The Endless Isles.
A world where the legendary Two-Dagger Torreau stole away Death herself, leaving the door to immortality open for any who choose to take the Final Oath.
A limitless ocean, scattered with islands, archipelagos, and atolls of all sizes and varieties, but no true continents where an ordered nation could set up entirely land-based industry.
A society where piracy is so common, almost everyone has tried their hand at it once.
When death is optional, everything of consequence must cross wave, and geography prevents policed trade lanes or true nations with navies from forming, the only way to get things done is to play the Grand Game. Sail the waves, prove stronger and more cunning than the other Deathless cutthroats out there, and buy or seize any cargo needed at whatever islands you control or can trade with… for a hefty cut of the finished product, of course.
You want to enjoy the rest of eternity? You want excitement and hedonism, wealth and wine and the thrill of a good fight?
Get out there and take The Oath, pirate!
In the Beginning
"In the beginning the land was dry and the world was whole. Man could walk as far as he could see and vast seas of sand stretched in every direction. In the beginning there was the First Emperor, Carver of Worlds. He ruled the land and was a god to men. His cartographer's came to him one day and told him that they had mapped the world and all that was in it. The First Emperor was proud of his men and asked them what more could he add to his domain.
'We have mapped all the land in almost every direction,' they told him,' We have seen the edge of the world, and further. But we wonder now, what could be below?' they asked him.
'Sky,' they told him,' Sky. The sun leaves your empire for the night, it must rise in another. The moon and stars walk from one land to the next.' The First Emperor did not wait for another word. He set his men to dig, and so they did. It was not long before their spades broke through, into the world below. The bright sun shone through the breach from the depths of a surreal world. The world moved as flames rise from a fire. And the good Emperor looked down and saw in a flash, a beautiful queen. she looked at him from the rippling world and he reached down to her. But in another flash, she was gone. The First Emperor had never seen a woman so gorgeous, and wished for her to be his. He would not stop until she was his.
'Men,' he said to them,' dig! Dig into this world, make it mine!' And they dug and he searched for his queen. They dug until the only sand left was that sifting on the bottom of the ocean and only the hardest or rock was left behind. Some say he's still out there, digging. Past the fringe, on the edge of nothing, carving these Endless Isles..."
A Mentor's Advice
To Be a Pirate
"ye think yer a pirate, do yah, saplin'? Arharhar, well I know a thing'r two 'bout pirates 'nd it ain't but just a laymn's term, but a wurd 'ny man cn' take. Tuh be a real pirate, yah gotta be a pirate. Yeh gotta give yur heart to the sea, you gotta swer tuh her you'll nevah leave 'er. You gotta know yer ship good, treat' 'er like the fin'est er women. Ye gotta be'uh pirate, a'corse, before you cn be'uh pirate. So wind tuh the sails, laddy... and yu'll be a pirate yet."
"The Emporah', boy, he's tha reas'n ye walk this 'ere world, 'eh is. Look out'a tha horizon, child, see tha isles go on 'n on for 's far 's ye c'n see! tha's the Emporah's folly, boy. 'Eh use'ta rule tha land fro' 'ere ta ther. It all use ta' be 'is, it did, but when tha soggy git found tha ocean, 'eh made one 'uge mistake, eh. 'Eh fell in love, he did. Ner, tha's not somthin' ye want to be doin', is it, as the sea, a bu'tiful mistress, c'n be broken by no man. S'all ye c'n do 's give 'er yer heart 'n hope she'll see ya fare. Bu' the Emporah', 'eh keeps a lookin' for 'er, tryin' to take 'er fer 'imself."
"Un' in a mill'yon men'll find fortune in 'is scrap'uh land. 'Nd ee'l do anythin' tuh protect it. Now, us pirates 'er quite fond 'uh gold, ye'see, 'nd these men gotta lot o'it. Barons, we calls 'em. Thuh' kind with thu'h currency to keep ther' loot in check. Why, I ever ser' one wall in 'is island, ah! 'eh taut eh was thuh' clever'st uh dogs, eh did. But meh cap'n, ol' Torn-'Ook Tommy, 'eh knew wut tuh do. 'Eh gathered tugether e'ery anchor 'eh could git 'is derty li'l mits on 'nd sailed straight 'nder the wall! Ahaha! Whin we knocked on 'is door *knock knock*, 'eh ne'rly keeled ov'r! Cap'n never t'ld 'im how 'eh did it, neither."
