Halfblack Holdings

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Head: Anath Halfblack

Power Base: Financial

Primary Locations: The Invisible Quarter (Urban Deci), Forgetown (Rural Deci)

Motto: “Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best.”

”If you shake hands with Anath make sure you count your fingers afterwards. He is willing to bend the truth and twist interpretations in order to manipulate things in his favour - a true Merchant. A frighteningly clever manipulator, he may not be behind every financial or economic problem but it may be best to assume he is.” ~ Count Drago, Governor of the City of Keys

Sire Halfblack is somewhat unusual as a Mercenary in that he is one of the few rich in vitae who has taken a path to power based on being an economic force. He is a member of the Mercantile Caste and his Merchant Holding is fairly typical of that caste. However, unlike most Merchants, who secrete themselves away in their holdings, estates or city sponsored Guildhalls, he has a fairly high profile, matched only by the more Baronial Merchants Sire Thor in Takalia and Sire Haruld in Thimon.

For over a decade he has served as Finance Minister to the City of Deci, honing his skills and becoming intimately familiar with the cultural nuances of the confusing, entropic and seemingly contradictory city. It has been said that whilst no one can expect to ever understand the entirety of the nature of Deci Master Halfblack is at least one who knows what it is he does not understand and his knowledge of the Laws of Tradition that form Deci society is unrivalled.

He has long been acknowledged as being the architect behind the growth of a city that if left to its own devices has an unerring tendency to follow a path of self destruction. He has managed to navigate some tricky situations with a knack for coming out relatively near the top of the pile each time. Often proving that what initially appears to be defeat as ultimately being victory and his ability to act upon plans layered within plans and coated with contingencies means he is rarely unable to turn a situation to either his or the city's advantage. His skills at planning combined with his financial accumen has both made and saved the city of Deci vast sums of money and his personal loaning of money has brought him much by way of subtle influence and power.

Whilst Merchants are primarily buyers and sellers of goods each has their own particular specialisation, his is finance and money lending. However, like all Merchants, even if the monies gained from such pale into insignificance compared to their more secretive and subtle investments, he deals in commodities. Commodities are what Merchants do "for the sake of peace and prosperity" and each Merchant tends to favour specific bundles.

Being based in Deci it is only natural that his foremost commodity is metal. However, with the presence of JS Armouries in the city, he enjoys a not poor trade in Arms and Weapons. Additionally King Knock Knock, his great Auction Hall, caters to the Mercenary Caste with artefacts and helps fuels his trade in objects of rarity and value.

Over more recent years his personal businesses became tightly integrated within the fabric of the city and a factor in the city's growing financial stability. The Invisible Quarter, his personal demesne, has become so tied to the city that the Mercantile Quarter has, in local parlance, become known simply ‘’as’’ The Invisible Quarter and is a financial force to be reckoned with, not just in Deci but increasingly across the Empire.

His pet project, Forgetown, founded in IM 1007, has proved a great success and an indicator of his capacity for forethought and planning. He sought for a means to restore trade to Deci and that solution was Forgetown. Trade had suffered for years at the hands of the murder cults who's games of "Cull The Trader" had unsurprisingly discouraged such visitors from the Deci territories. However the presence of Forgetown not only reversed that long trend of decay but placed Deci in a increasingly dominant position regarding trade within the Empire as well as proving highly profitable for all its investors.

His power and influence is regarded with suspicion by many yet none have ever been able find evidence of any disreputable acts beyond his sharp mercantile practices and even those who strike deals with him will often begrudgingly admit that they have always got exactly what was agreed. At times even those who might regard themselves as "his enemy" have been forced to deal with him. It is much to his personal sense of satisfaction and amusement that he is regarded as some sort of "necessary evil".

Even in Deci he could not be described as a popular man but he is greatly respected by the people for his sly Deci cunning and years of tireless work for the city, even when the medicine he might prescribe has a tendency to taste bitter it is usually accepted that if The Vizier recommends such and such then such and such should be done and done without question. And it is his ability to use the city for his own benefit and his own power for the benefit of the city that have seen Halfblack Holdings and the city of Deci prosper in ways that five or six years ago might have seemed impossible.

The IC Faction Benefits for this faction can be found in the Labyrinthe Almanac, Volume 4, August 2011

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