Skip to main content.

Thralldom in the Isles

The question of thralldom has long irritated the morality of the Compact, with many calling for its abolition and Thrax defending the institution as a necessary evil. Matters have finally come to a head. Highlord Victus Thrax has announced his willingness to roll out reforms, Marquis Ford Kennex abolished thralldom entirely in Stormward, and other houses are considering reforms or resisting such.

In the chaos following House Kennex declaring all its thralls free, the Compact is faced with a choice to either put its money where its mouth is in supporting economic reforms that will replace slavery in all but name, or allowing what the traditionalists call a necessary evil to continue.

Prince Victus Thrax, highlord of House Thrax and Prince of Maelstrom, assisted by Princess Alarissa, Princess Consort of Maelstrom, announce their intentions towards thralldom reforms. It will be implemented slowly, but Victus' reforms are as follows:

1. Only a Ruling Peer or Voice ("Lords") of a house of the Thrax may create new thralls.

2. Thralldom may only be imposed as punishment for a criminal act ("criminal thrall") or for waging war against the Thrax or their vassals ("war thrall").

3. Any thrall entering service shall have their fine formally set. This debt must, unless otherwise authorized by paragraph 4 or 7, be achievable within the natural lifetime of a human.

4. The imposition of criminal thralldom with a debt that cannot be repaid within their lifetime ("thralldom until death") requires the decision of a panel of judges and the approval of the liege of the Lord imposing thralldom.

5. A criminal thrall's debt may not be increased or extended in any way unless the thrall commits further crimes that would result in punishment by thralldom on their own. This increase requires approval by a lord of their representative such as a magistrate.

6. A criminal thrall's debt may be reduced or forgiven as a reward for excellent behavior.

7. In addition to repayment of debt, a shav-born war thrall may be held until they show enough understanding of the culture and religion of the Compact to be sworn as a Prodigal.

8. Thralls must be put to use in a specific field of duty, with an eye to building useful skills for their eventual return to free society.

9. Thralls used as warriors or crew on ships must spend their last year of service ashore apprenticed to a free person who practices a trade or craft.

10. A thrall whose service ends either by order or by repayment of debt is a free person of common status, and must be treated as such.

11. A thrall's whose service ends in their death shall have their debt recorded as having been paid in full. The debt of a thrall is not transferable.

12. A criminal thrall's allegiance as a free person reverts to what it was before their period of thralldom, unless the thrall chooses to swear allegiance to another house.

13. A war thrall must actively swear allegiance to a House of the Compact, the Crown, or the Faith to finalize the end of their thralldom.

To progressives outside of the Isles, it seems minor, but to routine offenders inside the Isles, most of the proposed reforms eliminate the worst abuse cases in individual owners arbitrarily increasing the debts of thralls to keep them in chains forever. It's received very well by the more progressive houses in the Isles, though among traditionalists it's mixed. Some of the hardliners don't want to see any movement, particularly those who make very good livings by selling war debts through reaving, and the 'no one can create thralls save lords or their representatives' creates some sticky situations in taking Abandoned prisoners from skirmishes without anything approaching a magistrate or lord anywhere nearby. That will have some wildly different interpretations of the law and its application based on just who is doing the reaving.

The crisis in Stormward, the demesne of House Kennex, has become a cause celebre for much of the Compact. Roughly fifteen million silver in economic damage had been done to Stormward by the immediate abolition of thralldom, but overwhelmingly heavy investment has come from the Faith of the Pantheon, the Crownlands, the Crown, the Oathlands and the Lyceum in particular to offset the economic strain. The social hardships are another matter. Several hundred warships from dozens of houses go to Kennex's waters for peacekeeping, and House Grimhall immediately smashes and crucifies some very obvious mutineering pirates, but there still seems to be an upswing in piracy as singleton ships outside of the massive convoys of the noble houses are picked off. There is a massive disapora of refugees settling throughout the Compact, even with Kennex lands stabilizing, and millions of silver has gone into helping those refugees find new homes through a score of different domains of the Compact. The damage to Kennex has largely been offset by investment, in particular the massive amount of freedmen traveling there, though it is almost certain to have longstanding cultural shifts because of it.

Response by Isle traditionalists has been surprisingly muted, almost certainly due to Kennex's survival. Some are not particularly thrilled by the massive amount of other naval forces in Kennex's waters, but as a lord's perogative in inviting whoever he wants to his own waters is a traditionalist's stance, that's not a fight they are about to pick unless another does it for them. Some might have been privately hoping (or loudly hoping) that Kennex would collapse or face open revolt from armed thralls to give more credence to their arguments, but for now, most stay quiet and wait for the other shoe to drop. There does seem to be some alarmingly non-Isles like beliefs popping up in Kennex, and while the progressives like it, hardliners will almost certainly find -something- to hate in the coming days, if Kennex continues to recover. For now, they'll just gripe that piracy hasn't been wiped out, and about cultural changes that are sure to happen.

Action by Carita for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 4, 2017, 3:27 p.m.)

In one fell swoop of a flourished signature, countless thralls have been released of their debts and set free. Many of these freed are Abandoned - citizens not of the Compact that will need a place to go as they leave Stormward March. Lady Carita Darkwater offers Darkwater Watch (and, as a part of that - the village of Coldreach) as a safe place for this freed men and women. This will be a laborious process, as she will wish to see that anyone that she offers succor to will be a valuable member of society.

The only caveat is that are willing to bend the knee and swear fealty to Darkwater. Then, depending on the various skill levels of individuals - they will either be invited to work and live on Darkwater Watch, or live and learn valuable skills at the village of Coldreach until the are able to acclimatize to life being a citizen of the Compact.

Refugees do come to the Darkwater, with more settling in the Watch itself than Coldreach. The number of new freedmen that settle is more than enough to offset the thralls that slip away from the Watch.

Action by Aleksei for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 12, 2017, 12:03 a.m.)

The Liberators of Skald have promised aid to all freed thralls: relocation if they wish it to any demense of the Compact, room and board within the housing of the Faith, and assistance finding work or training for it until they have found their feet.

The Liberators of Skald were not expecting twenty thousand people to need this aid at once.

And so Aleksei has reached out to -- pretty much everyone. All the noble houses. Merchant fleets. Friends who have maybe one ship! Basically he's organizing a mass effort to make contact with the newly-freed thralls in Stormward and either get them resituated in Stormward or give them transport elsewhere in the Compact that they may want to go. All of this is stuff he's already set up, but he's having to haul in major support to try and do it on a much larger scale than he was anticipating.

Aleksei will endure the terrors of seasickness to travel to Stormward personally to oversee the efforts of the Liberators and do his best to keep matters calm where possible and work as efficiently as he can.

For those generous enough to offer ships for transport, Aleksei will make sure each ship will have some sort of representative of the Faith on board to help keep an eye on things and discourage any untoward actions in regards to the freed thralls.

Indeed, the Valorous Few are Being Helpful! Since Victus so kindly invited people, Audric (and Shard, and probably a handful of the friendlier types) are heading up with the Liberators. First and foremost will be offering the fabulous life of a sellsword, to any who wish to join up! Money, plunder, see the world, get to kill people fairly frequently, there's nothing but upside, really. Oh, and I guess if there's any room left over they'll help transport some people.

After speaking with Aleksei, the Few have agreed to find space on the ships they're using both for his Faith representatives and his freed Thralls. In fact, Shard's stated her intent to pack everyone in as tightly as possible for the journey, comfort be damned so long as the crew can still function, so between that and Audric's hope to annoy the ears off of the poor priest who gets stuck on his boat, it probably won't be a very pleasant series of trips at all, but at least there will be more people getting to where they need to go.

In addition to this, Shard will be putting in a few words--or many words--or some not so gentle nudges--and maybe some heavy coin--to some people she knows who know some people who know some other people about extra boats and ships for the sole use of Aleksei's cause for the duration. Just don't look too hard at these boats or ask where they came from. They don't take kindly to questions.

Killian is dispatching ships from the Ashford navy to assist with the evacuation of freed thralls, per Aleksei's request. The ships will be providing transport, and staying together with one another, their orders to guardian one another and transport their passengers safely to the appointed destination.

Nicia has agreed to aid Aleksei and the Liberators in their task of helping to resettle the freed thralls, as such she has decided that one galley, and three longships from the Laurent military should be sent to help resettle the freed thralls. Allowing them to choose where they wanted to go, the help is not dependent on them coming to Laurent lands, although she will also make a point of stating that Laurent is willing to accept the resettlement of thralls in their lands.

Belladonna is putting Pravus's fleet at the Liberators' disposal for this. They are fresh and probably antsy for something to do. A skeleton force will be held back to patrol Setarco's borders as they have been, and a scout vessel or two are kept standing by in case the fleet has to be recalled swiftly (plus the ship kept in Arx!), but otherwise they can have use of the fleet as per the terms laid out by Aleksei. They are placed under Alrec's command, and Alrec is directed to report to the Faith on this one (using his judgment). Members of the Faith are most certainly allowed to be on every ship.

