Vizier of the Incarnadine Satchel
Following the Autumn 383YE treaty with the Grendel ceding Morajasse to the orcs, this title has lost access to its ministry, as detailed in To curb those raging appetites.
The Vizier oversees and advises agents across the Bay of Catazar and beyond who acquire herbs on their behalf. Sometimes agents of the Vizier travel with fleets visiting distant shores, empowered to negotiate on behalf of the minister and constantly seeking the best possible deal when bargaining for valuable plants.
The title takes its name from the Incarnadine Satchel, a unique artifact in the form of a crimson-stained bag which was a gift from Riqueza to her youngest daughter. Stories differ as to its properties but the most common versions suggest the wondrous satchel either transformed any herb placed within it into any other herb, or transformed herbs into potions with incredible alacrity regardless of the capabilities of the holder. The satchel was passed from its guardian hakima to the first Freeborn to take up this ministry, but unfortunately lost along with its bearer somewhere in the mountains of Kahraman during the Winter of 294YE.
The Vizier is traditionally expected to ensure that the apothecaries of the Brass Coast have access to the herbs they need to make potions. This being a Freeborn ministry, it is expected that the Vizier will take the opportunity to make whatever profit they consider appropriate. A few Viziers have instead used their title to ensure that Freeborn warriors and hakima are kept well supplied with useful potions, especially those that will help them fight the enemies of the Brass Coast during journeys through the Sentinel Gate.
The Vizier originally had access to a ministry which allowed them to purchase large amounts of herbs from traders to help them fulfill their responsibilities. Following the Autumn 383YE treaty with the Grendel, which ceding Morajasse and Afarjasse to the orcs, the offices that helped oversee this ministry were abandoned. It would be possible for the Imperial Senate to commission a new ministry to support the vizier, using the normal rules. The situation is explored in slightly more detail in the To curb those raging appetites Wind of Fortune.
In Autumn 383YE, the Senate chose to expand the Kruidenkenner Magazjin in Necropolis. As a consequence, grateful merchant-herbalists of the Sarcophan Delves promised to make their merchandise available to the Vizier at what they consider reasonable prices. This additional track would remain available as long as the Empire's good relations with the Kruidenkenner and the Delves continue.
With the Vizier no longer having offices, these herbs are not available. If the Senate were to commission a base of operations, then the Kruidenkenner would obviously begin to deliver herbs to that location.
The Vizier bears the Incarnadine Satchel. If the Vizier loses their position, then the item must be given to the new Vizier with all haste. The Vizier is encouraged to take all appropriate precautions to keep this item safe, and is expected to do everything within their power to recover it if it is lost.
This title is appointed during the Spring Equinox. The Vizier of the Incarnadine Satchel is appointed by citizens of the Brass Coast who control fleet personal resources who have engaged in privateering during the previous year. The larger the fleet an individual has, and the more time they have spent privateering, the more votes they can allocate in support to a candidate. The voting is handled by the civil servants in the Bourse.
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.
|Spring Equinox 383YE||Xandra i Marusa i Riqueza||168 Votes|
|Spring Equinox 382YE||Esteban i Ezmara i Erigo|
|Spring Equinox 381YE||Esteban i Ezmara i Erigo|
|Spring Equinox 380YE||Esteban i Ezmara i Erigo|
|Spring Equinox 379YE||Bayan Zayden Riqueza|
|Summer Solstice 378YE||Duarte i Hazzam i Guerra|
This title is vacant and will be reelected at the next summit. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.
The Incarnadine Satchel
The Incarnadine Satchel originates with Riqueza, one of the three sisters who founded the Brass Coast. Riqueza was famous for her abilities as a powerful Night magician, but she was also an apothecary of consummate skill. She is often credited with having developed the salve known to modern apothecaries as Chiaroscuran Balsam, for example. She is also credited with the creation of a unique magic item - the Incarnadine Satchel.
Sources agree that the Satchel had a unique power, although they disagree on precisely what that power was. According to the generally accepted story, after she and her sisters had decided to forge out from Highguard with their families, Riqueza was concerned about her ability to secure medicinal herbs whilst they were traveling.
Rituals such as Churning Cauldron of Bravash are certainly not new; likewise magic items such as the Escharotic Cauldron and Wyrmstone Mortar could have helped to mitigate the scarcity of herbs to some degree. It is eminently possible that the Founders did not have access to any of these rituals or items - but it is just as likely that Riqueza set out to create the Incarnadine Satchel as a way of improving on the returns provided by any of these methods. Precisely how she crafted the satchel is not recorded; one researcher suggested that she might have secured the aid of the eternal Murit in doing so - claiming that this would go some way toward explaining why there is canonically only one such satchel. It's perfectly possible that that is true - but one of the letters bequeathed by Sameen with the satchel describe it as her grandmother's masterpiece that she devoted the best years of her life to create. If true, it implies that the Founder may have crafted the powerful item by herself.
Riqueza kept the satchel with her throughout the journeys of the Freeborn to their new home, and according to the stories made careful use of it not only to provide healing herbs but also to produce "wondrous potions" to assist her companions in their many adventures. The warm, dry climate of what is now Madruga means that Cerulean Mazzarine and Imperial Roseweald flourish there, but it is more difficult to secure Bladeroot and True Vervain which grow better in colder more northerly climates. As such, the satchel continued to prove valuable even after the Freeborn had begun to build their new homes.
