"It's a greater majority then," said Heln, pouring herself another glass of sweet juice.

The cardinal crumpled the paper up into a ball, and absently threw it to the little monkey perched on the railing. The creature caught the ball, hooted happily, and threw it back at Cosatti. The older man laughed the whole time they were playing.

"I said it's a greater majority then?" repeated Heln a little more stridently. Cosatti frowned, caught the ball of paper, and threw it with all his might out into the trees. The tiny primate chased after it, chattering happily.

"Of course it is!" he said, pouring himself a glass of his own. "There was never any doubt. The High House of Prosperity, expressing an opinion about slavery? About the blasphemous heretics of Asavea and their damned abominable God of Chains? It was never going to go any other way. I've already sent Icthial with the liao so we can get started immediately."

"What about the other Houses?"

"What about them?" snorted Cosatti. Then he took another sip of juice, and said in a more mellow tone. "The High House of Loyalty hasn't raised it, and I didn't expect them to. I think it will receive a greater majority in all the others, even Vigilance. The only real stumbling block there is the whole 'ask our allies to assist' business and I'm with the House of the People on this. We don't have the ships, but we can't let this go. A chance to wreck the Asavean slave trade? Burn their Grand temple of chains and cages? This kind of opportunity comes along once in a generation and we cannot let it slip through our fingers! What did Ka the Preserver say?"

Heln had heard parts of this already; Cosatti was quoting his speech from the other day. She wondered if he realised.

"They said Most accursed be those who chain their fellows and rob them of virtue as well you know, cardinal," said Heln. "Although I think in this I'm more inspired by what Zemress of the Isles said in a similar situation."

"Oh? What do you mean?"

"The best way to deal with slavers is to cut off their heads, and then cut off the heads of everyone who gave them money, and then burn all their ships to the waterline". I understand it is even more savage in the original Imperial."

"Not quite as pithy, but very honest, I think," Cosatti chuckled.

Heln clinked her glass with his as they shared a toast to the beloved Paragon of Prosperity.

"Right now though," he said a little more soberly, "I'm thinking of what Ordana the Shaper said about the best way to bring down a tyrant being to forge weapons and put them in the hands of those they have oppressed."

"One step at a time," said Heln finishing her drink. "One step at a time."
Chains and Water.jpeg
The Sumaah Republic have a plan to destroy the slave trade in the Asavean Archipelago.
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  • The Sumaah House of the People plans to attack the centre of the Asavean slave trade
  • They have invited the Empire and the Commonwealth to take part in the raid
  • Before Imperial citizens can participate the Imperial Senate would need to to legalise the action or declare war on Asavea

The Sumaah House of the People plans to strike at the Asavean port city of Chalonsio. This is no random target; Chalonsio is built on the back of the slave trade. Almost every foreign slave brought into Asavea passes through this wretched place. Their ambition is to free as many slaves, kill as many slavers, and sink as many slave ships as possible before the Nemorian navy realises what is happening. The Sumaah know they cannot match the Asaveans at sea; their plan hinges on a surprise attack made with overwhelming force to smash the city and then get back to the safety of Sumaah waters.

It also hinges on receiving support from their allies. After careful diplomatic negotiations between the High House of Prosperity and the Ambassador to the Sumaah Republic, the House of the People has extended an invitation to the Empire to support the attack.


  • Chalonsio is the primary slaving port in the Asavean Archipelago
  • The majority of all slaves brought into Asavea from nearby nations come through Chalonsio

The city of Chalonsio all but covers the island that shares its name, the largest in the satrapy of Chanteolleth in the southern Asavean Archipelago. It is divided into half a dozen districts at the heart of which stands a temple devoted to one of the many Chanteollethi deities. Near the docks there is a temple dedicated to the Regente del Mar Eterno with statues depicting sleek half-fish half-human creatures flanking the entrances. There is also a shipyard where the shipwrights, all priests, extol the greatness of Viajera as they work on warships for the Asavean Plenum.

The largest district is the Distrito de Cadena - the "Chain District". Each of the markets here are dedicated to the slave trade; thousands of captives pass through the expansive structures of marble and white granite each season bound for smaller markets across the Asavean Archipelago and beyond. The Distrito de Cadena presents an unruly sprawl across a third of the island's coastline, with extensive docks dedicated to the sole purpose of loading and unloading "live cargo."

The Chain District is dominated by the Grand Temple de la Maître de la Cage d'Or - the largest structure in the city, dominating the skyline and visible from almost everywhere on the island. This temple is one of the reasons the Sumaah wish to strike against Chalonsio now. Following the recent meetings of the so-called slaving nations the majority of the priesthood of the God of Chains is apparently gathering in the city to discuss how best to address the threat of the Liberty Pact. There is a rare opportunity to decapitate the priesthood in one fell swoop, with the potential to do even more damage to the Asavean slave economy.

