Returning from a rather unfortunate and unforeseen absence, we’re back with some background to the central city of Mu! This update comes to you from our lead world historian, Ian Auger.
Hi, my name is Ian, and I’m the Senior World Engineer/Contracted Word Monkey here at Gearheart Games. Nick asked me to put together some blog posts on the world of Mu: Age of Adventure to introduce you all to the game’s world. Without further ado, allow me to present the centerpiece of the setting: the city of Tradewind.
Eighty years ago, four ships sailed into the harbor of Dellaporta. The banners flying on the tall masts both raised a celebration and sent riders from the gates of the city — the Ninette Expedition had returned. Named after the Mim explorer leading the small fleet, the expedition was a joint venture between the kings of Frimble and Lichlen, seeking a second route into the heart of the southern continent. The city-states of the Pelakos League had long controlled the overland routes from the southern shore of the Sea of Voyage into the heart of the continent and therefore had a monopoly on the lucrative trade in spices and silken fabrics flowing out of it. Ancient records mentioned passages through the mountains lining the continent’s western edge, however, and armed with records dating back to the Empire, Ninette had ventured forth in search of a route that would bypass the League’s hold on the inside of the continent.
On her return, however, she brought back more than just a map laying out a new trade route. The expedition had taken rock samples as they made their way across the newly named Ninevene Mountains, and assays taken on the voyage home revealed that they held traces of iron, copper, and more importantly, gold. Riches lay along the route to the Great Swamp as well as in it, enough to radically change the balance of power along the shores of the Sea of Voyages, and the two kings deliberated over what to do with the bounty they’d been handed. Between them, they could exploit the treasures they’d found, but holding them for long would be difficult, especially should the League unite or possibly even ally with one of their neighbors to dislodge them.
Inviting leaders of the other nations formed out of the fall of the Pelagian Empire, they instead proposed a compact — extracting the wealth would take people, equipment, and money, and all those who contributed could share in the rewards. In order to ensure equitable distribution, goods flowing from the south would come through one port, a city governed by the signers of the compact. The signing of what would come to be known as the Tradewind Accords by Lichlen, Frimble, Avellais, Pelagos, and the Craglands changed the face of Dellaporta forever. The city that had launched and received the Ninette Expedition would become the city that received the bounty it had unlocked.
Since the signing of the accords 75 years ago, the port has exploded in population, attracting workers, artisans, merchants, artists, and adventurers from across the five nations signing to the treaty. Belonging to all of the Accord nations, but a part of none, Tradewind offered the possibility of a new life, either in the city itself, or in the burgeoning colonies on the Ninevene coast. It is a cosmopolitan city, with vast markets selling seemingly everything to be had in the world, narrow cobble streets on which a dozen languages are spoken, and opulent villas built by the city’s new monied elites springing up on seemingly a daily basis.
Examine the city a little closer, and the peaceful, prosperous aura fades. Tradewind has rapidly become the center of the world for mercenaries and adventurers, two groups that rarely leave peace in their wakes. Both ship out from Tradewind to troubled spots across the two continents, and both bring trouble home with their gold when they return. While the Adventurer’s Guild and Mercenary Board attempt to keep their unruly members in line, they only sometimes succeed. While the Five Nations — six, now that Lichlen has been consumed by civil war for nearly a decade — are officially at peace and the Accords guarantee a share of the riches, that has never stopped them from trying to undercut each other for a larger share of the wealth. Their representatives on the council are at each others’ throats as often as they’re in agreement, and their disputes boil out equally onto the ballroom floor and the shadows of the market streets. In the midst of all this, however, the people of Tradewind grow and prosper. Nearly four generations after the founding, more and more people are proud to style themselves Tradewinders.
And now I’ll turn this back over to Nick!
Many thanks to Ian! Look forward to more of his writing and setting as we continue to bring Mu: Age of Adventure to life!