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“Life is short — let it never be dull!”

The Freeborn of the Brass Coast are travellers, traders, lovers and poets. They are exuberant and flamboyant; when they laugh their humour is infectious and without spite, when they love they do so with a passion that is without guile and when they’re angry, their wrath is like a summer storm – terrible to behold but swift in passing. To be Freeborn is to be driven by a hunger for life, to see the world, to taste every delicacy, sample every wine and tell every tale. Success is measured in wealth, family and influence, not out of greed, but for the joy success brings.

The Freeborn prize individual freedom and responsibility. Although they are capable of serving a cause they have little respect for authority. Pompous or self-important individuals, especially those who think that titles and positions have made them important, are ridiculed on the Coast. Respect is earned, it cannot be bought or appointed.

While others see them as outspoken and brazen, their honesty is without arrogance, for to aggrandise the self is vulgar, while to praise the deeds of another is an art. Their tales are bawdy enough for a common tavern and grand enough for a lordly court alike and can fill a room with laughter, tears or gasps of horror.

Their wagons and ships cross the world bringing exotic goods that command the finest prices. They are renowned for their corsairs, who operate out of the Bay of Catazar. These daring privateers risk everything ensuring that the Empire's enemies are unable to threaten her shores and earning a fortune in gold in the process. It is a dangerous life but one that perfectly suits the Freeborn passion for high adventure.

Five things to know about the Freeborn

  • They are notoriously candid. Brazen in person, and disarmingly frank in negotiation, they are never afraid to speak their mind when they want to.
  • All things can have a price. The Freeborn believe the fairest way to reckon the worth of something is to put a price on it.
  • They prize freedom and responsibility and disdain arrogance. The Freeborn philosophy is that society is best served when every individual is responsible for themselves and to themselves.
  • They crave adventure and excitement. None more so than their corsairs who are the terror of the high seas.
  • They like agreements to be explicit. The Freeborn like everybody to know exactly what has been agreed to.

What the Freeborn are not

  • Desert dwellers. Grassy plains, rocky mountains and shipboard on the ocean are where the Freeborn live.
  • Dodgy camel sellers or slave traders. Freeborn traders are upfront and scrupulously honest - the very opposite of the stereotype of the obsequious, wheedling trader.
  • Matriarchal or patriarchal. The Freeborn are matrilineal, they take their mother’s family name, but other than this their society is completely gender blind. There are no harems or seraglios in the Empire.

The nation

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Core Brief

Further reading

This selection of articles can be downloaded as a PDF book (or as html only)