Glimpses of adventure
Islands of the Captains' Table
The five main islands of the Captains’ Table are located just off the east coast of the Obakasek Jungle. The pirate towns there can harbor anywhere from zo to zoo ships, depending upon the dock. These large islands each have an elevation of just over 1,50o feet, and have a total shared population of over 3,000 pirates working on 15o ships. In order from northernmost to southernmost, these five islands are known as Celain, Galaun, Oalakeer, Kulaarac and Boeleon. Each town takes the name of the island it is built on.
Each town is walled, with 20-foot-tall by 20-foot-wide towers that can house up to 60 warriors during a siege. These towers are always stocked with grain and supplies. The two gates into each city are zo feet across and to feet tall; there are three doors, the first an iron portcullis, the second a pair of wooden double doors and the third another portcullis. Above each gate is a murder hole, well supplied with oil and pitch. The gates are guarded but never closed, except on rare occasions – such as when the town leader orders a lockdown to search for a particular spy or thief. Each island is also armed with catapults overlooking the harbor. The pirates not only raid Reanaaria Bay, but other seas as well.
80o total. The humans are of primarily Reanaarian blood. Other humanoids, mostly dwarves and halflings, make up about 5% of the population.
At a Glance
The houses and other sturdy buildings of this small walled town consist primarily of wood, blending quite naturally into the coast. Boeleon (latitude z6°3o’N, longitude 7°2•D’E) stands on two levels, sitting in a cove on the island’s western coast. The docks run alongside the water’s edge, while the warehouses and homes are scattered almost randomly along the beach (well above high tide, of course). Simple dirt paths crawl and wind along the buildings, connecting the houses and other buildings to one another in what appears to be the most roundabout method possible. The only true road in the town runs, naturally, along the docks.
The inhabitants of Boeleon are quieter than most pirates, and surprisingly peaceful. A rowdy stranger entering Boeleon, even one bringing swag sure to fetch a good price, quickly gets the feeling he would more welcome elsewhere.
Government: In Boeleon, efficiency is everything. A sect of the Landlord, led by Leezaar Nae, imposes its ideals upon the inhabitants, and refuses to let the typical attitude of pirate crews interfere with the efficient running of the town. Some rowdy behavior is expected, of course, but those who disrupt the town’s profit-making activities will be strongly punished. For example, the level of punishment for murder of a prostitute, a carpenter or scribe is based on how much wealth the victim routinely contributed to the town’s economy. Punishment is physical, though the clerics also levy fines if the offender owns anything worth taking.
Economy: Other than Aasaer, Boeleon is the main port with which the pirates of Reanaaria Bay do business. Its prominent leaders and clerics often sponsor raids and other undertakings, and its warehouses carry much cloth, metal, salted food and other goods. Boeleon’s main source of those goods that cannot be produced locally comes from the Obakasek Peninsula, such as fruit harvested from the jungle edges.
Military: Between 5 and zo guards (chainmail, shield and longsword), under the command of former pirate Raisor Loorot, patrol the town. The amount of patrolling soldiers depends upon how many pirate ships are in port. As the islands are part of an isolated island chain off the Obakasek coast, unwelcome outsiders rarely discover them, and so the guards’ duties are mostly limited to protecting the businesses of the town.
The Friends of the Coin cell operating out of Boeleon employs several mercenaries to guard the Coinmaster’s temple and to deal with any unexpected problems. Currently, there are ten of these guards (seven human, three half-hobgoblin), all wearing chain shirts and armed with longswords, shortspears, and large wooden shields.
Temples: The primary religion in Boeleon is the Parish of the Prolific Coin. Its cleric, a red-haired Kalamaran named Reserus Mopiter, is an important figure in the town, both religiously and economically. Reserus owns several taverns, as well as the largest lumberyard. Lesser shrines include the Home Foundation, the Temple of the Three Strengths and the House of Knives.
Mages & Sages: Boeleon holds no attraction for scholars and little more for wizards. With the exception of minor adepts and cantrip-casting scribes, most spellcasters sign on to passing pirate ships, and are only found in the town itself when their ships are in dock.
