Theydim Merchant Guild Organization in Corive | World Anvil

Theydim Merchant Guild

The Thydian version of a Merchant's Guild is a recently founded guild aimed towards stabilizing the prices of goods between the Arlings of Theydim. Before the guild's creation, prices of goods varied between Arlings based on how far the Trader Caravans had traveled and what goods the town they were in had to sell, and then adjusted further by the merchant's whims or calculations.

Before the guild's foundation, these practices were generally beneficial to wealthier Arlings, and detrimental to the poorer ones which lead to Caravans being less likely to travel through the poorer regions. After the guild's founding, the prices of goods had been more consistent throughout Theydim and people of every Arling have, in theory, greater buying ability.


Membership to the Merchant Guild is generally acquired by direct application to the Merchant Guild's headquarters in Estopti City or to the Merchant Guild Hall in most major cities of regions that support the Merchant Guild. These applications generally include a description of what kind of merchant the applicant is, where they intend to do their business, how many customers they expect per month, the expected security needed, and a fee for the application.

A general storekeeper would have a different application than a caravan trader because one is stationary, while the other travels.


Members of the Guild are expected to keep an inventory of what they have in stock, what they have sold, how much the merchandise cost to acquire, how much the merchandise is being sold for, how the merchanise was paid for, and who bought the item. This is in place should any contriband or controlled substances such as sleeping draught are found to be used inappropriately within City Guard investigations and the guards need to know who bought the product or where it came from.

Guildmembers also pay dues, which in turn pays for the Guild providing indemnification to the member. Usually these dues are a percentage based on the inventory books of product sold. Healers and others who may provide customers with controlled substances may have to pay a higher due because of their products, but this also comes with guaranteed protection at the additional cost of often being the first investigated when situations tied to the product occur. Falsifying one's books is grounds for expulsion from the Guild.

Guild, Merchant
Parent Organization
Notable Members
Related Ethnicities

Guild Members


Being a member op the Guild gives the guildmember a stable income for merchants because travelers knowing prices will remain about the same wherever they are are more likely to buy things. This comes at the controlled price ranges the Guild sets for the merchants.

Shopkeepers and Caravan Traders benefit from safer trade roads and caravans are more likely to keep a more scheduled route.

The guild provides indemnification in cases of theft, a customer paying with bad coin, the destruction of one's shop, or a product becoming unsellable, so long as the merchant maintains their inventory books properly and pay their dues.

The Guild provide an authority for Caravans and nobles to appeal towards when the occasion occurs. The Guild also deals with Smugglers and conflicts in business agreement between merchants.

Secured Routes

The New Old Road through Jordelv Arling was a valued merchant route for Tormian merchants until the Daggermark Bridge was built in Feroia and reuniting the pieces of the Old Road. The rest of the New Old Road is still a viable route for merchants crossing the Contested Lands from Goltheris and merchants from the Five Cities crossing through southern Theydim.

There isn't much different from Jordelv and Flachsteengroeve, Ertsklif, or Feroia . We have the New Old Road which pulled merchant caravans through our Arling. And then that Half-Orc and her warband came through and built the Daggermark Bridge to reopen the Old Road. The Arling's economy took a hit, but the Thydian Merchant Guild might help with that, if Magnusdotr becomes High King.

Smugglers, Thievery, and Crime

Smugglers, commonly referred to as "Marmalade Merchants," are generally found to be trying to avoid Merchant's Guild rules in other regions, and within Capital regions of Theydim, they are avoiding the Thydian Merchant Guild.Guild Members who are smugglers, however, face greater punishments including bounties being placed publicly on them and expulsion from the guild with a ban on continuing any mercantile business in association with the Guild. Some merchants who are members of the guild use their membership to determine if a product was worth the risk of selling against the rules of the guild in a black market.

"Thei? No. He's not one of my caravan. Even if he were, I'd hand him over to your law. Messing with Faceless Fae brings trouble, there are laws in Tormyra against it, and I'm from the forests those Fae live in. We wear these masks to protect us."
— Caravan Leader Bahron of Ethnis





Thydian Unification Wars

The guild was formally founded after the Unification Wars on High King Magnus the Red-Eyed's command with the goal of furthering the unification of Theydim.


The Great War

Caravans in Tormyra generally answer to their own local lords and their laws, who also generally opposes the formation of such a guild in their northern neighbor out of concern the Guild would interfere with their own interests. During the time of the Great War, these concerns were used to encourage the expansion of the Guild across Theydim.

Gold Flood

Currency is not unified across Soplas, and most often coins are treated with suspicion if they don't quite match the local coinage. Many merchants currently trade goods for items of agreed equal value instead of dealing with coin. After the Great War, cases of artificial gold flooded the market, forcing merchants to shift to accepting only brass coin as currency. The more precious metal coins are still used, such as silver and gold, but are generally treated with suspicion and inflated prices by merchants who want to cover their costs "just in case."

Banks began building up in larger cities mostly to convert foreign coin to local coin in order to help foreigners trade in proper rates instead of the suspicion-caused inflation. Banks also provide tests to separate counterfeit coins from more authentic coins, and will take the counterfeits without punishment for whoever brings them in, though the "exchange rate" is a significant drop.

