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  1. FREE TRADERS ASSOCIATION The Free Traders Association (FTA) officially began operating in December 617 in response to aggression towards legitimate free trade fleets. Fatigued from the tyranny of the tired monarchies of the old world, many colonist had come to the islands of the Prio and Sea of Thieves looking to start anew without the oppression of the aristocracy. While they prospered initially, the attempts by some old Kingdoms to exert dominance of the trade lanes required the banding together for mutual protection. At a tavern in the Garvey's colony of Freeport, a number of ship Captains met with a delegation from Charlatan Bay to sign an accord of mutual defense and profit sharing. With its headquarters in the free port of Charlatan Bay, the FTA warehouses serve as a clearing house for legitimate (and not so much) goods traveling between the Prio Seas colonies and the Old World. At the same time, its surprisingly well-armed trade convoys travel between colonies insuring a steady supply of needed goods. Company Head Directors Doctor Oliver Thaum [as himself] - Founder Baron Antonio Slavik de Mendoza [NOD] Silent Senior Partners Rodesh Derr [Bart] Gustaf Von Bricktin [Roadmonkeytj] Captain Silas Pike [Kwatchi] - Founder Amara the Amazon [Gulagurag] - Founder Merchant Fleet (Ship Levels up to 25) Night's Whisper - Class 2 Captain "Patches" Jr. Redtail - Class 2 Captain Haymish McGillicuddy Dusk - Class 3 Captain Richard Turpin Achernar - Class 3 Captain Bennet Bolsillos Llenos - Class 5 Captain S. Gonzales (in blue) The Eagle - Class 2 Captain : E. St John No kidding - Class 3 Captain : anyone silly enough to sail a piece of junk Land Assets Free Traders Hall - Hightown, Charlatan Bay (SR) FTA Warehouse - Lowtown, Charlatan Bay (SR) FTA Trade Office - Bastion (SR) FTA Trade Office - Freeport (GAR) FTA Office - Papaver House - Furte Unido (ESL) <= Monopoly property Rooming House - Fatu Hiva (OL) <= Monopoly property FTA Trade Office and Warehouse - Charlatan Bay (SR) Red Bloom Public House - Bastion (SR) <= Monopoly property A Smoking Room - King's Harbour (Cor) <= Monopoly property Junkie Den - Freeport (Gar) <= Monopoly property Poppy Mill - Poppy Port (SR) <= Monopoly property BruHaha Brewery - Bastion (SR) <= Monopoly property FTA Rum Store and Office - Nola Mar (TV) Plantations Black Poppy Field - Poppy Port (SR) <= Monopoly property White Poppy Field - Charlatan Bay (SR) <= Monopoly property Standard Poppy Field - Tortuga (SR) <= Monopoly property Write-Offs
  2. Crisis can bring opportunity. While their ships were detained by the Eslandolan government in February '618, the FTA captains took it upon themselves to find lodging more comfortable than the dockside inns. Using the profits they had made in port, they purchased a small estate known locally as Papaver House - after the distinct red flowers cultivated in the garden. Not only did this serve as housing for the captains while the bureaucratic fracas played out, it was also decided it would be a suitable location for a new trade office. Needing a factor to run the office, the Sirrus' First Mate Edgar Marquez was selected. He had faithfully served under Captain Preston dating back to their days as pirates, but taking a splinter during a battle this past October had severely hampered his mobility. Rather than cash him out, this gave the former Eslandolan privateer a regular stipend and a new purpose. And since Papaver House was opulently appointed (in order to more easily deal with the rich merchant class of the town), his life would be one of wealth that he had never would have dreamed of. ==/==/== This is the second in my series of FTA satellite offices, and in this case I tried to mimic the architectural style of the Brickwall Memorial Park. The style was actually a lot of fun to try out and is very striking in real life. While I am happy overall, the exterior pictures are not great (I hope to redo them later this week), and I only had 11 of the dark tan brick facade pieces; I wish I had more to use as an accent. And I can't forget to mention that my proud 7 yo did the gardening and was insistent that I mention it. Some further story below:
  3. As part of the efforts of the nascent Free Traders Association to grow their commerce, a decision was made to reinvested profits into their ports of call. This was to have the two-fold benefit of raising awareness of their brand and wares, but also give them a permanent local staff to help navigate the customs and laws which vary wildly across the island colonies. The first of these offices was founded in Freeport, located on Garvey's Rum Isles. Established in a former counting house, the location by the docks proved by advantageous by being close to the custom house and docks, but also in what was regarded as a higher class portion of shore line. The office was staffed by Mstr. Kai Nilsen, an older well spoken gentlemen familiar with Garvey. He is a quiet man who generally keeps to himself and stays out of trouble. While he serves the FTA captains who use him as liaison, he helps maintain the profitability of the office by acting as a currency exchange for foreign traders at a reasonable fee. Of course what is not common knowledge is Nilsen is himself a retired privateer, but those days of excitement are long behind him. He now has a comfortable life. When there are no trade ships in port, Kai finds himself with ample time to stare out his door, tea in hand, and enjoy the daily hustle and bustle of the dockside. The truth be told, he also has a fond eye on the fish shop proprietress next door. ===/===/=== I approached this build with the intention of mimicking the aesthetic that Sir Stig set out for Freeport in the Jameis Farstrider's Guide entry for Garvey. I am fairly happy wit the result and believe if you dropped these besides his work they would not look completely out of place. The difference is that I approached both Freeport builds with one eye on game play, rather than solely as display pieces. Comes with having young kids I guess. My original plan was to have a larger office building with an open air warehouse attached. Unfortunately, I ran out of roof bricks. So rather than scrap my other half of dock, I split things into two small builds. It ended up being a fun little project I could work on in manageable chunks. My grandiose plan is to do something similar in each port the FTA convoy stops in, but considering this one pertains to the Nov/Dec MRCA it seems I am already woefully behind. This will be licensed by the Free Traders Association as a small commerce in Freeport (GAR). Additional photographs:
  4. Somewhere in Freeport "Gentlemen, in light of constant pirate depredation, aggression by tyrannical nations, and collusion by envious rivals we have faced in the past months, I applaud our uniting together to make common cause. Please raise your glasses with me for a toast; 'The Free Traders Association - May our success only be outshone by the gold in our purse!' Now before we begin to celebrate in earnest, there is the matter of organizing our fleet..." ---x---x---x--- Just a little build to serve for the license application to level 25 and the official announcement of the formation of the first Sea Rat trading company - the Free Traders Association (FTA). And yes, the lantern is crooked. Bah!
