- "I shouldn't have lost my temper like that, but - blast it! - the law's unfair and those Pilots are taking bread from our mouths. Iwant to avoid a war over it, but if it's a fight they're after, well...."
- —Axel Huurder, Guildmaster of the Rivermen's Association[1a]
Axel is angry, and he isn't going to take it much longer. He wants the law changed so that Rivermen are treated with the respect they deserve. He works hard during the day running his boat and then long hours into the night on Association business, in meetings or recruiting among the dockside taverns. He can talk endlessly and passionately about the unfair treatment and harassment the rivermen receive from Loodemans' Guild. Quick to reach for a stick at the first sign of a fight, he may be the wrong person to avert a war with the Pilots.[1a]
Axel has frequent, if acrimonious, dealings with Albert Loodemans of the Brotherhood of Seamen and Pilots. He has a passing acquaintance with Lea-Jan Cobbius, and he'd dearly like to bring him over to the Rivermen's side. He's well known to Ward Captain Theophilus Graveland, having been arrested for brawling several times. He is also deeply in debt to Delftgruber and Sons of Guilderveld for supplies for his boat.[1a]