Tuesday, May 21
THE SEA KINGSThe Sea Kings are a group of independent warlords who govern trade on the Dragon Sea. Each Sea King commands his or her private armada of ships. Some Sea Kings are legitimate traders and merchants; others are privateers, freebooters, and bounty hunters in the service of the Dragovar. The rest are self-employed explorers, slavers, or pirates.
Thirty-three Sea Kings currently ply the waves, and their goals seldom align. Bitter rivalries among the Sea Kings have been known to escalate into major conflicts on the high seas, impacting trade across the entire world. That said, the Sea Kings of the modern day are somewhat more civilized than their barbaric predecessors. When faced with a common threat, they can present a unified front—at least for a short time. The Sea Kings convene regularly at the city-fortress of Krakenholt to discuss business and various sundry “opportunities.” Even then, such gatherings are usually attended by no more than a dozen Sea Kings. The rest simply can’t be bothered, either because they are at odds or have more pressing business half way around the world.
Very few Sea Kings are willing to swear fealty to the Dragovar of Arkhosia, either because the empire is too corrupt to be trusted or because they believe the empire’s demise is inevitable. Like vultures, they wait to feast on the Dragovar’s succulent, proverbial carcass.
Any sea captain who pledges allegiance to a Sea King gains the instant benefit of a powerful ally as well as some measure of protection against pirates and other threats (provided her ship flies the Sea King’s flag). Unaligned sea captains must often bribe the Sea Kings to safely traverse the seas, lest they be attacked, boarded, pillaged, and sunk.
Most commoners can name upwards of nine Sea Kings based solely on tales recounted in local taverns. Very few people know the names of all thirty-three Sea Kings (save the Sea Kings themselves). The following Sea Kings are among the most prolific:
Sea King Valkroi (Mykel Valkroi): A fair but brutal Sea King endorsed by the Thunder Lords, Valkroi claims to have sailed his flagship to the Elemental Chaos and back.
Sea King Senestrago (Evan Senestrago): Valkroi’s ambitious rival and former shipmate, now a Sea King with one of the largest fleets on the Dragon Sea.
Sea King Kalas (Lorelei Kalas): Also known as the Black Wren of the Kalas, “Lady Lorelei” is good to the captains that serve her loyally and positively vicious to those who cross her.
Sea King Trystoval (Xelior Trystoval): Rivals claim to have killed this half-elf Sea King in battle, yet he lives. With every “death,” he seems to gain more power and influence.
Sea King Deepstaff (Rhone Orlak): The self-proclaimed “wizard of the waves,” Sea King Deepstaff has arguably the fastest fleet on the high seas. His “flagship” isn’t a ship at all, but a floating tower that skims across the surface of the Dragon Sea.
Sea King Firerazor (true name unknown): A charismatic dragonborn exile who fights honorably and proudly, Firerazor has no love for the Dragovar dynasty. His flagship, the Inferno, is considered the most heavily armed and armored ship on the Dragon Sea, capable of sinking entire armadas by itself.
Sea King Mithralstar (Verdigris Mithralstar): An intrepid, swashbuckling dwarf with expensive tastes and vast troves of hidden wealth, Sea King Mithralstar carries a magic horn that summons a terrible sea dragon when blown.
Sea King Eelbeard (Dargus Gragnar): “Eelbeard” is a disgustingly fat, foul-mouthed dwarf with few redeeming qualities other than his appreciation for expensive ale. He’s one of the few Sea Kings who seems at all eager to do business with the Dragovar.
Sea King Zekh’r (Ediv Zekh’r): Zekh’r is a vicious pirate with the uncanny gift of second sight. Many other Sea Kings consider him the bane of their existence, but he always seems to get the better of them. Sea King Mithralstar has an standing bounty on Zekh’r’s head that increases with each passing month.
KrakenholtThe island fortress-town of Krakenholt is where the Sea Kings conduct business and unite against common threats. Some of the more unscrupulous Sea Kings also hide slaves in Krakenholt’s dungeon, counting on the town’s defenses to safeguard their “property.”
AnchordownAnchordown is one of the largest “raft towns” on the Dragon Sea, with a population of over 800 people. In lieu of islands to colonize, the people of Iomandra hit upon the idea of building mobile settlements atop large, interwoven rafts. These floating towns can be taken apart and relocated as needs arise.
Anchordown hasn’t moved in over fifty years, and its rafts are so decrepit and its buildings so ramshackle that the town would likely fall apart if any attempt were made to dismantle it. Like many raft towns, it is overrun with exiles, pirates, and other shady characters wanted by Arkhosian authorities.
The FathomreaverThis legendary cutlass, lost in the Battle of the Roiling Cauldron (1455 DY), is thought to be a gift to the Sea Kings from the goddess Melora herself, granting its wielder command of the ocean. The blade was last held by Sea King Draeken Malios and is sought by every reigning Sea King worth his salt. As a symbol, the Fathomreaver could unite the Sea Kings under one flag if its wielder were powerful enough.
Tuesday, May 21