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    Literature in the Flanaess: Travels Upon the Southern Oceans
    Posted on Sun, May 15, 2005 by Dongul
    gvdammerung writes "Pirates! Set sail for the Amedio Jungle and Hepmonaland with the greatest, or at least most literate, pirates of the Flanaess. Encounter unknown races and strange cultures. And loot their treasures! Stand off the coast of Keoland; sail the Azure Sea and Wooly Bay. Plunder every merchantman and cog you encounter. Drink the nights away in the pirate dens of the Hold of the Sea Princes or in the infamous port of Blue in the Pomarj. Herein, met the most unusual and unexpected of historians, whose travelogues are read by scholars and by an adventure seeking public. Raise the black flag!

    Literature in the Flanaess: Travels Upon the Southern Oceans
    By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Writers of travelogues are a varied group. Some write incidentally to some other activity. Some adopt a scholarly mien. Others seek fame. Still others write as diarists. The personalities of these writers are just as varied, if not more so.

    Perhaps the most uniquely individual, and certainly the most colorful, of all writers of travelogues was Captain Bartholo Erobere of Port Toli in the Hold of the Sea Princes. Styling himself Captain Bartholo Erobere, Master Pirate, the tales of his travels read as much as adventure yarns as travelogues. Indeed, his fame as a writer is doubtless more attributable to the excitement in his adventures than any local or historical detail.

    Erobere’s motives for writing are mysterious. Some of his work shows a remarkable care and attention to detail, as if writing for a learned audience. Other works are rip-roaring tales of adventure on the high seas and those lands immediately adjacent. The Captain has no consistent style, but all of his work is recognizable for a headlong energy.

    Of his career as a pirate, very little is known. The fact that he menaced the Keosh Coast, memorably clashed with the Hardby marines in Wooly Bay, and “ran the slot” between the Tilvot Peninsula and Hepmonaland to raid Pontylver is recorded in bloody detail by those he victimized. Of the greater portion of his career, however, we have only his own words. If he is to believed, Captain Bartholo Erobere, Master Pirate of Port Toli should be remembered as much as an explorer as a bloody handed pirate.

    His four known works are described below.

    Port Toli and the Buccaneer Coast
    by Captain Bartholo Erobere, Master Pirate of Port Toli (1 Volume)
    1st Edition - 459 CY
    Note - The first edition was published anonymously in Greyhawk. Only in the second and subsequent editions, after the book became wildly popular, is the author identified.

    Colorful and ribald, this book might be dismissed as a mere adventure were it not for the exacting detail provided in the text. It is obvious that the author knows his subject matter as only one long familiar by constant exposure to those environs could know them. Special attention is paid to the so called “Buccaneer Coast,” those lands near to the Hold proper. This title stands as the definitive work on the area of the Hold of the Sea Princes, not written by one standing in opposition to the pirates there.

    Most intriguing among Erobere’s books, Port Toli and the Buccaneer Coast is almost scholarly, albeit in a rough way. While colorful, it is much less an adventure than all the author’s later works. There is a suspicion that Erobere must have begun the work as something of a commission, though no one is quite sure for whom. Discovering an untrained gift for writing, an author was born. The native intelligence of the book lends to the author an air not usually associated with pirates. This was a man to be reckoned with.

    The Secrets of Jerlea Bay
    by Captain Bartholo Erobere, Master Pirate of Port Toli (1 Volume)
    1st Edition - 464 CY
    Note - Perhaps the first publishing “event,” this title was widely publicized by the publisher in Greyhawk, Dyvers, Hardby and surrounds. In the Duchy of Urnst, the popularity of the title lead to a brief but memorable “pirate craze” that the navy of that land has yet to fully live down.

    With this title, the author proves himself not merely a fine recorder of detail and historic facts but a better teller of tales. Expanding on his previous title, the author takes for his subject the whole of the Hold of the Sea Princes and lays bare the politics and infighting of that land, particularly among the pirate captains, among which he numbers. The result is a history, a political tract of a most unusual nature and a tale of intrigue and adventure. That the pirates of the Hold of the Sea Princes are accounted superior in their vocation to those of other maritime lands is, in no small measure, due to the wide circulation of this outstanding work.

    Perhaps the most notable feature of this title is its discussion of the world beneath the waves of the titular bay. The author discusses the creatures and their societies found there and the innumerable wrecks, caused by storms, monsters or naval actions. Of note, the wizard Drawmij makes an appearance, as does his submerged home, and sea elf allies. The interrelationship between surface and underwater worlds in nowhere else described in such fascinating detail.

    Lands of Fire
    by Captain Bartholo Erobere, Master Pirate of Port Toli (1 Volume)
    1st Edition - 469 CY
    Note - The first edition contains two appendices, an invaluable Olman phrasebook and a rough dictionary of Olman words. Subsequent editions do not include the appendix materials which were then published separately as “An Olman Lexography,” that continues to see print.

    This title recounts the author’s adventures in the Amedio Jungle and the southern waters off its coast. Piracy takes a back seat to exploration and treasure hunting in this work. In the process, the author recounts much of Olman life, history and the present state of affairs within the Amedio. His observations are remarkably perceptive for someone bent on looting practically any structure not guarded or warded to prevent such activities. While a scoundrel, Eorbere is an intelligent scoundrel, whose motto might well be “look before you loot.”

    Something of the appeal of this book lies is the first appearance of two female cohorts - Riane and Tthasmane. Pirates of an indeterminate origin, they are encountered half way through the book, in the Amedio Jungle treasure hunting much as the author. Joining forces, the female pair fights side by side with the author through the remainder of the book, confronting various natural and supernatural challenges. They make quite an impression, fighting with an elan that wins the author’s grudging respect.

    Jungle Lands
    by Captain Bartholo Erobere, Master Pirate of Port Toli (1 Volume)
    1st Edition - 473 CY
    Note - While the last of Erobere’s books, the author reappears in a series of books attributed to Riane Trethaen, allegedly the female pirate first described by the author in Lands of Fire. Interested readers might look after the Trethaen titles published in Gradsul in the mid-480's.

    Jungle Lands is something of a misnomer for, while the title recounts the author’s exploits in Hepmonaland, there is at least as much text devoted to piracy on the Azure Sea and the life of the port of Blue. It is the former accounts that will be of interest to scholars and historians. The author’s adventures among the Touv and against the agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood are particularly enlightening on both accounts and the later should stand as a warning to those who imagine that the outlines of the menace that is the Scarlet Brotherhood are well understood to be confined to the Flanaess.

    In the popular mind, this volume is notable for the return of the female pirates Riane and Tthasmane. Joining the author’s crew, they appear throughout the text in high swashbuckling style. After spurning certain unwelcome advances near the conclusion of the book, the pair are last seen cutting their way free of a tavern in Blue to commandeer a schooner and make good an escape from the Pomarj. Of their fate and that of the author, no more is told. The title ends with Erobere setting sail for Port Toli, having received word of his inheritance of properties in the hinterland.

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    Re: Literature in the Flanaess: Travels Upon the Southern Oceans (Score: 1)
    by Wolfsire on Mon, May 16, 2005
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    Nice. I am going to find some way to fit this IMC.

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