Morana Merchant House
First GlanceThe Morana Merchant House located on Storm Street in the Guild Ward is a simple one-story building designed of red-brick and dark grey mortar. The Sign over the entrance marks the name in burned letters against a wooden placard. A smaller sign says ...
Open 24 Hours
Open 24 Hours
Upon entry you feel like you have stepped into a small bizarre of the far south as the array of sights and scents cascade over you. Its almost like having a dozen small merchants presented within one building. There is a shiny red and black liquored counter towards the back where your transactions are completed. Several signs are placed throughout the interior alluding to the full scope of the Morana Merchant services. Along the walls there are alchemical globes that provide a soft glow of light throughout the show room. There are usually only a few of the family present at any given time, with the others attending to business or errands throughout the city.
Clothing & Jewelry
Some of the latest fashions and the most exotic clothing is on display here. This section takes up more room than most presented more as a work of art. A half dozen wooden frame mannequin show off this clothing while the more scandalous pieces placed on the tables. This section is maintained by Serra Olakai, Chessia Olakai and Torish Olakai. In addition each of the mannequins that make up the focus of this display is dropped with Jewelry picked out to accent each other. This display is changed weekly. A small sign notes additional jewels kept behind the counter just ask.
This section while small is a chefs culinary delight. The scent are both exotic and varied. You can find seasons, dried herbs and rare spices arrayed in a multitude of small boxes and containers. In addition to this a number of high quality utensils like scales, scoops, mesh sifters, mortal and pestle.
This section displays luxurious silks and gossamer fabrics draped across polished white wooden frames. Bulks linen boots of assorted fabrics and style are stored on low table shelves under this display. One of the most popular fabrics is the Fae Weave.
Upon a small circular table rests a glass case and inside the glass case is an Azure Stinger or a local but rare variation of a Dragon Gun. The glass case has a single pulsing silver rune etched on its top. On other tables surrounding this are a variety of more traditional weapons including daggers and swords all of rare southern design and expert quality. This section is maintained by Velon Olakai and Tolar Olakai and changes as new items arrive and others are sold.
Wine & Spirits
This display looks like a cross between an eclectic wine cellar, be it far too small and the backbar of a club in the Noble Ward. Wines of various regions and varietals are on display in packed wooden crates with the lids displaying their name, region, varietal and year proudly. The backbar display has dozens of liquor bottles not one of them the same sitting on mirrored display with a soft glow.
The CounterThe Merchant House’s counter is manned either by members of the Olakai family or the most trusted of staff. Any exchange of goods and money is meticulously catalogued, to ensure that the family’s ledgers are in order.
The Counter itself also serves as a display of the family’s accomplishments. A couple of paintings hang on the wall behind it, one depicting the Olakai family members and the other showing a meeting of Volker, the family patriarch, with one of the royals of the south. Whether this particular painting shows something that happened or something imaginary is disputed but, of course, the family claims it’s true.
On top of the counter, one can find a variety of small machines and curios. There are three different scales, used for different items – one for textiles, for example, and one for spices. As for the curios, they are small items the Olakais have gathered from their travels and contacts. When one of them is in the store, they are more than happy to talk about the origins of those items – provided the person who asks also brings something they want to buy to the counter.
Out of BoundsMembers of the Morana Merchant House make it well known that they do not buy or sell magic items of any type. This includes any arcane or divine items, or any items that has deep roots to attract the controversial involvement of arcane orders or temples to disrupt the natural order of business. In addition they do not accept payment in mage coins. They also do not require Ptolus Citizenship Papers for transactions siting their foreign roots to the south. This however does not preclude one of the family having an interest in something for themselves which would be handled discretely.
Oh yes let the mage orders and temples deal with their own. Really not our specialty, I wish I had learned a bit of magic in my youth it could have made many things easier. Apparently the talent does not run in the family blood.
Other ServicesThe members of the Morana Merchant House have lots of unique and one off relationships with vendors, merchants, customers, caravans, distant cities and many more. This puts them in a unique position to source rare and unique items or to connect the dots between people and businesses. Pricing runs the gambit including free, depending on the nature of the request. Sometimes the fee is provided to the other party, and sometimes it is genuinely offered for free if the Merchant House sees an opportunity for themselves. These services are rarely illegal but there are those rare occasions where Velon or Tokar will invite their guests to a late night dinner elsewhere.
Beyond the CounterThere are several private rooms beyond the counter for some assistance staff that lives on site. There are sleeping chambers, a small kitchen and lounging area for the staff as well as a back door that leads out behind the building.
The BasementThe Morana Merchant House’s basement is even larger than the main building above it, spreading out to under the surrounding streets.
