DOKER - Doker was once a prison of exile for the Feron-Jacobe Empire. The prison has long been abandoned, but many of the prisoners and their decendents still scrape together a meager life there. They have quite a reputation for salvaging from ships that sink or are broken on the many reefs and rocks along the Crimson Coast and The Gates.
The leadership of Doker consists of two older men and a matronly lady. Their hands were gnarled with arthritis and their skin wrinkled like old leather from years of hard work in the sun.
The first is Monto Gelsi, whose dark hair peppered with grey and olive-colored skin suggests he had been born in the island nation of Paralo. It was said he had escaped from the gladiator games there, stowed away on a ship, and eventually settled in Doker.
Secondly, there is Flint Samuels, a native of Doker, born and raised there. His hair is thinning but, even through his age-spots, it was clear his past reputation as a lady's man was true.
And finally there is Gerti of Garmon. She had a hard look about her, and took her name from her origins in the Free City of Garmon. She had come to Doker as a stripper, and established herself over the years as a business woman, and now an elder of the town.
There are small tribal families around Doker, that scrape together a life from the land and salvage operations on ship wrecks. They have some independence from Doker and its leadership, but tend to defer to Doker's leadership on important matters.
Doker and its surrounding tribes aligned themselves with the Grey King soon after he rose to power and the region moved towards war with the world powers.
SKEIR - Skeir is a rough and tumble frontier town with very little law and order in place. It is a town filled with taverns and brothels, to serve the many prospectors and hunters that attempt to make their fortune from the surrounding jungle. The population of Skeir varies widely, and people come and go frequently. A small percentage (upwards of 20%) of the population is utterly criminal, having come to Skeir to avoid prosecution or punishment in other jurisdictions. Many of these criminals are starting over, and attempting to start a new life and find their fortune, like the rest of the population.
The buildings are built of rough wood, the shop signs are roughly hand-painted, the streets are muddy and full of puddles, and there is a definite rustic feel to the town. This rustic nature is counter-posed by the gold and gems that exist in the hills and river valleys outside of Skeir.
Relatively lawless, there are several self-appointed city officials that attempt to bring some amount of order to the city, and also to profit from their positions of importance. The following people hold positions of power:
Sikes Ferguson - The owner of the Warm Spot Tavern, and pimp to the many ladies of ill-repute he employs on the 2nd and 3rd floor of his tavern. Sikes portrays himself as a man of civility, right up until the point he sticks a dagger in your throat. He has a number of enforcers working for him, that do his dirty work. If something happens in Skeir, it is likely that Sikes either knew about it...or made it happen.
Sheriff Farnsworth - The good sheriff worked for years as a mercenary, and came to Skeir to retire as a merchant providing important goods needed for mining and hunting. His shop is called Farnsworth & Borr. He has a business partner named Siedle Borr that keeps the books, and is the brains of the operation. Sheriff Farnsworth has set up shop and was in town just two months before being asked by the townspeople to become "Sheriff." He seems to be a good man, but when push comes to shove, he'll do what he has to on behalf of both the town and his own interests.
Harry Gold - The owner of the Number 23, a small shanty bar named after the lot number it sits upon. Harry is a no-nonsense sort of guy who makes his money from drunks and drugs, and who is willing to play ball with the other political powers in town.
Mercurious Bolino - Everyone calls him Merc, and he is the owner of a brothel and gambling den across the stree from the Warm Spot Tavern. Merc's establishment is called the Silver Palace, and it is considerably more upscale than its rival across the street. Merc dresses upscale, and puts on up-scale pretensions...but, at his heart he is a cut-throat bastard.
Other political powers have come and gone in the city, bu the ones listed above have been in place for over three years now.
Skeir has aligned itself with the Grey King, though it managed to do so without providing any troops or supplies for the conflict with the outside world powers. Mainly, its contribution has been money for the construction of the Capital in Wather.
MORNSTOWN - Mornstown was settled by the Azure King a 150 years ago as a colony. As a landlocked nature, the Azure Kingdom experimented for a short time with establishing colonies to grow its power and resources. The colony never produced enough raw materials or wealth to repay the investment that was put into it, and after 20 years the colony's official connection with the Azure Kingdom was severed.
