|Southern Ireland Economic Community|
|Factions:||Caravans, S.I.E.C., Tuath|
|Notable events:||2192 Battle of the Lovely House|
First set up in the early 2200s as a merger between the two most prominent merchant families in the north the Hurley and O'Shea families the S.I.E.C has grown to dominate the south of the island of Ireland.
In the 2190s, after making their fortune as scavenger families in the border area between the Kingdom of Ireland and the Exclusion Zone the Hurley and O'Shea families decided it was time for a change of scenery. So packing up their bases, they began a three-month walk to the south, they were already familiar with the area thanks to scouts and the got through the fledgling Kingdom of Ireland largely because they were too large and heavily armed to engage directly. Once they arrived in the region, they found it infested with local clans (tuath), raiders and slavers. The 2 families split, the Hurley's taking the west, while the O'Shea's took the east. Over the next 15 years, the 2 families established dominance over the region. They obliterated the raiders, built up loyal merchants and destroyed rebellious ones. The Hurley's chose Cork as their base of operations while the O'Shea's chose Waterford as theirs.
Early DaysIn the area around Cork city, the Hurley's found that the various Tuath were engaged in fishing, mostly making use of dilapidated and hastily patched up pre-War trawlers. The Hurley's recognizing a great economic opportunity hired all the fishermen and set them to fish in service of the Hurley family. Trade in fish blossomed between the Hurleys in Cork and the towns surrounding them. Money from trade swept into the city enriching many, the Hurley's found that they could afford to hire the local caravans to sell their fish produce and expand their market further north and east than ever before.
Their reliance on fish was so great that when Tommy Hurley, John's grandfather, commissioned the Lordan family of Cobh (which was their main fishing source as well as a local quarry) to create their new currency (knowns as limes after the stone from which it is made) he ordered that a leaping trout be carved into the front of everyone.
The strong relationship with the Lordan family was proven when in 2196 after near 5 years of trading and negotiations the Lordan family agreed to join with the Hurleys as part of a new state. The Lordans example spurred others to join such as the O'Donovans of Donovan's Bridge (Old World Bandon), the Healys of Greater Bernerds Land (also Bandon), the McCarthys of Swamp Abbey (formerly Timoleage), The Dowlings of New Clon, the Harringtons of No Man's Land (Kinsale), the O'Carrols of Fort Carrol (Charles Fort, Kinsale) and the Hayes of Hayes Keep (James Fort, Kinsale). With these families at their side, the Hurleys had the makings of a small economic union.In the east however the O'Shea's had a harder job in Waterford, better known as Bloodford by the locals, of gaining a foothold than the Hurleys had in Cork. They found the South-Eastern Wasteland to be much more inhospitable and sparsely populated than the South-Western one. On the east they had stuck hard by the coastline and left behind groups of men and women to cover their approach, these people set up trading posts at New Youghal and Adam's Hill. When they arrived on the outskirts of Waterford, however they found out several things. That the city and its outer areas were controlled by a bloodthirsty raiding and slaving group called An Tuath Go Deas (The Lovely House) that 30 years ago had struck deep into the ruins of the city and had found a lightly damaged, dormant weapons facility. They then, after kidnapping technical experts from other tuath, reactivated the weapons facility to produce AK-47 assault rifles, RPG-7 rocket launchers, AK-74 LMG's, Dragunov sniper rifles and pump action shotguns as well as ammunition. With these weapons, they slaughtered their rivals and gained control of the area.
The O'Shea's seeing all of this settled into an abandoned government building near the suburbs. The Lovely House approached them three times, firstly with kind words, secondly with threats and the third time with arms. The O'Shea leader Patrick O'Shea rebuffed them all three times. Emboldened by the O'Shea's success the Ri of the other tuath began to approach tentatively for secret meetings. At first, the urged the O'Shea's to strike immediately at the Lovely House. Patrick refused to say that they lacked the men and arms to attempt such an attack. Instead, he suggested that they join their power with his then they would attack. Eventually after months of talks and negotiation all the tuath agreed and a date for the attack was set for November 6th, 2192.The plan was for the tuath to put up a strong frontal attack at the front gate of the Lovely House, while Patrick O'Shea would lead his men through semi-collapsed sewer tunnel and came up behind the raiders. It worked like a charm, the Lovely House's men were caught between 2 forces and were cut down to a man. It was later said that Patrick O'Shea throttled Samuel Bruce, the Ard Ri of the Lovely House, with his bare hands.
