Birth of the Seas
With the birth of seafaring ships, there came a new class of people. Men were no longer bound to the social classes that nations had followed, for the seas were now a freedom gifted unto the men who dared to face the treacherous bodies of water. Many men found themselves seeking out the freedoms of life at sea. Massive ships were being constructed to fulfill the ambitions of men who dared to face the open seas. The creation of these ships would lead to the discovery of many fortunes that would go beyond the commoner’s grasp of reality. However, fortunes such as these hardly ever come without a hefty price. The possibility of untold riches and fame tends to create a highly insatiable greed for man’s dreams to come true. The first men to steal from others on the seas were the bandits, but as soon as word got out of how great battles at sea led to pure profit for the victor, even the commoners chose to toss their lot to the seas. The romantic idea of being self-led, living a self-determined life with a crew to back you led to these kinds of ideas being ingrained in the minds of the soon to be pirates. People who thought they deserved what others have led to the very creation of early pirates. Pirates are the bandits of the seas, believing THEY should have the glorious fortunes of the seas, as well as the fortunes of others. Shortly after seafaring began, the greatest enemy of the seas became the seafarers themselves.
Rise of the Seas
There were Twelve ambitious men; the first admirals: a highlander, two heartlanders, four elves, two dwarves, an orc, a farfolk, and an easterner. Each man ambitiously sought to become the greatest scourge of the seas. They amassed fleets that shook the very waters they laid claim over. Each Admiral held a portion of the seas under their command as they settled their territories. The first few years consisted of skirmishes and small scale battles, as the admirals tested their fleets against each other. However, the fleets seemed to be of equal match with very few admirals being capable of claiming more territory from the others.
The Great Ocean War
An empire of old found the seas as part of their claim. Seeing the ambitious pirate fleets as an act of terror upon their lands, they birthed a great navy, which would black out the distant horizon with its imperial ships. It has been said that even the most vile and brutal men trembled before the sight of these ships scouring the waters. Pirate captains of unaffiliated ships were the first to face the full brunt of the navy. The navy slaughtered anyone who dared enter the newly claimed imperial waters. The reaches of the imperial navy started to spread into the territories claimed by the Pelagian fleets. The first battle was settled between the farlander fleet; they rallied forty ships to their cause. At daybreak, the imperial fleet arrived with twice the amount of ships, each manned with imperial loyalists. They fought like feral dogs, leaving no man quarter. The imperials had declared any ship that refuses to fly under imperial colors must be given no quarter. The brave fleet admiral was the first to sally forth, leading the charge against the imperials. The sounds of cracking wood and dying men lasted for ten hours as the Pelagian men refused to lay in wait for their deaths. Stories and songs were later made, signifying the ferocity and will of a Pelagian Sailor.
The Council is Born
The war waged on as the imperials slowly stripped the Pelagian fleets of their territories. They were pushed back into the darkest corners of the seas, retaining singular coves just large enough to hold their fleets. Desperate fleets with dwindling numbers sought out other fleets to form alliances with, causing factions of Pelagians to form. The first to call all the factions together was Robert Fletch of the Adrolan Fleet. The heartlander contacted the eleven other Pelagian admirals to a meeting on open waters. The meeting was set on a crisp and low wind morning. The boats arrived with an uneasiness unlike any other, the Admirals halted and hoisted their sails as they waited for someone to make the first move. Rothland Malone of the Red Fleet and Takehiko Jun’ichi of the Black Sun Fleet were the first to throw hooks against each other and form a pathway to each other's ships. The two leaders have had past dealings with each other, allowing them to become examples to the other fleet admirals to follow their steps. It took around ten minutes before the chain reaction began to set, allowing the first meeting to be successfully held. Robert Fletch led the talks as they argued about the current status of the empire pushing upon all the fleet's territory. Six hours of arguing had passed to no avail, for the admirals couldn’t trust each other. The idea of a united fleet seemed to be more grim as time passed. So, Robert Fletch used the only thing that these men would follow. A Gold Coin, he engraved his name upon the gilded coin as a sign to the gods. Bounding his soul to the coin, he handed it over to the Admiral beside him. Seeing his trust, the others eventually followed suit. Each held a coin of another fleet, giving them enough leverage over each other to face the imperial fleet as one.
