Even though their government was overturned, life for the K’Nes merchants didn’t change, even without their empire. With the fall of the Fed, the five main trading houses unified and established a ruling council. They have a fleet, but few numbers, and intend to create a new balance among the universe’s races.
The Varrless clan got together with their trading partners and formed a new government before any of their smaller rivals could. There are some small clan fights for dominance on worlds where the principal clan is unclear. However, they realize their position is tenuous, at best. As well as including any additional K’Nes clans that could be a threat to the new regime, they are just as concerned with external threats. Their goal is to dominate all trading lanes, so they believe that one dominant government is the biggest obstacle for that. So they will support any lesser faction in order to check a greater faction from threatening the balance.
After the Caal invasion and the fall of the Federation, the largest trading houses on each K'Nes world quickly declared their planets independent and assumed the responsibilities of local government. This was mainly to rid themselves of the stifling Federation commercial regulations, although political independence was a pleasant side effect. The lesser trading houses immediately protested, arguing that exclusive political power gave the lead trading houses an unfair competitive advantage in the marketplace. Demanding free access to political power, civil war seemed imminent.
The Varrless Trading House on Purrfang came up with the solution by basing their planetary government on the traditional K'Nes corporate structure (the Llan). Government assets for the Purrfang Llan were estimated at $86 trillion, and in the initial public offering shares were sold at cost! Although every trading house that could afford it scrambled to buy as many shares as they could, only the Varrless clan had the resources to buy a controlling share in the Purrfang Llan. By the close of the stock exchange that day, buy-in from the smaller houses had been achieved, peace had been restored, and most importantly the Varrless stood to make a fantastic profit as their shares skyrocketed in value.
The planetary Llan was so successful (and profitable!) that the idea swept the K'Nes systems. Within a week, planetary Llans had been formed on every K'Nes world and the K'Nes Llan was established.
The K'Nes Llan consists of the following member planets:
All trading houses owning stock worth at least 1% of the total value of the K'Nes Llan get a seat on the Board of Directors. The Executive Board is comprised of the five largest shareholder houses, and the single largest shareholder is appointed LEO (Llan Executive Officer). In addition to the tie-breaking vote, the LEO controls the agenda of issues to be negotiated in the Executive Board.
Membership to any of these offices changes, however, as the K'Nes Llan stock rises or falls in value and shares are bought and sold. Currently, no trading house owns a controlling share of the K'Nes Llan.
LEO: First Patriarch Pirr the Younger of the Varrless Trading House
Varrless Fiancial from Purrfang (16% share)
Horrath Industries from Urrin (12% share)
Tressmarr Technologies from Maibach (11% share)
Durrmach Media from Hhak (8% share)
Gurrmew & Yeomurt LLP from K'Laek (5% share)
The remaining 43% share is split among the dozens of minor trading houses on the Board of Directors. With the largest share (5%), Yawr of Miao Mercantile Inc. from Nhur is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors.