The Iron Star League

The Iron Star League

Arguably the most prominent commercial endeavor ever undertaken, the Ashfall Trade Company out of Kraekirk held a truly staggering amount of power. From its inception in 1548, the corporation was able to leverage its royal charter (and a considerable amount of personal wealth contributed by its founding board) into the establishment of a private mercenary force called the Vredebende, while simultaneously amassing a truly astonishing tonnage of ships. With what amounted to a private navy in hand, the Ashfall Trade Company then began its work in earnest: securing a tremendous portion of the trade between the Eilstern Demesnes and the Ayanian Empire. Serving as a reputable, reliable, and more or less politically neutral intermediary, the Company was able to make tremendous profits transporting commodities and luxuries between the two blocs, often skirting laws prohibiting one side from trading directly with the other. While other enterprises sought to follow the Ashfall Trade Company’s example, none could match its sheer scale, and between aggressive pricing and the Vredebende, the Ashfall Trade Company either eliminated, absorbed, or quashed the vast majority of would-be rivals. This situation, like everything else, changed with the Harrowing.

As trade routes became more and more dangerous, the company found its fortunes foundering. Bandits became increasingly bold (or at least increasingly desperate) and many caravans were plundered on previously safe roads. Great storms blew up on the seas entirely out of season, and countless ships were lost either to the storms themselves or to the depredations of leviathans that seemed drawn to the chaos.

With fewer and fewer goods to trade or bring to market, and with sharply increased transportation costs, the Ashfall Trade Company, a once unassailable titan, was brought low. It did not perish, however—it evolved.

Eschewing their former ties to any sort of established monarchy, a handful of board members made the decision to quickly and surreptitiously divert a great many resources and personnel to a subsidiary, which they then sold to themselves for a song. This, then, became the Iron Star League.

Today the Iron Star League remains the dominant name in commercial transport and material acquisition. While generally shying away from cut-and-dried mercenary work, the League has seen reasonable success transporting goods and individuals from one place to another, which is much more than can be said for their competitors. The majority of employees at this point can broadly be placed into four categories: Factors, who own stock and ship goods, Actuaries, who perform clerical and administrative tasks, the Iron Corps, who provide security and strength of arms as necessary, and Regulators, who act as a sort of semi-clandestine internal police force.

Prominent Members

Gunnar Musketson: The leader of the Iron Corps, Musketson is renowned for being a loud, jovial fellow. His successes on the field of battle stem more from a scrappy nature and a certain base cunning than from any high strategy. Of course, in matters of life, death, and profit, success is all that matters, and the leadership and training he provides to his troops have led to a great many successes indeed.

Momma Evangelista: The former leader of the Iron Corps, Evangelista has retired and now acts as one of the ranking quartermasters in the League. When not poring over ledgers and route schedules, it is said she works as a smith, smashing iron so she doesn’t smash the heads of incompetent subordinates. Nonetheless, she maintains a remarkable network of useful contacts.

Yezak Mahar: A Factor operating out of Maraq, Mahar is the last remaining scion of a semi-reputable noble family. The Harrowing destroyed the vast majority of his familial wealth, and he has only recently thrown in his lot with the Iron Star League in an effort to capitalize on new trade opportunities as certain caravan routes stabilize.