Half the basement is made up of one room, however. An ultra luxurious living room, featuring a great variety of books and armchairs and couches brought from the south. On top of that, a great liquor selection is available, as is coffee and tea. This is where the Olakais entertain their guests when they come to discuss business proposals. Apart from this room, the guests are also given a tour of the rest of the basement. There, Volker and the rest of the family have stored their most important items. Some are for sale, and shown only to clients the family already trusts. Most, however, are there as mementos, signifying something for the Olakai family member who brought them in.
Trusted StaffThere are two kinds of staff in the Olakai Merchant House. Those who only work there for a few months – half a year at most – and those who have worked there for far more, some ever since the Merchant House was founded.
When the family wants to hire new people, they first ask their employees for recommendations. If someone has a friend, sibling, or some other relation who seeks employment, the Olakais tend to hire from among them. If that’s not possible, they start a general hiring process.
This being a Merchant House, the Olakais put the prospective employees through a rigorous process before they hire them. Volker, Velon or Serra Olakai interview the candidates, seeking to ensure that they have the necessary business know-how and discretion to work for them. Of the three, Velon is by far the hardest to please in this regard – an overwhelming amount of candidates interviewed by him are not hired, with rumors insisting that the actual percentage is one hundred percent.
After an employee is hired, they spend at least a couple of weeks going through orientation. During this process, one of the Olakai family members or one of the senior employees train them at sales practices. They also determine what place in the Merchant House suits them best – welcoming and directing customers, selling spices, textiles, or something else. After this period finishes, the employee begins working full time. At any given amount of time, about ten employees work in the Morana Merchant House, schedule across day and night shift.
More than two thirds of new employees are let go before the six month mark. Those who remain usually end up working at the Merchant House for years, as mentioned. In fact, those who have frequented the store from the start state that they’ve never seen one of those employees ever quit or be fired after that point.
Why the Olakais choose some employees over others is a mystery. While Volker and the rest of the family prize things like being able to sell a product or being nice to customers, it seems like the most important thing for them is trust. As Volker sometimes states to customers, everyone in the Merchant House is one big family – and families require trust. In reality, of course, there is a very particular reason why some employees choose to stay.
Spreading the WealthThe Morana Merchant House donates coins as a gift to both of the local thieves guilds. In fact Volker Olakai tasked Velon Olakai with contacting one guild and Tolar Olakai the other before they would want to or need to approach the Merchant House. While both Velon and Tolar disagree with the practise they follow Volkers request to the letter. This makes the Morana Merchant House safe from becoming a guild mark and prevents accidents, as well as letting the local thugs know its off limits.
Behind the ScreenThe Morana Merchant House is owned by the Olakai Merchant Family which is actually a small family clan of vampires. These are not the savage vampire spawns of the wild and also not the vampire lord, well except maybe Volker Olakai.
They are very adept at maintaining their Masquerade and will go to incredible lengths to detour or eliminate any threat to their cover. Their staff are willing Trusted bound by highly addictive vampire blood. Anyone investigating the term Night Merchant finds that it is real and far more popular in the southern desert lands.
Steps they take to go unnoticed and unbother like paying both thieves guilds and not dabbling in magic or holy items all work to benefit their blending in. Even the soft magic glow globes and the lack of fireplace eliminate the need for fire within their building.
A secret second sub-basement is beneath the basement acting a a haven for the Olakai family during the day in addition to the haven home.
Trusted Staff Six of them are responsible for the day shift, with the remaining four working nights alongside the members of the family, who are Night Merchants. Usually, the six who work day shift are the most trusted employees, since they’re not directly overseen by the Olakais.
Those that the family trusts – and whose lust for power they sense – are turned into Trusted, beings that have imbibed Olakai blood and become their willing servants, in exchange for power.
Now completely loyal to the family, it is up to those employees to work the house while the Olakais sleep. While some Trusted still live at their homes and go about their days as normal, three of them – Tess, Felix and Cadia – live at the Merchant House, so that they might protect the Olakais and help them whenever they require anything.
Basement The living room’s library isn’t there just for show. A hidden button, almost invisible and hidden behind a specific book, opens the door to the sub-basement below. While the Olakais have their own home to sleep in, sometimes works drags out late – or early, depending on how one looks at things. In those cases, they retire to this sub-basement, known only to the three Trusted that live in the Merchant House. There, they sleep for the day – or, sometimes, work. Volker has a small office in the sub-basement, and while he’s the one who primarily makes use of it Serra sometimes works there as well.
These are the Vampires your looking forThe party of hunters has been hired to find and destroy a vampire within the city. They find the vampire but too late as he is destroyed by ... another vampire? Volker considered this rogue uncivilized vampire a threat to the secrecy and safety of his family.
orThey are to find a very subtle vampire that has nested deep within the layers of the mortal city walking among them and feeding. This would be the Vampire Volker with his family hiding in plain sight among the city.