Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr
House Tsalaxa, the primary trading house of Draj, takes a predatory approach to business. Blackmail, espionage, and assassination are all acceptable practices to the company in its quest for wealth and power. Tsalaxa maintains friendly relations with House Stel and cordial relations with others except Wavir, to which it is overtly hostile. When the opportunity presents itself, Tsalaxa ruthlessly exterminates smaller houses, picking up the pieces for itself. Tsalaxa frequently hires adventurers as caravan guards, spies, or assassins. Once hired, however, an employee may find it very difficult to resign, particularly if they know any of House Tsalaxa’s “trade” secrets. Except for Balic, where Wavir has prevented Tsalaxa from getting a foothold, this trading house maintains important outposts for trade with Altaruk, Walis, and its trade village of Abalath near Silver Spring.
Emblem: A pair of glaring, bestial eyes set on a black banner.
Trade goods: Tsalaxa is a major supplier of hemp and grain. Many claim that Tsalaxa also deals in contraband, if for no other reason than their well known love of intrigue and backroom dealing.
Tsalaxa’s attitude toward competition is that the fit survive, the rest die. House Tsalaxa succeeds and thrives, while others-weak, sentimental, and outdated-fall by the wayside. Of course, if House Tsalaxa can provide rivals with a push to hasten that fall, so much the better. Tsalaxa specializes in undercutting rivals by offering premium prices for its goods, losing money for a season or two until opposing houses are eliminated, then tripling or quadrupling prices to make up for the losses. By this time, of course, most of the competition has been eliminated, and the customer is at Tsalaxa’s mercy. Recently, customers have been catching on to this scheme and refusing even the most favorable of Tsalaxa’s deals, forcing the house to rethink some of its tactics.
Now enemies have begun to be eliminated in more creative ways. Blackmail, kidnapping, and even assassination have all entered Tsalaxa’s arsenal, along with outright military harassment utilizing the services of mercenary raiding tribes.
Tsalaxa’s relations with most other trade houses are anything but cordial. House Stel, which often allows Tsalaxa to hire its mercenaries, is the only house with which Tsalaxa maintains a good relationship. Some have suggested that this is not surprising, in that Tsalaxa and Stel are the most unscrupulous and violent merchant houses.
Other houses are seen as little more than obstacles on the way to Tsalaxa’s total domination of the Tyr region. Small houses are ruthlessly exterminated by agents wearing Tsalaxa colors and freely admitting their allegiance. Actions against larger houses are carried out more stealthily, by secret agents and hired mercenaries.