Perch Trading Company
Founded by the Perchello family countless generations ago, this massive trading company started off as an organized group of fishmongers. Their prowess on the sea, and success with delivering the finest fish in all The Cross led to more and more business opportunities with various transport and trade other than fish.
Currently, the P.T.C. has been focused on marine trade and is generally considered the go-to place to ship goods on the Karban Sea. Roughly eight out of ten merchant ships carry the “P.T.C.” logo. Just recently, Perch has begun leveraging trade deals and their vast wealth to expand their empire into land trade as well, much to the dismay of well-established courier organizations throughout The Cross.
Many towns greet the new trade company waystations and shiny new carriages with open arms. Other places don’t exactly appreciate the rumored strongarm tactics used by the company to move into their areas.
The Order of Arcane Sages
The Order is The Cross’s leading authority on all things related to the Dragon’s Teeth, magic, history, and many other academic fields. It boasts the largest library in the region, and contains an archive of information that has been maintained since the founding of the college 300 years ago. It is most well known for its archeological exploits regarding the Dragon’s Teeth, though this is often met with heavy criticism for the Order’s secrecy and control over their findings in many of these projects. Being the forefront of information and history in the region, many still look to them for their expertise in scholarly pursuits.
Another reputable trait of the Order is their mage college. Many bright and upcoming students, and financially endowed nobles, enroll to refine their skills in the arcane craft. Though rare, natural spellcasters such as sorcerers and warlocks are admitted as well to build the groundwork to realize their innate potential. Classes are available in all schools of magic except necromancy, as it is seen as a profane violation of the boundaries of life and death.
Founded by a council of six scholars over three centuries ago, the Order is currently led by Headmaster Okuma, an aging crow mage. He strives to hold true to the principles of the founders in being “A beacon of knowledge and wisdom to The Cross” and does so with a well-structured and time-tested curriculum.
Members of the Order are identified by their cloaks which come in five colors to represent which role they play within the organization.
Those that don the red cloak are part of the archival cloister and are given the title of Scribe. Scribes are responsible for the recording, storing, and distribution of all documentation and information within the Order. In addition to their archival duties, this branch is also tasked with many of the educational aspects of the Order, in both magical and mundane pursuits. Their branch is known as The Lexicon.
Members that wear the blue cloak are part of the support division and known as Makers. Makers head the Craftsmen League which manufactures nearly all of the Order’s goods and equipment, both mundane and magical. In addition to their production services, they also specialize in medical and magical services where needed to fulfill all the Order’s needs.
The most cunning mages in the ranks of the Order are granted green cloaks and known as Shepherds. The Shepherds are a tactically minded group versed in strategy and combat magic, working alongside generals, mercenaries, and whomever needs their aid through their division – The Strategem. While the demands for talented mages in this field are high, the Order uses heavy discretion when assigning these personnel to external activities.
Members assigned the purple cloak are responsible for research, study, and surveillance. They are known as Seers and operate out of a group called The Hidden Eye. Seers are most well-known for their ability to monitor and track people through magical means, leaving most wary of their presence and dealings. In addition to this primary function, they are also responsible for nearly all of the Order’s field research, spell crafting, and internal affairs.
Those that bear the white cloaks are of the highest echelon of the Order. Serving as their administration, The Magistrate is the governing body, managing all its divisions through a council of sages lead by Headmaster Okuma. Its rumored that the Magistrate holds an unending amount of dark secrets they have hidden from the world to serve their own goals, but most dismiss these rumors as the mad ravings of a conspiracy theorist.
Okuma, the current generation’s headmaster, has led his craft in the arcane arts while maintaining the academic legacy of the Order with grace and dignity. He inherited this position from his mother, who inherited it from her father before her. He was taught the ways of wizardry from a young age and grew up on the grounds. He was groomed for most of his natural life to be a worthy successor as headmaster. Since Okuma has no child of his own, he seeks to break the tradition and groom a student of significant promise to take his place when he eventually passes.
The Order typically studies a subject in three phases – Observation, interaction, and dissection.
During the observation phase, everything is monitored and recorded as best to not disturb their subject in its natural state. This phase often includes behavioral studies in the case of a living creature, but with spires this often includes observation of the local flora and fauna as well as studies on any operational devices or interfaces present.
The interaction phase is typically the most dangerous to the research team. At this stage, cautious engagement of the subject begins. In the case of a living creature, this is often done through attempting to communicate, herd, or even attack their subject. In the case of an inanimate object, this is often where doors get opened, devices are activated, and interfaces are manipulated. If something is deemed too hazardous by this phase, the Order often recalls their teams to preserve their findings.
Lastly is the dissection phase, where they extract and disassemble items of note. In the case of a formerly living creature, they are often dissected with full recordings of all their anatomy and any sort of species-specific findings complete with drawings and samples. In the case of an inorganic subject, devices are removed by mechanical or magical means and then very delicately analyzed and disassembled in a laboratory in the Order’s research cloister back in Atlas.
Once the process is complete, all the research is compiled and submitted to the headmaster, and any applicable administrators for review before it is sent to the scribes to be put into books or scrolls for the archive. If deemed for open distribution to the public, said research is then submitted to the library or wordsmith guild for publishing.
The Pirates of Secret Cove
The Pirates of Secret Cove are unofficially the ruling party in Secret Cove and the nearby port city of Crestfall. All of Crestfall’s politicians are either placed by or are directly affiliated with the infamous pirate clan. This large assemblage of ruffians not only rule the cove but the next most powerful entity on the Karban Sea, after thePerch Trading Company.
A major part of their business practice is the offering of protection from themselves. The sea trade of The Cross is bustling and rife with opportunity, but only because the Pirates of Secret Cove allow it. The other major tactic this group employs is pillaging. Ever since the disparate pirate clans came together under one banner, the ransacking of villages and port towns has become an unstoppable, and absolutely devastating experience. Their targets tend to be older less equipped bergs that don’t have the ability to withstand this force of organized villainy.
The Crestfallen are a disenchanted collection of vagabonds splintered off from the Pirates of Secret Cove. As the Pirates of Secret Cove grew in power and influence, rules had to be imposed so that the power and inherent relationships that became part of it could be maintained. The Crestfallen would have none of this.
Years prior, the world of piracy was without restriction, without politics, and without figureheads. This is what the Crestfallen stand for. Their motto is “No leaders, no rules, no boundaries”. What motivates a Crestfallen is entirely on the individual but generally consists of goals that go against the actions of larger more financially established groups.
What stops a Crestfallen from hurting one of their own is little to nothing. So long as they don’t interfere with each other, they have no reason to distrust within their group.
As an organization, they only support their brethren in their scandalous endeavors and never disallow anything for the sake of status quo or maintaining order. Depending on the situation, they rarely affiliate themselves with any major bodies of government or houses. The group’s penchant for avoiding political relationships does isolate them from having much of any influence. The only sway they can be said to have is that they are considered a formidable wild card in any engagement due to having no ties to any ruling entity.
Art by: CursedMarked
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