Westbound Star Company
Between Ghal Pelor and Melanthris is about a thousand miles of trouble that the average traveler can't even fathom. Bandits, trolls, Dyzoats, Goblins, Kobolds... all things that would have you dead in day. All things that have failed to slow down the Westbound Star time and again.
Westbound Star has been operating for the better part of a century and in that time it has earned a reputation of impeccable success from the business community in Ghal Pelor.
The company's success is owed to its founders and their first expedition. A small minority of members of House Odred, Baradradi nobility, set out from their seats of power in Baradrad with the intention of escaping the politics of the desert nation and making a life for themselves elsewhere. With nothing but three wagons and his family, Joram Odred set his eye northward. The Tairos of Joram's time was one that was only century beyond The Queen's Rebuke and the end of The Autumn Queen's War. The death of magic and the silence of the gods were all fresh in the minds of many. The Tengu had yet to arrive in Tairos and the only known source of Manacite was the vaults of Melanthris or hidden caches scattered across the land.It was a different world and few dared to travel beyond their little sliver of civilization.
Joram's journey took him past the ruins of Balmoral, along the dangerous rivers between Lake Tairos and Lake Lunarch and through the territory of thieves, goblins and the warped giants of clan Dougal. When he finally arrived in Ghal Pelor he vowed to make the most of the opportunity and to honor the sacrifices of those that died along the way. Thus, the Westward Star Company was born. Joram discovered that what Ghal Pelor needed more than anything else was access to a reliable source of manacite. While mercenary bands were supplying whatever they could come across it was not enough. Joram knew that Melanthris has access to Manacite and a desire for foreign supplies. He'd already made the most dangerous journey any had heard of and he did it while protecting his family. Traveling with experienced merchants while his family's safety was ensured seemed easy by comparison.
From those humble beginnings The Westward Star would become the premier caravan company for Ghal Pelorian merchants looking to move goods to or from the elven lands. When the Tengu arrived in Tairos and made their alliance with the Dwarves to start producing manacite it had an immediate impact on Westward Star. While other caravan companies were changing their routes to Tengu Town and Ghal Ankhar the Westward Star persisted. The routes to the elven lands have become less profitable and their dominance in the market has dropped over the years. However, they are still the chosen company for any Ghal Pelorian looking to do business in the west.
Today, Joram's grand daughter Rehele has taken over leadership of the company from her late father Navid. Navid was killed less than a year ago when the caravan was attacked on the way back to Ghal Pelor after a successful run. Slavers from the Blackthorn Society were hoping to steal manacite, gold and anything else of value that can sponsor their kidnapping schemes. Navid and his brother Gulzhar were both killed defending the wagons but their sacrifice preserved the treasures and ensured the caravan would make it back to Ghal Pelor.
Leadership has fallen to Rehele, Navid's oldest child. She has been part of the company all her life and has made the journey between Ghal Pelor and Melanthris dozens of times. Even leading several ventures on her own. However, their are many in the company that doubt her ability to actually lead and direct the future of the Westward Star. Her critics question her latest decision, taking over management of the New Sanctuary Expedition. They say the company knows the way back and forth from Melanthris well but this expedition is bound for uncharted grounds and filled with new dangers. They believe Rehele is taking on a high-profile, reckless contract that will end the company that Joram and Navid built. She sees it differently; this contract is sponsored jointly by both Melanthris and Ghal Pelor with the goal of establishing a new colony shared by both cities. The business opportunity this presents cannot be ignored. If successful, the Westbound Star will have the favor of three cities. So far, the majority of the company shares her vision. For now.
ChairmanThis is the current owner of the company and the one to whom all the wagon masters report to. This title has only been held by three people thus far. Joram Odred, Navid Odred and Rehele Odred.
OstlerThis position is responsible for coordinating the wagon masters, assigning individual duties, smaller contracts and other day to day management. The Ostler is also seen as the second in command of the company. The current Ostler is a Frostmerite most know as Old Bear but his full name is Audun Dane.
Wagon Masters The wagon masters are the leaders of small units within the Westbound Star company. Each wagon master is typically in charge of between 3 and 12 others. Their duty can vary depending on the task handed out to them by the Ostler though most typically it is the safety and security of one or more wagons.
The transportation of goods between Ghal Pelor and Melanthris or the management of existing caravans traveling those routes. They also lease out equipment and security.
Horses, travel equipment, base of operations in Ghal Pelor, a line of credit with the money lenders, a modest fortune in profits, well-trained private security