The Longard Family
A formerly wealthy middle-class family in the Free Cities of Dallaall. They run the Longard Trading Company, responsible for politically-neutral trade routes of only legal goods. Once headed by Wilaam Jehms Longard, the company at its peak ran four caravans at any one time of a handful of wagons. They traveled to all corners of the continent and returned with textiles, oils, gems, jewels, herbs, spices, and various buyers also fulfill more unique requests.
Wilaam Jehms Longard
Wilaam Jehms Longard married Maribael Anna (nee Cortalia). Now deceased, he founded the company in his younger years, and spent most of the time training his firstborn, Cratoss, tending to the company's affairs, or with his wife. He has three sons from Maribael; Cratoss Jehms, Norvaan Pross, and Michaal Jonn. He was a known philanthropist, having taken a number of street urchins, given them a weapon, and used them as cheap guards. Many of those young urchins grew to become experienced guards, and a few actually joined as caravan runners.
Maribael Anna Longard
Maribael Anna, in her youth was a beautiful, brown-haired lady. She raised Cratoss, Norvaan, and Michaal with a firm but loving hand. She was the one who originally suggested that Norvaan be provided a military education, as well as the first to witness Michaal's magical ability. Though she was not usually seen in the business proceedings surrounding trade and the company, she was often been privy to Wilaam's complaints, thoughts, and musings on the company's affairs. She was well versed in politics and business from her proximity. She suffered a nervous breakdown after the loss of her husband, the supposed death of her middle child, Norvaan, and the disappearance and probable death of her youngest son, Michaal Jonn. She has been bed-ridden and driven somewhat mad with grief, being cared for by her sister-in-law in the somewhat disheveled remains of the Longard family's home.
Cratoss Jehms Longard
Cratoss Jehms, firstborn son, is Wilaam Jehms' pride and joy. He has a sharp mind, and a smooth tongue, which has been cultivated by both his father and mother. He was for many years standing at his father's side, discussing the caravans, writing letters, or developing contracts. He holds the family seal, and acted as protege and aide-de-camp to Wilaam during his father's later years. Anything that reached Wilaam has been through Cratoss' hands, except when he has been assigned delivery of a contract. Once Wilaam passed on Cratoss made moves to become a political power in Dallaall and has since then neglected the family business. As well, he has vastly ignored his mother's well-being, but has allowed his long-lost aunt to care for Maribael in their home.
Michaal Jonn Longard
The youngest, and most magically adept, of the Longard family, was studying in and around the Dallaall Free Cities Academy of Arts and Arcane Magicks. His magical ability became apparent one night after Maribael could not light a fire. He was known to enjoy retelling the story to those curious, as much of the magic he utilizes seems to have verbal components in a language not even he understands. The archmages at the school have been very satisfied with his skills, and see him as a good student.
He was often seen socializing with a young Necrosaran priestess and a middle aged dwarf iron-smith. Some of their antics have been popularized by an opening line of a joke.. "a hedge wizard, a priestess, and a blacksmith walk into a tavern.." followed by a punchline of clearly improbable situations.
As part of a Longard Trading Company expedition to Drang Korpen, Michaal Jonn was lost at sea and presumed dead. Later he is found in a catatonic state, suspended somewhere between life and death, by a number of Aegean elves. His form was brought to Drang Korpen where Norvaan Pross located him and brought him back to the Canton Kingdom.
Ruufus is the only non-human member of the Longard family, but often regarded as such. He's a small goat acquired by Michaal Jonn from a trip he took to the state of Cordoba, in the Canton Kingdom. Ruufus stays around the stables, often seen wandering about with the horses, Ji'el, and Frerda. Ruufus is the only surviving animal member of the Longard's downfall, as both Ji'el and Frerda were given away by Cratoss as political gifts early in his ambitions jump into politics.
