- Andrew M. Trauger
Artus Calloway is an elected nobleman on the city council of Westmeade, ruling over The Crossroads District, home of most commerce and trade in the small city. Calloway acquired his wealth and station through shrewd dealings and a good bit of luck, but always with honest intent. An eye for detail and a keen memory has enabled him to amass a large support network across the continent of Arelatha, which keeps him well connected.
After finishing primary school, Calloway put his skills to work building up his father's small mercantile business on the outskirts of Cer Gralen on the north shore of The Deepening. He quickly established trade partnerships, discounted pricing tiers to favored customers, and gained preferred supplier status among the wealthy in Cer Gralen. In two short years, Calloway had far surpassed anything his father had accomplished in forty years.
With his newly acquired wealth and fame, Calloway converted the mercantile into "Calloway's Emporium" and, leaving the store in capable hands, struck out in search of the most elusive treasures. In the twenty years that followed, Calloway not only uncovered many of Arelatha's buried secrets, which he still claims to possess, but he also found a wife, the lovely Lucella Dagle of the Piedmonts in Elandra.
For the latter fifteen years of his exploration, Lucella travelled with Artus, marveling with him as they discovered legendary treasures. But with three children in tow and more than enough harrowing experiences, his line of work was becoming too dangerous to accept. Then, with the outbreak of the Wars of Attrition--as they later were called--Calloway moved his family and his business from war-torn Elandra to a place that rumors said was untouched by continental conflicts: Alikon.
Business slowed considerably during the Wars, and never quite recovered afterwards. Calloway's Emporium now resides in the pastoral town of Westmeade, a consortium of costly goods oddly juxtaposed with the farming community. Though literally no one in Westmeade can afford his wares, Calloway's business--now run only by he and his wife--continues to operate for the benefit of his wealthiest clientele. His children are grown, and he enjoys the quietude of Westmeade with his wife, surrounded by the fruits of his excursions.
In retirement, Calloway ran for office of noble on Westmeade's ruling Council, a post he has held now for fourteen years. As he nears his sixtieth birthday, Calloway looks forward to living out his remaining years bouncing grandchildren on his knees and handing off the business to one of his sons.
But, when a simple delivery from Cer Halcyon is intercepted in The Grottoes, Calloway knows it's part of the inherent risk of his business. He hires a vigilante group to investigate, and they are successful in recovering his stolen merchandise. When he meets fledgling group, it seems they are headed nowhere fast, so he fulfills the contract and thinks nothing more of them. That is, until they burn down Wilder Tower...