Chronicles of Neverael
The Crimson Isles are part of a large archipelago which is situated between the continents of Antegaea (to the north) and Fal’Durast (to the south). These islands were once considered a part of the Domain of the Green Lords – the vile druid-necromancers of ancient Fal’Durast. They are dotted with ruins and abandoned temples – profane sites dedicated to dark forces of life, death, and nature. The environments of these isles, however, are anything but sinister in their appeal.
The Crimson Isles are tropical in climate, boasting sandy white beaches, palm trees, exotic flora and fauna, and turquoise waters. They’d be an almost idyllic place if it weren’t for the inherently unstable nature of the local political landscape. The area is, officially, ruled over by a confederacy of merchant princes and pirate lords operating under the thinly veiled guise of legitimacy. To outsiders, the Crimson Isles present a face of seeming solidarity – they elect a representative to the Concordant Council, pay their tariffs, and allow free passage of ships flying the colors of the Concordance. Anyone passingly familiar with the region knows that this is a facade – the region is in constant flux as the different factions seek to outmaneuver and outfight one another in pursuit of greater territory and prestige. The concerns of the Concordance are of little import in the Crimson Isles – a secondary consideration at best and an inconvenience to be circumvented in as expedient a manner as possible in the worst case scenario.
Piracy runs rampant in these isles, even those who claim greater legitimacy than their peers are often guilty of the crime of piracy. Nominally, ships flying the right colors are left alone – or no witnesses are left alive to implicate the responsible party. Many a ship has been “lost to the sea” while sailing the Crimson Isles. However, the pirate clans of the region are not the only danger to unwary travelers. The waters of the Crimson Isles are cruised by sharks of all shapes and sizes – including, it is said, the Shark God Moalii and his kin. There are, of course, reports of attacks by sea-serpents, krackens, and even angry whales from time to time – and who is to say that these accounts are not true? Brine Dragons, while rare, do exist and are known to pass through the Crimson Sea on occassion. A few of the smaller islands are also known to harbor the savage descendants of the Fal’Durastian people who once settled on the isles – now war-like, cannibalistic, and practicioners of strange, warped magicks. And there is, of course, the infamous madman known only by the moniker “The Scarlet Tiger.” This barbarous fiend abducts travelers and sets them loose on his island so that he may have the pleasure of hunting and killing them – some say he eats his prey and makes trophies out of those parts he does not consume.
Despite the rampant dangers of the region, the Crimson Isles are nonetheless a very desirable port of call for many sailors. Exotic goods and illicit services of all types can be found amongst these atolls. The ruling clan of the past five years, Darthane-Ur, has made efforts to see that trade between the Isles and the other nations of the Concordance is disrupted as little as possible – even going so far as to enlist the assistance of a small fleet of Leoransian mercenary marines. Their efforts have actually enjoyed some success thus far – though rumors of unrest amongst the pirate lords might be forewarning of trouble on the horizon.
Ethnic Characteristics: The peoples of the Crimson Isles come from many racial backgrounds but have, over time, mingled together to form a distinct breed. Crimson Islanders are very darkly tanned with hair colors ranging from dark brown to dirty blonde. Crimson Islanders almost uniformly have dark eyes of an almond shape – dark brown or deep green are common. Males amongst the breed stand about 5’9” tall on average with females growing to be about 5’6” on average. Builds vary amongst the Crimson Islanders, but most tend to be lithe and athletic.
Major Cities: Karneckli, Taurigh, Zefrin
Major Exports: Rum, fruit, coconuts, fish, shellfish, pearls, coral.