The Longard Trading company once owned twenty wagons in four caravans, each with a unique name and guarded by a number of individuals culled from many walks of life. Mercenaries and Wizards were often found among the guards, due to the unique structure of pay within the company. Experienced guards could choose an allotment of the goods to attempt selling on their own or for personal use, or a share of the total profit gained by the traders. This appeals to many mercenaries, who seemed to fight with greater zeal, and travel much longer hours. Some of the more experienced guards have retired due to putting in a number of years worth of work. Many mages chose to work for and guard the unique buyer caravan, headed by Cratoss, due to its travel to far-flung areas, exposure to different cultures and relics.
The Four Caravans of the Longards
Wilaam Jehms and the Longard Trading Company owned 20 wagons as part of their business operations, and two for pleasure and estate purposes. The nomenclature 'Glorr' is a notation of the age and profitability of a caravan. The Kattan and Carvorel Setter both had passed the age the Exet and the Garrata acquired the name, but only the Kattan had a real chance at reaching the profit threshold Wilaam used to justify giving the title to the first two. Since his passing, Wilaam's caravans have mostly laid dormant, with only a few local shipments still being handled by loyal employees.
Glorr Exet - Cratoss Jehms usually lead the Glorr Exet, the name of the family's oldest caravan group. Wilaam had to constantly repair and upgrade his first wagon, eventually becoming the main wagon of this caravan. Wilaam was often in this upgraded wagon, augmented by a suspension system of Michaal's design. The bed of the wagon is supported by flexible ironyew wood, often used in bows, so that delicate art, vases, or other fragile goods were not disturbed by rough roads. Cratoss drove this wagon, and had often praised Michaal's ingenuity after a long trip.
Guards that prove themselves capable in combat are sometimes offered a seat as a second coachman, allowing them a smooth period of rest from horseback or on foot. Cratoss called this "an extension of my father's hospitality" as a reward for excellent service.
Glorr Garrata - Spice buying caravan. Wilaam focused almost obsessively on breaking into the spice markets and taking large shipments across the most treacherous terrain. He often favored going along on this caravan when he was younger, due to its travel to far off, strange reaches. This caravan would often take treks lasting 8 months, and has been to the far reaches of East Gallantria.
Maribael Anna never enjoyed Wilaam's absence, but he often returned with lavish gifts, and letters to her written in his own hand. He never sent them by messenger, but gave them to her once a week upon his return, to detail what happened and his musings, thoughts, and love for her.
Kattan - Textiles and clothing. While not always a profitable caravan, the Kattan was kept running due to the eclectic and fast changing tastes of not only the common folk seeking cheap fabric, but the well-to-do of the Free Cities, looking for ornate robes, boots, and accessories. The Kattan has largely been kept in-service by Cratoss, despite its lack of real profit. He has turned its focus entirely to finer textiles and clothes, using this as a way to enhance his political standing with gifts.
While Wilaam was alive, fashions would come and go, particularly of import were long, luxurious cloaks from northern Gallantria, dwarven boots, and rarely, finely woven elven cloth. The dwarven boots were sturdy and resilient, made in a variety of styles which were very popular with nobles, who used them for horse riding, and tradesmen, who found the high quality boots worth the money they pay for them. As well, some soldiers had begun trading supplies and goods for the boots, which has prompted some quartermasters to request shipments. While this may have turned a profit prior to the Cantonian Civil War, with trade lines cut or severely disturbed, it is incredibly rare that the Kattan has any dwarven or elven goods.
Carvorel Setter - This caravan often traveled between the city and the Carvorel Military Academy, trading goods between small towns on the routes. The guards for this caravan were often young recruits to the Academy, usually on their way to begin their training. As the route was generally safe, Wilaam had no qualms about having untrained soldiers, or sponsoring a young man with a sword and a backpack - "The worst they can do is tip over a barrel of wheat!" So much so, he sent his own son, Norvaan, on a route when Wilaam managed to secure his entrance into the Academy. The Carvorel Setter has not run in 3 years, as Cratoss allowed contracts with the academy to lapse, and as his attention turned away from the business, other traders stepped up to fill the gap.