Much of the population of Mornstown can still trace its ancestry back to the Azure Kingdom, and the colony's size doubled during the years the Storm Gates were open, and the Azure Kingdom was thrust into eternal winter.
Today, Mornstown is one of the more civilized communities along the Crimson Coast. It has an elected Mayor, Sheriff, and City Council to pass its laws. There is very little corruption, and the laws are enforced. As with the Azure Kingdom, the laws mainly forbid injury or loss inflicted upon its citizens, and steer clear of attempting to control thought or personal behavior.
Mornstown is an agricultural community, with large portions of the surrounding jungle cleared for the purposes of growing crops or raising livestock. Mornstown exports its excess food production for finished goods from other communities and nations across the World of Kempin. As such, Mornstown has one of the largest non-Pirate fleets of ships along the Crimson Coast.
Strangers are welcomed in Mornstown, but closely watched until they prove themselves trustworthy. They are then encouraged to settle down in the town, and often the town helps them to build a home and get started if they agree to stay. For this reason, Mornstown has grown to one of the larger cities along Eastern half of the Crimson Coast.
When the Grey King emerged, Mornstown quickly aligned with him and attempted to position themselves as the Eastern trading center along the Crimson Coast. Eldermont was chosen instead, and this did not sit well with the people of Mornstown. They are still aligned with the Grey King, but have fallen short on their troop commitments and other obligations to the alliance.
YAMMEN - Yammen was settled by refugees from the Sands of the Aerunes. The town is settled along a medium sized river that flows into the sea. The culture of the town remains utterly native to the Sands of the Aerunes, and outsiders are not welcome. They are turned away short of the town, and anyone that attempts to ignore being turned away is killed.
For this reason, very little is known about the town itself, or its leadership.
Yammen does trade with other communities, but only boats made up entirely of crews from the Sands of the Aerunes or Yammen are allowed to dock there. Captain Nassa is one of the prominent traders that frequents the city.
When the Grey King emerged, the emissaries he sent to Yammen were turned away. He sent emissaries twice more, but one one man of the third group sent returned. He reported that the other emissaries of his group were beheaded, and that any further emissaries that were sent would be killed.
It is rumored that Black Bay ships have been seen docking at Yammen in recent months, but the sources of these rumors are not entirely reputable, and the rumors have not been confirmed.
DURING THE WAR
Leading up to The Grey King's War, the city of Yammen sided with Black Bay, until the destruction of Black Bay...and then Black Bay's fleet. During the final battle of the war, no ships or troops from Yammen were present or involved in any way.
AFTER THE WAR
What role, if any, Yammen plays in the newly formed Grey Kingdom has yet to be determined.
VARINO - Varino is rumored to be the site of an ancient monastery of some forgotten priesthood to some unknown fire god of a lost culture. The town is 2/3's ruins, with only a 1/3 of the town occupied by people. The buildings are all ancient, and made from heavy stone blocks set upon one another, and then ornately carved with weird symbols.
The town is split into four sections by deep rifts that issue smoke. When looking down into these rifts, rivers of lava can be seen far below. Stone walkways span these rifts, and connect the various parts of town.
Varino is a quiet town. It trades heavily in the artifacts and small treasures found in the digs in and around the town, and thus supplies itself with food and other goods necessary for life. Very little agriculture or food production happens in the town itself.
The town is run by a small religious order that calls itself the Heretical School of Knowledge. The Heretics allow people to come to Varino and dig for artifacts and treasure, for a cut of the finds. The Heretics are very organized, well-armed, and keep strict order throughout the town. There is very little crime or violence in Varino, and when crime does occur, the criminals are promptly disposed of down one of the volcanic rifts. The leader of the Heretics hold the title, "High Lord Heretic." The man that currently holds that position hails from Paralo and is named Vincento Mardone.
Varino quickly sided with the Grey King upon his emergence, seeing the opportunities for trade that would develop when a nation was formed that spanned the entire Crimson Coast. A contingent of Heretics was dispatched to fight for the Grey King as an elite force, and to provide counsel regarding strategy in the war.
ELDERMONT - A fairly new town along the Crimson Coast, the town of Eldermont grew up around an ancient Keep recently restored by a group of heroes. For a map and details about Eldermont, CLICK HERE.
