Into the Wild (KingMaker AP)
Brevoy Lumber Consortium
The Lumber Consortium is a company which has a strong grip on the hardwood and darkwood lumber industry in the region around the Lake of Mists and Veils. It has a monopoly on lumber coming out of the Estrovian Forest in Mendev- with a heavy military presence to defend its logging camps against the malicious and deadly hernes and other threats- and is the largest logging company licensed by the Brevic Crown to do business in the Gronzi Forest.
A remnant of the past when Brevoy was the independent nations of Rostland and Issia, the Lumber Consortium has seen its wealth and influence wax with the coming of a single king controlling the entire region. With their heavy investment in House Rogarvia, their political fortunes were in doubt when that clan disappeared, but their resources have allowed them to buy an equal amount of influence with House Surtova.
The Lumber Consortium continues to exert great pressure on smaller and weaker regions and communities, particularly in less developed areas of the nation. The Consortium’s major logging operation occurs off the east banks of Lake Reykal and the western banks of the Lake of Mists and Veils to allow easy transport of their wares to market. As such, this is where their continued power is most noticeable.
The Consortium employs a vast pool of hired mercenaries and local labor eager to earn Consortium
coin, and their business certainly enriches many. Along with their mercenary soldiers the Consortium maintains a flotilla of armed ships to protect their shipments from lake and river pirates. In addition to their logging camps, lumber mills, warehouses, and furniture factories, they have their hands in more profitable and much more specialized efforts such as architecture and engineering- very useful in the City of Wooden Palaces, luxury woodcraft work, ship design and building- always in demand on the Lake of Mists and Veils, and the acquisition of rare and expensive items for all sorts of magical pursuits.
Goal: Profit Above All
Morals, laws, loyalties, and national boundaries fall by the wayside in the name of wealth. They are involved in a myriad of industries that requires good, strong hardwood and other things that can only be found in the deep forest. The Consortium does not shy away from business practices that would make an honest businessman blush- bribery is the least of their shady dealings. From the lowest dock worker who cares for nothing save for earning his promised pay, to the soldier of fortune willing to spill blood for coin, the Consortium’s masters rely on the supreme power of human greed to further their aims.
Consortium members are in it for themselves and their own profit. But they realize that by working within the Consortium’s framework and increasing its profit, they enrich themselves, even if they must be the tools of their superiors at times, while likewise using their inferiors as tools. Members will do anything in the name of monetary profit, from smuggling to market manipulation and obtaining exclusive development and import rights by any means necessary (including wiping out indigenous natives who prove uncooperative).
The Lumber Consortium is controlled by a board of directors in New Stetven, all of whom possess a controlling share of the company. They oversee the operations of the organization, laying out the long-term, large-scale strategies and leaving the day-to-day management to on-site foremen known as gavels. There are currently 9 gavels scattered throughout the forests of Brevoy and Mendev.
No one rises to power within the Lumber Consortium without making their fortunes on the backs of lumberjacks and at the expense of the forests and native civilians. Though they have never been known for their kind hearts or straight morals, members of the board have become increasingly sadistic and cruel as the political situation in Brevoy became less stable. Hushed rumors even tie a few of the directors to the mysteriously sinister Aspis Consortium.
The Consortium maintains powerful trading centers in Egede in Mendev and Hajoth Hakados in southern Numeria, where they have reputedly branched out into vice peddling, loan-sharking, and under the table cooperation with bandits. They try to minimize conflict with the Black Sovereign and the Technic League and keep a low profile in Chesed, on the Lake of Mists and Veils.
In New Stetven the Consortium has a showpiece in its Forest Palace, the Consortium’s overall headquarters. The Palace is a masterpiece of carpentry skill and puts all the rarest and most valuable of the Consortium’s harvested lumber on display. The Consortium has gifted a small public park to the people of New Stetven, complete with rare trees brought in from all over Avistan at what was presumbaly great expense.
The Consortium has many hirelings, but becoming an actual employee or member of the organization requires dedication and talent—a common laborer gains none of the benefits of this faction other than the daily silver of his wage. Unusual folk (such as adventurers) can join after proving themselves on specialized missions.
Achieving goals that lead to profit, access to resources, or the elimination of competitors is the key to gaining status in the Consortium.
The Consortium has money, and given that its members are spread across much of the area around the Lake of Mists and Veils, it can count on ready assistance from either formal members or locally hired muscle, even in remote regions. It has access to raw and manufactured goods from those distant places as well, often for much cheaper costs and in more abundant supply than the market typically supports. As Consortium agents tap into markets in corners of the region barely known to most residents of Brevoy and only tentatively explored by groups such as the Pathfinders, they often have exclusive access to resources found there.
They also possess far more military strength than one might expect of a lumber company, especially in their remote logging camps and hidden behind the walls of their compounds in Egede and Hajoth Hakados.