As well, she has put forth to both Aleksei and Bianca that those particularly suited for the role of a courtesan and interested in doing so, she will pay for their tuition to and support during the attendance of one of the courtesan schools in Setarco. And! Pioneering spirits that she might be able to interest in Luciva, they are being accepted that way too.

Boots on ground in Stormward while ships are there and have access to people (likely very briefly, but still), they are directed to aid in calming the populace, and provided talking points to do so by Belladonna.

Ford will be kept in the loop by her men as a matter of course throughout the entire mission.

Thena has agreed to assist Aleksei by providing as many Solace agents as can be spared to represent the Faith on ships transporting and resettling freed thralls. Since these agents are already out in the field acting as protectors to travellers and pilgrims, and have a presence long established in the Mourning Isles, shuffling things around shouldn't be too difficult. In addition, Thena is slated to send aid to the Mourning Isles for the Darkwater exploration and should be able to combine these efforts.

Thena is also dispatching a newly commissioned galley to help with transport. The galley will be crewed by freed thralls.

The Knights of Solace will accept freed thralls who wish to work either as soldiers or support staff and pay them a living wage for their services. They need not take vows, though should any wish to follow that path, instruction will be arranged.

Aleksei has asked for support to guard the ships, and knowing that the Knights of Solace will be focusing on supporting the Thralls this means the Templars only need worry about protecting the ships and ensuring that the ships are not mobbed when they land. Accordingly, Preston is making available Templars from the Arx Templars to sail out with the ships and hold order while Solace and the others help the former Thralls. The priority for the Templars is preserving the majority - the boats, the Faith people helping the Thralls. But they are also not the local police force. So. If the boats are at risk of being swamped or a mob forms and attacks the rescue attempts, they will defend. If a mob forms and isn't threatening the boats? Thats for Kennex.

Although she cannot be there in person, Katarina will be sending part of her fleet in her stead; three longships and a galley. These assets are to be used to help ferry newly freed thralls to their intended destinations, with gentle emphasis on a wealth of opportunity that can await them in Valardin-owned lands.

Hana is not the world's best teacher, but she's often been lucky in instructing others. And she's nothing if not enthusiastically devoted to Jayus -- the god of both crafting /and/ of hope. So she travels to the Isles as well, trying to give hope to the former thralls who need to learn a new trade -- those who worked menial jobs and desperately want to do something new, something that provides a chance at a better life. She'll be organizing lessons, yes, but she'll also have worked to encourage other Disciples of Jayus to the same -- to travel with her, and to teach /their/ skills as well. Tailoring, baking, carpentry, and so on. Hopefully, it at least makes a small difference.

Without question, Saedrus has agreed to assist Aleksei. First and foremost he intends to accompany Aleksei, and other Liberators, to Stormward not only as a Disciple of Skald, but as a composed and diplomatic voice in what might be a chaotic situation. Though he cannot offer ships or safe escort, he can be present to try and mollify vassals (or persons of the general populace) crying out against the current crisis. A little charm can go a long way, and hopefully Saed can keep things calm.

In addition, though he cannot take many, he will let it be known that the Grotto can take on a small number of ex-thralls as attendants, board and basic needs seen to, and assistance in finding them trades and future work. Furthermore, pending approval of the Radiant, he can take a handful in under the Whisper House as house staff until either they settle to other livelihoods or to continue on for potential future training. The total is miniscule in comparison to the twenty-thousand, but every little bit helps.

As a Liberator Ferrando is coming along to Stormward to try and generally help un-clusterfuck the situation. He's not really a logistical type or a big public speaker. He's a bouncer! It's fair to say his #1 skill to lend to the effort is an ability to move around heavy stuff. He's probably just going to end up dealing with minor things Aleksei is too busy for.

As promised the Scholars of Vellichor are ready to assist at the word of the Archscholar. Messengers have been sent to the parishes of the discipleship present in Stormward to open the doors to their smaller libraries and utilize donations already in stock to help in upholding the offer of a living wage to freed Thralls seeking higher education or tradeskill apprenticeships. Bianca will also be accompanying Blessed Aleksei to Stormward directly to aid immediately with her own diplomatic abilities and personal resources.

Mydas will be making use of his substantial ability in logistics and economics to ensure the resources deployed to aid the newly freed Thralls are not ill spent or wasted. To summarize, Marquis Mydas Nightgold will play the role of the accountant.

Seraph Ailith will reach out to the local Seraphs in aiding the Faith's efforts of providing solace, community outreach, and humanitarian efforts for the many believers. Using her presence and prowess of propaganda, she'll help kindle hope, compassion, and support among the Faithful and within the Faith such as sermons with stories of the compassion, love, charity, and hope, the many gifts of the Gods, in hopes to soothe and provide a steady familiar place of solace (worship in the shrines) during this chaotic time. When not doing these things, she personally heal the injured and sick who come to the Faith and assist them on their way to the outbound ships, should they be departing.

As minister of warfare and with authorisation to release about half the Velenosa armada into a committed liberation fleet, Talen is overseeing the leading arrangements in that regard. Ensuring the that there are captains who know what they're doing to act as transportation for ex-thralls is key. Faith and Liberator representatives are permitted aboard and allowed to direct the efforts with all reasonable requests to make things easier. The Velenosa are focusing primarily on carrying people, so any security escorts to defend the ships from external attacks will come from the Thrax, and Velenosa vassals organised by the Lyceum aid council.

Lianne is lending ships from Nilanza's navy to aid with the safe transport of the recently freed to Arx. Modest financial assistance will be provided to individuals or families interested in resettling in Nilanza, particularly if they are skilled in a trade or capable sailors interested in enlisting in the navy. Representatives of the Faith will be welcomed on board each vessel.

Victus will be providing transport via the 1st Thrax Fleet, namely in his stated offer of paying work in the Maelstrom and safe haven until they can be transported elsewhere in the Compact. Aleksei's Liberators and other agents of the Faith will be allowed passage on these vessels making runs to and from Stormward to assist in the relocation efforts for Thralls lacking employment. With the exception of any ships provided by Grimhall, per Harald's request. It should be noted that freed Thralls who have gone on to commit crimes against Kennex will not be offered the same on Victus' own vessels, as they are Kennex's right to judge for their actions.

In an unofficial capacity, though with no less focus, Rook will be duplicating the efforts of Mydas Nightgold in an effort. It can't hurt to be certain, can it? Resources in, out and spent all about. In addition there's the counting of ex-Thralls shipped out, sprinkled across the Compact, giving as accurate a set of numbers as possible to all takers of the refugees. Did any go missing, how many died, do they have at least enough coin and resources to keep this mission up until all of Stormward's loose freemen are, well, free?

Lacking much in the way of funds or resources, Fortunato employs his skill and that of his apprentices to make flyers, encouraging people of great means and small means to donate to the resettlement effort and otherwise help smooth out the transition, perhaps by hiring the displaced. Need someone in the back room? Someone to knead dough? Someone, perhaps, to draw more flyers?

Monique will accompany the flotilla and use her charm and diplomacy to convince freed Prodigal thralls to resettle in the Compact, using her knowledge of their native tongue to win their trust. She will also use her significant silver to see they are set up with necessities when they arrive at their destinations.

They manage to avoid violence, which is no minor miracle as of the sheer amount of naval force in the region now. Setarco's massive navy is significantly larger than the pride and joy of many Isles houses, a fact most seem completely unaware of even as House Pravus' dromonds and dozens of longships arrive in Kennex waters under the command of Admiral Alrec to assist the liberators. This is not, in any way, to diminish the forces sent by the Knights of Solace, House Laurent, Lianne's fleet of Nilanza, or the detachments by House Velenosa, Katarina's Oathlands fleet, Ashford or Thrax, but all combined it roughly doubles the overall size of the force, which would likely make any lower rank peers of the Isles distinctly uneasy if they realized its scope.

Fortunately, that's unlikely to happen, as the fleet takes place in a great disapora. There is still a significant percentage that opts to stay in Kennex lands with the support to do so, and in this, the Faith is instrumental. The Faith is one of the great consistent institutions across the entire Compact, even in the shamanism heavy north, but the Isles have always been closer to the Faith than that. Orazio, Thena, Preston, Bianca, Ailith in particular are able to make a great deal of difference in many staying, particularly with the economic work by Rook and Mydas helping to make a chaotic situation be broken down into stabilizing a destroyed economy, and peacekeeping efforts from the forces sent. Killian's Ashford men, Nicia's Laurent forces, Lianne's Nilanzans, Audric and Shard's valorous few, Preston's templars, Thena's knights of solace, Setarco marines all do a part to keeping peace on the ground, with the aid of the Valorous Few being a little questionable and a few of them seem determined to put the 'liberation' in Liberators to mean goods that belonged to individuals. A few hangings by Audric fixes that (and these were the friendlier ones, a shame), as well as Ferrando helpfully letting others know where the problematic elements are.

