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Banks. They are made of air. They spin money out of guesses, and lies, and promises. Secrets are their currency, even more than gold.

Marovia, Last Argument of Kings

Valint & Balk is one of the most powerful banks in the world, with branches throughout The Union. It is a very old house and very well respected; their banking notes are good as gold among the merchants. It is highly influential with all kinds of people owing them money, and connections to almost every business in the realm, especially with the merchant Guilds. It's activities are quite clandestine, and it is said that no one has ever met either Mr. Valint or Mr. Balk.

It is later revealed that Valint & Balk is owned by the Magus Bayaz, who uses it's immense wealth to manipulate The Union. This is much the same way that Khalul uses religion to manipulate the Gurkish Empire, as the religious leader known as The Prophet.

Locations Edit

Valint & Balk have offices all across Midderland, Angland, Starikland, in Westport, and in Dagoska; even outside the Union. They have offices in Dagoska located in the Citadel in the Upper City. They have a monster of a building of offices in Westport.

Known MembersEdit

Other than Bayaz, the only known member is Mauthis. He was originally the branch manager in Dagoska, before brief working in Adua, and ending up branch manager in Westport.

HistoryEdit

Valint & Balk is a very old house possible formed shortly after the founding of The Union.

The Blade ItselfEdit

Valing & Balk is first mentioned by Magister Kault, when Sand dan Glokta tries to arrest him after the Guild of Mercers is convicted of treason in Open Council. Before he commits suicide, Kault claims that the Guild was driven to evade the King's taxes due to their debts to the bank; paying off loans to the bloodsuckers that never seems to end.

The Arch Lector reject Glokta's request to extend his investigation to Valint & Baulk. Instead, he tasks Glokta with proving that Bayaz, who has recently arrived in Adua, is a fraud. Glokta does ask his Practicals to quietly look into the bank, but quickly drops it.

Before They are HangedEdit

When Glokta arrives in Dagoska as the new Superior, he learns that Valint & Balk have offices within the Citadel.

Several weeks later, Glokta and the ruling council is now deep in debt, having spent some half-a-million marks to improve the cities defences in preparation for the Gurkish siege. The situation seems dire, until Mauthis walks into Glokta’s office; the chief representative of Valint & Balk in Dagoska. He offers Glokta one million marks in silver, gold, and precious gems. Not a loan in the traditional sense, Glokta can have the money in return for unspecified future favours for Valint & Balk. With no other choice, the Superior agrees.

Later back in Adua, Glokta is reluctant to end his investigation into Prince Raynault, despite the exectuion of the Gurkish emissary for the crime. However, Mauthis from Valint & Balk arrives and orders the Superior to stop his investigation. Taken aback, Glokta realizes he is bought and paid for.

Last Argument of Kings Edit

The Arch Lector soon learns that the new High King Jezal is less malleable than he'd hoped. Sult orders Glokta to investigate Bayaz and Jezal. However, again Mauthis orders Glokta to stop his investigation. And not only that, he wants him to find out what Sult is up to at the University. Over the weeks that follow, Mauthis pressures Glokta at the lack of progress and gives him just one week to comply.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Adua, Glokta returns home only to find Bayaz waiting. Bayaz admits to owning Valint & Balk. He then offers Glokta the Arch Lector’s ring and complete power over the Closed Council. Glokta has a new master.

Best Served Cold Edit

In the first chapter Mauthis, an employee of Valint and Balk, is seen lending money to Grand Duke Orso of Talins. The bank has funded him throughout the Years of Blood, in opposition to the League of Eight.

After the death of Benna Murcatto, Monzcarro Murcatto plans to kill Mauthis. With the help of Caul Shivers, Castor Morveer, Day and Friendly, all the ledger books in the Westport branch of Valint and Balk are poisoned, leading to many deaths in the bank.

Monza pays her companions with cheques from Valint & Balk. When Orso is defeated, and Monza now the Grand Duchess of Talins, Yoru Sulfur visits to requests that she side with Bayaz and Valint & Balk. When she refuses, he tells her that she’s alone, and threatens to bring other Styrians or Queen Terez of the Union against her. Shenkt enters, and tells Sulfur that she’s not alone.

Red Country Edit

After The Mayor has Papa Ring killed and Crease brought under the rule of the Old Empire, a local branch of Valint & Balk opens in the city.

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