The Pukhtun Piracy and Smuggling Network

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The Pukhtun Piracy and Smuggling Network was given the name only by later historians, the group officially had no name. Rather than a formal group it was more of an informal gathering of like minded groups that shared information and followed a few unwritten rules. They had one main headquarter in Pukhtunkhwa and two forward headquarters in De Spingat Tapu and De Chargbano Tapu. Each of the groups was backed by a different tribe and thus they would be allies or rivals depending upon the relations of the respective tribes.

Historical Background

In late 12th century with the decline of the Gaznavid Sultanate many tribes decided to become independent of the sultanate. With the instability they also feared an invasion from the outside, thus a race began to develop the fastest and strongest ships to either aid or defeat any potential invader on the basis of tribal priorities. By 1200A.D each group sent out explorers as traders to scout outside lands and send reports on what they find. By 1250 first reports came in of a underdeveloped, divided resource rich land known as Punth. Exclusive access to Punth meant that they were now able to export exotic goods that no one else had access to and the tribes became very rich. This lead to increased funding to build better ships and thus increased the power of pirates. It is suspected that the two gods of war and prosperity in Quetzenkel myths were also one of those explorers. Other than the pirates the Pukhtun tribes also managed various legitimate trading groups, although they were overshadowed by the pirates, which they used for legal dealings with foreign traders. In 1274A.D after a major battle between two rival groups caused their destruction and a loss of precious information the different groups came together in Attock to discuss how to avoid such incidents in the future. This is the first reported communication between the PPSN groups and is suspected to be the time when the unwritten rules were first formulated. In the years after this the PPSN became the largest organized piracy and smuggling group in the world. This was also the time when the tribes began to actively play a role in the affairs of foreign nations. The PPSN also introduced the Pukhtun Mercenary Groups and the Kharkaars into the outside world.

In 1350A.D PPSN established Spingat as a forward base followed by Chargbano in 1394A.D. This firmly established PPSN presence in waters across the globe. Their greatest rival was the Burgundian trade empire. By 16th century they had the most advanced maps of the coastal areas of the world. They also had books with information about almost everything from every country, prices of goods, tax laws, custom laws, preferred naval routes, known naval routes, naval routes not known to the country in question, local collaborators, informants, current affairs, public opinions, foreign relations, factions, powerful and influential people to name a few. This meant that they could influence politics and criminal empires in most countries to make situations favorable for themselves. They would bring the right goods to the right port to make greatest profits. The unorganized group had become powerful enough to fight head to head with some of the most powerful organized navies in the world. Copies of these books and maps were available at the libraries in the three PPSN headquarters for free. Paying captains could also commission copies for their own personal use. Information had also become the dominant currency, for the right information one could call upon PPSN to do almost anything.

They operated until they were abolished by Sultan Khushal Khan Khattak in 2022A.D. Majority of the ships and their crews were drafted into the newly formed Pukhtunkhwa Royal Navy while others fled to set up criminal empires elsewhere. The intelligence section was reformed into the ISI.

Major Operations

The Great Rebellion of Slavers Bay

On 6 March 1757 at the capital of the Kingdom of Fana, Fanoor, the King-in-exile of Santasi, raises a Third Coalition Army and prepares to wage a "Final War" to push the Burgundian East Punth Trading Company out of Kandara. Having realized the failure of many of his ancestors, he recruited as many Kanans from Kandoor as he can and promises them a free state under local control if they get the nation to rise against the Burgundians. They infiltrate into Kandoor and begin to stir up the local population.

In 1761, the Pukhtun Piracy and Smuggling Network (PPSN) joined the cause. The PPSN had a long history of rivalry with the Burgundians dating back to first contact in the 13th century. They had supported the Santasi in the prior wars from the shadows but the Santasi failed to defeat the Burgundians so the PPSN decided that more direct involvement was necessary. The various groups once again united and began to campaign for King Fanoor. The Pukhtun held great influence among the tribes of Kandara and so with PPSN publicly supporting King Fanoor the Kandarans flocked to his banner in great numbers, such numbers had never united before. The PPSN also sent took command of the Santasi army, training them and serving as high ranking officers. King Fanoor pleased with the support and confident in his strength began his war against the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company. Initially the Burgundians never expected him to gather such a large and well-trained army and thus were unable to hold him back. With new arrivals from Burgundie however they were atleast able to stem the tide. This forced PPSN to take the battle to the sea and thus reveal themselves to the Burgundians.