While a small but significant percentage stays, what truly happens is a massive disapora led by the combined fleet. Some prodigals. Setarco, Nilanza, Maelstrom, Maelstrom, and Ashford lands all see a significant amount of ex-thralls wishing to settle, with Setarco as an example seeing a large bump in capable courtesans at Setarco's schools. The Lycene is a bit more popular as in terms of climate, Setarco or Nilanza is closest to the saffron chain, and what the vast majority of former thralls originally came from. Monique as a prodigal has a great deal in common with many of the newer, louder voices from factions of former thralls, and is able to help many peacefully find new homes throughout the Compact- a smaller percentage opt for different vocations in Arx, with Hana having new weaponsmiths, Saedrus having some new employees at the Grotto and potential Whispers, the Valorous Few see a bump in questionable fellows replacing the ones hanged with Shard sorting out the most promising. There's quite a few new templars, knights of Solace and Scholars, particularly from those wishing to see Arx as godsworn. All in all, a massive amount of refugees are resettled peacefully.

All that's the good, the bad is minor but still significant- the huge amount of ships flying Oathlands and Lycene flags are allowing some pirates to take advantage of the confusion and fly false flags to escape justice, with hundreds of ships in Kennex waters without an overall central command, no one really knows who is who which is allowing some smugglers and pirates to hope that Thrax doesn't have the balls to pick on Oathlands or Lycene ships and provoke an incident (unfortunately for all involved, this is probably untrue). Also, while the great disapora helps the refugees, it doesn't help Kenenx- the recovery they see is modest, as most of their workforce is, in effect, leaving with only a minority staying. They still need a massive amount of investment to survive.

Action by Tobias for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 10, 2017, 4:38 p.m.)

With Thralldom abolished in Kennex, Tobias makes it known via messengers and other means that mercenary minded former thralls (former soldiers, support personnel, logistics people etc) who swear fealty to the Compact and want to come to Arx are welcomed to see if they have the skillset to get into the Crimson Blade logistics force -or get tested for initiation into the Crimson Blade training squad and see if they can make the cut- and will be given the essentials to sail over to Arx (mostly via Thraxes fleet).

To make sure that people have a chance of being hired, and aren't just looking for free silver handouts, Tobias is going to send a Captain with a couple bodyguards over on the Thrax ships to screen candidates for the skills the Companies and support personnel need.

If they cannot make the cut once in Arx, Tobias will direct them to others who will help and hire them.

Most are untrained, and the Blades have always been about skill over numbers, but Tobias is able to find some thralls who had a great deal of combat experience even if it was -against- the Compact and why they became thralls in the first place. About a dozen all told, but they are battle hardened veteran elites, even if their loyalty might be questionable at this point.

Action by Harald(RIP) for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 10, 2017, 3:35 p.m.)

Harald is committing the Grim Fleet to the support of Kennex in the following ways: first, in hunting down the renegade Kennex longships which newly freed thralls took over, as well as cracking down on any other pirates looking to exploit the chaos. He will lead this effort personally. If found, the leaders of the mutineers will be publicly crucified as traitors in Grihem's Point, and the crews returned to thralldom under Grimhall.

Second, the fleet will escort any Kennex Freedmen who accept passage from Stormward March to Grihem's Point, where they will be considered free serfs. They won't be paid much, but they'll have work, shelter, and food for their families. Harald rejects Aleksei's placement of Churchmen aboard his vessels in this relocation.

Third, the fleet will provide escort to any mainland ships bringing aid to Stormward March, to ensure pirates do not prey on idiot mainlanders who announce they are transporting loads of silver and supplies.

Lastly, the Grim Legion is being prepared against the possibility that Stormward March falls into open revolt. Should this happen, Harald is prepared to land his troops together with Thrax to prevent a lengthy civil war and impose an overlord's order on the March. Should this be necessary, the army will bring supplies and silver to encourage cooperation, so that there is a carrot to go with the stick.

Ian will be going along with the grim fleet (hopefully together with Aethan and Porter). He's not just there to lend his blade to the fight, but also his expertise; Ian sailed Kennex waters for years, and if it comes to fighting pirates, it's a fair bet that they'll be pirates who became thralls after a ship Ian was on caught them in the first place. He knows the tactics that pirates in that area use, where they like to hide, etc. More personally, he's spent a lot of time with the grim legion, and also wants to go because he feels a certain obligation to dive into trouble alongside them. As an aside, it may or may not be worthy of remark that the Brothers Kennex, who used to have a reputation as pirate hunters, at least in their own House if not on the Isles as a whole, are together again on a reunion tour of sorts, and together under Grimhall's banner. Given the tension between Ford and Harald, it might set tongues wagging.

Aethan is joining his brothers in sailing with Harald to hunt former thralls turned pirate.

Faelan is going to come along with Harald to fight and hunt down the renegade Kennex freedmen. He is also going to bring Navegant soldiers with to help.

Traveling with the Grimhall Fleet, Edward will go as someone to meet with traditionalists and progressive who are concerned over their loss of thralls and provide financial and economic advice on how to spend the monies they should expect and demand of House Kennex and the Compact to help with the transition, recommending wage prices for thralls who want to stay and how to incentivize them to not leave on the great fleets that come to pick them up to take them away. This will include conversations to confused and lost thralls who do not know what to do, encouraging them to stay and continue their trade and craft - with examples of how wealthy a crafter in the Compact can become. And for those who still desire to escape their Kennex cages an encouragement to resettle inside Thrax instead of without - his focus then on places like Navegant and Whitefrost.

Melinda will be using her skills in Propaganda to help her father keep morale amongst his crew and his ships. She is also getting Artorius to lend more ships to her fathers cause.

Sameera, being more of an organazier, it set on keeping track of the inventory of the Grimhall fleet as well as organzing those on reserve for occupation Kennex, should it come to it. She is heeding any change of orders that Harald might give her or acting on any ill actions done by those following the Grimhall Duke. As a note, if Harald or a Grimhall, especially Harald, is in a situation of risk she will, absolutely disregard the orders Harald gives her to keep them safe. She will also attempt to try getting former thralls to follow her command, using her status as a former thrall, to draw them in and convince them to cease and then swear themselves to Grimhall. She will be nudign Torstein to join her, under her command.

Torstein will be assisting and playing bodyguard (babysitter) to Sameera.

Let's get some pirates! And probably do some other helpful and boring stuff, too. But mostly catching some pirates!

The High Lord is providing Thrax's own marine forces to assist Harald in combating piracy and aid in whatever other military campaigns that the Duke sees fit. By Victus' order, they will be led under Harald's command until order has been restored to Stormward and the mutineers are brought to swift justice.

Piracy? In our waters? Against our people? No. That will not stand. The Lady Regla Navegant, alongside the Marines and Navegant fleet will assist in anti-piracy and escort operations.

Two things go extremely well, from the standpoint of the Isles. First, no revolt happens under the watchful eyes of Isles' military might, which in turn stops the flow of blood due to anarchy and help stabilize the freefall of Kennex's economy. Most of the traditionalists are happy about that, even if they are disinclined to put their own money forward to buy old thrall debts that have now been abrogated by Ford's actions. Secondly, two renegade longships have been run down by their forces and destroyed. They were flying Kennex colors, but the flayed crucified bodies of their former commanders on decks made it not very ambiguous about whether they were legitimate Kennex vessels or not. Those ships were run down, cornered, and slaughtered with the surrendering survivors brought back to Grihem's Point to be presented to the sea. The overwhelming force combined with the vastly more disciplined soldiers made them extraordinarily one sided, with only three Grimhall men dying for 78 former thralls being slain in combat, and one of the deaths was from a man named Rolf trying to leap from a boarding plank, hitting the side of a longboat, and then drowning.

As a result of the show of force, a small amount of refugees choose to settle on Grihem's Point, Escuma, Whitefrost and Maelstrom. They all see a modest boost in their labor forces as a result.

It's not a complete success, but that is largely out of their control and their forces wish for more clarification on how to proceed, since they are crossing into some dangerous waters (a pun which they all argue is not intended). The problem is there are now hundreds of ships of the Compact's houses in Kenenx waters helping with relief efforts. While the morons on the two renegade longships were easily dealt with because they got carried away, more professional pirates and smugglers are much less stupid, and are taking advantage of the chaos by flying false flags. This is a predicament because many of the other ships are ducal houses from the Lyceum, Grayson, and the Oathlands at least. And some suspect that some pirates are flying Thrax colors as well, and this creates issues as asking any other ship to stop to be boarded could provoke some extremely ugly incidents- particularly since most would expect Kennex to be the ones doing this by law, and they aren't here. Grimhall could argue they have the rigths for this, as the liege of Kennex and it being a problem, but some of the craftier pirates might be flying Grimhall flags. It's very hard to tell how many are out there, but there was at least 3 attacks on isolated ships after the two longships of Kennex mutineers were killed, meaning -someone- at least is still in the business of piracy, and those ones are being extremely careful. Most of the large fleets of the Compact are traveling in far to big detachments for pirates to risk, but for smaller groups of refugees fleeing, it's a serious concern.