Dead Wind Keep
"Dead Wind Keep! Scourge of pirate kind, it is. Aye, you've 'eard oh her. Stark white, she is, a 'orrid place. Perch'd on a cliff, tha builders thot they coul' catch that wind 'nd a great mill, bu' there's no wind tuh be caught, not ev'n a breeze. 'Nd the walls 'uh that enfernal 'ell 'ole seep wit' the blood of hundr'ds 'uh pirates, pray'in for death, 'nd eve'y day thuh keepahs swab tha walls and wash tha blood into tha sea. But the keepahs won' let 'em die, no sir. A dead pirate is'uh free pirate. 'Nd they don' want that. On'y two pirates manag'd to squeel ther way outta that'un, but you're not ev'n a pirate yet, boy. Jus' keep your arse ou' uh ther', you hear me? Is not a place you wan' to spend the res' o' your forevuh'."
"Aye, son. Fort Cross is tha' end a'tha road fur us pirates. Tha Crusaders run't like a slaughta 'ouse. A dead place, like none ya' ev'r see. They know, ther', bout 'ow ta keep tha shade away frum a pirate. O'corse, som'r tha pirates go ther' willingly, ya'know. Life rea'y ca'ches up ta ya... You end up thinkin' 'bout yourself...'nd ya gotta tell yurself... ya jus' gotta git past it, ya know. But som'o 'em ne'er do. Som'o 'em jus' waltz up ta tha gates 'nd.. 'nd.. well, they don' walk out. Nothin' like Dead Wind Keep, nothin' atall. they know, yesee. 'Nd they don' take no prison'rs."
"Ahar, Louisport, ya say... 'Avn't been ther in ages! Bahaha, I'd say I have a bet wit' damn nea' half o' tha town! ahahar, yah woul't thin' a pirate, born 'n bred as I, woul' be rakin' muck in tha middle o' no where fer no reason? Hahaha, a pirate town, indeed! You'd ne'er see such a raspy no goo' bunch o' rottin eggs agin! Louisport, now tha's a town. Boy, I'll take ya some day, I swer. oh, but tha smell, oh, ya wouldn' believe tha smell. 'Nd if that didn' kill ya, the folk wou'd. ahahar, I'll take ya some day, son. someday."
"Good Haverland, ye say... 'Ave I ev'r been? Ha, nought 'til they drag me soggy bones there! Well, aint much good 'bout it, 'nyways. A port fer nought, but cow'rds, ev'n before Ol' Torreau's trick. Scrape meh sidewar's if a single cap'n in them murky wat'rs ev'r did a lick o' honest piratin' in ther life. Aye, boy, Aye. A poor lot, ye might thin', but they git ther kicks. Crusaders, they are, jus' fancy laym'n's terms fur a pirate 'unter. They don' like tha Oath, ye'see, they say it 'unnatural' 'nd 'unholy', ha! Tell meh, boy, look out a'tha horizon ther... Look out a'tha ships 'nd islands 'nd tell me th's world aint mean' fur pirate! 'Tis only fair we git ta sail these seas forevuh. 'Nyway, they take'un good, hon'st pirates 'nd takin' 'em to Fort Cross 'er Dead Wind keep, I told yer 'bout Fort Cross 'nd Dead Wind Keep, roight? Aye, aye, like I s'd, scoundrels, e'ery one o' 'em."
