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"There are times when I can barely stand Altdorf. It is not the stench–though that is abhorrent–it is not the noise, either–it is just that you are all so very ugly to look upon, I feel that I must gaze at something beautiful for a time or I know that I shall start screaming, and never stop."
Irlianmaris Ellarel, Asur Envoy[3a]
Envoy

Envoy

The elder members of the great Elven mercantile families are far removed from the everyday life of the Empire. To them, Humans live and die so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with current trends and politics in the Old World. When they need such knowledge, they turn to their Envoys. These young Elves are the diplomats of the Merchant Houses. They negotiate the contracts, make the deals, and keep the peace with the Humans of trading hubs such as Altdorf, Nuln, and Marienburg. Even Elves have a limit to their patience, so it is unsurprising that many Envoys take leave of their families for the adventurer’s life.[1a]

A Day in the Life

Envoys spend their day dealing with humans, particularly merchants. Each morning an envoy wakes and meditates on the coming day before washing and dressing. He rarely breakfasts alone, instead eating with one or more business associates and learning about new events and problems over the food. Once the meal is done, the envoy begins the first of his morning meetings, discussing deals in progress or arranging new ones. The entire morning is spent in such meetings, making arrangements for various goods to be bought and sold.[2a]

Lunch is also a time for work, and the envoy handles business while eating and also charming his dining companions. After lunch most envoys tour their family’s holdings, examining each warehouse and its contents to make sure everything is in order. This is also when they make shipping and storage arrangements, organizing schedules and payments with the warehouse owners, dockmasters, and labourers.[2a]

Dinner is a more social meal than breakfast or lunch, though there is still work to be done. The envoy usually dines at the home of a business partner or prospective partner, and must be the charming elvish guest, delighting his hosts in order to facilitate good work relations later. Deals are often made after dinner, in the host’s study, but rarely over the table itself.[2a]

After dinner and negotiations, the envoy can retire to his family’s home and his own private chambers. This is the only real peace the envoy gets, and he uses the time to consider the day’s events and organize his thoughts about how business went and what must be done tomorrow. Many envoys also take this time for hobbies like music, painting, or woodcarving, activities that occupy their hands but leave their minds free to consider their day.[2a]

Affiliations

An envoy’s strongest affiliation is to his family. Each envoy is a member of his trading house by blood. This ensures the envoy will keep his employer’s interests as his first priority, since that employer is his own family.[2a]

Envoys have other associations, however. Most commodities have an informal community around them, and members often meet to discuss recent trends in material, craft, shipping, and sales. Because several crafts and items overlap, a single commodity could require several different associations, and envoys are expected to belong to each relevant group. Thus, if the envoy’s family fashions and sells tapestries, the envoy will be part of the tapestry-makers’ community. However, he may also be a member of the weavers’ guild, the dyers’ guild, and the rug merchants’ union. Thus envoys can wind up spending hours each week attending formal meetings and informal gatherings. The advantage is that the envoy then knows everyone else in those related fields, and also knows all the latest news and gossip. Clever envoys join associations which do not at first glance seem connected, but provide valuable related information. Thus the envoy of a tapestry house might join a ropemakers’ guild because ropes are needed to bind the tapestries, and when rope prices go up tapestry-makers will need to raise their own prices to absorb the additional cost.[2a]

Source

  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Core Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 37
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Career Compendium
    • 2a: pg. 68
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th ED -- Core Rulebook
    • 3a: pg. 195

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