Heralds of the Crescent Moon
The Society of Merchants
“If god wants some bread, he better have some gold.” - Common Society saying
The Society of Merchants controls the entire economy of the region. They are a powerful, opinionated group. They believe (strongly) in a strict laissez-faire economic system. Every man has a right to what they produce, and no one else has rights to use or acquire it without the express consent of the creator. This is usually accomplished through trade.
The Society is strongly against outside interference from any agency, this includes the other pillars. They agree to pay just enough taxes to the Council to allow it to govern. They refuse to pay for any entitlement programs or any other public initiative, as they feel it will just empower moochers and looters. Taking what you haven’t earned is akin to stealing, by any means or for any reason, and the worst crime possible within the Society.
They refuse to accept the authority of the Church, claiming that no one has authority over someone else’s mind. Each person is has a right to their own thoughts and creations. They acknowledge God and his existence, but claim he has no more or less special rights than anyone else.
In order to buy or sell goods, you must have some kind of contact with the Society. Their vast network of contacts and agents will help assure you of the best prices and largest markets for your wares. While anyone is welcome to try and sell on their own, most citizenry go to the Society stores because they know they always have the freshest and most abundant goods. This gives them a virtual monopoly on the economy, which is fine under their views.
The most common misconception about the Society is that they are greedy. This is not the case, they simply feel very strongly about the rights of those who create and invent. They know that the services they provide are required not only for day to day existence (food) but also for the continued progress of humanity (in the form of innovation). As they (feel that they) have such a large burden, they just want to make sure they are appreciated and adequately compensated. The prices they charge for goods and service are never extreme, they are fair but at the same time they do not give hand outs and charity (as that only enables the moochers). Their refusal to pay taxes or tribute to the church is reinforced by their belief that no one should be forced to part with what they have created (by the looters). In their minds, it is all reasonable and justifiable behavior. The system does work, as the economy is not only alive, but considered thriving.