Action by Victus for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 7, 2017, 4:36 p.m.)

As per his proclamation, Victus himself will be taking the helm of the Red Serpent to lead the entire 1st Thrax Fleet in subsequent runs from the Maelstrom to Stormward. On each go-around, they will be picking up freed Thralls that agree to move to the Maelstrom as serfs with paid positions. Along with that, they'll be using their expeditions as patrol runs in order to sink any and all mutineers that may have taken to piracy. Or to summarily pick up escaping Thralls that are newly freed, for escort barring that they are criminals. Any criminal Thrall that finds their way onto a Thrax vessel will be executed upon return to the Maelstrom.

Victus is able to help restore order prety easily, though he's able to make some troubling conclusions. He receives mention of some vessels flying Thrax flags where he knows damned well, due to him being hands on and there, that there should be no Thrax flagged vessels at all. In other words, he quickly is able to determine that if the reports are true, some pirates are flying false flags and trying to take advantage of the chaos to prey on isolated ships and use the huge amount of ships of every house in the Compact to slip around unnoticed.

Action by Orazio(RIP) for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 10, 2017, 3:40 p.m.)

Orazio authorizes a massive outpouring of funds to help blunt the economic impact of the abrupt abolishment of thralldom for Kennex. Using the expertise of local Scholars and Seraphs, the Faith will determine the greatest trouble areas and how to add the money in ways that will respect the dignity of both former thralls AND the people who have abruptly lost so much income so rapidly. There will be settlement funds provided to former thralls who wish to stay in Kennex - Orazio has recommended to Kennex to consider land grants at the edges or untamed areas in Kennex, if any exist, for former thralls who wish to stay. The Faith will also be identifying those thrallholders who had treated their people with respect and dignity - financial incentives in Gild's name will go to these folk to help them offer their former thralls good wages to stay on as employers, and they will be consulted on how best to help other former thrallholders adjust both practically and emotionally to the new state of affairs. The Faith will also be doing full-scale renovations of its holdings in Kennex, using local labor and materials, to help offset trade instabilities.

This is all in addition to actions undertaken by specific discipleships, including the Knights of Solace, who Orazio has ordered to increase their patrols and presence on Kennex roads to help counter the rise in banditry. Orazio also has dispatched some of the Faith's best missionaries to Kennex - their job is to use social influence to help the common people of Kennex emotionally adapt to Ford's decree, and see it not as a resentment-creating disaster, but as an opportunity to prove their strength and commitment to justice as proud people of the Isles.

The Scholars of Vellichor are ready to assist at the word of the Archscholar. Messengers have been sent to the parishes of the discipleship present in Stormward to open the doors to their smaller libraries and utilize donations already in stock to help in upholding the offer of a living wage to freed Thralls seeking higher education or tradeskill apprenticeships. The Scholars present on the island have also been directed to assist in economic assessment and alert the leaders of the Faith as to which areas are in the most dire need of financial support with the loss of their predominant labor force.

Leola ensures that the Lodge assist the Faith. She attempts to found a branch of the Lodge in Kennex lands; there, she uses this to liase with and organise the local Petrichorans. With her skills with agriculture and animals, she attempts to direct the homesteading - to ensure that any new farms and lands set up are given to those with appropriate skills, that land is used to the fullest effect. She is in her element - sending messengers, organising, and learning about the land and directing it to be used to best effect.

Thena sends more soldiers out to Kennex lands to help increase the Solace presence. She combines this with her efforts to help Aleksei keep a Faith presence on the ships transporting and resettling freed thralls, as it's a perfect excuse to have agents on every transport under the auspices of switching everyone around over there.

Merek is part of the Disciples of Vellichor, and as such he will be assisting Bianca as she assists the task Orazio has set forth. He will be putting the efforts of trade from his shop towards assisting Kennex financially, while he will also assist in coordinating the educational and ecomomic assessments that will be required to best distribute funds, while also helping with the newly freed Thralls at the same time, in the hopes this will help push forward the action with much more ease.

Do you want religious zealotry? Because this is how you get religious zealotry.

The amount of investment by the Faith saves thousands of lives literally, and in the figurative sense of allowing people to rebuild their livelihoods and the lives they had made, far, far more. The amount of economic recovery done by the Faith greatly exceeds what was done by House Kennex itself, which isn't exactly unnoticed by the former Thralls. Sure, they will always be grateful to Ford for being the great breaker of chains but he was also the father of economic upheaval, so he has a mixed reputation in his own lands at present. Not so much the Faith. The amount of disciples in the Isles increases by thousands overnight, and tithes that the Faith receives jump up a full ten percent.

The Faith personally takes care of more than half of the economic rebuilding that had to happen.

Action by Calaudrin for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 9, 2017, 7:30 p.m.)

With House Kennex having abolished thralldom within its borders and ships and ships going there to bring back anyone who wants to leave, it's probably safe to assume a nice chunk of those newly freed thralls are going to end up in Arx. And those people will be looking for work! And for those people, there's the Iron Guard. They'll be hanging around, happy to direct anyone (without a significant history of ugly criminal behavior of course!) to their barracks. Where there will be (kind of lumpy) cots, food (cooked by Sparte?!) and plenty of training by reasonably seasoned guardsmen. Calaudrin will be one of people taking those thralls in and teaching them the ropes of being a guard. Hopefully it won't go too poorly.

Sparte is aiding Calaudrin by taking time to get to know the people joining the guard and, perhaps just as importantly, talk to them about their life ahead now that they're out of Thralldom. While he'll see to food for the thralls he expects he'll learn as many recipes as he shares with them, and perhaps will take a different view from most others - Kennex lands were their homes, and still can be. They are free, and should be treated fairly, but that doesn't mean they need to leave the lands they once loved. If anything, they now have a voice to make those lands better. He'll also lend his skill to helping train them.

Sparte will advocate for allowing them to leave the guard and return home should they wish it, even if that is a loss of resources to the guard for having trained a guardsman who doesn't end up serving.

Silas has helped recruit displaced peoples into the Guard before, and will happily provide any law-abiding Thralls room and board in addition to training if they desire to join the ranks of the Iron Guard. They will be held to the same standard as every other guardsmen, but Silas will make sure they're welcome within the barracks in hope they will appreciate belonging to 'family' of sorts.

Once their basic training is complete, their strengths and weaknesses will be assessed and they will be placed under the tutelage of a senior guardsman who specializes in the skill sets they may be interested in.

Among the surge in refugees in Arx, a fair number decide that the Iron Guard is the life for them. For many, it's greatly empowering, since some see it as joining the military that everyone in the Isles would have to answer to. So the good news is that they have a surge in recruits. The bad news is some iron guardsmen might have strong biases against anyone from the Isles, and they might need to keep an eye out on new guardsmen trying to abuse Isles commoners in Arx.

Action by Edain for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 11, 2017, 11:19 p.m.)

House Valardin is donating 700,000 silver to help with the initial cash of the economy in the hopes that these funds will be used to help those most afflicted. We will also waive trade tarriffs on Kennex ships coming to Sanctum and ports controlled by the Valardin to help them beable to start financially recovering on their own. Other houses have been invited to donate what they feel they can, and offer aid in otherways to help House Kennex recover. Duchess Nicia Laurent will oversee that the funds that are being sent by the Oathlands are put to their intended purpose.

Alis is contributing some of her own economic resources to assist in setting up any trade deals and helping reduce tariffs on current trade to Kennex. She would also be volunteering to help with the hunting party to provide food and hides for those who need it.

Fiachra will primarily be assisting with organizing hunts to provide meat and hides for those who need it. Fia also knows how to make hardtack (as well as Alis and Eirlys) and will teach those who would like to learn the process. It's not the best-tasting stuff in all Arvum, sure, but when any food is better than no food...

House Keaton will be assisting in aid with the hunt for meat to donate forth to those that are hungry. They will have hounds brought in for the hunting parties to aid the efforts and a storage shed will be made on their property to store the preserved food. In addition to this, Keaton has done a fair amount of trade of lumber with Thrax, and are willing to offer House Kennex a deal (should they take it) where they are the center point in supplying Keaton lumber to Thrax for building vessels, creating profit for House Keaton but also giving a healthy commission to House Kennex.

Reigna Keaton will be helping to set up a trust account into with the Oathlands donations will be put in. She will help administrate this trust to ensure the funds reach the freemen that are to benefit from this trust.

Ryhalt is directing a substantial sum of silver to Countess Reigna's trust at the bank of Arx as well as contributing his experience in financial matters to help grow the principal of the trust until such time as it is expended, finding profitable, short trades that he feels are within acceptable risk parameters to make the initial contributions go farther.