After the settling of Madruga, Riqueza passed the satchel to her youngest daughter, Sameen. While Sameen i Riqueza did not share her elder sister Avisena's prowess with magic, she is said to have had an impressive natural talent for the herbalist's art. As a gift to celebrate the young woman's coming of age, Riqueza gave her the Satchel. With Madruga settled and the Freeborn slowly bringing the nearby lands under their sway, new herb gardens had already been established reducing the need for the Satchel's magic - but it remained an important symbol of the potion-maker's craft among the early Freeborn.
Sameen went on to establish a school for teaching herb lore. The School of the Sanguine Bloom continues to operate in Atalaya to this day. While several of the faculty were carried away in chains by the Grendel during their recent conquest of Madruga, several managed to escape. They provided medical assistance to the Freeborn during the short-lived orc occupation and to the Marchers who helped liberate Free Landing. Almost immediately the Grendel were gone, the defiant herbalists re-opened the School. Those who graduate from the School of the Sanguine Bloom often wear a discreet patch or badge about their person in the shape of an Imperial Roseweald bloom; as a mark of pride in their hard-earned skills and a warning to all that their skills do not come for free.
The School of the Sanguine Bloom
Sameen - the founder of the School of the Sanguine Bloom taught her students to use their herbs judiciously. The art of the apothecary is limited by the herbs available to them - but there are often few limits to the number of patients a skilled apothecary may be called on to help. In particular Sameen argued that some wounded folk an apothecary treats will recover naturally with time anyway - the reason to use herbs is to allow them to regain their strength more quickly. In either case, since the herbs available are limited - either the apothecary must choose for themselves who will receive their beneficence or somehow they and their patients must decide together.
Sameen's philosophy was that charging for your herbs is more equitable than giving them for free until they are gone. By that method, the first injured are the soonest healed - indeed the aid goes to the one who ensures they are wounded first... hardly a sensible way to bestow your limited help. By charging for their herbs, the apothecary gives their patients a way to choose who really needs the help. Those who need it most and thus deserve it more - will elect to pay. While those who can manage without will forgo the use of herbs and save their money.
Agreeing to charge for your herbs is one thing - working out how much to ask is another entirely. Some of Sameen's followers argue that the only meaningful price is whatever the market will stand. Any other approach will still result in a system where the apothecary chooses who will be treated - which was exactly what Sameen sought to avoid. The opposing school of thought claims that you should charge no more than the herbs would cost you to buy replacements - claiming that any price serves to meet Sameen's criteria. Most graduates tend to take a middle of the road approach charging a little more than the herbs cost, with the extra paying for their time and skills. Whatever their differences they are all united in their opposition to those who undermine the approach taken by the school by giving their herbs away for free.
After Sameen passed away the Satchel was handed to her chosen successor as the principle of the School. The association with Sameen's school endured for many years with the Satchel regularly ending up in the hands of a mistress of herb lore who had graduated from the school. This tradition continued until a tragedy in 62YE when the bearer and their entourage, including most of their immediate family, were killed in a barbarian raid in 62YE in north-western Feroz. The Satchel was stolen by the barbarians, but luckily recovered before they could return it to their stronghold in Segura. At this time, concerns about such a culturally important item being lost led to the Satchel being entrusted to the hakima of Free Landing to be kept safe so that future generations would retain what they saw as a vital part of the Brass Coast's cultural and historic heritage.
In 186YE, after the conquest of Segura and after several years of sustained war along the western borders of the Brass Coast, the Freeborn senators worked with the Imperial Senate to create the title of Vizier of the Incarnadine Satchel. Responsible for sourcing herbs from across and outside the Bay of Catazar for use by the apothecaries of the Brass Coast, the hakima of Free Landing agreed that the Vizier would be the new bearer of the Incarnadine Satchel. The Satchel thus passed from Vizier to Vizier for the next hundred years.
In 294YE, the last bearer (Tenno i Blanca i Erigo) was lost to orc bandits in the mountains of south-west Kahraman and the satchel with them. While efforts were made to recover it, all the evidence suggests it was borne west out of Kahraman into Reinos by the Lasambrian Orcs; thus it passes out of the ken of the Empire for nearly another century.
In recent years, with the conquest of Reinos and Kalino by the Jotun and the Iron Confederacy respectively, there were considered three likely destinations for the satchel. In recent months, however, as relations with the Iron Confederacy have thawed slightly, investigation has borne surprising fruit. It appears that an item matching the description of the Incarnadine Satchel is in the hands of one of the Dukes who lead the invasion of Kalino - Duke DuMoi, the Iron Wolf. Piecing the story together it appears that DuMoi may have attempted to trade the Satchel to representatives of the Empire in return for unknown concessions and been rebuffed; it is now apparently being used by one of the Duke's lieutenants.
Given that the Confederacy are foreigners, it may prove feasible to secure its return through diplomatic means. After all, the Satchel is part of the regalia of the Vizier of the Incarnadine Satchel as well as a tangible connection between the modern Freeborn and their Founders.