CITY OF ORDER - Calling the City of Order a "city" is a little bit of an exaggeration. It is home to a little more than a 1500 people. This community along the Crimson Coast consists of a large circular space of cleared land, surrounded by a crude wooden wall. It is about a half-mile from the coastline, and has not port or harbor. At the center of the community is a concentration of businesses and residences, which make up the town proper. The area around this town, but inside the protective walls, is mostly farmland and farmsteads. There are two bars in the town as well as various stores and businesses. About a third of the community lives in the town proper, with the other two thirds living in small homes near the land they farm.
The town if fairly orderly (which seems appropriate considering the name), due to the strong leadership of an older man named the Law Keeper. Advising the Law Keeper, is an even older man named the Truth Teller. There have been previous Law Keepers and Truth Tellers in the past, but that was a long time ago. Through a fairly structured system of laws, the Law Keeper ensures that everything goes fairly smoothly in the City of Order. Those that stand against the Law, are harshly punished, with a particular focus on public hangings. That does not mean the town is not a little rough-and-tumble. After all, it is on the frontier of the known world. But, when things go too far or disrupt the lives of those in the town, the Law quickly and violently brings things back in line.
The only temple in the town is a Temple of Order and Law. Surrounded by chaos and danger, the people of this town focus their prayers and attention on the peace that order brings.
The majority of the residents of the City of Order were born there. It is one of the older and most long-lived of the settlements on the Crimson Coast. It is slow and hesitant to allow new-comers to move into their midst permanently. Though, they do welcome visits by newcomers who have something of worth to give or trade. Goods, wealth, exotic foods, or news of the greater world outside the Crimson Coast all serve to make a visitor more welcome.
The City of Order has always been closely aligned with the Feron-Jacobe Empire, and with the emergence of the Grey King, the City of Order rejected an opportunity to align with the Grey King. They have instead, reaffirmed their allegiance to the FJ Empire.
This has caused a level of conflict to exist between the City of Order and the fledgling town of Eldermont.
JAKATA - Jakata is a small fishing village near some of the best fishing waters off the Crimson Coast. It is a quaint and quiet old-fashioned town, with traditional values, a strong sense of right and wrong, and long-standing laws that are well-enforced. For this reason, pirates tend to avoid landing in Jakata, for their ships are often boarded and searched, or chased off altogether.
Jakata is self-sustaining, and depends very little on trade. What little trade they do, is with surplus fish and seafood to nearby communities (primarily the City of Order and Varino.) Its inhabitants experience a fairly high-standard of living and comfort.
Jakata does not tolerate trouble-makers, drunks, or criminals. Its reputation for no-nonsense enforcement of the laws has spread far and wide, and this has a deterrent effect on ill-meaning visitors even bothering to travel there.
Five families essentially govern the town, making decisions for the whole. For the most part, these families are respected and admired among their people, leading to very little dissent or political drama.
When the Grey King emerged, Jakata sought neutrality in the coming war, due to their strong ties to both the Feron-Jacobe Empire and Crimson Coast communities that were aligning themselves with the Grey King. To date, Jakata has taken no official stand in the coming war, and continues to trade with both communities loyal to the Grey King and the Empire.
TORREL FELLOWSHIP - The Torrel Fellowship is a settlement built further into the depths of the Red Jungle than any other Crimson Coast community has gone in the past. The rumors say the population of the Torrel Fellowship is large, and organized, and came well-supplied...but most people believe the Torrel Fellowship will be picked apart by the monsters and other dark things in the Jungle. It is said that the Torrel Fellowship finds it motivation and structure in a strange form of governance, where no man is in charge...and all men and women have a say in things. Others say it is a strange religious cult, performing foreign rites, and that some power has a strange influence over the people living there.
Several groups of emissaries have been sent to seek out an alliance between the Grey King and the Torrel Fellowship, but these emissaries have all returned without actually finding the community. This has led to rumors that the Torrel Fellowship has been "swallowed by the jungle," or destroyed by evil forces that exist in the deepest darkest parts of the jungle.
