Name: Thalian Broda (halfling m, 0-lvl, CN), Owner of Broda's Freight Hauling
Submitted by: CR Simmons
Thalian Broda is a halfling of normal height, but uncommonly lean. He has dark hair and dark eyes with an avaricious gaze. He wears well-made but unremarkable clothing.
He is unpleasantly direct and speaks in a harsh tone. Anyone speaking to Broda gets the sense that he is calculating how to extract the most money from them. If there is the slightest possibility of turning a profit, his mannerism changes to an oily imitation of courtesy. Broda will never pass up an opportunity to make a profit, but he will only invest in ventures sure to have a healthy return. He is very tight with his money and begrudges every copper thumb he is forced to spend. He purchases quality equipment, but only because it is less costly to maintain than cheaper products.
He attempts to shortchange employees and take advantage of inexperienced customers whenever possible. He has quite a reputation around the city for being a skinflint, but he keeps his predatory nature in check enough to not alienate his long-term customers.
Broda has yet to find a mate, since he loves gold more than women. Besides, she would probably just cost him money. However, if a rich widow was to come along, he might be swayed to consider matrimony.
Broda was born in Arylon 43 years ago. His mother died in childbirth, and he was raised by his father alone. He grew up helping his father, an independent freight hauler, carry goods between city shops and the docks. Broda's father was an unambitious man, and never cared to expand his business. The family was poor, but not poverty striken. However, Broda's trips to the wealthier parts of the city exposed him to the luxuries the wealthy could afford. A fire was ignited in the young halfling. He would rise above the squalor his father seemed content to live in and take his true place among the elite of the city. He wanted wealth at any cost.
To this end, Broda began a campaign of larceny and theft which involved embezzling from his father's company and stealing small amounts of the valuable goods his father transported. Two years after the thefts began, Broda's father discovered what his son was doing. Distressed by his son's actions, but unwilling to turn him over to the Crescents, his father forced Broda to leave. Broda had accumulated enough gold to purchase his own wagon and, at the age of 26, began directly competing against his father.
Broda's ambition and utter lack of morals allowed him to undercut his father and other freight haulers across the city. Soon, he owned five wagons, then ten. Most freight haulers in the city went out of business or came to work for him. His father, unable to get work and unwilling to go to his son, fell into bankruptcy and later took his own life.
Broda was unaffected by his father's death. As his company, Broda Freight Hauling, grew, he turned over the actual work of hauling to his employees and began managing. His income soared. However, he was unable to loosen his grip on profits long enough to purchase the luxuries he had always dreamed of having. Instead, all profits were channeled back into the company in an attempt to make more and more money.
Currently, Broda is attempting to become the sole freight hauler in the city. However, his remaining competition is well entrenched and not likely to fail anytime soon. If anyone makes reference to any of his competitors, Broda will treat the speaker to a stream of invectives and deprecations. Fortunately, he doesn't deal directly with the customers.