The Metalli of Stragosa

The Metalli of Stragosa were founded by three masters in the early days of the city, under Reichgraf Nemesis Dragomir.  These founders were Master Blacksmith Thorne Merkstave, Master Engineer Bakara Nefji, and Master Miner Borso.

Master Borso was named Guildmaster, and has held this title since the beginning.  The first Charters were Blacksmithing and Engineering, but the Metalli also bought the Carpentry charter when the woodworking guild of Stragosa closed. Members include these three professions, as well as miners, hunters, and foresters.

Officers tend to be fluid, organized around the passions and interests of the officer rather than a strict schedule.  Some recent Officers have been Market Officer Edme, who set prices and made sales markets, Education Officer Corvo, who found books and trainers for their members, and Gathering Officer Luca, who organized the guild’s gatherers.

Dues: At least some of the rumors of wealth must be true: Metalli members famously pay no dues, as declared in the Guild Song, recorded below. Borso himself shows signs of wealth and generosity, giving to the church at each Convocation.

Responsibilities:  The Metalli make few actual demands on their members, opting to entice them with profits instead of give orders.  Imperial Law is followed: no noble vassals are permitted to join, all work is of good quality, and prices are fixed and published. In this way, they are similar to many local “merchant guilds” in other cities, accepting all members in order to show a united front when negotiating with the city.

In addition, most members participate in what the guild calls “Ventures”, which are cooperative profit-seeking projects where several artisans work together.  A system of credits and shares ensures that those who put in money or commodities are repaid, and profit is shared.  These large Ventures set aside a share for the guild itself, which is how it finances its own operations and spares its members from official Dues.

The Metalli are reputed to be the wealthiest organization in the valley, even more than the city itself according to certain rumors. They will tell you that they achieved their wealth by this cooperation profit sharing spirit.

Jealousy abounds in the city at the group’s wealth, but it comes also with a grudging respect at the guild’s accomplishments. The organization has survived three Grafs, and the loss of the city’s bursary when it was sacked by Njords.

Some strife exists with the Nobility on the guild’s inclusion of gatherers such as Borso himself (a miner), as well as foresters and hunters. The nobles of Stragosa Valley have more land than people to work it. And while no charter exists for these skills, those who hold the land would surely prefer to order their vassals rather than negotiate with merchants.

Goals and Motivation:
The Metalli often say that they wish to “Build Stragosa Strong”, probably recognizing that if the valley is not secure and prosperous, then neither can be any guild within it.
The Metalli deal most frequently (but not exclusively) with the Hestrali nobles, working their lands and building their projects. It may be that a secret alliance exists, or just that those who are comfortable with coin tend to be first to agree to the Metalli’s terms.

Captain Sinclair official report #2

My Lady, Adeline Challant.
The troops who bravely followed me into this cold north quickly set up in the city and reinforced it. The Rimelanders didn’t even dare attack the city under the protection of the lord marshal’s troops combined with my own.
I regret to inform you of the state of the war here. I’m sure you are aware that Njordr is a brutal land, and the people no less so. The Cold Hands clan that we fought throughout Forum engaged in less than savory tactics all weekend, opting to backstab and run at every turn. Friday night I was forced to engage in their form of fighting. In the confusion I struck an ally. In my despair I fell into sin and found Friar Ignatius to help me atone.
Later in the Forum I was forced to make the decision between attacking an enemy who was running from me and letting them harm someone else. I did my best to only fight my opponents face to face, but the dishonor of my enemies became my own. It is with great shame that I write these words to you now. I was shaken from how quickly I felt the savagery of these lands steep into myself, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to overcome the challenge that Njordr represents. But I understand the price of war and I am willing to pay it, for your honor. I remain in control of myself and in pursuit of righteous victory.

With respect,
Captain Sinclair

Captain Sinclair official report #1

My Lady, Adeline Challant.
I write to you to report my progress into Njordir with my companions. The journey has been filled with bitter cold and harsh views. The land here is much like the people who live here; somehow both boring and dangerous.
Both myself and the soldiers who follow me into this new land are eager to prove ourselves for your honor, and the excitement builds as we near the city of Runeheim. I will give the Grafin Vindicta Dragomir your regards as soon as we arrive. Forum is in just a few short weeks and your subjects will be ready to defend the empire sooner than that. I will send another report after the forum, once I’ve had time to integrate with the community of Runeheim and see truly what I am dealing with. Until then, my liege.

With respect,
Captain Sinclair

Black Pistol Inn Seeks Tavern Keep

Announced by criers and posted in locations around Stragosa is a simple sign that reads.

Black Pistol Inn seeks Tavern Keep. Interested parties should enjoy music, theatre and a celebratory atmosphere. The Black Pistol Inn is located at 27 Nemesis Way, just passed the Butcher Shop.

