The Alienage
All Things Relating to Trade, Shipping, and Commodities

Mercantylism and Trade throughout Western Lýthia and Hârn

The Mangai and The Guilds

On Hârn, the Mangai is a joint association of all Hârnic Guilds; throughout the rest of Western Lýthia, these joint associations are found within each kingdom instead of each region; local chapters are found in each town in one form or another. The Mangai’s primary function is to regulate guild activities, settle any disputes between them, and work with the local or regional governments concerning guild rights and privileges. The Mangai operates under the Charter of the Mangai; a law enacted by most civilized governments of Western Lýthia This charter fosters and protects the legal monopolies held by all guilds. A Mangai chapter includes at least one representative from each local guild. Each chapter elects an executive council, which oversees the implementation and execution of local by-laws. Although it wields enormous power, the Mangai stays out of feudal and/or imperial politics. Governments respond by limiting their involvement in guild affairs to taxation.

Market and Fair Rights

A crucial function of the Mangai is its exclusive right to sponsor, and organize, all fairs and markets within its area of operations. The Mangai pays the appropriate fees to whomever governs the area for the right to conduct a market or fair; it then recoups its investment by charging fees (usually 1d per day) to all whom wish to sell their wares within the market and/or fair. However, fees for major fairs can be higher and involve many other charges as well.

Mangai Conventions

On Hârn, the Mangai holds triennial conventions at alternating sites, moving from one town to another, the representatives of every Hârnic guild and their local chapters attend it. The conventions are democratic gatherings used by the Mangai to standardize guild activities throughout Hârn. Thay will host the next convention in 721. In the rest of Western Lýthia, each association follows a similar format, although the time may vary.

The Guilds


The craftguilds produces commodities for local consumption and/or export. A specific craftguild is a brotherhood of craftsmen banded together to control economic activities in a specific trade, such as the Potters guild. Throughout Western Lýthia, virtually all commercial activities are within the realm of these powerful guilds whose rights are protected by the Charter of the Mangai. Most towns are dominated by their guilds.

The prime purpose of a craftguild is to provide economic security for its members. Towards this end they employ their legal monopolies to limit competition. This is done by restricting the number of franchises within a specific market. A franchise is a license granted to individuals, by a guild, allowing them to own and operate a business in a specific area.

Most craftguilds are urban while others are rural or both. Some guilds are weak, with loosely defined monopolies; however, most are strong. In Orbaal and among the Khuzdul and Sindarin, the functions of the guilds are performed by clans, equally monopolistic, but simpler in organization.


Unlike the craftguilds, the tradeguilds provide specific services to their communities, such as the Physician’s guild, instead of commodities. However, some of these guilds also serve as craftguilds on a limited basis. One of these dual guilds is the Innkeepers guild; this guild provides a service through its inns and taverns; but they also produce limited amounts of beverages for the local market or for export. Unlike the craftguilds, the tradeguilds are more rural and defend their rights just as doggedly.

Mercantyler's Guilds

Mercantylers are guildsmen involved in the trading of goods, or acting as agents for other individuals in some economic transaction. Most mercantylers are simple merchants, buying and selling goods within their town’s local area or just within the confines of their own country. The more adventuresome of mercantylers engage in foreign trade, either through caravan or maritime enterprises; although many trade in a variety of goods, some specialize in specific commodities such as furs, slaves, or wines.