Underworld: The Thieves’ Guild has a small presence in Boeleon, mostly robbing warehouses and pilfering crates from unguarded ships. The Deep Pocket Guild, as they are known, fears crossing paths with Leezaar Nae, known to be unwavering in his persecution of thieves.
Interesting Sites: On the southern side of Boeleon stands an empty warehouse owned by Reserus Mopiter. While Reserus’ other warehouses stand full to bursting, he keeps this one empty and will answer no questions about it. Nighttime passersby have reported seeing strange lights visible through the cracks in the walls, but so far little else is known. Reserus’ temper quickly showed that those who pestered him about the warehouse would soon have cause to regret it. The last pirate to do so has not been seen in weeks.
Special Notes: A small two-story establishment known as the Drunken Monkey provides little in the way of food, but is known for one of the widest selections of drink (and information) that Boelon has to offer. The prices are cheap, and many sailors flock here. This tavern attracts both the poor sailor who just wants to have a cheap drink as well as their officers, who desire to drink a bit of the “home brew,” and can afford the luxury. It also attracts a third kind of pirate customer, one that desires to seem like nothing more than a common drunk. Such spies are usually here to listen in on conversations that may let slip information on cargo and travel plans; thus they do as little as possible to draw attention to themselves.
Population: 30o mostly Reanaarian humans, with a few gnomes and halflings.
At a Glance: Celain (latitude 27°3o’N, longitude 7o’E) is the northernmost island town in the Captain’s Table chain. Though it is smaller and far less important than others in this island chain, it is also fairly peaceful, thanks largely to its leader, Taomaar.
Government: Like all of the pirate towns in Reanaaria Bay, an appointee of the Captains’ Table of Thirteen rules Celain. The current leader is a man known as Taomaar the Peglegged (NE male human War 4). Taomaar is a very old man, and his steward¬ship of Celain was intended to be something of a “sunset posting,” a reward for decades of loyal service to the Captains’ Table. Much to the surprise of just about everyone, Taomaar has turned Celain into, if not a profitable town, then at least a prospering one.
Economy: Celain is by necessity a mostly self-sufficient settlement, with some items imported by passing ships. A few wheat fields provide grain for bread, but most of the town’s livelihood comes from fishing the waters. Since it connects to no important shipping runs, imported goods of any sort are a rarity in Celain — even the pirates seldom stop here to offload their swag. After all, where would the townspeople sell it?
Military: Celain has no military to speak of, though some 30o able-bodied men who are fair hands with club or wood axe or longbow serve as a kind of informal militia should the town come under attack.
Temples: Though most of the villagers simply pray wherever it is convenient, or at best at a small, personal shrine in their homes, Celain does house a temple to the Coinmaster in the basement of the town governor’s home. This “temple,” however, is less a place of worship than an office for the small group of Friends of the Coin who operate out of Celain. Maps depicting major trade routes across the Bay all but cover the trappings of the church, and rather than an altar, a large desk dominates the small temple. Since Celain is a small and relatively unimportant outpost, a cote full of carrier pigeons occupies one wall for transmitting messages rapidly rather than by ship.
Mages & Sages: Vanoor (NG male human Exp 4) serves as the town’s spiritual advisor. While he possesses no clerical spells or magic items, he is a skilled healer and knows a good deal about history, especially that of Reanaaria Bay. Vanoor quietly opposes the operation of the Friends of the Coin, but he knows that he has no power to evict them, especially since they have the support of the town governor, Taomaar. Though he would like to see them gone, Vanoor tolerates the Friends of the Coin as a necessary evil. Should the right band of adventurers come through town, however, he might seek to enlist their aid in ejecting the Friends of the Coin and the appointed governor. Obviously, the Captains’ Table would not stand for such rebel-lion, even in one of its smallest villages.
Saari (N female human Drd 7) is a druid who has recently come to Celain, seeking to find an ancient site of druidic power, the Grove of Kaer Noa. Legends say that the Grove is somewhere in the southern portion of Reanaaria Bay or the western edge of the Lopoliri Mountains. Saari began dreaming about the Grove of Kaer Noa when she was only a child, first beginning her druidic training. Since then, she has dedicated her life to locating it and restoring its power as a place of druidic worship. She remains ignorant of the existence of the Friends of the Coin, but might turn against them if she can be convinced that they are a threat to the natural balance.
