Gather Of Weavers

Price Hikes and Taxes?

WeaverCraft Hall - Great Hall(#4461RJs)
Large and bordering on cavernous, this great hall has rightfully earned its name. Towering walls, bedecked with colorful tapesteries flaunting the talents of inhabitants current and past, rise higher and higher to support a grand arched ceiling from which more colorful works of art dangle idly.
Strewn across the room, stand many tables of varying lengths lined with slowly aging wooden chairs, awaiting the arrival of the hungry that are constantly popping in throughout the day, no matter the time. A buffet table by the hearth at one end of the hall presents an assortment of snack for those who just happen to wander in between meals.
A huge doorway dwarfs all the bright curtain covered exits from the hall. Left open to the courtyard without most of the year to allow air to circulate through the compound, this arched way is also responsible for most of the light gracing the room during the day.


If there was ever a group of Weavers together, it was here and tonight that they dominate every open space available - Masters given the priority of seats before any journeymen. Apprentices are mostly left to stand on their own feet as all eyes turn toward the platform set up near what can be called the front of the Great Hall if only for his occassion. There, a Master, known for his age in the hall and his long Turns spent effortlessly trying to ensure that financial issues are dealt with and that trades continue. He's what some would call Naliah's right hand man, to the point that when she's not around, he fills in for her. Not officially the craft second, but viewed as much. The man is on that raised platform, looking grim as he searches the faces all around him. He waits for folks to gather and settle into a silence.

Serina walks out of the workroom at the call to gather, a drop spindle with yarn in her hands and a waist distaff stuck into the belt that clashes with her new lavendar dress. She spins as she walks, only spotting when she finds an open spot near the front to hear. The new yarn is wrapped onto the bar and then the spindle is dropped again and spun against her leg as she drafts and listens.

Once the general rumble subsides, the man up at front - for names sake - Olren, lifts his arms high to commence complete silence. He begins just as Kessa finds a place to stand near Serina, missing out on a seat because she's one of the youngest journeywomen. Now, this Olren can be heard to clear his throat before beginning:
"My fellow weavers. I'm glad that most of you were able to join us here, for today this craft is undergoing great stresses. As you have heard and mostly have seen, the Hall itself is in need of repair on top of the numerous orders on back log. Our apprenticeship attendence is low and due to the recent problems with in our Hall, the number of new apprentices has dropped to below twenty-five." The crowd murmurs in hushed worried tones as the man pauses.

Kessa peers at Serina, "It's true. You're one of the last apprentices to join."

Serina continues spinning, giving a warm smile to Kessa as she comes near her. As the master begins to speak though, her fingers clamp down on the thread and she uses her knee to stop the spinning spindle. "I didn't realize the few apprentices after I joined wasn't normal." She whispers to Kessa, looking slightly worried more for the sake that her sewing is only entrance apprenticeship par now, but it is slowly getting better. Her yarns she's spun on the other hand, have been commended by a couple of the journeyman watching over the spinning. "What.." The question is cut off towards Kessa as she turns her eyes back to Olren to see if he answers her question of what they are to do now.

Kessa nods sadly, "It's a terrible thing actually, because most of our Masters are well into their late fifties.. if not older. They'd be retiring to some quiet Holds those ones…" She sighs as she turns her eyes up toward the front again.
Olren puts his hands on his hips, shaking his head sadly at all the stats he had to read over:

"We are also in grave debt with other crafts in which we trade with for our supplies here, such as food and building materials, looms, and other necessary items. We've tried to recover from our losses for the past twenty Turns but cannot successfully peak at a point of profit. We are in trouble here weavers. We hope today that we can provide a solution that in the long run will see the end of our economical plight. In the short term it may cause more problems than we already have, but in the long run, we benefit. The Hall benefits. Each and every one of us benefits from increased standard of living." He pounds his fist against the palm of his other hand, "We must do this. For the sake of this craft if we are to see it survive into the next decade!" Others murmur in anticipation of the solution. It comes swiftly, "We must raise our prices! We must have a general price set for every item made in this Hall and by your hands. Further, we must impose a partial fee to be taken off your wage to pay for supplies and required funds to take care of debt and general maintence. This fee will be twenty percent of the cost of your piece. If you sell something for ten marks, the Hall collects two marks for the fee."

There are many murmurs from Masters and Journeymen now as some seem to grumble and protest the fee, but Olren reminds them simply, "If we do not do this my fellow craftsmen and women, I'm afraid we'll have to disband the Hall and go solo. That is not an option we want to consider, but if we cannot afford the up keep of this Hall, then we are doomed to succeed here. We would have to depend on clusters of weavers posted to Holds or Weyrs to carry on our skills - and that is not something I would look forward too."

