High Seas and Fallen Stars
Fishing on the Sea of Fallen Stars
- The primary source of food and commerce on the Inner Sea for more than fifteen centuries.
- Every settlement has fishing boats (some countries have whole fleets that sail the coastal waters in search of the days catch).
- Most settlements have at least one fishing boat per dozen settlers.
- Deep-sea fishing for sport fish is a luxury known only to the idle rich of Sembia, Cormyr, and a few southern states.
- More than 90% of all fishing is done within sight of land, because of the small boats used by the fishermen.
Shipbuilding on the Sea of Fallen Stars
- This trade has made (and ruined) more fortunes on the sea than nearly any other, due to the universal need for the service.
- All major ports have shipbuilding facilities, but the best shipbuilders reside in Prespur and work officially for Cormyrs crown.
- While carracks and other cargo ships are available from other shipbuilders, cogs are produced only in Prespur.
- The Alaor shipyards controlled by Thay are also great and second only to those in Prespur and have served Thay’s fortunes well.
Shipping on the Sea of Fallen Stars
- Before the discussion of shipping itself, it might be prudent to briefly outline the types of ships common on the Inner Sea.
- Round Ships, Cogs, and Carracks have ridden the waves of the Inner Sea for decades now, and the shipping between the Inner Sea states (and beyond) has created a broad shipping network.
- While navigational skills and equipment now allow trips across the sea out of sight of land, the presence of pirates and other dangers still limit that travel.
- The bulk of the surface activity happens within fifteen to twenty miles from any coast, and the primary trade lanes run from the Dragon Coast, Cormyr, and Sembia, down to Turmish, where ships either dart southeast into the Alamber or cut sharper turns and enter the Vilhon Reach.
- Shipping also runs over to the Vast and along Impilturs coast to Cape Dragonfang and Thesk.
- Aside from a few deepwater areas, the reef running from this cape to the Wayrock prevents much sea traffic across the eastern sea to Aglarond, though there are enough sailors who deem it a worthwhile run.
- However, there are rarely ships that round Altumbel and head for Turmish.
- Even though the uninitiated look at that as an easy voyage, it runs between two known pirate enclaves and is deemed too great a risk to establish a trade lane from Altumbel and Aglarond to either the Alamber or the Vilhon.
- All the sea trade of Aglarond goes north to Thesk and then to Impiltur and parts west.
- After the spring storms each year, many ships from Cormyr, Sembia, and other ports make mad dashes east toward Thesk and Aglarond, for fortunes can be made by those who arrive in port first.
- The proceeds of the first few shiploads of goods always bring higher prices, and greater profits, for the bravest captains.
- Of course, the pirates know this as well, and thus nearly one out of ten captains see their ships taken from them during this time, but with so much to gain, those risks are taken with regularity every year.
Piracy on the Sea of Fallen Stars
- Pirates come in many varieties; the severity of their crimes also varies.
- Dread Pirates
– Those who attack ships and kill crews, taking money and cargo and lives with abandon (more than half of the pirates of the Inner Sea of this ilk).
– Commandeer cargoes but rarely inflict harm on innocents.
– Range from men whom pursue the life out of necessity to those who seek treasure and excitement.
– Ship trade goods and avoid shipping taxes and other fees they see as unnecessary or unjust.
- Corsairs & Privateers
-Essentially, pirates at the beck and call of coastal governments who raid other pirates or the ships of political enemies.