Underworld: Celain’s primary purpose is to serve as a hidden information center for the Friends of the Coin. Reports from agents across the Bay eventually find their way to Celain. These reports are then collated by the leader of Celain’s cell of the Friends of the Coin, a golden halfling named Randoo (LE male halfling Rog to). Once Randoo has determined which, if any, targets reported are worth raiding, he sends a monthly report to Mianu at the Friends of the Coin’s headquarters in Aasaer. Being a small village, Celain has little in the way of organized thieves’ guilds or other criminal organizations, though Randoo has been known to try his hand at a bit of cat burglary from time to time.
Interesting Sites: Celain is not a town with many inter¬esting sites, but adventurers passing through may wish to examine the work of the local bowyer, Mori. Mori’s shop is in the market square in the north of Celain, and his waxed bowstrings are widely regarded by local farmers and hunters for their ability to stand up to the elements.
Special Notes: The Grove of Kaer Noa does indeed exist, hidden about 25 miles northwest of Celain, where the edge of the Obakasek Jungle meets the flatlands below the Masau Hills. It is a small ring of trees approximately one half mile across, with a massive boulder in the precise center. This stone is used as an altar, and is covered with hundreds of runes and sacred symbols. While within the grove, all druid spells cast are effected as by the Empower Spell metamagic feat at no cost to the caster. Spells cast from outside the perimeter of the grove that take effect inside it are not effected, but spells cast from within the grove that take effect outside it are. For example, a druid standing inside the grove could cast call lightning on a troll standing outside the grove and gain the benefit, but if the troll were inside the grove and the druid were outside, the spell would not be Empowered. In addition to this effect, any spell-caster attempting to cast a spell that deals in negative energy (such as animate dead or any of the cause wounds series of spells) suffers a -I effective caster level penalty.
Population: too mostly Reanaarian humans and around 300 hobgoblins, half-hobgoblins and half-ores.
At a Glance: This small island town (latitude 275N, longi¬tude 7°5’E) has a mixture of rough wooden and stone buildings, with hard-packed earthen paths between the buildings. In comparison to the other island towns, it is little more than a small dockyard with several houses and many inns, taverns and brothels. Satisfying a pirate’s darkest desires is Galaun’s sole reason for existence, and this it does very well.
Government: Patukhar Grond, a hobgoblin pirate, rules the town with little care for what happens in it, provided that it does not trespass on his own enjoyment (or the varying percentage he collects from all island businesses). The Patukhar enforces his will by a small band of loyal hobgoblin guards that travel with him through the dusty streets.
Economy: The main economy of Galaun is based on the
income from visiting sailors, with most of the coinage arriving in the taverns and brothels, then making its way to the island’s other businesses. The town imports almost all of its food and drink, with the exception of small subsistence crops. The shipwrights of Galaun are quite poor, and most pirates use them only as a last resort.
Patukhar takes a 5% cut from all businesses on the island, provided they have not offended him or tried to cheat him in some manner. Those that have might pay up to 50%!
Military: Aside from Patukhar’s personal bodyguards, only a small military force of 20 armed hobgoblins guards the island. As there is little to guard against, these soldiers spend most of their time harassing others (mostly humans) and taxing those who come through the gates. Provided that he receives his percentage, and that the soldiers’ behaviors do not cause the stream of visitors to decrease, Patukhar could not care less.
Temples: The House of Vice, the Church of Chance, the Order of the Passionate One, and the House of Scorn have the largest followings in Galaun, though there are no official temples, only small shrines.
As they receive their tithes directly from the brothels and gambling dens, the House of Vice and the Church of Chance are the most powerful churches in Galaun. Of course, the shrines are not exempt from Patukhar’s taxes, but their creative scribes are often able to manipulate the accounting in favor of the clergy.
Mages & Sages: Wizards in Galaun are rare, except for those that come ashore to take advantage of the town’s passions. As they are often prime targets of thieves and Galaun’s soldiers, spellcasters typically disguise themselves as pirates or ruffians.
