The Gloaming Road is a trade route that crosses the dusty Lasambrian hills between Faraden and Segura. Once just another nameless path through the arid wilderness, its prominence dramatically increased in recent years. In Autumn 380YE a pernicious blight laid waste to the iridescent butterfly population of the forests of northern Faraden. Merchants of that nation then brokered a trade deal with the Freeborn, exchanging precious mithril for vast amounts of Iridescent Gloaming from the Empire. Now the Gloaming Road bustles with caravans hauling valuable goods, and Faraden has requested an overseer be appointed from among the Freeborn to manage the exchange.
The overseer of the Gloaming Road holds responsibility for the continued exchange of iridescent gloaming with Faraden. Numerous minor, independent Imperial and Faraden merchants are taking advantage of the thriving trade route to do business, but it falls to the overseer to handle the bulk of the trade taking place - and to ensure that it continues unabated. This is further complicated by the presence of the Jotun in the Lasambrian hills - while there is an agreement to allow Faraden traders to pass unmolested, no such arrangement exists for Imperial merchants. As a consequence, Imperial gloaming traders congregate at the Kabalai Palace and deal with the weary Faraden when they arrive in Segura.
|Total iridescent gloaming provided||Wains of mithril received|
|60 iridescent gloaming||2 wains of mithril|
|140 iridescent gloaming||4 wains of mithril|
|240 iridescent gloaming||6 wains of mithril|
The overseer can provide large stocks of iridescent gloaming to the merchants of Faraden, in return for which they receive a significant amount of mithril. This functions in the same manner as a traditional ministry. The amount of mithril received is reflected by the total amount of iridescent gloaming traded. The overseer trades the gloaming during downtime from their character page. Iridescent gloaming is removed from, and mithril is placed into, the character's inventory when the downtime is processed.
The production of the ministry is entirely dependant on Faraden's ongoing need for iridescent gloaming from outside its borders, and the continued provision of the magical material by the Empire. Were the overseer unable or unwilling to put up significant amounts of gloaming to trade, it is likely that Faraden would seek a new supplier elsewhere.
Following the imposition of sanctions on trade with Faraden during the Winter Solstice 382YE, the cost to purchase mithril via the ministry increased by roughly a fifth. If the Faraden imposed their own sanctions on Imperial goods entering their country, the price would increase again by roughly the same amount.
Following the Spring Equinox 383YE, Sadogua provided the Faraden with a number of blight resistant grubs, putting an end to the blight. The amount of mithril available for trade was reduced as the demand for gloaming from outside the borders of Faraden returned to what it was before the blight struck.
The Imperial Ambassador to Faraden appoints this position by declaring their chosen candidate to Lady Saretta of the Red Moon, the Faraden advisor on Imperial trade to the Lord of the Four Winds via Winged Messenger. The merchants of Faraden do not seem particularly interested in precisely how the Ambassador comes to their decision; their only requirement is that the overseer be a Freeborn citizen.
Were the Ambassador to appoint a non-Freeborn to the role, it is likely that Faraden would take the decision poorly if they found out.
Faraden may remove the current overseer at any time by requesting that the Imperial Ambassador to Faraden selects a new Freeborn to hold the role. The Imperial Ambassador could also request the position's reassignment at any time by sending a Messenger to Lady Saretta indicating their decision.
Either Lady Saretta and the Imperial Ambassador to Faraden could end or re-negotiate the trade agreement at any time, which could potentially result in the dissolution of the overseer title in the process.
During 380YE, a disease crept into Faraden from farther lands and swept through the iridescent butterfly populations therein. The results were disastrous for the carefully-cultivated forests where Faraden silk-harvesters worked, shattering the production of iridescent gloaming over a few short months. Desperate for gloaming, the Court of the Five Winds authorised merchants from several key families to approach the Brass Coast and discuss the large-scale trade of the material in return for mithril. An initial exchange during the Autumn Equinox of 380YE was successful, and an ongoing trade agreement between the two nations was formalised during the following Winter Solstice.
Antonio i Carno i Guerra was appointed in Winter 380YE to serve as the first overseer of the Gloaming Road
Brightly coloured fabrics are vital to Faraden culture, and iridescent gloaming is key to their production. While the effects of the gloaming blight continue, the nation's hunger for iridescent gloaming remains colossal. They are currently looking to the Empire to feed that hunger - but have made it quite clear that, if the flow of the material from Imperial forests wanes, they will be forced to look to other sources. Were that to happen, trade on the Gloaming Road would wither away in turn. Both Faraden and Freeborn merchants expect the overseer of the Gloaming Road to prevent that state of affairs from occurring.
The position of overseer is not an Imperial title. A character could hold this position and still have an Imperial title. The Empire has little control over the position; in theory possession of the title and how it works is at the mercy of non-player characters. The Senate cannot abrogate the existence of the position, nor amend its powers or responsibilities. Likewise, while the Imperial Ambassador to Faraden can appoint someone to the position, there is no requirement for the merchants of Faraden to recognise a candidate they deem unsuitable.
The Title in Play
The role does not provide additional information about events in the Empire, nor allow the player holding it to request special reports or downtime actions. These details are assumed to be below the abstraction layer. The title holder is encouraged to create their own stories about their activities within reasonable limits and to get involved in events appropriate to their title during the game, but they do not have any powers beyond those explicitly listed in the section on powers.
These details exist partly to provide context and character to the role - and partly to allow our writers to use the title as a plot hook. Plot that involves the position will be rare - but all the campaign positions in Empire have these details to create the potential for it to happen.