Amuri West Island Trading Company
After the fall of the Gateways in the The End Of Instant , the ability of the Welseria Trading Company, an elven company that relied exclusively on the Gateways to deliver their goods, was suddenly thrown into disarray. They scrambled to gather their fastes horses for overland caravans and struggled to find ships. While this was happening, local supplies of Purple Peppers of Madura began to run out. Most troubling, the peppers grew only on one chain of islands, and the inhabitant were very unfriendly to those who were not elves. Two daring gnomes of the Linschoten and Houtman families obtained first hand knowledge of the "secret" trades and practices the elves used to trade with the natives. This was an opportunity the gnomes just could not pass up!
The Pepper Panic
Linschoten, a South Island gnome, managed to get a fleet of five ships funded by the South Island League of Provinicial Governors a full fortnight ahead of Houtman, who was a West Island gnome. The West Island League of Provincial Governors funded only three ships, but they were newer ships with less fouling of their hulls so they would be faster. With two week to make up, Houtman and his ships sailed hard for the Isles of Madura. Korillo Kreegan, a long-time friend to the Houtman family, visited Houtman on his flagship, Vroom van Nack (gnome for Speed of the Gods). Korillo gave Houtman maps and charts of the isles, something Linschoten did not have. Houtman managed to reach Bentan, the major port of the Isles of Madura, but Linschoten and his five ships had beaten him there by a day and Houtman and his three ships were not allowed to dock. Undetered, Houtman used the charst and maps from Kreegan and he sailed east along the north shores of the chain of islands. He lost twelve crew to a clash with sea devils but he managed to reach the port of Sidayu where he loaded all his ships with as much purple peppers as he possiblly could. Houtman managed to return to West Island with all three ships but lost half his crew doing it. And he returned four days before Linschoten.
The Purple Pepper Race
This phenominal victory allowed Houtman to be funded for two expeditions for purple peppers the next year. He returned both times, making a four hundred percent profit each time. With such strong profits, Houtman no longer needed backing from the League of Provincial Governors and the Amuri West Island Trading Company was born. It is now the fourth year since the lose of the Gateways and to years since Houtman formed the Amuri West Island Trading Company. Profits are still sensational !