Azzak, a resident Kors hobgoblin sorcerer, is one of the excep¬tions. A member of Patukhar’s personal guard and the most powerful spellcaster in town, Azzak flaunts his abilities, wearing clothes decorated with arcane symbols and carrying a black wooden staff with a mace-like head.
Underworld: The taverns are full of tales of buried treasures located on the Obakasek Peninsula, hidden there by long-dead pirates and buccaneers. Many tavern owners make a tidy supplement to their normal income by selling recently “discov¬ered” maps to naïve young sailors.
There is little theft in Galaun. Not because there are few thieves, but because the thieves are also in town for pleasure and relaxation, not work. The few thieves that reside in Galaun typically make their livings by rolling drunks and swiping small crates from docked ships.
Interesting Sites: A charred building with a sagging roof stands just outside the town’s northern wall. An old sign hangs above the door, upon which lies barely legible Reanaarese reading “Kopar’s House of Delights. Rates: two coppers to ten gold per visit.” This long unused brothel was built, some five years past, by a Reanaarian who hoped to avoid Patukhar’s taxes by operating outside the town wall. Patukhar, in a seeming display of leniency, ignored the brothel until the owner had sunk all his money into it, and had it operating at peak efficiency. Patukhar then had all the doors barred from the outside and the building set afire.
Azzak and his slowly growing circle of adepts now use the building as a meeting place. Soon, Azzak believes, he will be able to strike at Patukhar and take control of the town for himself. All he needs, he believes, are some strong swordsmen to assist him, but he fears that all of the town’s residents will betray him. Azzak is currently keeping a close eye on visitors to the town in hopes that he will find some dupes who will assist him and, of course, take the fall for him should he fail.
Special Notes: Like other towns and cities populated mostly by evil humanoids, such as Shrogga-pravaaz, walking into Galaun does not mean instant death for humans and good-aligned adventurers. It does, however, mean that they cannot rely on authorities to protect them if they are offended or threat¬ened, nor are they likely to be able to rely on benevolent clerics who might cast life-saving spells on them without substantial monies paid up front.
Population: 90o predominantly Reanaarian pirates, with halflings and elves being far and away the most common humanoids.
At a Glance: Kulaarac (latitude z6°3o’N, longitude 7°5’E) is the capital city of the Reanaarian pirate empire (if a band of lawless cutthroats can be said to have any real seat of govern-ment), and sits on the largest of the five pirate islands. It is here that the Captains’ Table of Thirteen meets to discuss and vote upon matters important to the sea dogs of the Bay. It is also here that the Friends of the Coin sect coordinate their vast network of spies and informants across the region – and even across Tellene itself.
Government: As the seat of power for the Captains’ Table of Thirteen, Kulaarac is nominally ruled by consensus of the Table’s members, who act as a sort of criminal city council. While this may be true on paper, however, the truth of the matter is that, much like the entirety of the Reanaarian pirate empire, Kulaarac is ruled with an iron fist by Kolaar Swiftstrike. Although Kulaarac has very few laws, they are enforced with a fascist authority; Kolaar does not tolerate the slightest challenge to his power. This creates some odd legal quagmires that often baffle outsiders. For example, it is perfectly legal to murder someone and relieve them of their purse in Kulaarac. After all, if the pirate in question really wanted to keep his money or his life, he would have defended himself better!. However, it is a crime punishable by death to knowingly cheat one of the dockside merchants. Kulaarac’s economy depends entirely upon trade, and if the merchants go, the gold flow available to Captain Swiftstrike and his organization would be seriously reduced.
Economy: Kulaarac’s economy is almost exclusively derived from the buying and selling of swag and booty taken by Reanaarian pirates on their cruises. Merchants of all stripes crowd the docks, eager to appraise and purchase anything from grain shipments to rare Fhokki jewelry or Kalamaran weapons and armor. These merchants take their illegally purchased goods and, through various underworld contacts throughout Tellene, carefully re-sell the pirate cargoes so that they appear to come from legitimate mercantile sources. The bottom-rung merchants might only distribute their black market goods through one or two fences, leaving a trail of evidence that dedicated investigators could follow with minimal exertion. However, the most skillful and influential merchants channel purchases through so many different contacts across the world that only very powerful divinations would have a chance at discovering their origins.
