Afsaana - Crossroads of the World
- Drac’s End
- Eastern District
- Merchant District
- Temple District
- The Docks
- The Old City
- Warehouse District
DECADE OF DECEIT
Sixteen years ago, a war broke out between Rivain and the qunari. Sea Lord Anton Drac stayed out of it at first, but he knew he had to honor the treaties he had signed. He announced to the Captains’ Council that the Afsaana navy would go to the aid of its city allies in the spring. This was to be the first time the full fleet had sailed to war since the days of Drac and Francisco. The Captains’ Council was torn on the issue, approving the move by only a single vote. Anton had made the announcement, so preparations could be made throughout the winter. The unfortunate side effect of this was it gave his enemies several months to plot a course of action. They used the time wisely, concocting an ambitious plan. In fact, it was so ambitious that rumors continue to circulate that they had outside help from the agents of governments who wanted Afsaana to stay neutral.
The Captains’ Council also decided to use the time granted them. They feared Anton might die in this war, and they would never gain the power to nominate new councilors. Since the reign of the original Drac, the Sea Lord had had the power to nominate new members to the council. Although the council voted to confirm these nominees, they were never able to put up their own candidates. This was a power they desperately wanted, and they put the question to Anton several times.
After years of impasse, the Captains’ Council finally accepted Anton’s offer and gained the power they craved. This has come to be known as “Anton’s Gift.” As matters transpired, the gift was given just in time.
Towards the end of winter, Sea Lord Anton was inspecting the fleet on the docks. A single yellow-feathered arrow flew from the crow’s nest of an anchored ship, piercing Anton’s chest. The wound should not have been mortal, but the arrow was enchanted with vile, deadly magic. Anton was slain as soon as the arrow hit him, and Afsaana was without a Sea Lord for the first time in two hundred years.
The assassin was cornered and killed before he could talk. The body was then stolen before healers could find out what exactly happened to Anton. The assassin was dismissed as a lone renegade, and the magical nature of the attack was hushed up. The Captains’ Council had more pressing business to attend to, after all—who would succeed Anton?
MILTON TAKES THE HELM
At this juncture, Captain Milton Drac stepped onto the stage of history. A distant cousin of Anton, Milton appeared as if from nowhere. He was not a member of the Captains’ Council, but somehow he enjoyed tremendous support there. Those most likely to oppose him were strangely silent, as if they feared the consequences of such action. In a matter of weeks, this unknown Drac had become the new Sea Lord of Afsaana.
Milton’s first act as Sea Lord was to cancel all military aid to allied cities. The fleet was to restrict its activities to guarding merchantmen, and that was all. As war raged in the country, Afsaana stood neutral, protected by a large forest to the north, and Rialto Bay to the south.
The cities counting on Afsaana’s navy were gravely disappointed and branded Milton a traitor. He was accused of being the puppet of foreign agents or a religious cult. Captain Milton ignored the accusations and continued his rule of Afsaana with little opposition. The Sea Lord’s goal was to make Afsaana the preeminent maritime power of Thedas. After canceling the action of the fleet, he took the war chest and spent it on a monument to his ambition. The Lighthouse of Drac was meant to be one of the wonders of the age. It took ten years to complete and nearly bankrupted the city. Most citizens of Afsaana took to calling the lighthouse “Milton’s Folly.”
What no one knew was that Milton Drac was secretly a member of the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign. This malefic organization had somehow survived since the breaking of Valossa, biding its time until it could strike once again. They had found a dark prodigy in Milton Drac and aided him in his ruthless rise to power. The lighthouse was the centerpiece of Drac’s scheme. It had been specially constructed to channel the energy of the Unspeakable One, the terrible power worshipped by the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign.
As part of his plan, Milton had announced a gala celebration for the lighthouse’s unveiling. He wanted ships from all the world’s nations to choke the harbor. When the time was right, he and the Brotherhood planned to enact a magical ritual that would use the lighthouse to
project the Yellow Sign into the night sky above Afsaana. Charged with the power of the Unspeakable One, the Yellow Sign was to drive the assembled throngs mad, and from Afsaana, the madness was to spread across the world.
Such was Drac’s plan. Luckily for Afsaana, a small group of heroes foiled it five years ago, Milton Drac was slain, and the Brotherhood thwarted. Heroism, it seemed, was a match for the madness of the Unspeakable One.
THE SUCCESSION CRISIS
Afsaana’s succession law requires a descendant of the original Sea Lord Drac to take over, and this bloodline seemingly ended with the death of Milton Drac. To make matters worse, Drac had murdered Councilor Verlaine, Councilors Melkior Maeorgan and Brock Wallace
died defending the mad Sea Lord, and the Privateer Seat (the only council seat with a term limit) was soon to be up for grabs as well. This meant Afsaana was lacking a Sea Lord and three of its twelve members of the Captains’ Council. Marilise Maeorgan took over the seat of her slain brother Melkior (as permitted by the law), but the larger issues remain.
The city has not seen such a power vacuum since its early days. Candidates claiming to be members of Drac’s bloodline are everywhere. Their claims range from the dubious to the ridiculous, but the council tries its best to vet all the candidates while debating internally about whether the succession law should simply be abolished. The candidate with the best claim was Drak Sockit, a half-qunari bastard son of Milton Drac who led a militant group of qunari (the Sons of Krom) responsible for several riots.