The city as a whole is ruled from the Sapphire Keep by Patricio Sebastian Ceruleo. The Ceruleo are an old Plenum family whose domination of the Asavean slave trade gives them almost bottomless coffers and immense political sway. Ever since Lord Sebastian's grandmother, Matricia Valentina, took control of the failing satrapy and turned it into the centre of the foreign slave trade in Asavea the family has gone from strength to strength. Now, Patricio Sebastian rules with an iron fist over a city that, in size at least, approaches the kind of splendour rarely found outside of the League.

The Sumaah plan to attack the city from several directions, with their ultimate aim being to destroy the Distrito de Cadena, destroy the Grand Temple of the God of Chains, and if possible burn the docks of the chain district on their way out. To pull off this ambitious undertaking, they need more ships, and as much military assistance as they can get. As fellow members of the Liberty Pact the Commonwealth has by all accounts already pledged their support but cautioned that they will be able to provide only a limited number of ships due to the threat of imminent war with the Principalities of Jarm.

The Sumaah believe the Empire's fleet captains can tip the balance of success decisively in favour of the virtuous. They also point to the inspiration of Zemress - it seems Sumaah support for this plan has been strengthened by those who have visited the Zemress Seminary in Madruga. Indeed, it is the former pirates of Frieøyer who will lead the way when the Sumaah attack Chalonsio, and they would welcome the opportunity to fight alongside those Imperial citizens who follow the path that the Blade of the Isles laid out. Together, Empire, Republic, and Commonwealth could strike a decisive blow against the slave trade in the West. It would also prove how seriously the Liberty Pact takes their commitment to ending the horror of slavery.

Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple.

Questions of Legality

  • The Asavean Archipelago is recognised as a foreign power
  • The Senate has set a precedent with a previous judgement

The Asavean people are defined as foreigners by the Imperial Senate. It is thus illegal for an Imperial citizen to attack them, and the civil service observers on each fleet would mean that any captain who assaulted an Asavean ship would face criminal charges. However, this would not be the first time that Imperial citizens have fought against and killed numbers of Asavean citizens, although the circumstances are now quite different. In Summer 382YE, the Senate passed a motion to make it legal for Imperial mercenaries to fight in Asavea without legal repercussions, on the understanding that they likewise would receive no protection under Imperial law for any reprisals against them. This allowed Imperial military captains to participate on either side of the Asavean civil war.

Should the Senate countenance this attack against the slave markets of Chalonsio, they could pass a similarly worded motion making it clear to the magistrates that it is not a crime for Imperial fleet captains or military units to work with the Sumaah. As long as they specify that this is specifically for the attack against Chalonsio, it would not open the door to piracy.

Alternatively, the Senate could declare war on the Asaveans. This would resolve all concerns about illegality around this raid, or any future joint effort between the Sumaah Republic and the Empire aimed at disrupting the Asavean slave trade.

If the Senate chooses to do neither, it will not be possible for Imperial fleet captains or military units to become involved and the raid will likely be unsuccessful.

Questions of Consequence

  • If the Empire supports the raid on Chalonsio the Asavean Plenum would be absolutely livid

Relations with the Asavean Archipelago are at best extremely strained. The anti-Imperial voices in the Plenum - their equivalent of the Senate - are much louder than those that support ties with the Empire. Since the alleged meeting of anti-Liberty Pact nations in Nemoria following the Winter Solstice (rumours of which began circulating in earnest last season), the number of Asavean ships trading along the Bay of Catazar has been at an all-time low - perhaps a consequence of the sanctions each nation has applied against the other. The Cavabiance Docks in Caricomare remain open but it is now a question of when - not if - the Heraclien and Ragnabe families who supply the docks cave in to pressure from their peers and close their operation.

If Imperial forces take part in the raid against Chalonsio, it will be the final nail in the coffin of Asavean/Imperial relations. If more than a handful of Imperials are involved, then there is no question that the Plenum will close their ports. Indeed it is likely they would declare the Empire to be an enemy of the Asavean people - putting the two nations on a war footing. Still, for all their naval might, the Asavean navies are in no position to launch attacks against the Empire directly. The bigger risk is that they offer mercenary assistance to one of the nations the Empire were at war with, but the scale of that aid would be limited by the distances involved and the corruption and inefficiency of the Asavean state. As a minimum, the Empire could expect trade with Sumaah to suffer as Asavean navies dominate the waters that lie between them.

