St. Dumas Family
Power without perception is useless and of no true value.
- Vryce Jean-Baptiste Dumas I
Any tool is useful if you know how to use it.
- Vryce Jean-Baptiste Dumas IV
The St. Dumas family is a wealthy merchant clan known for business holdings and arts patronage; the family has been around for a very long time - even by planar standards.
The Dumas family is a very, very old family, in this cycle at least. The Family estates, in Bytopia, have been around, as far as anyone in the family knows, since the cycle began. And the St. Dumas Tower in Sigil's Tower District is, well, as old as the district itself. Only problem is, the family history stretches back farther than there’s room for it to go in this cycle. Could be the estates used to be on some prime world, or maybe the family had some pull during the last rotation of the wheel - it's an oddity. Mystery aside, the Dumas family’s been very wealthy & very prestigious in the Planes & in Sigil for a long time, no one would argue that. The family's known to be proud and traditional, though ultiamtely, the family remains pragmatic and adaptable, as evidenced tby the variety of their financial holdings.
The Fated, for at least as long as they’ve existed in this incarnation, and likely possibly longer, have always had the backing of the St. Dumas family. It’s said that former Factol Darkwood’s old friend from his pre-Faction days, Vryce Jean-Baptiste Dumas III, may have even lent his support to The Duke’s sudden appointment to Factol, which isn’t terribly difficult to believe, as the latest Factor to assume the mantle of leadership following Darkwood’s disappearance is Vryce III’s son, Vryce IV.
Magic in the Blood
Many St. Dumas children have attended the Circle of Amassed Arcana over many generations. A proud tradition of spellcasting runs in the St. Dumas family, and while it's known that there's some manner of unique magic ability that only certain children in each generation have - if any have it at all - the specifics aren't exactly common knowledge. Those who know a little more of the dark will tell a cutter that it boils down to who has how many children and could show all kinds of correlations using family trees and whatnot. Unsurprisingly this isn't exactly considered dinner table conversation within the family.
Commerce makes the planes turn - or so the merchants say. Though the St. Dumas family are not traders or merchants in the strictest sense, they do have controlling interest of many different financial investments.
"There's a great story about Jerrod Morris St. Dumas, a merchant in the Great Bazaar, and how he had to work harder than anyone else just to turn a profit because he was unlucky. So he tried setting up shop in the outlands, in the City of Brass, anywhere that would take him. It took him a while, but he found that in doing his own importing and exporting, he actually could turn an amazing profit; and other merchants saw this also, and partnered with him. Well, it's a great story if you're a taker, I guess; otherwise it's a snoozer"
The story's not a favorite of bards (except in Bytopia), but it is true. This was the start of JM Limited. Today JM Limited - controlled by the St. Dumas family of course - operates regularly scheduled, well defended, fully licensed PTC Caravans. They specialize in foodstuffs and common items such as clothes and furniture. Not a high-profile venture like Zand, inc, JM limited is in fact a far more profitable organization, with relatively low operating costs in relation to the amount of capital raised. A lot of merchants are willing to pay solid coin for a reasonably priced, secure method of goods transport that can guarantee a reliable schedule and additionally, can make sure that the PTC customs officials don't hurt your bottom line - at least, no more than they hurt anyone else's.
"Lookin' for the freshest seafood, straight from the crystal blue waters of Arborea?"
- "Actually berk I prefer shellfish from the Beastlands"
"Err, ahh, guvnah, the only ones what got Beastlands meats is the Eschaton place across town"
- "Bar that, yeh bubber; you won't find me barklin' with sods like that - gimme the Arborean deal, right? Only make it fish."
"Too right, sir, comin right up, them fishes, they is."
It's all too common these days. Beastlands exports aren't what they used to be. Fortunately for competing businesses in planes like Arborea and Bytopia, business is stronger than ever. While the St. Dumas family doesn't do any farming directly, they do own a network of farms and fisheries across these planes that bring in moderate profits, but more importantly, can fill up JM Limited caravans; this means that exporting any o' these perishable goods has a shipping cost of next ta nothing. Jarea Cantor is the Matriarch who manages these rural businesses; her 12 children all work varying capacities at the different sites.
The St. Dumas family has always been known as great arts patrons, as well as artists themselves, in some cases.
The Zustand Van Armonia
One of the oldest and most respected musical instruction academies in the Planes, the Zustand Van Armonia was founded by Taban Clause St. Dumas, the legendary pianist. Though the tuition has never been priced reasonably, the school has never lacked for students due to it's incredible reputation for producing performers of unparalleled ability. The institution was originally founded in Sigil, but is now located in a floating city in the Inner Plane of Air - though it's still administrated in part from the Cage - in the Lady's Ward.
