Griffon’s Hamlet:
Economic System

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Economics

Griffon’s Hamlet has developed a very intricate, yet efficient, economic model. As a town that serves to facilitate trade, Griffon’s Hamlet’s economic system is based primarily on “bearer” documents. When a merchant caravan pulls into town, they can opt to store their goods inside one of the town’s warehouses in the southern district. These warehouses are well guarded and theft is virtually non-existent.

Once the merchant has stored his goods in a warehouse with available space, she is issued a Bill of Receipt by the warehouse manager. These receipts are the most precious documents in Griffon’s Hamlet. Now, the only way to get your goods out of the warehouse is to present a receipt for those goods to the warehouse manager. The manager will review and verify the validity of the receipt versus his records and if found valid, he will release the goods to whoever brought the Bill of Receipt.  Therefore, if a merchant has his receipt stolen, the thief can go to the warehouse and pickup his goods.

However, since most merchants opt to sell their goods in Griffon’s Hamlet to shorten their trip, they try to find buyers for their goods. Let us assume that Marnia, a merchant from Kale has paid to store 500 pounds of spices in Warehouse 12. She goes to the East Market to try and find a buyer for her goods because she does not want to travel all the way to the Saurian Hegemony. In the east Market she meets Krite, a merchant from the Free Cities that is looking to buy 400 pounds of spices. They agree on a price of sale and together they go to the Clerk’s Office.

Once inside the office, they wait in the crowd until a clerk is available to help them. Marnia hands her Bill of Receipt to the clerk and Krite hands the clerk the amount of money they agreed to earlier. The clerk writes two new Bills of Receipt, one for Marnia showing only 100 pounds of spices, and a second receipt for Krite showing he now owns 400 pounds of spices in Warehouse 12. The clerk then hands Marnia the money for the sale minus a 1 silver piece transaction fee.

The only time you need to visit the clerk’s office during a transaction is when you are selling part of the items on your receipt. If Krite had wanted to buy all of the items on Marnia’s receipt, he would have given her the money in exchange for the Bill of Receipt in the East Market and the transaction would be concluded. Now Marnia has only 100 pounds of spices left to sell.

Now Krite has purchased all the goods he needs and is preparing to return home. He visits Warehouse 12 and he presents his Bill of Receipt for 400 pounds of spices. The warehouse manager verifies that there are enough spices in the warehouse and that the document is official. He requires Krite to sign for his goods and then he issues Krite a Bill of Lading. Krite is then required by Griffon’s Hamlet law to keep the Bill of Lading until he is 2 miles outside of town. This Bill of Lading is proof that he did not steal the goods in question. If he is stopped on his way out of town and he cannot present a Bill of Lading then all goods are confiscated and kept by Griffon’s Hamlet.

 

Lost or Stolen Receipts

      Sometimes receipts are lost. When this occurs, the town requires the owner of the lost receipt to report the loss immediately at the Clerk’s Office. A report of the loss is made and then the merchant must wait for 30 days. If his goods have not been claimed within that time period then he can have them back minus a 10% fee of the goods in storage. This hefty fee is designed to encourage merchants not to lose the Bill of Receipt.

While theft is not unheard of it is extremely rare. The Griffon’s Talon works hard to make sure that there are no thieves in Griffon’s Hamlet. Too much theft drives away business, and Griffon’s Hamlet is all about generating more business.

The greatest theft is obviously that of the Bills of Receipt. As such, merchants in Griffon’s Hamlet protect these items more than their gold. Generally, very wealthy merchants will actually hire the Griffon’s Talon to act as bodyguards while they are in town.

If a merchant suspects that his Bill of receipt has been stolen, he will hire men to hang out near the warehouse he stored his goods in. These men will wait to see who withdraws these items and then they will follow that person until an opportunity arises for them to take back the stolen goods. While this does occur from time to time, it is very risky since the Talon will arrest anyone who cannot show a valid Bill of Lading.

 

Warehouse System

      All warehouses in Griffon’s Hamlet are owned by the town directly. It is against the law to build a private warehouse in town. By requiring merchants to use their warehouses, the township of Griffon’s Hamlet has generated great wealth.

      All merchants storing goods in the warehouses is required to pay for storage based on the volume of their goods. As such, every 1000 cubic feet (10’ x 10’ x 10’) costs 10 silver pieces. This fee includes all storage, documents, taxes and security. The prices are kept low to encourage people to use the warehouses.

      Each warehouse is identified by a unique number. Inside they are split into 10x10 spaces that are also labeled. The merchants will drop their goods off at the loading door and warehouse workers will store the goods inside. Only the person holding the Bill of Receipt is permitted to enter a warehouse to look at his goods.

 

Uttatai Enclave

The only exceptions to these rules are the two warehouses in the Uttatai Enclave. These warehouses are owned by the government of the Baronies of Uttatai as is the land inside the enclave. In essence, entering the Uttatai Enclave is the same as stepping into the Baronies of Uttatai. This area is governed by the laws and customs of Uttatai and acts as an embassy.

This enclave is a permanent trade delegation from Uttatai in Kale. Since Griffon’s Hamlet is an excellent crossroads for goods from all through Kale, the Uttatai government purchased this small area of land from Kale and Griffon’s Hamlet.

As per the treaty that established this enclave, the government of the Baronies of Uttatai is not permitted to use this enclave for anything other than trade. However, much more than that is going on here. It is common knowledge in Griffon’s Hamlet that the enclave is a center for espionage activity. Fugitives that are trying to escape from Kalen justice have used the enclave as a means to escape from the army. While this does not happen very often, there are multiple stories floating around town of the great spies that have passed through the enclave on their way to perform a vital mission. The people of Griffon’s Hamlet love a good spy drama.

For the most part, the Uttatai Enclave serves as the primary trade delegation to Kale. Here the majority of major trade deals are settled. When the government of the Baronies of Uttatai wishes to make a purchase, the Steward of the Enclave is responsible for handling the details.

The Steward of the Enclave is Sir Arondis Tensen. After having lost his family to a tragic fire, he was transferred to Griffon’s Hamlet to manage the Enclave. He has since come to enjoy life in Griffon’s Hamlet and he deeply respects the steady determination of the people of the town. The people of Griffon’s Hamlet have come to like him very much, regardless of the fact that he is an outsider.

Arondis is a very capable administrator and a crafty negotiator.

 
 
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