We thought it another creature of the Abyss at first, right before the quarrel hit Sangeh. I've never seen a fish use a crossbow before, but I couldn't figure out how the pirates had gotten that thing to float.
The Raiders of Śaba are a vicious gang of pirates and murderers that prowl the Abyss
on a craft made from the corpse of some massive leviathan. Much of its flesh have long since rotted away and been replaced with planks of hattick
, plates of metal and carapace, but its bones still serve well as the frame. Much larger than any boat fielded by the city-state of Dūbavum
, the pirates force the carcass to move by means unknown to seek plunder and pillage across the Abyss.
A crew of pirates and raiders that operate out of a reinforced corpse, roaming the Abyss to raid and pillage. By means unknown, they compel the carcass to move through the water, supplemented by steady rowing by the crew. Since their beginning nearly a decade ago, they have grown infamous across the Abyss as terrifying raiders and slavers. The bounty on the raider rise with every fresh attack and every new terror, but the raiders have eluded every hunter so far.
The Raiders of Śaba only really have two distinctions between the crew-member; common crew and those with specialist skills or tasks such as navigation or manning the ballistae at the ships front. There are far more of the common crew than there are of the specialist and the division of both spoils plundered and disgusting labor required fall squarely in the favor of the specialists. There is no single leader, but the warlord of the ship earns his or her position by majority vote and maintains until challenged.
The Raiders more-or-less function on votes, with every member of the crew save for the unions entitled to a vote on any issue. The specialists each two and the warlord has three. Even with these advantages, the common crew outnumber both together when it comes to vote and any warlord who wishes to remain so must make sure to be at least tolerable to the crew.
No matter what votes are cast and goals decided, whatever power it is that enabled the corpse-ship to move where they want can make or break any decision.
Beneath even the common crew are the juniors. Apprentice pirates, fresh boots on the boat, these unfortunate souls suffer the burden of the worst jobs of the ship with the fewest reward. There is no set period for when a junior can ascend to join the crew at full, but such a promotion usually comes at their first bloody encounter or other accomplishment. Beneath even those are the captives that the Raiders take during their bloody raids. While no active abuse is meted out upon the captives (at least not most of the time), they can expect little in the way of comforts or food. They are kept in the lowest bowels of the ship until their ransom is paid.
No one is quite sure how the Raiders began or who it was who first found the corpse of the great beast, nor what madness gripped them that saw it turned into a vessel. The first raid telling of a great beast carrying pirates came a decade or so earlier, devastating the village of Śaba and giving the pirates their name. Since then, the raiders have grown in boldness and infamy, even raiding the Old City in Dūbavum before it sunk beneath the waves.
This act brought them the animosity of the Dūbavian Rangers and a dawning realization around the Abyss that there were no place truly safe from the Raiders of Śaba