The Great City-Ship of Denzik

The great sargasso isles of the dreaded Lintha Family are not the only mobile piece of civilisation in the great Western Ocean.

The Denzik Merchants, under the leadership of the Delzhani noble Denzik Badr, founded a venture like no other in Creation.
Denzik Badr's financial acumen was so sharp that she went from an unwanted daughter of her Chiaroscuran family to taking it over, multiplying its wealth many times over, and making it a leader in the local business community.
But seeing the predation of the Guild upon her caravan profits, she began formenting an idea, brash and bold on a scale that made it hard to comprehend for normal men.
But, after many trials, the enormous Denzik City-Ship was launched from the shores of the Southern Sea, and onto it's first and only voyage.
A voyage that will never end!

When the Denzik City-Ship approaches a port, what seems at first a vague smudge on the horizon soon swells into a panorama as large as an island.
It’s a flotilla of hundreds of enormous custom-built sailing junks lashed together for stability, each broad enough to encompass a marketplace on its upper deck, and deep-drafted enough to hold many lower decks packed with living quarters, storerooms, teahouses, whorehouses, gambling dens, and shrines. Together they form a floating city, a harbour equal to any coastal port, to which lesser vessels can moor.

The flotilla is nothing sort of a floating metropoli, a wonder of engineering in the Fallen Age.
Hundreds of ships, all connected by sturdy rope, thick cables and iron chains, the Denzik City-Ship sails a year-long journey circuit through both the distant West, but also both Southern and Blessed Shores.

Culturally, the Denzik seek no power over others. All that matters is the progress of their ship. Within the Council of the Denzik Consortium, the example set by Denzik Badr is still followed to this very day. Dare and Soar.
No matter what venture, there are almost always a Clan willing to support it, solely for the added status to sponsor such venture. Be it expeditions, new trade goods or even founding of sell-sail fleets. All of these are giving their venture capital if a patron can be found.
Across social strata, both craft and skill are valued more than blood. A fact that has made the few Dynasts interactining with the Denzik quite unnerved.
Privacy, as strange as the concept must sound for a sailor, is respected. In your home, you can set the terms of visit. Fortunately, even that has a limit, and these are stated in the Creed of the City.

The Creed of the City

  • On board, there shall be no killing, as blood is for the shore and the sharks.
  • There shall be no fire of heart nor craft, lest you are trusted with such a task.
  • Aboard, no man, woman or child is beholden to the chains of slavery, for such things are an abomination to will and freedom.
  • No action may be taken to endanger the Flotilla.
  • Where the dead follow, the ship shall not sail.

These are enforced by the Clans and the Alliances, organizations that each either are beholden to a craft or a larger family.
However, the loose rules is their essential form are not strict enough that enterprising individuals cannot escape the grasp of the law.
In particular, several vice-ridden dens have begun to prosper in the lower decks of the central ships, where drug-dens and "exotic" houses of pleasure caters to darker desires. Here, the secrets of assembled occultists are sold and traded for the secrets of the distant Western Isles, a good that have at certain times included Westerners with the knowledge to know. But these are never bound by slavery. But perhaps by iron, by sword or by blackmail. But never slavery…

Ten thousand sailors, merchants, artisans and their families live and work aboard the fleet as it traces its route along the Western isles to Faxai and the Cinder Coast, then around the Inland Sea, and back along the Blessed Isle’s coast into the West. At each stop, scores of longboats and pinnaces head to shore carrying trade goods, crew on leave, and disembarking passengers, then return with new passengers, fresh cargo and vast quantities of supplies.
The agricultural and pastoral outputs of entire city-states disappear into its holds to provision its endless journey.
Such events are often viewed with mixed feelings among the citizens of the shore, as the influx of several thousands of Denzik merchants is quite a daunting undertaking for all but the largest cities. More welcoming cities relegate to open their whorehouses, casinos and taverns for the rowdy sailors that seeks to spend their freshly earned trading boni.

Alongside the slipstream of the gargantuan flotilla, hundreds of lesser vessels join up, like pilot fishes after a whale. Being a ship of a unequaled size, the Denzik can muster thousands of hands in the defense of their plethora of cargoes.
Independent traders and members of other mercantile associations—from House Cynis’s slaver
ships to the Mercury cultists of the Golden Sail Consortium—often stop at the city-ship for trade and resupply, or accompany it for protection from privateers and pirates and it is not uncommon to find traders and courier boats seeking shelter on the middle part of their journey, departing only when their different course diverges from the safety of the Denzik aegis. Few of these traders actually trade at the same ports, lest they be swamped by Denzik merchants dealing in every conceivable good: sculpture and spices, cotton and slaves, ivory and armaments, paper and pearls.

The Denzik have little to fear from even the strongest pirate fleet, equipped as it is with
catapults, ballistae, firedust cannons, well-armed citizen-sailors, and hired sorcerers.
But as the rest of Creation grows more interested in the West, the heads of the century-old Denzik Consortium find themselves confronted by fiscal hostility—House Peleps demanding tribute, the Guild pressing the Denzik to join their organization.
The Consortium’s insistence on independence could embroil them in a trade war that could bankrupt the city-ship—or pit it against an armada beyond its capability to defeat.

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