Civilians of CotIS

The following is Part V of a five part series which aims to reveal the important details of the WSMG Society’s fourth MegaGame, Chaos on the Iron Sea.

Civilians of the Iron Sea

While heavily armed pirates and well trained naval officers traverse the grim waters of the Iron Sea, civil life goes on – merchants and traders come and go, offloading goods and collecting their shiny rewards, and several permanent settlements around the Black Noose Islands thrive. The Iron Sea is home to much more than adventure and naval combat.

Bergen Cove

Originally a tiny harbour used to anchor larger vessels that couldn’t approach Sanston in its early days, Bergen Cove has now grown to be a fully-fledged province of merchants and bounty hunters. While ‘civilised’ in most regards, the Cove is a diamond in the rough, known as a home to ex-military contractors, bounty hunters, treasure hunters and merchants who sometimes operate on the underside of the law.

Botts Bay

A much smaller trade port than its immediate neighbours, Botts Bay is the short lived pipe dream of retired pirate Captains and ex-military officers seeking a life of surplus and luxury. While the reality of life in the bay may not be as pleasurable, the small settlement has still managed to build itself a (somewhat dirty) reputation of trade and economic stability, as well as a few other, shadier dealings.


The original port of call for visitors to the Black Noose Islands, Sanston has endured the trials of time and stands almost as a capital of the small scattering of trade ports. Known for its bustling business port and its sturdy defences, Sanston is an open port to anyone who is willing to check their iron and keep the peace.

Sevor Point

The closest thing that comes to European civility in the Black Noose Islands, Sevor Point is a place of luxury and prestige. Only the finest goods and services can be found here, fondly watched over by the most well trained (and, arguably, most deadly) local militiamen. A place of antiquity and great worth, though a highly secure one.

Oarsmen Trade Guild

Initially a joint venture between two smaller English and Dutch trading companies in the 1620’s, the Oarsmen Trade Guild came to prominence as one of the first privately owned entities to pioneer a new trade route between the New World and the wilds of Africa. Focussing mostly on the trade of sugar and rum, while also playing a decent role at the height of slave trading, the Guild currently operates as the economic elite on the Iron Sea. There is nothing, after all, that Oarsmen coin can’t smooth over.

Lavis Brothers Trading Company

Also known as Merchant Hermanos Lavis Empresa Comercial. Founded by two Spanish privateers, Pedro and Alanso, who learned the great value of export and import to the Caribbean during their service as privateers during the English-Spanish wars of the 1590s. Currently dominating the trade of tobacco to the New World, the Trading Company is known for its reputation to ruthlessly force competitors out of its path when need be.

Barentian Merchant Company

Originally a small French company, later to enter into a partnership with English corporate entities, the Barentian Merchant Company was one of the first to begin marketing ‘tourism’ for the Black Noose Islands. One of the newest private operations on the Iron Sea, thriving on the slow decline in piracy, the Barentian merchants exercise professionalism and exquisite etiquette in all they do, attracting only the best paying customers for their New World ‘adventures’.

Settlement Roles

Settlements each have 5 players, each fulfilling specific roles in the management and protection of their ports and population.

Governors are responsible for the overall governance and decision making for their port. They make the law, set precedent and coordinate their key players to ensure the occupants are safe and happy.

Treasurers act as the key advisor to Governors and take care of the resource management of the port.

Constables are usually ex-military or naval officers and are responsible for coordinating the defence of the settlement, both against naval threats and through policing of the streets.

Shipwrights are tradesmen who deal in raw materials and equipment, including weapons. Their role is to import goods at wholesale prices and then find local buyers.

Tavern Keepers operate the port’s institutes of leisure and are responsible for recruiting and hiring out extra hands.

Merchant Roles

Merchant teams have 3 players, each fulfilling different purposes in the operation of the vessel and the management of its crew.

Captains are responsible for the overall command and decision making on board the vessel, setting the salaries of different crew members and ensure the company meets quotas and deadlines. Captains, through their networks and social capital, are also responsible for ensuring the crew have work.

Quartermasters are the right hand of their Captain, carrying out his or her strategic vision. They are responsible for resource management, crew management and also act as key advisor to the Captain. The main diplomatic body on board, Quartermasters are also required to uphold relations with other teams.

Master Sailors are responsible for navigation and movement on the game map, as well as defensive manoeuvring during combat. They are also responsible for keeping the ship in good health by undertaking repairs when needed.