If you are outgoing, charming and regularly witty, the Black Pistol needs you!

Inquire in person at the Pistol.

~Bastione Montcorbier, Proprietor

The Operating of the Metalli

The Metalli
Hello, and thank you for reading my missive. My name is Guildmaster Borso, of the Metalli of Stragosa. I write to you today to let you know of opportunities for apprentices, journeymen, and masters in the miraculous City of Stragosa.

In particular, I am in need of enterprising Officers, as you will see in our descriptions. Here is some information about how the Metalli guild works, I hope you will find that it is an arrangement that creates equitable wealth for all members.
Membership and structure

We of the Metalli have three founding members, Myself (Master Miner Borso), Master Mechanist Bakara, and Master Blacksmith Thorn. Our first guild charters were blacksmithing and engineering, acquiring Carpentry when the Forestry Guild leadership departed Stragosa. We have maintained these three charters to the present day.

Metalli members pay no dues at all, and enjoy access to an internal guild bank and supply-house called The Trapeza**, which contains raw materials such as soft iron and heavy leather, or components such as hilts and straps. This same guild bank is the primary source of ready goods at the markets of Stragosa. It is the duty of our the Officer of the Trapeza to determine these prices and quantities.

Apprentices likewise pay no dues or fees, and are offered instruction at no further cost. We feel that the opportunity to work together for everyone’s benefit is enticement enough.
Guildmaster, Officers, and Organization

Members may of course make their own sales if they like, so long as they do not undercut prices for those goods that the Metalli choose to publish. These published prices are typically for the most common sales: locks, chests, swords, lanterns and the like.

Members who wish to have the freedom at market to pursue other goals may choose to sell their goods into the Trapeza, our guild bank, for the full value of the good, as guild credit (called Metallions). For example, if swords sell for four silver, members are able to sell their swords to the Trapeza for four Metallions. Likewise, components buy and sell at the same rates: if a carpenter sells a hilt to the Trapeza for one Metallion, a blacksmith may buy it for one Metallion.

Members at the start of Forum also indicate whether they would like the Officer of the Trapeza to find work for them, or are working on their own. This knowledge allows the Officer of the Trapeza to accept Contracts at the market for large orders or masterwork equipment.

At the end of Market, the Officer of the Trapeza passes these contracts to the guild members whose skills can complete them. At any time, but especially at the end of market, those members who wish to purchase items from the Trapeza with their Metallions may do so. At least some silver is available as a result of market sales, and may be “purchased” with Metallions in this way.
Members: No Dues, No Duties.
No particular service or duty is required of the members, apart from allowing the Metalli name to be on whatever contracts are completed. I believe that it is the purpose of the guild to make you money, not take you money.

I have openings immediately for Officers of the Trapeza, the Market, and of Furnishings. If the right candidates were to arrive, I also am interested in Officers of Training, Parcel Improvements, and finally (if such a special person exists), and Officer of Dangerous Ventures.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to seeing you in Stragosa.

Guildmaster Borso, de Metalli

The Surewind Company

Of the various guilds that sprung up in Vißvind, none have been more successful than the Surewind Company. It was one of the few guilds that managed to escape the scandals of the clan’s collusion with the Rime Clans. The guildmaster of the time was also a proud, outspoken follower of Benalus. The Surewind Company owes much of its success to this foundation of good reputation. The guild has survived for generations and has gone on to establish trade with every country of the Throne. It’s influence has grown great enough that its operation plays a significant role in the local politics of the area.

Notable Members:

Guildmaster: Jørgen the Magnate
Jørgen was groomed from birth to succeed his father as master of the Surewind Company. Even as a child, Jørgen demonstrated an abundance of ambition to succeed in life. Before he’d even begun to shave, he was already working closely with his father within the guild. Jørgen is known to be a stern, frank, and serious man, as well as a master of business. The guild, and through it, the city, have prospered so much under his direction that he has come to be branded, “The Magnate”.

Officer: Linnéa the Prodigy
Linnéa is the wife of Guildmaster Jørgen. She comes from a well-off merchant family in Vißvind. Linnéa herself rose to being the guildmistress of the local textiles guild at a young age, showing an aptitude for the merchant lifestyle impressive even to the elite. This earned her the brand of “Prodigy”. After marring into the Surewind family, she stepped down from the textiles guild, and went on to work closely with her husband in running the Company.

Officer: Viggo Jørgenson
Viggo is the eldest son of Guildmaster Jørgen. He is reputed to be both a frivolous debauchee and an effective businessman. Viggo is expected to supersede his father as Master of the guild. He is not yet Branded.

Officer: Mille
Mille was born a peasant, but married into the merchant class. Despite her low upbringing, she has been effective and driven in her work for the guild. She became an officer after many years of loyal service. She is known to be sharp, articulate, and reliable. She is not yet Branded.