Taban's great Grand-Nephew, Orlan Ashley Dumas, along with his assistants, painted the murals that cover the inside walls of all the municipal buildings in Yeoman, one of Bytopia’s largest cities. Of those, only six remain standing today; over three quarters of the buildings were torn down after the removal of Orlan's paintings left the buildings largely unusable husks. Orlan's works - some of which do in fact come from Yeoman's buildings - can be seen in a few municipal buildings in Tradegate, as well as parts of the Civic Festhall in Sigil. Several hundred years ago, the St. Dumas family also donated several larger pieces of Orlan's work to the Fated faction; the pieces are now on permanent display in the hallways of the Hall of Records. Oh, and you read right about his art bein' stolen, berk. How does one steal a slaggin' mural? It's a whole lot of work, But Orlan's work is known for inspiring just that kind of passion.
The Pruest Du Tenike
The Pruest Du Tenike, or simply The Pruest, a small enclave of some of the multiverse’s most talented musical instrument builders, is located in a remote area of Arborea. Closely allied with the Zustand van Armonia, the musical instruments produced here are among the desirable in the planes. Many students of the great masters of this art come here to train under said masters, often for many years at a time. Two of the masters - elves - are said to have been making instruments since the idea of music first came about. This is probably an exaggeration. Probably. The Pruest's sponsor and sole agent distributing their products is Zand, Inc; a company owned and operated by the St. Dumas family.
That hot new Xaositect that everyone’s talking about showing off her pieces of sculpture in the Lady's Ward? Please believe that every time she sells one to someone that can afford it, the Dumas family gets a cut of those monies. Currently most of the family’s operations in this area are handled by Theresea DeWane, an attractive, dark-skinned & light haired human girl who works out of an office in the clerk’s ward. She's a Dumas in everything but name, having grown up with the St. Dumas siblings of her generation. She serves as the curator for several different galleries around Sigil, and controls the family’s operations of several others.
Theresea's father Thomas works out of the same building, though unlike Theresa's office on the side of the building, the Zand, inc. warehouse in the Clerk's Ward is massive indeed. Museums and art galleries, universities and other institutions all over the planes rely on the know-how and PTC connections of the Zand, inc. staff for art sales, consulting, appraisial, installation, and exhibition. Thomas is a blood member of the St.Dumas family , and is known to be one of Vryce IV's closest advisors.
Three separate enterprises make up the bulk of the family's building might. Heffe Castillio Dumas, half-brother of Vryce Dumas III, indirectly serves as the CEO for these enterprises.
Redvale & Sons
Technically no longer headed by a Redvale; president Fortun Jurgi Dumas has worked for the company his entire life, however, and Darrick Redvale, his mentor, still serves as the figurehead for the business. Based in Bytopia, This massive Planar construction business specializes in Gate town contracts. That is, when a town shifts over into an outer plane from the Outlands, Factions & Powers have vested interest in seeing specific structures rebuilt as quickly as possible. This includes temples, faction meeting halls, and civic and military installations. The business has also undertaken several immense building projects in the City of Brass including the planning, design, and construction of an entire university.
Flametounge, DelGrado, & Associates Architecture Services
Based in Sigil in the Ladies Ward, FDAAS is run by the elf Brandt North, and takes largely business to business work, including municipal & institutional projects. FDAAS is known to specialize in exotic materials, including Gehennan Blackstone, Celestian Limestone, and Arborean Marble. The company is responsible for the current design of BloodGem Park, as well as many projects commissioned by Sigil’s elite - anything that the well-off want more of a say in than the dabus would be willing to give them. This includes structural, rehab, and ongoing maintenance work on landmarks such as
- The Fortune's Wheel
- The Circle of Amassed Arcana
- The Great Gymnasium
- The Hall of Speakers
- The Court of the Jester
- The Trioptic Nic'Epona Monument
Located in the outlands, Tiefling Marie Flintwick is the President of IgB. The company is most famously (or infamously) known as the contracting business that, as a business model, toes the mercenary line in military conflicts. It it little surprise then that the company subsists largely on Bloodwar money, and are known as neutrals in that conflict. IgB stock-in-trade is the building estates, fortresses, fortifications, etc. through contracts that come not only from militaries, but from individual warlords as well- this holds particular appeal for officers on both sides who don’t want to use their own forces, either because of political reasons, or because of where they want these structures built (ie Sigil). IgB has made referrals back and forth with Koe a few times. Several mercenary companies are kept on retainer at all times to protect contractors in dangerous areas such as
anywhere in the lower planes, or anywhere in Sigil, or the upper planes, for that matter, I mean holy shit, did you see Mt. Celestia when the Modrons came through? People died for REAL up in that bitch, and every time Lawshredder appears he kills like fucking 80 people or some shit all over the planes.
Not all members of the St. Dumas family tree share the name. Other families share no blood ties, but have long standing business, financial, or similar relationships.
Also Zac wrote this section after reading George RR Martin books.
- Redvale - Dwarves.
- North – Elven family
- Cantor - Halfling clan, originally farmers, though many live in Sigil now.
- DeWane – Many of the DeWane family run the day to day operations of many of the Dumas family’s holdings.
- Swift – Originally a captain of a mercenary unit hired on by the family ages ago, the swift name today is virtually synonymous with the household guard of the Dumas family.