Pirates have been a menace for as long as Leng has had civilisation; vikings from Nordmaar, raiders from the shores of the fiery Isle of Khan, and the ubiquitous wolves of the sea that roam the oceans around Leng. In general, pirates from the Sea of Pearls or the general area around Leng are actually called pirates, while those from Khan are known as sea-raiders and those from Nordmaar are known as vikings. True pirates can come from any of the shores of Leng or its surrounding colonies, but the place where piracy is most rife - the place that is known as the Jolly Roger's Cradle - is the Sea of Pearls, the great string of glistening islands that stretches west of Leng. Though many of them are colonies of Arelon, the islands are difficult to police even with the substantial navy of the Empire, and they have been fighting a so-called "War on Pirates" for many decades.
The Pirate Code
While it is the opinion of the officials who coordinate Arelon's efforts to police the seas that pirates are totally lawless creatures, no better than goblins or kobolds in their organisation, this could not be less true. The tradition of piracy in the area that is today known as the Sea of Pearls is an old one, and for the past 300 years a specific document has been handed down, known as the Pirate Code. It ensures fairness for each member of a pirate crew and enforces restrictions for the safety of the entire crew, and few pirates will join a ship that does not employ its use. The Pirate Code is as follows:Crew Positions:
- Captain (the leader of the ship, though his decisions can be voted against by a majority)
- First Mate (right hand man to the captain, assumes command when he is away)
- Quartermaster (responsible for resource management, enforcing captain's orders, dividing loot) Petty Officers
- Master-At-Arms (responsible for ensuring every man is armed and trained properly)
- Bo'sun/Boatswain (responsible for maintaining and repairing the ship)
- Helmsman (responsible for the navigation and steering of the ship)
- Master Gunner (on ships with cannons, responsible for maintaining and overseeing cannons and training gunners) Crewmates
- Mate (any member of the crew - swabs the decks, adjusts the rigging, fights battles)
- Carpenter (skilled in woodwork and maintenance, will usually work under the Bo'sun)
- Cooper (skilled in making barrels, essential on any pirate ship)
- Doctor (not entirely common, a big boon to a ship if they do have one)
- Gunner (on ships with cannons, someone who is trained to use a cannon)
What the captain says, goes. In times of battle or when giving chase, the captain's word is absolute. At all other times, a vote may be called if his wishes are contested. The captain's command can be overturned with a majority vote. Each man has an equal vote on important affairs, equal title to fresh provisions or strong liquors, to use at their pleasure, unless a scarcity make it necessary for the good of all.
Of the spoils of war, each member of the crew receives one share; the helmsman receives one and a quarter shares; the master-at-arms, bo'sun and master gunner receive one and a half shares each; the captain and quartermaster receive two shares each. The captain takes his share first, followed by the quartermaster, then bo'sun, master-at-arms, and master gunner, followed by the helmsman. After this each other member of the crew is called in turn by list in order of the date they joined to select their own share. Fully half of all plunder is to be put into the public stock and not shared, and is to be used for compensating lost limbs, for buying provisions and for the upkeep of the ship, at the discretion of the captain and quartermaster. Any man who is found to have defrauded the crew of even so much as a single silver piece is to suffer marooning.
The lights and candles are to be put out at the eighth hour of evening. If any crew still remain inclined for drinking after that hour, it is to be done on the open deck. No striking one another on board is allowed; any dispute will be settled by sword on the shore. Those breaking this rule will be thrown into the brig.The loss of a limb in the defense of the ship and aquisition of plunder is to be compensated from the public stock, according to the following guide:
Loss of an eye: 100 silver
Loss of a finger: 100 silver
Loss of a leg: 400 silver
Loss of a left arm: 500 silver
Loss of a right arm: 600 silver
No man is to talk of disbanding our way of life until each man amongst the crew has amassed no less than 1,000 gold pieces in wealth.