Early LifeReindert Lipsigervik is the son of a successful smuggler who was only ever known by his callsign, The Boat, and a seamstress from Lipsig in the Peasant's Republic of Aussel. He never met his father as he had fled the country before his birth in 1530 AA, but Reindert's mother took care of the bastard child at the cost of her reputation and to a degree, her safety. From a young age, the boy began to work for her mother. Reindert took care of the household finances, counted the few coins they owned, and learned all she could from her mother. When passing through the market square of Lipsig he kept his eyes and ears out for merchants. He wanted to get better at bartering, but in the process, he also mastered the art of eavesdropping.
The First CompanyAfter his fifteenth birthday, young Reindert considered starting his own company. His mother's hands had become sore from work, and he wanted her to rest for once. From what he could tell, buying up the crumbling sawmill from an old man in the nearby village of Nerhen seemed like a good idea. The old man's business wasn't working out as he lacked the motivation and energy so, with Reindert's youthful and energetic optimism, the lumbermill should have been a good solution for earning a profit.
Within the first month, the sawmill had been repaired and it had started to bring in money for Reindert and his mother. Unfortunately for them, the mill had been attacked at night around five months after Reindert had bought it. The men responsible were never caught but most believed that they were from one of the nomadic groups that occasionally travel through the Fields of Devastation. The tragedy devasted the young entrepreneur and sapped him of his energy and enthusiasm.
Return to BuisnessYears after the loss of his sawmill, Reindert's mother's health began to deteriorate. Unable to afford professional help, the twenty-five-year-old man forced himself to pick up his ledger, and he began searching for new opportunities. Seeing as so many of his fellow countrymen had been fascinated with coffee in recent years, he decided to buy a merchant's ship, and with his leftover coin, he hired enough men to sail the vessel.
With his new ship, he sailed across the The Great Cinnamon Gulf to the Lorati and Rohini tribes, but unfortunately for Reindert those tribesmen had already learned of the caffein addiction that had become so prevalent along the eastern shores of the Gulf.
Unsatisfied with the offers that the tribesmen had presented him with, Reindert sailed south in what many in his crew described as a foolish attempt to contact the non-existent tribes of the desert. They sailed for weeks until but failed to find any signs of civilisation along the sandy shores. Nearly three weeks after giving up on the other tribes, the crew began to grow restless, and Reindert overheard the whispers of doubt and treason. Using the skills that he had mastered in his youth, he listened in on all he could and uncovered the main culprits. One night, as most of the crew slept, Reindert persuaded the night shift to stay loyal, and with their help, he parged into their rooms and had them tied up. When everyone gathered on the main deck in the morning, the treasonous sailors were tossed overboard with the ropes still tying their hands together.
New DealA few days after the execution, Reindert and his crews spotted a sign of civilisation in the distance. A green land with tropical trees, bushes, and stone buildings in between. Before the evening of the next day, they arrived at their destination, a massive city with strong, high walls that hid intricate architectural marvels. When the merchant disembarked together with a few of his most loyal sailors, they were greeted by a group of soldiers who claimed to represent the Free City of Lor Asir.
The men, armed with bronze spears, crescent-shaped shields, and pointy helmets that had masks attached to them, escorted the group to the city. Eventually, they ran across the Chancellor of Lor Asir. She demanded to know who Reindert was and what his ship was doing. Reindert told her of his desire to find someone to trade with and that caught the chancellor's interest. She was willing to negotiate a deal with the foreign merchant that would benefit both sides in exchange for information.
Reindert returned to his ship with dozens of large coffee sacks and a handful of slaves that the chancellor had given him in exchange for his information and promise to provide the city-state with more vital knowledge in the future. The ecstatic sailors helped bring all the sacks onboard and cheered Reindert's name. Everyone knew that the deal with the chancellor and the Free City of Lor Asir had marked the start of a new period of prosperity for the sailors and Reindert's company.
Profit and ProsperityAfter the goods had been hauled on to the ship, they lifted anchor and sailed back north along the shoreline. When the vessel reached the city of Last Hope in the Magocracy of Alminthas Reindert investigated the local price of coffee but to his disappointment, the influx of trade from the nearby Lorati tribes had driven the coffee prices down.
Deeming the Alminthan prices unacceptable, the merchant captain sailed his ship towards his homeland. He knew that by going further south-east along the coast he could find more profitable towns to sell his goods in, but he also wanted to see how his other was doing. The sailors were also excited to get to go home for a few days, possibly a week.
Walking through the front door of his mother's small house he noted that everything seemed clean and tidy. Hearing him enter, Reindert's mother rushed out of the tiny storage room and gave him a warm hug. Her health had improved and she claimed that one of the local sisters had helped her recover by providing her with special herbal teas. Reindert's mother was excited to hear of her son's travels and told him that a few of the merchants had talked about a ship that was being sold for a fair price.
The two spent half a week together, discussing trade, the economy, the threat of pirates, and normal personal troubles, but eventually, the two ran out of meaningful things to talk about and the crew were ready to depart and sail south. The first destination of the merchant's vessel was the city of Eekberge, capital of the Aristocratic Republic of Rükenland. To enter the city with the goods, Reindert had to leave his ship at the bottom of the great cliff and his crewmen helped load the coffee sacks on a sturdy lift that took the merchant, a few of his helpers, and the coffee to the top. Unfortunately, the hassle hadn't been worth it. The coffee prices were too low and they hardly made a profit.
An arrogant and ambitious merchant who made his fortune by establishing a successful company that dealt in coffee, gems, and spices.
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