The Aeldrum Trade Company (ATC), established 34 A.U., is a mercantile entity whose ownership is divided between the Parliament of the Serene Duchy of Aeldrum and the various great families of the Duchy's Elven aristocracy.
The ATC focuses predominantly on extractive colonial ventures, bringing vast material wealth back to Aeldrum, where the company taps into the commercial veins of the cosmos and serves as one of that world's major brokerage houses.
Other Revenue Edit
The ATC also conducts predatory "rebuilding" practices in the societies whose governments have been toppled by the Duchy of Aeldrum to secure its own interests. These severely indebted client states generate a steady stream of income for the Company, as well as contributing hosts of the economically dispossessed to the company's core employee base of bastards and gutter urchins from Aeldrum. The ATC preserves this lucrative relationship largely through the threat of military intervention by the Serene Duchy to protect the business interests of the state and its leading political dynasties. The shadow of the Aeldrum Dragoons looms large over dozens of "debt colonies" which might otherwise think of expropriating the ATC.
In recent decades, the ATC has lost some its formidable reputation, in part due to embarrassing colonial losses to saboteurs from rival organizations such as the Knights Mercantile and the strained resources of The Aeldrum Military during the exhausting Bishant-Aeldrum War. The ATC lost considerable holdings due to the events of the Irish Revolution, severely undermining its agricultural portfolio and choking off tens of millions in light industrial and mining revenue. Worse, such a successful uprising within Aeldrum's core holdings has somewhat punctured the apparent invincibility of Aeldrum's Dragoon Corps, which was heavily (and unsuccessfully) committed to holding Ireland.
The wheezing ATC, however, has since been reinvigorated by the emergence of its fastest-growing subsidiary, the Aeldrum Celestial Trade Company (ACTC). Following a KM-sponsored expedition to map an alternate route from Celestial to Imperial Space, an elvish noble named Aurace Vintel and a Margravate privateer named Cassander, who had participated in the expedition, returned to Aeldrum. They used their knowledge of the "Pin-Jump Route" to secure funding for further expeditions and to establish lucrative trade between Aeldrum and the Celestial powers. Concerns remain about the vulnerability of this route, but the phenomenal growth of the ACTC venture has caused public and private investors to pile on heavily. Speculation is rampant as excitement grows around this "savior subsidiary."
Today, the ATC remains the largest and most lucrative company in the universe, though it is closely tailed by its perennial rivals in the Knights Mercantile and The Bishant Trade Company and already shows signs of decline from its seemingly unstoppable growth a century ago.
The Company has an infamous discipline issue, with large segments of its private army addicted to opium or spice sticks and high rates of attrition of colonial revenues to embezzlement and, far worse, administrative incompetence. These same qualities speak to the relative vastness of the company's manpower, for the ATC recruits heavily from the socially disenfranchised of Aeldrum society, and it can be sure of continued private funding as a career path for the lesser sons of nobles and great politicians. Even if the Dragoons cannot be everywhere at once, most colonized societies can do fairly little against thousands of ATC colonial infantry, consisting mostly of men and half-elves and equipped with automatic rifles and field artillery.
- The ATC does bear significant resemblance to the real-life British East India Company.