Exalted! - Flight of the Dragons
Ragara is having a tough time in colonial expansion race. While there is a great deal of need for its mercantile and economic power thus far the Empress has let the House remain hamstrung in terms of economic expansion. Laws regulating the percentage of reserve for banking have hampered Ragara’s ability to rapidly expand the money supply and with House Tainena’s creation the Empress has forced Ragara to fund their growth through extremely favorable loan and trade conditions. Banoba has shifted his economic policy in the short term to favor the Soaras’ commercial endeavors and has made strong inroads with the Guild through its newly acquired satrapies. Ragara is still strong, and growing, but not at the rate its rivals are.
The Soras household of Chanos has become the commercial heart of the House in recent decades. Expanded colonization has resulted in increased trade and the Ragara have turned to the Soars to keep abreast of this.
The Calel Household is relatively young and thus far lacks a clear direction. Calel himself is a troubleshooter and the head of Ragara’s informal security service. At present his household spends it’s time on the Isle out in Juche on a rural estate while Calel sends his children out into the world to collect information and keep the House abreast of the threshold.
Most patricians confuse Ragara with the Imperial Treasury and rightly so. The Realm’s fiat currency is 90% issued by House Ragara and backed by the Jade within the Imperial coffers. As such Ragara controls the flow of money for anyone other than the Dragon Blooded. The expansion of the Realm through new conquests would seem like a boom, however strict laws to regulate inflation have kept them from truly exploiting the boom like they could have done. Their new satrapies and trade routes have been profitable, but Ragara looks at it’s rivals: Tainena, Cynis, and now, surprisingly, Tepet and considers how to get them or the other Houses in their debt. Recently Ragara has been funding the Peleps’ merchant fleet expansion by providing low interest loans to those industries supporting them. They are keen to make sure these dividends pay off with greater access to the threshold.
Ragara has few true allies preferring to keep others in its debt rather than as partners. This works well on the individual and Household level, giving them sway across every major House save for the Iselsi and the Tainena; the former has no economics and the latter is backed by the Empress for the time being. At present the Ragara have been focusing much of their attention on the Kajak and Chenow lines of House Sesus funding their expansion and militarism in return for having Sesus troops at their call.
Peleps, as much as it can be believed, is Ragara’s closest ally. No one trusts either and each knows it is using the other, so they get along nicely. Ragara money backs Peleps naval and mercantile expansion in return for shares of their mercantile endeavors.
Rivals and Enemies:
For much of the recent past Ragara has been at odds with House Mareda on the Isle for political influence. Mareda has been using it’s de facto control of the Imperial Service to gain leverage much the save way Ragara uses money to. However, of late, the expansionist Houses have been growing so fast that the Ragara and Mareda have found a delicate detente: any provocation could shatter their uneasy peace, but for now each has bigger concerns.
Cynis and Tainena have been Ragara’s principle adversaries in the economic boom of the new colonial period with Tepet following not far behind. Each of these Houses have expanded both their mercantille and economic base considerably to the point where they could rival Ragara’s dominance in these matters. At present the House cannot do anything against Tainena other than nurse their grudge but they have been putting the political squeeze on Cynis. High interest rates and “independent mercenaries and bandits” have been hitting Cynis and Tepet hard as of late. There is little doubt in the minds of many these are Chenow’s troops on ships loaned from the Peleps navy.
House Ragara has a few goals, all related to the economic state of the Realm. They need the deliberative to pass, or the Empress to allow, major banking reform to remove the limitations on the money supply. If this happens Ragara will be able to underwrite and bankroll every House’s expansion with unbeatable rates and liquid assets; placing nearly the whole Dynasty in their pockets. Most of their political clout and no small amount of their Jade goes into this effort. They have also been making sure to slow down Tepet’s expansion into mercantile affairs and to hamstring Cynis’ growth. It is in their best interests that no House be able to compete with them economically so their loans will always have customers. With Peleps state control of the merchant navy Ragara has allied with them, but in time it will be the Peleps’ turn as well.
House Members of Note:
Ragara Soras Ursinras: Ursinras may as well be head of all of Ragara’s mercantile dealings. A middle aged Exalt he traveled heavily as a youth and even worked for the Guild as an auditor and independent investigator in the Threshold. All of this has given him the keenest senses regarding international trade and finance. His extensive contacts let him know when things are going well, when they’re going bad, and who he needs to invest in. Though he can almost smell Jade his major failing is overweening arrogance and ambition. He has begun baldly making himself out to be both head of the Soras Household and Banoba’s heir designate for the House as a whole; something that does not sit well with some of the elder leadership. For now he makes them too much money to do anything about but that cost calculus may change.
Ragara Taedela: A young aristocrat not yet a century old Taedela was a firebrand philosopher in her school days and youth. A graduate of the Spiral Academy she was a proponent of major systematic overhaul of the Realm and its Satrapy System. It was no surprise to anyone when she was made a Senator just after she turned forty. Now in the system she has turned her talents to making the most of what’s there instead of redoing everything from scratch. While she is one of the most liberal of the Senators, she has gained extensive alliances and favors owed to her. Banoba has recently instructed Taedela to begin pushing for monetary reform within the Deliberative to expand Ragara’s reach.