Saturday, 16 February 2013

Auran'Dyre - The Carrion Port

Almost 500-years-ago, a small island, only 3-miles across was discovered in the middle of the Central Meridian Straits. A bare blister of rock, home to seals, sharks and seabirds, it had gone unexplored and unnoticed for long and long. However, at almost the same time, pirates of several different clans happened to land there, each quickly discovering that the unremarkable appearing island held an incredible secret – Residuum. Vast veins of the stuff had, somehow, come to form beneath the surface, meaning that the island was one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on Arbel'Verdaniss.

The wars that raged for control of the island – which involved at its height no less than twelve different clans of pirates – went on for some 22 years, with six of the clans getting wiped out. By this time, the remaining clans had suffered hugely, and they realised that unless they capitulated, they too would be eradicated. Thus an agreement was reached; a freeport would be built on the island, with 1/6th of it being allocated to each of the remaining clans. The port would be considered neutral ground, and within the six enclaves, the clans could mine for residuum and draw what power and profit they could from the island.

The city (named Auran'Dyre, which means “Golden Dream” in Pirate's Cant, though it is usually known as the “Carrion Port” – both in reference to the blood spilled during the clan wars, and as a device to keep the curious away) grew quite quickly, the pirates working hard to stake their claims. Over the years there have been disputes as the mines have gone deeper, and the boundaries less easy to define, and the peace between the six clans is uneasy at best. However, Auran'Dyre has become one of the most widely used freeports in in the equatorial straits, and is a frequent hangout for adventurer's , pirates and mercenaries.

THE SIX CLANS

The six clans based on the island each have their own enclave. They are;

The Dohr'Khustans (infamous pirates of the Meridian Straits and equatorial oceans. Their standard is a tri-horned triangular shield)

The Vaedecci Concern (ancient merchant lords, forced to a life of piracy after their homeland was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the late 2nd Age. Their standard is sword of gold plunged into a volcano surrounded by golden coins)

The Merdianese Pirates (Loose alliance of independent pirates, who joined together for protection and to coordinate hunting areas in the sea. They fly under the Skull and Crossed Bones or Crossed swords)

The Tattered Brotherhood (The smallest of the clans, this ancient order was founded in the 2nd Age, and consists entirely of men and women afflicted with that most loathsome of diseases, Leprosy. Their standard depicts a hand – half intact, half rotten).

The Shai'Gau (Former pirates of the Kai'Yassanian inner sea, that moved to the wilds of the wider world in the early 3rd Age to seek greater prizes. Their standard depicts three triangular coins in a triangle, surrounded by two jade green serpentine dragons. In the middle of the standard, is the Kai'Yassanian pictogram for “Fortune taken through strength”).

The Red House (Ulnyrr raiders feared throughout the great seas of Arbel'Verdaniss. Their standard depicts a blood red fortress upon an island of skulls)

RECENT HISTORY

When The Sundering hit, the central part of the island disappeared into a ¼ mile diameter whirlpool. This event devoured almost all the Shai'Gau's territory, including their pagoda, and stores. To make matters worse, the whirlpool, at random times, becomes a portal to another dimension. When it opens, it fills the city with a strange mist, which seems to act for aquatic creatures as water (this in effect allows them to swim through the air wherever the mist is thick, and to breathe on land). Deep Devils (Sahuagin), sharks and other hostile aquatic minions enter the city during these times, and wreak havoc, the former stealing away those unfortunate enough to be captured. Attempts to close the portal have so far failed, though the House of Warding Waves (a temple dedicated to Swaervar'Tritul), lead by its high priest Rodag Keth'Tritul, still seeks to find some way to do so.

This catastrophe has seen the fortunes of the port fade, as seafarers seek safer harbours, and take their wealth and cargo with them. The residuum mines have also suffered in this event, their reaches becoming dimensionally unstable, leading to the formation of “Shift Mines”; physical mines that draw and accumulate planar detritus from a random range of other dimensions – some useful, some useless, some alive and all of it often dangerous.

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