"The most notable feature of these legendary killers are their weapons and armor, blackened as though they have passed to an immense fire, and the silent suddenness with which they arrive."
The myth of the Raiders is prevalent all along the Meldan coast as well as in a wider region outside of Meldan. It is notable in that it has prevailed for at least a century without any considerable variation between region or time periods. All known accounts of the story agree on the following details:
A band of warriors arrive without warning and in complete silence to a village on the coast. As soon as arriving, they kill every person in sight, regardless of age, status or physical condition. Every inhabitant, from the smallest babe to the most wrinkled elder, is slaughtered quickly and efficiently, and the houses are all set aflame. The warriors arrive and leave in longboats from an unknown location, and their armor and weapons are all a matte black color, as though they were covered entirely in soot. They each wear a purple stone in the center of their breastplate. As they attack, they speak no words and take no treasure no matter what riches hide in the village. They attack several villages in the same region in quick succession, then become inactive for some time.
A single detail varies between different accounts of the Raiders: in some accounts, it is said that the raiders occasionally take prisoners, dragging near-dead bodies with them into their boats. However, most accounts claim that no survivors are left nor taken. In fact, all reported stories about the Raiders are said to be made by people who happened to witness the incident from afar, for example those who live in neighboring villages.
Although the Raiders are widely considered to be a myth, reports of sightings have been made at irregular intervals for at least the last century. Generally, rumors of Raider activity tend to flourish intensely in an area for a few months or up to a year, then die down for a few years before resurfacing in a different region. Some believe that the myth of the Raiders is used as a scapegoat to cover up the crimes by other groups, or to explain senseless violence between one village and its neighbors.
The story of the Raiders has become such an ingrained part of Meldan culture that several idiomatic expressions have formed around them, and the black armor has become a symbol of mindless evil in the area. Additionally, a chase-and-catch style game where on group of children, acting as Raiders, try to catch another group is found in many places in the region, with some variation in exact rules and gameplay.