Serina seems to be frozen in place. In her mind, as an apprentice that does little to make commissions except for her knitting, the announcement is a disaster. "How does he expect us to continue to sell things with higher prices the shape the hall is in? Besides, I don't make clothes…well I don't sew them anyways." This is whispered to Kessa, but another apprentice overhears her and gives her such an evil glare Serina's cheeks turn bright red. Must be the boy who has decided Seri isn't getting another commission until he does, after he learned she earned just over 3 marks on the two she had delievered before the recall of all crafters.

Kessa shrugs at Serina, and just as she's about to answer, someone yells out that very question of which Serina spoke of. Olren lifts his hand again, "This is why we have recalled everyone. This must be done in unison. We must unite and stand together. The Weyrs, Holds, and other Crafts will have no choice but to pay the prices that we ask. Our quality is the best. There may be those who have gone solo already, but their numbers don't match our own. As well, we can encourage more apprentices to our craft because in the end, they will earn more than they have before. Granted, they are not expected to make commissions such as the Masters and Journeymen are. Our prices will triple if not quadruple if we are to survive as a Craft. There will be many in protest of this, but our craft hasn't seen a rise in price since before I was an apprentice - yet other trade costs have gone up! With the demand as well, we have the ability to do this. The supply is limited, the price must be high or else what rewards do we have for killing ourselves to meet these demands?"

Serina takes a very deep breath, seeming to steel herself for asking a question outloud in front of all the others. "What about those of us that do not deal with clothes?" She seems to want to expand on that argument but then chokes on the words and just bites her lip. Her expertise is spinning and knitting, no where near fashion or sewing. Her voice seems to return. "Would it not be fair for only those that design clothes during this time where rumor has it that all of Ista island is demanding new clothes, that they are the ones paying the fees and us who are only going to do small parts are going to not be paying any? What about fiber supplies? Do think maybe we will see smaller tithes because we are raising our prices? Wouldn't that only make things worse?" Faranth, Seri really can speak out and her voice be fairly loud when she wants it to be. No trace of shyness in her voice right now, even if her cheeks are still bright red.

Olren turns his attention to one of the louder voices, in the back - he can't make out what rank she is but she's standing, so she has to be young. The man answers her carefully, "This fee is attached only to commissions and products made for personal profit. We do not expect people who are creating raw materials or those spinning raw materials to lose out on payment, since those materials come to the Hall and are thusly distrubuted to weavers that need them. This fee is for final products, whether shipped as bolts of fabric or specific outfits for people. The Hall has to make up for losses, the customer will be the ones that pay for it. The increase will effect them as you as weavers will still be making the same, if not a little more, than you have been. The fee that is taken off final products will not come out of your pockets. We are trying to cover the cost for getting raw materials, for supplying apprentices with a place of study and so on. Think of it as a return. We invest in the apprentice and when they make Journeyman they now are able to reward us of our investment. So on with Masters." As for the latter part he shakes his head, "We will be able to afford more. Tithes will be a thing of the past. We trade products and marks to gain what we need."

"Is this fee going to be retroactive?" One of the newer journeyman just promoted asks quite loudly. Serina gives this young man a worried look but doesn't ask anymore questions for now. Instead, she leans into Kessa. "I know we are going to be working dawn until late night for a while, but there are limits to what any person can do. Are all of these people going to stay to help? I have walked the hallways and dorms. We are squeezed in here as it is, we can't possibly provide for all of them can we?" Her tone is soft and she shakes her head, knowing it isn't right for an apprentice to question the runnings of the craft itself.

Olren regards the newer journeyman with a straight face, "I doubt that we'll ever remove them. It is a system that must be imposed to keep our Hall. Unless of course you'd rather see this center abandoned and every man for themself?" This is a pointed question that lingers for some time before Olren continues, "Financially, if we remain as we are, the craft will be finished in eight Turns time. This change will reverse that direction and keep us from floundering." The man sighs, "I realize this does not appeal to everyone. It wouldn't. It couldn't. We cannot please everyone. Yet this is for the benefit of everyone." A pause as he considers, "Most of you will be returning to your postings and are expected to follow the new price guide which will be handed out in the morning. Should you not increase your prices and administer the fee on these articles sold as commissions for private profit, you will be brought forth in front of the master council." Typically this means to question a person's knot or rank. The man regards all, "Salary's will continue and will increase annually with the increase of product prices. Again, commissions are the only point in which this fee will be required. We are in essence, covering supply costs."

