A Brief Overview and History of Aurcalia and the Merchant Guild of Myralis
Aurcalia is a moderately sized island settlement in south-western Myralis. The island of Aurclaia sits just north of the Deepstone Mountains and its southern border is the River of Aur. The settlement was founded around 106 FC when migrating Myralian merchants discovered a placer deposit of gold in the River of Aur. The settlement quickly grew to become one of the wealthiest in all of Myralis, and became known for its boisterous market festivals and the enigmatic Merchant Guild of Myralis. Due to its close proximity to the city-state of Anemos, it also grew to become an invaluable port city during the Yellow Wars as the Myralians could quickly import supplies from abroad.
Aurcalia is home to the Merchant Guild of Myralis, an association that holds exclusive rights to all business in south-western Myralis. The Guild is somewhat of a cross between a joint-stock company, a cartel, and a secret society. Becoming a member of the guild is a long, arduous, and ridiculously expensive process, but all members of the guild are highly respected and wealthy.
The City Council of Aurcalia is almost completely controlled by the Merchant Guild of Myralis. Since the guild was founded, every guild Consul (the head of the guild) has been appointed Apheliate, or City Lord, by Darius. In order to ensure that the guild continues to have control over the City Council, the Consul is not allowed to have children and nobody with children is eligible to become Consul.
The Merchant Guild of Myralis has an imposing presence in Aurcalia, but most merchants in the city are not members. The city has a street market on the eastern end of the island. The market itself is owned by the Merchant Guild and those who wish to sell goods in the market must pay a fee to the guild (market contracts are written up on a case-by-case basis, but the guild typically takes 5-10% of the gross). Most days there are usually a few shops open in the market, but the Aurcalia market is most well known for its market festivals.
Every 7 months, a rougly week-long market festival is held. During the festival, the market is open all day and all night, and merchants and buyers travel from all across Myralis to attend. Aurcalians are also known to play live music, wear intricate costumes with vibrant colors, and dance in the street. The market festival is a quasi-religious celebration in which the people give thanks to Darius for their good fortune. The festival begins immediately after Dankasha mass on Wednesday evening, and the festival ends when mass begins again the following Monday.
Aurcalia's major exports include: wheat, fruit, gold, and textiles.
Most citizens of Aurcalia are devout followers of Dankasha. Mass is held every Monday and Wednesday evening, and Hedam is practiced in the morning, evening, and when entering the Gilded Cathedral. There also exists a small cult of Aurcalians who worship the pagan gods of the Kingdom of Caesony. They worship in secret at night, and perform rituals that on very rare occasion involve human or animal sacrifice.
Aurcalia is a commercial hub for Myralis, both in terms of its market and its importance in inter-realm trade. The River of Aur also contains a placer deposit of gold which is a major source of revenue for the Merchant Guild of Myralis (which owns exclusive rights to collecting the gold in the river) and the city as a whole.
Pre-Founding (105FC): A small group of merchants flee from the Myralian village of Carteia in order to escape the Ascyian Occupancy.
Founding (106FC): Some of those who fled Carteia discover a placer deposit of gold in the River of Aur. They settle there and make make a fortune panning for gold.
Recognition (202FC): Not long after the successful Myralian Conquest of Ascya, Aurcalia is officially recognized as a Myralian city, and Darius establishes a City Council and appoints a City Lord, Morlin Virro I.
The Guild (277FC): The Merchant Guild of Myralis is founded.
Guild Take-Over (311FC): The City Lord, Morlin Virro VII dies and has no heir. The Consul of the Merchant Guild, Jezos Gaticus, is named the new City Lord by Darius.
Yellow Wars (400-480FC): As the Yellow Wars raged, Aurclia became an invaluable port city as its fas western location meant that it could import supplies from other realms via Anemos safely and quickly. It was during this time that the Merchant Guild of Myralis started to become one of the most powerful organization in the nation.
Gilded Cathedral (484FC): Following Myralis's victory in the Yellow Wars, Darius orders a cathedral to be built in Aurcalia. The people call it the Gilded Cathedral due to its opulence.
The Merchant Guild of Myralis
The Merchant Guild of Myralis is an association that has exclusive rights to all business in south-western Myralis. The guild is based in Aurcalia, and controls all trade west of New Haven in Myralis.
The guild convenes before sunrise on the first day of each week in their guildhall. The guildhall has no windows, and a single entrance that is locked for the duration of each meeting, the meetings are not discussed publicly, so only guild members know anything about the nature of their meetings. During the meetings, all present guild members have the power to vote on guild measures, but not every vote counts the same. There are four distinct ranks within the Merchant Guild of Myralis, in ascending order they are:
The Questor Argali are the lowest-ranking members in the merchant guild, they are typically shopkeepers and occasionally traveling merchants. These members get one standard vote when voting on guild measures and only attend the first guild meeting of each month.
The Questor Aurcali are middle-ranking members in the guild. The Questor Aurcali are those who own extremely profitable shops, or run a large business in a minor industry. Their votes count for double the vote of the Questor Argali, and they only attend every other guild meeting.
The Praetors are high ranking members of the guild and typically own companies that oversee major industries or engage in inter-realm trade. Their vote counts as eight times the vote of a Questor Argali and they attend all guild meetings.
The Consul is the head of the Merchant Guild. The Consul is elected during guild meetings of only Praetors and the appointment lasts for life. Merchant Guild of Myralis rose to prominence, the Consul has always been appointed Apheliate, or City Lord, by Darius due to the guild's intense political sway. To ensure that the Consul of the guild is always also the City Lord, the guild Consul is forbidden from having children, and nobody with children is eligible to become Consul.