The Last War has been over for 2 years. The great navies of that war have been consolidated by a powerful merchant consortium known as the Aurum. These ships, now known as the Aurum fleet, patrol the waters beneath the Sibberys ring, preserving the rights of various dragonmarked houses and other interests to any dragonshards recovered in those waters. In short, the Treaty of Thronehold demarked huge areas of the waters around Xen’Drik as defacto property of various houses and guilds. Therefore prospecting for dragonshards by those who are not affiliated with the houses is poaching. The Aurum Fleet is supposed to stop piracy, but in reality it spends far more energy in protecting the treaty, and serving the interests of the most powerful members of society.