The City State of Bayris
Bayris was founded in blood. And from time to time, ye can't help but step in it. Tis' named by the first pirate ever to sail the seas, and fair game to know that never will his spirit rest knowing pirates are not ruling there here waters. If you want simple trade, go to Calestra. Ye want to shiver right out of your skin, go to Davnor. But if you are looking for excitement, the best ale in Antaron, and a sweet deal, Bayris is your city! -Timor "Greyfox" McAndrews, Quartermaster of the Jolly Ogre
"Bayris? That's as close as I can come to a home on land. In fact, if you exclude my baby here, then Bayris is the only place I call home." -Jael, Captain of the merchant vessel Tetrial
"They say Bayris is all splendor and grandeur; all I see is filth and thievery."-Darien Talmbre, bard
"Money seems to flow so much easier in Bayris. The wealth seems eternal!" -Torvad Gimel, merchant
"You can always tell one's profession in Bayris, if not by his clothing then by his speech pattern." -Hendrix Bluecoat, noted Council member
"I turned down a position as a ranking officer in the Pardinal Riders for this job, and I'd do it again if I could. Hell, I'd take this over the Drannonese crown." -Amiral, Sergeant of the Marteal Guardsman
The northwestern part of Antaron, along
the Taskarren Coast, is home to the sprawling port city of Bayris.
The city and surrounding lands comprise the largest free city-state
in Antaron, providing a bustling metropolis of trade and crafts,
despite the relative isolation. Although the city thrives with
mercantile trade, farming, and shipbuilding yards, its history
and beginning are not so humble.
Deep in the history of the Taskarren
Coast, Guldar "Red Dog" Parr, captain of the Shinara's
Scowl, built a village as a home for pirates and bandits
across Antaron. Out of the way from most major cities and near
forests for shipbuilding lumber, they scoured the coast to create
hidey-holes and landmarks for steering clear of lawmen, the
Vidarak, and other enterprising pirates. After the death of
Red Dog Parr, the village dwindled and died with him. Tales
and legends still are told of hidden troves of treasures in
the city and surrounding coves.
Many years later, in 198 b.E.R., a group
of separatists led by one Dail Brerden found the remains of
the pirate hold now occupied by a few remaining old men and
women too tired to continue pirating. They no longer wished
to live their lives under the shadow of the oppressive Drannese
Empire and searched for a new place to begin building upon their
dream. When they found the remains of Bayris, they knew they
found the perfect location for the dream to take root, despite
its past. To this day, Drannon views Bayris as something of
a rogue state.
The enterprising vision of Dail Brerden
continues to this day. Many hundreds of years later, Bayris
has grown well beyond the boundaries of its few taverns, buildings,
and lone shipbuilding port. The ramshackle village led by a
dream of political idealism grew to become a thriving city of
legitimate business, albeit hiding a bit of illegal trade. It
is an independent nation, and the "center" of the
The city itself is more urban than rural.
Standing out along the farmlands and rolling plains of the coastline,
Bayris is a bastion of civilization hundreds of miles away from
the rest of the world. Bayris is a large trade city, providing
shipping for merchants of the local area, Pardinal, the Isles
of Tiborn, the Artarian Reach, and many other peoples and islands.
Bayris is considered the income capital of western Antaron,
providing shipping and trade needed by many people across the
land. The business of Bayris lies in its shipbuilding, lumber,
and produce needed by the rest of the human nations of Antaron.
Many lumberjacks from the nearby Commonwealth of Dorest towns
of Jaycern and Rayther view Bayris as their ticket to the rest
of the continent. Shipping overland brings far more dangers
and takes a longer time than through the regulated and protected
lanes over water, and can be costly and extremely slow, especially
for lumber. Farmers from the nearby fields and plains often
export crops through Bayris rather then face the perils of travel
through the forests and unfriendly Sendria that bisect Bayris
and the consumers of the continent.
The greatest lure of Bayris is not only
the prospect of trade, but the opportunity for any man to truly
make his way in the world. Without a monarchy, the people have
an influence on contracts, taxes, and public works. The city-state
is ruled by the will of its ruler, elected and supported by
a council of city elders. The system may not run perfectly or
without corruption, but compared to the rule of kings and queens,
many find it preferable. And through this system of government
and open economy, new corridors open for the peoples beyond
the mainland, such as the Artarian Reach, the Tiborn Isles,
and various other lands foreign to the human nations.
