Before the Black King, Pemembras was an oligarchy pretending to be a monarchy. King Tepen was no more than a figurehead. The Merchant’s Council was the true seat of power, made up of the nine most wealthy and influential merchants.
The nine Merchants were:
- The Merchant of Banks
- The Merchant of International Trade
- The Merchant of Agriculture
- The Merchant of National Trade
- The Merchant of Infrastructure
- The Merchant of Fishing
- The Merchant of Vineyards
- The Merchant of Artisans
- The Merchant of Olives
The Merchant’s Council was technically a voted position, where each industry would vote on a representative. However, the voting became no more than a ceremony for most seats as near-monopolies rose within Pemembras. An example of this would be Red Swallow Freight, a trading company owned by the Merchant of International Trade, which controlled the majority of international trade within Pemembran borders, but faced competition from other companies in other countries, particularly Croon.
Within these nine Merchants, Banks, International Trade, and Agriculture were the most powerful when the Black King arose to power. The fall of the Merchant of International Trade, Recnor Morceff, and his Red Swallow Freight in 769 led to a domino effect among the Merchants Council. The ensuing backstabbing and chaos was a prime opening for the Black King to invade Pemembras in 772, starting the Second Maithan War.