Arley is a small port town in northern Ameson, run by a human magistrate, Finn Yarne. The magistrate is in the pay (and under the threat) of The Bloodied Hand, a group of nasty Erasian pirates with a tendency for brutal murder. He assures that the towns port always provides them hiding, buys their goods, and provides them services and lodging. It is a relationship of both fear and gratitude, as the Hand bring prosperous business through Arley, but also a serious risk, and have not given the Magistrate an option in this deal (or to end it).