The closest neighbors to the city are the Commonwealth of Dorest,
the people of the Chindari Plains, and the Vidarak of the Artarian
Reach. The Council of Commandments rules the city, including
the bay and surrounding lands. This council consists of representatives
voted in by the populace. Politics in Bayris has become a commodity
as much as grain, lumber, and pit fights. Beyond the power of
the Council lies two other systems of politics: the military
and the First Patriarch (or mayor). The military, ground and
naval forces, are under the leadership and control of the Krag,
a fierce bloodline of warriors and intelligent tacticians. Some
say the Krag line began as pirates on the seas long before the
might of the Ventar twisted and turned the entire business of
pirating and mercantilism. Although the law is tough, it is
fair. And with the constant threat of pirates, the number of
naval victories under the Krag flag, and the just proclamations
of the Council, few are ready to dispute the Bayrisian authorities.
Yet, not far away, in the waters themselves,
lie the greatest attraction and fear of Bayris, the pirates
of the Taskarren Coast. Terrifying and greedy, the pirates rove
in constant wars with themselves, the port city, and any ships
they find for goods, treasures, and adventures. Pirates are
not happy singing folk with a love of wine and women, but death
dealers who will scuttle a ship before letting it be reclaimed
by the Bayrisian navy, who are little better than pirates themselves.
City Information: Bayris
has a city layout unlike other. It is a bowl-shaped place with
buildings and people spread over the water, along the coast,
and in stair steps of cut away limestone and cliffs rising in
arcs around the city proper. Over the many years, it has cut
deeper and deeper into the coastline. It consists of various
tiers of homes, businesses, and other spectacular buildings.
Old Cove - Part of the great city has
moved not only onto the shoreline but the bay itself. This section,
called the Old Cove, resides nearest to and on the water between
the two main ports. Row-upon-row of stilted docs and buildings
line the bay, reaching out to create marinas and dock sides
for loading ships, accepting the catches of fisherman, and locking
in boathouses. Many of the boathouses of Bayris are floating
restaurants and taverns that row out into the marina and bay
for evening gambling, parties, and the like. The floating establishments
do not range too far and carry impressive lists of cutthroats,
mercenaries, and city watch as guards in case of pirates. Many
peasants and fishing families make their lives here on dingy
floating homes, hovels under the piers, and small hut homes.
Much of the black market trade begins and ends in this district.
Ports - The largest amount of trade happens
in the ports. The Port of Life is the name given to the massive
port on the northern border, easily ranking as the largest port
in Antaron, with the only possible competition being Portua's
ports in Pardinal. Through this port, the city gets its reputation,
most of its business, and its life. The port is divided into
several smaller docks and piers, numbered for simplicity of
schedules and warehouse assignments. The southern port is called
Tethry Marina, taking in a vast amount of fishermen and exporting
all produce through Bayris. Between these trade centers are
a mix of docks and piers that make up the black market trade
of Bayris. In the confusing layers of taverns and inns are hidden
factions of pirates and thieves. The guards detest ever entering
this area, especially at night.
First Tier, The Bazaar and Merchant's
Quarter - Another portion resides in the layers of building
and rebuilding directly on the coast. This section, called the
Merchant's Quarter, includes the shops, markets, and warehouses
for trade. Just beyond this section is a half-moon of limestone
cut away to form the first stair of the city proper. But outnumbering
the merchant home of glamour and the floating gambling halls
is the main district of shops and open-air markets. Many patrons
and merchants call the entire area a free trade area and merchant's
paradise, but over time, it has aptly been named the Bazaar.
It is the heart of Bayris, with extensive streets and buildings,
some four floors high, all offering colorful signs hanging over
doors, windows, and street on ropes. Hawkers call out from their
shops and in the streets proclaiming their wares. The area also
includes numerous inns and taverns, for it said that nobody
can rent a room without being able to turn around and order
a drink. One could walk along the big city streets and see to
either side of him a huge two-story strip of various stores,
each selling a different ware; trying to make sure nobody nearby
is cutting their prices.
In the southern area of this district is the famed Arena of
Heroes. Seen from any vantage in the district, the massive arena
hosts gladiatorial games. The sanded stage of bloodshed and
warfare hosts events between noble duels, chariot races, exotic
animal fights, and gladiatorial events.
Second Tier, Arbiter's District - On
the second tier resides various large buildings of grand architectural
scale. Closely linked to the first tier, it includes the political
buildings, politicians' homes, schools, and larger temples of
Bayris. The central and largest complex is the House of Commandants,
meeting place of the Council, Overseer's Office, and public
works. Here people of all walks of life may bring their grievances
to be heard and ratified. Many deals requiring the investment
of lawyers and security also occur here. The district also includes
the First Patriarch's manor, housing for most of the council
members, schools, lawyer offices, the First Bank of Bayris,
and temples. Of these places, most seek the Academy of Law,
a school for law and letters; the Academy of Navigators, school
for naval tactics and shipbuilding; and the grand temples of
Shinara and Alanus.
