The Merchant Princedom of Hastellion Organization in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

The Merchant Princedom of Hastellion

Once the Merchant Princedom of Hastellion was little more than a lowly city-state set on the southern shores of the Centric Sea, but the rise of the Macheniolli Family and their establishment of the Hastellion Trading Company created a renaissance for their home state.    Now the Merchant Princedom rules over the entire area of the Cordoll Plain, is one of the primary controllers of the strategically important Strait of Jore and is said to be one of, if not the wealthiest nation in the entirety of Kelbonnar’s Material Plane.


Originally, back when it was a poor city-state, Hastellion was ruled by Kings, who over many generations had squandered the natural wealth of the state’s hinterland and had rendered the nation into little more than an overlooked mark on the map. However, when Caspar Macheniolli established the Hastellion Trading Company in 390DP things began to change.   Within a few decades the Macheniolli Family had grown inordinately wealthy from their business ventures, which had grown so much that most of the citizens of the capital Hastellion were in their employ. Naturally, the then King of Hastellion, Ramaz VI felt rather threatened by the power that Caspar Macheniolli had at his disposal, but this threat became a crushing reality when Ramaz realised that none of his guards would follow his orders to storm the Macheniolli mansion and kill Caspar and his family, as Caspar was offering them better wages to work for him.   Realising that it was only a matter of time before the Macheniolli Family made their move and launched a coup, King Ramaz approached Caspar to see if there was a deal that could be brokered. Fortunately for Ramaz, Caspar did not truly have ambitions for the throne, but he saw the potential of the opportunity that presented itself and he seized it with both hands.   Caspar Macheniolli paid Ramaz VI enough money to erase the crown’s debts and allow him and his family to live in comfort for several generations in exchange for Ramaz’ abdication, and the renouncing of any rights to rule that his family held. However, rather than take up the throne himself, Caspar established the political structure that has existed ever since.   The Merchant Princedom is ruled by the Board of Merchant Princes, a group of five individuals who hold the hereditary title of Merchant Prince, which is passed down within their families. Whilst none of these Merchant Princes is regarded as being above the other, the Merchant Prince of the Macheniolli Family is always regarded as the senior figure, given that they are directly descended from the founder of this system, Caspar Macheniolli. Additionally, the Merchant Prince of the Macheniolli Family is also the head of the Hastellion Trading Company, the main source of income for the Merchant Princedom, adding more weight to their unofficial lordship over the other Merchant Princes.   Each of the Merchant Princes has a portfolio of work that they are responsible for looking after, and between them these portfolios encompass all aspects of life within the Merchant Princedom’s territories. To support them in this work, each Merchant Prince has a large body of administrative staff at their beck and call.


Trade and commerce are the lifeblood of the Merchant Princedom and its people very much reflect that. Nothing is given away for free; everything is regarded as having it price, be that monetary, goods or favours to be rendered. Those from beyond the Merchant Princedom’s borders often find its people, especially those from the capital Hastellion to be brusque, pushy and always on the lookout for the upper hand in anything they are involved with, be that a business deal or simply a conversation.

Demography and Population

The original Kingdom of Hastellion was a majority Human, and Half-Orc nation, but as the establishment of the Merchant Princedom put the nation on the map as a place for one to make one’s fortune, it has become a thoroughly mixed species nation, with no one species really having a majority over the others.   Unusually, though understandable given that trade and commerce is its major industry, the Merchant Princedom has a much higher proportion of people who would be characterised as ‘middle class’, given that so many educated people are needed to keep a handle on the complex trade and financial business of the nation.


The Merchant Princedom controls the entirety of the Cordoll Plain, a large strip of land west of the south-western tip of the The Kaldara, which is regarded as being only marginally more hospitable than the desert itself. Crucially, control over this area give the Merchant Princedom control over the shipping lanes that skirt the south-eastern coast of the Centric Sea and the eastern side of the Strait of Jore, the only maritime channel granting access to the Centric Sea.


