- "Marienburg was as a co-operative in which everyone could profit. But now there are those on the Directorate who see it and its people as their personal property. That is the road to ruin."
- —Arkat Fooger[1b]
Arkat Fooger was groomed from childhood to be his clan's head and a powerful financier. His father, Roenekaat, spared no expense for his education, and the investment has paid off. "Old Fooger", as he is respectfully called, has built his clan's fortunes until they can no longer be ignored, culminating in his elevation to the Directorate in 2428 IC. He is stern, reserved, and a very shrewd businessdwarf. While he gives nothing away to the competition, he never cheats his customers either. And, for over a century, his spoken word has been regarded as an iron bond. His devotion to clan and city are paramount, and the fortunes of the House of Fooger are irrevocably tied to those of Marienburg.[1b]
Lately, however, he has been under great stress, as the House's fortunes have suffered from recent losses. Several heavily insured cargoes have been lost at sea, and Arkat has had to dip deeply into Fooger reserves to meet the payments. He has begun to suspect that more than chance is at work, and that one or more of his fellow Directors may be plotting his downfall.[1c]
Strain has taken its toll on Director Fooger - nervous tensionand a need for sleep have led him to use Black Lotus to relax. Now he is addicted, and finds he cannot get through the day without a pipe or two... or three. At first, his trusted major-domo Jan brought him his drug, but then refused (and was fired) when Fooger's need grew stronger. Now he ventures to Marienburg's "dream parlours" in the guise of a common Dwarf, his shame leading him to deny his problem even to those closest to him. He often spends whole nights on a filthy bunk in a blissful stupor. So far, no one has recognized him, but his closest aides fear the day he is exposed and are at a loss over what to do.[1c]
Arkat is a close friend of Albertus Cobbius of the Suiddock orphanage, having met when Brother Bert brazenly asked him for money, right there on the street. He is a patron of the arts and has decorated his mansion and offices with paintings from the students of Hieronymous Deecksburg, though he is puzzled at the Master's refusal to do a portrait of him.[1c]
A less friendly connection is Jan, the former major-domo. Not only is he resentful of his treatment by Fooger, he also knows a great deal about the inner workings of the bank,and its current vulnerability. He plans to extort money from Fooger in return for his silence, but if he doesn't get it then he may take what he knows to one of theCounting-House's many rivals, possibly even one of the other Directors.[1c]
Still spry and alert at 177, Arkat Fooger is not only the oldest member of the Directorate, but also the longest-serving, having won his seat the year before the War for Independence. House Fooger serves as the spokesman for Marienburg's small Dwarf community and the few Dwarfs who still mine the hills west of the Bitter Moors, a role traditionally reserved in other cities for the Dwarfen Engineer's Guild. As the only non-Human on the Directorate, Arkat Fooger also looks out for the interests of the city's Halfling and Gnome communities. He has become the de facto protector and patron for all the alien communities in Marienburg, from the Cathans and Indies to the Bretonnians and even the Channel Rats, the waterborne relatives of the gypsies. Decades of careful work have given House Fooger extensive contacts and allies, ones whose power is often scoffed at by ethnic Wastelanders. Should push come to shove on the Directorate, Arkat Fooger might surprise them all with the resources he can bring to bear.[1a]