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Sea Folk Progressing System

So, the emphasis this time is on making the players want to be Sea Folk. The people of the Atha’an Miere have a variety of ranks, varying from a lowly deckhand all the way up to the Mistress of the Ships, and the hierarchy makes role-playing an interesting and fulfilling choice. I propose an organic approach to progression, drawing from the existing system created by Robert Jordan. Players can start at whatever level they like below the rank of Sailmistress, and from there they can choose to remain at that rank and develop their Weapon Score, becoming more of a warrior on board ship, or take lessons to help towards promotions to the higher ranks.

There is only one Mistress of the Ships, and she is chosen when all of the Wavemistresses from each clan meet. The previous one, if demoted, will have to start at the rank of Deckhand again. Her Swordmaster will go with her.

Most characters that are non-channelling characters can be promoted. Even though the higher roles are generally assigned to women in Atha’an Miere society, male characters can take similar lessons and become Masters of the Blades (after lessons and reaching a certain Weapon Score). Windfinders cannot be promoted, but due to their exclusive status they are one of the most prominent positions on board ship anyway.

Promotion from any Deckhand to the Mid-Ranks

If you start as a Deckhand, or have that status assigned to you for whatever reason, you will have to do whatever chores are given to you until you can attain a new rank. This will last for no more than three threads.

Acquiring Your Salt Name

Your Salt Name is a description of your abilities given to you by the rest of the crew. When you have passed a couple of prerequisites, your crew will come together and play this out (you may pass your favourite suggestion or choose from a list of theirs). If no other crew are available, you may choose yourself, but role-play out some discussion of it and a small ceremony giving it to you, along with a charm for your nose chain.

Promotion from Mid-Ranks to Sailmistress

Sailmistresses have the general control of a ship. So, in order to sail your ship successfully around the world, you will need to learn some shiny new skills. These are as follows, and can be taught by an existing Sailmistress.

A Sailmistress wears a chain between her nose and ear, and on it are medallions of her rank and clan. The more medallions, the higher rank the Sailmistress.

Navigation: Learn to read ocean maps and find where the shoals, shallows and dangerous rocks and straits lay. Learn how to steer the ship and the position of the stars to make it possible to navigate at night.

Port Geography: The continent itself has many trading opportunities, particularly in busier harbours and ports. Learn about the dangerous areas and places to avoid due to Freebooters and smugglers.

Weather: Learn how to read the skies for approaching weather. Knowing how to read the horizon is a valuable tool for those not wishing to endanger their crew in a sudden storm, so watch and learn well!

Promotion from Sailmistress to Wavemistress

A Wavemistress ranks above the Sailmistresses as the leader of each clan. In addition, a Wavemistress is also the Sailmistress of her own ship. In order to reach such an esteemed position, a character must have experienced a lot that the open seas have thrown at her. New skills to learn include:

Bargaining: Learn about the different ports on the continent and the value of the items available for trade. Also, knowing which products will bring the most profit in the various ports will bring prestige and profit to your ship and clan.

Ocean Battles: An experienced Wavemistress will not panic when it comes to a battle on open water. In order to protect as many of your clan and fleet as you possibly can, learn the best methods of warfare on board ship. No projectile weapons are allowed, but Windfinders may channel, if present.

Tactics: An offshoot lesson from the Ocean Battles lesson, knowing the right tactics to use in the right situation is imperative. Sometimes it is better to bargain instead of fight. Take the initiative to find the best solution; fighting is not always the way, and if the Clan can profit from your shrewd skills, it much improves your chances of promotion.

From Mid-Ranks to Cargomaster (Male)

The Cargomaster is a pivotal role on board a Sea Folk vessel. He deals with the daily matters of trade and assists with the accounting and the ship’s books. He usually makes all the trade arrangements and deals with the port authorities, as well as choosing the cargos for upcoming voyages.

Bargaining: See above (Wavemistress)

Geography: See above (Sailmistress). This goes hand in hand with Bargaining and is vital to the prosperity of the ship and Clan.

From Cargomaster to Swordmaster (Male)

The Swordmaster serves the same role as the Master of the Blades within a clan. He will be responsible, ultimately, for the productivity and defence of his ship and indeed all the ships in his clan. His roles are the same as a Cargomaster, but he will look after the entire clan rather than one vessel. The Swordmaster is often married to the Wavemistress of the ship on which he serves.

Ocean Battles: See above (Wavemistress)

Tactics: See above (Wavemistress). In this capacity, however, a Swordmaster may only advise the Wavemistress rather than negotiate treaties. He will have more say in agreements concerning trade.

Weather: Learn how to read the skies for approaching weather. Knowing how to read the horizon is a valuable tool for those not wishing to endanger their crew in a sudden storm, so watch and learn well!

Windfinders

The second in command of an Atha’an Miere crew, the Windfinder aids the passage of the vessel in inhospitable weather, as well as providing long-range defence should the ship come under attack. When a Sea Folk girl learns she can channel, and her destination is not the White Tower to prevent Aes Sedai from investigating the Atha’an Miere ways, she will be apprenticed to an existing Windfinder to learn the ropes. Lessons include:

Navigation: A Windfinder is also the chief navigator on board a Sea Folk vessel. Learn to read ocean maps and find where the shoals, shallows and dangerous rocks and straits lay. Learn how to steer the ship and the position of the stars to make it possible to navigate at night.

Control: As a novice learns how to submit to Saidar, so a Windfinder has to also. She will learn predominantly about Water, Spirit and Air, and some Fire, but she will not learn much about Earth. The ocean is the home of the Sea Folk, not the land.

Focus: With practice in Air, Spirit and Water, the new Windfinder will learn how to use these elements with more control. She will also grow in strength in these areas in practice for her weaving the winds. She will also learn some basics of defence, i.e. throwing a fireball. This is to be strongly discouraged until she is stronger, as stray fire on board ship can lead to ruin.

Weather: See above (Sailmistress). The new Windfinder will also learn how to use her channelling skills to move cloud masses and weave winds to speed the ship’s passage, practicing first on something small and moving up.

Windfinders in the World

Should a Windfinder encounter an Aes Sedai in the world, she may ask for lessons in channelling for Self-Defence. Double check with WT Division to ensure this is an acceptable progression.

Additional OP Score Increases to Air

These only happen every five threads where the winds are channelled. A character will get a +1 to their OP Score upon completion of five voyages where Saidar is used to aid their voyage.

Types of Sea Folk Craft

Raker This is the most prestigious of all the Sea Folk vessels. They are the largest, most graceful and fastest ships, and commanding one is a mark of high honour and recognition of high skill indeed. It carries three square-rigged masts.

Skimmer The second-fasted of the Sea Folk ships. This is also three-masted; the same as the Raker, but it is broader in the beam and a little heavier. It is still faster than most mainland ships.

Soarer The Soarer is a two-masted vessel and is smaller than both the Raker and the Skimmer. However, it is usually faster and more agile than a Skimmer.

Darter The smallest of the Sea Folk vessels. These only have one or two masts and are consequently not as fast or agile as any of the other ships.

Sea Folk Clans

The Sea Folk are divided into six clans. Each clan is led by the Wavemistress, who is chosen by the Sailmistresses by vote, and by the Swordmaster, who is chosen by and often married to the Wavemistress. The clans are:

Catelar Dacan Rossaine Shodein Somarin Takana

To return to the Freelanders page, click here: Freelanders

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