Redcaps as Traders (True Lineages + City & Guild)

Apparently, Redcaps can be traders (from Merchants to Factors and even Capos), and they do not need to buy the corresponding social virtue since

Indeed, this view of Redcaps as traders also seems supported by the Mercere chapter of True Lineages.

But how does this interact with the two seasons of "service to the Order" required of Redcaps? Do these count as the two standard seasons of work in the appropriate trading profession, so that the character still has two "free" seasons per year? What about Lone Redcaps (from True Lineages - Redcaps that are not attached to any Mercer House)? Can that virtue also substitute for any of the merchant/factor/capo virtues? What about the "whim of the house" in this case?

If I had to take a stab at it, I'd say that

  1. both Redcap and Lone Redcap can be substituted for any trader social status virtue (in fact, being too much of a trader and too little of a redcap is an excellent justification for the loss of status of Lone Redcaps) and that
  2. the seasons spent as trader also double as redcap duty since the latter is not just message delivery (but also information gathering, goods trade etc.).

But what do you think?

I agree with you. The "at the whim of their House" line implies that a redcap acting as a merchant is doing so at the House's direction. Therefore, such should count as their service to the House. Besides, a merchant can deliver messages as well, especially if their not urgent. It kills two proverbial birds with one proverbial stone.