The Deepway Merchants


Primary Activities: The Deepway Merchants are a trading consortium of moderate renown; specializing in the exchange of rare and exotic goods between the surface and the Underdark. Their catalog includes precious minerals unique to the Underdark, magical fungi, and alchemical ingredients, alongside surface commodities like fine textiles, metals, and arcane tomes. They are also known (to those with a reason to know) for trafficking in information, serving as brokers for knowledge passing between domains.

Connections to the Underdark: Beyond the Drow city of Erelhei-Cinlu, the Merchants maintain a network of contacts throughout the Underdark, including the Svirfneblin (Deep Gnomes), and occasional dealings with renegade Duergar, always ensuring their neutrality and safety through careful negotiation and trade agreements. Their ability to navigate the complex politics of the Underdark's various factions makes them invaluable to those few seeking to engage with its denizens.

Buffer Role: The Deepway Merchants serve as a crucial buffer between the surface world and the underdark. They facilitate trade and communication while respecting the secrecy and security of the Drow's cities. Details on access to the underdark are generally unknown to the surface. Drow raids have been less common lately but are still in recent enough memory for them to remain feared and hated.

Surface Reputation: On the surface, the Deepway Merchants are seen as adventurous, mysterious traders who bring wonders from the depths below. Their reputation is generally positive, as they often bring valuable goods and knowledge otherwise inaccessible to surface dwellers. They are respected for their reliability and the risks they undertake to bridge the worlds above and below, contributing to the prosperity of surface markets and the spread of knowledge. They make strong claims about having nothing to do with the darker sides of the Drow.

Extra Details

Leadership & Structure

The consortium operates under the guidance of a group of senior merchants elected from among the most experienced members. This council makes decisions on trade routes, alliances, and policies, ensuring the group's continued prosperity and neutrality. Within the council, each member specializes in a particular domain, from arcane artifacts to diplomatic relations, contributing their expertise to the collective's success. All decisions are made by committee to reduce the chance of outside influence gaining complete control over the consortium through influence of a single member.

Trade Specialities

The Deepway Merchants are renowned for their exclusive trade in magical items and spell components, items sought after by mages and scholars of the surface. For the particularly discerning customer, maps of the underdark may be available, but only at exorbitant cost since the Drow specifically ban their distribution in order to frustrate counter attacks by surface groups after raids.

Ethical Codes & Morals

The Deepway Merchants abide by a strict code of Neutrality and Discretion, ensuring their survival in the precarious balance between the surface and the Underdark. They adhere to a principle of Non-Interference 🇨🇭, refusing to take sides in conflicts that do not directly affect their trade. Additionally, they maintain a Code of Silence regarding the darker aspects of the Underdark, particularly those involving the Drow, to preserve their relationships and ensure the safety of their routes.