The Third Great Tradehouse
|Hermes Class Armed Trade Cruiser|
Western Rim Trade
Western Rim Trade Corporation was founded in 2605 by Alexana and Duron Kallibur. Disaffected private contractors who ran afoul of Stelltron’s stranglehold on interstellar trade, the Kalliburs wanted a way to force a new set of routes bypassing Stelltron’s. They approached the Borthan government, being loyal members of the upper merchant class, for assistance in setting up this rival endeavor. Whatever the Borthan officials agreed to in this first meeting is unknown, but the Kalliburrs’ personal journals from this period have been recovered, and they specifically asked for operatives from the Intervention Directorate (ID) —the Borthans’ black ops intelligence squads.
Over the next century, Western Rim purchased many starships from various manufacturers, often using the assumed names of shell companies to hide their actual numbers from competitors. At the same time, the ID operatives infiltrated Stelltron and the Molnsa Trade Guild, quietly luring away proficient captains with the promise of greater freedom and the excitement of charting new trade routes. Those operatives also engaged in more overt actions such as theft of technological secrets and outright sabotage of prototype ships.
Stelltron was not without its own intelligence resources and by the outbreak of the Naplian war against the Grand Alliance, had pinpointed this fledgling trading company as an emerging threat. Stelltron hired mercenaries to waylay Western Rim ships, and Western Rim soon lost a handful of convoys to supposed “navigational hazards” that were, in fact, raiding parties. Not content to be slapped around by its bigger rival, Western Rim—at this point run by the Kalliburs’ heirs and a handful of trusted families—spent an obscene amount of money to start their own shipyards. The first armed merchant vessels they turned out, the twin-engine Hermes-Class, became the progenitor of all Western Rim designs and the direct ancestor of the popular Origa-Class.
Tensions between the two companies escalated into open warfare when a Western Rim convoy fought off a mercenary raiding flotilla and Stelltron, not wanting to be caught subsidizing privateering, claimed its attack force was actually an unarmed merchant fleet. Whether or not any authorities found the argument convincing was lost to history, because the two companies immediately declared each other. The Battle of Tyrox Prime in 2796 resulted when Stelltron, seething at repeated losses to an upstart fleet with far less advanced ships, ambushed a Western Rim convoy that was delivering medical supplies to the victims of the An’Thire plague. The resulting slaughter ended with a hundred capital ships destroyed on both sides.
This finally brought Stelltron and Western Rim officials to the negotiating table. With the Emperors War raging throughout the galaxies, further losses were unacceptable. The resulting accord stipulated that both parties would steer clear of routes serviced by the other. As both companies expanded in the ensuing decades and worked to ensure their trade routes stayed clear of the battles raging around them, they found themselves alongside Molnsa representatives who viewed them with considerably less suspicion. Though no formal treaty was arranged, the high commissioners of Molnsa agreed to avoid conflict with the other two great trade houses.
|Western Rim Battlecruiser Design Commercially Available|
AGREEMENT OF THE WESTERN RIM TRADE CONSORTIUM
In order to protect the flow of trade in the unincorporated regions of Western Rim, the independent trading companies have banded together to form the Western Rim Trade Consortium. Membership in the Consortium is open to all companies, ship’s owners, captains, and port facilities throughout the Western Rim galactic region, in particular, those areas that are outside the authority of the borders of the larger governments (specifically: the Borthan Empire, D’denan Republic, Maureen Caliss, Niminy, Ambagala Federation, and the Cebuhar Kingdom).
Because the systems within the Western Rim territories do not have unified governments, businesses and enterprises in the region may join the Consortium to have a single representative conduct trade negotiation with the various governments bordering the area. The actions of the Consortium Representative allow the business entity a degree of regularity in moving between the different territories.
When a business entity becomes a member of the Consortium, they agree to abide by the protocols of the Consortium in the matter of interstellar transactions. In return, they are given (1) the right to call upon the Consortium Security Fleet for assistance; (2) the benefit of the negotiating expertise of the Consortium Representative; and (3) guaranteed access to the ports of the neighboring governments where the Consortium has established agreements.
Next...Western Rim Trade Goals and Organization
By Sarah Beach
Artwork by Camilo Aldana & Dmitri Borodin
Artwork by Camilo Aldana & Dmitri Borodin
Copyright 2018 Kgruppe LLC