The Pirate's Tribunal
The light of the full moon struggled to peak through the heavy blanket of black clouds smothering the sky, providing occasional illumination to the crew and passengers of Indemnity. The caravel had dropped her sails and the sloshing of oars in murky water was the only sound that pierced the night. The fat merchant's eyes grew wide as, from his position kneeling at the front of the ship, moonlight forced its way through the shadowy veil and suddenly illuminated the growing landmass before them. His breath quickened as the ship silently slid into the forest of stone pillars jutting from the bay leading to the now visible marina bristling with vessels; the faint forlorn drums of the Pirate's Tribunal drifted toward him on the wind. The fear he'd suppressed thus far set hold in his heart and he looked back to the stern of the boat in panic, to the woman confidently adjusting the great wooden wheel. Her gaze slid down to meet his, her glowing yellow eyes reflecting the moonlight, and her too white teeth flashed a smile that made him strain against his chains ever harder. -Unknown Source
The Pirate's Tribunal is what passes for a form of government in the archipelago known as the Bulwark Isles. It's leadership is made up of the most powerful pirate captains in the Gleaming Sea. The number of recognized members fluctuates, but historically five members have sat at the Table of Piece. These pirate lords use their influence and resources to maintain what little order there is in the Isles, and hold their position only so long as their wit and might can outlast their competitors. Should they overextend their reach or lose enough power and standing, there is always another self-styled pirate lord waiting to take their seat. Not all pirates consider themselves subject to or part of the Pirate's Tribunal, but if you sail the Gleaming Sea you will undoubtedly fall into their territory. If a sailor joins the crew of a captain who follows the ways of the Tribunal, then they are expected to as well. And as that captain gains riches, prestige, and power, so to do they rise in the ranks until they may become an accomplice of the Table members, or even perhaps a member themselves.
The mission of the Pirate's Tribunal is simple: Live free of the mainland governments, bring profit and prosperity to you and yours, and do what can be done to maintain the Free Reign life.
The true extent of wealth and assets of the Pirate's Tribunal is unknown, as no pirate lord will ever admit to the extent of their own horde. There is plenty though, for certain. The members of the Table of Piece are undoubtedly some of the wealthiest people in the world, with multiple ships and crews and safe-houses and fortresses at their command. The rest of the 'organization' is made up of various pirate crews and criminal factions with their own resources. Let it suffice to say that should the various factions of the Bulwark Isles come together beneath the skull and crossbones banner of the Table of Piece and gather at Rookhaven, they would represent the largest navy ever assembled, and quite possibly the richest city state of them all.
Fugitives, freelancers, mercenaries and refugees have set sail to the Bulwark Isles for centuries. Originally the site of a long lost Dwarven and Human city, the perilous coasts and caverns of the islands became a haven for daring pirates and criminals of all sorts. Rumors of riches and magic hidden in the island's forgotten places brought adventurers from all walks of life to the craggy shores. Eventually settlements formed, and a village called Rookhaven sprung up in the ruined white stone memories of the fallen city. Shanty town grew into shanty city as pirates and merchants and people simply seeking a new life arrived throughout the years. No true law and order was ever established, just the march of time chasing out the weak or lonely while the strong gained greater and greater footholds. Eventually the strongest of the pirate captains that called the place home came together in Rookhaven and made a pact. They would not fight to control the land, as the freedom of the seas was what brought them all there in the first place. Thus they would maintain the Free Reign, and keep the extremes of chaos at bay. The Table of Piece was formed, and stands to this day as the only force of judgement in the north seas. It does not take action often, and doesn't need to. But when a force of order needs to be shown, the streets of Rookhaven echo with deep drums, and all are reminded that someone is watching.
Continent of Faneshorn in SenéaThis image depicts Faneshorn, the easternmost continent of the world of Senéa and the focus of much of my writing.
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