Broken River Trading Company Organization in Erisdaire | World Anvil

Broken River Trading Company

People want what we're selling, Brant. That's the heart of the matter, and the buyers don't care what we went through to get it. They don't care what you went through to deliver it. All they care about is getting it. And that's what our job is. So stop moaning and pick up your left hand, we have to get moving again.
— Carmichael, Caravan Owner
  Inside the borders of Helenic, expanding a business outside the protection of a city is a risky venture. That goes doubly so if the company exists almost entirely outside cities, such as the trade companies which move commodities from city to city. Broken River Shipping was begun as a venture to acquire artifacts from various ruins and transport them elsewhere for sale. Treasures recovered by adventurers can fetch a high price when sold to the right buyers, and Broken River Shipping has always been interested in trying to find the best value. Safety of their employees is the top priority, of course, which is why they do not do the acquisition of such things themselves.

In the last decade, Broken River Shipping has expanded their base of operations to include three ruins inside Helenic: Parseil, Cervanna, and Liris. Any one of these cities would allow the heads of the company to become wealthy, but together this arrangement has made the middle-level management also quite wealthy. They have also made a name for themselves in partnering with other trading companies to found Breakwater Crossing as a safe rest stop along the road.

Public Agenda

Everyone wants something special, something to drive conversations among the peers, something unique. That is what Broken River Shipping wants to provide to their customers, for a premium price. Those who have encountered members of the company know full well they are eager to fulfill two goals: to acquire artifacts and valuables from old ruins, and to sell them for considerably more than they paid. Unlicensed trade of antiquities is prohibited within Imperial territories, due to the reputation of adventurers hauling off anything not nailed down when on expeditions. The Empire wants to keep this sort of disturbance to a minimum, and allow scholars to investigate first before the site is completely compromised. Other nations share this enlightened idea, such as Kivese in the west and Myrisic in the east. This leaves Helenic as one of the last places adventurers are free to pillage ruins with monetary intent, and to see exactly how many nailed-down objects can be pried up.

This is why Broken River Shipping, and other such groups, are primarily known to operate in the 'dead area' between the Rhyliss Empire and the eastern mages. If a noble is after a particular type of artifact, they can rest assured a contact at Broken River can put the word out to acquire something to suit their client's tastes. If adventurers found a granite table inlaid with precious gems and gold etching, Broken River will pay a small fortune to "alleviate a headache".

And they will do it all while proclaiming it is merely a humble service to be procurement agents for satisfied customers.


It's simple. We know those rich fools want this junk, and have lots of money. We know adventurers won't bother taking it if they can't sell it. If we pay the adventurers for it, we can charge those idiots in the cities whatever we want. See? Simple.
— Cassandra Beltane, Founder
  Almost twenty years ago, there was a considerable boom in the area of adventuring for profit. Following the example of famous (or infamous_ chartered groups such as the Brotherhood of the Blue Blade, the Wardens of Amber, and the Knights of Ash. Common rooms were often full of people listening to tales being told, retold, distorted, corrected, and dramatized. An entire generation grew up thinking they would go out into the world and strike it rich. Most died trying, but the adventuring boon forced many authorities to consider what was happening so as to limit what damages were being done. Merchants, on the other hand, looked at what was going on and realized they could make modest fortunes if they could find the right place and the right time to be.

There were barely more adventuring charters being signed as there were applications for business licenses, and many more who decided to forego the licensing process. Broken River Shipping grew from travel along this rough river, promising safe passage downriver in exchange for whatever curious trinkets were not worth significant amounts of money. These objects were then sold to those collecting curiosities, and the basic form of the company's business model was born. The fact these transactions were only legal in the sense they were "technically not illegal where the transactions took place" meant Broken River Shipping had to restrict their operations to areas outside the reach of most cities in Helenic. Luckily, the Broken River waterway was not a desirable way to travel and yet could be safe enough to transport goods with enough skill.

The current lady in charge, Cassandra Beltane, now has hundreds of employees working to secure artifacts "recovered" from the ruined cities of Parseil, Liris, and the hills of Cervenna. It is further believed there are twice that number of employees who are not officially registered as part of the company, but instead act as independent groups sharing the same agenda. It was due to some of these 'independents' Broken River Shipping and the Copper Coffers became partnered in a venture in southern Helenic. Where the Old Alishan Way met the Broken River's path, the two companies founded a trading settlement where recovered artifacts can be purchased or sold without any prying questions. (Especially those such as 'what happened to the previous owner?') As far as official record goes, the Broken River Shipping company is upstanding and has only a tolerable amount of problems. To most who have heard of them through either other channels or firsthand experience, the company is only slightly less of a hazard than procuring artifacts in person.

Old for Gold

Corporation, Commerce
Alternative Names
Breakwater Merchants
River Rats (derogatory)


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