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Gombar and Suma'a Naval Notes

by Bruce Heard

Gombar and Suma'a have their own unique practices. Amazingly, the crew forms a volunteer business venture that owns the ship and its cargo, sharing benefits as follows: captain 8 shares, first officer 4 shares, other officiers 2 shares, all other *associates* 1 share. It is customary for a spouse to receive 3 shares of the earnings from the journey during which the crew member died of was disabled. Remarkable bravery or uncommon service to the association often earns additional shares, usually following a vote among the ship's associates. This system implies that to join a crew, one must form a join venture to build a new ship, or *buy* a share of an existing ship association. For example one of the crew associates died and another person wishes to replace the missing member -- this requires a monetary participation in the association's activities which is used for the purchasing of new equipment or supplies, ship repairs, port dues, etc). When leaving an association, a member is entitled to receive all, some, or none of the original investment, allowing reasonable time for the ship association to raise the cash (exact amount depends on whether this is a legitimate retirement, disability, or a forced expulsion due to some *misbehavior* on board). Magistrates or clerics are usually appointed by the state to arbitrate disagreements. As you can see, Gombar and Suma'a seem very civilized in this area, contrary to what one would assume from demi-ogres.

Of course, this means that virtually all the ships flying Gombar or Suma'an colors are merchantmen. War is generally considered an *unsecured* risk among these fellows. Nevertheless when needed, the leaders of Gombar and Suma'a can and will requisition as many ships as they deem necessary for military purposes.

The various associations who got drafted do receive a fixed income per day from the national treasury, plus combat bonuses, and a flat fee for ships losts at sea or in combat while serving the nation (none of which will amount to a fortune, naturally). It is generally assumed that all seized enemy ships and cargo remains property of the association that raised their flag over captured war prizes. Captured vessels are then sold for profit to new associations.

Gombar and Suma'an associations cannot dodge a summons to fight in a war without losing their status as a *true and legitimate association*. Those who do cannot appeal to the Court of Sea Magistrates in any way, and are considered pirates. Such sail-by-night operations do exist nevertheless, crooks being just as successful there than anywhere else on Mystara. Any legitimate association can therefore try to hunt them down. Foreign ships with peaceful intentions are considered *true and legit* until further notice.