319 ABY - Birth of Lady Esila Corsai
Lady Esila Corsai, the first matriarch of the aristocratic House Corsai was something altogether unique in terms of the heads of Kuati noble families.
She was an orphan.
It was theorized by many historians of the Kuati gentry that she was likely the product of a tryst between servant and a nobleman, though what her actual parentage was never really seemed to concern her as she grew up in Kuat City. She lived in a home for abandoned children, raised to be a productive worker so that one day she could leave the glamorous city behind for the ring that circled the planet. Esila did not want a life among the workers and shipwrights and as soon as she was old enough, she started to go to the markets and stores with the keepers, learning how to barter and how to trade. There was a natural charisma about the young woman and soon her caregivers began to concede that there were other opportunities for Esila that did not involve a life time at the Drive Yards. She cultivated contacts with the local merchants guild and soon she was able to negotiate discounts for herself and for the caregivers at her home.
After her schooling was complete, she was apprenticed to a minor noble family to learn the life of a servant, and although it was a better fate than KDY, Esila was unsatisfied. However, with new perspective into how the nobles lived, she set herself a goal to become one. A daunting task under normal circumstances but especially so for one who could not trace her lineage.
With a little money she saved from her work, she began to purchase items under the table from some of the vendors in Kuat City, and offer the luxury goods at a discount to the nobles she worked for. At first, it was guilty pleasures and hard to find goods, but soon enough her noble employers started to ask for large items and better deals. Esila found that in order to keep her employers happy, she needed to expand her network of merchants and even to cut around them in order to trim the margins down.
At one point, her deals were no longer backroom trading and her position as buyer to one of the larger more powerful houses was publically announced. The one noble family effectively had cornered her for themselves and other families began to pay her greater payments secretly in order for her to continue to supply their tastes for luxury goods and rare items. This signaled the birth of the Corsai Merchant House which legitimized her business dealings and took the stigma from her transactions.
How the eventual appointment to nobility came to be is still supposition as the official records of her house creation have been destroyed but there is much speculation about what finally caused it. One lively rumor suggests that to avoid war between the houses and a buyout of her company over the flow of goods, Esila requested her own house, neutral from all. Another posits that she trafficked in more than just goods and that to buy her secrecy in a particularly salacious scandal, she was elevated to aristocracy.
What we do know is that she chose the name Corsai herself; the crest a chevron adorned with crossed blades and billowing sails, akin to the ancient tales of privateers in literature.
- Tomasina Vettua, University of Kuat, Department of Genealogical Studies