  5. The Fluttering Petal is a yawl rigged junk, originally sailing out of the island nations to the south. Like all Towakan ships, it carries a carved figurehead of a kami, or spirit, chosen to act as a guardian for the vessel. In this case a golden carp is affixed on the prow, which represents one of the servants of the sea dragon god Ryujin in the Shinto religion. This junk was first used as a short haul rice trader, but was pressed into service by a wokou pirate clan upon being found de-masted after a violent storm. Unfortunately the pirate fleet had themselves fallen on hard times, and sailed north to find better hunting grounds in the Prio Seas. In October 617, the Fluttering Petal was part of an ill-fated attack on an armed trade convoy out of Charlatan Bay. It was captured during action in the environs of Corrington's Northern Reaches. After the smoke had cleared, the surviving crew was questioned and in a surprising act of clemency given the choice of swearing service to the convoy's leader. Once in port, a thorough inspection showed the junk's damaged hull unsuitable for the cannon weight it carried, and a number of the 9lb'ers were sold off. The subsequent space was redesigned to carry cargo securely and its new career as an armed trader was born. Sadly, the ship was sunk in June 623, having been mis-identified as a pirate by a Corrington misanthrope captain. ---x---x---x---x--- This ship represents the class 3 captured during October's TMRCA by the trade fleet that arrived in Elizabethville. I'll be licensing it (ed. note: for free. Yay!) once I get my trade company's application ruled on. For the record, Towakan was one of the three Asian inspired countries that @SkaForHire had in mind for the game, which I found out about from @MKJoshA. It was the in-game counterpart for ancient Japan, where Bai Pei represented China and Kaetem (sic) represented Singapore. Every other detail I inserted is purely from wikipedia surfing.
  6. The Free Traders Hall in the High Town district of Charlatan Bay serves the headquarters an association of short haul independent traders (both legitimate and otherwise) where they plan their commercial enterprises. All manners of navigational charts, taxation rates, proscribed item lists, and general shipping information is kept on file for every colony in the environs. Various trade captains can make use of the facilities on a pay per usage basis, or pay an annual dues for unlimited access. This MOC will be licensed as a medium commercial property and as the HQ for the Free Traders Association, and was previously used in another MOC. (Yes, it could be considered smaller than a medium, but I "rounded down" on the last two so I figure I was due )
  7. So ya cove, do ye ever wonder what happen old pirates? After years of reaving and looting, those that haven't been confined to the briney deep some find themselves as rich as kings, and settle down to a soft life as lily white landlubber. Some waste away on the docks in a drunken stupour. A few still heed the siren's call of the sea, even if though their youth has fled. Take Captain Bartholomew Preston for example. Preston had been the quartermaster's mate on the Corrington Privateer Majestic Ruse. After nearly three decades of sailing with her, that ship paid off for the final time and was condemned as a wreck. Preston was not ready to be stranded ashore, so rather than drinking his final pay packet away he used it to buy a prize ship brought into Bastion. The best he could afford himself was a half-rotten sloop that had been taken off the coast of An Holli. The ship was poorly designed and wallowed if not handled perfectly, but she could carry an inordinate amount of cargo. Putting every coin he had into repairs and a coat of white paint, he christened her The Sirrus... after a dock hand snarked that she looked like a passing cloud. True to his nature, Captain Preston's ship does not sail all that meekly and mounts a couple 9 lb deck guns to force second thoughts. While occasionally conducting a little smuggling for the thrill of it, Captain Preston lives the life of a tramp trader and is happiest in the well-appointed cabin sipping port and reminiscing about his youthful exploits with his crew of veteran Sea Rats. And though the years have softened him, his reputation as a buccaneer is still largely known which grants him the courtesy of a safe berth in any of the piratical Freeports found on the new seas. ===/===/=== The Sirrus will be licensed as a 3T2. After helping Gulagurag build his 5HA on Friday, I was left with a pile of spare bricks and a 6 year old nagging me to build him a ship. There are worse things to do on a weekend. Of course this is hardly a centerpiece MOC, and is literally the result of me dredging my bins for any remotely useful bricks. The beak head/bow is pretty poor, and the dimensions are far too short and wide to be practical, but it was fun to do as a building exercise all the same.