One of the, if not the largest independent trading/shipping guilds in all of Caelereth, the Quios Shipping Guild is well known indeed. Though they are professionally known as such, many, including themselves refer to the guild simply as the "Stormcloaks". Known not only for the size of their fleets and the exotic goods they bring, they are also viewed as fearless explorers that bring the world ever closer together. They were founded in approximately 874 b.S. by a man known as Drak Stormlord.

From its beginnings as a group of pirates paid by the Erpheronian government to aid in the destruction of other countries shipping, it grew from its base in the Isles of Ram, and then reportedly there was some break that led to Drak taking his men and vessels on a harrowing journey to what would become known as the Isles of Quios. From there it grew away from piracy and towards honest trade, well at least as honest as it ever is, until it has become the commercial powerhouse it is today. No other independent shipping company can come close to the claim that they have made for themselves, having major ports on at least three different continents, and three times as many smaller ports.

A Stormcloaks Ship
View picture in full size Image description. A ship of the guild on a trading mission getting battered by the stormy sea. Image drawn by Jordy.

Coat of Arms/Sign. The Guild's coat of arms is a rectangle, the top half sable, and the bottom navy. Placed in the midst of the two colors is a jagged bolt of gold lightning. The sable is indicative of the night, and the navy represents the sea. The lightning symbolizes the story of their founder Drak Stormlord, who was the first to make it to the Isles of Quios, in a raging storm no less. The gold colouring of the lightning shows the money to be made facing danger. They have no actual shields, but rather fly this flag from their ships. The captains all wear a cloak made to this design, hence the nickname. Return to the top

Total Organization. The organization is broken down into several subsections.

Port Organization. Easily the most diverse and important of all of the organizations. So diverse in fact that not every occupation can be listed. Since trading goes on from the port offices, it has been lumped into this category. Except in the case of the Isles of Quios, in which they have nearly complete control, and some of their own island ports they keep a section of the port for their own use. It is not like other shipping companies who may have a spot for their ship and then use common docking areas. Rather the Stormcloaks will go so far as to build their own areas if needed and always wall them off from the outside. These areas contain everything from docking facilities, a money house, goods warehouse, trade shops and barracks for sailors and guards, along with better housing for higher ranking members.

Shipping Organization. When a member of the Quios Shipping Guild refers to shipping, they are talking about the process of moving goods from one destination to another and the overall upkeep of a ship while on its trip. There is a certain hierarchy to those involved in the process of shipping. It must be noted that not one man rises to the hightest rank without first experiencing the lowest. Therefore, just because one's father was a ship master does not mean that that person will gain that exalted positions.

Crossing Organization. Originally a part of the shipping organization, this has changed over time. Some of the factors to this further breaking down in structure is due to more focus on the actual shipment of goods and peoples throughout the eastern oceans. In other words Shipmasters now ply regular routes between set ports often times with set goods. Such a regularization in sailing habit had at one point almost destroyed the exploratory spirit that had been vital to the founding of the guild. However several savy Shipmasters and trademasters got together and felt that new ports with even more exotic goods would not only be great adventure, but also great for business.

One of the Lighthouses at Gillwin
View picture in full size Image description. One of the Lighthouses of the Stormcloaks Guild at Gillwin, the main port on the Isle of Killyshmagost. Picture drawn by Seeker.

The first Shipmasters were sent out from Quios in different directions to see what could be found. Some of those did not come back for months or years, some never came back at all. Those who did and came back with news of new lands and peoples were given the title Horizonmasters. It is in this way that trade routes to Kanapan, Denilou, and Cyhalloi were established, along with other unknown lands. There is many a young man among the Stormcloaks that dream of becoming a Horizonmaster, but first they must take the years of work to become a Shipmaster, and then only the best Shipmasters are allowed to become Horizonmasters. Return to the top

Port Locations. The Stormcloak base of operations are the Isles of Quios in which the Stormcloaks maintain complete control of and run it as a kingdom. The city of Gillwin on the Isle of Killyshmagost is the main port and capital of the isles. They have set up two lighthouses outside Gillwin as well. One is at Maerdolth in the Isles of Tyrk, the other is at Hol'Khuuz in the Isles of Khuuz-Duar. The Stormcloaks also have one inland trading post, this is the city of Quios, which is near the Wilvong Dwarves, who were brought over from the Isle of Denilou. This is the main source of the guild's iron for shipbuilding and such.

The Stormcloaks have seperate ports with their own areas in varying locations. These ports in Santharia are Carmalad, Strata, and Veltin. The next largest collection of ports is in the Kanapan region, where many of their exotic goods come from. They have a port in the city of Kurstir/Trigoire and own two islands to the east, Yisindo and Ulig, so named for the Shipmaster and Firstman of the Highshipmen who found the islands. Those are very important as they are a main point of travel between this area and the small port in the island of Ludor, south of Guldor in Cyhalloi.