Apart from the pirate fences that crowd the harbor, the residents of Kulaarac support themselves by fishing the waters around the islands. Occasionally, particularly brave (or foolish) hunters sail to the Obakasek Jungle to hunt dangerous and exotic beasts for skins and other trophies.
Military: Being several centuries old has given Kolaar Swiftstrike a keenly-developed sense of paranoia, which extends to the fear that any standing military might grow ambitious and attempt to overthrow him. As such, Kulaarac has little in the way of a permanent army. Should the town ever come under attack, Kolaar’s formidable magical prowess combined with the 3o-6o pirate ships that are in port (or at least the general vicinity) would be a powerful deterrent to any would-be pirate hunters.
To keep order within the city itself, Kolaar has created an order of guards called the Ebon Strike. Dressed in forbidding black uniforms and armed with truncheons (treat as a club) and longswords, these low- to mid-level fighters, rogues, and fighter/rogues have been specially hand picked and subjected to a regimen of conditioning, both mystical and mundane, that renders them almost completely loyal to Kolaar Swiftstrike himself. In game terms, the Ebon Strike all have the Iron Will feat and will not accept bribes or other attempts to subvert their loyalty. This is not a free feat—the Ebon Strike must select it as one of his or her level-based feats.
Temples: As the seat of power for the Friends of the Coin and the Captains’ Table of Thirteen, the Coinmaster’s temples are obviously quite popular in Kulaarac. In fact, aside from the main temple in the center of the city, there are no less than six smaller shrines to the Coinmaster scattered throughout the city (not counting the countless personal altars in individual citizens’ homes). The House of Knives, the Order of Agony, and the Temple of the Stars all have strong presences in Kulaarac as well. Rumors speak of a small cult of the Halls of the Valiant seeking to undermine and destroy the Friends of the Coin and the Captains’ Table of Thirteen. So far, however, the Ebon Strike has been unable to locate any hint of such a cult, despite combing the city dozens of times.
Mages & Sages: Kolaar Swiftstrike and Mianu, described earlier in this chapter, both make their homes here. Among the dockside merchants, dozens of self-proclaimed sages and experts of antiquities seek to bilk gullible pirates out of their booty. Kolaar’s laws make no ban on merchants cheating pirates – after all, where else would they go? For this reason, many captains seek to hire on pursers with the ability to appraise captured swag.
Among these marketplace charlatans, however, are a few genuinely talented appraisers and examiners whose work is
well-respected throughout the Bay area, even by legitimate
merchants. One of these is Rounea (LE female half-elf Exp 7), a half-elf woman with a near encyclopedic knowledge of all
manner of precious valuables ranging from tapestries to golden
idols. The price for her services is extraordinary (75% of the total value of anything appraised). Those wishing to have their swag
reviewed by Rounea must also first have it checked by one of
her three lesser appraisers to ensure that it is worth at least t,000 gp (Rounea herself will provide a more precise estimation). The
process is arduous and expensive, but merchants throughout Reanaaria Bay and its surrounding regions recognize Rounea’s wax sigil, and will treat any price with her seal affixed as a reasonable one.
Underworld: Kulaarac has little in the way of an under¬world. It is difficult for any aspiring crime lord to establish himself as a criminal kingpin in a town where something is either one hundred percent legal or punishable by death.
Aside from the usual pirate activity, the only real “under¬world” of note is a small cult of the Halls of the Valiant, which
operates covertly out of an abandoned warehouse. These noble
priests seek to break the iron grip of the Captains’ Table of Thirteen in general and Kolaar Swiftstrike in particular.
Champion Sutoor (LG male human Clr to) and Sir Daarlain Lorot (LG male human Pal 8) lead them. At any given time, the cult consists of between five and ten clerics and paladins of lower levels, though the individual members change with some frequency.
Interesting Sites: As with any port town, the dockside market is the most interesting location in Kulaarac. Here,
characters can buy virtually anything they could possible desire:
sailcloth merchants and food sellers sit cheek-by-jowl with poison makers and assassins for hire. In fact, just about the only
commodity not often found in Kulaarac’s marketplace is slaves. On the whole, slavery is more common among Svimohzish pirates and their ilk to the west.
