|Maritime Support Group|
|Participant in War of Lost Brothers|
Freedom of the seas|
|Leaders||Captain-General Tobias Callaghan|
New Blackstone (1655–1657 & 1661–)|
Hempton Bay (1657–1660)
|Area of operations||Brettish Isles, Eastern Keltian Seaboard|
1,999 armed-trawlers & small boats
|Opponents||Fisheries Protection Group|
|Battles and wars||
Cruise of the Medusa / Operation Caldera|
War of the Casks
The Maritime Support Group (MSG), known colloquially as the Sea-Reavers, is a private military company (PMC) registered and incorporated on New Blackstone. Noted for its colourful history of privateering the, the MSG is now contracted by governments and corporations seeking protection for vessels entering contested waters, particularly in the Gulf of Jangsong and the Strait of Haifa.
They remain technically deserters from the Shirerithian Corps of Auxiliaries although this inconvenient detail tends often to be overlooked. In 1665, following repeated disturbances and open conflict between the Sea-Reavers and the Imperial garrison on New Blackstone, the long suffering Prefect, Jeremiah Avon-El, banished the reavers to the island of Doyle, with the desolate caldera island of Cornwallis acting as a buffer between the governor and the forces of Captain-General Callaghan. This however had the effect of shifting the Sea-Reavers core area of operations closer to the Nova English occupied zone on the northern tip of the main island.
|M14 Fragmentation Hand Grenade||249,560|
|M15 White Phosphorus Anti-Lich Grenade||150,000|
|M-16 Mustard Gas Anti-Singer Grenade||150,000|
|M18 Red Smoke Hand Grenade||150,000|
|M1656 Demolition Kit (9.1 kg C4)||1,200|
|M1581 7.62 mm Machine Carbine (OAH Khaybar SMG)||42,648|
|Wren 7.62mm LMG||4,000|
|Tankgewehr 13.2 mm Rifle (Anti-Materiel)||231|
|80mm Field Gun||1,140|
Lost to all causes:
- Early-1655 to Mid-1656
- 3,837 reavers
- 159 armed-trawlers
Since 22 Muulantooqu 1653 AN, following the commencement of the War of Lost Brothers, thirty-nine regiments of auxiliaries had been earmarked by the Imperial Government for the opening up of a Keltian Front against the USSO member states of that continent. However, with Natopia delaying its entry into the war, and the Shirerithian navy struggling to gain supremacy at sea, the means of delivering the force to the hostile shores of Keltia was not readily available.
That situation changed in late 1654 with the eruption of a long dormant volcano in the Brettish Isles which unleashed a cataclysm upon the Brettish Kingdom, plunging it into a localised dark age as pyroclastic clouds scorched the land and blotted out the sun. This natural disaster effectively terminated the existence of the Brettish Kingdom in its home islands, a surviving remnant of the population would subsequently evacuate to the Skerry Isles and establish the so-called Confederacy of the Coast. While many nations rushed to offer humanitarian assistance to the Brettish government, the Shirerithians under newly elected Steward Zinkgraven saw an opportunity to profit from the destruction of a hostile foe.
The Imperial Republic firstly dispatched commerce raiders, typically gravships such as the IRS Medusa, to attack Jingdaoese and USSO flagged vessels participating in the relief effort, whilst concurrently issuing a blanket authorisation to the Shirerithian fishing fleets to enter Brettish and Nova English waters to plunder the fish stocks of the suddenly depopulated islands. The fishermen were also encouraged to land on the enemy shores wherever circumstances permitted, in order to loot abandoned settlements and to snatch up any straggling bands of refugees as might be sighted upon those desolate shores.
This new Shirerithian militancy in the Great Western Sea encouraged Nova England to begin building up its maritime defences, beginning with the establishment of a Fisheries Protection Group and culminating in the reactivation of the Nova English Navy along with elaborate preparations for coastal defences.
For the Imperial Government, mindful of the overstretch affecting the Imperial Navy, the challenge posed by the Nova English presented an opportunity. Beginning with the putting of small detachments of armed auxiliaries aboard trawlers heading for Brettish waters, it was but a small step to arming the trawlers themselves and using the boats as platforms from which to conduct raids.
In early 1655, whilst the gravship Medusa continued to hunt Jingdaoese and Nova English merchant ships in the Great Western Sea, the Shirerithians began operations to capture and fortify an obscure and abandoned Brettish island, scarcely 13km in length but mountainous and craggy, which they subsequently renamed as New Blackstone after making appropriate votive offerings including the sacrifice of prisoners. The cramped island would become a home away from home for these armed fishermen and their auxiliary complement - known as Sea-Reavers by their victims. The island would be offered to the Royal Iron Company as a compensation for the lordship of Blackstone, which the company had lost to Jingdao before the onset of the present war. In the meantime, with the Sea-Reavers calling it home, New Blackstone became the venue for Shireroth's first off-shore slave market.
At bay in the Warring Isles
Following Burgrave Zinkgraven's refusal of the summons to return to Shirekeep in 1657 he took shelter amongst the encampments of the Sea-Reavers established in the Warring Isles, particularly around the settlement of Hempton. This act caused a schism in Keltia Command and the forces assembled for the Great Enterprise of Keltia, with the Imperial Navy and bureaucracy being eager to prove their loyalty to the new Steward, the Babkhi mercenaries who were eager for their promised pay, and the Sea-Reavers who feared that the new government might seek to negotiate a truce and end their burgeoning piratical careers. The result of this stand-off was, predictably, that on 05.V.1658 the Imperial Forces now more or less under the influence of the ambitious Kalirion Prefect of New Blackstone, Jeremiah Avon-El, turned upon its former proxies and unleashed a merciless aerial and naval bombardment after which the Babkhi were promised their arrears of pay if they would go ashore butcher every Sea-Reaver they found and bring out Zinkgraven alive so that he could be brought to Shirekeep in a cage for the Steward's delectation.
For a few barrels more: the betrayal of Zinkgraven
Rehabilitation & service with SATCo
Years of exposure to, and conflict with, the naval and auxiliary forces of Nova England, interspersed with semi-official truce days, has seen the former sea reavers exposed to and influenced by the Nazarene heresy, especially in its distinctive Nova English form. The habit of press ganging in Batavian ports has seen the Reformed Catologian Church gain a widespread representation amongst the ranks of the sea-reavers.