The aftermath of this left the O'Shea family in charge of the largest weapon stockpile in the south the city of (the happily renamed) Waterford and a functioning weapons factory. It was a very strong position.
Period 2197-2211 (Expansion and lead up to Founding of state)In the west the Hurley's began to expand their prospects north and further west into Kerry, as their caravans and scout led by dha ceann bo(literally 2-headed cow, better known as Brahmin in America) pushed west they founded trading posts at Mallow, Kanturk, Bantry, Blackbank, and Macroom. In 2198 they found first major settlement in the form of The Illustrious Queendom of Lesser Killarney led by Queen Harriet the Eleventh. After negotiation and much trade, the Queen was persuaded to join the rapidly growing economic union on a preliminary status, that was over 78 years ago. As a benefit of joining the union, the Queendom got the first choice of all the unions products and produces, reduced rates and their guard got free access to Waterford's arms and ammunition.
After that the expedition split, a group led by a nephew of Tommy Hurley known as Tomas Og (A.K.A ogi) headed south on whispers of a settlement called Bearhaven (Old World CastleTownBearHaven), while others continued west along the main Killarney pathway to the town of Tra Li Nua (formerly Tralee).
Tomas Og found the town well named, radaighníomhach béar(radioactive bear, yao guai in America), prowled the countryside. The denizens of Bear Haven were a hardy people at first they reacted with suspicion and in some cases outright hostility. This continued until the residents of Bearhaven realized that the caravaneers weaponry was rather better at killing the bears than the towns own crude axes and pistols could ever do. The people of the town agreed to trade bear pelt and meat for fish and weaponry. This suited the Hurley's as the meat, while slightly radioactive, was hearty and the pelt could be put to many uses such as clothing, furniture, and bedding. They also allowed Hurley fishing boats and trawlers to dock in their small harbor. Despite this they refused to join the Hurley's, valuing their independence more than economic prosperity. Still, Tomas Og saw this as a triumph, another town had been brought into the growing sphere of prosperity that would soon go by the name of the Southern Ireland Economic Union.
In Tra Li Nua, however, the Catholic tribals that inhabited the village rebuffed any attempts at negotiation, refusing even to engage in simple trade on the grounds that they produced everything they needed themselves.Meanwhile in the O'Shea controlled east the O'Shea's looked upon the Hurley's western advances with mounting anger. Their own economic prospects were painfully limited as all their weaponry went west on Patrick's Pathway through Adam's Hill and Youghal to Cork and onwards. They began to look for other settlements closer to home that might be open to an economic alliance. They had problems as most of the close towns were already in or around Waterford. While there were towns further north, these towns were totally controlled by the monasteries of the Irish Catholic Church.
The only properly viable settlement near to them was the Amusements of Tramore, first set up near 65 years after the Great War by the ancestors of pre-War travelers who came upon the abandoned amusement arcades and roller coasters. They decided to settle in and attempt to rebuild the tattered old machines. Unfortunately, the travelers had little mechanical expertise and could only get the base machines up and running such as the slot machines. For years Tramore wallowed in poverty and obscurity.
And when the O'Shea's came begging at the traveler's door, they took them for everything they got, being canny in return for a full economic alliance the travelers wanted to fund. Men and materials to build a port (to attract sailors and the like), O'Shea engineers and funds to rebuild the roller-coaster and restart the other amusement and casino machines and to top it off they wanted O'Shea men armed from the Wareford armory to defend their land.
In their desperation, the O'Shea agreed to all of this with hardly a complaint and all the while the travelers laughed behind their hands.
