seen on the Patchwork Planet.

No religion holds particular sway in the Consortium, save the worship of Lord Coin, although the Boggles are rather fond of Linium. No faith is banned, either, for all offerings are welcome in Blix as long as there is profit to be made. The tolerance of Mâl here is a major bone of contention between the halflings of the Bulwark and those of Blix.

Settlements
The major settlements of Blix are:

  • The Guild Cities and Floating Syndicate Holds are strategically placed so as to not intrude on each other’s sales area. Who makes what and who trades with whom are lively areas of debate in the Mercantile Senate.
  • Terrin is the current capital, and has been for the past ten years, being able to place the Sanctum of Trade, a mobile trade-floor, in its city square. The other Trade House cities are Sart, Junt, Netun, Urist, Mercst, Pult, and Bossol. Being cities conceived by halflings, their structures are uniquely theirs, with holes and tunnels as common as towers and halls, and access somewhat difficult for big folk, though there is a Tallman quarter in each community, with appropriate entertainments, inducements, and fees. “Gobbog Flats” is the term used for the boggle quarter of each community, a noisy, potentially dangerous place to be, but fascinating nonetheless.
  • Though not as large as the Guild cities, the Floating Syndicate Holds of Daftin, Calim, and Gelium are said to be able to sate the most exotic of appetites, administered by the enigmatic numistians. These three cities are at the borders of Blix, and are hotbeds of intrigue and trade with zendiqi, Mâlites (and Gardeners alike) and the dangerous outlaws of Nor-du-Mag. The numistian cities are very cosmopolitan, with virtually every race known present and squabbling for profit.

Intrigues

  • The Mercantile Senate has been infiltrated by some kind of shapechanger, causing unrest within the Consortium both in the Labor Unions and the Import Syndicates. Magic use is illegal in the Senate, so subtlety will have to suffice.
  • Isolated outbreaks of Bon Flue have been reported in the outlying boggle villages of the Consortium. Could a new Depression be looming on the horizon? Do the boggles even care?
  • The sinister Tuthon Barony has been exporting some of the rare goods typically found in the Consortium via the Import Syndicates. Where have the Tuthoni been getting them? There is likely a smuggler in the midst of Blix.

See Also