THE BRIRICCA COMPANY
The Briricca Company of Cyrodiil (also known as the Briricca Bank) is a major financial institution owned by a leading Heartlander merchant nobility family hailing from the city of Quenti Turrai. The company is involved in both trade and interprovincial finance. The Briricca rose to prominence during the early Third Empire, eventually founding their namesake bank during the reign of Uriel Septim II. A steady line of credit for the troubled Emperors of this age allowed them to grow until their bank became one of the largest and most profitable ventures in the Empire.
The Briricca are merchant aristocracy, and have been rulers of Quenti Turrai since 3E 115. A number of family members have married into provincial noble houses or gone into governmental service as provincial governors. As such, the family also remotely controls several colony towns and plantations in places like Black Marsh and Valenwood.
Through their great personal wealth the Bririca have acquired a seat on the Elder Council, and it is rumored that they even sponsor agents to sit in the lower orders of the Council (a great expenditure). A Briricca family member also traditionally sits on the board of directors of the East Empire Company, in which they have a significant stake. Agents and branch family cousins are present in both the EEC and in the Silk Weaver Guild, the other major financial establishment of the Nibenay.
The family has also produced a number of historic Prelates for the great Faith of Zenithar, though most family member's personal religious allegiance lean closer to the Cult of the False-Worm and the Therati Knights-Merchant Order, a charismatic Zenitharite sub-cult.
Like many Imperial merchant clans, Briricca wealth originated from the trade in silk. Through luck and the relative weakness of the Niben city-states during the troubled first century of the new Empire, they acquired a great deal of influence and prestige, eventually establishing themselves as the shadow rulers over Quenti Turrai. Their rise was representative of the growth of similar merchant aristocrat families during the reign of Pelagius II and Antiochus, which was a period of prosperity, developing arts and philosophy, and great decadence.
The Briricca bought their way into the Elder Council thanks to the controversial council reforms of Pelagius II, and thus established themselves as the Emperor’s money-lenders. Their bank quickly became the largest and most respected institutions of the Empire - by some accounts, the Briricca were at the time the wealthiest people in the Empire. Through their position they accrued political power and prestige, eventually buying the Barony of Quenti Turrai from Emperor Antiochus in return for a sizeable debt cancellation.
The family weathered the turmoil of the following centuries surprisingly well, despite a few missteps which brought their banking empire close to bankruptcy (notably trying to play both sides in the War of the Red Diamond and financing Uriel V’s catastrophic invasion of Akavir). Though the Briricca continue to struggle with rival merchant families such as the Terentius, Therodici and Mynotrachus clans, their wealth and privileged position makes them the undeniable rulers of Tamriel’s financial world.
Briricca branches can be found in prominent ports and trade hubs in across the Empire, from High Rock to Morrowind. In general, branches are run as semi-autonomous institutions by family members or trusted associates. Additionally, representatives of their financial and mercantile enterprises are present everywhere in Tamriel - the Briricca are said to maintain ties even with places like Orsinium or Pyaondea.
Besides their provincial branches, the Briricca have great financial and political influence over the Heartland’s markets and counting houses. Their Imperial City branch is thought to account for nearly half of the Briricca revenue - mostly due to loans to the Imperial government and to the Emperor himself, who at all times is followed by a “mobile branch”, on hand whenever he requires their services.
Additionally, the family maintains several textile factories and a famous silk school in and near Quenti Turrai, both a social obligation to the community and a lucrative side business (although these are in fact managed by experienced associates and artisans of the Silk Weaver Guild).