On a windy morning, the united Pelagian fleets sailed forth to the Imperial waters. They hoisted red flags, chanting sea shanties as they crossed the waters. Then, the twelfth hour struck, and the two massive fleets met each other on the open seas. Nearly three hundred ships on either side had been rallied for this day. Any sane man would feel the tension at the sight before them, but something came over the Pelagians. Something... inhuman. They continued to sing as they sailed onto their early graves. Fearing nothing, they clashed with the imperials, fire and ballista bolts blinded the men as they fought. The haze filled with wooden shrapnel covered their eyes as they crossed boarding bridges. It was pure hell - hell that lasted fourteen hours, only to leave the waters soaked in blood and covered in the remains of once-great ships. The remaining Pelagian ships could only offer a solemn cheer for their close victory as they sailed away.
The Fall of the Six
The returning shell of a fleet held its second meeting to determine how they would divide the reclaimed territory. Unfortunately, all greedy men want more than what they are owed. Six of the Admirals including the Malones and Jun’ichi’s organized a plan to kill the other captains and take their coins back. On a cold crisp night, the six Admirals gathered to the meeting hall with the others. At first, the meeting seemed normal and went smoothly, until the first man struck out. Each Admiral turned to the man on their right side and proceeded to stab them in the back with their blades. They tossed the coins of the dead admirals off the side of the ship, which they would come to regret later. It has been said that a curse was set that day, that the betrayed returned as the damned; that they would take up arms in revenge, as the pact was broken. Haunted by their misdeeds, the remaining admirals swore to never again break the pact.
The New Order
Shortly after the event of killing the six other admirals, they divided their territories between each other. The men claimed themselves as the first Pirate Lords of the seas, setting a meeting time every fifty years to discuss the nature of the seas. It is said that men and their descendants are still haunted to this day by the men they betrayed.
Superstitions and Religion
The afterlife generally thought to house the dead Pelagians, is that of a large island, with taverns and drinks plentiful. The Pelagian never starving, or thirsting. The water around the island is always calm and easy. The winds are never brash or harmful.
Pelagians who join a crew are given a coin specifically designed by that crew. It’s a marker of who they are with essentially. They engrave their initials into the coin, thus sealing their soul onto the coin. This act seals the sailor’s fate for a life on the seas, but there’s a sense of severity as it’s considered that the coin holds the soul. Captains are given their crew members coins to resemble a pact of trust and loyalty to the crew. It’s the captain's duty to bury their dead with their coin, otherwise they’re considered to be sent to the damned to seek revenge and their coin. Coinless are seen as soulless beings on the sea, to whom many Pelagians either pity or feel disgust towards. Coins have also been seen being used as currency for a life. Each coin is worth one soul of a new pelagian, so some captains respect it as payment for certain jobs.
The Six Patrons
It is said that the admirals that were betrayed became the Six patrons of the seas, as they lacked their coins to move on. This left many Pelagians scared of the consequences of breaking the oaths of the coin. It’s said that these patrons watch over Pelagians and punish the ones that break the customs and rules.
Patron of the Damned
An Orc Admiral by the name of Xurrukk the Red was the first to fall. He was the only Orc Admiral in the Pelagian Fleets, and was the most feared of all. It has been said that his men could fight long after being “killed”, brutally fighting without fear. After his betrayal, a rumor had been spread around of a ship of undead scouring the seas, hunting those who betrayed other Pelagians and himself. Those who are betrayed during a pirate lord meeting or lose their coin are sent to the fleet of the damned to serve in it. Many Pelagians fear the tales of running into the ships of the damned, and naming ships after them is considered taboo.
Patron of Wind
The Fastest Admiral of the seas was an Elven man by the name of Kyraatar the Cutter. He was well known for his speeds and luck with wind, or what most thought was luck. He tracked the winds and used them to his advantage. Ironically, he was killed by pure luck of the draw, as he held a coin of one of the betrayers. Sailmasters tend to look towards his example, and often call upon his name for wind.
Patron of the Waves
Ragnik the small was the first dwarven admiral to make his name upon the oceans. Many called him small, but never neglected his strength and skill to survive the storms. He was known to sail through storms without fear and always coming out on top. Unfortunately, his skill with sea storms didn’t save him from the storm of betrayal. Many Pelagians call out his name for guidance through storms.