Third Tier, Marquis District - The next
level of cliffs and cut away land includes the brilliant and
beautiful homes and larger businesses of merchants, nobles,
and schools. Called the Marquis District, merchant kings, nobles,
and other wealthy patrons have built immaculate houses of wealth
and prestige. Space is a fine commodity in Bayris. These mansions
rest close to each other with parks taking up any space not
built upon. Although not built on a hill like the fort, the
merchants seek to build taller structures to see over the city.
Oddly enough, all of the rich families live in the highest floors
of these homes, leaving the bottom floors to their hired help,
or for storage. When arriving to these homes, grand staircases
invite visitors to enter directly at second and third floors,
leaving service entrances under these stairs for carriages,
supplies, and servants. Each house is built in Taskarren style,
with polished stone, sea colors, blown glass, and balconies.
The feel of the homes is opulence and an open-air quality to
let in the sights, sounds, and smells of the bayside city.
Fourth Tier, Fort Brerden - Overlooking
the entirety of Bayris is Fort Brerden, named after Bayris'
founder. It rises as a majestic emblem of power and authority.
Made of dark wood, timber wide and strong, from deep in the
Commonwealth of Dorest, it has three walls and many barracks
and watch towers. The first wall surrounds the keep itself,
the home of the guardsman general and naval commander. The second
wall surrounds the barracks and academy of guardsmen. The third
and farthest wall of the keep encompasses the old city and part
of the port. Beyond these walls lie the thriving metropolis
of merchants, shops, craftsmen, and warehouses. The complex
of Fort Brerden resides on the hill northeast of the city.
Southern Bayris - South of the bulk of
Bayris are farmlands and ranches harvested by folk seeking the
old trade of the earth. Every year, rich harvests leave the
land for the ports and markets in Bayris. As rich as the merchants
in the city walls, the farmers live well on the land. The sight
is deceiving for travelers who come over land, expecting to
see a thriving merchant community. Many of the southern residents
include farmers seeking new fertile land, ranchers of cows and
lambs, retired sailors, simple fishers, and people who just
want to live near the coast, without the big city fuss. Scattered
throughout these communities are stationed men liveried in the
colors of Bayris. They protect the lands and aid the farmers
when they can, settling minor disputes while fending off bandits
Shopping in the southern sector consists
mostly of small business, taverns, small bait and supply fishing
stores, a single day rent-a-boat for those too poor to own their
own, and a few merchants well known and usually liked by the
locals. This is where one would find the general stores and
wooden cart merchants peddling their crafts for a reasonable
price. Thievery tends to remain within the walls of Bayris,
but a few outposts are found from time to time in these communities.
Some inns and taverns include lay houses for thieves running
from the law. But their stays are always short-lived within
the small and tight knit people.
Bay of Irongills - Finally, upon the
great Bay of Irongills, float the silent sharks of Bayris' impressive
naval brigade. Intimidating ships set in the orange and blue
of Bayris, these three-masted galleons keep the peace and justice
of the waters off of the Taskarren Coast and Macoran Bay. Outfitted
with small catapults and ballista, the ships and their courageous
crews patrol the shipping lanes up through to the Kachiri Islands.
The ships rove in groups of three, at times employing pirate
tactics to keep the bandits of the seas from taking their bounty.
As feared as the city guard may be, nothing strikes such terror
in the hearts of pirates and bandits than seeing the orange
and blue crest of Bayris riding the seas.
Commonwealth of Dorest - Beyond the city
of Bayris and the surrounding farmlands, to the east, is the
Commonwealth of Dorest. This commonwealth includes the towns
and villages of Rathyer, Jaycern, Jesp, Prath, and other spotted
throughout the woodlands and forests. For many long years, the
Commonweath has protected the interests of lumberjacks, druids,
and the forests themselves. The bloodlines of the forests include
numerous families of lumberjack and druids who work together
to keep the forest at an even size. Never cutting more than
is needed, always thanking the powers of Kith-Jora, Miellyah,
and Vilathera, the peoples continue their heritage with the
land. Though some rumors now say others seek to plunder the
land by striping precious resources from the rock and woods.
The Commonwealth sends all trade through Bayris to other lands
as the travel across the Chindari is dangerous, long, and damaging
for the harvested lumber.
Culture and Society: Bayrisians
are a diverse people, yet many of them share similar views.
They enjoy mercantilism and the ocean. They seek great deals
whenever they can and in whatever they do. Above all, they seek
freedom. Whether a pirate, thief, craftsman, or banker, each
and every Bayrisian wants to protect and enjoy personal and
The folk of the farmlands are simple,
often just living out their lives in a peaceful yet civilized
environment. They rarely watch or seek the hustle and bustle
of the big city. Often a southern dweller shrugs off an argument
rather than fuel it, and always offers forgiveness to a former
enemy should they change their ways. The southern Bayrisians
dress in common clothing. Some own small fishing boats, but
rarely do they engage in commerce on grand scale.
