In the First Epoch, bankers and merchant lords, most following the ideals of Mammon, cornered the markets of the Seven Vales. Controlling key areas, they set the prices, leading to decades of inflation and destitution.
In 390, those opposing the so-called Mammon Block were successful in dismantling a mercantile system that had crippled the economies of the Seven Vales and caused so much hardship. The followers of Mammon, concentrated in Nermanea, found themselves under laws that prevented their old ways of doing business. Over the next decade, nearly twenty thousand people migrated southeast to Rabaranda and other settlements along the Nermanis Sea. In these areas, they went on to refine their business practices. Still shrewd and often monopolistic, they were less crippling to the populace; three centuries later they became the Nermanis Syndicate (712 - 923).