Golden City by the Sea
Ships and sailors, trade and taxes, gold and gluttony. Garmport is a city where fortune and power come quickly and leave even faster. The vast majority of trade entering and leaving Leanora passes through this city, which is exotic and full of foreign wonders. Leo may boast a citizenry pulled from every corner of Leonora, but Garmport has denizens from every corner of the world. Indeed, there are many inhabitants hailing from the deep, dark corners of other worlds entirely…
Council seats are literally bought. It’s a huge source of income for the city, however being born in the city is a requirement – the council members are unlikely to ever change this rule, lest a foreign power assume control of their city…
There are 5 seats, and one seat is put on auction every year. This means that any up and coming merchant has an opportunity to take his place every year… and some years, when a council member loses his fortune, there is a true frenzy of bids to fill the vacancy.
Council members are of course free to abuse their position to improve their own fortunes, however they must get the other members to go along with any new legislation. This is often easier said than done.
When issues are voted on, the council members are equal in all ways. The most senior member breaks ties in disputes due to abstaining or absence.
The Garmport Marines’ fame is so great that it penetrates from the fey-wild to the Underdark. They are fierce mercenaries, respected for their strict honor to contracts as well as their martial prowess. The wealthiest of merchants entrust them with valuable land caravans and priceless shipping, but only the Garmport Council could possibly afford their protection 24/7. In fact, that protection serves to flaunt their wealth as much as it does to actually provide personal security.
A Marine’s status is announced and enhanced by their distinct side-arms, for only the Marines have mastered the secrets of reliable gunpowder weapons. Their pistols are a force without answer throughout the planes of existence, but Marines use them as a last resort. Their rank within the organization can be determined by the quantity of pistols they carry, with the upper echelon toting a full bandolier of the deadly weapons.
Appropriately for Garmport, Marines are promoted within the organization based on the value of the contracts they procure. Particularly famous and sought-after Marines therefore raise through the ranks very quickly (so long as they aren’t a member of the patriot faction – see below).
The Marine treasury is rumored to hold riches beyond counting, which is directly translatable to power in any city, but especially Garmport. Additionally, they are relied upon for protection of the most important people and the most valuable caravans of goods. These facts combine to make them an extremely potent political force, but they make a point of staying above the fray in all ways. Only by lowering their Leonoran army contracts to equal those of the lowest mercenaries, do they make their preference for a united and strong Leonora well known. Some mercenaries go out of their way to help Leonora over private merchants, and are known as Patriot Marines – to the admiration of some and the disdain of others.