The Shipmaster of Endrell
he term “Arriviste” does not refer to any one particular faction, but rather to an emerging social class of wealthy merchants within Caldoranth. For centuries the nation had been organized around a feudal, manorial power structure ruled by the noble elite. However, in the last couple of centuries a host of events have converged to upset this political structure. The fall of the enemy nation of Taladun to the south opened a trade route to the southern lands that had previously been closed. In the years that followed hundreds of merchants hailing from all over the southlands began to stream into the north seeking to establish trade relations with Igladan, whose unique access to deposits of much sought after luminiad ore soon made them exceedingly wealthy. Seeking to capitalize on this new opportunity for trade, several guilds within Caldoranth formed alliances. In the west a powerful logging consortium arose to fill a need in the southlands for rare Sidoren Ash lumber. In the north, a mining consortium discovered new, lucrative luminiad mines.
The Guilds were not the only entities to capitalize on the growing attention being paid to the north however. A myriad of mercantile cottage industries and fashionable boutiques sprung up to cater to the needs of merchants, nobles and adventuring parties traveling through the northern reaches. While these independent entities have sometimes come into conflict with the larger, more established guilds, the two have more in common with each other than they do with the nobility. Together the guild-master and the independent merchant comprise a new distinct social class of upstarts in Caldoranth’s political economy. For the first time in Caldoranth’s history, the economic fortunes of the nation do not lay entirely in the hands of feudal lords.
The arriviste have sought to secure political prestige in proportion to their new-found wealth, either through intermarriage with nobility, or through the purchasing of life-peer noble titles, or in some cases through economic sanctions. These attempts at social-climbing are generally resented by lower nobility who both disdain the nouveau riche, and fear their growing importance. As such, the nation is undergoing a period of tense political turmoil, the outcome of which remains uncertain.