Zenithar's Blessed Corporation of Mercers, also known as The Mercers of Wayrest, is a loose organisation of the powerful burgher families of Wayrest city. Although technically the name does refer to the legal instituion of Zenithar's Mercers, it is used as a byword for the entire middle class of that city, as the two are more or less identical in scope. The organisation is run by an elected Master, who by convention also serves as the Lord Mayor of Wayrest city. The appointment is for life, and for time immemorial has been drawn from the leaders of the powerful merchant families that control Wayrest's various guilds and industries. The current Lord Mayor and Master of the Mercer Corperation is Lord Abelard Roycroft, the partiarch of the Roycroft family. In part due to this appointment, the Roycroft family are currently in ascendency, and are seen as the predominant Mercer family. The rival Tault family, famed for its Tamriel-renowned Tault Bank, currently lead the opposition.
Although there are numerous families that make up the Mercers, traditionally there have always been six or seven dominant families, to whom almost the entirety of the rest are pledged. Due to this quirk in the configeration of the Mercers, at any one time the entire of Wayrest's middle class is essentially in the total control of six or seven different Patriarchs. The Mercer's power over trade, industry and even matters such as local police and legal disputes is total, with an ancient covenant harking back to the first era seperating the crown's power with that of the middle classes. Although each of these families are so large and spread out, and so deeply ingrained into every aspect of life around the boroughs they control, dominance over the various guilds and companies in Wayrest by particular Mercer families often result in essential monopolies forming, and certain families have long-established control over sertain industries. For the current most powerful Mercer families, these are as following:
- The Roycrofts - Merchant navy, carpenters and joiners
- The Taults - Bankers and masons
- The Longhopes - Brewers, vintners and fishmongers (formally shipping)
- The Yvaleberts - Grocers: Alchemists and Apococaries
- The Veltroixs - Goldsmiths, jewelers, cutlers
- The Errancourts - Ironmongers and Miners
- The Amblewoods - Merchant Tailors, Haberdashers and Weavers
Notable by their absence in the above list are the mages. The Mage class has always been particularly large in Wayrest, due to the Breton's natural affinity for magic. However, with the Empire-sanctioned Tamrielic Mages Guild protected by Imperial law, none of the Mercer families have historically been able to take control of this huge industry. With the fall of the Empire, a brief war was ignited over this new open territory as the Mages Guild splintered, this however was brought to an end when Elysana put the guild under royal protection, and then extended her patronage towards the Society to take over its functions. Magery aside, however, there is no aspect of Wayrestian trade or industry that is not dominated and controlled by the leading Mercer families.
Longhopes Vs Roycrofts
The Tault-Roycroft Rivalry