Having good relations with the dwarves in Denilou, to whom the Wilvong Dwarves are related they have the port of Kil on the eastern side of the island. In the Kingdom of Dorania they maintain a port section in Kaar-Ypherran. Using either this port in Dorania or the one in Strata the Stormcloaks can head to their ports in Aeruillin.

These are all of the ports that others are aware of, though there are some rumours of island ports far to the east and an unknown land named Yamalquain. Though this has not been proven and may all be hearsay. For reasons of their own, the Stormcloaks do not seem to show much interest in going west of Strata into the western oceans. Return to the top

History. Some parts of the following history are speculation (marked with "ca." in the table below), while others are well known and recorded.

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(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
854 b.S. Erpheronian Authorization of Piracy
A man known simply as Drak is given a commission by the Erpheronian government to commit piracy against countries thought to be harmful to Erpheronian trade. At this time he registers a single ship with the government, it is "The Will'o'Wisp".

850 b.S. Drak registering further Ships
Drak once again shows up in Erpheronian naval records for registering three other ships under his name to fall underneath his commission. These ships are: "The Aelyvian Wolf", "Waterstar", and "My Lady".

846 b.S. The Pirate Drak's Years of Glory
Numerous records show that during the time of the Erpheronian war with Caltharia Drak and his pirate band sink, capture, and claim numerous enemy ships.

838 b.S. Disapperance of the Pirate Drak's
It is not known why, but for some reason the name Drak along with the names of his ten ships are crossed off the commission rolls. There have been many a speculation as to what may have led to such a thing. A popular myth is that he tried to become a reputable member of the navy or a reputable trader, depends on who is telling the story, and that the Erpheronian king would not allow it, as he was just a pirate. So he took his crews, and headed east with a cargo hold full of goods and stolen Caltharian treasure.

ca. 837 b.S. Drak's Discovery of Quios
The Erpheronian pirate Drak along with five other ships make landfall at the Isles of Quios during a horrific storm. Three of the ships are lost in the journey to this isles, and one founders on the reefs of the island of Volveran. Some say the island is named after the true name of Drak. Due to leading his crews and their families through the terrible storm to safe harbourage he is given the title "Stormlord".
ca. 837 b.S.
to 835 b.S.
Drak's Exploration of Quios
Exploration of the rest of the Isles of Quios, as they would later become known, is done in small boats by the former Erpheronian pirate Drak and his men. It is at this time that the humans come across other people. They are the Querinlon elves. It is decided that the forest will be named after the elven tribe that lives there.

ca. 835 b.S. Founding of Port Gillwin
The port of Gillwin is founded, and named after Drak's son. This heralds the move from the island of Volveran to the present day main island of Killyshmagost. From this point forward Gillwin becomes the center of human activity in the island chain.

ca. 827 b.S. Erpheronian Contacts with Denilou
The Erpheronian Drak Stormlord makes one of several lengthy exploratory trips from his base at Gillwin. On this one he happens to find the Island of Denilou. There his charisma wins over even the suspicious dwarves. One younger son of a clan by the name of Wilvong becomes enchanted with the stories of the mountains of these new islands and journeys to them by himself.

ca. 825 b.S. Founding of Bollgun
The town of Bollgun is founded on Quios and becomes the primary farming center for the humans.

823 b.S. The Dwarf Wilvong returns to Denilou
The dwarf Wilvong returns to Denilou on one of Drak's ships and convinces some of his younger cousins to journey with him back to the Mountains of Learc on Quios.

(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
820 b.S. First dwarven Settlement on Quios
The dwarven city of "Heaven's Gate" is founded near a large vein of gold. Soon, the Wilvong Dwarves, as they are now known, start a healthy trade with Drak giving him gold and iron in exchange for foodstuffs grown in the fields of Bollgun and as a tribute to allow them to stay in the mountains.

817 b.S. Founding of the City of Quios
Drak's younger brother Quios along with Quios' son Kathar found the city of Quios and name the island on that it is located Quios'Kathar.

812 b.S. Drak's Return to the Erpheronian Homeland and First Deals
An old Drak sets foot in the lands of Erpheronia once more with fifteen ships filled with goods from Denilou, their own goods, and Wilvong gold. He strikes a deal with the new Erpheronian king and outright buys a decripit section of the Erpheronian port of Veltin. In little time, walls, docks, and other buildings are built and trade first begins.

809 b.S. Quios, Drak's Nephew takes over
Drak Stormlord dies, and his nephew Quios takes his place as head of the fledgling kingdom and shipping guild. It is his greed that drives the shipping guild to head in the direction that it is now.

751 b.S. The Stormcloak Guild expands
Stormcloak trade expands to include the Caltharian port of Carmalad, where they buy their way into another section of port. By now, the fleets have grown and eager young men from from Erpheronia join Quios. It is at this time that the name Quios Shipping Guild is first used. Also, the island chain is referred to as the Quios Islands.

610 b.S. The Kingdom of Quios
The Isles of Quios are recognized by Erpheronia and Caltharia as an independent kingdom. This is true in name only, for it is a navy with a kingdom, rather than the other way around.

