The Chinese Secret Police
At the beginning of the Ming dynasty, eunuchs were treated with caution. Now eunuchs make up the majority of the residents in the Forbidden City (the Palace complex at the center of Beijing). They have insinuated themselves in every aspect of the palace bureaucracy and manage the palace guards. In 1382 a secret police force called the chin-i-wei [chin-ee-way] was established to oversee the bureaucracy and enforce strict central control. They will come to regret this decision. The eunuchs are so close to the Emperor that they hear every secret and the Emperor accepts what they say without much investigation. Using blackmail and insinuation, they are working their way into the secret police. In years to come they will wield an enormous amount of power and while some of these eunuchs will remain true to their ideals, the majority will become corrupt and a real problem for China. 
A Sterling Example of Quality Control Out of Control
The Hanseatic [han-see-AH-tic] League (or Fellowship League) began as a means of protecting German shipping through the Baltic Sea and establishing good commerce laws. As their power has grown they've been able to impose quality control standards over the preservation of fish for shipping. One Englishman even suggested that the word "sterling" as in "pound sterling" was a contraction of "Easterling" which was the name given to these Baltic merchants but it seems unlikely. The "Fellowship" fleet has grown so powerful that they are now threatening the Nordic countries. A war is just getting started.     
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1426, Wikipedia.
- Gernet, Jacques. (translated by Foster, J. R. and Hartman, Charles) A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge University Press. 1996. pp. 397-398, 407. (BOOK)
- Graham, Amanda. Circumpolar History Timetables: 1400-1449. 2001. (PDF DOCUMENT) Quote: "the Hanseatic League began a regular war against the Nordic Union." (Kirkeby, Ch. 3)
- Hanseatic League - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Easterling - definition of Easterling by The Free Dictionary. 2014 [last update] | Quote: "a. 1. Relating to the money of the Easterlings, or Baltic traders. See Sterling."
- Online Etymology Dictionary. 2014 [last update]
- Easterling theory (Sterling Judaica). 2010 [last update]
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 204. (BOOK) Quote: "Holland becomes the center of European music."
- Early Renaissance Music History Timeline. ClassicalWorks.com, 2014 [last update]