|When the world was still only a few tides young, the nameless trader found that he had a problem. After inventing ownership, theft and then barter, he had traded everything on the first island, including his own name. Then he had traded it back again. When wondering along the shore looking for something else to trade, he came across his brother the Fisherman. He said |
“Brother, your fish are endless, whilst everything else on the island must come from the island. What is your secret?”
Fisherman smiled and decided help the nameless trader, because the trader was his brother and helped him to sell his fish.
“My secret is this: I made a bargain with the Sea. She taught me how to make a fishing net and every day she fills it with fish. In return I honour her and respect her and one day she may decide to take my life as payment – may that day be many years to come.”
Then Fisherman looked thoughtful.
“Perhaps you can make a bargain like this with her, to help you find more trade”.
So the nameless trader met with the Sea herself and made the same bargain. He and the Sea set about raising many more islands amongst the waves, and between the islands they wove a tradesman’s net. And the Sea showed the nameless trader and said,
“See that if you weave your net too thinly, everything will slip through. But if you weave it too tight it will tear and snag and drag you down into my depths”.
And the nameless trader saw this and understood and was wise. He threaded his nets neither too loose nor too tight. In time both he and his brother Fisherman became prosperous and their families grew and spread to many islands, until eventually one day the Sea claimed her payment and the two brother’s joined her as dolphins.
Through the centuries many empires have tried to unite the myriad island chains. But in doing so they failed to follow the advice given to the nameless trader. They woven their nets too tight and the tides of the ages dragged them down again. Many times the tradesman’s net has been mended or rewoven entirely. Today it is a little loose and has many holes, but it is sturdy and keeps the Tradelands afloat.
Much like the default D&D setting Infinite Isles is a world where islands of light float in a sea of darkness. These civilized places are the Tradelands; connected by the Traders Network (or Trade-net), and by a common language generally known as tradespeak. Some small Tradelands only know about the next island along and all other lands are just legend to them; in contrast some major city-ports have sea-charts that cover most of the known lands. Nevertheless they are all part of the great Trade-net.
But there are thousands of islands in the infinite Isles and only a few of them are Tradelands. It is usually considered very dangerous to go ashore at a non-Tradeland, unless it is visited very regularly. Anything could be on that island – ferocious beasts, pirates, goblins, xenophobic tribes of savages, monsters, spirits, wild magic, doorways to one of the dangerous reflections of the world… This is where adventurers come in; or as they are known in many Tradelands, voyagers.