Mad Bonny Flint
"Aye, aye, one 'uh the greatest pirates ta' ev'r sail. Mad Bonny Flint, a mad lass, indeed. She di' this dance, yehsee, a dance like non' you ev'r saw. 'Nd she'd dance inta' tha nigh'. A li'le bonked in the 'ead, yah see, though most 'uh tha best ar'. Some say all tha' dancin' 'as left 'er 'ead knock'd about a peg'r two. But I know wha' really gotta 'er, eh, 'er trip ta' Dead Wind Keep. Yea', saplin', she took er fare share o' death, bu' she made itout, she did. Nev'r tha same aft'r, I hear. O'corse, I nev'r wint near 'er, a demon of a wom'n, but a wom'n all tha same."
"Well, I 'eard they gotta creature up in them 'ills. A monstroci'y, who prays on tha shades o'us pirates. they 'ave 'im locked down ter tha floor' but all that chains 'n anchors from 'ere ta 'Averland could'n hold 'im down. Death's lawle's mutt, run of, they say. But who'r they ter be talkin' bout 'im 'nyway. There has yet ta be a pirate to escape fro' Fort Cross. Ye c'n talk all ye want 'bout torches 'nd creatures, but I don' believe a lick o'it till a good hon'st pirate springs Fort Cross 'nd spins us a yarn. Un'til then, ye can count me ta stay away frum tha' place, you should too."
Pirates of Note
Mad Bonny Flint
There are many tales about this lass, an' believe me 'earties each is true.
It's said that she took the Final Oath when she was just a lass of 16, and the years have not been kind to her.
Just as some of you might, she's danced the hempen jig, a few too many times for anyone to be comfortable. Her ship the Bloody Mary is a fearsome sight, the whole ship is the color of blood, some say it's from the blood of innocent men she's tied to it to keep it afloat, and yet others say she works her crew until they bleed, the truth me 'earties is even more dire, she slits the throats of her crew, a mad ritual to Davy Jones. Just to keep the first Crusader off her back she kills her men. Beware the Madwoman with the knife, for even the Albatrosses won't go near her ship. Take this tale to heart lads, never get caught at what ye do, or Mad Bonny's fate might be yer own.
Camille "Raven Eye" Blaque
Odd that such a fine young lass would sully herself with piracy, but the Final Oath does strange things to people. Her Ship the Blackbird is said to have sailed all over these endless seas, never touching the same port twice, why it's even claimed that she's met Two Daggers Torreau. I say that old grog is easier to swallow than most of her legend, however I do know this much to be true, it's said that after her Final Oath, she sought out one of those Voodoo women, wanted the eye of a raven see, so she could aim her pistols as well as a cannon, however she has to keep it covered up most times as it's a little strange, some even say she met some old witch on an island somewhere that cursed her good eye, the one she was born with to drain of it's color, to show that she was twice damned, first for taking the Final Oath, and the second for making a deal with the voodoo woman. Now some tales say that the voodoo woman and the witch are the same person, we'll never know, last time she was in this port was four years ago, and we know she'll never be back, beware a white flag when it bears two cutlasses and a bird boyos, lest ye be... conscripted onto her wandering ship, to ever sail these isles.
Thomas 'The Hatter' Gattler
'Eh spend a while in one of them monasteries, learnin' some. An Alchemist who has inhaled too many chemicals for his own sanity, but a captain none dare cross. He doesn't sleep, and only drinks a foul brew of his own concoction. Throws vials of burning dust, and charges through the corrosive smoke, cutlass in hand. His face is covered in scars from burns old and new, but he doesn't feel pain anymore either. He captains the Wyvern, and takes on cabin boys to learn his alchemical arts. However he's found in his chemicals a way to burn you from the inside out, glowing so that there are no shadows within you or without. And he uses it on his apprentices at a whim.
Jack "Ages" Hangrope
An old man, who swore the Final Oath on his deathbed, mere moments after death was stolen. This ancient captain has still yet to die once, his old frame bent over the wheel as he steers the good ship Chronos, the oldest man still living. Each of his teeth have been replaced with a different metal, one of gold, one of iron, one of silver, one of copper, and so on so that his smile coming out of his gaunt face is a most fearsome sight. He runs the jolly roger with his trademark teeth of color.