The Merchant Guilds, not only the one of Theydim, generally also run these banks or are closely associated and use the banks to adjust prices. The Guild pushed for the use of brass as coinage because it was an alloy and not an alloy often used for more than jewelry or ornamentation.

I knew that traveller was shifty - he deserved to pay three times the price for his goods if what he gave me is actually worth less than a single coin. At least I got the cost of the goods covered, if not my profits. Bank gave me a quarter of what he claimed these were worth.
— Disgruntled merchant who had been paid in counterfeit coin

Thydian Civil War

Tilde Magnusdotr aggressively supports the Guild's growth, andheadquarters the Guild in one of her Arling's capital cities. If fully established as the High King, she has promised the Guild that Theydim would provide safe routes to maintain caravan schedules, price control, and membership from every merchant. Tilde Magnusdotr has been pushing for the Merchant Guild in Theydim to rival to the one of Goltheris.

Others, mostly members of Ostufer's Faction, oppose it claiming the guild would have the power to set and manage prices, but could also lead to a rise in "marmalade merchants" selling goods and undercutting legitimate merchants who have to maintain a profit to make a living and pay their guild member dues.

"... In exchange for the above terms, the Guild will provide Capital and allies of Capital with reduced and standardized prices for goods and services. The Guild will set standards and punishments for merchant behaviors and to dissuade so-called 'Marmalade Merchants' by ...."

-Guild communications with Magnusdotr

Arle UnAssumingCharacter MerchantGuildAntiBacker has expressed concerns the Guild would place limits on her Arfosian mines. Documents from her hand claim she would not be able to afford to keep her borders maintained against the Five Cities if the Guild were to interfere with her mines.

Controversy and Opposition

While the Guild supports Magnusdotr in her bid to become High King, they do so by reducing their prices and in general being more favorable to her allies. This has lead to her opponents using the price discrepancies as evidence for the Guild being less than genuine in achieving their goal of "stabilizing" prices.

"Pfft, she wants to control your coin, your very livelihood. She's lived high up in Oestopti and Estopti Cities, all her life. She doesn't know how real people live down and out here. City people deal in coin - coin won't fill your belly or plow your field. Her "Guild" is little more than thieves given permission to steal your hard work and labor."
— Arle UnAssumingCharacter MerchantGuildAntiBacker
"We depend on each other for trade, yes, and we depend on Arlings like Felkhath for more agricultural goods - that's why we deal in our more raw materials. We deal with the ocean and stone for the most part, we're not the wealth of Feroia - oh, sorry, I guess Feroia's wealth is more Capital's - so the prices made by a Merchant Guild to be unified across Theydim will ruin us. We don't have merchants coming through to stay at our cities, the smugglers cross through to get at the Arlings of Western Theydim,because they know we're poor.
"Anything sold here, sells for far more over there. Merchants know this, and a guild would destroy the Thydian economy because we'd never afford anything, or the western Arlings would clean out the merchant's inventory and we'd still never afford anything."
— I'll decide who says this later Kerlbror or likely Antimerchantbacker

Articles under Theydim Merchant Guild

Cover image: by Lyraine Alei, Artbreeder


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Corvo Branco
Corvo Branco
27 Jul, 2021 00:32

Merchants are a interesting sort of people, and characters. Most stories in fantasy focus on warrior, battle-mage, types who will kill their enemies and steal what they need when they have the chance. My own included. However, there is potential to be explored in those fellows who are contractual morality in the borders of civilization and beyond it.   In my main fictional setting the merchants who trade by sea in long distance ships are all half-merchants/half-pirates. The Merchant Castes have a code that allows this behaviour. One must sing the drums of piracy before approach, in order to behave as pirate, but as long as that is done there is no moral violation involved and people will do business normally in a port with those same fellows who tried to kill them a week before. That way they may adjust their actions to the unpredictable nature of long travels.   I suppose my Merchant Caste caravans, those travelling through land, will have a more conventional style of "merchant personality" with their small armies of Warrior Castes and the handful of Mage Castes necessary to keep the merchant and their investments safe. Instead of the Merchants themselves making half-job as front-line fighters in regular basis. But I haven't yet elaborated the details of that business, and your Theydim Merchant Guild here certainly will give me some ideas.   Nice text.

27 Jul, 2021 00:49

I'm glad to help you generate ideas for your world - I like how you have your sailing merchant fleets have those codes to maintain decorum. I play a lot with the idea that "Desperation makes monsters out of people" with stuff of my own setting, and how close the line is for different people in my regions.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
27 Jul, 2021 02:04

Another wonderfully integrated article examining a complex system of your world. Great stuff.

28 Jul, 2021 00:01

Whoot! Success! I was honestly surprised I had written so much, but trade is an incredibly complex system to try and summarize how everything works, so I'm glad I went about it in a way that was enjoyable.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
4 Aug, 2021 22:47

Nice and well thought out article! Especially liked the addition of the Gold Flood giving the guild a reason to opt for the brass coins. Also nice that those falsifying books are actually kicked out. I wonder though is it possible that a rich enough member can bribe some of the guild members to 'overlook' it?

Feel free to check out my Orena 'Raitin Bane' page and my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
5 Aug, 2021 00:04

Nyehehehhehe, possible, possible. =P   The Brass Coins are used by nonGuild Merchants as well, but people say all kinds of things to put forth their views.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive