Sunday, July 9, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 27

 Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 27

Compiling week 27 of the project, comprised of an additional 7 posts, this week's subject being a deep dive of a site of interest, being Buccaneer's Arc of the City-State of Ceannar as shown below:


Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #183 

July 2nd, 2023 

  • Number: 183 

  • Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Buccaneer's Arc of Ceannar Part 1 

  • Location: Northwest Ceannar between Staplefish Bay and Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) 

  • Population (approx.): 400-600 but estimates vary wildly 

  • Brief: Buccaneer’s Arc is an infrequently patrolled and sparsely inhabited archipelago which has become home to a variety of ne'er-do-wells both land and sea based. There are number of points of interest summarized herein and described in detail over briefs to follow: 

  • Atigi Laumei: A mysterious forest-choked island occupied by a strange tribe of Wildfolk who worship their unique ancient god. 

  • Lapit Point: Site of a City-State of Ceannar naval base seeking to protect the main shipping route from the Lesser to Greater Staplefish Bays. 

  • Noldrune Light: An “Old Decree” style lighthouse maintained by County Noldrune but under constant threat by pirates and wreckers. 

  • Pirate Coves: Hidden anchorages home to the Buccaneers and Pirates of the Arc. 

  • Rumport pirate town: Home to the Council of Captains, a body of notable shipmasters who frequently gather to discuss business, resolve disputes and consume rum. Rumport is time-honored neutral territory bound by Oaths of Blood. 

  • Spyglass Hill: Tallest point of the Arc covered with an ancient platform of unknown origin and use, on a clear day sharp-eyed scouts can see most of the shipping lanes of the area. Handy for keeping an eye on the local navies. 

  • Geography: The Buccaneer’s Arc is a swath of islands over about 500 square miles of water between the Lesser Staplefish Bay to the south and west and the greater (and much larger) Staplefish Bay to the north. The three largest islands are named; Atigi Laumei, Faom Motu and Vaomua Motu. 

  • Atigi Laumei: Westernmost of the 3 main islands of the Arc, the wildfolk occupy a huge oval shaped hill covering the west third. 

  • Lapit Point: Northernmost point of the mainland peninsula north of Surecliff (#46). 

  • Noldrune Light: Easternmost point of County Noldrune along the north coast. A narrow rock choked channel separates the Light from Atigi Laumei. 

  • Pirate Coves: Found on either coast of Faom Motu and the north coast of Vaomua Motu, the two large eastern islands of the Arc. 

  • Rumport pirate town: In a cove on the south coast of Faom Motu reached by dinghy, rowboat or hiking across the island. Larger vessels are traditionally banned from the harbor due to certain incidents of the past. 

  • Spyglass Hill: Tallest point of Faom Motu, the hill can be reached by a steep path from Rumport below. The hilltop is covered by a rune-carved stone circle surrounded by a low wall. 

  • Next Article: Notable persons and sites of the Arc part 2 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #184 

July 3rd, 2023 

  • Number: 184 

  • Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Buccaneer's Arc of Ceannar Part 2: Noldrune Light 

  • Location: Northwest Ceannar between Staplefish Bay and Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) 

  • Population (approx.): 60-80 depending on personnel assigned to the Light. 

  • Brief: Noldrune Light is example of a surviving Decree Lighthouse like East Point Light (#10) and Stormwatch (#65), marking the easternmost territorial waters of the City-State. As with most Lighthouses, it is a collaborative effort by the Lamplighters and Sailors Guild in this case in conjunction with the Nolrune Naval Service (NNS). The lighthouse is staffed by a keeper, their assistants and a contingent of sailors who patrol the local waters. Aside from typical guidance and rescue duties, the NNV Pugnacious patrols to protect passing merchant vessels from any pirates daring to enter the City-State's waters. They also keep an eye on the local Wildfolk tribe as three years ago a half-dozen warriors crossed from their island and attempted to scale the lighthouse before being driven off by the sailors present. The Master Lightkeeper believes they were attempting to damage the lamps. 

  • Notable persons present in the current year include: 

  • Master Lightkeeper Shiv Alou of the Lamplighters Guild, an older Human male whose family has maintained the lighthouse for three generations and may do so for at least one or two to follow (two of his children have shown interested in his craft). 

  • Captain Metli Flannof the NNS, a young Half-Elf woman who commands the NNV (Noldrune Naval Vessel) Pugnacious, a frigate assigned to Noldrune Light. The Pugnacious is armed with bolt and fire throwers, plus a complement of magicians and archers sufficient to drive off any pirates encountered to date. Her command also includes a rescue lifeboat (NNV Lifeline). 

  • Alibe Ananta, a middle-age half-Wildfolk man who is a ranger of the NSS (#71) and has been assigned to the area to investigate and assess the threat of the WIldfolk on Atigi Laumei to the east. 

