The Wolf's Bay Free Traders' League

The Kingdom of Tyrnabay is a politically complicated place. There is a king, of course. In fact King Riwallan Le Trocquer can trace his royal lineage back through a dynasty that has reigned since before the The Great Strife over 2200 years ago. But though he is king, he does not rule truly in Tyrnabay. In reality, nobody truly rules in Tyrnabay; it is a nation rife with petty fiefdoms and rival factions.

This does not mean there are no powerful people or entities in Tyrnabay. There are, and the most powerful of these is the alliance of business interests - and that term is used quite loosely - that calls itself the Wolf's Bay Free Traders' League. The League is an alliance of nine wealthy and powerful groups that have used their wealth and power to either secure military power or place chokeholds on key economic interests, or both.



Origins

After the Great Strife, Tyrnabay became a refuge for members of all of the sentient races of Cartyrion that had been on the wrong side of the God War's outcome. Not surprisingly, these groups fell to fighting amonst themselves. This infighting, which ultimately involved and weakened whatever regal military power remained in Tyrnabay, went on for a thousand years. It stopped when everyone realized there was nothing left to fight for - there was nothing of value left in Tyrnabay.

The next six hundred years saw a peace of sorts as the kingdom functioned day-to-day on a tribal or village level. Slowly, though, villages and clans began to join up either through agreement or conquest. The leaders at the time looked back to the ancient history of the Humans to grant themseives titles. A leader who could claim allegiance of two or three villages or clans took the title of Baron. When a powerful baron overtook another, the leader's new title became Count. By two hundred fifty years ago, six of the counts had consolidated all the others beneath them; they declared themselves Dukes. Technically, they answered to the King or Queen, but in practice, regal authority was ignored.

While the Six Dukes continued their political territorial struggles against one another, other powers were rising in Tyrnabay. Four Barons decided to give up on the "land grab" of Tyrnabay politics and instead formed independent military companies. These mercenary groups hired themselves out to the highest bidder for fixed terms, and didn't concern themselves with the politics of their employer as long as the coin was good gold. Over the years, these four companies: the Bloodsingers, the Dedicated Axe, the Swarm, and the Silent Shield became known beyond Tyrnabay, and today they fulfill contracts across all of the Kingdoms of Man and beyond. Often, they found themselves pitted against each other.


The Tyrnabay Region


The rest of the world was recovering from the Strife, and maritime trade was extensive. The pickings for a well equipped pirate were rich. The most successful privateers (as they preferred to call themselves) attracted good crews and more ships. Small privateer fleets became commonplace, all competing for the rich prizes at sea. The five most powerful of these fleets were able to use their influence to have the Tyrnabay crown grant them permanent Letters of Marque, essentially giving them license to pirate the seas beyond Tyrnabay's ports. The leaders of these fleets were even given noble titles - each one declared a Lord of the Sea.

Two hundred years ago, one of these company leaders came to the realization that Tyrnabay was heading toward another collapse. Fleet Captain Goulwena Le Borgne (Countess Le Borgne as she fashioned herself) of the Legion of the Tides realized that skirmishes among the Tyrnabay fleets were weakening them all. Furthermore, the internal political struggles of the Six Dukes meant that there was no hope for intervention by the crown. She called for a conference of the leaders of the five most powerful privateer fleets: the Raging Storm, Ysoki Revenge, the Scourge of the Waves, the Fellowship, and her own Legion of the TIdes. Leaders of the four powerful mercenary companies were also invited. They discussed ways to ensure that Tyrnabay would not tear itself apart as it did after the Strife, and the result of those discussions was the formation of the alliance known as the Wolf's Bay Free Trader's League.

Internal Politics

The fact that the signatories have all agreed to cooperatively limit their business efforts for the betterment of the League and Tyrnabay belies the fact that these signatories are still all rivals, and don't necessarily like each other. In fact, several of the member organizations do very little to hide their contempt for others across the League meeting table. Often the political hostilities are race-biased at their roots. The best simplification for attitudes of groups toward one another can be summed up as follows:

  • The Ratfolk (Ysoki's Revenge and the Swarm) are despised by everybody else. No fleet other than Ysoki's Revenge will transport the Swarm to an engagement, except possibly the Fellowship, and only then for large sums of treasure.