Princess Isabeau will do what she can to assist Nicia in the bookkeeping and paperwork aspects on the economic side of the situation. She possesses some mild familiarity with the concept of economics and she can alphabetize.

As asked, Nicia is going to oversee the funds, collection and allocation of, and make certain that there is no shady sleight-of-hand happening. As such she will be checking everyone's bookkeeping, on all sides, making certain that things are signed off on, and that there are no unusual inflations happening for goods that are being purchased, or donated, and that there are in fact an accounting of every item, every silver. She will be making certain that Kennex keeps good records, approaching the Marquis and her cousin, the Marquessa, as well as Lady Octavia to make certain that what is being donated goes to proper use.

For her part, Katarina contributes both time and energy into raising additional funds to compensate the initial cash investments of House Valardin. Being the wife of the Crown Minister of Coin has it's benefits. She will also use her connections throughout the various coastal ports of the Oathlands to encourage local businesses to open their ranks to potential newly freed thralls that might make their way back from the Mourning Isles under the ships she's already sent to ferry them wherever they might wish to begin their new lives.

The Oathlands' efforts have an immediate, significant effect on dealing with the immense economic damage that House Kennex has suffered. Reigna's idea of a trust is an excellent one, particularly when being overseen by Princess Isabeau and Duchess Nicia in making certain there's no malfeasance that takes part with the funds. Ryhalt's contributions from the Duchy of Westrock with all of its shipping concerns, which combined with Edain's tariff forgiveness and Katarina's contributions takes a good step towards getting Kennex's trade up and running again. Fiachra and Kael's hunting skills, aided by Alis, helps teach the new thralls some subsistence methods, and staves off a great deal of starvation concerns- something that almost certainly would have happened if not for their efforts.

Action by Sophie for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 10, 2017, 7:28 p.m.)

Sophie will be doing what she can to help the Mercy chapter in Stormward (and anywhere else) with the recruitment of novitiate Mercies from the ex-Thralls. Victus offered passage, and those who wish to relocate and train in Arx, she'll see about making that happen.

She also has plenty of logistical experience dealing with overflow, and she'll pass on what she knows to any Mercy chapters in need. She and the gaggle of Mercies accompanying her will also lend their healing skills in the places they visit.

Further healing efforts will come with the coordination of Eirene and the Physicians Guild.

Cybele will join Sophie and aid in educating those in need, as well as giving medical aid.

A surprising number of thralls were working as healers in House Kennex, already doing much the same work that the Physicians and Mercies would have done, and a great number of those leap at the chance to finally see the city of Arx and have their own training and knowledge vastly expanded. Sophie, Cybele and Eirene help with the current crisis in making certain injuries are seen to, and in return they see a extremely large uptick in individuals wishing to train in Arx. Both the physicians and mercies have new members, and will see a small increase in their incomes accordingly.

Action by Alaric for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 11, 2017, 9:36 p.m.)

Alaric is marshalling the various Crown organizations to respond to the crisis. Three million silver total has been budgeted to the Crown's overall crisis response. As the Faith is concentrating mostly on outreach to the freed thralls, The Crown Observers are leading the Crown's effort to assist non-thrall citizens of the Compact mitigate the effects of the economic disruption, with the Ministry of Defense tasked with arranging the Observers' (and all that cash's) security through their various contacts. The primary focus is on small individual families that were reliant on thrall debt payments for support, giving them a bridge and a buffer to make their future plans without the threat of immediate bankruptcy forcing their hands. Back in Arx, the Ministry of Infrastructure has been tasked with finding 'underutilized areas' of Arx to repurpose to handle the influx of housing needs from newly arrived freedpeople.

Alaric personally is holding lots of meetings to drum up overall assistance, encourage cooperation between the various efforts, smooth over disagreements, and generally instill confidence that the Compact's collective actions will be equal to the task before them.

Canvasing neighborhoods within the upper and lower boroughs, the Minister of Infrastructure has sent out her staff to knock on doors and perform a small census in specific areas. Each empty home or apartment is noted and rented by the Crown to home freed thralls who wish to relocate to the captial city with the expectation that they will learn a useable, marketable trade, becoming productive members of society within a year of relocation.

That level of investment with Alaric and Jaenelle's help has a profound effect on Kennex's ability to recover. Stormward's regular citizens, particularly the ones that had been bankrupt by thrall debt being wiped away, are able to recover, and the economy begins to function once more. In Arx, there's a significant number of refugees that find housing and employment, particularly in the boroughs. Arx sees a small but significant uptick in economic recovery as a result, and both Kennex and the Crown sees their incomes increase as a result of three million silver in investment.

Action by Corban for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 11, 2017, 9 p.m.)

With so many freed Thralls, many are looking to (hopefully) resettle to other lands. Lord Corban will lead the lent West Rock merchant marine, escorted by its traditional allies, the Telmar navy, to Stormward to recruit those that may wish to resettle in the Oathlands. Corban will also detail soldiers as security forces in case troubles should arise on the voyage back home.

Unlike some, Corban is not looking for just crafters or those in thralldom from debts. He will accept prodigal warriors for Telmar, seeking to grow the army ranks, and those that Ryhalt might show interest in, inspiring them with tales of the lives of honor and service that could await them. (Since the Oathlands are so far from the Isles, it is not as if these warriors would battle their old neighbors). He will also use his silver to set up resettled thralls with the necessities of life where they land.

Ryhalt is sending a number of ships from the Westrock fleet as well as a complement of armsmen to help keep things orderly just in case, bent on ferrying former thralls that need a place to live and work, settle areas in the westrock marches that are away from Darkshore influences, or go wherever in the Oathlands will take them if they prefer.

Thanks to their efforts, a number of refugees settle in both the Telmarch and Westrock Reach. Their military forces do a great amount of peacekeeping, and under their watchful eyes, there's no attacks on any of the refugee movements, though there are rumors of pirate activities on isolated shipping away from the convoys. Both Westrock and Telmar see small population gains.

Efforts have continued in Stormward and the Isles around it, since the demesne of House Kennex has found some hard won stability through the toil and treasure of the Compact. Duke Harald Grimhall coordinated with many of the other naval powers still in Kennex waters and set up a system of watchwords to identify friendly vessels and catch those flying false flags. The initial result crushes the remaining piracy in the region, or at least forces those remaining pirates to lay very low for the time being, with at least six ships being taken as prizes by House Grimhall. On Stormward itself, the Faith has been extremely active in making certain the recently won fragile stability does not collapse, with outreach led by Archlector Aleksei, Thena and her Knights of Solace and Legate Orazio. The Legate takes great pains to get the new zealots calling themselves 'Sentinels' under some measure of control, to mixed feelings of many traditionalists in the Isles. Separate outreach efforts led by Lady Khanne Halfshav and Lord Corban Telmar see some immigration and acclimation to Whitehold and the Telmarch in turn, and by and large Stormward is quiet. Many in the Isles quietly wait (and some hope) for something to still go wrong.

Marquessa Vanora Kennex has not been idle. While others prepare for war, Vanora focuses on the immediate need for peace amongst the Kennex. This is not the best time to be at odds, and she has worked tirelessly to reach out and help set the domain she co-rules with her husband Ford to rights.

She works with businesses within Kennex to retain former thralls, particularly well-trained ones, at a fair wage. She sponsors necessary infrastructure projects - schools, medicine, housing - to make sure that everyone is properly housed and cared for. She pays particular attention to the thralls who work with ships - as sailors and shipwrights and everything in between - to make sure that their naval strength is as steady as possible with the upcoming crisis in the east.

She even reaches out to Orazio's Sentinels (who stubbornly insist upon referring to themselves as that, even though Orazio himself asked them politely to stop) and assures them that proper care is being taken to see to the religious education of the former thralls - that temples are being built not just to Mangata but to the entirety of the Pantheon. Freedmen are being asked to help work on the temples once the issue to the east is settled, and the zealots have been asked by the Marquessa to keep an eye on things and make sure that the gods are properly honored. It speaks to their zealot hearts it does, and they agree gladly. Of course, this means zealots will be in and out of the temples but right now they're at least walking with Kennex, not marching against.

Marquis Ford is not absent from these negotiations. He is present for all of them, presenting a united front but letting Vanora take the lead. He reinforces her authority as needed, if a particular vassal gets too fractious about it - and in general seems to agree with everything she is doing and saying. The united front is well received it seems, particularly as Vanora is doing what even the most traditional of Thrax know women are best at - cementing alliances, handling diplomatic matters, and keeping things well organized and well run.

Lady Catalana Kennex, recently returned from a sojourn in Stormward, wastes no time in helping the Marquessa, reaching out to everyone she knows to help smooth the diplomatic path. Naomi Cutter does the same, providing valuable contacts among the more common sailors so that when Vanora starts encouraging people to hire ex-thralls - the boots on the ground (decks) are already primed to do it. Lord Wash Kennex likewise orders the Captains of ships in the Kennex fleet to start hiring ex-thralls, and has been heard talking about this new path for Kennex most enthusiastically.

