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Darokin Thieves Guild Goes Publicby Christopher Cherrington
Always looking for legitimacy among the merchant houses, the Darokin Thieves Guild decides to go public with a legitimate business. Of course the new business is not known as a business ran by such an organisation, but it sounds very legit.
What the public does know is this; several retired DDC members got together to offer insurance to several well travelled routes within Darokin's borders. The business was so successful; they now offer it to warehouses, merchant stalls, and personal property. The insurance covers the estimated value of wares in question from disasters such as fire, weather, and even theft. What is not covered are acts of war, invasion, immortal intervention, curses, or giant meteors smashing into Mystara. Besides the normal insurance coverage, for additional fees, one could also buy into extras such as private investigation and even prosecution insurance (a service that if something is stolen, the guild will hire special advocates to prosecute a captured thief to the fullest extent of the law).
The new guild, made of investors buying into shares, is called Dunning and Wall; named for their location on the corners of Dunning and Wall Streets in Darokin. On a historical note, this intersection is also infamous for a rival guild's hostile takeover from an outside guild from Thyatis, thus freeing Darokin's guilds from the notorious Shadow Hand.
Darokin thieves can purchase a secret list that lists items and places not to be touched, or they will face a more severe penalty than what the law will allow. This secret list has been called the Dunn's Numbers, as each client is given an account number to associate their items covered. Rates and fees are relatively low, as this is not extortion, but a legitimate insurance. The main shareholders also get a list, but this list is for research purposes only. This list shows which routes insured have higher than estimated values for trading. Eventually merchants will be offered to sell their route in shares, and in the buyout, brokers are hired to takeover the existing route to allow the original owner to take on a newer route and possibly a higher profit to be insured (and repetition of the process). This process has given this new merchant house a very stable income, as they have a direct personal knowledge of how other merchants are doing. Other merchant houses don't mind, as the insurance also gives them an outside value to sell their routes for profit to other merchants. Johannes D. Powers, the current Chairman for Dunning and Wall, has even created a highly sought after recommendation for a successful merchant route, known as the Powers Approval Ranking (PAR). His partner, and past Chairman G. T. Fordes, produces a yearly Fordes list ranking all the top routes, highly sought after as it is a main precursor of the Great Reckoning.