Wayfarer Profession in The Calinan Sea | World Anvil


"No wayfarers, no colonies. No wayfarers, no wealth. No wayfarers, no sealanes. No wayfarers, no Sovereignty."
-A common phrase in the Avadian Sovereignty
  Wayfarers are the captains and senior officers of independently-operated vessels of the Avadian Sovereignty. Distinct from the merchant-dominated sailors of the Mariner's Guild and the military and civil servant sailors of the Admiralty, wayfarers are seen as the epitome of the Avadian ideal - self-determined souls answering to nobody but themselves, operating as they see fit and forging great legacies behind them, working for the good of the Sovereignty but not being beholden to it.   The classic image of the wayfarer is that of a brave and intrepid explorer, sailing to uncharted shores, discovering ancient ruins and wondrous treasures, meeting strange cultures and spreading the reach of the Sovereignty across the seas and beyond. This is still very much present, but in today's day and age, this is a part of a whole. The average wayfarer is open for hire to anybody who has an interesting or exciting job and who can pay well for it. They are, effectively, the maritime version of travelling adventurers.



Officially a wayfarer does not have any qualifications or prerequisites to undertake the role. With that said, a wayfarer without a vessel and crew are unlikely to get very far, and very few people can acquire these without serving on the crews of vessels themselves. Independent vessels are usually a good way to begin the path of a wayfarer, although service under the Admiralty or the Mariner's Guild are highly regarded.   Due to the independent nature of the work, it behooves wayfarers to acquire education in other disciplines such as commerce/economics, naval commands and navigation. For the more exotic roles like treasure hunter or explorer, it can even help to study underneath a natural philosopher for a period of time.  

Calliano of Avadia, a prominent wayfarer and Captain of Merid Company

Career Progression

There are generally two pathways towards beginning a career as a wayfarer.   The first is to directly work underneath a wayfarer crew on an independent vessel. Deck hands and rowers are always are in high demand upon those vessels, and many wayfarers have a good eye for talent and worth. Today's rower can distinguish themselves after a few voyages, and could eventually see themselves invited to fill a vacated officer's position.   The second path is to transition into a wayfarer crew from an established career in the Avadian Admiralty, Mariners' Guild or a large merchant company. This can leapfrog a person straight into an officer's position on an independent vessel if they have a good reputation and influential friends and superiors who may recommend them to a wayfarer looking for a good crew.   The end goal of most wayfarers is to run their own ship, Company and crew. This can be carried out through ascending the ranks of an existing crew and distinguishing themselves enough to be designated the existing Captain's successor upon their retirement, or alternatively upon building enough of a reputation across the Sovereignty's waters and trade routes, a person may be able to garner interest from prospects to band under them and form a company.   Even if a person is unable to become a Captain, or chooses not to, senior officers enjoy great shares and have their own legends and legacies - sometimes even eclipsing that of their Captains.

Payment & Reimbursement

The payment a wayfarer can command depends upon what they are able to negotiate with either prospective clients or, in the case of wayfarers under a larger ship company, their commanding officer or Captain. It is generally a well-paid job due to the valuable services provided and the innate danger of the job, and some of the most successful wayfarers can command wealth on part with some of the richest merchants in the Calinan.

Other Benefits

The most obvious benefit of being a wayfarer is the sense of independence and freedom that comes with it. Very few people anywhere in the Calinan can transcend their established social orders and stand and rise on their own, but a wayfarer can generally sail where they like, choose the jobs they wish, and answer to very few. They can carve out their own legacies, and can in some case influence the world greatly.   It also carries the benefit of being able to see and discover places that the average person - even a noble - would never see. The average Avadian wayfarer can expect to see ports from Denato and Tenun all the way to Solathi and Kas - or even further into the Sapphire Sea. Virtually all maritime exploration and discovery of uncharged lands by sea are directly attributable to Avadian wayfarers. The Avadian Colonies owe their very existence to the journeys of wayfarers, as does the city of Maganti.


Social Status

Wayfarers have been esteemed in Avadian society since at least the days of the Avadian Sealords. The maritime industry has always been the backbone of the Avadian Sovereignty's society, and to be a wayfarer is the purest form of that, combining it with a sense of freedom and self-determination that sailors under the Admiralty or under larger merchant companies just can't provide. Just about all prospective sailors dream of being wayfarers one day, although most end up settling for working for others. There is a romanticism about the exploration side of the job, with legendary explorers like Katanya Xira seen as heroes of Avadian society.  


Most wayfarer roles are considered legal in the Avadian Sovereignty - but that is not necessarily the case in other waters. Certain goods - or passengers - may be outlawed in some lands, and wayfarers have found themselves hunted or captured by the law in those lands. In addition, wayfarers like any other free contractor without any regulation can be sought out for deeds that are either hazy under Avadian law, such as counter-piracy against other companies, or outright illegal like unsanctioned privateering.



A wayfarer's place of work is his or her ship. These are most commonly modified merchant penteconter vessels, although some wayfarers, particularly bounty hunters, use repurposed biremes.   Wayfarers operate throughout the breadth of the Calinan Sea - from Tenun and Denato to the west all the way to Kas on the far east. They can be found in just about any port on either side of the sea in that range. They are not limited to that range, however, and some have struck out beyond Kas into the reaches of the Sapphire Sea, plying their trades along the eastern coast of the continent of Arikanda, trading with Sapphire Coast cities and even a small number of Kalriv towns, although they are heavily restricted by the Empire from going inland.   With the arrival of ships from Kjoqvist in northern Arikanda, a recent rush of wayfarers have struck out into the Boundless Ocean and the western coast of Arikanda - a region originally deemed of little interest prior to the Kjor's emergence. This has seen some clashes between Kjor and Avadian sailors, and tensions remain high.

Provided Services

At a glance, the services provided by a wayfarer and their respective company can include;  
  • Transportation of cargo
  • Transportation of passengers
  • Exploration of uncharted regions
  • Treasure hunting
  • Messenger services
  • Bounty hunting
  • Counter-piracy and privateering
  • Naval escorts
  • Independent or proxy trade
  These can either be offered to a prospective client, or in some cases, undertaken for oneself.

Dangers & Hazards

Wayfarers can expect to face the usual dangers facing ship crews. The Calinan Sea, while pleasant most of the time, can see its fair share of chaotic weather, and a wayfarer must understand how to spot, avoid and in the worst case survive powerful storms. In addition, wayfarers who explore other waters and lands far from the known seas face elevated risk - in addition to danger from raiders, hostile peoples and dangerous wildlife and conditions, isolation from 'civilisation' itself can turn a minor issue into a crew simply disappearing never to be heard from again.   Another prominent danger comes from other sailors - while the waters are well patrolled in the Beyan Archipelago, raiders are not unheard of and can attack vessels if they think they can get away with it. Wayfarers can also, in some circumstances, incur the wrath of wealthy merchants and other wayfarers they may have directly or indirectly crossed. This is particularly common with wayfarers who carry out sanctioned privateering, counter-piracy, smuggling or other roles. Mutiny is generally not common, but a wayfarer who is careless when selecting their crew or confederates can on occasion come up on the other side of it.
High demand - essential to commerce, also highly sought over for luxury purposes
Famous in the Field
Related Vehicles

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Jul 13, 2023 13:10 by Laure Yates

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