The ATC focuses predominantly on extractive colonial ventures, bringing vast material wealth back to Aeldrum, where the company taps into the commercial veins of the cosmos and serves as one of that world's major brokerage houses.
Other Revenue Edit
The ATC also conducts predatory "rebuilding" practices in the societies whose governments have been toppled by the Duchy of Aeldrum to secure its own interests. These severely indebted client states generate a steady stream of income for the Company, as well as contributing hosts of the economically dispossessed to the company's core employee base of bastards and gutter urchins from Aeldrum. The ATC preserves this lucrative relationship largely through the threat of military intervention by the Serene Duchy to protect the business interests of the state and its leading political dynasties. The shadow of the Aeldrum Dragoons looms large over dozens of "debt colonies" which might otherwise think of expropriating the ATC.
In the mid 3rd century to the mid 4th century, the ATC lost some its formidable reputation, in part due to embarrassing colonial losses to saboteurs from rival organizations such as the Knights Mercantile. The ATC lost considerable holdings due to the events of the Irish Revolution, severely undermining its portfolio and choking off billions in agricultural, light industrial and mining revenue. Worse, such a successful uprising within Aeldrum's core holdings has somewhat punctured the apparent invincibility of Aeldrum's Dragoon Corps, which was heavily (and unsuccessfully) committed to holding Ireland.
The wheezing ATC, however, has since been reinvigorated by the emergence of its fastest-growing subsidiary, the Aeldrum Celestial Trade Company (ACTC). Following a KM-sponsored expedition to map an alternate route from Celestial to Imperial Space, an elvish noble named Auric Vintel and a Margravate privateer named Cassander, who had participated in the expedition, returned to Aeldrum. They used their knowledge of the "Pin-Jump Route" to secure funding for further expeditions and to establish lucrative trade between Aeldrum and the Celestial powers. Concerns remain about the vulnerability of this route, but the phenomenal growth of the ACTC venture has caused public and private investors to pile on heavily. Speculation is rampant as excitement grows around this "savior subsidiary." With the death of Auric Vintel, the ACTC has been aggressively folded back into the ATC proper as part of a broader revival of the ATC in the late 470's, including the unexpected seizure of Telrion by ATC operatives.While the ATC was closely tailed by its perennial rivals in the Knights Mercantile and The Bishant Trade Company throughout the first half the 5th century A.U., the BTC has since receded in relevance, overtaken in its role of rival to the ATC by the Bank of Valdos.
The Aeldrum Trade Company has an infamous discipline issue, with large segments of its private army addicted to opium or spice sticks and high rates of attrition of colonial revenues to embezzlement and, far worse, administrative incompetence. These same qualities speak to the relative vastness of the company's manpower, for the ATC recruits heavily from the socially disenfranchised of Aeldrum society, and it can be sure of continued private funding as a career path for the lesser sons of nobles and great politicians. Even if the Dragoons cannot be everywhere at once, most colonized societies can do fairly little against thousands of ATC colonial infantry, consisting mostly of men and half-elves and equipped with automatic rifles and field artillery.
The ATC is also notoriously corrupt at the upper levels of its hierarchy, with senior positions openly bought and sold and company resources frequently turned to the private purposes of administrators. The tight connection between the ATC and a class of enriched gentry on Aeldrum has shielded the company from political condemnation, but as Aeldrum ceases to be an expansionist power and even recedes in some parts of the cosmos, the social safety valve offered by the ATC (ambitious and/or purposeless young people charging off into the wild frontier to make their fortune or die trying) may be losing its efficacy and its apparent political immunity may soon follow.
- The ATC does bear significant resemblance to the real-life British East India Company.