Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tidewaters - Prominent Factions

Abord the Ship, as all groups of people tend to do, factions and people of import have arisen from the morass to distinction.

The Captain 
Classified as a faction all their own, the Captain is at once enigmatic and ever-present, supposedly watching from their quarters at all hours and taking in reports from the Navigators. The original commissioner of the Ship, and apparently the only being who knows its ultimate purpose and course, but never seen for as long as written record goes. At times releases public statements and injunctions—possibly recorded—and is considered the overarching say on most all issues.

If they are still alive, that is. Or real.

The Eight High Navigators
Close confidants and advisors-on-course for the Captain, Crewpeople of the highest order and great stature, well-tenured through the centuries they have been in service. Though not named and seldom seen, they often associate with hiring scriveners and number-men to aid in properly running the Ship's more technical functions, and seem to have a strong taste for the arts and sciences gathered from jetsam. They gild themselves in gold, copper, and embroidered satin over ancient machinery.

All Crewpeople answer to their demands, but other species may have a resistance.
Riddling at Twenty Years

Heads of Salvage And Refinement
Those who have taken the difficult and precise work of salvage, or the refinement and modification industries afterwards, and made something of themselves within it. Although need is constant, only three have held any lasting and major grip upon what services can be provided in the past half-century.

Taxer Riddling, bilgeborn manipulator and cardsharp in his younger days, came to power through a
series of clever and intuitive unions that brought the more capable salvagers together and allowed him to skim off their collective profits while keeping their inter-competition low. As this model worked only when the salvagers in question did not attempt to one-up each other, Riddling has a long history of firing swathes of salvagers to keep pay equal—and increasingly lower, to note. Has hired some rather expensive doctors as of late, for unknown purposes.

Alexi 'Penny' Drye, former coppersmith in the bowels of the boiler rooms, is the former heir transparent to a small clan of human-brinechild investors of old, supposedly bought to ruin by House Ushe and a series of poor investments long ago. However, with titles came prestige and better connections with the trading world, and as such the small-time smith came to be the face for refinement operations. A clade of viziers and advisors surrounds the man.

Millis Alkal, former salvager herself for twenty years, brought some fortune upon herself with a recovered cache of star-chart paintings and unstable colour-shifting compounds on an expedition into an adrift mansion of flotsam. With it she subsequently began to lease out capable individuals who were willing to made headway into large, dangerous flotsam in exchange for riches, and eventually retired to a more administrative position in her company. Said to know exactly where to hit to dislocate a jawbone.

The Trade Collective
In the bureaucracy of trade and exchange, the highest ranks are separated triparte-by-triparte by their investments, holdings, and economic profit to minimize competition and confusion. This has not stopped said competition, however, as each group attempts to keep ground against one another by a very tense series of alliances and betrayals—as it has been since the Collective was first instituted.
Sir Far Heit

Sir Threadwind, is the eminent holder of rarity items and luxuries in Tanglefront, and likes to express that wealth through ever-more-complex body tattoos in strange inks, and expensive clothes.
Sir Sellador, who dabbles heavily in the medicinal sciences, has a good sense for where and when narcotics are being made and sold. This has helped temperance movements, low-supplied doctors, and his own personal stash.
Miss Ocitet Occitan, herbalist and speculator on what new growths are needed in the bow-hydroponics, has a rather specific venture that nonetheless is appreciated by all those who like to eat more than seafood and tinned salvage.
Sir Salt, a wicked little man who has few friends from his unheeded and constant tax-hackling. This does not bother him, as his shabby appearance and frugal lifestyle need no companionship.
Miss Rushing Stride, true to her name, has made strides in the administrative side of common-stock inventory and how to make it available to all, according to the half-remembered laws of her Rushing motherlands.
Miss Innocent, is a most clever propagandist, never making profit directly off trade, but by how her advertisements and advice allow other small traders to make generous donations. As of late this has been mainly from the taciturn Crewpeople deep in the boilers, who are making quite a lot of new equipment.
Miss Limper, who has a most uncanny ability to make sudden and tremendous fortunes—and subsequently lose them just as suddenly. Her latest foray into the business of intelligence and circulation of the patent-trade has brought much eminence, possibly not to last.
Sir Far Heit, of a lost nobility from a long-forgotted planetscape burned by war, came to the Ship disoriented and with several great secrets from the mercurial depths themselves. Subsequently he doles out these secrets in serial form, supported by a set of scriveners and small-traders who would seek to have these secrets in their shop windows.
Sir Hangman, who is said to have come to the title at age ten, is said to have been rendered tremendously paranoid by the experience, and employs multiple seeing-eyes and census-men to report on conditions of the Ship. Some say he reports to the Captain, as both are never seen.

The House of Ushe
A long and well-established family of humans, claiming to be descended from some of the first to come aboard as passengers, with silver spoons in their mouths and sparks at their fingertips. True to form, even in the modern day, members of the lineage have uncanny abilities or strange knowledge that paints them as odd and out-of-touch. To combat allegations of wretched incest and inbreeding, several generations ago they took to integrating heirs and young hopefuls from other families that had come to ruin, which somewhat warped the aforesaid powers into abilities of the sky, of light and air and fire and sparks.

Cults Artifice and Synthesis
Small, subtle little groupings originally formed by the Crewpeople in their places of gathering that have since spread into a sort of religion in the boiler- and furnace-rooms, focused on the integrity of the Crewperson's suit and their bodily functions. Adherents to Artifice imitate the Eight High Navigators and make small gildings and modifications to their suits, purge poisons from their bodies, and stand in the sun with their portholes swung out for sake of fresh air. Adherents to Synthesis study one another and themselves, to improve and find methods of remaking what a Crewperson's purpose is, and how the form reflects that purpose. This is a reserved knowledge.

So far, the Navigators have not objected to these cults, and some physicians and philosophers have joined to speak their minds.

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