  • Geography: Noldrune Light sits on a rocky outcropping at the north-easternmost point of County Noldrune. The lighthouse is a standard six-story tower, containing the lamp, its mechanism and some quarters on the levels below, with a large two-story annex, containing barracks, storage, and the mess hall. Two underground levels include workshops, further storage and two cells for captured pirates or wildfolk. A narrow staircase leads down to a north-facing cove including a pier for the NNV Pugnacious and a lifeboat station with ramp for the NNV Lifeline. 

  • Next Article: Notable persons and sites of the Arc part 3 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #185 

July 4th, 2023 

  • Number: 185 

  • Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Buccaneer's Arc of Ceannar Part 3: Atigi Laumei 

  • Location: Northwest Ceannar between Staplefish Bay and Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) 

  • Population (approx.): 150-250 WIldfolk but estimates vary 

  • Brief: Thousands of years ago, before the arrival of the Noldrune Houses from the north and the Ceannar People from the east, isolated tribes of various Kin were scattered across the Narrows. Buccaneer’s Arc was home to a small tribe of Wildfolk fisherfolk and hunter-gatherers. They tell an old tale that two hunters uncovered the mouth to the great cave. Entering they found and accidentally awakened the hungry “God-head in the Great Cave.” It snapped up one of the hunters right away and chased the other extending its great head out into the sunlight. The God-head was startled, blinked and withdrew. It lured or summoned the hunter and others of their Kin to the cave, where it promised protection and riches in exchange for food (lots of fish, fruit and captured pirates) and worship (it was fond of song). The Wildfolk agreed and renamed themselves the Laugata (“Turtlefolk”) for their God’s head resembled the large tortoises of the islands and his bounty included pieces of nigh indestructible turtle shell unearthed, as directed, all over the hillside. The Wildfolk prospered when their God was happy. But if he hungered or was ignored, great earthquakes shook the island, throwing the people to their knees.  

  • Geography: Atigi Laumei (“Turtle Shell”) isle is about 4 miles long and almost a mile wide. It is covered with dense trees and foliage. The eastern half is mostly flat, but the western end is a huge dome-shaped hill about 500 feet high and more than a half-mile across. The Great Cave of the God-head is on the north shore at the base of the hill, but not visible from the sea. The village of the Laugata (“Turtlefolk”) is against the eastern base of the hill in the center of the island. The huts are mostly made of wood and stone, but many roofs and some walls are pieces of shell gifted to them by their God. Shell also serves as shields, bowls, platters and armor. Broken pieces as blades, spear heads and arrow points. Unbeknownst to all, but perhaps the secretive Keepers, their God-head, the Great Cave and the entire hill are all one vast ancient creature of aether either bound to the area or simply too old or infirm to move. 

  • Next Article: Notable persons and sites of the Arc part 4 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #186 

July 5th, 2023 

  • Number: 186 

  • Name: Deep Dive on a Ship of Interest: Buccaneer's Arc of Ceannar Part 4: "It Takes Two” 

  • Location: Northwest Ceannar between Staplefish Bay and Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) 

  • Population (approx.): Crew of 60 plus others 

  • Brief: The Council of Captains currently consists of the five strongest ships, by reputation of Captain, skill of crew and history of raids and battle, of the pirates of Buccaneer’s Arc. Captain Crowley of the ship “It Takes Two” has risen through the ranks to gain a seat on the Council one year ago. 

  • Captain Regina 'Bird’s Eye' Crowley, Dwarf, 140, and her First Mate and husband, Adam 'Parley,' Crowley, 43, command the 'It Takes Two' pirate ship. They have been successful pirates for the past three years and have a core group of dedicated crew. Their success has made them targets of not only the local Navies; but also, other lesser pirates of Buccaneer’s Arc.  

  • Regina is of medium height and has an athletic build. She wears her long copper hair in a tight bun and favors leather armor dyed red and sky blue. Regina is skilled with a crossbow and gets her nickname from her ability with the weapon. For close-quarters fighting, she prefers a pair of kynacs. Her winsome smile disarms many men just as she sweeps them overboard. Her philosophy is, "Shoot first and then take over the bloody ship." 

  • Her loving husband, Adam, is skinny and lightly muscled. He is bald and wears regular clothes with a chainmail shirt on top. Adam has a knack for working with people, keeping the crew united and fit for combat. He would rather parley with other Captains of the Council and create a stronger fighting group, but Regina loves fighting and prefers keeping “It Takes Two,” a single ship operation. 

  • Geography: "It Takes Two” is a fast and nimble frigate captured from the Noldrune Naval Service by then Lieutenant Crowley when in service to Captain Aufstan “Black Dragon” Calagon. Rather than scuttle or ransom it, she convinced Calagon to let her and Adam strike out on their own (paying any debts to Calagon relatively quickly). Captain Crowley specializes in lightning strikes by closing quickly on unwary targets, launching a brutal boarding action, and a subsequent capture or retreat with loot. She’ll utilize weather, environment and enchantments of her ship’s magicians to her advantage. 