The Merchant Princedom maintains a large standing army of professional, highly trained soldiers who act as both the defenders of the nation’s territory and who also serve as marines aboard the ships of the Hastellion Trading Company, providing a good deterrent to any who might wish to attack them for their cargo.   As a nation with very deep pockets, the armed forces of the Merchant Princedom are well-paid, and provided with the finest of armour and weapons and each one of them is said to rival the prowess of the Imperial Drakes of the Empire of Turelion.


Unsurprisingly, the dominant deity worshipped in the Merchant Princedom is the Divine Ipsidies, who is linked with wealth and prosperity, but they are closely followed by Raminit, whose divine domain of excess naturally finds a home amongst a large population with money to spend freely.   However, there are no laws restricting freedom of religion in the Merchant Princedom, so people can be found worshipping all of the Divines and a number of other less-celestial entities within its borders.

Foreign Relations

As it relies on good relations to make money, the Merchant Princedom of Hastellion naturally remains neutral on the international stage and they are always willing to meet envoys from any of the nations on Kelbonnar’s Material Plane, and those beyond, especially if there might be an opportunity to make a profit. In reality, this means that the Merchant Princedom is one of the few places, if not the only place that has an established diplomatic presence with every one of the nations on Kelbonnar’s Material Plane. Every capital city on the Material Plane has an embassy of the Merchant Princedom located within it, often near or even within a regional office of the Hastellion Trading Company.   The only exception to this rule is the Benefice of Contari, with whom the Merchant Princedom has been waging a cold war for many centuries over control of the western side of the Strait of Jore. Though this has never led to open conflict, it has led to the two nations regularly imposing tit for tat tariffs on one another and the regular attacking of each other’s ships, with the thin excuse that each side always believed the other to be the aggressor, or that they believed them to be a ship of the Kelrik Pirates.

Agriculture & Industry

Trade is the heart and soul of the Merchant Princedom, and its primary vehicle for this is the Hastellion Trading Company, an entity that has become so deeply entwined with the nation that it is almost impossible to separate the two. Though there are other trading corporations and conglomerates that exist within Hastellion, none of them are as large as the Hastellion Trading Company, which is directly overseen by the Merchant Prince of the Macheniolli Family.   The profits of the Hastellion Trading Company, which remain after the Macheniolli Family take their share go directly to supporting the nation, which makes it in the best interests of the Merchant Princedom to support the company as much as possible. This is why the nation’s troops are charged directly with protecting the Company’s ships and why most of the nation’s civil servants work in one way or another to support the Company.   Though the Cordoll Plain is generally a tough place to live and rear crops, the Merchant Princedom has established thriving plantations of flax, especially in the hinterland around the capital Hastellion. The flax fibres extracted from this industry are processed into linen in a vast network of village workshops spread throughout the Merchant Princedom’s territory, which are then brought to the capital for shipping onwards to the rest of Kelbonnar.   Though other agricultural crops are produced by the Merchant Princedom, none are farmed in as industrial a way as flax, and the nation generally relies on imports of food to enable it to have enough to feed its citizenry, not that this is a problem given the enormous trade hub that the Merchant Princedom has become.


The Merchant Princedom has one of the highest literacy and numeracy rates in Kelbonnar, something that is driven principally by the need for large amounts of educated administrators to manage the trading empire of the state and provide an exemplary workforce for the Hastellion Trading Company.   All children in the Merchant Princedom are educated until the age of 12, at which point they take a government mandated test, which assesses their capacity and talent for further education. Those deemed to be the best go on to undertake higher education until they are 25 at the University of Hastellion, at which point they are funnelled into the Merchant Princedom’s civil service or trade workforces.   The occupations that others will be signposted towards based off this testing are varied, some are sent to be agricultural workers, some mariners etc. All options lead to further education of some sort, but for those not sent to the University of Hastellion this education tends to take a more practical form.
Founding Date
Geopolitical, Country
Government System
Economic System
Mixed economy
Whilst the batering of goods and portable wealth is a widespread form of exchange within the Merchant Princedom, to facilitate easy trade with their biggest trading partner the Empire of Turelion, the predminant coinage in use in the Merchant Princedom is Imperial Coinage.


Please Login in order to comment!