Salt, Gold, Steel and Ghosts (Spellbound Kingdoms)
The Orchids of Hessek
The Orchids of Hessek are a merchant company founded two centuries ago in Hessek as a joint venture between House Anfield and a few minor noble houses. With the patronage of their noble backers, the Orchids have continued to expand and thrive as time went on, eventually becoming a full-blown Guild with international reach. There are few markets that the Orchids do not possess at least some stake in and even fewer trading hubs that don’t have a branch in. Their caravans ply roads and seas all across the Claw.
They are notoriously cutthroat in their dealings. They muscle in on their competitors and try to oust them, first using legal means and then transitioning to sabotage, intimidation and murder if that does not work. They have no friends amongst merchants, and make no attempt to play nice with any of their rivals. They drive hard bargains, cheat people out of their money and use any means available to make more gold. They are a fantastic addition to the King’s arsenal of organisations that do their best to crush hope out of the people. Greed, gluttony and lust for gold keep everyone involved with the Orchids or their businesses from finding love or plotting against the King without the Dryght or the Kingsmen having to lift a finger.