Officer: Nils
Nils is a cousin of Guildmaster Jørgen. He was raised to be a sailor, but demonstrated an strong aptitude for business as well. He apprenticed under Linnéa, and eventually came to be a respected officer in his own right. He is known to be friendly and fair, but steadfast. He is not yet Branded.

House Scordato of Hestrali

Current Head of House: Count Lorenzo Scordato (recently deceased)
Current Heir Apparent: Facio Scordato
Coat of Arms: An open book with a spyglass and short blade crossed over it.
Maxim: Harvesting the past, we flourish.
Keep: The Gilded Observatory
City of Influence: Segrati
Kingdom: Hestrali
Region: Le Sorelle
Island Name: The Isle of Forgotten Tomes

Centuries ago, Luca Scordato was an adventurous merchant that used his wealth to indulge a passion of adventuring. It was on such an endeavor that Luca Scordato discovered what he named the Isle of Forgotten Tomes off the coast of Hestralia. Within the island’s jungle, his party discovered signs of a small encampment. Using his keen mind, Luca Scordato realized it was not humans but Elves that resided within, he lead his company of soldiers deeper into the jungle away from the Elves. It was deep in the center of the island at the base of the mountain that he discovered what must have once been a massive library that held vast amounts of ancient tomes.

Having finally made his glorious discovery, Luca Scordato made the decision that he would purge the island of the Elves and take it as his own. Over the course of many weeks, he observed the daily routine of the villagers and devised a plan that would allow his company of soldiers to overwhelm the Elves, known for their superior fighting. On the night after they observed the planning of some heathen holiday, Luca Scordato and his men descended upon the inebriated village, finally cleansing the island of Elves. With the victory and wishing to fully excavate the largely buried library; Luca Scordato settled the region with the founding of the harbor city of Segrati.

With the isle resting within the region known as The Sisters of Hestrali, the family has often chafed against fully following the laws of others. Historically this has translated into the house building short lived ties with nobles from the Hestrali mainland, Capacionne, and occasionally the odd Sha’ra Shahzada. These ties are often short lived, around one or two generations. As of 602, the family has strong ties with Houses Trakt and a highborn house in the Castellonia region of Capacionne.

As a rite of passage, each member of the house is sent out equipped with a small party not unlike the one that Luca Scordato originally traveled with. A Scordato is considered a child until they return with their own discovery or equally bardic worthy tale. This tradition has led to some very famous competitions between siblings as; a first-born child could be killed on such an endeavor or disowned for failure if their younger sibling succeeds their own trial first.

City of Segrati:
The Gilded Observatory towers over the rest of the city and is home to House Scordato. An entire wing of the building houses what contents of the ruined library that have been recovered over the years. The view from the top of the observatory allows for a clear view of the entire island and the outlying vineyards and villages.
The primary exports of Segrati are the specialized wine grown in the volcanic soil and the sale of antique relics recovered by the Seekers.
While not one of the greatest centers of learning, Segrati hosts a gathering of eccentric academics and magicians interested in paying for the privilege to research the ancient tomes and relics unearthed by House Scordato. (see Università di Segrati)

The Seekers (Military House Guard Organization):
Valor: Vigilence
Grand Master: Agostino Rizzo (brother to Lorenzo Scordato)

The knights sworn to House Scordato are known to the world only as The Seekers however, the knights themselves have broken into two sub-groups with vastly different responsibilities. The two groups are the Seekers of History and Seekers of the Blood. Allies of the house are allowed to pay for the services of the Seekers as scouts and pursuers for their armies or as elite scholars of specific eccentric academics.

The Seekers of History perform their duties by accompanying expeditions funded by the house and fancy themselves treasure hunters. Their excessive traveling to all regions of The Throne and beyond has led to them being the public face of the group. The Seekers of the Blood spend the majority of their time acting as personal bodyguards and are the martial elite.

In warfare, the Seekers are specialists that use their skills to bravely harass behind the enemy’s main battle line. Many major battles have been won because these specialist knights completely decimated supply and communication lines. During the war to bring Hestralia under control of the Throne, the Seekers were so successful in disrupting supplies in their regions of operation that House Engel had to pull entire units of front-line troops to escort their supplies, lest they starve.

On Sin

On Sin

The Pancreator made Humanity with Meaning. Our Meaning has certain qualities one of which is Libertas. Our LIberty is part of us and defends itself. Each of us rebels from the Despair of the World, from the things which would Oppress and Shackle us. Our Meaning demands Liberty.

When we are oppressed by the Sorrows, we assert our Selves beyond any other obligations. Our Assertions remind us of the Pride of being Human, the Ache of Wanting, the Rise of the Blood. These things dispel the Sorrows and Bring Joy.

