Guerrillas In The Mist
South, across the savage seas, are the Southern Islands, where most of the Final Empire’s best spices, silks, wines, and other luxury goods are gathered. Though high winds reduce ashfall here, frequent storms and brisk sea breezes keep the rugged, bleached islands damp and humid. Local nobles are often sea merchants in service to a mainland house, trading hardy grapes and dried exotic plants for staples from the Inner Dominances. The islands thankfully have no trouble with Mistwraiths or Koloss, but Skaa Pirates and raiders prowl the narrow channels, plundering coastal ports and lonely ships for weapons, wealth, and sometimes noble captives they can ransom for a small fortune
Life on the fringes of the Final Empire is different to the imperial core. The ever-present touch of the Steel Ministry or the Lord Ruler is distant, but bucking the system still risks punishment from the nobles. Skaa have a freer life out here, but trade it for increased fear of the mists at night and the worry of roving bands of renegade skaa.
The port city of Empoli is mostly in the control of House Profeste – working for House Hasting, trading in silks and dyes. Led by the ageing Marco and Febe Profoste, the family is slightly larger than normal with the children: the eldest of which, Leon, has married and produced a single son.
Empoli is sheltered from the worst of the storms by cliffs that reach out to cup a crescent bay. Roads peter out into the hills where mining operations drag up scraps of precious allomantic metals. Plantations in the thick jungle air draw pathetic little nutrients from the soil – and every year the scraps of crops they dig up lessens.