The Merchant Houses of Korathiel are trade families established by ancient half-elves. Alari, as half-elves are typically referred to, were established several centuries ago by a small group of half-elves who vowed to remain pure-blood. Consequently, elves and humans now, almost without exception, maintain platonic bonds, as non-pure alari are more looked down on than ever before, having noticeably different features than alari, and typically treated as less intelligent or able than their pure-blood counterparts. This is particularly true within and near the borders of Korathiel, but generally true throughout the world, as the Merchant Houses are arguably the most influential organizations in the world.
The Seven Merchant Houses of Korathiel – in order of population:
Birotz – known for their most beautiful and talented citizens
The Matriarchy and Patriarchy of Korathiel
Each alari House has a Matriarch and Patriarch that hold final judgment over law and disputes. They are treated as kings and queens, and revered as motherheads and fatherheads. When a matriarch or patriarch dies their firstborn of same sex becomes steward with all the same responsibilities of the deceased. Once the counterpart passes on as well, the former steward bequeaths their partner as the new lord or chooses a partner, which is often politically motivated, and both become Matriarch and Patriarch. This includes a grandiose ceremony that alari from all over the continent from every house gather at the capital to celebrate for three days, beginning with the funerals and mourning the first day and festive celebrations lasting two more.