Government: lead by a de facto leader, who is Westwater.
Capitol: City of Freeport (Hex 9556)
For the past 5-600 years the island was used as a penal colony for non-death sentence offenders and political exiles. As a way to reduce prison costs and in major cities and larger countries.
As population increased with no outside support. The inhabitants were forced to develop their own form of government. As well as produce their own food and textiles.
This was initially very difficult. Considering that the populace consisted of criminals and politicians. Though many were familiar with the inner workings of governments. Few were willing to take up the mantle of responsibility. Ultimately adopting a “It’s yours as long as you can handle it” policy of leadership.
The production of food and materials proved more difficult. Due to the fact that most had never worked an honest day in their lives. However, through trial and error, many obstacles were overcome and they eventually became self-sufficient. After a time (about 200 years) outside countries realized that they could use criminals as a cheap labor force. Thus making it no longer cost effective to ship them off. So, ships stopped bringing in new prisoners.
Not long after (less than 50 years) privateers noticed the “ungoverned” island and realized it was a perfect location to hide and/or trade stolen merchandise. This became a mutually beneficial system for the locals as well. Giving them both trade and news from the outside world. And for a time, the island prospered this way.
One day ships began to appear on their shores loaded with people instead of goods. Apparently, the criminal labor force had become so popular that the demand had exceeded what most countries could supply alone. Sentient beings had now become the number one export. Given, that people were the one thing the island wasn’t in short supply on, trade became scarce. Still, many vessels used the port as a stop off point in their travels elsewhere.
The locals became incensed with the way the prisoners were held and treated.
One evening the dock workers along with a few small fishing vessels liberated the cargo holds of every slave ship docked there. The slaves were then granted asylum on the island. Although upset by this unsanctioned act, the head of state at the time supported his citizens. And to show a united front decreed that the island would no longer harbor any ship carrying slaves. Moreover, any found in their waters would be taken and freed. Stating that this land is now and forever a “Free Port”
The pirates soon realized that losing the ability to dock there would seriously hinder the currently booming slave trade. So, in response, the pirates set their sights on an untapped resource. Freeport itself.
Due to the fact that Freeport had very little in the way of actual military. They were overtaken almost immediately with the pirate ships taking almost a third of the population away for trade.
After a heartfelt and rallying speech from the head of state. Every able bodied man, woman and child took up arms. Loading into every remaining vessel in port, they set off to rescue their comrades……
More lives were lost than saved that day. The country has still not fully recovered from this tragedy. The only survivor to return washed up on a cracked barrel lid almost a week later. He wore nothing but a loincloth and a set of broken manacles. Starving, dehydrated and delirious from exposure. He stood with his hands above his head shouting “We shall never be bound again!” Then promptly collapsing, dead.
This statement has become the motto of Freeport since that day.
After a time, slavery began to lose popularity and Freeport is slowly reclaiming what they lost.
Now, a man has come to them claiming to have once been a slave himself. He has offered to lead the city state into an era of prosperity.