As a wealthy merchant city, Aranthaen businesses are keen to protect their stock and trade with more favor than that provided by the City Guard. Over the space of several years they have built up a significant private police force – not so much focused on the rule of law, but rather a keen dedication to looking after their paymaster’s interests.

The Merchant Police are divided into four main battalions, each sponsored by a wealthy merchant family or business cooperative, and with a key exception of The Merchant Volunteers each has a vested interest in the protection of their particular businesses rather than commerce in the city as a whole.

The Main Battalions

The Zephyr Battalion: Sponsored by the Morely family, the wealthiest and most powerful merchant family in Aranthaes. The Zephyr Battalion is known for being the best trained and well-equipped of the four battalions, with the finest armor and weapons available. However, they are also known for being the most corrupt, with members openly accepting bribes, running protection rackets and engaging in various illegal activities. Raistum Magus is the current head of the Zephyr Battalion.

The Ironheart Battalion: Sponsored by the Thorne family, one of the oldest and most respected merchant families in Aranthaes. The Ironheart Battalion is known for being the most disciplined and organized of the four battalions, with a strict code of conduct that all members must adhere to. They are nowhere close to being as corrupt as the Zephyr Battalion, but nevertheless engage in some shady dealings to protect their sponsor’s interests. The Ironhearts are led by Ghorza Hesh.

The Crescent Moon Battalion: Sponsored by the Oudasi family, a rising power in the world of Aranthaen commerce, ‘The Moons’ are highly trained assassins who use their near-magical stealth to spy on and eliminate anybody involved in criminal activities that could affect Oudasi business. They are fiercely loyal to their paymaster and have zero tolerance for corruption in their ranks. The leader of the Crescent Moons is Vavyin Galpris.

The Merchant Volunteers: Not so much a battalion, but a volunteer force of citizens, funded by a cooperative of smaller city merchants and concerned families, the ‘Volunteers’ (who are in fact paid) have been a surprising success story. Considering how little formal training they receive they are an effective force at stopping petty theft and minor misdemeanors in the busy shopping streets of Aranthaes City. The head of the Merchant Volunteers is elected annually and Taygor Sarius has won the vote 13 years in a row.


The Merchant police are particularly active in Aranthaes City, barely visible in Aranthaes Wynds and wholly absent from High Aranthaes. Outside of the city, they are stationed at small encampments and guard posts along major trade routes to ensure the smooth flow of money and merchandise to and from Aranthaes.

All but the Merchant Volunteers work reluctantly with the City Guard (and only if actual crimes are being investigated) and the three private battalions are usually treated with little more than contempt by the city’s religious police, The Defenders of the Mother.

How much interaction players and NPCs have with the Merchant Police will depend on which battalion, where they are and what they are doing, but any interactions will tend to be fairly aggressive in nature – unless the characters involved are connected merchants, city council members or noble classes.

The Zephyr Battalion are the worst to meet as typically they are trying their luck in treating visitors to shakedowns, extracting bribes and collecting protection money from lesser merchants.