The Tactician Rank/Title in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

The Tactician

It is sometimes said in Tyrnabay that the more important a person looks, the less important they actually are. Decrees and decisions may be issued from the mouths of kings and queens, or barked by a pirate captain or mercenary officer, but more often than not, orders to issue those decrees have come from someplace deeper in the shadows. Many of those directives originate within the secretive Mercantile, and the most important of those - the ones with impacts that could affect all of Cartyrion - come from one known only by the innermost of circles, and only by the name of "the Tactician".

Responsibilities and Authority

Nominally, the Tactician advises the inner circle of the Mercantile, providing input so that organization can provide direction to the nobility as well as the seafarers and soldiers that operate beyond the kingdom's borders. The goal is always continued long-term prosperity and safety for the kingdom and its inhabitants.

In reality, the Tactician's directives carry far more weight than mere advice. There is a long history of bad things happening to those who choose to ignore the Tactician's "suggestions" and instead choose an alternative course of action. This is especially true if that alternative course is completely counter to the original "advice".

It is presumed that the Tactician's focus is on ensuring continued prosperity for the kingdom. Given the nature of the activities wherein Tyrnabay interacts with the rest of the world, this seems to mean that no one nation is singled out as victim for the pirate fleets, and the mercenary armies do not accept offers if their presence would drastically tip the balance of power elsewhere in the world.

Nations skirmish, but none seem to gain an upper hand. Nor can any realm monopolize the seas without becoming targets for the pirate raiders of Tyrnabay. Tyrnabay prospers most when the rest of the world is in tension, and it is the job of the Tactician to keep that tension as high as possible without letting it break.

The Current Tactitian

It is said that no living person in all of Cartyrion knows the identity of Tyrnabay's Tactician. Indeed only a handful even know that such a position exists. Rumors swirl from time to time... it's the chairperson of the Mercantile... it's the Queen Consort... it's one of the Pirate Captains - probably Gwendolina de Rais of the Legion of the Tides.

None of these rumors are true.

The current holder of the position is an Elf named Attrianna Fenthyr. She has held the position for 128 years. Outwardly, Attrianna is the Master of the Appraiser's Guild in Wolf's Bay. This position that grants her a seat on the Mercantile Council among the many other guild leaders, but she is rarely speaks when that body meets, and is considered one of the least active members of that Council.

History of the Position

For the first several hundred years after the Great Strife, the Kingdom of Tyrnabay was still in its formative period. The whole world was still recovering from the devastations of the god-war and few cared much or even noticed as the small bands of remnants from the armies of the Gods of Coercion slowly morphed into pirates and plunders.

When these pirates and plunderers began to reach out to other parts of Cartyrion to practice their trade, they were at first a nuisance, but eventually grew into a threat. Other realms - notably the Seafarer Dwarves and the fleets of the human Kingdoms - began to seek them out and rid the world of their menace. Tyrnabay was very nearly reduced to utter ruin once more.

It was during this time, approximately 1000 years ago, that the Mercantile first began to rise as an organization intended to ensure the continued existence, and even prosperity of the kingdom. The first Tactician was chosen to chart a course toward that prosperity.

Over the next three hundred years or so, as Tyrnabay grew in power and influence, the position of Tactician itself morphed into the secretive and powerful position it is now. The creation of the two magical tools wielded by the Tactician in the year 1478CR marked the end of this evolution and allowed the position to become what it is today.

Emblems, Regalia, and Tools of the Office

Not surprisingly, given the secrecy surrounding the position, there are no badges or rank or insiginia identifying the current holder of the office. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, the Tactician could be anyone, anywhere.

With regard to tools and equipment used by the Tactician, there are but two. Both were fashioned by the first to hold the position, and are the products of powerful and intricate magic:
The Key
The Key grants access via teleportation to what appears to be a small room filled with books, scrolls, maps, charts, and notes of the all past Tacticians as well as the present one. This is the Tactician's Study - a place where they can formulate their plans for the world. The Tactician merely wills themself to be teleported into the Study while touching the key, and it happens.

A second function of the key activates magic within the Mercantile's Inner Council Chamber that permits the Tactician to deliver "advice" while maintaining complete anonymity. When the Tactician activates the Key, the room itself is plunged into magical darkness, and a force bubble surrounds each chair at the table to prevent any from leaving or attempting to interact with each other during the Tactician's oration. The Tactician mentally project an unrecognizable though clearly understandable voice, that appears to emanate from everywhere at once.

The Tactician need not physically be in the Inner Council Chamber to use the Key. Should the Tactician choose to use it even while in some public place, others nearby wouldn't notice anything other than a person seeming lost in thought for a moment or two.
The Commission
One of the most important jobs of the Tactician is to choose a successor, and the last thing any Tactician ever does before departing the world of the living is to inform that successor of their new burden. The Commission is the tool whose several functions ensures this happens. Physically, this rather heavy device is a five inch (12.5cm) diameter sphere made of granite and pure gold. The gold forms a web or network of sorts that seems to run through the entire sphere. Magically, the device is imbued with a number of permanent powers.

A new Tactician assumes the office by simply touching the Commission. This triggers a powerful Compulsion, essentially forcing even the most reluctant successor to accept their new position and lot in life. This Compulsion also delivers the understanding that the secrecy of the position must be maintained at all times and at any cost. Finally, the connection of the Commission to a new person causes the Key to instantly teleport into the new Tactician's possession, wherever it may have originally been.

Succession and Future Prospects

The first responsibility of a new Tactician is to choose a successor in the event they should meet an untimely demise. The identity of the selected person is telepathically made known to the Commission, and upon the death of the current Tactician, the Commission will instantly teleport to a private location where that successor will discover it. The magic is complex, as the Commission will not permit itself to be seen by anyone other than the successor when this function is active.

Ideally, when the holder of the office grows old, or simply tired, and desires release from the burdens of the job, they will set their affairs in order and then seek out a successor. Once identified, they will approach the candidate, identify themselves, inform the successor of their intent, and offer them the Commission. Only the illusion of choice on the part of the successor exists, however, as the current Tactician is compelled to slay a person that declines the offer in order to protect the secrecy of the position. The current Tactician is free to make this fact known to the candidate. A simple willing touch of the Commission by the candidate is all that is needed to complete the exchange.

Passing of the Commission then triggers its third magical imbuement - the draining of all life force from its former possessor. The former Tactician experiences a quick, painless death, comforted by the knowledge that while they are now departing the world, the Tactician remains to ensure continued prosperity for Tyrnabay.


Page Banner Orc Warrior Image by Yuri_B from Pixabay
Page Banner Sailing Ship Image by GLady from Pixabay
Side panel images by Dorothe from Pixabay

Image of the Key by Dũng Quách from Pixabay
Image of the Commission Orb by Peace,love,happiness from Pixabay


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Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
19 Aug, 2023 13:47

Nice work! I particularly loved the parts on Succession and The Current Tactician.

22 Aug, 2023 13:02

The Current Tactician is hiding in plain sight. What better way to gauge reactions to "orders" that come down from the Tactician?!

Check out my latest efforts:
Laurels & Loot is a new, lightweight TTRPG rules system that hearkens back to the early days.
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