When one thinks of the LifeTrade Alliance the first thing that comes to mind is the mercane. And while the mercane are the absolute masters of the alliance they don’t run every facet of the day-to-day operation. Almost any race can be found working for the alliance, from dwarves to thivins, the workforce of the LTA is one of the most diverse in known space. The main exceptions to this are gnomes and drow who aren’t trusted by the mercane to keep valuable trade secrets secret. And while the mercane and the sharn don’t like each other they will cut trade deals with each other from time to time, as long as it is to both races benefit and they don’t have to deal directly with each other. This is where the race known as the thivin come in.
Thivins are a strange race of interstellar traders that the mercane first discovered. The mercane were amazed by the thivins natural talent for trade and some believe the race was created by the god Ptah, a powerful aspect of the Merchant. It is also believed that if anyone harms a thivin they will suffer great tragedy physically and financially. The mercane immediately saw the benefit of having a race with such a legend attached to their existence, work only for them. However, they learned that trying to force the thivin to work only for them cost them more than it was worth. The mercane are mow positive that the legend is not just a legend but a fact. The mercane went from being financial atheists to some of the most faithful followers of the Merchant as a result.
The two races are the driving force behind the LTA but most of the legwork is done by humans and dwarves. Humans are a diverse lot and can trade with almost anyone, while dwarves have a natural talent with stone, metal and gems, which the LTA considers invaluable. Dwarves, while stubborn and hot-tempered at times, are big into honor and won’t ripoff the Alliance or at least that’s the mercane’s theory. Thivins tend to get along with t’sa and elves, which has brought about several interesting business opportunities for the alliance. The Armada of Sehanine, which travels throughout the Outlands, trades almost exclusively with the LifeTrade Alliance.
The alliance’s relations with the Dragon Empire has always be cordial if not a little cool but things are changing now that Mezzenbone has become Emperor.