The Altonian Commercial Mission Part of the Foreign Merchants' District of Fort Arltrees   Altonia has never really been a country of sailors and explorers. A lively class of merchants always existed in the nation, but their activities were mostly limited to the export of hard cheeses or the import of salt from Wisimar. Times, however, had changed quickly, and some had started to look beyond the traditional routes and wares. The recently opened Breshaun-Ulric trading route renewed interest in the New World among the most enterprising Altonians. After long discussions in the parliament, an influential league of merchants had convinced the government to claim sovereignty over the so-called Bat Island, in the Prio Seas... a small island with no proper mooring point, thousands of bats, and a native tribe still unaware of having become subjects of Her Majesty, Queen Brigette III. However, not even an outpost was established yet, and many thought that Altonian government was still not seriously pursuing its colonial adventure. To participate in the New World spice trade, a group of Altonian traders established a commercial mission in Fort Arltrees: apart from profit, their not-so-hidden aim was to attract the Queen's attention to the colonies, and to push the Crown to finally take some more serious steps on Bat Island.
Informally, Oleon supports this plan: an Altonian colony on Bat Island could represent a friendly port halfway between Lavalette and Kojima, in an area infested by the pirates of Barracuda Bay. As the commercial mission was not directly backed by the Altonian government, the guards were not drawn from the army but were instead civilian volunteers. With all the books describing the New World as a tropical paradise, it was not particularly finding young men looking for adventure!
The Altonian guards were equipped with modern muskets and uniforms but still wore cuirasses while on duty... when they were equipping their men, the Altonian merchants had still in mind Armond Basker and his conquistadores. Paprika and dried chili peppers had quickly become the main interest of the Commercial Mission, even though small amounts of tea and other spices were also exported. Compared to pepper or vanilla, chili peppers were not considered the most interesting good by the merchants of the main colonial Empires. The spice was very sought after in the Old World, and a cargo of paprika was still worth a little fortune, this was true, but the plants had quickly adapted to other regions of Halos, and now chilis were planted at ease also in the Mokolei Empire, in New Oleon, and even in some areas of the Madrician peninsula... even if definitely not in cold countries, such as Carno, Garvey or Altonia! Dried chilis were carefully mixed and controlled before being packed in bags of canvas and shipped to the motherland: a moldy cargo of spices would not make a good impression on Queen Brigette and her court! For paprika and ground chili, barrels and caskets were usually preferred. The Altonian merchants had also started to export, alongside the raw spices, blends of different chilis, paprikas, and local herbs. These products were having a lot of success, both in the motherland and in the rich westernmost colonies in the Sea of Storms.  Unfortunately for the Altonian merchants, this also meant tasting way too many chili peppers, ranging from slightly spicy to unbearably hot. Hopefully, the people in charge of this were paid a little extra... In the little office, a curious machine helped the clerks with their duties: built by an Altonian clock-maker and inventor, it can make complex mathematical operations through an intricated system of buttons and dented wheels. Operating it, however, is so complicated that many still prefer the old, dear, paper and ink!   Hide contents A different angle: ---------------------------------------- Here you can find the interior of the third build of the series, the Altonian Commercial Mission. A little less elaborated than the previous ones in terms of furniture, as I tried to keep it a little more warehouse-like. I hope you like it!