Mists of Ærth
Dwarf Trading Houses
The Dwarf trading houses sprung up in the wake of the human migration, initially as a means to organize the massive salvage operations undertaken to retrieve the vast stores of metal and precious stones left behind in the chaos of evacuation. Networks rapidly developed as the looters found themselves with surpluses in some areas and deficits in others, leading to four houses with distinct fields of influence. Before the time of airship travel, the houses existed primarily to trade with each-other and other Mist-dwelling communities. Still, they took the occasional trek to the new human settlements to gouge the often-desperate humans for building materials and weaponry.
As air travel became possible and the first of the Mistborn were realizing their expanded survivability below Mistline, the houses reluctantly handed back most of their looted wealth to the humans in exchange for airship technology, enabling fast and easy trade of surface materials to the sky-bound humans and new magical technologies to the ever-turbulent surface world. Naturally, everyone involved made a fortune.
This house has been the most profitable and is the one most intricately tied to the success of the human settlements. By focusing strictly on building materials and other goods that a burgeoning settlement would need, the clever businessman Hagbard Hammersmith established fair rates of trade for frequent customers. Additionally, he made the most frequent expeditions to the human settlements before airship travel made it a simple affair, founding bases of trade across the continents over the course of 30 years and developing a foundation of employees for both salvage and trade missions. Through his generosity and fair dealing with the human settlements, he gained the ear of Celine Malik and has been emphatically petitioning for a spot on the Solar Tetrad.
This house was formed somewhat unintentionally when the renowned weapon and armor smiths of Forgewright sought to reclaim their commissioned pieces from the Goblin-sacked Cloverglen. After thoroughly routing the ill-equipped Goblins and looting every stray weapon and piece of armor they could find, the smiths chanced upon a band of Wildwalker Elves, who, after extensive pleading, purchased the recovered armor and weaponry for vast sums—of Forgewright craft or not. Upon hearing this story, King Roscoe Forgewright commissioned several bands to seek out discarded armor and weaponry across the Anvil continent.
This house initially clashed with The Hammer in seeking workable materials, but found a niche in ornamental goods and magical treasure. Since this concession, they have traded less frequently than the other houses, but the price of their individual trades often far exceeds that of any other house. Upon limiting themselves to this purview, they have taken on the role of a sort of “treasure hunting” agency, retrieving lost heirlooms for those who can pay. This house, especially, is in constant need for Mist-immune or resistant adventurers, as the goods they seek are often coveted by members of the beastly hordes. This house needs further elaboration, a base of operations and a leader.
This house deals in foodstuffs, agricultural goods, livestock and work animals. This house needs further elaboration, a base of operations and a leader.
A “Dwarf” trading house in name only due to its leadership being human, this house is an oddity in many respects. More akin to a criminal organization than the other trading houses, this house deals in any good requested by the customer, including those considered illicit in the human and Dwarf societies. The founder, Stella Maris, is a human prodigy with a prodigal streak and an extremely rare Mist immunity. She founded the organization at 15, when she found that she could sell the blueprints to her self-styled airship at any price she chose, since the human collective was largely closed-fisted and tight-lipped in such matters. This house is considered a necessary evil by the human leadership, as Maris provides her superior blueprints to the armed forces as incentive to look the other way when she trades in illegal goods.