However, Bayrisians of the city proper
seem to take every second of life as a thrill. Many tales and
barkeeps say the fastest tongues and hardiest dealmakers are
merchants in Bayris. City dwellers come from all walks of life,
including merchants, innkeepers, bartenders, brewers, craftsmen,
fishermen, and lawyers. Inns and taverns vary in quality, having
staterooms for the affluent and cheap accommodations for the
poor. And of all cities in the realm, some of the best of law
keepers and writers come from the schools and council halls
of Bayris. It is said even the Sylvarian ambassadors of Quevin
in Coria shiver when a Bayrisian lawyer enters a discussion
or negotiation. Politics is an important part of life in Bayris,
gaining the interest of nobles, merchants, fishermen, and pirates
alike. Another intriguing aspect of the Bayrisians is their
absolute love of art. Many homes include homemade or artisan
crafted artworks, including sculptures, paintings, carvings,
gloss blowing, etchings, and quilting. At times, the commissions
of art have closely run against the selling of produce and lumber.
Bayris also has a long history of warcraft
and warriors. Guardsmen, gladiators, and mercenaries often find
work and pleasure in the city of Bayris. They sign on as guardians
to merchants and ships, mercenaries to clear problems around
the Commonwealth of Dorest, regulators for the wild lands to
the south, and fighters for the arenas. Many young warriors
seek their fame and glory by signing on to ships and protecting
the wilds before joining the guard.
Beyond artisans, warriors, and merchants
are the common folk who work and play hard. These people man
the docks, enter the guard, sail the seas, repair and build
homes, and much more to keep Bayris running smoothly. They diligently
wake, work, and enjoy the fruits of their labors. These people
do not only seek the meals on their plates. Even these middle
and lower class laborers and scholars participate in politics
and elections, seek song and dance, and enjoy the prosperous
life of Bayris. Even the pirates consider themselves citizens
and take active duty in the protection of the bay and politics
if outsiders ever threaten their home, despite the caustic remarks
and actions against them by the law.
Trade and Commerce: Obviously,
Bayris is the one of the leaders in trade within Antaron. The
free city-state provides the central export of lumber, produce,
and shipbuilding for the nations. But what draws so much of
the commerce remarkably is its location and government. Bayris
provides a singular place of neutrality for nations to import,
export, and trade goods and services. Warring in this region
would cause a significant cut in trade vouchers to Bayris, effectively
ending all of their trade using Bayris ships, shipping lanes,
and ports. Bayris also offers the only direct commerce with
the peoples of the Commonwealth of Dorest, Kachiri Islands,
Artarian Reach, and the Tiborn Isles.
One of the greatest exports of Bayris
is lumber. The wood in the nearby Commonwealth of Dorest has
signed exclusive rights to Bayris for the over-seas shipping
of their wares. They also have trade agreements with Drannon
for caravan routes. This wood is excellent for shipbuilding,
architecture, caravan wagons, and war machines. Lumberjacks
from nearby logging towns Jaycern and Rayther, farmers from
the southern plains, and the many sales tariffs are what keep
the Bayris treasury booming with wealth, often poured into internal
improvement and city management.
Bayris provides trade vouchers and tax
incentives for all nations and peoples to trade through their
ports, and provide various services and goods for the business
of trade. Bayris offers exclusive rights to their shipping lanes
with package deals including protection through military vessels.
If a nation, company, or city needs ships, they offer merchant
vessels for rent or sale. Of course, with the need for ships,
comes the need for protection. Most of Bayris' fleet consists
of smaller ships, sacrificing great size and power for speed
and maneuverability. These ships protect the larger merchant
vessels on the seas and in ports, flying the orange and blue
colors of the city-state. Taxes on imported, stored, and exported
goods are fair and just under the Bayrisian Order of Collections.
This Order hears and negotiates trade policy for the seas and
between parties. Not a day goes by without thousands of transactions
made somewhere in the city. Be it the pound of meat bought from
the local butchery in the south, a 5 night stay at a central
Bayrisian inn, or a 14,000 gold repair made to a ship's mast
in the north. Money always changes hands in Bayris.
With the need for commerce in a neutral
place, many pirates, mercenaries, and nobles seek Bayris as
a home. For every ship that enters harbor, warehouse filed with
goods, or nobles visiting for negotiations, strong arms and
sharp eyes are needed to protect interests. Many men and women
directly enter the guard of Bayris, yet even they will work
evenings for a bit more coin. Some pirates have even entered
legitimate business for the risks of greater earnings. And with
such protection offered, the theft and removal of goods and
people makes just as much if not more coin for thieves and assassins.
Many guilds try to regulate the business of the underground,
black markets, and highways. But not all are successful when
personal ventures are wanted for high enough of a price. Even
these guilds need their lawyers.