If the Empire does take part in the raid, however, and it is a success, then it will further signal Imperial commitment to ending the slave trade. It will garner considerable diplomatic capital with the Sumaah, and a smaller but still notable amount of capital with the Commonwealth. It would also signal to the rest of the known world that the Liberty Pact and the Empire alike are prepared to take direct action in pursuit of their goal.

The Attack

  • The attack on Chalonsio will only be available if the Imperial Senate supports it
  • Both fleets and military units can participate
  • Enchantments that make a fleet more effective at privateering or military units effective at paid work will be beneficial
  • Sumaah ships will transport all freed slaves back to the Sumaah Republic

If the Senate removes the obstacles to taking part in the raid on Chalonso, Imperial fleets and military units will be able to take part in the attack. The Sumaah welcome both ships that can help move their own troops, and warriors prepared to strike against the Asavean slave trade.

For fleets, there will be an additional option accessible through the independent action dropdown menu - Break the Slave Trade. Any number of fleets can take part in the action, and enchantments that effect privateering, such as Blood and Salt, will provide additional strength to the opportunity. For military units, the additional option is accessible through the Independent action dropdown menu, and enchantments that improve paid work such as Merciless Wrath of the Reaver.


While there are extensive Sumaah forces present, as well as Commonwealth vessels, the total strength of fleets and military units contributed by the Empire will ultimately determine the outcome of the raid.

Up to 5000 - Chasing Ships
The raid does not have enough strength to penetrate Asavean waters or threaten Chalonsio. Instead the fleets will focus on capturing merchant ships and sinking slavers outside Asavean territorial waters. Participating Imperial fleets and military units will still get paid, but while the slave trade will be disrupted, it will have no long term effects. On the other hand, the Asavean Plenum will place the entire blame for this disruption at the door of the Sumaah and a few overzealous Imperial pirates, their brains no doubt poisoned by too much liao - which means there will be no significant diplomatic repercussions for the Empire. The Asaveans will also underestimate the Liberty Pact commitment to ending the slave trade, meaning there may be other opportunities in the future for operations in the Sea of Salt.

5000 to 10000 - Sinking Slavers
The Liberty Pact forces penetrate Asavean waters and reach Chalonsio. The city defences however will ultimately prove to be too strong for the attack to do much more than capture or sink ships trading with the port. A few hundred slaves will be liberated by the Sumaah, and the Asavean slave trade will suffer some disruption. Unfortunately, the Asaveans will take the threat of the Liberty Pact much more seriously - the Plenum will significantly increase the number of warships guarding ships involved with the slave trade and the defences of Chalonsio will be bolstered meaning future opportunities to try and deal with slaving in the western waters of the Known World will be that much more difficult.

10000 - 15000 - Destroy the Slave Markets
There is enough power to push through the defences of Chalonsio, and into the Distrito de Cadena. The slave markets will be destroyed, and several thousand people destined for life in chains will be freed and taken back to the Sumaah Republic. The raid would be counted a success - it will be at least a year before the Asaveans are able to repair the damage done to the "Chain District". It will send an unarguable message that the Liberty Pact alliance is prepared to take direct action to end the scourge of slavery. Furthermore, there will be the opportunity for gathering some of the ill gotten wealth of Chalonsio. Every fleet and military unit participating will gain an additional 2 crowns and 2 ingots or measures of random materials in addition to the money provided by the Sumaah House of the People. The Asaveans will certainly seek reprisals against the Sumaah, and the diplomatic relations with the Empire and the Commonwealth will deteriorate significantly. They will also take greater pains to protect both their slaving operations and their territorial waters.

15000 - 25000 - Decapitate the Priests of Chains
The raid will devastate the Distrito de Cadena as above. In addition, the Grand Temple de la Maître de la Cage d'Or will be sacked by the alliance. In a stroke the leadership of the God of Chains' priesthood will be wiped out. The Asavean Slave trade will take several years to recover - and doing so will require a great deal of money and attention from the Plenum. They will absolutely seek reprisals against the Sumaah and their allies. The Sumaah Republic will dub the raid a great success - taking out the priests of the Chained God is a victory for virtuous people everywhere - and will be seen by many Imperial citizens as suitable recompense for the Asavean destruction of the Temple of the Way in Nemoria.

In addition every fleet or military unit that took part in the raid will be able to claim some of the wealth of the temple, receiving 4 random herbs on top of what they have claimed from the Chain District.