  • The Crowleys have set up a home base at the self-named Crowley Cove on the western coast of Vaomua Motu, where they beach captured ships to loot and salvage for resources. Like other ships, the crews sail the ship’s boat to Rumport as required. Some of the crew keep family at the cove, and Regina and Adam work hard at having a place where everyone can relax and enjoy the booty they have gained. Some of the other pirates may think them soft, but that's until they meet them face to face out at sea. 

  • Next Article: Notable persons and sites of the Arc part 5 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #187 

July 6th, 2023 

  • Number: 187 

  • Name: Deep Dive on a Ship of Interest: Buccaneer's Arc of Ceannar Part 5: “The Greedy Abandoned” 

  • Location: Northwest Ceannar between Staplefish Bay and Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) 

  • Population (approx.): Crew of 80 to 90 plus another 40 ashore 

  • Brief: The Council of Captains currently consists of the five strongest ships, by reputation of Captain, skill of crew and history of raids and battle, of the pirates of Buccaneer’s Arc. Captain Harmor Divingham of the ship “The Greedy Abandoned” has had a seat at the Council table for close to a decade. 

  • Oghad, 34, Half-Orc, is the Navigator for Captain Divingham aboard “The Greedy Abandoned.” He is tall, heavily muscular, and wears glasses when reading his star charts. Oghad wears various armor pieces he has looted from his time as a pirate. He wields a sizable axe and has a bandolier that holds several throwing axes. 

  • He learned to be a Navigator by studying books that Harmor brought on board. It took a while, but he is now quite skilled. He loves looking at the constellations in the sky and dreams of finding a place to settle down one day. 

  • Oghad and the core veteran crew of “The Greedy Abandoned” were a gang of orphans, nicknamed Fishguts (as locals said the kids weren’t worth a bucket of fish guts) that grew up together in the Little Wanderers' Orphanage of Lanumouth (#38). That place was atrocious and mistreated them all. 

  • One day, the eldest among them, Harmor Divingham, who had aged out of the orphanage several years ago, returned and staged a breakout to rescue his gang, putting the building to the torch.  He brought them upon the pirate ship on which he served. They renamed the vessel “The Greedy Abandoned” once Harmor fought and sailed his way to becoming captain, his gang, including Oghad, at his side.  

  • Geography: “The Greedy Abandoned” is a large wallowing ex-merchant ship filled to the brim with angry once-orphaned pirates of all ages. The crew makes up for lack of skill with pure viciousness, tenacity, and a drive to reclaim what the pirates feel is rightly theirs (being any loot they can get their hands on). Captain Divingham prefers to raid land-based targets, especially any settlements with orphanages (potential recruits!) or where it is rumored, no matter how thinly, that children are mistreated (revenge served cold daily). Most of the older crew still hold a burning desire to return to and try to sack Lanumouth. 

  • Oghad and Divingham keep their ship at an unnamed cove (nicknamed Orphanport) east of Rumport where they have cobbled together housing that resembles an oversized treehouse surrounded by a wooden palisade. Rescued orphans who cannot sail (whether too young or infirm) remain at the cove and help by fishing, gathering, and repairing the ship when present. 

  • Next Article: Notable persons and sites of the Arc part 6 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #188 

July 7th, 2023 

  • Number: 188 

  • Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Buccaneer's Arc of Ceannar Part 6: Lapit Point 

  • Location: Northwest Ceannar between Staplefish Bay and Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) 

  • Population (approx.): 60 at the Naval Base plus variable number of ship’s crews 

  • Brief: As the City-States formed and pirate activity increased, Ceannar established a small naval base on the eastern side of the peninsula that divided the two bays north of Surecliff (#46). As most of the ports in the bay to the wet are parts of Noldrune, the ships of Ceannar are mostly tasked to ensure shipping safely reaches Surecliff and points to the east. They may enter the bay to keep pirates from harassing fishing vessels from villages of Harrow County or to keep an eye on Noldrune’s ships. Currently stationed at Lapit Point are two caravels The Flash, captained by Felin Hereward, and The Roar, captained by Justina Blackstare 

  • Caravels like Hereward’s The Flash include a cook, priest-healer, ship’s mage, master archer, boatswain (in charge of the sails), carpenter and quartermaster. The rest of the crew, numbering about 30,  carry out regular duties, such as keeping watch, sailkeeping, and maintenance. 

  • Cho Deepvale, 21, a Human woman, is the cook on board The Flash. She is of average height, has a thin waist, and wears her long blond hair in a large ponytail. Cho wears a pair of leather trousers dyed green and has a small selection of billowy blouses. She doesn't fight much, but if pressed into combat her weapon choice is a scimitar. 

