The Isles of Blood
The first island settled in what would be The Golden Isles. Martigues was originally settled by a wealthy expeditioner named Anton Martigues. Anton came from a land called Les Champs which is currently controlled by the Sargonian empire. Anton’s father developed a looming machine which allowed his family to manufacture complicated textiles in a fraction of the time. Anton’s father grew in wealth very quickly and was noticed by the Sargonians. Because of his success and the empire’s growing economic problems, Anton Sr. became burdened with heavy taxes. Eventually the wealthy Martigues decided to flee the empire and run his business without government “protection”.
The newly named Lord Martigues took his family as well as a group of other merchants and adventurers and left for the once called “Ogre Islands” to find monetary independence. When they arrived at the Ogre Islands they found that the land was indeed inhabited by Ogres. In the beginning Lord Martigues and the other merchants made peaceful exchanges with the large creatures, but as they pushed inward, the Ogres began to resist. After a series of conflicts known as the Ogrish Wars, the ogres fled the islands, leaving them to the humans. Since trading with the empire would be difficult if they were known as the Ogre Isles, The New Lord Martigues (the younger) renamed the land The Golden Isles inspired by the idea that gold would flow freely between the Isles and the Empire.
2 Generations later, Guillaume Martigues the grandson of Anton sold his family’s business to pay for gambling debts, and one of the competing businesses led by a wealthy merchant named Michelle de Garou became the most influencial merchant in the island of Martigues. De Garou would then name himself the “Doge of Martigues” and became the first merchant in the golden isles to create a government. This notion was resisted at first but when the Sargonian empire began to “visit” The Golden Isles more often, many of the people began to seek the protection of a government. 45 years later, Michelle de Garou passed away and his son Lupin de Garou became the new doge. It was Lupin who would later gather the other merchant leaders from the other islands and create a centralized government, thus becoming the First Merchant Prince of Martigues. Lupin decided not to rename the island after his own family since many imperial buyers recognized Martigian silks and wines as a brand.
Today, Lupin’s Grandson Orson de Garou rules as the Merchant prince of Martigues. Orson takes a heavy role in both his family’s business as well as the local government. Orson is a very strong leader with little tolerance for representatives of Sargonia. Orson himself served in the Martigian military and helped preserve the independance of The Golden Isles.
Martigues is an island rich in fine silks and wines. The plentiful natural resources have kept Martigian gold flowing in and out of the empire. A few Ogres still live in Martigues often as traders between their people and the humans. Most of them live in poverty as well as some of the familys that did not do very well on arrival. Martigues is both the richest and the most impoverished Island in the Golden Isles. Here, the rich are very much so, and the poor struggle every day. Despite this, most Martigians believe in the promise of The Golden Isles.
Martigues also claims the strongest force in the Golden Militia. Having been the first Island to form a military they have had the most time and resources into honing and growing it. The Martigian part of the golden milita has had the most experience fighting raiders, pirates, and Ogres than any other. Sometimes the Merchant Prince of Martigues is even referred to as the Golden King, and the Island is considered the heart or capital of all the Isles.