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"So this Salt Lord Rahab" asked Jorgen, but he was interrupted by the Wind Speaker before he could get any further.

"He's not a salt lord, he's a governor." the orc corrected him. That seemed to be happening a lot he noticed. Wind Speaker Gwindhon liked to make sure every word was written down very precisely. The speaker was unerringly polite, but he was starting to get the impression the orc didn't trust him, or at least didn't trust him to get it right. He wasn't sure which idea he found more insulting.

"What's the difference?" he asked, regretting it as soon as the question left his lips.

"The difference is that one is a salt lord and one is a governor." Jorgen stared at the orc with a look of disbelief that made it clear that they were going to have to do better than that if he wanted the civil servant to cross out what he'd already written. "A salt lord is more like one of your bourse seats and a governor is more like one of your senators." The orc's tone barely hid the fact that they thought all this was obvious.

"Right. Your salt lords have instructed governor Rahab to open the port at Oran?" He spoke slowly, it was a petty thing to do, but it helped him keep his temper.

"Yes to show our beneficent support for our new trading arrangements." Gwindhon smiled at him. He was convinced the Wind Speaker was doing this on purpose but the orc continued before he could say anything. "In return we ask you to consider the plans we have put forward for a beautiful new embassy to be built in Cargo to house the Fleetmaster and his staff. Once complete and suitably staffed, it will help to ensure that there is no possible chance for any confusion. Any mistakes."

"Right. And mistakes would be bad I suppose?" He felt foolish asking that, but he could see the damn wind speaker was clearly hinting at some thing and he didn't like it. His job was to write all this down and convey it to the citizens who did know what to do with it. So the little Grendel pedant could bloody well spell it out.

In response, the Grendel's face was a picture of easy charm as they maintained a relaxed smile, but their tone was steely. "Your Empire and ours have only just signed a peace treaty. At great cost to both of us. Absolutely the last thing any of us should want is for anything to happen to that treaty. It is in all our best interests to make sure there are no accidents."

"Right" said Jorgen as he scribbled down "no accidents" without once taking his eyes off the Grendel envoy.


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  • Following the ratification of a treaty the Grendel are now recognised as foreigners by the Empire
  • The Grendel are obsessed with trade and many of them are eager to take advantage of the new situation

During the Autumn Equinox the Imperial Senate ratified a peace treaty with the Grendel orcs. One important aspect of this treaty is that the Empire now considers the orcs of the Broken Shore to be foreigners, able to trade with and visit each other's lands. The Grendel pride themselves on being traders first and foremost, and claim to view war as something not to be pursued until all other avenues for profit are exhausted. They are clearly eager to take advantage of the new treaty.

Since the Grendel are slavers, the Empire imposed the sanctions required under the Liberty Pact, and the Grendel swiftly responded in kind, but this move doesn't seem to have dented their interest in trade in the slightest. They appear to regard the inevitable taxes as just a regular part of the costs of doing business with the Empire. Merchants and messengers have all arrived at the borders of the Empire with various different proposals for trade. Now it remains to be seen if any part of the Empire wants to trade with the Gendel.

Lord Rahab, the governor of Feroz, has established a palace for himself in Oran. While he has not specifically solicited communications from Imperial citizens, a Winged Messenger can be sent to him in Oran, Oranseri, Feroz.

Unless noted otherwise, each of these opportunities remains available until the situation changes significantly.

A New Destination

  • They have instructed Governor Rahab to open the port in Oran to Imperial fleets
  • Any Imperial fleet trading with Oran would have a two rank penalty on their production due to Imperial and Grendel tariffs.
  • The increase in trade between the Empire and the Broken Shore will lead to increased Imperial tax revenues

Following the signing of the peace treaty, it is not long before the first Grendel vessels begin showing up in Imperial ports on the Bay of Catazar. It appears that the vessels are coming via Oran in the West and via Apulus in the East, and are disposing of any slaves onboard at those ports before travelling into Imperial waters. The Grendel are open about these practices, which they consider inconvenient, but just part of the cost of doing business with the Empire. Despite people's reservations, trade is slowly burgeoning and the civil service expect this to be reflected in small but significant increases in Imperial taxation for the treasury over the coming seasons.