WATHER - Wather is a small, peaceful fishing town. It is nestled along a calm cove, protected from the roughness of the Vis'Aldorn Ocean by rocky natural breakwaters. There are a number of mansions and keeps cut into the jungle on the hills around Wather. These are the homes of retired Pirate Captains, adventurers, and heroes. Wather is often considered to be a neutral place for parlay, negotiation and resolution of conflicts between important factions along the Crimson Coast. There is a large tavern connected with an inn in Wather called the Placid Waters Tavern and Inn. It is much too large for the small size of Wather, but exists to serve the many outside parties that come here.
With the emergence of the Grey King, the town of Wather was chosen as the capital of the nation that the Crimson Coast will become. As such, Wather has seen a huge influx of people, businesses, investments, and building projects.
GALAR - Galar is an interesting departure from many of the towns along the Crimson Coast. Rather than being established to hide from the rest of the world...or to service the Pirates that frequent the Crimson Coast, Galar was built to profit from products wrestled from the tight grip of the Red Jungle. It was established by several Targ warriors, one of which is recognized as the Chieftain of the Galar. His name is Rafner Grimson, and it is said he's seven feet tall and keeps five wives.
The Targ founders of Galar were soon joined by a motley collection of hunters, furriers, fishermen, and miners. Industry drives the economy of Galar, and the reputation of a man depends on his ability to produce sellable goods from the surrounding forest and sea. Various races are represented in Galar, and the towns focus on industry has made them completely uncaring about racial distinctions.
Goods shipped out of Galar are shipped on pirate ships to a port outside of the Crimson Coast, and then transferred to regular commerce ships, in order to reduce the losses from pirate attack. Rafner is known to have expensive tastes, an eclectic and entertaining collection of people in his court, and to punish any sort of betrayal in the most cruel fashion possible.
Pirates are not allowed to live in Galar or to dock for more than a very short period of time. Pirates are allowed to come to Galar for shore leave and to spend their loot, but their ships are required to leave the bay and anchor down-coast. There is lots of fun and entertainment provided for gold to the visiting pirates, but they are expected to act within certain boundaries, or they are banished from returning (or worse).
With the emergence of the Grey King and the approach of war, a large fleet from Norlund landed in Galar and took over the city from the renegade men from Norlund that founded it. Little is known about this new leadership, but it is rumored that they have escalated the exploitation of jungle resources, and large factories have been established to mill wood, process ore, and prepare the animal pelts and other spoils of the jungle.
BLACK BAY - Black Bay, along the Crimson Coast is named for the enormously deep bay at its front doors. The bay is so deep and shadowed in its depths, that it gives the water a black hue. The buildings of the town climb the steep rocks above the bay in a series of rings. By all accounts, no man of good heart will enter Black Bay and walk out again. There are many pirates and cut-throats who consider Black Bay too evil a place to pull into port, but there are enough dark hearts to keep the place thriving. It is said that strange rituals take place there, and that a powerful death-mage holds sway over the town's governance. Pirates that call Black Bay home, fly a black flag with no skull, and are some of the most dangerous murders to raise a sail.
On a large island out in the middle of the waters of the Black Bay itself, slavers hold massive gladiatorial games in a coliseum. There is lots of slave trading, betting, and money that exchanges hands there. This island and its coliseum is called the Grinder.
With the emergence of the Grey King and the coming of war, Black Bay has stepped up its piracy against all shipping in the area of the Crimson Coast, regardless of nation of origin.
PORT FIKES - Port Fikes is likely the most traditionally civilized community in all the Crimson Coast. It is governed by laws very similar to the laws in the Feron-Jacobe Empire. This is likely to it being founded by Captain Fikes, a retired Captain from the Imperial Navy and renowned explorer. Many retired Navy Captain and Sailors helped settle Port Fikes, and have continued to swell its population over the years. Many of these men still sail the sea, either as explorers and treasure-seekers, or as privateers - preying on the ships of the the enemies of the Empire. The town is very organized, clean, and comfortable. Many of the other settlers of the Crimson Coast look at the people of Port Fikes as snobbish and "uppity." Those that sail from Port Fikes fly a flag with a stylized swirling image of the Cauldron. This represents the fact that Captain Fikes is the only man to ever successfully Captain a ship that crossed directly through The Cauldron.
Port Fikes is strongly aligned with the Feron-Jacobe Empire, and stands against the rise of the Grey King's power in the region.