Naomi Cutter even goes one step further with the support of the Marquessa - Writing to her former connections within the Kennex Corsairs, and with funding from Lady Vanora of House Kennex, Naomi arranges for the creation of an academy to teach sailing, naval strategy, military logistics, and hand-to-hand combat. She tracks down Corsairs with injuries that prohibit active service and places them as instructors. Former thralls are welcomed, and all students will be provided room and board for the duration of their training. Students will be guaranteed admission to the Kennex land or naval forces if they should prove competent. It's an exciting new opportunity for many in Kennex, though it remains to be seen whether the quality of the students produced from this will be worth the investment.

Lord Ian Kennex and Lord Valdemar Grimhall, interestingly, both provide security - Lord Ian by training men and coming along to ensure the Marquessa's safe passage, Lord Valdemar by hiring mercenaries to protect the Marquis and Marquessa on their diplomatic travels.

All in all, it's a united front that Kennex provides. Rumors of squabbling between the various members of the family seem to be just that - whatever happens between them in private, together they're providing a united front of strength and forward-looking goals to Stormward and to the rest of the Compact.

Graysons, take note.

Action by Harald(RIP) for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Dec. 4, 2017, 9:26 p.m.)

Watchwords are circulated to allies, to be given when any Isles warship approaches. Allies are also encouraged to group their merchants into convoys for ease of protection and inspection. One week later, to allow this new policy to spread, Mourning Isles patrols will begin challenging all ships in Kennex waters. If the watchword is wrong, the ship in question will be boarded and inspected, to be confiscated if evidence of smuggling or piracy is found (inaccurate ship's ledger suggesting smuggling, illegal cargo, goods suggesting trade with Abandoned, etc.)

The warships of the Grim Fleet will spread into smaller squadrons of 2-3, in order to patrol more widely among the thousands of merchant ships coming and going from Stormward.

Yet again, The Grim Duke calls, and yet again, House Navegant answers. As voice, the lady navegant will mobilize her forces in suport of the dukes actions. The Navegant fleet, instead of protecting it's own traders, will instead be forming a picket and defense line of patrolling vessles. This new "Mourning Watch" will dedicate itself to full spectrum maritime patrol operations. This includes, escort, anti-piracy actions, rescue operations if needed, and Watchword questioning with Visting, board, search, and seizure operations as needed. To see the boarding operations in case of a failure to utter the correct watchword, Regla has detached Navegant Marines with each warship.

Victus will be committing the full might of the Thrax Fleet to hunting down these smugglers and false flag pirates. Ensuring to learn of the proper watchwords and pass them through the crew. Much like in dealing with the Thralls and Mutineers, Victus will be personally there for this. However he will not be bringing the Red Serpent, as to not immediately reveal that the High Lord of the Mourning Isles has re-entered Kennex waters. Rather he'll be taking more of a backseat role, standing in as a Lord to ensure no international incidents are going to happen if one or two vessels ends up forgetting their watchwords. Or even if the smugglers may learn of one themselves.

Edward will accompany boarding crews that are to inspect ships for smuggling to check manifests and other ships documentation for signs of deception or malfeasance. In addition, given this was part of his job for House Redreef he will apply his know how to searching ships for hidden compartments and where cargo may commonly be stashed - as well as the types of tricks that smugglers may use. Such as towing, barreling, keel riding and so on.

Sameera is doing as she normally does on missions Harald undertakes: She is managing inventory, keeping track of the people and organzing things on the ship to run as smoothly as possible. She has the added duty of checking ship ledgers and trying to find any suspicious activity. Anything that might give cause for concern is reported to Harald. As per normal for her all other duties are disregarded if a Thrax or Grimhalll family member is at risk (AKA has a potential of dying or running off to do something dangerous alone) and she will put her life on the line to protect them.

Faelan is going to be leading one of the longship squadrons in the hunt for more pirates and smugglers.

So, not much into the sneaky stuff. But as soon as one of these pirates gets caught?  I’m gonna axe him a question.

Ian, hopefully along with Wash, Porter and Aethan, will be setting up a small task force that adds actual hunting and deterrence to Harald's strategy of pirate isolation. They'll be setting up a 'bait' ship, ie a ship that seems like a lone merchant ship or trader, a plum target for pirates. The 'merchant sailors' of course will be Kennex pirate hunters, and any pirate who takes the bait and tries to board the 'merchant ship' will live (or not live, as the case may be) to regret it.

Porter will be accompanying Ian on a task force to attempt to bait the pirates into attacking them, and then fight back! Porter will be laying in weight with the ambush crowd.

Aethan will be taking part in the pirate hunting expdition with his brothers and Wash.

Duchess General Calypso works closely with Harald Grimhall and his fleet to support this new policy. Her captains have been given the Watchwords and been instructed to cast out any pirates, smugglers or otherwise undocumented and unwanted travelers on her ships. This only pertains to the fleet she had originally sent out in to Kennex waters.

Titania will be supporting Harald in this and leanding aid in whatever way she can with both Kennex Soldiers and Ships. She will be making sure that all work with Harald so that the situation in Kennex is not taken advantage of and Smuggling and Piracy will be stopped and dealt with.

Lark has forwarded the watchwords to her vassals to use as needed. So as not to confuse the issue, however, she has reduced Grayson naval footprint in Stormward waters to nilch, and suggested that her vassals similarly reduce their traffic there while Grimhall deals with pirates and criminals.

Wash will disguise himself and his personal vessel as a merchant ship, load it down with armed sailors from other Kennex vessels and attempt to lure the pirates into a raid. He will spread word through the lower boroughs (through proxies) of the wealth the ship is bringing to Stormward. Wash will be in command of the vessel, despite his usual disinclination toward hand to hand combat.

Darrow joins the efforts in the Stormward March with his marines and ship, the Reaper, to sail in the efforts of Harald Grimhall. He himself and a squadron of the Lament marines place themselves on the bait ship, knowing that it is likely to draw the most interest of pirates, smugglers, or any other submarine forces that might be lurking. This bait will not be easy prey with Darrow on its deck.

Valery is researching how to improve her smoke bombs, adding pigments so the smoke will come in different colors. (Action 1435) She's been told that could be used for signals!
She's handing Harald a few of these experiments, 3 of three different colors (red, yellow and blue) and another 3 white, making a total of 12.
(Added ap and resources for their cost)

Once watchwords are distributed, the Valardin navy will offer aid in light of increased piracy to escort and defend merchant vessels that are confirmed to be pirate free in the spirit of protecting and bolstering trade while giving the small and growing navy some opportunity to hone it's teeth on pirate vessels.

Watchwords are better than nothing, but actionable intelligence is what Halsim deals with. While everyone else is handling naval issues, Halsim goes pro-active and consults with informants across the Isles about pirates and probable false flaggers, sending any serious leads to Harald for him to actively hunt down. Narrowing the wide net to actual problems.

is going to take a different approach to the smuggling issue. Most lords think the problem is at the sea, that boarding will solve the problems, and often they're right. However, the Crimson giant and his men will be at the ports, stopping anything that they can that falls through the cracks. If contraband is spotted, he will threaten and beat his way to the source, and in turn he will turn over those hiding spots to the boarding parties, as not to let them be tricked twice.

201 ships participate in the massive pickets surrounding Kennex waters. The watchwords catch a number of smugglers off guard, and at least in the initial weeks, 4 longships and 2 galleys are captured running false flags, with their crews turned over to House Grimhall and the ships confiscated. Piracy dies down overnight, and if there were more than that they are definitely avoiding Kennex waters at present.

Action by Corban for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Dec. 9, 2017, 5:03 p.m.)

Previously, on Thralldom in the Isles (@action 1398), Corban and Ryhalt went to Stormward and recruited freed thralls to settle in the Oathlands. Now it comes time to integrate those freed thralls into the Telmarch.

In this crisis action, Corban will return to the Telmarch with a retinue of both allied Telmar nobles, vassals and retainers and hired Whisper House assistants to ease the transition of the freed thralls into Telmar society. It isn't easy, after all, given that the Telmarch is built on being the Great Red Wall that keeps out the Abandoned that would attack the Oathlands. But Corban plans to attack the problem from two ends: Helping the thralls integrate into society with training and support AND engaging with the existing citizens of the Telmarch to begin nudging their attitudes towards more Abandoned-friendly positions. Corban would never expect the Telmarch to hold hands and sing songs with all Abandoned, but his overall message will be that the Telmarch needs to focus on those aggressive, enemy Abandoned that would invade us and move away from offensive campaigns against more-peaceful tribes. Our resources are better allocated against the Looming Threats. This won't happen overnight, but Corban hopes by having some resettled prodigals among them and focus on the issue, attitudes can evolve.