To help facilitate the new trade, the Council of Salt Lords have instructed Governor Rahab to open the port at Oran to Imperial fleets. Unfortunately, due to sanctions imposed by the Senate as part of the Empire's membership of the Liberty Pact, any Imperial fleets trading at Oran will have to pay stern tariffs on the goods they transport, cutting their profits. However the civil service have assessed the port and believe that the port could still provide a potentially useful new market for Imperial goods.

Tempest Jade0122334455667
Cerulean Mazzarine0112234445556
True Vervain0112233445566
Luxuries (rings)06121830425460727896120126

* A standard fleet with no upgrades would provide this production if there were no trade sanctions involved. At present there are sanctions in both directions, so a standard fleet would gain the benefits listed in column 3.

Some strident corsairs point out that while the Imperial captains are trading with the Grendel what they are mostly buying are Freeborn goods seized in the fall of Feroz. In practice, the goods available at Oran represent a mix of Freeborn and Grendel materials. The herbs are all native to Feroz, while the money produced represents luxuries and exotic goods imported from the Broken Shore. But orcs are unable to create or use liao, so the surplus available reflects supplies they have seized during their conquest which are now being offered for sale at very reasonable prices. As a result some corsairs are urging fellow captains to avoid the port, while others are going further and calling for an embargo.

Metal For Wood

  • The Grendel are keen to acquire weirwood and offer mithril in return
  • They ask permission of the Imperial Senate to construct a new trade facility to enable the exchange
Weirwood CostMithril Purchased
6 wains of weirwood8 wains of mithril
15 wains of weirwood16 wains of mithril
24 wains of weirwood24 wains of mithril
32 wains of weirwood32 wains of mithril

The recent signed treaty demands that "The Grendel will not trade with the Druj, nor offer them any other material assistance in their military engagement against the Empire." The Grendel make no secret of the fact that prior to the treaty being signed, they had dealings with the Druj, and that the Salt Lords have now lost a lucrative trade route exchanging their mithril for the weirwood of the eastern orcs.

As a result they are now looking to replace this lost market and are happy to offer this opportunity. A well-dressed representative of Salt Lords Council, Wind Speaker Gwindhon, has arrived in the Empire looking to see if a deal can be made to divert the shipments of mithril that had previously been set aside for the Druj to the Empire in exchange for whatever weirwood the Empire can spare.

Gwindhon has requested that the Imperial Senate commission the Broken Shore Mithril Market on the southern coast. Once the commission is secured, the Wind Speaker would provide all the white granite and money needed to fund the construction (30 wains of white granite and 60 crowns) so the structure Could be built without any cost to the Senate. The only thing the Grendel could not supply are the architects and workforce needed, due to the Empire's restrictions on the use of involuntary labour - thus the commission would count against the maximum number of commissions that the Empire could approve in a season.

The Grendel envisage a substantial expansion of the dock facilities in one of the major Southern ports of the Empire, to allow even the largest Grendel vessels to dock. The designs they propose include a large warehouse, and a huge pivoting double treadwheel crane designed to help load and unload bulk cargoes from the ship. In addition to the the warehouse, the facility would include a large office, and living space for a handful of Grendel. The Wind Speaker is at pains to assure anyone who asks that local labour would be employed to operate the facility - they are emphatic that Imperial law will be followed at all times by every Grendel on Imperial soil.

While Gwindhon has requested that the enclave be built in one of the two major trade hubs, Cargo or Sarvos, it would be possible to build the commission in any of the major southern ports of the Empire, such as Crown's Quay or Siroc. The orc diplomat suggests that a Broker of the Broken Shore would be appointed to oversee the trade. There is no request or even suggestion that the structure be ceded to the Grendel - but clearly they could make the title worthless with a season's notice simply by refusing to participate in the trade.

The civil service suggest that the well worn path for such a title would be to have it appointed through the Imperial Bourse. It could be auctioned as an Imperial title, or appointed by the Tally of the Votes as a national title in the appropriate nation. Although the Wind Speaker has requested the trade facility be commissioned with a Senate motion there is no reason why the Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave could not undertake the commission. In legal terms, the facility is just a ministry whose construction is being paid for by a foreigner rather than an Imperial citizen.

