Councilor and owner of the largest river fleet in Shard
Councilor Daragh Llortherin is as well known by his moniker of “The Barge Lord” as he is by his more formal title. The son of a solidly middle-class human trader of Elven found-wood carvings and a minor Elven noble, Llortherin learned from an early age how to navigate the occasionally treacherous rapids of the Winding River between Shard and The Sylvan Imperium. He bought his first barge at age 17, the loan secured against his parents’ trading business. His parents’ faith in him was well-placed and their investment has been returned to them many times over.
His moniker “The Barge Lord” was originally meant as a derogatory nickname. As he grew his empire, he decided that he would not directly engage his competitors. Such competitions tended to result in barge captains cutting corners trying to shave time, and instead sinking boats and cargo in their haste. The competitions also encouraged shipping companies to cut their rates in a pricing war, undercutting their competition and deflating profits for all companies as they had to react to maintain their place in the market. Instead, Llortherin decided to focus not on his competitors, but the smallest fish in the big pond that is Lake Drokar – the independent traders who owned and operated a single barge. Llortherin approached these traders and bought them out one at a time, but kept their crews on. The crews’ familiarity with the boats ensured high performance with not only the river but the way the boat itself handled. As such, Llortherin soon amassed one of the biggest fleets in Shard at a place that other shippers could not match as they were limited to salvaging boats that were barely functional or commissioning new, expensive boats – in either case, processes that took a far longer time than Llortherin’s enterprising method.
In time, as he became the biggest and best known shipper in Shard, the mockery turned to concern, the concern to aggression and then, as he became too big to be fought, a begruding admiration. By age 37 he was one of the richest people in Shard and well-respected by both the people of Shard and of the Sylvan Imperium. His crowning moment was achieved whenConrad II, the Lord of Shard, officially granted a monopoly on all non-classified shipping to Llortherin. It was not long after that Llortherin was extended the opportunity to serve as one of the Councilors of the Council of Eight, a role he gladly accepted.
Llortherin, now 51, has been married twice. His first marriage, at age 18, lasted only two years but produced one child, Miranda. Llortherin has a distant relationship with Miranda, but in light of their tie of blood has employed her as the overseer of the vast warehouse complex that temporarily houses goods either coming into or leaving Shard. His second marriage, 15 years ago, was to Bartholomew Jones, the well-to-do second son of an old family fortune based upon land speculation. They adopted a son, Alexander, a year later. Alexander is considered the heir to his fathers’ fortune, though he has fought his father on this front as he has a deep interest in the Lord’s Guards, a fascination that Llortherin indulges while hoping his son outgrows it and is ready to take over the family business.