The Asasan, TradeShip of a Thousand Seas
It’s sometimes easy to forget Freeport is home to more than prostitutes, thieves, and privateers. In spite of the squalor of Scurvytown and the destitution of Drac’s End, Freeport has a large wealthy class with at least as much influence on the happenings of the city as the Captains’ Council. Safe behind tall fences encircling their grand houses, protected by veritable armies of private guards, these isolated elites do their best to ignore the plight of fellow Freeporters and embrace the decadence of their wealth and station.
Matthias Brack (male human master) and his daughter Gwendolyn were comfortable and avoided drawing too much attention. That changed when Gwendolyn found herself swept up with the Daughters of the Guild, a group of bored and disaffected young women who donned masks, caroused in bars, picked fights, and made trouble as acts of rebellion. Her nocturnal pursuits eventually landed her in a sticky mess, requiring the intervention of a few local heroes to save her from being sacrificed by mad serpent people. With his daughter returned, Brack threw himself into his work to earn enough money to move to a larger, fortified manor so he could be sure his daughter would never be in danger again. He worked for four years, during which time his prominence grew until he rivaled even the Tarjay family. He has purchased a new home, hired a small army of guards, and now obsessively monitors his daughter’s doings. Gwendolyn, on the other hand, chafes at her captivity and desperately hunts for a husband to extricate her from her father’s protectiveness.
House Maeorgan has had a shady history: one son was a member of the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign, and the other was murdered. In spite of this, the family has survived in terms of respect and prominence. Marshal Maeorgan (male human master) has always had a finger in politics but he never had the desire to claim a place on the Captains’ Council. Instead, he was content to let his children represent his interests, freeing him to tend his family’s shipyards in distant ports. Unfortunately, this decision led to the deaths of his two sons, leaving his family fortunes to fall upon the shoulders of his daughter, the current Sea Lord.
Both sons met their ends on the Captains’ Council. His eldest son, Armin, was poisoned, and his second son was proven to be a member of the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign and justly died with his snake of a master. Still, these deaths haunt the elder man and make him worry over his daughter, not out of any sense of fatherly concern but for the welfare of his businesses and his legacy.
Marilise did surprise her father in her cunning move to attain the position of Sea Lord. Her coup pleased him deeply and dispelled any doubts about her wildness and his previous conceptions that she would prove to be the least of his heirs. When Marilise offered him command of The Sea Lord’s Guard, he readily agreed, though he had no military experience. He understood his daughter was honoring him and that she wanted family to undertake her protection.
The Mirren Family is not contained to the Merchant District. Thanks to the fertile loins of their matriarch, Mirrens can be found everywhere— from the Docks to the Eastern District and even the Old City. Lenora Mirren heads the family, overseeing her network of her thirty-some-odd grandchildren that make up the largest clan in the city. She may not be overly wealthy, but she has contacts and influence, which keep her in good standing with the other elites in her home neighborhood. Some claim Mirren is of royal blood, but in truth, she was just a handmaiden lucky enough to be the sole survivor when her mistress’s ship sank some three leagues from Freeport.
Unlike many of the families of the Merchant District, the Roberts clan came into wealth through piracy (legal and otherwise) rather than trade. Marcus Roberts enjoyed incredible success in his younger days, giving him ample money to buy a home and start a legitimate trade in Freeport. He was swept into politics, taking him away from his daughter Nifur, his only family after his wife died in childbirth. Roberts was influential and successful, but his fortunes didn’t grow to their current stature until Nifur Roberts (female human apprentice) set aside her youthful exploits and turned her sharp mind toward business. Having little interest in following in her father’s steps into politics, she took her father’s struggling trade business, diversified into arms dealing, and is now a premier importer of swords, armor, and firearms. Her successes have vaulted her to a position of power in the Merchant District, and she is the closest thing Freeport has to a celebrity.
The Roth family dominates the Merchant District and has a controlling stake in the Merchants’ Guild. Despite their ties to the Drac regime, the family continues to exert incredible influence in the city. For more information on the Roth family, see the Merchant District.
David and Willemena Tarjay (male and female human journeymen) made their fortunes dealing in textiles and dry goods, importing these items at incredibly low prices and turning the goods over at a delicious profit. They’ve been extremely successful in these ventures, becoming among the most influential families in the city.
The family owes their success to David’s ruthless tactics and willingness to exploit the poor. Through Continental factors, he bought up large swathes of land. He rented parcels to peasants in exchange for nearly all they produced, allowing the peasants to keep only what they needed to survive. The plan worked exceedingly well, and David managed to bring the crops to Freeport at only the cost of shipping. He made back the money he spent in his land ventures in just a few years and built an empire on the backs of his sweating laborers.