Early History

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While the current monarchy and government of the Rock of Bral is little more than two-hundred years old, the Rock has been inhabited for a much longer time than that. Its history goes back at least eight-hundred years, during which time the Rock was used as a haven for space pirates. However, dwarven excavations have revealed beholder and illithid artifacts in the Rock’s caverns and tunnels, deep below the surface. The Rock’s history may indeed be older than the pirates ever would have guessed, and who exactly it could have belonged to is unknown.

The Rock takes its name from Captain Bral, a notorious pirate who needed a secure hideout. He ignored rumors of “haunted space” and settled on the Rock as a lair to stash his loot. The Rock supports abundant air and water, and the caverns within were ideal for creating caches for his acquisitions.

Charismatic and a cut above most other pirate leaders, Captain Bral assembled a small fleet of corsairs known as the Black Brotherhood which raided a number of planetary systems and civilized fleets. The Rock only continued to amass more and more wealth as it gradually grew from a mere hideout to a base of operations. Captain Bral himself came to a rather poor end, vaporized in his ship, the Starwind, by the Elven Imperial Armada in an ambitious and foolhardy raid.

The Rock of Bral did not die though, and neither did the Black Brotherhood. A new leader rose up to take Captain Bral’s place, and the pirate holdout continued to grow bit-by-bit each passing generation. While the quality of leadership fluctuated, the asteroid’s growth rate did not. What was once a secret hideout became a haven for scum and scoundrels, where criminals hid from the law and con-artists flocked to get their own piece of the treasures stolen by the pirates.

As the centuries passed, something strange happened. Pirates who brought their families to the Bral gradually increased over their years, and the descendents of pirates who did not join the family business increased. Eventually there came need for people to run inns, bars, shipyards, restaurants. While it was usually the shady sort at first, Bral attracted doctors, businessmen, entrepreneurs, construction workers, and all manner of civilians. Two hundred years ago, it came to pass that the majority of the citizens were no longer pirates, but those who lived off the looted gold spent at their establishments. Tension grew between the permanent residents of Bral and the pirate crews.

The majority of the pirates never respected the legitimate business run by the “lubbers’ wailing”. One did. A pirate captain named Cozar sensed that times were changing on the rock and that the days of piracy were numbered. Deciding to act on it, Cozar systematically and quietly bought every square foot of land on the Rock for anyone who owned it and would sell. Anyone who opposed the partitioning of the Rock into lots was simply bought out, with promises of free leases continued in perpetuity to their descendents. Some powerful and influential holdouts were granted land ownership privileges, which would later form the basis of Bral’s nobility. Regardless, in a matter of months Cozar owned the Rock.

The Age of Cozar

Once he owned everything on the Rock, Cozar evicted any pirate who could not produce a legitimate business or lease. There were clashes multiple times, but most of the townspeople were tired of the endless brawling in their carefully built ale houses or inns. People sided with Cozar outright, and one-by-one pirates were either forced to accept Cozar’s generous terms or leave. Cozar then produced a Royal Charter in which he claimed lordship over the Rock and set forth the basic laws by which it would be governed. With this, House Cozar was born.

Prince Cozar, though he had no talent for magic himself, heavily invested in the education of his young son Han and set the stages for the next generation of Cozars. To keep pirate captains happy, he formed the Council of Captains as the chief governing body of the city. To the surprise of many, it turned out to be more profitable to turn their ships to trade.

The code of law on the Rock was established as well. A militia and common army was formed to enforce the laws as well as see to the defense of Bral against any who would seek to steal (or steal back) its fortunes. While it did not happen overnight, old pirate lords eventually followed the money and transformed into business families, while foreign companies across the Known Spheres began to take interest and saw opportunity for investment. By the time Prince Cozar died, Bral had been tamed.

The Rule of Han

Unlike his father who spent his life as a pirate captain, Prince Han was born to a mother native to Bral and grew up on the Rock. Also unlike his father, he did not have to get by with wits and cunning alone: Han was every bit as bright as Cozar but had the education to back it up. By the time he took the throne, Han was a powerful wizard and sharp economist.

The first act he did as Prince was to siphon tax money and direct it towards a project that up until then had only been theory. He poured millions upon millions into the research of a planar gateway, and with his own arcane talent as well as the collective minds from a dozen different worlds, he constructed an artifact that would be beyond any individual magical collect alone. Eight years after taking the throne Prince Han finished construction on the Interplanar Dimensional Gateway.

The Interplanar Dimensional Gateway, safely located within the Rock’s deep depths, used a number of foreign and only partially understood magical devices that Prince Han had discovered during his adolescence in addition to objects of great power important and purchased at great expense. The pay off though was greater than what anyone could have expected. The gateway allowed a group of mages of even just moderate power to open up stable passes to summon outsiders from any outer plane onto the Rock, under the condition that they obey Bral’s rules and pay the fees associated with their visit to the Prime Material Plane.

Though stable gateways were not unheard of in the past, and nor was the summoning of outsiders something uncommon, the control that the Interplanar Dimensional Gateway allowed, as well as the restraints placed on even the strongest summoned outsiders, was unparalleled. Outsiders from many different planes found reasons to come to Bral to further their own agendas. Prince Han profited from the fees they payed daily to remain, while they were given relatively free reign to pursue their own motivations. Trade from foreign planes was also introduced which completely changed the way Bral’s markets were viewed by other nations of Wildspace. Bral became the place to go for odd, rare, and valuable items

It was during Prince Han’s rule that the various noble families of Bral formed as well. Han, with the new riches coming in each day, decided to expand to more than just the asteroid he was on. He purchased businesses and companies across Wildspace, bought land by hundreds of acres on scores of worlds, and encountered many foreign powers in the process. The most powerful trade organizations began to desire a more prestigious place defined in Bralian society, and Prince Han gave them the means to do so.

Connected to hundreds of worlds and the outerplanes itself, land on Bral was the most valuable land in the Prime Material Plane, and ownership of it was the greatest mark of status a family could aspire to. Those trade families that offered something that expanded upon Bral’s greatness or helped maintain its status were given land by Prince Han. Even a handful of lots of land to be owned was enough to mark a family as nobles, a bit of control over the nexus that was beginning to unite the Known Spheres.

In the later years of Prince Han’s long rule, he sought to expand on the arcane value of the Rock. While it had been moved in the past, as far back as Prince Cozar’s rule, it was done by attaching powerful spelljamming ships to the Rock by anchors and was a slow, difficult method of traveling. With the success of the Interplanar Dimensional Gateway decades earlier, Prince Han easily found the money to invest in his new project without having to draw on tax money.

The Rock was fitted and lined with magical circuits that were attached to the gateway’s power source. Gravitational control devices were installed under the surface of the asteroid in wide arrays. A control system was built into the Prince’s Manor. Before Prince Han died, he saw that the Rock became the largest spelljamming vessel in Known Space, said to rival the legendary Spelljammer itself. Specially tuned astrolabes were distributed across the Known Spheres so that the Rock could be found even as its location changed. When Prince Han passed, Bral had an established nobility that was formed out of the most talented, wealthy, and beneficial trade families to be found across space, was a beacon for outsiders and other, stranger forms of intelligent life to meet without fear of hostility and perform business, and was surrounded by fleets of ships for defense and trade.

Early History

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