The Freelancers of the Waves: Corsairs
Date: Sat, February 28, 2009
Topic: Peoples & Culture

To sail forth seeking your fortune is a grand idea; provided one is not overly concerned about how the plunder is gained. --- Corsair Nareh Uka

The Freelancers of the Waves: Corsairs

By Crag

Oerth has an abundance of navigable expansive bodies of water hence no singular fleet has emerged capable of the imposition of naval dominance. Endless financial opportunities abound for the freelance sailor to seek their fortune and escape the labour of the land. Far from shore awaits freedom and wealth enough to satiate the most gluttonous of appetites but it is not for the timid. However freelance mariners must still abide within understood codes of conduct to be successful. Freelance mariners regardless of their expertise prefer to achieve their objectives through the threat of violence rather then costly conflict. Most freelance ships choose to use personalized emblems rather than the more ostentatious methods associated with some national navies. Some affluent naval powers emblaze their heraldry within vibrantly coloured sailcloth however even the most destitute national fleet proudly hoists its colours aloft.

Freelance mariners known as corsairs within the western waters unlike their eastern counterparts have gained a measure of societal acceptance and respect. Baklunish societal emphasis on continuity and tradition has allowed the corsairs of the Dramidj Ocean to achieve political power. The baklunish naval tradition does not offer letters of marque. The formal structured nature of baklunish naval engagements and the effectiveness of their merchant fleets as a supplemental force to the naval fleets negate the advantages of their eastern counterparts. Unlike other oceans most corsairs and merchants sail the same ship, the Great Galley. The societal opposition to exploration ensures mariners are aware of potential sites of ambush. The national navies also have a long historical tradition of mercantile escort and protection of the sea trade routes. These factors have naturally encouraged corsairs to form large coordinated fleets to assault the well defended merchant convoys.

Corsairs acknowledge societal codes of behavior despite their defiance of them. Rather then operate on the sufferance of a mainland patron; corsairs within the baklunish basin have established cities on remote islands which function as independent states. Individual corsairs are rare and due to societal pressure often seek to obtain citizenship within the island corsair cities. Although disdained upon the mainland these island corsair states have obtained recognition of their territorial and mercantile interests. The corsair fleets which operate within the Dramidj Ocean are the Ataphad, the Janasib and the Isra. The Ataphad corsairs claim three cities within the eastern isles and are known for their savagery. The Janasib corsairs claim the Janasib islands and are considered the most disciplined corsair threat to naval commerce. The Isra corsairs make no formal claims within the baklunish basin and have no interest in seeking citizenship or founding their own corsair settlement. Their refusal to adhere to the accepted corsair tradition within the basin has caused unease among both the mainland nations and the established corsair cities.

The Impaled

The Impaled is a successful corsair fleet that hoists the broken black oar of the Ataphad Corsairs. This great galley commands a small fleet of great galleys which prowl the basin is search of plunder and mayhem. Under the command of Qadr Halfscar, a ruthless mongrelman and his insane crew delight in the terror their presence inspires. This fleet attacks with a homicidal passion that few have survived. Lately the Impaled and her fleet have been sighted off the Ekbiri coast. Qadr Halfscar has developed a taste for crudely impaling the Qadi (Priests) he finds aboard the merchant galleys he seizes. He has been known to drool and giggle as his religious victims writhe in agony. His lust to torment Qadi (Priests) has intensified since Hakr Tahreem was assigned as the necromantic advisor of the Impaled.

The Crew of the Impaled

Qadr Halfscar, Captain of the Impaled
Hakr Tahreem, Necromantic Advisor of the Impaled

Possible Adventure: A merchant house which has suffered serious losses due to the predations of the Impaled has offered a substantial reward to end the threat. The Ekbiri and the Mouqollad Consortium are less then pleased by the implied insult of this maverick bounty; so whoever seeks to collect the reward will find little assistance in their search. Clever adventurers should notice the Ekbiri Qadi (Priests) are not random targets.

Il Niyya

The Il Niyya is a Janasib Corsair which hoists the Gold Lotus Blossom. This great galley has become well known as a hunter of the Undead Dragon Turtle Ozefnost. Under the command of Horeh Rujayn, once an accomplished smuggler of medicinal herbs (shadi zar); an encounter with the undead menace has grown into an obsession. As his obsession grew his reliability as a smuggler diminished and to acquire funds to pursue his obsession Horeh Rujayn sold the identities of his smuggling contacts to the mainland authorities. Suffice to say, the Dusk Lash and the Shadi Cultivators Cadre are eager to see this great galley disappear beneath the waves. Horeh Rujayn has become increasingly reckless but few sailors voice their concerns as those that have been vocal have become gruesome disciplinary examples.

The Crew of the Il Niyya

Horeh Rujayn, Reis of the Il Niyya
Fuvan Eylan, Binbasi of the Il Niyya

Possible Adventure: Although fired with zeal, Horeh Rujayn can still be quite charming as he constantly seeks combat capable crewmates. Roughly 30% of the crew has been infected by his mania for the hunt and most others emulate this manic behavior to avoid punishment. The zeifan intelligence authorities wish to keep Horeh Rujayn active as long as possible; to do so, interested parties are directed to the Il Niyya. Horeh Rujayn has utter contempt for his own life though he still cares for the lives of his crewmates but he can not stop searching for the Undead Dragon Turtle Ozefnost.

This article comes from Canonfire!

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