  • The Bloodswarm is looked upon with distaste by all of the fleets except the Fellowship. The Orcs and Half-orcs are considered to be crude brutes, especially by the Elven contingents in the other companies.

  • The Fellowship is the only organization among the nine in the League that can claim to be on somewhat friendly relations with every other. They are certainly the most open-minded of the organizations when it comes to race and culture.

  • Apart from these, the various mercenary companies are indifferent to one another ever since the League prevented them from openly warring against each other, even when in the employ of others. This is seen as one of the biggest positive results of the League.

  • The Seafarer Dwarves of the Scourge of the Sea don't really trust anyone else; they are convinced the others are constantly out to steal their superior catapult and ballista technology.

For the Future of Tyrnabay

Public Agenda

The officially stated purpose for League is to provide a means to ensure that the struggles between the various factions of Tyrnabay will not bring about the collapse of the nation. The League further claims to be striving to ensure that Tyrnabay is rightfully recognized as a legitimate world power among the organized nations of Cartyrion.

The public statements of the League claim they are minimizing piracy and danger on the seas of Cartyrion, and reducing the bloodshed of war. In practice, they are simply regulating both to their advantage. The plunder brought into Tyrnabay by piracy and pillaging is crucial to its internal economy. It would not be in the country's best interest to prohibit piracy or mercenary hiring. In an perverse sense, attempting to eliminate these practices would violate the founding purpose of the League, which was to ensure the growth and development of Tyrnabay.

Policies and Practices

The League oversees two major agreements that achieve their stated goals: one that governs activities on the land, and another that provides rules for the seafarers. The Agreement of the Land governs the behavior of the mercenary group signatories within the League, while the Agreement of the Sea governs the behavior of the Privateers.

The League delegations meet once per year in the capital city of Wolf's Bay to discuss the various activities they are involved in and work together to make sure that they don't get in each other's way. Every three years, the league releases what it called "the Allocations". The Allocations let each member organization know what part of Cartyrion is exclusively theirs to plunder for the next three years.

The Agreement of the Land

The Agreement of the Land states that a member will not accept a contract to serve an outside interest if their potential opponent has already hired another of the mercenary groups. For the benefit of others in Tyrnabay, this policy means that Tyrnabay folk will not be killing each other in some war between two frivolous nobles in a far-off place. The mercenaries realize that there are enough opportunities for them to obtain contracts without having to commit to killing one another, so they are happy.

The Agreement of the Seas

The Agreement of the Seas carves up the seas of Cartyrion in to five zones, and assigns each zone to one of the privateer fleet signatories. All members agree not to raid trade ships or coastlines in a region not their own. Because the wealth of the regions is varied, and because some are much farther from home than others, the regions are reassigned every three years to allow each of the fleets the opportunity to benefit from the "good areas".

Constituent Delegations

 
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The Dedicated Axe

This is a company of mostly Humans and Dwarves, though there are a handful of other races represented as well. Operating out of Delveshadow, a town north of the Dwarven Waking Delve, these mercenaries are well known for two reasons. First, its foot troops wield nothing but Dwarven Waraxes on the field; and many wield one in each hand. Second, a unit once hired will pursue its contracted objective until it is accomplished or the last unit member is dead. The Dedicated Axe has never retreated, and vows it never will.

Their current delegation consists of the Humans Colonel Maellis Danielou and Colonel Theoren Le Hegarat, and the Dwarven Colonel Brudun Foesmasher.
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Scourge of the Waves

The smallest of the fleets, but by far the most dangerous, the Scourge fields a fleet of six fast pursuit ships. Equipped with their superior catapults and ballistae, their ships do not need to rely on superior numbers to bring a target to heel. These are captained and almost exclusively crewed by Seafarer Dwarves. (The only exceptions are a handful of Gnome alchemists/engineers.) Other races are represented, but only in administrative and logistics positions within the company. One, in fact, is a member of their delegation.

The current Delegation consists of High Captain Garnat Windjammer, Chief Navigator Yossola Starfinder, and the Half-Elven Chief Bursar Winog Umeqinal.
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The Swarm

The Swarm, operating out of the Ysoki city of Warrentown, consists of a rank and file of predominantly Ratfolk and Goblin personnel, but its leadership includes Humans as well. The Swarm's mercenaries are poorly trained, but what they lack in skill, they make up in numbers and tenacity. The typical Swarm unit is ten times the size of the units of the next nearest company. Tactics are simple: overrun the enemy. Forces standing against an assault by the Swarm quickly learns where the company got its name.