Values and Taboos: The
peoples of Bayris city proper and the farmlands have differing
views on many ideals and beliefs. It is not surprising that
the southern folk have fewer taboos and far more values than
the rest of Bayris; however, Bayrisians share some common customs
All Bayrisians consider interrupting
a mercantile deal rude, including sales pitches, price haggling,
and barters. Interfering with a deal gains the ire of other
merchants, the Commerce Guild, and pirates with a bone to pick.
Strategic attacks through the law and dark trade can effectively
end a merchant's business for a long time.
All Bayrisians celebrate their freedom
from monarchy. The power of blood is not as accepted as currency
in Bayris as in other human nations. Even a poor man can work
his way into the echelons of merchant kings. Throughout the
city, the power of the law, the Council, Market Knights, and
the Golden Watchers of Wealth empowered by Alanus keep a fair
and smooth running city free and happy. Without the power of
blood, authority regiments in these factions. Yet, despite the
restrictions, the people adore their government. Every 7th day
of Ternoth Ore, the Day of Freedom is celebrated.
Another issue many Bayrisians agree on
is the problem of bandits and pirates. As in any mercantile
society, some folk believe if something can be stolen, then
it belongs to them. The people of Bayris gather together constantly
to fight this never-ending battle. Thief guilds see bandits
not as private entrepreneurs, but as nvaders in their work.
Guardsmen and merchants see pirates and bandits as terrible
expenses and threats to the people and safe relations of Bayris.
The bandits working solo in the city are doomed to failure and
capture by the thief guild quicker than by the law; however,
with quick contracts drawn and blood oaths made, they soon may
see the light and join the guilds. Leniency by the guilds is
rare for pirates, more so for bandits. However, they realize
pirates bring in the lifeblood of the black market trade and
make contracts where they can. Anyone without a contract to
a thief guild is on their own, outside of their protection.
A common love of Bayrisians is ale. Bayrisian
brewers are said to have a formula unique to the city called
Charmer. The special brew is rumored to get a merchant's mind
working and tongue loosened within moments. The ale itself is
a blend of pre-prepared ales and a secret ingredient. To this
day, a Bayrisian brewer has not revealed the formula.
The Central Complex and Politics: If
the ports are the life's blood of the city, the Council of Commandants
is truly the heart of Bayris. The Council resides in a large
hall in the second tier of the city. is a square, surrounded
by great stone walls on all four sides. Inside is the mayor's
manor, the council house for where the city council meets, and
the headquarters of the overseer, commander of the Bayrisian
The First Patriarch of Bayris has a surprisingly
small role in the city. The position consists of being in the
public eye, meeting with dignitaries from other nations, and
acting as an ambassador to other kingdoms. The position also
holds a vote equal to 5 council members used to break narrow
margins in votes. The figurehead's manor is both an office and
a house, where they spend most of their political life. Every
year the term is put on trial, where the public may choose to
reelect or induct a new candidate. Very rarely throughout history
has a mayor been voted out of office; instead, the mayor typically
steps down after a few years of service, taking a seat in the
city council. The one exception is during the dark ages of the
city's life. (see history)
The city council is always in session.
Being a large city with a hold on lumber rights for the human
nations, the Council of Commandants rarely has free time for
leisurely activities. They listen to contract issues, conduct
investigations into bandits and thievery, preside over large
deals between nations, and refine the laws of the city-state.
For pressing issues and laws, votes are taken requiring a majority.
If the vote does not come to a majority decision, the vote goes
to the people.
One may become a council member through a variety of actions.
The most common, of course, is through a vote of the people.
In dark quarters though, many know that seats can be purchased
along with votes. The First Patriarch officially has the power
to appoint a council member, but to this day that power has
never been exercised. Members of the council include merchants,
scholars, priests, warriors, and at times thieves. It is customary
for a secret member of a thief guild to hold a seat in the city
For issues outside of law, such as the
cobblestones of streets, building of piers, or health of harlots,
the people turn to the Overseers. The Office of the Overseer,
an appointed position and office that maintains the state of
the city roads, buildings, and health, handles all public work
issues. The Officer then hires people to help in the maintenance
of the city proper, rarely interfering with the state of the
farmlands and trade routes. All concerns of protection and the
outlying areas are the purview of the military branch under
The merchant guild headquarters is also
located in a building near the Council of Commandants. The merchant
guild consists of all merchants who wish to live and work in
Bayris. They also have a council of day, night, and port masters
who ensure the smooth flow of imports, exports, and commerce.
