Sable: Merchant Families
Selected Sable Merchant Families
As Sable is very much a trading nation, and a number of families which are heavily involved in business and commerce have come to prominence over the years as Sable City, the Kingdom and the Commonwealth have grown and developed. This has usually occurred either if they have cornered a specific market, or though their working generally to set up profitable trade deals, both for themselves and for the Kingdom.A selection of the best known families follows below, although this is far from an exhaustive list:
Dealing mainly in textiles, cloth, wool, cotton, etc. The major family holdings are on Blaine, a Commonwealth Shadow known for producing such products. However, the family started trading in the Sable market about eighty years ago, where they managed to build a good reputation surprisingly fast. Head of the family is Leonard, whose wife, Janna, is a practical and communications magic specialist who teaches part-time at SMC. They have two sons and a daughter, Charlotte. The latter has the dubious reputation of having been sent down from SMC at the same time as the Princess Sarra, due to their involvement with a foolhardy magical prank: both Charlotte and Sarra were severely taken to task by the Magical Oversight Committee.
The Birchin family has the “honour” of having initially set up both the Sable Commodity Exchange, and later the Sable Stock Exchange. They have extensive agricultural holding around the Commonwealth, notably on Berrin, Weston and Napa, as well as being major investors and shareholders in a number of Commonwealth firms. Their example has been followed by trading and noble families alike – as well as some members of the Sable community as a whole – but by virtue of being first, they hold the Chairs of both Exchanges. Until very recently the head of the family was Alfred, who at the time held the Chair of the Commodity Exchange, which he inherited from his father Matthew. However, Alfred died in early December, and was succeeded by his son Bernard as head of the family. No decision has yet been made on who will succeed Alfred as head of the Commodity Exchange. His brother, Rowland, runs the Stock Exchange. Both are married, and there are a number of children and grandchildren to follow the family traditions when the current incumbents retire from the Exchanges.
The family has a major house and gardens within Sable City, although most of their lands are in the warm continental Shadows of Marin and Waterfield, a couple of Veils out into the Commonwealth. They deal a lot in grain, and also in fruit and vegetables, and are second to none around the Commonwealth as suppliers of fine wines and other beverages – their customers including the Royal family. Head of the family is Marcel, one of the youngest trading family heads, aged in his mid-thirties, having inherited when both his father and grandfather were killed in rail accident on a Shadow they were visiting on business. His mother, Marion, is still alive and was recently appointed Sable Commercial Attaché to Berlin. He is married to Alix McDowell and they have two small children, a son and a daughter.
Head of the family is Michael Gaunt, who is helped by his wife Sophie, with whom he has four children – two boys and two girls – and his brother Nathan. The family originally come from Shadow Berrin, although they have acquired extensive holdings both in the Kingdom and out into the Commonwealth. They deal in materials, such as minerals, ores, fuel and stone. Nathan and his son Joseph are Talented, and Nathan is a lecturer at Sable Mage College. Joseph has never studied magic, dedicating himself to the business and to furthering trade. Michael’s eldest son, Phillip, is currently assigned to the Sable Embassy in Berlin, as Deputy Consul (formerly Commercial Attaché).
Marcus, the head of the family, is the younger son of a trading and industrialist family who moved to Sable from elsewhere many years ago. While the family has land in Sable, much of their business is conducted from the industrial Shadow of Gallen. They provide a lot of other building materials for Sable, as well as for the naval industries, and also provide a fair proportion of the arms used by the Sable military. Marcus is a widower with three daughters, who he spent a long time arranging suitable marriages for, and one very spoilt son called Paul (married to Christine, three sons) who was at Sable Mage College at around the same time as Prince Francis.
Something of a wild card family. They have a reputation for having their hands in many pies, and getting whatever needs doing, done…although not necessarily by the nicest means. Head of the family is Jonathan, who is both ruthless and efficient if he wants to get something done. He is helped by his wife, Marie, his three brothers, two sons and daughter (Sarah). The elder son, Milo, was involved in the negotiations to bring the Shadow Anghelt into the Commonwealth, and now it has been admitted, it is rumoured that Jonathan is looking for trading opportunities there.
Head of the family is Michael McDowell, who is currently married to his second wife, Jasmine. McDowell has an extensive family, with three sons and a daughter from his first marriage – the youngest, Alex, is currently serving as Head Footman in Sable Palace, and his twin sister Alix is married to Marcel de Lattre; and four daughters and a son from his current marriage. The family trades in aggregates, stone, wood and other building materials, and was one of the major sponsors behind the building of the Arch of the Ascendant, a major monument within Sable City.
Head of the family is Alexandra, the former Mayor of Sable. Her husband, Jeremiah, is happy to defer to her on matters of trade as his specific expertise is in commercial law. They have a number of children, many of whom have followed into the family tradition of trade and commerce. The family’s trading reputation is in grain and meat, and the eldest child, Susanna, is in charge of the day to day running of the Smedley businesses in Sable City at those times when Alexandra’s political duties mean she has to focus her attention elsewhere. In addition to their businesses within the City and the surrounding counties, the family holds a significant amount of land on the agricultural Shadow of Hereford, which is administered by Peter, the elder son.