The Swarm's current delegation consists of the Human OverCaptain Gilles Jullou, the Ratfolk Overcaptain Trownine Sharptoes and the Goblin Overcaptain Trizeg Rotmox.
 
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Legion of the Tides

It was Fleet Captain Goulwena "Countess" Le Borgne of the Legion who first proposed the formation of the League some fifty years ago, and the Legion of the Tides still considers itself the keystone of the alliance. Its fleet of eight heavy raiders and sixteen fast pursuit ships makes it the largest, if not the most formidable, of the member fleets. The fleet operates out of the city of Mistbay, a city almost completely under their effective control.

The current delegation consists of the Human Fleet Leader Gwendolina de Rais, Half-Elven Fleet Captain Quamara Le Meur, and Elven Fleet Captain Farylar Toralin.
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The Silent Shield

This unit is not hired for its prowess on the large-scale battlefield. Its specialty is in providing small, highly trained strike teams capable of infiltrating hostile positions to wreak havoc where the enemy feels safest. Espionage, sabotage and subterfuge are key weapons in the arsenal of the Silent Shield; who are as likely to be employed as agents to discover internal threats as they are to damage an enemy.

The current delegation to the League consists of Human Master Azenora Le Gonidec, Catfolk Mistress Makree, and Half-Elven Master Pariel Quintin.
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The Fellowship

Known derisively by other privateer groups as the Gentlefolk's Fleet, the Fellowship is well known for welcoming those of any race and heritage who are willing to work and prove themselves. Advancement in the fleet is also race-blind; current Captains include a member of every race of Folk on Cartyrion. The fleet of five heavy raiding ships, nine fast pursuit ships, and six merchantmen operates out of the capital city of Wolf's Bay.

The current delegation consists of the Dwarf Captain Omestra Sailtrimmer, Human Captain Marzhin Le Bris, and Gnome Captain Bavazort Clafoorith.
 
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Chittiki Revenge

This fleet has no heavy raiders, but relies on its eighteen fast pursuit ships to run down their targets. Operating out of the Ratfolk city of Warrentown, it is not surprising that the vast majority of crews in the fleet are themselves Ratfolk. (Individual captains are not beyond hiring the occasional human or half-orc swordsman, or gnomish alchemist, or elven mage to augment their weaponry.

Their current delegation consists of Captains Garthree Longwhiskers, Silsix LargeEyes, and Sernfive Whiptail.
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The Raging Storm

Operating out of Desolation Point on the north shore of Wolf's Bay, the Raging Storm is a privateer fleet consisting of six heavy raiding ships, eight fast pursuit ships, and several merchantmen used for logistics. While the crews of this fleet are quite racially diverse, the company has a known history of only granting Captain titles to Humans with deep roots in Tyrnabay.

Their current delegation from the Raging Storm consists of Captains Maina Kernivinen, Hélaury Garel, and Agiol Le Houérou.
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The Bloodsingers

A mercenary company comprised exclusively of half-orcs, the Bloodsingers is recognized as the most brutal of the four companies of sellswords that are part of the League. Their base of operations is a paramilitary camp just east of Desolation Point on a harsh, barren peninsula which they claim toughens them against any adverse conditions they may face in the field.

Their current delegation consists of Force Leaders Gath Renan, Gurm Madeg, and Rhen Cornec. All are, of course, of Half-Orc heritage.


Relationships Among the Members




Credits

Page Banner Orc Warrior Image by Yuri_B from Pixabay
Page Banner Sailing Ship Image by GLady from Pixabay

Images appearing on company crests (as well as the crest shield itself) obtained from various artists, all on Pixabay

Articles under The Wolf's Bay Free Traders' League


Comments

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3 Oct, 2020 00:14

Nice CSS!


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Costume Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
8 Oct, 2020 22:55

Thank you!

8 Oct, 2020 22:05

This is a really interesting, well thought out article! The history of the area/League was really fascinating, and I liked the little summaries about all the different groups. I love all the different emblems you have for the members of the League.   And your diplomacy web looks great! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
8 Oct, 2020 22:55

Thanks!

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