The Bayrisian economy is quite complex,
given that the city itself does not have its own currency. The
economy is run off of the rest of Antaron, with more weight
added to the currency of Pardinal, due to the large amount of
trade between the city and the kingdom. Due to this immense
amount of wealth and commerce, followers and priests of Alanus
have great sway in the city. His faithful seek to monitor all
deals, count all monies, and gain power for the church. At times,
his work is foiled because of the interest of Shinara and her
Bayris once had a firm alliance with
the nation of Pardinal, dating farther back before the rise
of the Ventar nobles. However, as the power of the human nations
rose and fell, new pacts were offered to the city. Seeing the
political ploy as one to corner the trade of Bayris, perhaps
even sacrificing some freedom for greater riches and trade,
Bayris declined their strong alliance with Pardinal. Now they
hold trade alliances with all human nations including other
nations and peoples.
Holidays and Festivals: Festival
of Vilathera's Bounty - The Festival Vilathera's Bounty is held
annually every 15th day in the 5th month in the Commonwealth
of Dorest. The festival lasts a total of 3 days, and during
those three days hunters and fishers hunt for the sport of Vilathera.
Never do they hunt for the sake of trophies. Every slain animal
and beast is properly skinned and cured for the festival banquet
and for sale to the local peoples of Bayris. On the first day
of the hunt, a priest or priestess of Vilathera prays over the
hunters. They are limited to hunt during the early morning hours.
During the afternoon they perform rites of thanks over the kills.
And in the evenings, the families give their thanks and tell
tales of the hunt while surrounding the cooking fires. The festival
is a favored one for blooding young girls and boys new to the
Day of Freedom - The Day of Freedom is
held every 7th day of Ternoth Ore. It represents the founding
of Bayris and celebration of personal and governing freedoms.
For an entire day, citizens of Bayris can visit and give thanks
to council members, guardsmen, lawyers, naval men, and public
works for their devotion and care of their city. Awards are
given for support and love of their city-state for service beyond
the call of duty. Many of the ceremonies and banquets occur
at the great council hall. When the day ends, merchants and
common folk then lift toasts to the warders of the public freedom.
Carnival of Masks - Beginning the 25th
day through the 28th day of Letra Tey, the Carnival of Masks
fills the walkways, taverns, and inns of the Bazaar. The carnival
marks the beginning of the new trade year. The days and nights
include many events that open trade negotiations for the city-state
and shipping routes, such as banquets held in honor of merchants
and visiting dignitaries and a tour of the ships and piers.
Although trade occurs year-round, the carnival is also considered
the opportune time for gaining Shinara's grace and luck for
business. Shops display new wares from artisans and merchants
to the people and visitors of Bayris. Gambling houses open all
day and night to patrons. Taverns provide musical shows of traveling
minstrels and troubadours. And during the evenings, people who
wish to receive the luck of Shinara take to the streets of the
Bazaar wearing flamboyant masks. Parties, dances, and celebrations
commence to raise goblets and voices to the lady for her blessings.
Market Guards watch the revelers ensuring the parties do not
range farther than the market. However, revelers fear gaining
the ire of Shinara and usually behave themselves during the
Founder's Day - More of a political holiday
for the council, Founder's Day is a small holiday held in the
Arbiter's District. During the morning and afternoon of the
12th day of Olemra, council members and scholars give speeches
regarding the founding of the city and its history. The festivities
are solemn and reflective, more of a somber remembrance of the
past and revisiting of the founders' vision. The day ends with
prayers and the burning of candles, symbolizing the goal of
Bayris to be the beckon of democratic light in the dark of tyranny.
The Bayrisian Military: Bayris
has a very strong military - strong enough to hold its own,
should it enter war. The military falls into various groups
depending on their focus. These groups provide protection for
the markets, piers and ports, sea, and lands of the city and
townships beyond the walls.
Market Knights - The Market Knights are
a division of the military devoted to purely interior affairs.
The Market Knights are sanctioned by the military, but are not
an official branch. They are not under the direct control of
the overseer, but rather a committee of the city council. They
are always within earshot, and always ready to answer the calls
of the people. The organization is notoriously neutral, and
will mediate every encounter before making a decision. Market
Knights are armed typically with short swords, nets, saps, and
Market Knights have a very specific code
to follow, and very few have ever broken it. Should a Market
Knight break his code, he immediately dismissed from service,
and restrictions set against him depending on the severity of
A Market Knights code:
· As a Market Knight, you are always representing the
Bayrisian military. Act as such.
· Your duty is to ensure the fairness of the merchant
transactions. Never allow one to get an unfair deal.
· You are to remain impartial until both sides of an
argument are given. Only then after consideration are you to
make a judgment.
· Even though you are not under his direct control, always
answer to the overseer.
· If in need of violence: trip, disarm, and disable before
using lethal force.
· If in doubt bring both parties before the council,
do not make a blind judgment.
Bayris Marshals - The Bayris Marshals
is another division of the military under the direction of the
Office of the Overseer. The Marshals is a group of soldiers
trained to keep the peace of the streets, piers, and ports of
Bayris. They protect the streets, ports, piers, and homes of
the city. Their watchful eyes make sure the people can live
in peace. They do not watch for black market trade or the like,
only the protection of people and goods. The Bayris Marshals
work directly under the Overseer, who receives dictates from
Marteal Guard - The Marteal Guard maintain
a fleet of specially designed ships for speed and durability.
