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The Talons (/ ðə tælɑːnz / (Aeillan: / nýchi orníou /, Gallega: / garas roxas /, Reformed Leandran: / tepo:tzmálchu:alxutɪl /))

Νύχι ορνίου / Παρρας Ροχας

The Talons, sometimes referred to in certain languages as the Red Claws, or the Blade, is a large loosely organized confederacy of pirates operating in the Tealestrian Sea and Yulan Ocean. The Talons are well known for extreme aggression and brutality, being far quicker to shoot first as well as actively and eagerly participating in the slave trade, only forgoing the enslavement of their prisoners in exchange for a truly enormous ransom. They are also well known for actively seeking out and engaging other pirates, attacking them far more often than other pirate group in the Tealestrian Sea, and perhaps even more so than any of the reavers operating out of Jorgmark. They are suspected to be affiliated with the Brotherhood the Wave a religious cult operating out of the town of Valecina with a reputation for ritual sacrifice but is otherwise shrouded in great mystery.   The Talons are an extremely loosely organized lot, with no established leader. Instead they are vaguely organized and led by the "Brethren Court" a cabal of the most important powerful and influential captains in the Talons, who generally set the wider strategic goals of the organization. Underneath these major captains are the rest of the ships that comprise the Talon fleet, who largely are only involved so much as to avoid hostile contact with other Talons. The only real marks of office in the Talons are is the symbol of the Talon sewn directly into the shirts of Talons, or made into armbands or badges, and a secondary flag that is usually flown underneath the Captian's flag and is used to identify Talons to outsiders and other Talons.   The Talons are widely seen as especially ruthless and monstrous pirates, and a scourge of the high seas. As a somewhat organized fleet of pirates, the Talons are seen as particularly dangerous, and are hunted ruthlessly by navies and the larger merchant companies. They are only very loosely held together however, and various rivalries have been exploited by savy authorities or rivals, and this has resulted in the Talons being seen as much less of a threat than the somewhat smaller, but much more organized Black Fleet led by the De Souzas.

Public Agenda

The Talon are very clear in their objectives. As pirates, their primary objective is to make money, which they make through smuggling, piracy, and eager participation in the international slave trade. As a loosely affiliated pirate confederacy, they do not really have the ability to pursue any other goals as a group, however, individual captains may pursue their other goals. Individual captains have independent agendas other than the pure pursuit of profit, indeed many are members of the Brotherhood of the Wave, and will often capture people for use in the Brotherhood's rituals. Many more have petty rivalries with other pirate captains. Usually these are contained to outsider captains, but sometimes blood feuds can be carried out within the Talons, despite efforts by what passes for leadership to contain violence to non-Talon groups.


Given the disorganization of the Talons it is hard to ascertain an exact count of their assets. It is broadly estimated that at any given time, roughly one hundred fifty ships fly the Talon's banner. This would make the Talons the largest single fleet of pirates in the known world, and behind only the Leandris Company and major maritime states for pure ship counts. In reality however, most ships in Talon hands are relatively small and lightly armed, and the fractious nature of the organization makes it virtually an impossibility for this entire fleet to come together for a single action. Indeed, with many petty rivalries between them, it'd be difficult to muster a flotilla of more than twenty or so vessels for anything other than a dire emergency. Rather the size of the Talons is used primarily as a scare tactic for isolated merchants.


The overall founding of the Talons is largely a mystery. However it is believed to have occurred shortly after the seizure of Valecina by pirates. The Talons initially were a small and insular group, and most believe that the Talons were acting directly as a militant arm for the Brotherhood of the Waves. For several years Talon ships were first and foremost interested in capturing people rather than objects, and a great many of their prisoners wound up sacrificed by the Brotherhood. Over time however, the Talons began to grow, and grow rapidly as many captains seeking strength in numbers, and of less than noble character turned to this sinister organization. Almost a hundred captains had joined the Talons by the dawn of the 25th century. With the size increase however, came a dilution in purpose, Talons became much more broadly piratical in nature, though the culture of the Talons prevented any softening of tactics. Indeed, the Talons retained their reputation as some of the most brutal pirates in the known world. Growth for the Talons slowed to a crawl in recent years, as infighting between the captains of the confederacy exploded. This necessitated the formation of a "Bretheren Court" composed of the most prominent leaders of the Talons, who put together some rules limiting conflict between the Talons.
Founding Date
Unknown, after 2000
Illicit, Front
Alternative Names
The Red Claws, The Blades

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Cover image: Worldbuilding Summer Camp '22 Banner by World Anvil Team
Character flag image: Scar PNG by Unknown


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