Table of Contents

Trade on Wyrlde is the lifeblood of the Cities, the essential service of the towns, and the necessity of the nations.

Over the decades the influence and power of the Merchants Guild has waxed and waned, but it has always been one of the most powerful of all the guilds and has long been a thorn in the side of all the rulers. It is almost as if the merchants make a game of not paying their taxes. In general, the practical, though not intentional, economic system of the Empire is an Agrarian Corporative-Mercantilist-Proprietist system.

Trade requires several elements to function. Among them is a way to communicate, a place to stay, a way to loosen resistance, money or goods, fair prices, and exchanges, and staying clear of the troublemakers.

Anyone who sells something, be it for coin or in kind, is subject to a tax on what they have earned, and that tat tax is aid monthly. The tax is collected by Guilds, or, for those who are not part of a guild, to the Fodge of the local Noble.

In order to sell, you must have a Mark of Trade.

Marks of Trade

Anyone who has reached a degree of proficiency in their tradecraft can apply for a Mark of trade. This is typically a symbol or seal, a way of identifying the products and works of the individual as theirs, and can found on strips of cloth, paper seals, wax seals, and engraved or stamped into materials.

These marks are assigned by the Guild, recorded in a grand ledger, and then the Guilds themselves report those marks for inclusion in the Imperial Register, which covers the seven cities.

Goods without a mark are either considered barter goods (frowned on heavily except in steadings and hamlets) or are brought under seal by a merchant and usually have a tag with the seal specifying where they came from – these are usually paper, sometimes leather, and affixed to the object in question should someone from a guild do an audit.

This is how the goods from places like Kahokia and Hyboria, Antilia and the Sea Realms are often brought in, though both Antilia and the Sea Realms have their own Marks of Trade – those are simply not entered into the Grand Ledges within the Empire.

A Mark of Trade costs 10 shillings, and this is in addition to Guild Tithe. For this reason, it is usually only those who are professionals that have a Mark of Trade.

In the Adventurers Guild, when people band together as a group, they can purchase a Mark of Trade for their group or band of people. This is a requirement for them to be able to exchange goods within he Guild itself with Guild Merchants, for example, or to sell their finds and earnings.

Marks of Trade are also used by the Banks to track and identify accounts with special properties (such as a large deposit in a special vault).

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