The 2211 Crisis and Union
By the 2211's the alliances and trade agreements that the Hurley and O'Shea families had built in the late '90s had been solidified and created prosperity. Despite all this, the Catholic tribals of Tra Li Nua remained stubbornly resistant to the entreaties by Hurley diplomats. This was understandable as the people of Tra Li Nua had constantly been persecuted by outsiders.Tra Li Nua had once been the most westerly monastery of the Irish Catholic Church, there had been 25 monks of the sword and 13 monks of the quill situated in what had once been Tralee Priory. Its distance from other monasteries and Dublin meant it had not always been as diligent in performing the rites of the Church.
In the mid-2160's a tuath of Rockmen from Clare arrived outside the town walls demanding entry, they had been forced to flee their homeland because they had abandoned the Stone God and adopted the Christian God.
The monks welcomed the Rockmen into their walls as brothers, though they soon realized that the Rockmens view of Catholicism differed vastly from I.C.C canon. Over time the Rockmen won the monks over to their views.
Word of this spread to Dublin and when An Papa (The Pope) heard he was incensed and declared all the inhabitants of Tralee heretics, he further decreed that all godly people of Ireland should unite in the crusade against the town. When nothing came of this, An Papa was forced to hire mercenaries to vanquish the town. For years however the mercenaries had little to no success as the lacked the skill or numbers to breach the town's walls.
This all changed when in 2211 cousins of the converted Rockmen arrived outside the mercenaries siege lines, they had come south to obliterate all traces of those who they considered to have brought dishonor to their family. The besieging Rockmen and mercenaries made an alliance of convenience. For with the Rockmens understand of siege engines and their ability to construct rudimentary catapults and rams out of old telephone poles and steel bars, the uneasy allies could continue their siege in earnest.
The Hurley's and O'Shea's viewed this with increasing unease, the reason for this was that once the conquest of the town was completed. There was no guarantee that the Rockman would turn back north, while the mercenaries could be bought off, the Rockmen, who despised such weakness, would simply continue in an inexorable advance east and rape and pillage their way to Killarney or even Cork.
The two families eventually came to the conclusion that the siege of Tra Li Nua was too much of a threat to be ignored and gathered a force to respond. They asked their allies to send troops, but only Killarney responded sending 40 poorly armed militiamen, the militia were joined with the 70 odd men the Hurleys and O'Sheas had assembled and armed from the Waterford Armoury, then with all due haste, raced west to encounter this new threat.
By the time the allied forces reached the outskirts of the siege camp, the besieged Christians were in dire straits. Their forces had been reduced to a shadow of its former self, and the people of the town were starving.
The Hurley's and O'Shea's began to formulate a plan to engage the enemy, it was decided that a core of 50 experienced bannermen would lead the attack while the Killarney men would hold the flanks, while the main battle line advanced Patrick O'Shea led 30 of his best cavalrymen against the back of the siege line. While there they joined with the battered remnants of the townsmen and together they routed the enemy. In the battle's aftermath, the Hurleys and O Shea's quickly entered the town before the townsmen could stop them and finally forced them to join the web of economic alliances that now stretched from Waterford to Tra Li Nua.
On September 2211 on an old bar in the outskirts of Tra Li Nua, Tom Hurley and Patrick O'Shea signed the formal agreement that created the Southern Ireland Economic Community. This agreement enclosed 24 odd settlements in binding nonaggression pacts, free trading, and trade cuts.
It was a new order.
The Railway Project and the Race North.
By the mid-2230s, the union had solidified, and prosperity had bloomed. This prosperity attracted merchants and mercenaries south to gain access to 'all that Southern money', in the words of one mercenary. By this time as well the old leaders were dying off, and a younger more energized generation was coming into power.These new leaders recognized the need for a more efficient transport way between the 2 major cities of Cork and Waterford. Many ideas were discussed and turned down until it was decided that a railway would be the best option. The difficulties of bringing in new materials were immense however and to finance the venture the treasury had to be emptied, and punitive taxes were put on incoming merchants.
The process took near 4 years to complete, and 2 trains were introduced, a freight train and a passenger train.
As a result of this traffic increased vastly between the two cities, significantly the amount of weaponry coming out of the Waterford Armouries exploded, flooding the markets of the S.I.E.C with cheap guns. This alarmed the merchants who suddenly found they were making a loss. As the gun manufacturers refused to budge on their selling price, a new market had to be found.