Serina thinks for a moment as she gnaws on her lower lip, tapping her heel of the leg that is keeping the spindle from unraveling the spun yarn not yet wound up. Once she realizes this however, it does get wound up to keep from unravelling and the spindle is held. "What is the status of the back orders? How much time are going to be required to put in every day? What is being asked for that we need to work on? As an apprentice sir, I know I'm at the bottom of the totem pole, but I can spin decently and would be willing to work longer if that is what is needed. I would just like to know what to expect so I can plan my time accordingly." After she is done asking this, another apprentice speaks up and asks what she can do as a model, since they do nothing but wear clothes in shows and how the fee will affect them. "Are all future shows cancelled for the time beng?" The girl asks pointedly, even as she has her hands on her hips and gets that catwalk stance.

Olren continues answering questions: "The status of the back orders will be released to Masters and Journeymen. Apprentice workloads may increase slightly, but as such, you shouldn't worry much about it. You are here to learn. The priority as of now though, is Ista, being with their emergency. The other areas will have to wait until Ista has sufficent articles to cloth their people again. It'll be back to business as usual though. Trade will continue once every returns to their posts. There will be an increase on transportation costs as well, which is also accounted for in the hike of prices." He considers everyone in the room, "Models will be expected to pay the fee if they are working alone and for personal profit. Should they be working for a Hall project, the fee does not apply. Shows will continue as planned, if prepreations for them are complete."

"And what are we to tell the customers who come looking for clothes about the change in prices? Will this price hike affect the cloth and clothes we send out to the other halls, holds, and weyrs?" Another journeyman, older this time, asks the question. Serina is just standing there now, letting the others ask the questions while she tries to blend into the crowd.

"The price hike will affect everything. Everything that goes out of this Hall will be affected, even model's working fees. By tomorrow, the word will have likely gone out to everyone across Pern. I expect other crafts to hike their prices as well, to afford our goods. It's the way of the markets. If they don't, that's better for us." He considers them, "Customers will be told before they commission the price they will be expected to pay - as per usual."

"What about Ista?" Serina pipes up again, but continues gnawing on her lower lip. "Will we need to have more of us be sent down there to help locally in replacing the clothes?" A shuffle of the feet, and after asking the question, her eyes avert to the spindle in her hands.

"Ista will be the responsibility of the journeymen and women who work in the area. If you wish to be posted there to help out, that is your choice. Anyone may request posting there or request to be put on the work list to assist their plight."

Serina nods and excuses herself through the crowd to go lean against a space on the wall and listen to the rest of the questions being posed.

OOC QUESTIONS Brought up during the RP

Question: Do weaver's get paid a 'Salary' every month or do they strictly make marks based off of commissions?

Short answer:

Journeymen and Masters, yes.

Long Answer:

Apprentices are provided for while they stay and learn at the Hall. If they choose to go outside of the Hall, the journeyman or master they are put under the care of will be allotted a certain amount over and above their salaries to pay for the extra expense of the appr
entice. Otherwise, apprentices can earn marks by commissions if they choose to do so.

Masters and Journeymen teaching in the Hall earn a salary that in the end has a higher gross income than those posted to Weyr or Hold. This is due to the fact that the Hall provides them shelter and food, so that their marks do no have to be spent on such. Journeymen and Masters that are posted outside of the hall do earn a salary, but are expected to pay for their own travelling expenses such as food and shelter, however they do have a greater chance at making commissioned profits.

Question: How are the models affected by the twenty percent fee?


Models are only affected if they run private shows by themselves. They get salaries pending their rank and posting, like everyone else. The fee that has been implemented is aimed at commissioned work. For a model, if s/he books a gig under a Journeyman or Master, s/he does not pay any fee since they are working for the Hall through the Journeyman or Master. It is up to the Journeyman or Master who is running the modelling show if the models get extra marks for participating. However, if a model decided to model a gown for a Holder's daughter, there will be the twenty percent fee since this is a commissioned project, as her/his service is the modelling. If s/he makes two marks for that job, the Hall gets 1/4 mark.

Question: Are we supposed to tell customers who come looking for clothes/etc. or will there be an announcement of the price hike?


ICly your weaver's may be questioned about the hike, as news would likely travel fast. OOCly, we are going to put up announcements so you as a player don't have to worry about telling people. Of course, this is depending on if people read the bboards.

Question: The price list is a little sparse, is there going to be an updated version?


Yes. That was one of our main goals for this plot. It was to announce a new price guide for our weaver's to go by. We will have this listed up in no time.

If there are any more questions, we'd love to hear from you!

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