For his part, Corban will work with the thralls that have enlisted in the Telmarines, drilling them into proper Telmarch soldiers. He will also use his commanding presence and leadership abilities with the existing Telmarines, ensuring that the new enlistees are treated as comrades, not outcasts or canon fodder.

To assist, Percephon will compile lesson plans and organize classes in order to teach any newly freed Prodigal vital information that will benefit them in their new life among the Telmarch. He is hoping to integrate them with as much as possible, and easily, without there being too much of a culture-shock.

For the nobles and commoners of the Telmarch, he is offering the same - offering to teach any uncertain or suspicious citizens how to better understand the newly freed and sworn Prodigals so that a bridge toward understanding one another can be built.

Bliss has been hired by Corban to help integrate the freed thralls with Telmarines. She'll be doing this in a number of ways:

* Bliss will go to the freed thralls and tell them heroic stories, sing them epic songs, and act out other acts and legends of Telmar that she has found by working with Corban and his associates. She hopes to use these performances to inspire the former thralls so that they see glory and honor in their new service and come to understand the ways of their new liege.

* Bliss will take the stories of the freed thralls and tell them to the telmarines, singing songs around campfires and so on to hilight their similarities rather than their differences.

* Bliss will take a freed thrall to dinner each night among the Telmars, introducing said former thrall on a personal level, so they are people and not just 'thralls.'

Nisaa can relate to the freed thralls, in a way. She was once a slave in Petrioch, and now has freedom in Arx, living in the Compact. To assist the mingling of Thralls and Telmars, she will speak to them of what it means to have freedoms some of them might have never known. She will explain what it has been like for her adjusting to the ways of life as a free person in the Compact, and tell them what opportunities they might have for their own lives; professions they might enjoy and feel comfortable doing.

With her unique knowledge, Nisaa would also offer to speak to the Telmars that are bringing the former thralls into their places of businesses or even homes. For a smooth transition into this new way of life, a mutual understanding is required. Some thralls may have had an easier life than others, and she would help to explain what some might have endured, what they might be used to, so that if something happens (a flinch when a hand is raised, dropping to knees to beg forgiveness, or a wide variety of triggered responses), the Telmar can approach the situation with understanding instead of utter confusion.

In short, Nisaa will offer her understanding as a former slave to both the thralls and the people of the Telmarch.

Jhond will meet with Telmar nobility and common alike to tell them of the Thralls. Of how they are men and women like them, but newly freed. many do not really want to be there, in the compact at all, but are trying. Patience will be needed as they will run the gamut from being too compliment to being resentful of any order given to them. they should be given tasks to own and make their own, something to be proud of. coddled when needed, put in line when not but always with patience and a mind to their recent life.

Monique has been recruited by the fabulous Corban Telmar to be a translator and charming go-between for the newly freed thralls and the Telmar citizens. As she speaks all manner of shav dialect, included Isles, this positions her well for the role. The Minx of the Marches also spends long hours with the thralls, patiently answering questions, offering advice, and just generally talking about who knows what!

Korka will be joining the rest of the group in assisting in folks getting integrated, but she's focusing more on individual levels, seeking out the overly negative and the obviously uncomfortable, and both evaluating them and anyone else who seems interested in them for possible trouble-causing. On both sides. She'll also be more generally canvassing for troublemakers. Anyone that turns up either way will be looked at more closely, evaluated as to whether they're a credible threat or just uhappy (just unhappy is allowed, if they're not causing problems iwth it!) and reporting in on actual problems to Corban.

It's wildly successful. Korka, Monique, the Whispers, all of them are extremely good at this sort of thing, and the integration goes extremely smoothly under Corban's leadership aided with Percephon's teaching. The infantry numbers in the Telmarch grow a bit from new recruits, and the duchy sees a spike in growth, with the resultant rise in incomes.

Action by Aleksei for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action)

Aleksei is doing a bit more work in Stormward. Now that so many thralls have been relocated with the help of so many ships, he's turning attention to those who have remained in House Kennex's demense. With those that remain, he's working to try and and continue smoothing over their transition to freedmen, and encouraging the others of Stormward towards a more accepting path with their new fellow citizens. He does his best to approach matters from a place of respect for Thraxian tradition (even if he DOES NOT AT ALL RESPECT IT), at least so far as he knows it will be the best way to relate to the Stormward natives. This includes using some investment of Liberators funds where appropriate to help smooth matters over.

Without question, Saedrus will travel to Stormward with Aleksei and the Liberators to help the transition of freedmen. With a little sale of clothes he's added coin to the coffers to assist in a monetary matter. While in Stormward however he's there as a diplomatic voice to see that everything goes smoothly, and that the locals are assured in the change.

Zhayla intends to help. She heads to Stormward, knowing a little of the Isles as she does, and tries to help. She's not terribly sure how to help, mind - but she is determined to do what she can. So to Stormward she travels, and she reaches out to help Aleksei talk to thralls, and when he gets in over his head she starts glowering and making sure they know to leave him alone even if they don't agree with him. And she makes some effort at trying to lead them to a better path, but this is more Aleksei's gig than hers and so she follows along. She wants to help, but her trident isn't really a diplomatic sort of weapon.

Off on another Stormward venture, Ferrando is similarly engaged with doing stuff for Aleksei that's not quite important enough for his direct attention, getting dispatched to go handle miscellaneous things in a general-purpose sort of way.

Cassandra is joining the Faith's approach to the Kennex crisis by organizing some Templars to visit the affected isles. She's sending a small contingent of disciples and priests to keep order and calm - trusting that warcamps may be very similar to some of the situation the newly freed thralls will face - and organizing refuge points. She's bringing more non-combatants than combatants, though, hoping that some of those impacted in the Isles might find apprenticeships and the like with the smiths, chefs and so on that get brought by the Templar forces.

Knowing how Thraxians revere and respect Mangata's clergy over all others, Blessed Madeleine sends Disciples to assist with the transition and to encourage freedman merchant vessels - yes you can have oar crewed boats, yes they also need to be paid. They offer blessings and support and mediation when needed to help soothe the transition.

Archscholar Bianca arranges for a small group of Scholars specialized in diplomacy to act as Aleksei's extended voices. With their aid, stories of Thraxian histories and traditions are spun in a positive light and it is reinforced that the times they live in are ones of great change and progressive in nature. It is only with the foundation of their past and unity of the people that the Isles can move forward into the future.

Aureth will go with Aleksei to Stormward, not because he is a Liberator, but because Aleksei is his friend, and because all souls are human souls even if some of them make him sigh more than others. Once there, he will make his best efforts to help the locals buy what Aleksei is selling. He may privately think that Thrax culture is garbage, but mo propagandist ever had to believe all his own bullshit.

Fortunato's in the shop with his apprentices churning out some respectful art gifts celebrating Stormward and, of course, freedom. He does not himself go to Stormward, trusting an apprentice with good balance and strong arms to cart the load.

There was always the danger of backsliding into violence, particularly with the amount of religious fanatics on Stormward now. The outreach helps stabilize Stormward significantly further, and while there's certainly a few thousand Orazians there, they don't seem to be on the edge of violence... unless someone should try to undo the reforms, of course.

Action by Orazio(RIP) for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action)

Oh boy. Religious fanatics! Nothing could go wrong. Needless to say, Orazio is Very Concerned about this surge of people who are putting mortal institutions (including himself) on pedestals meant for the gods. So, he travels to Kennex, in the time before he sets off to the Southern Wastes, and he basically makes a tour to meet as many of the Sentinels as he can. His purpose is threefold:

Knowing that many of these thralls were Abandoned, he introduces those interested to Faith, doctrine, and the various Discipleships and the concept of godsworn. He makes it clear that those who wish to serve the gods who protected them can do so through traditional channels. He will try to steer interested parties towards the Discipleship of the Sentinel, with an emphasis on the theology pertaining to just actions between a liege and vassal, particularly thralldom - those who excel at this will be encouraged to become missionaries, using passionate and educated arguments for the dissolution of thralldom AND for just treatment of prisoners, the condemned, and serfs.

Second, he wants to encourage the Sentinels to recognize that it is the gods who deserve veneration. The Faith may receive gratitude, and House Kennex deserves respect, but it is only the gods who deserve worship. This will be some missionary work of his own, speaking with passion about the virtues the gods represent, and encouraging the Sentinels, if gratitude they feel, to show that by serving as the gods would wish them to serve - with generosity, courage, compassion, justice, fidelity, wisdom, and so forth. He will steer them away from violence, and encourage them to look to the local members of the Faith for guidance.

Lastly, he wants to give the Sentinels chances to tell their stories of life under thralldom. He will reach out to the Scholars, and take a group with him to record the stories and experiences of former thralls, both of their hardships, and of the strength and strategies they used to endure the institution. These will be sent back to Scholars in Arx, to be duplicated and made available to the public across the Isles and the rest of the Compact. The focus won't be on naming-and-shaming, but rather on building empathy and helping people understand the varied experiences of thralls, and what it was like to be one in even one of the most progressive demesnes of the Isles.