However, do not be brought low by Vainglorious thinking. The Libertas can become overpowering. It can become a heady wine. When all of us are Drunk at the same time, the world cannot contain it. Let your Libertas flow in small rivers until the day of Completion draws near. The World must grow to join us and until then, the Secret must be kept.
You are the Rose, you are the Dawn, the beauty and light of the world.

For the Conquest of Joy,

Praemonstrator Lumin

Le Sorelle Pirati

A sturdy stonework hut somewhere in La Montanara, Hestralia:

“Why do we live here now papa?”, asked the child, scribbling absentmindedly in the dirt using a stick.
“So, I can work and so we can eat”, replied the man as he dumped a bowl of chopped meat and vegetables into an iron pot that hung from a chain above the hearth.
“There was no work on the island, papa?”
“Not for me, paisano.”, the man muttered as he tossed some dried herbs into the pot for flavor. “There’s nothing good in those islands for us now.”
“The islands have bad-guys, papa?”
The man pushed the pot to a different position over the fire so its contents would boil more gently. “Of course! You know about Le Sorelle Pirati, no?”
“No papa, tell me about The Pirate Sisters!”
“The Sisters Pirates.”
The man laughed. “The Sisters are the name of all the islands. The islands, they have pirates, si.”
“The pirates are not sisters?”
“They are all kinds, but yes they have a lot of girl pirates, girl captains, and a girl ammiraglia. I think they have a lot of girl pirates for the same reason you were confused by the name. It is an amusing coincidenza, no?”
“Co-in. Coinzi”, the boy struggled with the word while using the stick as a cutlass and dueling the empty wall while his father smiled.
“Can I be a pirate, papa?”, the boy asked innocently while the man checked on the pot. His smile half faded, and he lied in the easy way that only a parent can, “Of course you can, Sergio.”

Type: Outlaw
Ties: Many formal and informal throughout Hestralia (and likely beyond).
Tier: 4 (estimated)

There are those (especially that live in the islands in question) that believe the recovery of humankind started from the aftermath of the Age of Witchkings in the islands called The Sisters. These are remote enough to not be easily reached by unskilled navigators, and small enough that they could be reclaimed one by one. This allowed the fledgling new civilization of human refugees from the ancient disaster to raid and conquer their way into the continent and establish the nations we know now. Interestingly, the same remoteness and beliefs about the history of The Sisters is assumed to be why they were the last to join the Unified Hestralia, and even to this day often ignore the rule of Aquila. It is also known that the reason the Sisters Pirates are often held in a degree of reverence is the belief that they are continuing the lifestyle of the original warriors and raiders that launched the recovery of humankind so long ago. (This savage time before the Age of Heroes is poorly understood, and nearly undocumented.)

The Sisters Pirates have been involved in almost every major conflict accessible by sea in the eastern part of the world. They have been known to appear and turn the tide of a battle, but also to betray a side they were hired to fight for. The motivations of these pirates would seem to be strictly profit motivated, but there is some evidence they work, in a roundabout way, to maintain the freedom of Le Sorelle.

The Sisters Pirates are organized loosely after the model of a naval fleet. There is an admiral that rules over the whole organization, four commodores with logistical and political duties but no fleets of their own, and a lot of captains that command everything from whole battlegroups to individual ships.

Order of the Stars

Order of the Stars

Patron Angel: Cyaniel
Patron Saint: St. William the Penitent

“Fear of the Unknown drives Man to sin far more frequently than the fear Man encounters face to face.”

The Order of the Stars is a mendicant order dedicated to bringing knowledge of Fate to the world. The friars of the Order travel all over Rogalia and beyond, dispensing the wisdom of the Cards to people of all life’s stations. The Cards are illustrated scenes from the Testimonium with symbols that make them compatible with Cyanihim rituals.

“We do not ‘tell the future.’ We reveal the foe.”

The Order will not tell you that something is going to come to pass. Rather a friar will tell you what is holding you back. A reading of the Cards is necessary before any atonement is assigned and confession is an important part of every reading.

“Until you can surpass the mystery of the pagan, you will never replace him.”

The Order of the Stars has a secret mission – to supplant the utility of pagan and magely ritual with the miracles of the Church. Wherever there are people who find it difficult to give up ancient ways, the Order of the Stars will be there to replace old ritual with new. Who will need to consult with the Green Father when this star chart will tell you the best time to plant?

“If everyone can have a taste of magic, how important can mages be?”

The Order of the Stars is in opposition to the Mage Guilds, seeking to reduce their influence whenever possible. To that end, the Order provides refuge and occupation for failed apprentices, gathering esoteric knowledge and experience bit by bit over time. The Order is careful to never directly threaten the Guilds, knowing that Time and Fate are on their side.