Patron of Death
The brave and loved Admiral Robert Fletch was killed during the betrayal, sending his soul to an unsatisfied afterlife. It’s said that he ferries the souls of the Pelagians to the afterlife in his life of purgatory, feeding the coinless souls to the damned fleet or sending them to the next life. It’s said that many Pelagians offer a solemn prayer to him before their deaths if they’re lucky enough. Unfortunately, most Pelgians don’t get the chance before their untimely end.
Patron of Battle
An Elven Admiral by the name of Althrin the wise was known as the most clever Pelagian to ever sail the seas. Many men respected him for his skill in maneuvering ships around during combat. Althrin's men were highly trained and disciplined, more than the average Pelagian fleet. It is said that the admirals gave him respect after they murdered him, seeing it as a shameful thing that they’ve done to such a brilliant man. Many Pelagian Captains and officers call upon his wisdom even to this day, almost as a good luck charm before a battle.
Patron of Treasure
Abdulkareem the Greedy, was the richest Pelagian admiral of them all. It’s been said that his flagship was lined with pure gold! The Admiral always found a way to find riches from the deep sea or islands he’d come across. He was also the prime target of jealousy, making him one of the first names mentioned during the planning of the betrayal. Needless to say, the superstitious Pelagians call upon his name every so often in hopes of bettering their chances at striking it rich.
Pure Black Flag
It’s known throughout the Pelagian people that ships that fly the black flag mean no harm and are simply passing through. It’s a relief for merchants that wander too close to these ships, or for other Pelagians crossing contested waters. It’s very rare that ships that fly this flag attack other ships, though it’s not entirely unheard of. Those who do attack using this flag are outcasts from society and seen as men who are soon to be damned.
Each crew has their own jolly roger flag, usually on a black or red flag, this is a signal of a true pelagian crew.
The White flag isn’t a sign of surrender, more of a sign of willingness to talk. Ships that fly this flag intend to negotiate terms that both parties can equally walk away from. Though, it’s also seen that larger fleets that fly this flag are wishing to speak to smaller ships and induct them into the fleet.
The Red sails are a testament to Xurrukk the Red and his fearsome men. Ships that fly the red flag or sails are sending a message that they don’t take prisoners. All men that dare face them will be given no quarter or mercy. There have been rare cases that some men are given mercy if they gain the respect of the crew during their battle.
Typically red torn flags are flown above a ship vertically as a sign of “No Surrender”. Ships that fly this flag are desperate and plan on dying with their ship. Their men expect to die in the upcoming or rise victorious, which can scare some captains away as they don’t want to lose men to death determined men. This flag is rarely flown without the consent of every crew member.
Universal Rules and Expectations
Pelagians can be seen as a lawless people that have no sense of morality, but contrary to popular belief, they have a strong sense of codes that all Pelagians follow.
Every crewmate, man or woman, shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment and shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized. Until rationing is required for the ship's survival.
Don’t Steal from Crew Members
Every crewmate is owed a proper share of the plunder or pay that the crew earns, only varying by their rank within the crew. Any man caught stealing or hiding plunder of value shall be marooned. This includes crew members who died in combat. It is still expected that they will be given their share, by simply being buried with it. Those who take that buried shares are outcast and seen as men heading to join the Damned.
Every crew member is expected to keep their equipment well maintained. Those who fail to keep some sort of standard of readiness are subject to punishment. The severity varies by how the captain feels.
No Intercourse on the Boat
The act of procreating on any boat is punishable by death by hanging, using the perpetrators’ entrails. All activities of that nature are done off the boat and typically far away.
Running away from battle or abandoning the crew is a one-way ticket to becoming coinless. Men who abandon their crews are typically casted out and often even killed if they’re ever caught.
Disputes are Settled off the Boat
It’s expected for crew members to become irritable with each other as they’re stuck with each other for long periods of time. Fighting on the boat is not allowed and can call for punishment if the captain chooses to do so. All fights are brought onto shore, but any injuries that the other man gives to the other has to make up for the lack of work. This means their chores and required work is doubled if they damage the other crew member too much.
Pay for Wounded
Crew members that lose limbs are subjected to compensation. They’re given three times their share as compensation. Captains who fail to do this are typically thrown out by the crew and casted out by other Pelagians.
All are allowed to invoke the action of ‘Parley’. Once a parley is called, either with the white flag or through shouting, all engagement will stop, and the Captain will be escorted to the enemy Captain's quarters to negotiate surrender or other terms. During this time, the Captain nor their crew shall come into harm by the opposing crew.
