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Old 05-09-2022, 10:20 AM   #705
jason taylor
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Transrift Corporation:

This is a company that operates on the route between Reavers Deep and the Spinward Marches. It is largely a passenger line but diversifies into cargo and banking as well as maintaining a corporate armed force for security and some say to coercively carry out an ambition to become the market leader along this route.

It began with a demographic upsurge among cisrift Aslan and consequent increase in Ihaiti demanding transport facilities. The Fleet Dispatcher for Reaver's Deep approached the Prince of Caledonia to negotiate transit rights. Faced with the prospect of having a flood of undocumented foreigners and the genuine opportunity of making a profit the prince summoned the various lairds and chiefs to raise capital. The result was the Transrift corporation.

It shares many of the qualities of a charter corporation, with the Caledonian royalty and nobility, and the Fleet Dispatcher for Reavers Deep jointly owning a controling interest. It has however no official royal monopoly, a practice that would be repugnant to the commercially minded Caledonians.

The Transrift Corporation maintains a regular series of convoys. Non Transrift vessels can buy a place in the convoys which gains protection of escort vessels. Another source of profit is the regular auctions held among planetary governments to be the subsector and sector refit stops for the next convoy. Demand for this is high as it is an opportunity to hold a trade fair on that world.

The transition to banking as a secondary specialty was an easy one. It came of the need to have a system for safely handling the possessions of travelers. The Transrift Bank maintains safety deposit boxes and manages bills of exchange as well as handling deposits and withdrawls into accounts. The cargo side specialty evolved both from the trade fairs and the realization that the long voyages of convoys gave a chance to traffic in exotics of the kind that get their value from rarity. Caledonian Whisky, and Lambic Red beers and Ufflewines appear on the tables of distinguished persons at the opposite ends of the route. Caledonia has received Kudy Ivory and sold traditional musical instruments such as harps and pipes. Another product widely sold is Aslan handicrafts. One notable example of this is the leather covered fierahs still used for hunting on some planets. These are made kernmantle style with the core of several strands of biphase rope and a sheath of artistically dyed leather gotten typically from hunting beasts near the landholds on several cisrift worlds. Other side businesses are to varied to count, usually involving service industry in various starports.

Transrift has from the beginning engaged in a number of trade wars. The competition for the rift route is fierce and new competitors are not always welcome. Despite that it has become one of the most successful business enterprises in the area. It has also become a cultural symbol. It has brought the ways of Reavers Deep and the Marches into contact with each other. Caledonians with their mindfulness of Scottish history like to nickname it Jardines after a company active in the Asian trade on pre starflight Earth that had a number of Scottish officials.
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
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