These lightly armed galleons travel the bays, coves, and seas
to protect merchant trade against piracy. They help merchant
ships damaged by storms and keep the routes clear of obstacles.
The Guard are well-known for their ability to deploy marine
troops quickly and efectively, and their skill at boarding hostile
vessels is unmatched. Typically a soldier joins the Marteal
Guard after serving time as a Marshal. Members of the navy have
trained long and hard, becoming the elite of the guards in Bayris.
Pirates generally avoid coming too close to the city, but sometimes
the lure of fighting the Marteal is too great to pass up. The
Marteal Guard and pirates of the Taskarren Seas have personal
vendettas that always become bloody wars in the open waters.
The Marteal Guard works directly at the behest of the Council
with input from the House of Krag.
Dark Wolves of Bayris- The Dark Wolves
of Bayris are the battle-hardened warriors under the flag of
Bayris and the general line of House Krag. The bloodline of
Krag is an old one, some say reaching as far back as the first
pirates to ever touch the shores. All members of the house have
worked hard to hone their battle prowess and skills, never flinching
from making hard decisions or leading their units into hopeless
situations. The Dark Wolves protect the city from war with other
nations as well as range out into the countryside to battle
other threats. These threats come from the great forests, plains,
and swamps. They have seen much bloodshed over the years, or
promise to see it within the ranks. They take anyone willing
to devote themselves to the rigors of war. In time, many of
the Dark Wolves have eyes as hard and cold as the steel of their
swords. In regards to the city government, the Dark Wolves work
as a separate entity favorable and honor-bound to the council.
However, they take direct dictates only from the bloodline of
Krag. The house of Krag has always sworn fealty to the council,
keeping any issue of corruption to use the military for ill
gains out of the council floor.
people of Bayris follow various faiths of the Audalis pantheon.
Of these, Bayrisians of the city proper worship Shinara, Cardista,
Telamor, and Alanus more than the others, while in the farmlands,
Vilathera, Lysora, and Miellyah also have great followings.
While these deities have larger followings and temples, worship
of virtually all deities can be found, if one knows where to
The Starless Tempest: The
Starless Tempest confounds most scholars, loremasters, and people
of Bayris. Residing about 350 miles due northwest off of the
westernmost point of the Taskarren coast peninsula, the tempest
pulverizes any ship that enters its wind-whipped edge. The storm
rages in a 10-mile sphere of destruction, with heavy clouds,
hurricane force winds, and chaotic seas. Any ship that enters
it will easily be tossed and turned, obliterating into thousands
of bits within minutes. It earned it name as any who have chanced
to look into its depths say it is as dark as a night without
stars or moon.
There are several theories on the Starless
Tempest, but only a few are noteworthy enough to be accepted
as possibilities. The first theory states that the storm is
a rift to the elemental plane of air, where storms and high
winds leak through into the Audalis plane. The second theory
is the most popular. It holds that a powerful mage lost control
over a spell long ago while out at sea, and the spell to this
day has not died out. The final theory is not very well accepted
among scholars, but common folk believe it is the work of Anskar,
perhaps in anger against Cardista and the pantheon.
Most, however, just pass it off as a
mystery and plot their travels around it. Luckily enough the
storm usually does not interfere with shipping routes. Every
once in a while, it seems to grow for a time, only to shrink.
Some fear it will eventually move inland, destroying the city
history of Bayris is a mix of sailor's lore, political asylum,
and scholarly studies.
263 b.E.R. - Guldar "Red Dog"
Parr, captain of Shinara's Scowl, founds a village called Bayris
in a small cove. Considered the greatest haven for pirates of
the age, Bayris began as little more than a small village with
a few piers and one tavern. Many of the folk who remained in
the village tried to make a living off of the stolen fare of
the pirates. Any permanent structures suffered from their constant
abuse. A few families left the horrid village to seek their
way in farming and later in lumber mills along the forest edges
231 b.E.R. - The great conqueror of Turold
Thunderhorn, lord of the Vidarak clan Bulvider, began his campaigns
of terror along the Taskarren Coast. Sailing the seas with five
warboats, the warlord Turold sacked villages, farms, communities,
and pirating parties from far to the north, all the way deep
into Marcoan Bay, and close to Pardinal's treasured waterways.
In some fantastic battles, Turvold's warboats clashed with the
pirate gang called the Red Ravens. They fought their way into
the Starless Tempest, never to be seen again.
209 b.E.R. - Jaycern is founded. A group
of stragglers escaping the doom of Bayris meet with other local
families and found a small village near the forests. They begin
a small lumber business, slowly taking their goods to Drannon
for selling. Business remains slow until 188 b.E.R.