532 b.S. The Stormcloaks Guild Complacency
This begins a time of several hundred years when the leaders of the guild become more complacent and tend to follow certain easy trade routes.

269 b.S. The Conflict with Dorania
Trade is not allowed by the Kingdom of Dorania. This causes a naval conflict between them and the Stormcloak guild of the Isles of Quios. This galvanizes the Stormcloaks and begins another wave of expansion.

267 b.S. New Southern Shipping Routes
The war is resolved with the stipulation that the Isles of Quios be allowed to own in eternity a full half of the main port of Kaar-Ypherran. This is a major victory as it gives credence to the Quios Shipping Guild being more than just traders, but a major naval power. This also opens up new shipping routes to the south.

265 b.S. Ciosa joins the Stormcloaks Shipping Guild
The independent shipping guild with strong Erpheronian roots signs first trading treaties with Avennorians of Ciosa. Trade with the North and the South now begin to flourish.

250 b.S. Trade Relations of the Stormcloaks with Strata
Trade is done for the very first time with Strata. The Stormcloaks note the importance of this port, especially with its connection to Shan'Thai and all of the goods of Aeruillin. Strata, being proud and secure in its own trading abilities does not allow the guild any special port areas.

150 b.S. Trade Relations with Shan'Furionis
After getting rebuffed by Strata, and more importantly their strong fleets, the Quios Shipping Guild searches the Aeruillin coast for their own trading partners amongst the peoples that live there. In time they find Shan'Furionis and establish relations there.

(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
50 b.S. Stormcloak Port at Shan'Furionis
Years of good relations with the people of Shan'Furionis create the chance of getting their own piece of the port. Of course, they are quick to the opportunity and now have their relations.

(YEARS 172 A.S. - 547 A.S.)
245 Orcs settle on the Island of Volveran
Very limited trade is done between the Stormcloaks guild and the Losh-Oc and Ashz-Oc orcs in Northern Sarvonia. This leads to several orcs coming along with the Stormcloaks and being settled on the island of Volveran.

(YEARS 610 A.S. - 825 A.S.)
696 Plague in Quios
A plague brings back by a Horizonmaster from some distant island wipes out a lot of the infrastructure of the Isles of Quios, especially nearly all of the elven population.

800 Pirate Attacks near Strata
The Stormcloaks try to expand to the west, but Strata and the western ports fear the competition and that the Stormcloaks may start to overtake the trade with Nybelmar and Akdor. Their ships are attacked by "pirates" as soon as they pass Thalambath.

(YEARS 825 A.S. - 1.062 A.S.)
827 Stormcloak Port in Strata
After many years of quarrels, finally a treaty is signed, which states that the Stormcloaks will stay away from the western seas. In exchange they get a space in Strata for their own harbour, along with the right to found one in Shan'Thai as well. Trade is not completely free though, and conditions are put upon certain goods, so Strata is still only trade partner with Shan'Zarathan and the only provider of the jakesha fish.

850 Stormcloak Port at Thylascuran
In secret negotiations, Strata talks with the Stormcloaks to open a direct way to Thylascuran, which so far has been the trading privilege of Shan'Thai. Several problems arise at first with the new people that the Quios Shipping Guild meets. With the expertise of Stratanian merchants however, the contact to the strange culture is successful and a new port of the guild can be established there.

to 899
Retaking of Parthanul and Sunth
Retaking of Parthanul and Sunth by supporting Caltharian forces, shipped in by the Stormcloaks guild, moving over Crazy Woman pass. In the following decade constant conflict takes place all along the east coast above the Mashdai.

(YEARS 1.062 A.S. - 1.144 A.S.)
1.115 Stormcloak Shipmaster killed near the Kanapan Peninsula
A shipmaster of the Stormcloaks Guild finds his way to the Kanapan Peninsula and is killed.

(YEARS 1.144 A.S. - 1.440 A.S.)
1.203 Trade with the Kanapans
The noble by the name of Heirone alo Geiro of the Cahm Tribe in southern Kanapan agrees to trade with Quios Shipping Guild. This opens up a whole new region of trade with exotic goods.

1.239 Stormcloak Kanapan Port
The Stormcloaks are allowed to build their facilities on a central island in a small delta that flows between the city of Trigoire and Kurstir. A very expensive tax is placed upon them, however the money they get for the goods in Santharia more than makes up for it.

1.252 New Stormcloaks Ports at Yisindo and Ulig
Two islands to the east of the Kanapan Peninsula are discovered by the Stormcloaks. They are Yisindo and Ulig. An enterprising Horizonmaster decides to make a port and lighthouse here to allow further exploration north.

ca. 1.400 Discovery of Cyhalloi
The continent of Cyhalloi is discovered.

1.428 Beginning of Trade with the Kasumarii
A small Stormcloaks port is set up on the island of Ludor and trade begins with the Kasumarii.
Stormcloaks Secrecy
There are no exploratory records after this date. This is common, as the Stormcloaks usually keep things away from others for as long as possible so that they may keep their edge in trade and be the only "middle man".

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