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Piracy and the Rise of the Privateer's Guild

Maritime professions in 4 Corners have always been some of the most dangerous. Between dangerous tides caused by the world's 3 moons that made navigation beyond the sight of land perilous at best, squalls that have been known to tear ships to splinters, and immense beasts known to swallow ships whole- it was a wonder that the people of 4 Corners took to the seas at all.    However, the desire to move goods between corner to corner has never waned. While the creation of the Directional Great Roads was a boon to by-land merchants, it did not slow the dangers and that road travel had to offer (which were just as plentiful as by-sea travel when one compared the two).   Because by-sea travel was as dangerous as it was, Piracy has always been a profession that is not only illegal in all 4 Corners, but also heavily looked down upon in the Sailor guilds. The Sailor's code writes: "The seas are dangerous enough, the last thing we need is to be a danger to ourselves". This, however, did not stop a number of Pirate crews from forming and stalking the seas. Throughout the Northern Seas (both East and West), clusters of pirate islands are rumored to be located, though these havens have never been found out long enough to be confirmed by any soul for sure. Either one who finds the place joins the crew or dies. There is little other option in piracy. These crews would stalk the waters, especially the North-Western waters whose merchant ships were laden with very expensive luxury goods from the Western Corner, absorb the crew of the merchant ship as well as the cargo, and send the schooner off abandoned- most of the time on fire.    It is customary for many Pirate crews to never leave a soul behind of any sort, so many when pressed with the choice would choose to be part of the crews rather than face an early and gruesome demise at sea. Piracy was at its peak during the era immediately following Cataclysm. Ships filled with goods heading towards the Southern Corner, would stand a 50/50 chance of facing an encounter with pirates. This slowed the rebuilding process of the Southern Corner even further (and perhaps created a stronger sense of independence among the 6 families who believe that they were all alone in their rebuild of the Corner with little to no help from the other 3 at all).   The occupation continues to this day, however, most pirate crews have been paid by Narne to keep the waters between the Corners dangerous as well as gather any and all goods and supplies they can to help sustain her ongoing take over of the Eastern Corner. At some point over the last 10 years, there was a rift among the Pirate princedoms over the alliance with Narne and a split happened.   A brave soul then began to approach the nobilities of the 4 Corners to offer assistance against the Pirates by utilizing Pirates of their own. This was the first instance of public knowledge of the Privateer's guild. Desperate to provide aid and to keep seafaring merchants safe from Narne's forces, just about every Corner's government has agreed to employ the help of the Privateers, providing a semblance of legitimacy to the trade after centuries of working in the shadows of the water. While not a 100% effective solution, having Pirates fight among themselves as well as protect merchant ships, has allowed some safety in the by-sea trade for once.
Type
Transportation

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