Archscholar Bianca has designated a small group of fifteen field scholars to travel with the Legate to Stormward. It will be their jobs to document and duplicate these stories for redistribution within Arx.

The newest, most popular white journals at the Great Archive are undoubtedly, "The Stories of the Sentinels", the accumulation of the stories of the Orazian Sentinels that tell the tales of life under thralldom and how they are changing for the better now. It is immensely humanizing, and there is a large groundswell for thralldom reform now- it had always been a major issue for the rest of the Compact, but it's becoming more frequent on the lips of the commons. The Sentinels themselves are mostly still in stormward, though a great number do become godsworn, and Orazio does manage to keep them from being a hostile, potential schism. They seem to be mostly under control, and drifting towards obeying the Church and following its organization. Mostly. For now.

Action by Thena for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Dec. 9, 2017, 10:56 p.m.)

Thena continues to oversee the Knights of Solace in Stormward, making sure they are vigilant about making sure that freed thralls are not being taken advantage of as they transition to their new lives. The Solace continues to place agents on ships as requested, as representatives of the Faith. Freed thralls are welcome to find a place in the Solace that suits their talents, and receive instructions in the Faith.

Reese is going to help the Knights of the Solace with helping to make sure that the freed thralls are not take advantage of.

Thena manages to prevent a dangerous incident. A commoner vassal of House Thrax named Captain Rolfus Blacksail was making a port call at Stormward with his crew and got into a brawl with some of the ex-thrall Orazian Sentinels, who declared his entire crew 'unholy agents of a sinful institution'. The brawl was turning violent, and many of the Thrax men were declaring that the Sentinels were criminals and would be coming with them, to start new lives at Maelstrom as thralls. The Knights of Solace put a stop to that.

Action by Christine for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Dec. 9, 2017, 7:38 p.m.)

Same as before, Christine will put her knowledge to her House service, helping to check the numbers and helping to supervise the economic fluctuations.

It's not a flashy duty that wins a lot of acclaim, taking care of the books for the house. But it IS important, and all the moreso now. Christine is able to catch at least a few cases of graft or misuse of funds, and her diligence helps to keep honest those working with the immense sums donated to House Kennex.

Action by Vanora for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Jan. 29, 2018, 3:35 a.m.)

The Marquessa Kennex has put a great deal of time and effort towards ensuring the continued security and economic viability of Stormward since the freeing of the thralls. She has divided her attention across three different areas with the expectation that each will play a part in contributing to Stormward's success.

Economic Issues: First and foremost Vanora is focusing on the economic issues that face Stormward and other Kennex holdings as they transition from using free labor to paying their workers. To this end the Marquessa has communicated by post with prominent businesses and trades in the Kennex territories. Every effort is made to encourage business to keep their former thralls in their employ, especially in cases where the thralls were trained extensively in their area of trade. Economic incentives in the form of contributions of silver and the promise of eventual tax breaks for these businesses will be offered in order to see that industry remains in Stormward. (10000 silver put towards the cause as well as 50 economic resources.)

Diplomatic Outreach: Marquessa Vanora has also put effort into diplomacy with House Kennex vassals in order to persuade them to do all that they can to support former thralls settle into their new lives. Vanora will ask the (NPC) vassals of Kennex to work with House Kennex itself in creating infastructure to support these newly freed laborers, such as housing, appropriate medical care, and schools both for the children of former thralls and the former thralls themselves as they work to learn a trade. There will be particular effort made to see former thralls trained as shipwrights, sailors, and warriors in order to protect Stormward and serve the Mourning Isles when the call sounds to summon banners. (50 Social)

Specific Diplomatic Outreach to Zealots: Lastly the Marquessa will communicate with leaders among the once Orazians and now Sentinels, asking for their support in convincing freed thralls to remain in Kennex and their support in providing housing, education, and jobs to freedmen. Vanora will also share with them that there are plans to build several temples to various Gods of the Pantheon in Stormward once the crisis of Darkwater Deeps has passed. Freedmen will be invited to find paid work in building and maintaining these temples, and the Zealots will be asked to help bring these freedmen to appreciation of the Gods.

Other members of House Kennex and allies of the House may provide assistance in any of these three areas as the foundation is laid for Stormward not merely to survive, but to thrive as a progressive house.

Ford's assistance of Vanora's The Trouble with Thralldom action;

Economic Issues: Ford works closely with his wife to find a good balance between profitability and stability. He accompanies her to any meetings with nobility in Arx, and only speaks when directly spoken to, reinforcing the Co-Rulership. Ford also reaches out to smaller businesses, especially the ones that hired thralls after the Unchaining, to see if a collaboration of brands couldn't benefit profits for the smaller businesses. Spice merchants and produce sellers are put in touch with key personnel from Oseyan, the Kennex Vodka brand. (Command+Leadership)

Diplomatic Outreach: In this instance, Ford takes a proverbial backseat, this is where he feels it's best Vanora take the wheel in terms of further solidifying the Co-Rulership. He feels that if Kennex Vassals deal directly with Vanora on key issues it will ease the transition and culture shock. However, if there is resistance to that, he'll be there to affirm that this is Vanora's plan and what she says goes. (Composure+Diplomacy OR Command+Intimidation if there's some resistance)

Side Note OOC: I'm not sure if I'm allowed to have more than one check on an action. So I tossed in a few just in case, but if I cannot, then Command+Leadership should work fairly well for both of those assistanceseses.

Naomi will provide Lady Vanora with all of her Corsair contacts in order to better facilitate the retraining of former thralls into sailors and soldiers.

Catalana will spend her time meeting with her various contacts in her orgs to assure that spending time with the ex thralls to help retrain them will not only help the ex thralls but to the community at large.

Valdemar will be helping out by providing security in the form of mercenaries, and providing them with strict written orders, so that the people there to perform outreach can concentrate on what they are doing.

Wash will make room available on vessels for ex-thralls to find employment. He will establish through example that they are not to be treated differently from other freedmen.

Ian will use the experience that he's gotten training Duke Grimhall's new recruits to help train any new recruits Kennex takes on in fighting, sailing, strategy, and general discipline. In addition, he'll sail with the Saffron Fleet in any operations they undertake to provide security for the more diplomatic side of this @action.

Marquessa Vanora Kennex has not been idle. While others prepare for war, Vanora focuses on the immediate need for peace amongst the Kennex. This is not the best time to be at odds, and she has worked tirelessly to reach out and help set the domain she co-rules with her husband Ford to rights.

She works with businesses within Kennex to retain former thralls, particularly well-trained ones, at a fair wage. She sponsors necessary infrastructure projects - schools, medicine, housing - to make sure that everyone is properly housed and cared for. She pays particular attention to the thralls who work with ships - as sailors and shipwrights and everything in between - to make sure that their naval strength is as steady as possible with the upcoming crisis in the east.

She even reaches out to Orazio's Sentinels (who stubbornly insist upon referring to themselves as that, even though Orazio himself asked them politely to stop) and assures them that proper care is being taken to see to the religious education of the former thralls - that temples are being built not just to Mangata but to the entirety of the Pantheon. Freedmen are being asked to help work on the temples once the issue to the east is settled, and the zealots have been asked by the Marquessa to keep an eye on things and make sure that the gods are properly honored. It speaks to their zealot hearts it does, and they agree gladly. Of course, this means zealots will be in and out of the temples but right now they're at least walking with Kennex, not marching against.

Marquis Ford is not absent from these negotiations. He is present for all of them, presenting a united front but letting Vanora take the lead. He reinforces her authority as needed, if a particular vassal gets too fractious about it - and in general seems to agree with everything she is doing and saying. The united front is well received it seems, particularly as Vanora is doing what even the most traditional of Thrax know women are best at - cementing alliances, handling diplomatic matters, and keeping things well organized and well run.

Lady Catalana Kennex, recently returned from a sojourn in Stormward, wastes no time in helping the Marquessa, reaching out to everyone she knows to help smooth the diplomatic path. Naomi Cutter does the same, providing valuable contacts among the more common sailors so that when Vanora starts encouraging people to hire ex-thralls - the boots on the ground (decks) are already primed to do it. Lord Wash Kennex likewise orders the Captains of ships in the Kennex fleet to start hiring ex-thralls, and has been heard talking about this new path for Kennex most enthusiastically.

Lord Ian Kennex and Lord Valdemar Grimhall, interestingly, both provide security - Lord Ian by training men and coming along to ensure the Marquessa's safe passage, Lord Valdemar by hiring mercenaries to protect the Marquis and Marquessa on their diplomatic travels.

All in all, it's a united front that Kennex provides. Rumors of squabbling between the various members of the family seem to be just that - whatever happens between them in private, together they're providing a united front of strength and forward-looking goals to Stormward and to the rest of the Compact.

Graysons, take note.