A Grand Edifice

  • The Grendel point out that their ambassador has no embassy - they do not want the absence of an embassy to undermine the peace treaty
  • The current ambassador is the Imperial Fleet Master, Esteban i Del Rio Blanco i Guerra of the Brass Coast
  • They are offering to help build a grand edifice to house the Fleet Master and their staff
  • The grandiose embassy they propose would require a senate motion. The Empire would be expected to provide 30 weirwood and 60 crowns in labour costs.
  • The Grendel embassy would have an upkeep of 6 Thrones each season, rather than the usual 5 Thrones.

In Summer 383YE, the Grendel took the unusual step of asking the Imperial Senate to recognise the Imperial Fleet Master as the official ambassador to the Broken Shore with the authority and powers that arise as ambassador. The Senate agreed and amended the title accordingly granting the incumbent, Esteban I Del Rio Blanco I Guerra, significantly increased powers as a result.

At the time the Grendel said they were not concerned about an embassy, but they appear to have changed their tune now that a peace treaty has been signed. When questioned on this point, they make the argument that diplomatic errors were of little concern when the Empire and the Broken Shore were at war. Now that a peace treaty has been signed, the Fleet Master has considerably more responsibility since it will fall to him and his Grendel counterpart to prevent any misunderstandings from undermining the new treaty.

As Wind Speaker Gwindhon points out, it is in everyone's interest for the treaty to last the full two years and more if possible. Building an embassy sends a clear signal that the Empire are fully committed to upholding their side of the treaty, which helps to build trust. The Grendel hold the Fleetmaster in the highest respect, he has proven to be audacious and cunning, qualities they universally admire. But he can't be everywhere... what he needs is a body of trained staff who can ensure smooth relations. Otherwise, who knows what might go wrong...

Total Money SpentProduction
192 Rings6 Tempest Jade, 4 Green Iron, 4 Cerulean Mazzarine, 3 Imperial Roseweald, 2 Liao
720 Rings18 Tempest Jade, 12 Green Iron, 12 Cerulean Mazzarine, 9 Imperial Roseweald, 6 Liao
1440 Rings30 Tempest Jade, 20 Green Iron, 20 Cerulean Mazzarine, 15 Imperial Roseweald, 10 Liao

The Grendel are at pains to stress that they do not want to be seen making demands of the Empire. They understand the Empire has many punishing wars to fight against the Jotun and the Druj and that funds may be short as a result. They have put forward designs for a grand edifice in Cargo, a huge building faced in marble with two high towers that would be bigger and taller than any embassy the Empire has constructed thus far. The Grendel claim it needs to be this large and grandiose to make their envoys comfortable and to deal with the burgeoning trade between them and the Empire. But as a gesture of friendship, they propose to split the cost of construction equally between them and the Empire. They will provide the white granite and pay half the labour costs, if the Empire will provide the weirwood and stump up the other half of the money.

Thus the embassy would cost the Empire 30 wains of weirwood and 60 crowns. It would take two seasons to finish, due to its great size, but once complete it would provide the ambassador with valuable opportunities to profit from trade with the Grendel. It would also help to ensure the peace treaty, minimising the potential for diplomatic disputes and confusions between the Broken Shore Orcs and the Empire. The structure would cost 6 thrones to maintain each season, rather than the usual 5, due to its grandiose nature.

Liberation of the Lost

  • The Grendel treaty agrees to the return of one Imperial citizen taken by the Grendel for each day that passes
  • Slaves are released into Imperial territory on the last day of the month
  • The Grendel suggest that Esteban direct the search for any specific individuals that people might want freed

Two weeks after the Autumn Equinox a small huddle of Freeborn are escorted over the border into Siroc, Madruga by a force of Stone Born. The orc commander indicates that the Imperials have been brought as part of the treaty - slaves taken in Feroz during the invasion. A month later another group is delivered by ship to Trivento apparently taken during the occupation of Sarvos in 380YE.

Each month another group of three dozen former slaves are brought to the Empire either by ship or overland. They are left with the first Imperials who the Grendel encounter, often with only the clothes they are wearing. A cynical civil servant has pointed out that those they have freed thus far have been old or have been maimed in accidents such that they are no longer able to carry out the kind of hard physical labour that would be demanded of those who work the salt mines. Nonetheless there are scenes of jubilation and tears of such joy on the faces of those who are freed that it brings a lump to the throat of even the most jaded.

