The Pirate's War
The Pirate's War
After the war, the authorities had little success dealing with pirates. The reef that underlies the Drowned Isle had claimed many ships, and a few intrepid pirate captains were already operating from among the wrecks on occasion. Outlaws by trade and inclination—even from the relatively permissive society of the Cove—these buccaneers laughed at the attempts of the righteous to eliminate them. They laughed still harder at the idea that they could be unwitting cats paws of darker forces. “The greatest evil I fear is running out of rum!” the pirate captain Elltior Spanhammer famously claimed. They were wrong, of course.
As the reef expanded and claimed more ships, more and more captains began setting up caches and repair areas on the dead hulks. Soon they started dividing the growing “island” into territories and finally established permanent bases. Renamed the Drowned Isle, the reef and its wrecks became a home and a haven of lawlessness. Obeying the captains was the only iron-clad rule. Naturally, then, those individuals looking to use the sailors for greater evils had an easy time of it. Divisions soon developed and deepened between those actively aiding the Dark Consul and those simply enjoying a life of pillaging the seas. By the time those captains who cared about such distinctions noticed, it was already too late.
The Pirate’s War lasted sporadically for nearly twenty years. Most landlubbers had no notion of the violence conducted not far off shore until the whole affair had ended. Merchants, ship captains, and coastal patrols would occasionally find wrecks and drowned crews, and they noted that piracy had appreciably decreased, but that was it. The authorities suspected something was happening, of course, but they had no proof. One morning in spring, the so-called Seven Dark Captains showed up chained together, in manacles that neutralized their magic, on the steps of the Knights of Crystalia chapter house in Areals. With them was a note signed by the infamous captain Gallwulf Seacutter. “Thus do we deal with traitors to the Goddess,” it said, and named the Seven. Piracy resumed after that, but at a much lower rate and with far less cruelty.
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