Special Notes: Although Kulaarac is the seat of the Captains’ Table of Thirteen and the Friends of the Coin, it should be noted
that the vast majority of the town’s inhabitants have no idea that
this is the case. The ruck and run of the town (the fishermen, shipwrights, and the like) know only that they live in a very
dangerous place, and that they must be able to defend
themselves if they want to survive. Even a large percentage of Reanaarian pirates know Kulaarac as just another pirate town,
which is exactly how Kolaar likes it. Let any pirate hunters and would-be heroes focus their attention on targets like Aasaer, which certainly looks like a more likely spot for the Captains’ Table of Thirteen’s seat of power.
Population: 70o humans of mostly Reanaarian descent, plus some halfling, dwarf and elven families.
At a Glance: Most streets are hard packed dirt covered with gravel, while the large dock and shipyard on the western side of the island is sturdily constructed of wood. The main road leading to the Queen’s Keep (or so the town’s largest building is
112 called) is paved with cobblestones. The buildings are primarily
wood, though the largest typically have stone foundations as well. Despite its pleasant appearance, Oalakeer (latitude 2.6°50’N, longitude 7°5’E) is home to just as much violence and vice as the city of Aasaer or the pleasure island of Galaun.
Government: Oalakeer is ruled by Daaliana Paar, the first female so appointed by the Captains’ Table of Thirteen. The illegitimate daughter of a Reanaarian prostitute and a Brandobian pirate named Corvel, Daaliana used her beauty and knowledge of the streets of Aasaer where she grew up to turn herself into one of the richest (and most dangerous) female pirates alive today. However, Daaliana was posted to the town not because of her own abilities; her rule is due solely to her money and influence.
Economy: Local food and lumber from the Obakasek Jungle, as well as looted goods brought in by pirate ships, are in adequate supply. The chief export of the town, however, is the fine rope made from vines found in the jungle. The chief imports are strong drink, loot and other goods taken from the Bay’s many merchant ships.
Military: The town guard maintains some slight order, though the only laws truly enforced are those that protect the merchants (particularly those that Daaliana has sponsored) and other wealthy. There are six teams of five guards, each wearing chainmail, a metal helm and carrying a shortsword. They are not equipped to deal with well-armed foes, and leave the defense of the island waters to the pirates.
Temples: Many evil and neutral religions exist within the town walls, though only the major faiths have actual temples. The most popular temples are the House of Knives and the Temple of Strife, which have the largest temples in town. The Way of the Berserk, the Temple of the Three Strengths and the Home Foundation also operate small temples or shrines. As in most pirate towns, the House of Vice operates brothels, while the Church of Chance oversees gambling dens, and the Parish of the Prolific Coin has a hand in it all
Mages & Sages: Nurkam Bortar, a golden hailing and 6th-level wizard, makes magical trinkets and potions for sale, while Raxamel Tesit, a female rock gnome, creates spell scrolls for use primarily by treasure seekers and ship mages. Naturally, her scrolls focus primarily on divination spells.
Underworld: Members of the Secret Order of the Blue Salamander occasionally put to shore in Oalakeer, often disguising themselves as pirates or buccaneers so as to avoid suspicion. They use the city as a meeting place with operatives from the other islands, where they gather information about everything occurring in the Bay area.
Of all the pirate islands, the Thieves’ Guild is perhaps strongest here. The Silver Shadows, as they are known, are actually sponsored by Daaliana herself! By arranging for her guards to look the other way, and for only a mere 5% of the proceeds, the Silver Shadows are assured that they will not be prosecuted. Merchants that pay Daaliana a monthly fee can be assured that they will not be robbed — at least, not by the Silver Shadows.
Interesting Sites: The largest building in town is known as the Queen’s Keep, and is the home of town ruler Daaliana Paar. A statue of this prideful woman also stands in the center of the nearby market square. The cold chill the statue emits, even on the warmest days, causes most citizens to give it a wide berth.
Special Notes: Unknown intruders in the dead of night are defacing Daaliana’s statue, as well as the walls of her home. The evidence seems to point towards drunken pirates, but the defacing is actually being conducted by a small group of Blackfoot Society members recently arrived in Oalakeer.