When asked about who they are choosing to release, the Grendel are quite open about the fact that they are picking those they no longer need or want. That quickly leads to a situation where they are inundated with requests for specific individuals, long assumed lost by mourning family and friends. After some consideration, the Grendel decide they are happy to look for specific slaves, provided they are suitably recompensed, but suggest that it might be better to formalize this arrangement rather than leave it to chance.

Achan of the Fort Fuil Merchants of Bonds currently resides in the former Brass Coast territory of Feroz. A Winged Messenger can be sent to them at their offices in Bramar, Fortargenta,Feroz.

They propose that the Imperial Fleetmaster name a single citizen each season and provide pertinent details to the Grendel by sending a winged messenger to Achan of the Fort Fuil Merchants of Bonds. Achan represents a Grendel operation that makes its money arranging the trade of slaves between Salt Lords, rather than actually acquiring the "merchandise" themselves. They are offering to use their extensive network of contacts to look into the whereabouts of Imperials taken by the Grendel in earlier conflicts, with an eye towards ensuring they are included in the slaves being returned to Trivento each month under the treaty provisions.

Achan would operate as go-between and arrange the purchase of more valuable slaves whose owners are likely to be unwilling to part with them for free. Achan stresses that this could prove to be an expensive undertaking, with costs likely starting from four crowns depending on the value of the individual. He points out that dealing with this business is likely to be a considerable imposition on the Fleetmaster's time and politely suggests that Esteban charge for his services. If Achan was able to locate the individuals in question, then they would be included in the slaves returned to the Empire, once full payment was received.

Set Sail for Anvil

  • A representative of a Grendel cartel will be in Anvil at the upcoming summit
  • They are aiming to arrive at 14:30 on Saturday

Maistir Bradach, working on behalf of the Gainmeachdubh Merchant Adventurers has announced that they will be visiting Anvil during the Winter Solstice along with a small entourage. They are aware of the public Bourse auction, and interested in observing it if at all possible. They have also expressed an interest in making contact with private auction houses run by Imperial citizens; they will be bringing trade goods of their own.

The orc merchant is keen for Imperial citizens to understand that they are not a representative of the Salt Lords, and are neither able to negotiate on their behalf nor interested in doing so. Rather they are a speculator, and representative of a cabal of entrepreneurs keen to exploit exciting new markets.

Golden Arches

  • Some citizens are deeply unhappy at the prospect of trade with the Grendel
  • The Imperial Senate could chose to embargo the Grendel

While the Grendel are keep to capitalise on the opportunities for trade with the Empire, many Imperial citizens are less sanguine about the prospect. There is deep disquiet at the arrival of their ships in Imperial ports. People who have lost family members to the Grendel, either killed in battle, or taken as slaves, are openly calling for them to be thrown out. The magistrates confirm that there is nothing they can do, that the Grendel are foreigners now and entitled to visit Imperial ports to trade. The only way to put an end to the trade would be to embargo the Grendel.

An embargo forbids vessels of that nation docking at Imperial ports and completely prevents captains and merchants of that nation unloading and selling their goods at Imperial ports. In a stroke it would put a stop to the growing trade between the Grendel and the Empire, so none of the opportunities outlined here would function, other than the port at Oran; that would remain open unless the Grendel opted to impose an embargo of their own. The increase in taxation from tariffs on the Grendel trade that is forecast by the Imperial treasury would vanish. It would also have serious implications for relations with Governor Rahab in Feroz, and Salt Lord Kaliact in Spiral.

An embargo would be legal under the terms of the peace treaty - the Grendel could not legitimately claim that it violated the agreement. It would deal a bitter blow to the Grendel who signed an agreement not to trade with the Druj, presumably on the assumption that their goods could be redirected to Imperial markets. It would clearly be a very hostile gesture however. The treaty is due to be renegotiated during the Spring Equinox 385YE; any embargo would prejudice those negotiations very heavily.


During the Winter Solstice, an Imperial Wayleave was used to commission the Broken Shore Mithril Market. Following the evacuation of Feroz, any opportunity outlined here that has not been taken advantage of is no longer available thanks to the fury of Governor Rahab. You can read more about this in the The power behind our moves wind of fortune,

Further Reading