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Nudune This article or section refers to elements from Expanded Dune
There are separate pages for this subject as it appears in the other canons, the reasons for this are explained here

Combine Honnete Over Advancer Mercantiles (CHOAM), originally named Combined Mercantiles, was one of the major galactic organisations in the time of the Corrino Empire and later the Atreides Empire, a gigantic monopoly encompassing all forms of commerce across the Imperium which essentially controlled all economic affairs across the cosmos, although it relied upon the Spacing Guild for transport across space due to the Guild's monopoly on faster-than-light travel. CHOAM touched almost all products the Guild will transport, from art forms to technology and of course melange. Many Houses depended on CHOAM profits, and an enormous proportion of those depended on melange. Most economic ventures were conducted through CHOAM, in which the Imperial House, the Landsraad, and Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild all had a stake.

History[]

Genesis[]

The organisation began as a major commercial subsidary of Venport Holdings named Combined Mercantiles, which was created by Directeur Josef Venport after VenHold had grown so incredibly wealthy that Josef needed to split off their cargo-distribution arm and create a seperate entity which traded in the spice melange from Arrakis as well as in other high-value goods.

After the fall of VenHold during the Battle of Denali, Combined Mercantiles, much like many other former subsidaries of VenHold, became its own organisation, which began to rise in the early Corrino Empire. By 10189 AG, the planet Tupile had been CHOAM's secret operational heart for generations.

Late Corrino Empire[]

During the rule of Elrood IX, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen had a temporary CHOAM directorship. When Gaius Helen Mohiam wanted to breed with him, she threatened him with a full-scale Guild bank audit of his activities and revocation of his temporary CHOAM directorship.

During the meeting where House Vernius was restored in the Landsraad, representatives of Zanovar and House Taligari were present at the humilliation ceremony where Shaddam IV was forced to accept, and almost obey, the advice of the CHOAM, the Spacing Guild, and the Great Houses. He was forced to take on several CHOAM, Spacing Guild, and Landsaraad advisors, and his own Sardaukar lost faith in him.

During Muad'Dib's Jihad, Crozeed spoke to Paul Atreides of CHOAM's concern for the loss of business that Paul's Jihad was causing throughout the Imperium.

God Emperor and Scattering[]

Under the God Emperor Leto Atreides II, CHOAM experienced a reduction influence and power, just as every other organization did under his reign. CHOAM survived in the regions of the Old Imperium during the Scattering and during the Return of the Honored Matres.

When the Honored Matres attacked and destroyed Rakis with their super-weapon Obliterators, Keen was buried under a mountain of slag. Over two decades later, a CHOAM expedition to salvage some of the artifacts from the buried Priesthood complex yielded few rewards, although Guriff and his scavengers stayed behind to keep searching.

When Khrone lead the infiltration of the Old Empire by Face Dancers, Enhanced Dancers had already replaced many leaders in CHOAM and on the foundry worlds of Richese and Ix and de-stabilized the war effort against the Machines. He tricked the Ixians into accepting the secretly built mathematical compilers and introduced the device to CHOAM, the Guild, and the New Sisterhood. The device de-stabilized the Guild, as Khrone took advantage of the ever widening chasm between the Administrator branch and the Navigator branch of the organization.

When the Face Dancers replaced the leadership of the Administrator branch of the Guild, the Honored Matres, the Bene Gesserit, CHOAM, and key leaders throughout humanity reached a point appointed by Erasmus; Khrone and the Enhanced Dancers rose up and killed the Tleilaxu Eldership, including Burah, replaced them with Enhanced Dancers, and kept only the Scribe Uxtal alive.

Structure[]

CHOAM was headed by the Ur-Director ("Urdir"), the highest post below that being the President of CHOAM. Below the President was the corporation's board of directors, essentially controlled by the Padishah Emperor and the Landsraad (with the Spacing Guild and the Bene Gesserit as silent partners). Because of its control of inter-planetary commerce, CHOAM is the largest single source of wealth in the Old Empire; as such, influence in CHOAM (through partisans within it and control of directorships) is the central goal of political maneuvering, both to receive dividends and also (it is implied) to skim off profits.

The structure of the board of directors is similar to that of a publicly-held corporation, consisting of shareholders, and, as in a public company, major shareholders are given directorships to lead in the board of directors. In this case, however, all shareholders are nobles from the Landsraad, which consists of the Minor Houses, the Great Houses and the Imperial House. The Great Houses predictably hold the directorships of the company, but the Emperor is able to give out directorships and revoke directorships at whim. This strains the analogy between CHOAM directors and real-life shareholders: Individuals can be removed from a board of directors, but this does not typically involve revoking their stock. CHOAM directorships were the real evidence of political power in the Imperium, passing with the shifts of voting strength within the Landsraad as it balanced itself against the Emperor and his supporters. Directorship in the CHOAM was the key to wealth, each noble House dipping from the company's coffers whatever it could under this power.

Appearances[]

  • Sisterhood of Dune
  • Mentats of Dune
  • Navigators of Dune
  • Dune: House Atreides
  • Dune: House Harkonnen
  • Dune: House Corrino
  • Dune: The Duke of Caladan
  • Dune: The Lady of Caladan
  • Dune
  • Paul of Dune
  • Dune Messiah
  • The Winds of Dune
  • Children of Dune
  • God Emperor of Dune
  • Heretics of Dune
  • Chapterhouse: Dune
  • Hunters of Dune
  • Sandworms of Dune

Behind the scenes[]

  • CHOAM works in a similar way to the Dutch East India Company in the 18th century - that is, colonizing, controlling, exploring and mining frontier worlds to enrich Great Houses.
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