Finally, there is also an opportunity to uncover information on the Noble Lady of the Sea. The Noble Lady is the rumoured head of a large, clandestine slaving fleet that preys on small, undefended nations and raids their coastlines for slaves. The Noble Lady of the Sea's scarlet sailed ships are known to ply their trade in the Asavean Archipelago, the Principalities of Jarm, and even Dubhtraig. The exact location of their base of operations has never been discovered - but the priests of the God of Chains know where it lies and if the temple is raided that information will fall into the hands of the Liberty Pact. There will be sufficient information to create an opportunity to strike at her stronghold presented before the Autumn Equinox 384YE.

More than 25000 - Burn the Sapphire Keep
The raid not only destroys the Distrito de Cadena, and decapitates the faith of the God of Chains, but it is also able to hold the city long enough for an assault against the Sapphire Keep. Patrio Sebastian will be executed for his crimes against virtue, along with any of his family complicit in the slave trade. The castle itself will burn, and the column of smoke will be visible from Nemoria itself. On the way out of Chalonsio, the alliance will also fire the port - inflicting catastrophic damage to the quays, the shipyards, and any slaving vessels that have so far avoided their attention. The slave trade in Asavea will be absolutely crippled for years to come, almost certainly forcing the Plenum to respond. No other Asavean family will be prepared to support the slave trade in such an overt fashion for fear of a similar attack from the Liberty Pact. Other slaving nations in the Known World - especially the Principalities of Jarm - will be left in no doubt as the fact the Pact intends to wipe the practice out and will take precautions of their own.

In addition to an opportunity to uncover information on the Noble Lady of the Sea, every fleet and military unit that took part in the attack will gain a portion of the wealth held in the Sapphire Keep - another two crowns and two more ingots or measures. In addition, 10 wains of mithril will be distributed randomly between all the fleets and military units that took part.


  • The Sumaah Plenum is providing some payment to those prepared to take part in the raid
  • If the attack is successful, there will be options to secure more of the wealth of Chalonsio

Between them, the Sumaah House of the People and the High Houses of Prosperity and Ambition have managed to collect a significant budget together to pay for Imperial citizens prepared to support their mission - Prosperity demands nothing less. A standard military unit or fleet will be paid 7 crowns by the Sumaah, with upgraded or enchanted fleets receiving an additional crown for each additional rank. If the raid is successful, however, then there will be the potential for significant additional wealth. Treading in the path of Zemress means that those participating will be able to claim some of the wealth of Chalonsio for themselves, depending on how effective the attack is. Conquering the market, and capturing the Sapphire Keep, will both provide additional wealth to those taking part.

Furthermore, the Quartermaster General could choose to supplement the payment further, by assigning the guerdon to the action.


  • Lady Madriannia of the Blue Stones could be warned of the planned raid
  • The current Ambassador to Asavea is Ashborn Pakt of the Imperial Orcs
  • The title of Ambassador to Asavea is up for election at upcoming summit

One mountebank has an alternative suggestion which he believes could start to mend relations with the Asavean Plenum; Lukas Castagnoli di Holberg, suggests sending a missive to Lady Madriannia of the Blue Stones warning the Asaveans of the intended raid. Unfortunately the only person that Lady Madriannia is likely to believe is the Ambassador to Asavea. If they were to send such a warning however then the Plenum would be able to move forces into Chalonsio to repel the raid.

If Lady Madriannia of the Blue Stones were warned, and the Senate gave permission for the raid, then it would increase the minimum amount required of each stage by an additional seven thousand strength: for example taking the Sapphire Keep would require at least 32,000 strength and at least 17,000 strength to breach the Chain District. This is the worst case scenario - the attack would be harder but the Empire would gain little leverage with the Asaveans.

If on the other hand she were warned and the Senate did not give permission, or less than 5,000 strength was gathered, then the situation would be very different. The Plenum would be greatly in debt to the Empire, to the point where the anti-Imperial faction would lose all credibility. The raid would be repelled, and the ability of the Sumaah to wage war on the Asaveans ruined for at least the next two years. They are committing most of their maritime force to the attack and would find the Asavean navies lying in wait for them - the loss of life would be catastrophic.

The Sumaah and Commonwealth would not automatically assume that it was the Empire that had warned the Asaveans. There are any number of ways that news of an operation of this size might reach the ears of someone in the Plenum able to take it seriously and lay a trap. But it would still damage the Sumaah enthusiasm for the Liberty Pact; the House of the People would be much more cautious about involving allied nations in their plans in future. If it ever came out that the Ambassador to Asavea had given such a warning to the Plenum, it would not only tear the Liberty Pact apart, but it would end the current state of détente between the Sumaah Republic and the Empire.