Bellamarina is one of the oldest guilds in operation within the city of Sarvos, one of the four cities of the League.  Its focus and prosperity have historically been based upon mercantile shipping, and banking services.  The original guild charter, or carta, indicates that the guild started out with a monopoly over fishing rights within an area of the sea surrounding Sarvos,

From humble beginnings, the Carta has grown organically, often by identifying other diverse concerns with similar interests, and inviting them into the guild.  In return the Carta has provided a larger voice for them, and as a result the guild has long since diversified from its historical origins.  Today, Bellamarina effectively asserts control over a significant portion of Sarvos' port district including several important markets.
  The guild members refer to themselves collectively as the Carta Bellamarina - there is a very real feeling that the charter is the guild and vice versa.

About 30 years ago, Carta Bellamarina underwent something of a political upheaval when Guiseppe Giovanelli decided that he would probably make a better signeur than his cousin Giacoma Sforza, a direct descendant of the founding signeur and the current incumbent.  Giacoma and her husband were assassinated one carnival night, Giovanelli’s plan being to blame the death of the entire family on a rival Carta and claim the signeurity for himself as the most prominent and powerful remaining member.

Giovanelli moved quickly to secure his control of the guild, but the ten year old twin heirs of Giacoma had been smuggled out of their town house by a guard who recognised the attackers as associates of Giovanelli's.  He was therefore unable to completely assert his authority.  A significant number of important families within the guild had no love for Giovanelli, regarding his tactics as unsubtle and ill befitting a Catazar and the Carta.  His attempts to squeeze money out of the members to secure his hold upon the guild also made those used to conducting trade with relatively little interference resentful.  Many were, however, content to embrace the new status quo.

The result was a bitter and bloody feud which lasted for 9 years, causing economic difficulties which the guild has still not yet fully recovered from.  Control of the guild was eventually wrested back from Giovanelli, and Concordia, eldest of the twins, was elected to the role of signeura by the guild members.  The restoration was not a happy time for Carta Bellamarina, as any tainted by Giovanelli’s rule were rooted out and banished by an administration keen to restore stability.  While the purges were in some cases unfair they were brutally efficient.  Any of those with a connection, supposed or actual, to Giovanelli, were given to understand that Sarvos was now a difficult place for them to do business. Within two years the guild was politically and commercially stable, Giovanelli and most of his supporters having relocated to Tassato.

It has been 20 years since this time of upheaval, and while Carta Bellamarina’s banking industry has not quite reclaimed its former pre-eminence, its members are still aware of how much worse things were.  Being a trade focused and pragmatic people, they do however value the stability that has resulted since.  The death of the Empress is regarded by the Carta as a worrying development, because of its ability to negatively affect trade, but Carta Bellamarina is determined to meet this challenge together and strengthen its own position as a result.