Idea Guild > The World of Acqua

The De Madden Company


Cheka Man:
The De Madden Company trades in a great many things,apart from weapons, but the thing prized above all others in Banhosea and most of the rest of Acqua is amythest which powers the magic of the world.The largest ships of the company are the great ten masted ships with catapaults mounted along the sides that can fire rocks or fireballs. A ship of this kind needs hundereds of crew and several weather mages and officers. and is acompanied by whole squadrons of smaller and less well armed but more manoverable ships.

The De Madden Company is licensed not only to trade with any friendly powers but to confiscate any amythest they find in another vessel. Pirates and, more commanly, smugglers, are the bane of the lives of the Company bosses. There are cases where whole fleets of pirates have gathered together to attack the Company vessels,despite the threat of a hanging from the yardarm for any captured pirates.

Piracy on such a scale is rare, but amythest smuggling is common despite great attempts made to crack down.Amythest is so important because without it no spells can be cast. The magical reaction turns the amythest into black smoky quartz and once used, it has no further magical powers.

In Banhosea the Company also deals in housing,food,and many other things, as well as running the goverment of the island.

Cheka Man:
Banhosea is the largest of the islands and most parts of it are highly overcrowded and have been built over.The island is mostly a maze of twisted streets and alleys. There is a one child policy but the penalty for more then one child is either to pay a heavy fine or have the child taken away and sold for auction. The very rich have no trouble paying the fine. There is a lot of discontent about this, but only the armed forces, the Banhosea Police,nobles, and members of the De Madden Company (the latter whilst out at sea only) can legally carry weapons. The penalty for illegal weapon carrying is death by hanging or by cremation whilst still alive, or, which is in practise far more common then either of these fates, slavery.


The slaves are the lowest of the low and are normally criminals,which is how they sunk to that status.They do all the most dull and dangerous jobs that no sane free person would wish to do.Any slave found with a weapon is people found with illegal weapons are only executed if they have committed murder,rape or treason as well.Slaves have no rights but if someone kills or badly injures someone else's slave, he/she must pay the owner a heavy fine or face him/herself being enslaved.

Free people

The free people's lives vary enormously in quality. At the bottom some are so poor that their lives can be worse then that of the slaves. Then there are the workers that, depending on how hard they work and the job they do, can become rich or even, in a few cases, make it into the ranks of the nobility.The nobility is not one that people are born into, although the children of nobles are far more likly to also be able to earn that position. It is technicly possible for a noble to sink into poverty and lose the rank or for a poor person, as long as he or she is free,to become a noble. Nearly all nobles hold high rank in the De Madden Company.


Nobles are the richest of the rich and there are not many of them.They hold all the highest posts and are expected to work hard at their jobs and not just to laze around or they could lose the job and the rank that they hold.Even after death a noble who dies in office is treated differently.Whilst slaves,poor people and the vast majority of the middle class and even the rich are cremated ,nobles are buried in tombs with coins on their eyes.

Cheka Man:
The ruler of Banhoesea, who has almost total power, is the Shogun (although behind his back there are a few who dare to nickname him the
"Lord High Admiral".) His post is not passed down from father to son, as it is thought that such a thing could lead to under-aged or weak Shoguns. Being born into the right family, however, is a big help to those who wish to become Shogun. When a Shogun dies, a new one is elected for life by the small number of Captains who command the mighty ten masted ships and sit on the Company Council. (CC)

Shoguns may have a lot of power but they are expected to behave as a ruler should.Every few years, when there is a very important voyage to be made, or if a serious war should break out, they are expected to board a ten masted ship and lead the fleet. Although ten masted craft are the safest vessels afloat, there have been cases where even they have sunk, taking their Shogun with them.Nobody who sails far from land can consider themselves totally safe from the mighty sea.

Below the Shogun and the CC are the captains and lieutenants of the other craft, the Sea Wizards/Witches, the bosun's,and then the ordinary crewmen.

Dress for both the officers and men is normally plain and functional, with no "fancy-smancy" gaudy uniforms. Officers wear golden shoulder boards but otherwise dress like their men. Sea Wizards/Witches wear their *patches* and amythest necklaces.There are exceptions-in the heat of battle, when it is important that officers are recognized,some gain permission to wear gaudy gold braid and three cornered hats so their men know who to follow.This is a double edged cutlass-their men know them, but so do those who they are fighting against, and many officers have been killed and their bodies thrown into the sea because they chose to wear fancy clothes.

Discipline for both men and officers,including Wizards/Witches, is strict. Men who fight each other, steal or otherwise misbehave are flogged.More serious offenders are hanged, marooned on small islands or sometimes just thrown into the sea,far from all land, and left to drown. Officers who disobey orders are not flogged but are fined or reduced in rank,or, for dreadful offenses, thrown overboard.

However, discipline by itself does not make good sailors. The pay and food is good, and the sailors are encouraged to take pride in themselves and their ships.Officers who continually harm their men without reason are demoted and sent to command smaller ships where the chance of not surviving the next voyage is greater.The smaller the ship, the bigger the chance there is of sinking or being attacked by Sea Spiders and other horrors.

The ten masters may be mighty in battle,with catapualts on their decks, but because of reefs and shoals they cannot sail in many areas.Below them are the five masters,three masters, two masters and single mast ships.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version