Humans of the Maritanis
|Pirates are most often found sailing the Maritanis but can also make their homes on the islands or the coastal villages of Ga'leah.|
In Ga'leah, Pirates are sometimes considered the 'criminals' of the Maritanis by land dwellers and Merkind
alike. However, they are, in fact, a culture of maritime humans who worship the Goddess of the Sea
and were blessed with the ability to call the world above the waves their home. The Pirate Kingdom is recognized by the Pantheon
, with the Pirate King being a man accepted by the Coming Tide as a suitable leader for the kingdom.
Pirates are typically found on the open ocean but sometimes take homes on land as well, either in coastal villages or on the islands off the coast of Ga'leah, many of which are claimed by the Pirates as part of their kingdom. They are typically considered a plague upon the land-based kingdoms of Ga'leah especially those with navies, large fishing populations, and who depend upon maritime travel for the purposes of trade. Most often, the pirates exact a 'tax' upon any vessel on the oceans and those who either refuse or are unable to pay the tax live to regret it.
During the Blight many Pirates died and many Pirate ships were lost. Those that survived were grounded until the Ocean Blight receded. Now, they think it is safe to return to the seas but are likely to find that there is a new horror awaiting them.
Pirates were first recognized by the Coming Tide
shortly after the creation of humanity
. Unlike most of the Fae
who tried to tamper with the oceans using their magic, the humans seemed content to enjoy the bounty of her creation and praise her for its wonders. For this reason, she was much more apt to accept them as both denizens of the ocean and as worshipers.
One man was brave enough to venture into the temple of the Coming Tide and pray for a sign of her favor. He was rewarded with a rare appearance by Lyrielle who promised him several things in return for his appreciation of her domain and devotion to worshiping her.
The first was the opportunity to call the world above the ocean waves his home. He would not face her wrath for trespassing on the oceans so long as tributes were made to the Coming Tide. The second was a ship of her own creation. There is a superstition that the Pirate King's ship has a soul of its own and that the ship itself will eventually rebel against any who try to usurp the Pirate King's throne, but there is no documented proof of this ever occurring. The Pirate King's vessel is renamed by each King who takes the throne. The last Pirate King, Captain Flint, named the ship the Walrus after his favorite seagoing animal. After Flint's murder, the ship was renamed the Jolly Roger by Long John Silver who renamed himself Captain Hook at the same time. The third gift bestowed upon the first Pirate King was the magical Treasure Island along with the mystical Compass and Sextant which allow the Pirate King to locate Treasure Island wherever it may be in the sea.
Pirates are known far and wide for living however they wish but there are still laws which they all follow.
- Obey the Pirate King for he is blessed by the God of the Ocean.
- Desertion in battle is punishable by death.
- Every ship must give a portion of their profits to the Pirate King or risk excommunication which can include but is not limited to banishment, shunning, or shaming.
- Mutiny is punishable by death.
- Any pirate may request that their crimes be taken before the Pirate King for final judgment.
The Coming Tide
All pirates worship the Goddess of the Ocean, The Coming Tide. She is seen as many things to them but most commonly a mother and, on occasion, a lover of sorts. Praying to her provides them with protection on the seas although many ask for blessings in multiple things from a winning hand in a game of cards while on shore leave to having a successful raid or expedition. If a pirate finds themselves further inland, they will still try to remain close to a body of water such as a river or stream as an act of superstition.
With the Coming Tide gone many of the Pirate Kingdom are having a crisis of faith. It is crucial to them that a new God or Goddess of the Sea is found soon. They attribute much of the horror in the oceans to the lack of sea deity.
Ascension to the Throne
When the Pirate King dies, he passes on his legacy to his heir. Given that Pirates are not known for their monogamy in most cases, there may be several possibilities from more than one mother. In these cases, the heir is the eldest child that the King recognizes as his own. Before his passing, a King may find the oldest to be unfit to rule and the next in line then becomes the heir.
Unlike most kingdoms, however, an heir is not simply given their throne. First, they must find the altar of The Coming Tide to make their claim. The location is either given to them by the previous King or found with the Compass and Sextant that are always in his possession should he pass unexpectedly. After reaching the altar, the heir must then state their claim. It is then up to The Coming Tide to either approve or disapprove through signs of their own, whether it is appearing before them, an elemental change of their doing or some other magical display.
If the claim is accepted, that person shall become the new Pirate King and soon move the location of Treasure Island to one of their choosing along with the altar for The Coming Tide. Should the claim be disputed, they will not have any claim to the throne and further attempts to take it for themselves will lead to grave consequences.
Nobility can only be bestowed by the current Pirate King. Essentially, Captains are Lords in the Pirate Kingdom and through the ceremony in which they receive their title, are blessed by their patron God of the Ocean. All are given a ship to command which serves as the equivalent of land (although in rare cases, land might be given as well in the form of an island or in a coastal town on which they have a strong hold). Captains have the ability to choose their own Quartermasters and the title suggests that they are recommended to have their own ship someday.
Captains who try to claim to be a pirate without receiving the title from the Pirate King are a nuisance to the Kingdom. If caught, either by another ship, the King or even the God of the Ocean, their ship will be attacked and likely sunk. It is an incredible insult to sail under the title of Pirate without the blessing of the patron God of the Pirates, and is not tolerated.
To learn more about the succession of Captainhoods in the Pirate Kingdom, please see Nobility.
Numerous Pirates, particularly older ones, believe that it is bad luck to bring a woman on board a ship whether it is in port or at sea. This stems from men fighting over who would get to lie with her and causing overall tension among the men on board. It is sometimes suggested, however, that this is due to the jealousy of the Coming Tide who considers the Captains of the Pirate Kingdom to be her 'lovers'. Many think that a woman's presence will bring about harsh storms, fruitless raids and expeditions as well as mental illness. Proof has yet to be seen.
It is often considered good luck to have a cat on board. Not only do they help to keep down the pests that might find their way on the ship, but an animal companion can be helpful in keeping the crew company while they are away at sea and far from their families.
The Death of the Pirate King
During the early onset of the Blight, Long John Silver plotted a mutiny with many of the other Pirates on board Captain Flint's ship The Walrus. Capain Flint, the current Pirate King, was killed in the onslaught. The Compass needed to locate Treasure Island was stolen by loyal pirate Billy Bones while Flint himself succeeded in throwing the Sextant overboard. Lost at sea, the Sextant found it's way to Peter Pan in the Neverwood Forest. The Compass, however, was given to Captain Flint's unknown bastard son, Jim Hawkins (birthname: Eric Flint) just before Long John Silver found Billy Bones and murdered him.
Since the death of Captain Flint, the Pirate King's ship has been renamed the Jolly Roger and Long John Silver has renamed himself Captain Hook.
There are currently at least three individuals hoping to vie for the Pirate throne: Captain Hook, Jason of the Argo, and Jim Hawkins (aka Eric). Treasure Island is also sought by the Powhatan, Moana, to restore the Heart of Lyrielle and repopulate the seas with life.