This week on League Wednesdays we delve deeper into the Fresian Merchant League and look at those trade families that serve the four governing families from last week.
This week we look at the Patrician Families.
There are sixteen Patrician Families in all, although it is not a fixed number or even a fixed title. At this tier and below, families come and go, and the only reason a specific trade family is called a Patrician Family is because the other families have recognised their wealth and power. Some of these families are as old as the Four Governing families and some predate them by centuries. Others are only as old as their Patriarch, having come into being in the last few decades through good fortune and better contacts.
As they are, they are the most powerful families (barring the Four Governing Families) in the Merchant League and it is through them that mountains of money flow into the coffers of the League.
While these families are far too rich to be said to have done an honest day’s labour, it is through these families that the work of the League gets done. In Middelburg when “the Merchant League” has done this-and-that, or the “van Rosedaal family” has procured so-and-so, it is almost always these sixteen Patrician Families that have made this happen. Perhaps more that the Governing Families, these families are the true heart of the League. They see that the League keeps ticking.
In the Runed Age RPG, when any of the Four Governing Families or even the Merchant League as a whole is involved your characters’ lives (by giving them jobs, being antagonists, or just happen to own the shop you want to burgle), more often than not it is actually these Patrician Families that you are actually dealing with. The Four Governing Families are merely taking the credit, which is their due one can argue. This is not to say that you won’t ever be dealing with the Governing Families, they do enjoy a bit of skulduggery as much as the next family.
The Patrician Families may be far richer than your characters will ever hope of being, but there is only one thing people with power want: more power. These Patrician Families dream of one day being the Fifth Governing Family, or better yet, replacing one of the current Families. This is where the true shadow wars occur. Each Patrician Family wants to be at the top, yet none want any of the other be, so they struggle and fight against each other while the Governing Families look on and laugh. Sometimes there is a family with a slim chance and the Governing Families start to take notice.
The Tuefel Family once got support of more than half the Heisenstein’s vassal families and was about to make their move. The van Rosedaal family was even lending secret support. However the Hugenbergs (as is ever their wont) enjoy the status quo and joined forces with the Heisensteins to put the Tuefel family in their rightful place.
In the image: For Hugenberg, left to right, top to bottom: Becke, Bösche, Erkens, Konig, Siegel. For van Windburg: Beullens, Breitbarth, Roijakker, Segher. For van Rosedaal: Arissen, Cuyper, Maier, van der Veen. For Heisenstein: Bisset, Arntz, Teufel.

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