The Pirate Isles
The Pirate Isles are where everyone who belongs nowhere ends up.
Anyone can live on the Pirate Isles but not all will survive.
There are five main islands and an uncountable number of rocks which only peek through the waves during low tide. It is these which keep the Isles safe from reprisals. The route through is treacherous and the secret only known to the Captains of each ship which calls Carpe, the main island and only town, home.
Sitting atop Carpe’s somewhat chaotic social structure is the self-styled Admiral Hanrahan. A man who is short of temper and long of reach. Few get to see him, and most of his laws and edicts are carried out by the Captains who serve him.
It would be a mistake, possibly your last, to think of Carpe as lawless though it is an easy assumption to make. There is a code which all inhabitants live by and the Captains enforce without fear or favour.
Pirate Code of Carpe
All who sail and find prey shall receive an equal share - the Captain having two shares, the Doctor having one and a half, the quartermaster having one and quarter.
Any found having stolen from another will face the whip on the first offence and confiscation of their share, death on the second offence - sentences carried out by those stolen from.
Any found to have killed another without just cause will be executed by the surviving family or by the ship’s Captain.
Any slain or maimed in service of the ship will have their share plus one more given to their family or themselves as just compensation.
Any disobeying an order of a superior on ship or land will be given the whip.
Any that display cowardice while engaged on a Captain’s business will be given the whip.
Any that meddle with another without consent shall be marooned upon a rock. If such makes it back alive to shore they shall be given the whip and exiled.
The route through rocks and shoals which keep Carpe safe is a closely guarded secret. Upon becoming Captain of a vessel each is given a ruby jewel on a gold necklace to denote their rank and many say, whisper in the quiet backrooms of the many taverns, that these contain the map which enables the passage to be safely sailed.
How true that is, no one knows for sure and many fear the consequence of trying to discover.
Isle of Carpe
There is but one recognised town upon the Isles, that of Carpe which is situated in a bay surrounded by cliffs upon which the town sits.
The town is safe in the broadest sense and is renowned for its many taverns. By the docks patrons enter at their own risk, save the Code, however there are others more upmarket and expensive.
The warehouse district by the docks provides work for many, and the pay is fair. However, the Warehouse Guild does jealously guard their work and in return guarantee the minimum of theft and pilfering - severe punishments are in place to ensure compliance.
Much trade consists of stolen goods, pirated from the ocean, however Carpe itself is famed for its sheep wool and goat meat.
The other isles are known to support small villages and are accessible via skiff with no deep harbours available at any. The Code still prevails in these villages and on these isles, but is enforced less frequently unless the matter is brought to the Admiral or his representatives. Captains act as judge and jury and are known to circulate amongst the isles when the weather is favourable.
Sudden is a source of many plants and herbs sought after by magicians and religions. The few tiny villages are inhabited by those specially trained and practiced in their harvest.
Redoubt was the home of the original city and pirates who lived here. However, it was abandoned so long ago that only legend tells why and the ruins are a crumbled reminder of how powerful these isles once were. Stories circulate about the wealth to be found amongst the ruins, but also of the danger which resides there.
High Isle marks sacred ground and is where Temples, Churches, and a Sacred Grove can be found. Anyone visiting High Isle must have good reason for the guards upon the shore are unforgiving in their remit to keep the island as a safe, secure, calm location for contemplation and prayer.
Sentry, so named because it guards one of routes into the isles, is a mix of forest and swamp. Thick mangroves and all manner of vicious, venomous animals alongside insects that bite and transmit disease make their home on the southern half, while the north is a little safer. Lookout towers dot the north shore and the beacons are always ready to be lit.