Over the past two-hundred years, the Artisan's Union has been the largest and most influential Merchant Fraternity in Wilderland (Rhovanion). Without going over the entire How to Get a Shop, it should be known that the AU, based in Laketown, serves as the organizing and regulatory body for commerce for the settlements of Wilderland. This document, then, is an overview of the Licensing requirements for Freemen of the Wilderland to obtain the blessing of the AU and of their respective settlement's Master.
Also, please be aware that all merchants licensed by the Artisan Union are bound by the Artisan Union Rules of Conduct.
Please be aware that staff reserve the right to change, alter, and modify these requirements at any time. For many Licenses there may be License-specific crafts that are only accessible with said License but not necessarily clan-only or 'patented' by any particular License but more so regulated for making by the Artisan Union. This is a helpful hand to Peddler Licenses that have very limited craftsets for their License.
Do I Need a License?
Only merchants need to be licensed by the Artisan Union. Merchants are defined by the Artisan Union as an individual selling, which is good for coin. Bartering, which is good for good, is not at this time regulated by the Artisan Union. Should such a transaction of good for good be noted by the Artisan Union as being excessive, or very profitable, they might want a cut - whether by way of a fine or by way of someone greasing someone's wheels. Officers of the Artisan Union are not unknown to look the other way when it is in the favor of their purse.
How Do I Apply?
First and foremost, to show your interest in approaching a Licence seek out your local Litigant. In the event that one is not available, please seek out interest by leaving word at your local Artisan Union Office. After interest has been made, your character will be contacted by an Artisan Union Representative with further details of your course of action. There is no guarantee that you will acquire a License either through a Litigant or be granted one by the Artisan Union as there is data that goes into the acceptance such as your skill, your reputation, your finances, and whether or not the market is otherwise overpopulated with a certain ilk of Licenses. You may be asked to acquire more skill, improve your reputation, save up more money (even if taking out a loan), or to try a different License, etc.
Along with a License often comes a Loan. Loans have a common term of 120% with a 3 year term. Loans for Peddler's Licenses require a minimum 500cp down. Loans for Freemen's Licences require a minimum 2000cp down. Loans are not available for Skald Licenses or Guild Memberships. At the discretion of the Usury minimum money-down-payments for loans may be higher than stipulated here. If regular payments are not made, your License can be revoked and your stall or shop forfeit with all of its contents inside now property of the Usury.
As always, heirs or seconds to a license MUST be declared publicly, as in by way of City Hall or a document written up by a Litigant, before the death of the owner of the loan or license. Debts pass on to the next owner.
Levels of License
Cost: 100cps Per Year
Summary: . You make coin as a freelance entertainer. License Marker: a harp-carved bone bracelet.
Skalds which include bards, minstrels, storyteller, etc. are not considered full AU members, and thus do not have access to the Union library or other resources available to Union members. Skalds, even Licensed, who do not have a Skald Guild membership are often ridiculed and insulted, seen as the scabs of the entertainment industry and often referred to as a 'chaunter'. To be called such is a rather offensive insult for a skald but deserved by the unworthy, which are those who are not good enough to be part of the Skald Guild. Even though the Skald Guild is based in Laketown, they are one of the few, aside from the Mongers Guild, that regularly and widely travels throughout Rhovanion enough to mock and scandalize those they deem inferior in the skald world.
Please note that Skald Guild membership is not available to characters in Utterby and there may be interesting conflict should a Guildsmen of the Skald Guild visit the lumbertown.
Renewal Cost: 100 cp / IG Year
Summary: You get a stall in the market area and are beholden to PC sales. License Marker: a $license-whittled wooden bracelet.
License and rental of a basic stall, whereupon goods sold are of a raw or unrefined nature rather than finished goods with the exception of fletchers.
Licensed stalls may only sell items within their area of Licensure. Stall renters are not able to register exclusive products or designs.
Stalls are simply a stall front with room for a singular employee and their stock.
Cost: Acceptance of employment by the NPC Clan License Holder
Summary: You manage an NPC's shop. You don't get the full share of the profits, and your duties might vary from shop to shop. Please inquire with staff regarding the availability of these licenses, as they are not always on the market. It is highly recommended that the Manager was an active, loyal and contributing employee. License Marker: a $license-stamped copper bracelet.
License to manage a business in the stead of a licensed Artisan who owns and operates a Freeman business, tavern, etc. Seen as journeymen, these Artisans are up-and-coming who are trusted with business acumen and honesty to run a proper business, but have yet to acquire either the skill, funding, or credit with the Bank to obtain a Freeman’s license in their own right. It is important to note that Managers are more an RP tool, or role, rather than a money-making or spam-crafting sort of position and as the face of the clan, the Manager is expected to uphold that responsibility by being active, responsible for the training and material allocation for employees while smoozing with the public to ensure that their Boss' business is successful.
Given the cost to obtain some Freeman’s licenses and the small relative number of shops that rotate or open up for Freemen to license, there are some who might spend years or a lifetime within this position. (The most famous management positions being oversight of the Laketown’s various housing complexes and the Great House, businesses that tend to be deeds long held by old merchant families who would never sell rights outright.)
Still, it is a position that allows one freedom to build business contacts, increase their skill, and save the overhead as housing and food is provided for them and other employees. In trade, the manager does not have total control over the shop’s earnings or other employees, but it’s a comfortable enough position with some mitigated risk.
Managers are allowed to register exclusive products within the clan's Licensed area, arrange business contracts and dealings for their employer, and to have access to the Union’s library.
Cost: 5,000 cp (500 cp Sales / Month)
Renewal Cost: 1,000 cp / IG Year
Summary: You get a shop and a clan, plus three rooms. You are the be all and end all. Women want you, men want to be you. Please be aware that the AU does not often permit dozens of the same types of shop in a settlement, and your application may be denied to prevent market saturation.
Rooms Included: Shopfront, Upstairs Room to use as work area or storage area, Small Attic to use as office, work area or storage era. Does not come furnished. Does not come with a dormitory nor can it be used for living quarters. Two keys will be provided at no additional cost.
Most expensive and prestigious option. License and rental of a proper store and shop front. This is the most limited option, as the boundaries and size of Laketown is rather defined. Further, the Union does not, as policy, grant many directly competing Freeman’s licenses, instead, people pick particular niches and crafting specializations to register exclusive products or designs to bring something unique to the trading scene and Market.
A Freeman’s license also requires a demonstration of proper skill level to obtain a license. The requirements for level skill will vary from license area to license area. A physicker or armorsmith wishing to obtain a Freemans License certainly requires greater demonstrated skill than a butcher as ineptitude by the former could have deadly consequence