This page contains info that may be of interest to pirates in the Blue Kingdoms — and the people writing about those pirates.
PIRATES AND PIRATE-LIKE ORGANIZATIONS
BLACK CLIFF PIRATES
The scourge of the southern seas, these pirates live in secret cliff-face lairs in the perilous Obsidian Isles. Most terrible of all these pirates is Red Jack Sirus — a powerful undead monster — who captains the ship the Scarlet Skull. Other members of the pirates include Kanist: the Green Viper (from A Reliable Dragon).
The Iron Pirates are a technology-loving band of mechanics that combine machinery with magical elements. They ply the sea in noisy, smoke-belching iron ships. Their vessels might seem laughable if they weren’t so deadly. Because technology doesn’t work equally in all parts of the Blue Kingdoms, they tend to have numerous, redundant back-up systems. For instance, their guns might be powered by exploding alcohol in one place, by gunpowder in another, and by a fire elemental in a third. That way, they’re never caught with their “powder wet.”
Though the Iron Pirates pride themselves in being ready for all occasions, the over-elaborateness of their preparations often leads to their own failures. Still, they believe in technology, and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep their Dreadnoughts (as they call their ships) going. Some of the things they’re willing to do are comical, but others are completely ruthless.
An order of mercenary knights (tending toward evil) who wear midnight blue armor and carry black-bladed swords (some magical). They can be found fighting (on the wrong side) in many Blue Kingdoms conflicts. They are said to have a connection with Bellasco Vaal — the Lord of Bats (a leader of The Kabal in the recently ended Fourth Wizard War). They have secret training grounds and bases throughout the isles.
Some powerful Midknights are rumored to be reincarnated spirits of fallen warriors from the past. These spirits are either born again into new bodies, or magically placed into bodies sacrificed to dark gods.
PURPLE TERN BRIGGANDS
A loose coalition of pirate clans united for the “common good” — meaning to help defend each other against reprisals. They wear purple and white raiment and often paint their ships the same color. Their pirate flag is a purple bird’s skull on a white pennant. Purple Tern “night raider” ships are painted indigo and fly indigo sheets. They are very difficult to see at night.
The most powerful Terns enchant their ships with a camouflage spell. The ship is the color of sea and sky during the day, and indigo at night — making it very difficult to see.
The Terns ply the waters of the Western Outer Core and the north of the Southern Verge. They move their pirate bases frequently, to avoid being hunted down.
RAZOR ISLAND PIRATES
These buccaneers are mercenary, often selling their services during wars. They make their base on the Razor Islands in rowdy, well-fortified towns.
An all-female group of pirates, each is singularly beautiful (and deadly). Each member of the sisterhood wears her wealth as jewelry — which also serves as the pirates’ clothing.
NEW TORTUGA (SE Northern Verge)
The famed island of New Tortuga (and the port city of the same name) is a haven for scallywags of all stripes. While New Tortuga is technically a trading port, its lawless nature is well known. It is said that anything can be had in New Tortuga — for a price. The island’s nearness to the Core makes it an ideal base for freelance mariners.
Occasionally, authorities (both local and from other places in the Azure Sea) will try to “clean up” the island, but many powerful interests in the Blue Kingdoms have a stake in the island’s commerce — both legal and illegal — so, in the end, little actually changes.
Many pirates and freemariners call New Tortuga home.
The island itself is rocky and mountainous, with a lush interior and a coastline fringed by many harbors and hidden coves.
It is rumored that the first inhabitants of New Tortuga sailed out of the mists into the Blue Kingdoms from another place called Tortuga — though no one alive knows where that Torguga is.
OBSIDIAN ISLES (Southern Fringe – Coraltooth Archipelago)
These craggy southern islands feature the famous Black Cliffs, and are home to the deadly Black Cliff Pirates.
RAZOR ISLANDS (Northern Verge)
One of the main pirate strongholds in the northern seas. A perilous handful of rocks jutting out of the sea. The reefs surrounding the isles have doomed many a ship, and help keep the pirates out of prison.
WEST BARBAROSSA (NW Southern Verge)
Lurking at the fringes of the Core, West Barbarossa is a haven for illegal and semi-legal activities. Many pirates and freemariners call it home. It is rumored to be the center of the slave trade in this part of the World-Sea, but it is also rumored to be under the protection of the powerful government of Colossa. Because of this relationship, the rogues of West Barbarosa are seldom interfered with.
West Barbarossa is actually a collection of white sand and coral keys, considered to be under the domination of the largest (eponymous) island. The islands contain plenty of small harbors and hide-outs for rascals. They also feature beautiful blue waters and white sand beaches, but few people come to West Barbarossa for the view.
If this is West Barbarossa, where is Barbarossa itself? No one is really sure; it remains one of the mysteries of the World-Sea.