198 b.E.R. - A group of separatists led
by one Dail Brerden found the remains of a pirate village and
began a new settlement. These men clear away the old regime
of crime and founded a new Bayris. Brerden wanted to create
a place of political freedom from the monarchy of the nations.
He traveled far from his old homelands of the Drannese Empire.
Upon finding the pirate hold, they entered into a few bloody
campaigns to end the tyranny of the seas. Soon they found the
outlying farmers and lumberjacks of the surrounding lands.
126 b.E.R. - Caravan routes solidify
between Jaycern and Bayris. More people arrive to Bayris seeking
a new home away from the Drannese empire. More villages and
farmlands grow around the forests and growing populace of Bayris.
A hardened man called Helis Krag arrives to Bayris. Once a pirate,
he tried to leave the old life for a new one, bringing his small
group of three heavily fortified merchant galleons to the growing
port city. Upon arriving, he purchased a piece of land high
on a cliff, away from the city itself. Here he began schooling
young men and women into the craft of war. Over the years, the
small numbers of ships steadily grew with capable men and women
to man them as the Black Wolves.
57 E.R. - Ships from Pardinal arrive
flying under the flag of the Merchant Guild of Pardinal. The
first large trading deal is made between Bayris and the nation
of Pardinal. Both lands begin a long-term relationship on the
seas as the two most powerful forces of men on the waters in
the business of trade.
101 E.R. - The formal Council of Commandants
began their term. After years of trail and error, battles with
pirates and nations, the city-state of Bayris commenced the
first open election and instatement of officials. Priests of
Rydor and Jusarin blessed the new constitution listing the Rights
of Man in the city square before the newly built council hall.
235 E.R. - Falke Mariel of Pardinal,
a member of the Ventar Lords, purchases a home in Bayris. He
begins a series of deals between the city and a number of pirate
groups. He helped strengthen the position of the Ventar in Pardinal
and ended the peaceable life of Bayris. Pirates had been a constant
issue, but not a major problem. With the power and prestige
of Pardinal secretly backing them, the pirates banded together
calling themselves the Gentlemen of the Gold Coast. Treasures
were stolen from far distant lands and the nations of men. Along
the coast, they sought out the old and forgotten coves and maps
of the Taskarren pirates. Many said the coasts gleamed gold
in the morning from the amount of stolen treasures kept there.
247 E.R. - The city council of Bayris
established the Marteal Guard. Together with the Dark Wolves
and Pardinal's forces, they helped push back and destroy the
Ventar and their pirate gangs. A loose peace was reaffirmed
in Bayris, bringing back a sense of honor to the city. The council
announced the holiday of Founder's Day to remember the vision
261 E.R. - The first Carnival of Masks
commences in Bayris.
304 E.R. - Bayris expands in size as
the prosperity of the city-state grew. More villages were founded
along the forest. The people of the forest came together and
marched to Bayris' council hall. Here they demanded better compensation
and port rights for their lumber mills. With the help of city
leaders, these people became the Commonwealth of Dorest after
their leader. Catherine Dorest was an avid follower of Rydor,
seeking the honor and righteousness for her people. Upon her
death, an oak tree was planted in Jaycern never to be cut down.
312 E.R. - The Academy of Law and Navigators
opens its doors to their first students. Grand buildings set
in the sprawling city stood ready to house students from across
the lands of Antaron. The first class included thirty students.
Over the years, this number increased to 150.
345 E.R. - Riders from Chindari arrived
in the farmlands of Bayris. The group was bloodied and hurt
from a long journey across the plains. They spoke of a threat
from the south, an uprising of the Arvox Collyra of the Blood
Plains. A terrible set of battles and drought devastated the
people of the plains. Bayris and the Commonweath of Dorest aided
as they could.
417 E.R. - The Lord Praxis Thorn was
assassinated in his home. Lord Thorn resolved and presided over
numerous trade negotiations between the human nations, Bayris,
the Commonwealth of Dorest, and other peoples. The investigation
ranged far and wide, discovering untold levels of corruption.
A hunt for corruption overtook the people, bringing the Great
Burning of 417. Many merchant homes and warehouses were destroyed
in those weeks. As the investigation continued, the Council
brought in priests of Rydor, Jusarin, and Lysora to preside
over the issues. At conclusion, a guild of thieves calling themselves
the Shadow Hands were brought to justice. The guilds, in fear
for their livlihood, came together to form the Covenant of Dirks.
The Covenant was a council for thieves much like the Council
of Commandants. To this day, many do not believe the true culprits
452 E.R. - An uprising of pirate groups
threaten the peace of Bayris. The Dark Wolves and Marteal Guards
continue their search.
Thanks to Yanamari and Admiral for this contribution!