WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore and story of Worlds Adrift
REPORT: To the Stalk Committee, Qang 2797.
SUBJECT: Visit to the Ten-Rui Trade Bourse.
DEFINITION: The Kioki Bourse in Ten-Rui is an exchange system for stock. People of all hues gather to barter upon the rise and fall of individual commodities, or groups of them.
DESCRIPTION: The Bourse is situated within the grand gardens of the Empress' palace, not far from the private school known as "The Crested Ptarmigan". These schoolchildren will grow up to become the Nabobs and Merchants that swell the halls of the Bourse, members of trade societies that revel in wine, bloating their bodies beyond imagination.
Personal permission from long-serving Empress Melina is required to become a stockholder or broker. To my astonishment, I, a Saborian, was perfectly able to obtain this, needing only to raise an initial sum of capital (which I generated by trading the Saborian produce kindly donated for this experiment). I was reliably informed that there are pure-blood Ishgiruans who are denied such a right, only because they cannot afford it! Such an arbitrary entry condition means that there is no guarantee of noble character among traders...
It was stuffed full, the Bourse. Yet it is my opinion that the betting (essentially an accepted system of gambles. While the average lshgiruan will bet on the stilt races, they aren't as familiar with the potential of the Bourse) is heavily weighted in favour of those that already have wealth to begin with. This is only exaggerated by the meddling of its arbiters - the so-called Mercantile Authority - who seem to pass information to their favourites in advance of shifts in the market.
Once the bidding commenced for the day, there was a tumultuous conflux of screaming traders. very rough indeed, and I was unable to place any bids at all. Such a system encourages the weak of body to become disillusioned. Imagine how our half-aetherials would fit into such a system. I think of my sister, who is deaf. This "system" of shouting and pushing does not accommodate her.
FINDINGS: The Bourse is a layer of greed atop a layer of greed. It serves only to stratify their society further. such a system is in complete conflict with our ideals, and would by its very existence and use of currency, create poverty and inequality. Theirs is a society that is driven by nothing but the pursuit of wealth. If we wish to preserve our godhood, we must ignore shallow ways. These lshgiruans are not gods, they are mortals whose hands and souls are corroded by metal.