  • Cho's mother taught her how to cook when she was a small child. When she joined the Navy, she brought her vast knowledge of fish recipes with her. This has helped her keep the crew's spirits up, and other captains of the fleet have requested her for their next voyage. 

  • Cho has an uneven temper that can sometimes cause her problems. She recently had an altercation with the First Mate, Gais Arni, when he complained about her biscuits being stale. Cho threw a punch and would have been punished by flogging, except the rest of the crew threatened to mutiny if that happened. 

  • Geography: Lesser Staplefish Bay covers about 2,000 square miles between Noldrune and Ceannar. The only exits to Staplefish Bay pass through or near Buccaneer’s Arc. Lapit Point, on the peninsula between the two bays, consists of an eastward-facing harbor with several piers, a dry dock, barracks, officer’s quarters, a chapel of the Ocean, warehouses and a watchtower slightly inland on a nearby hilltop. Many of the sailors stationed in Lapit Point have family or relatives just south in Bristlebrush , a fishing village of about 200 souls. Cho Deepvale’s mother and father own a seafood restaurant in Bristlebrush. 

  • Next Article: Notable persons and sites of the Arc part 7 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #189 

July 8th, 2023 

  • Number: 189 

  • Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Buccaneer's Arc of Ceannar Part 7: Rumport 

  • Location: Northwest Ceannar between Staplefish Bay and Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) 

  • Population (approx.): 350 

  • Brief: Rumport’s origins are lost to history but since the founding of the City-States, it has been home to all manner of ne’er-do-wells including smugglers, pirates, buccaneers, exiled nobles, displaced travelers, criminals on the run, mysterious strangers, and even one or two of the indigenous Wildfolk population.  

  • The Council of Captains, who run Rumport and the entire Arc, and dispense justice per the Oaths of Blood sworn to by any Captain who wishes to dock in the Arc, counts the following as worthy of a seat at the table: 

  • Commodore and Council chair Dane Balthier, 125, Elf male, is in a bit of pickle as he is a pirate captain in need of a ship. His last ship was sunk off the coast of Ceannar in a battle near Skyward Platform (#78).  His surviving crew scattered to other ports or ships. Dane has heard rumors of a golden statue that brings a tsunami on call. He started looking for a new crew (and ship) to seek the statue, but so far there's no interest. The other captains of the Council are considering replacing him with another such as Captain Crom. 

  • Captain Glade "Two Teeth” Xander, 34, a Human male of the “The Mermaid’s Revenge.” He captured the ship last year with his crew, The Sea Foxes. He is tall and has a beer gut, but he is very skilled with various sword types. He plans to raid with his new ship soon, but repairs keep him from leaving. 

  • Captain Harmor Divingham of the “The Greedy Abandoned” (#187) 

  • Captain Gesa Khuna, 41, Human woman, of the Red Raider. The ship, named for the coppery hair of her captain, is a mish-mosh of different parts from other ships. Gesa is of middling height and wears cloth pants and soft leather armor. Her favorite weapon is a short sword. Gesa's crew comprises a mish-mosh of former crew from other vessels including a couple survivors of Commodore Balthier’s lost vessel. 

  • Captain Regina “Bird’s Eye” Crowley of “It Takes Two” (#186) 

  • Other notables of Rumport include: 

  • Walfinas, 56, Half-Elf woman, is a scientist of the highest caliber. She is tall and chubby. Her favorite research is creating items that explode. Orman 'Crazy' Crom, the infamous (and crazy as she is) pirate, has given her a laboratory, a safe distance from Rumport, that lets her experiment with ways to add explosive effects to standard weapons. 

  • Bluebell Natas, 59, Human woman, is a witch that specializes in removing curses. She appears as a young woman dressed in a frilly blouse and a long skirt. Bluebell is herself under a curse that no one seems to know how to or care to cure. She keeps the locals free from harm and uses many herbs to keep everyone healthy. 

  • Geography: Rumport can be found nestled in a large cove on the south shore of Faom Motu island. The town is a hodgepodge of buildings made from wood (from wrecks or trees of the island) and stone (from earlier ruins found in the depths of the forest or pulled from atop Spyglass Hill). A pair of long piers, for the small boats of the pirate crews and several local fishing vessels, extend out into the cove. They lead to a single wide dirt and cobblestone path through the center of town and leading up the slopes to Spyglass Hill.  

  • The largest building is a mashup of a hotel, tavern and town hall, hosting the Council of Captains in a great central chamber in the center. It is surrounded by residences, a general store (items smuggled, scrounged or foraged), a pawnshop (loot for coin and vice versa), a tinker’s (handling both wood-working and smithing), a herbologist-healer (Bluebell Natas will you alive at least), and a run-down chapel to the Seas. 


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