The Golden Venture Trading Company
After six spectacular voyages full of adventure and reversals, Mashaar the Golden-Fingered has settled in to run an influential, wealthy and eccentric trade empire. She specializes in exotic and hard-to-acquire goods, and her rivals mutter darkly that she hasn’t put her smuggling and piracy past completely behind her. The Golden Venture Trading Company doesn’t always have the most respectable clientele, but it is an absolute favorite among storytellers with a taste for tales of adventure.
Mashaar is notorious for hiring particularly unusual blades, adepts and free agents to spearhead her ventures. She refers to it as “taking in orphans,” and “Orphan” has become a popular way of referring to one of Mashaar’s specialized adventurer-captains. If she assigns more than one Orphan to an errand, it’s a sure sign that she expects some form of fantastic trouble.
The Golden Venture has a small fleet of trading ships, some more notorious than others. They include:
The Dracosphinx: A recent addition to the Golden Venture’s fleet, the Dracosphinx is a Kheran vessel gifted to the company by the crocodile-priests of their sea god. It is a slower ship, but well-suited for naval combat. Its captain is Mara-Set, a talented brawler and swordswoman with a near-divine capacity for drink.
The Rich Man’s Despair: During a period of time in which she turned corsair, Mashaar took command of the swift and sturdy Rich Man’s Despair. Upon her return to the civilized coast, she and her crew accepted the Caliph’s pardon. She kept the ship’s name, however. The Rich Man’s Despair is currently captained by Navaad, a former corsair himself with a taste for capturing pirate ships.
The Twist of Fate: This xebec is notorious in its ports of call, for although many have seen its elegant lines, very few have seen its captain. Many rumors suggest why: he suffers from a grave disfigurement; he is a fugitive under a death sentence; he is a terrifying monster. The less well-known truth is that Captain Tairasha is subject to a jann’s curse. If he sets foot on land, he will slowly turn to stone; one of his legs is already stone halfway to the knee. The Twist of Fate has other Orphans among its crew as well, such as the pearl-diving she-orc Ruska and the amiable gnoll archer Notch.
Other notable Orphans attached to the Golden Venture include:
- Blessed Lirin, waif-like priestess of the celebrant goddess Chalir
- Huzmuda, dwarf alchemist refugee from the mountains near Zagash
- Ruzakh, orc scout with a crimson hyena pet and a vivid imagination
- Sandcat, halfling salvager/tinker with a distaste for animals
- Seyriida, flame-sorceress and famous flutist