In the 1760s and 1770s a series of pitched sea battles took place, eventually ending in the utter defeat of the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company's navy. The colony was cut off and PPSN with help from native Kandarans raided to coastal settlements. From 1778-1795 not a single resupply was attempted and the colonial administration was left to their own devices. A series of attempts to get the Kuhlfrosi government to intervene on the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company's behalf were declined. With the colony isolated amid ever increasing hostiles at their borders the states crumbled one-by-one.

In 1790, the King of Santasi had reclaimed most of the Kandooli states, with the exception of Kandooli. Ever grateful to the PPSN he reached out to the PPSN for more aid. The PPSN advocated their case with the tribes of Pukhtunkkhwa and the tribes decided to send 8,000 Pukhtun Mercenaries. They made short work of the rest of the state, except Kandoor. A siege was put in place that encircled the city. After two years the city finally fell and in January the last of the [[Burgundians in Kandoor were captured and killed. The King pleased with the results decided to permanently hand over the departments of Foreign Affairs and Defense. In affect he made PPSN the secret rulers of Kandooli officially.

The Great Confessional Smuggling

From 1548-1575 the Great Confessional War gripped Levantia. The war pitted the Catholics and the Protestants against each other across the continent. Duke Fredrick Wilhelm of Burgundie was a strong advocate for religious tolerance. Recognizing the opportunity to rid Levantia of Protestantism, Leo II concluded a deal with Frederick Wilhelm. In 1573, Frederick Wilhelm was allowed to encourage all of the Protestants to leave Levantia via Burgundie or suffer the swords of the Holy Levantine Empire. Using monies from the public treasury Duke Wilhelm became paying for passage for the willing Protestants. The affair caused quite a scandal across Burgundie and the Holy Levantine Empire. The Duke was cut off from the treasury by the Catholic dominated Golden Council of Ten. Quickly running low on funds, the Duke organized a raid on the treasury building that was repulsed. Duke Wilhelm appealed to the Protestants that they donate to support the cause. Soon he had an intricate scheme to finance the Protestants passage. He hired well trained Pukhtun smugglers to make frequent runs from all along the Levantine coast to spirit away the remaining protestants. During his first attempts he realized that the catholic Burgundians could not be fully trusted so he needed someone that could push through any obstacles that Burgundians put in their path. A contact from business introduced him to the Pukhtun smugglers that he knew could openly combat Burgundian ships. He took great care to pad his own purse from the donations that he collected. Soon Burgundie was crawling with Protestants, waiting for their ships further abroad. These transports were also arranged by the Pukhtun smugglers in Duke Wilhelm's employ.

The Great Trade Game

In the 1860s, Doppel Shipyard in Burgundie built extreme clippers to go down the eastern coast of Levantia, over the Levantine Ocean to Santheres and Pukhtunkhwa on the Spice Run. In addition to spices, some enterprising clipper captains started smuggling Pukhtunkhwan heroin in their holds. They would sell the heroin to black markets in Heku and Kiravia. These clipper crews became incredibly rich and would often flaunt their new found wealth upon their return. This drew the ire of the Catholic elite and soon the Revenue Guard was tasked with drug enforcement. Since no heroin touched Levantine soil, they needed a forward operating base.

These trade routes were plagued by piracy. Additional issues arose around 1867 when the first record of "clipper baiting" was recorded. Laden with spices (and sometimes heroin) rival Burgundian and Kiravian clipper ships would lure each other into pirate infested territory. The slower of the two would be captured. The pirates would ransom the goods at less than market value to the faster ship. This led to a cut throat business between clipper captains and Pukhtunkhwan pirate lords. The rash of piracy from Kandara and Pukhtunkhwa and "clipper baiting" spurred the predominantly Catholic Revenue Guard to set up a permanent base on the island of AyerSee and Sodermark in the 1870s. The AyerSee base of operations remains one of the foremost pirate hunting training schools in Ixnay.

Unwritten Rules

  1. Those who do not follow the rules will be hunted to the ends of the earth. They will have no place to hide.
  2. The headquarters are neutral grounds and no group shall ever draw arms there except in the defense of the Headquarters.
  3. Upon return from a voyage all ship captains are required to submit detailed reports to Headquarters.
  4. Upon return from voyage all cartographers are required to submit detailed maps of the regions visited to the Headquarters.
  5. Ships may not raid other ships outside of Pukhtun waters unless hired.
  6. The only exception to the above rules is in the case when the target is considered a threat to operations in the region.
  7. Secrecy must be absolute. Destroy information rather than allowing it to fall into non-Pukhtun hands.
  8. Always deliver what is promised.
  9. Gathering, Sharing and Safety of information are a priority.
  10. Never compromise the identity of clients or informants.