This market as it slowly become clear was Limerick, its position at the Shannon made it easy for the large belt of tuath stretching up the river to access the S.I.E.C products and to trade their own. The leaders in the S.I.E.C had had their eye on Limerick for their own rather strategic reasons. Namely, Limerick sat upon the main bridging area into Rockman territory, over the last 20 years minor raids had been conducted on the lands of S.I.E.C allies for while they had been beaten off with little loss, the threat of an attack on the scale of the siege of Tra Li Nua was always there, therefore seizing and reinforcing Limerick as a northern bulwark would effectively prohibit Rockman access to more southern richer lands.
So an expedition was prepared with mercenaries hired and finances gathered. All in all near 200 people moved north among them merchants, mercenaries, and settlers looking for a new home. It took the group approximately a week to traverse the 50 or so miles north. Upon arrival the expedition stormed the mostly intact remains of King Johns Castle, renaming it 'the Horns' after its distinctive towers. After the fall of the fort, the rest of the settlement was turned over to S.I.E.C rule quite quickly.
With Limerick under control, the expedition began to reinforce it by adding walls constructed compositely out of stone from nearby ruins, they also built a port for local fishermen and trawlers out of Cobh and Cork to congregate. Despite the settlement now being secure, conflict arose between the mercenaries, primarily supported by the O Shea family and the merchants, who were supported by the Hurleys. This was centered around control of Johns Castle, which was the main stronghold in Limerick. After a month-long stand-off, the powers back in Cork and Waterford intervened granting the Horns to the mercenaries and the port and bridge area to the merchants.
In March 2242, in conjunction with a new railway being built between Cork and Limerick, the leaders of Limerick gave a belt of friendly tribals from the midlands a chance to move south to the Shannon to act as both consumers and a buffer against more hostile tuath. The incentive for this was reduced prices and limited access to S.I.E.C weaponry, many thought this was a good deal and by early 2245 over 600 people had moved south around the Shannon, in turn, providing revenue for Limerick.
As of 2280 Limerick has a population of nearly 600 and is an important trading city with a large market district that supplied weaponry and food such as horse, fish, and cow as well as the products of these creatures. Under S.I.E.C control Limerick is designated as a colony and is ruled by a council of the ruling class.
The government of the SI.E.C is centered around a council of the 25 or so states involved in the community. This assembly is located in what was once the Gresham Metropole Hotel in Cork City, the main power brokers in the government are the Hurley and O'Shea families though other families have some strength.
Though theoretically, the council governs the whole S.I.E.C, in reality, the government has little say in the day-to-day running of the multitude of settlements within the union. To be honest, the assembly is little more than a glorified talking shop.
The rulers of the settlement vary widely from monarchies to patriarchies to matriarchies to councils to dictatorships. It is a hotpot of different systems.
In fact, the closest thing that the S.I.E.C have to a standing army are the bodyguard and bannermen of the rulers of the larger cities, e.g., Cork, Waterford, Killarney and Tra Li Nua. These forces are well trained and armed out of the Waterford Armoury, all in all, they number about 200 people. Within these sort of professional force about 60 are cavalry.
The S.I.E.C doesn't have a dedicated navy, but each ship captain operates
a machine gun emplacement or a mortar position on their boat.
The S.I.E.C has the strongest economy in the Irish Wasteland with interests in the cities of Sligo, Dublin, Hellfast, the Refuge, Deadpool, New Glasgow and Lordsport. They trade widely, and it is known that ships flying under the S.I.E.C flag always means good business. The S.I.E.C gives the majority of their trade in fish and weaponry, with the weaponry being supplied by the Waterford Armoury and the fish comes from the south coast and the Shannon river. They also export livestock and horses. The S.I.E.C mainly imports machinery especially parts as well as medicines which are in short supply in the community.
The S.I.E.C's currency is the 'Lime' which is made from limestone and is sourced from the quarry at Cobh. On the front of the Lime is a leaping fish while the back represents an AK-47. The Lime is recognized in most of the economies around what was once Ireland and England as a very strong currency, and it has a high rate of exchange.
The Hurley family in Cork also offer the only bank in Ireland and will trade in Irish Catholic Church gold and New Pale 'Case' as well as Limes.