Many have tried to upheave him, thinking that he is an old man, and will be quick to die, but his skill with the sword has been practiced longer then any other and his rheumy eyes are still as sharp as an eagles when he has a gun in hand. His body is rotting with age, but even this won't seem to kill him, his pickled skin stitched together like his sails, flags and his ship.
The Chronos is an ancient ship, with rigging from another age and it still has a ballista mounted on the prow. However it keeps pace with newer ships, it's barnacled and rotting hull not slowing it down, for who can outrun age itself?
"Dancing Blades" Joe
There are many tales of mutiny, but Joseph has taken part in more then most. A sly bastard son of Torreau (or so he claims) most of the most famous Captains in the seas have had a ship stolen by Johnny. A glib and charming young man, he goes by a new name each time he comes forth, a young landlubber taking to the sea. He takes to the life at sea too well, winning debts from captain and crew, but discharging them at a moments notice. Once they're at sea for a while, he builds resentment against the captain, playing every crewman against each other at dice and cards, until the most loyal to the captain are owed debts tenfold what the others can pay, and then takes over the ship one night when the captain's loyal crew come down with a bout of sharp steel, and the captain catches it in plain sight of the crew later, blade in hand so none can doubt Dancing Blades skill with daggers.
He never captains the same ship twice, but instead builds up and amasses treasure in a hiding spot only he knows about. After offloading a lot of his gold he steers his ship into the Worlds Maw, a tidal maelstrom which is over a jagged reef. It's said that the world devours your shadow if you fall in, and no-one save Johnny even claims to have fallen in. They say that the Devil don't trust him not to take over Hell, so he spits him back into life, shadow eaten or not.
Then there's the story of Blind Johnny, most daring son of a gun you've ever seen. He has both his eyes, but it's not like he needs them. I've seen him unload a brace of pistols, eyes closed the whole time, and only a single hole in target. Six holes in the wall directly behind it though, not a single miss. Was a wild captain to serve under, I danced the shades twice with him, and I'd follow him anywhere. Well, near anywhere. Left him for the sea floor after I heard where he was heading last. Wants to raid Deadwind Keep, soon as he can find a crew. Mad he is, but if there was a son of a woman who could do it, he'd be the one. He got cannonballs betwixt his legs he does.
His raid on Fort Cross though, that was brilliance. First trip to sea after swearing my Final Oath, had a crew of us yung'ns who didn't know a bit better. Gave us all vials, said they'd explode if we mixed the red and the green. Told us to hide them in our mouths, and the moment we were captured to bite down hard. Me an him were the only ones to escape alive, a few more rejoined us later, the others either were captured or didn't want to have anything to do with Johnny Boy ever again. But we got us fame enough that for ale in every port, and two or three women apiece. And he got what he was after - he put a shot straight through his old mates eyes, t'save him from the burning what no man comes back from. Now I don't mess with Crusaders, an there's a reason I don't use my real name, or tell this tale on any night but the last in any port, because I don't have the balls of that man. And I've saved my red'n'green, slept with them close my whole life, because the only thing worse then the final death, well... we don't speak about deadwind.
The Red Velvet Prince
Also called the Terror of Toroguay and Cruel-Lipped Karl, they say no pirate has embraced the race for hedonistic delights, no matter how dark, as strongly as has he. They say he considers his own heart-breaking face, smooth, pale, and fine-boned as any debutante, to be his greatest treasure of all.
So far as any Deathless can remember, he's never been seen to appear over thirty; they say he sails back to his home island, some deserted rock only his most trusted officers know, to kill himself every time he manages to go a decade without the Shadow Dance setting him back to the visual age of seventeen, so he never has to see himself grow old.
Tales from the Fringe
The stories continue. Follow here for The Tale of Davey Jones, The Iron Molars of Thomas P. Beckmen and more!
first thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/9832207/
second thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/9845296/
third thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/9922370/
fourth thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/9943059/
fifth thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/10051759/
sixth thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/10095741/
big thanks to golden neckbeard for basically creating the entire setting, anonymous for requesting, anonymous for writefagging, anonymous for making the intro graphic, anonymous for character and place ideas and anonymous for always being there.