Rodorsceaft: Pillar of Heaven
In aS 874, Gorus Maximus recognized the need to address the presence of extensive Solarian assets within the lands of his empire. The Solarian presence had been well-fortified, and several petty kingdoms had risen and fallen in the few hundred years since the empire’s collapse. As such, the assets and wealth of the empire and the kingdoms had been collected, neglected and redistributed to a large degree.
The Maximus posited that it was better to have knowledge of just who had the goods and wealth and let them hold it rather than try to collect it all as imperial salvage. In this spirit, he instituted the Writs of Marque, creating a body of law dealing with Adventuring Companies. The members of these companies would be, essentially, mercenaries in service of the Throne. They would register with the Imperial Offices in exchange for the privilege of keeping whatever they found.
This provided a strong incentive to those who were inclined to gather such wealth to begin with. As the Mysidian Empire was built on a system of vassalage and patronage, all property within its borders was nominally the property of the Maximus, given out as fiefdoms to those who would swear fealty to the Throne. By creating Adventuring Companies and declaring that all those accepted to such companies were freemen, able to keep and own property, the Maximus ensured that members of such companies would have a powerful incentive to function largely within the bounds of the Writs. The Maximus, in turn, profits by levying high fees against the companies.
Thus, a win-win situation is created for both the Maximus and the companies. The companies get free status and the right to keep their plunder. The Throne, while it loses out on materiel and real property, gets a steady stream of tax revenue that would otherwise lie fallow in deep ruins and dangerous places. Likewise, the Throne has a much more important asset: knowledge of who the real powers are.
In the post-Empire era, all of the Mysidian Scions except for Bryce recognized the wisdom of their grandfather’s idea of the companies and have extended the Writs of Marque for their rules. Thus, Adventuring Companies continue to enjoy the privileges and responsibilities of their positions.