The islands of the Minrothad Guilds were originally part of the imperial Thyatian province of the Western Isles, and basically unsettled apart from sea elves. However they were along the line of a major trade route from Darokin to Thyatis, which provided much of the grain for the imperial capital, and so various ports of safety were established on the isles in case of bad weather. As the provincial naval forces drifted out of imperial control, they became as much a danger to the grain fleets as a protector, and so the ports also became points of safety from pirate attacks. Appeals to the imperial navy for protection went unheard, and so the various ship owners started banding together for protection, and started equipping naval forces to protect their ships. Minrothad became the centre of operations for these protective forces, and they gradually gained control of all the eastern isles of the group, pushing the former provincial navy back to Irendi. At this point they became effectively independent of the empire, although the guildmasters of Minrothad still maintain the legal fiction that they rule in the emperor’s name.