Unrest in the Isles
Prince Victus Thrax, along with most of his family, is hard at work right now trying to manage unrest in the Mourning Isles. With is proclamation, he's moving toward freeing thralls on the whole, but not all at once. He's slightly more measured than that, but he has started with a plan to free those whose whole families are currently thralls. His reasoning, he explains, is that freeing a whole family lets them all work together to support themselves, and gives them a ready-made framework to build a future together.
Traditionalists, of course, counter with how that plan allows entire families to starve together! They use their excited voices, but they aren't really excited about it. In fact, Traditionalists - led most visibly by the Helianthus Duchy - are vocal in opposition to these changes. They don't like them, they don't want them, and they don't particularly care what the rest of the Compact thinks.
Count Turo announces a change within Navegant - he's going to allow thralls to enter into contracts to commute their debt to a contractual obligation - one that cannot be transferred, thereby making sure subsequent generations are not eternally enthralled with a debt they'll never be able to pay. Traditionalists aren't super happy about this either - change is BAD - but they like this idea a lot better than just forgiving all debt forever and letting thralls, particularly ones who were guilty of violent crimes, traipse off with what they consider a slap on the wrist.
Princess Sorrel and Prince Jasper and Prince Galen work together with a great many of the leadership of the Navy, trying to train thralls who enlist in the navy up to Thrax standards, with varying amounts of success. Many sailors don't want these freed thralls aboard, and don't trust them - and sailing with people you don't trust is a difficult task on a good day. On a ship? Things can go sideways fast. The efficiency rating of the navy plummets, even with their strong and concerted efforts.
With the efficiency rating down, piracy is up - and progressives seem to be the hardest hit by this. Anywhere they freely embrace the freeing of thralls, crime increases. Traditionlists like to put their nose in the air and say "I told you so" a lot at this point, and the Mourning Isles are a seething hotbed of tension.
Which of course affects trade routes throughout the Compact. Anything that is normally shipped by sea is subject to higher risk of loss, slower shipping times, and more uncertain handling than usual. The economy across the Compact suffers as the unrest bubbles up in the Isles. These changes may be made by a single House, but all the Houses across Arx are feeling the pain right now.
The expedition to Marys island in Ischia to find and deal with the Abandoned pirates on the site ends up in bloodshed, as Pravosi forces clash with mysterious heretics who were about to execute the locals.
Incidentally saving the pirates from being killed, as they had been deemed 'ungodly' by the strange zealots, and effectively winning their loyalty, the Setarcan forces bolstered their own numbers while cutting down criminal activity in the southern isles.
If rumors are true, however, these religious heretics have been spotted all over Ischia. Where did they and their stone weapons came from? And what could be contained in the missive found in one of their bodies?