The 2000 Year Epic Campaign
The title of Merchant King of the Hilthe Mountain Dwarves is a partially elected, partially appointed claim. The meaning of Merchant King stems from the idea that the best and most profitable dwarf should set the standard for the entire kingdom. The Merchant King is elected from a panel of twelve industry leaders in the dwarven community, including but not limited to armorsmiths, gem cutters, Priests of Ao, etc. Once appointed, the Merchant King serves a life-time term, unless the twelve industry leaders collectively vote him out of office.
The current Merchant King, Thordal Bronzebeard, was rewarded with the position after he pushed his company, Bronzebeard Armors, across Brind-Amor. Thordal had placed his company in every major village and town across the continent and it has turned out to be a huge success for the Hilthe Mountain Dwarves.
Session #4 – Just before the Champions of Elon arrived, the Merchant King was involved in a situation with the nearby Broken Tusks tribe. They had run into problems when the Voss Hobgoblins invaded the Hyx Valley. The Broken Tusks asked the Merchant King for help, but Thordal did not see the value in assistance. In a failed attempt to force the Hilthe Mountain Dwarves to help, the Broken Tusks stole the Amulet of the Heavens, a sacred relic of the dwarves. After running a cost analysis of an attack on the easily defended Hyx Valley, the Merchant King declined to involve the dwarves. The Broken Tusks are a poor people, and offered no natural resources that were dire to the Hilthe Mountain Dwarves. To convey this message, he sent his daughter Jabella Bronzebeard to the Broken Tusks. When she did not return, the Merchant King hired the Champion of Elon to retrieve the amulet and bring his daughter back.
The Champions of Elon learned that Jabella was trying to help the Broken Tusks recover their farmlands in the Hyx Valley, and offered to help eradicate the Voss Hobgoblins and retrieve the amulet. Once that was done, everyone was happy once again. The Broken Tusks got their lands back, the Merchant King got the amulet back, and Jabella was pleased that both sides came out ahead. As part of the reward bestowed to the Champions was a free pass to travel throughout the Hilthe Mountains without harassment or fees from patrols, along with two suits of the newly made, “platemail armor”.
Transition from 2nd to 3rd Era – Thordal lived a long time and after he passed, his daughter Jabella Bronzebeard took over as the Merchant Queen. She tried to turn attentions toward the Brind-Amor Confederacy but her successor, turned their focus back to profit.