Banking in the thousand-River Valley
As a sunchaser, you need a good bank to keep your stake in. (Remember, stake is longer-term savings, and isn’t reduced by living expenses in downtime, but can only be accessed during downtime or in sizable settlements.) Naturally, there are several options. Most of these banks send statements on either a monthly or quarterly basis. These are small rolled strips of paper, like miniature scrolls or ticker tape, with a basic summary of accounts on it (giving you just enough information that if the totals are wrong, you can will know to come in and compare the detailed records). These are typically sealed top and bottom with wax for privacy, and banks based in the Moru’s Mirror and Gron Ver regions actually dunk the whole thing in wax to make it water tight. An address tag is tied on with a string through the center before sealing. See below for information on the mails.
Here are some banking options:
- You could work with the bank in Arun, a smallish university town in the Mountains. It deals with a lot of student accounts, so they’re used to funds being drawn by more distant banks, but they’re a home-town business themselves. (Arun is home to the riddlemasters.)
- The dwarves have a big trade association, and two banks that are loosely associated: Iron Vaults Bank and Fair Sails Bank. They have main branches in Fahr Muan on Moru’s Mirror, but would have branches all up the riverways for their traders. You could be a “local customer” at any of those branches. Iron Vaults has the closest the valley offers to numbered swiss bank accounts; dwarves believe that a man’s silver is HIS business and nobody else’s.
- The freeholders in the central valley will have lots of little savings & loan type banks. The same goes for the Brenne Stones, except those savings & loan outfits are run by pechs instead of elf-blood humans.
- Any major city has local banks. Names like “Third Bank of Faer Padris” are sadly common.
- The major houses of the Black Peaks each have a bank; the largest is Savinar Mountain Bank, which has many branches throughout the valley to accommodate house Savinar’s many traders.
- The third great trade league, the Ganren league, includes the Golden Valleys Bank among it’s members. Like Savinar Mountain, Fair Sails, and Iron Vaults, this bank has lots of branches throughout the region to accommodate traders.
- There’s a bank of sorts run by saurians in Talill. They don’t keep many accounts, though, mostly just safe deposit boxes in a very wide range of sizes, up to walk-in vaults. Rumor has it there’s a similar institution in the Black Peaks somewhere that holds hoards for drakes who are away from home so much they need help guarding the hoard from thieves; drakes generally refuse to confirm or deny this rumor to members of other species.
If you need to send mail to someone else in the region, there is a loose but effective system for getting it there. Basically, you seal the letter shut, write on the address (or tie on sometimes, for scrolls), and pay a trader to move it. The trader will pass on the letter and perhaps part of the fee to another trader going in the correct direction as needed; pretty much all traders normally trade mail duties this way.
Getting ahold of sunchasers is extra tricky – you just move around so much! If you don’t have a fixed place where someone receives mail on your behalf, then sending mail to you may carry a “sunchaser forwarding surcharge.”