SLAKER - Slaker owes its existence to Port Toroga, located a short distance by sea to the West. Originally, Slaker was formed by pirates that had been exiled from Port Toroga for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps they had broken pirate laws. Perhaps they had abandoned their crew, or shown cowardice, or been caught stealing from their shipmates. Whatever the reason, these outcasts needed a place to hide, build and repair ships, and resupply themselves between trips at sea. And so Slaker was born.
Over the years, Port Toroga would periodically raid Slaker and pirates that called Slaker their home-port were the lowest of the low among their fellow pirates at sea. But, 10 years ago, a Captain Emil Bloodstone rose to prominence in Slaker, and through a series of underhanded deals, bribes, blackmail, and even murder, Captain Emil became the de facto leader in Slaker.
Captain Bloodstone immediately negotiated a deal with Jack Skull, aligning Slaker with Port Toroga. Over the past decade, this deal severed Slaker from its shameful beginnings and history. During the 5 years Jack Skull was missing and the Council of the Skull ruled Port Toroga, Slaker became the home port to many of the pirates that did not accept the authority of the Council. This once again, put Slaker in a position of conflict with Port Toroga.
More recently, with the return of Jack Skull, relations between the two cities have normalized, and business is booming in Slaker.
Slaker aligned itself with the Grey King just two days after Port Toroga announced its own alliance with the Grey King.
Slaker has a reputation for being home to pirates that don't fit in elsewhere. A lot of free-lance pirates operate out of Slaker, and with Jack Skulls monopoly on Privateering in the West, pirates from Slaker have been forced to buy licenses from Jack Skull, or face the wrath of his pirate fleet at every turn.
PORT TOROGA - Port Toroga is one of the largest and most notorious pirate Towns in Southern waters. It is the western-most community along the Crimson Coast. Loud, seemingly lawless, and a sprawl of the lowest forms of entertainment. It is a dangerous place, but ripe with opportunities for the right person. It is said to have been founded and made what it is today by a legendary pirate called Jack Skull. Jack Skull went missing for five years, and during that time Port Toroga was governed by the Council of the Skull, a loose confederation of important ship captains. It is said that without the right passwords, visitors are usually hung as imperial spies. The pirates that call Port Toroga home fly a black flag with a white skull upon it. After five years, it was discovered that Jack Skull had been betrayed by The Three with the help of a mysterious necromancer, and locked in an iron cage deep beneath the Black Spire. With the help of the Bloody Nine, Jack Skull was freed, took revenge upon The Three, and took back control of Port Toroga. Things will change now that Jack Skull has returned...
Jack Skull has aligned himself with the Grey King, and has a monopoly on privateering in the West. As such, he has a huge privateer fleet at sea at all times, and any free-lance pirate not paying Jack Skull for the right to sail, is sunk on sight.
DARUTH - Daruth is a rather isolated outpost, and the only city on the extreme western coast of the Crimson Coast. For all practical purposes, Daruth would not exist if not for The Chain to the south. The Chain is a colony of the Feron-Jacobe Empire that cannot be reached by sea, because of the close proximity to The Cauldron. Only a long and dangerous land route, that begins at Daruth, allows access to these far-away settlements.
As such, quite a few settlers (perhaps 1/4 of the population) of Daruth originate in the Feron-Jacobe Empire. There are also refugees and opportunity seekers from the Sands of the Aerunes that have settled in Daruth (another 1/4 of the population). The remaining 1/2 of the population are Daruks...the dark-skinned native people of the Red Jungle. As such, Daruth is the only settlement along the Crimson Coast with any significant number of Daruks, as the native people of the Red Jungle despise outsiders and the changes they bring.
The exotic make-up of the population of Daruth, makes it an interesting collection of sights and sounds. The visitor to Daruth sees strange styles of clothing, bizarre foods, and weird languages at every corner they turn.
Daruth is ruled by a Daruk Chieftain named Cheimeka Ibo. It is said that he was a great war chief among his people, and remains an unrepentant cannibal in his latter years. He rules with an iron fist, but with a wisdom that keeps him in good relations with the representatives of the Feron-Jacobe Empire that fund his rule.
The allegiance of Daruth to the Feron-Jacobe Empire is unquestionable, though it remains to be seen whether Daruth will matter much in the coming war based on its remote location in on the Western coast.
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