Attacking a fellow Pelagian ship that is docked is extremely frowned upon. This includes any of the crew that are in port at the time. All battles must be taken either to the seas or away from the port you or they are docked at.
Navy Men are considered slaves to the rule of land lovers. They’re seen as invaders to the free open seas and any navy ship that a pelagian comes across is typically shot down instantly. There's no quarter for navy men as their vicious dogs that are ripping the seas apart.
It’s not unheard of for Pelagian crews to be hired by nations to attack or defend places. However, there are unspoken rules to how a Pelagian may take on these jobs. This is because they end up riding a fine line between Navyman and Privateer. A Privateer should not wear the nation's uniform while conducting the job, nor receive any kind of rank within that nation's military. Otherwise, they’re nothing more than a navy-dog who’s abandoned his very culture and life.
Children who find themselves “lucky enough” to join a Pelagian crew are nicknamed ‘barrel monkeys’. They typically wash the decks and clean weaponry while aboard the ship, completing chores as their way to earn their keep. During battle they’re not spared the time to hide as there’s nowhere really for them to go, so instead they're typically ammo carriers for the ship's armaments.
This is very rare! Most Pelagian men don’t stick around long enough to even name their children! It’s culturally normal for them to simply abandon their children with the women they were with. The rare cases in which a male Pelagian decides to do some parenting, they typically are harsh and dismissive of their children. They’ll treat them just like the other barrel monkeys. If the parent dies for any circumstance the crew typically takes on the role of raising the child as a group effort unless the parent originally abandoned the child.
This may be rare, but it happens every so often. Marriages are sanctified by the captain of the ship, typically melting the two soul coins together. There’s an exchange of rings in some cases, using unique metals found from the ocean. It’s not typically taboo to step out of the bounds of marriage when sailing, as Pelagians tend to find the ‘interactions’ as a natural thing just like eating or drinking. However, it’s left up to the two that are wed to decide.
The Pirates spend most of their time aboard a ship living the life of the sea, but there have always been those who retire to the land. Pirate Coves are typically controlled by the fleets that they’re aligned with. Thus, the Admiral of the fleet is typically the head of the cove. Since they’re often gone out at sea, they leave a leader of sorts in charge of the cove in their absence. It’s a lawless land simply held together by the honor and codes of the Pelagian people. Most outsiders can find some sort of safety there, but once they’ve overstayed their welcome, the locals typically get aggressive. The coves are always constructed near water as they’re constantly getting ships coming in and out of their lands.
The language that the Pelagians follow shifts around quite a bit. There’s no set language that every Pelagian understands and follows, but as individual groups, they tend to develop their slang. This ‘Pirate Speak’ is entirely derived from their native language and jargon that they’ve picked up over time. Each fleet and sometimes even crews will develop their version of Pirate Speak.
Each Fleet/bloodline that is created can and should develop their own jargon. It’s suggested to fully use your native tongue and create jargon that you think would be used to some extent. If your bloodline is a similar race to another bloodline, please ask permission to use their version of pirates speak.
The Malone bloodline was started by a heartlander commoner by the name of Rollan Malone. He was a simple man that followed a life of thievery and robbery. He wasn’t the most educated man, but what he lacked in schooling he made up for in wit. When he first heard about the seas and its untold riches he decided to dress up as a nobleman who was going to buy a ship. He and a few members of his bandit group played their parts perfectly as they were talking to the local shipwright. They climbed aboard the ship with the invitation of the shipwright and received a full tour and lesson on how the boat worked. Shortly after they found themselves sailing off with the boat and tossing the shipwright off the side.
The Red Fleet
Under the time of Pelagian fleets rising from the seas, Rothland Malone had already spent most of his time in the southern hemisphere and tropical islands. Many of the locals found him and his crew quality company, as he tended to help the small fishing villages he visited. He had one singular village that had a “special place in his heart.” Malone enjoyed visiting for its rum and a particular woman. Many of the local village lads joined his fleet as they wanted to see the life that he was living: Pure Freedom. Unfortunately for him and the many young men that came from these villages, once the Empire started to push the Pelagians back, they targeted their villages as Pelagian hideouts. The Imperials didn’t hesitate to kill anyone who stayed in their homes, showing no mercy for women or children. Upon hearing this, the Malone Fleet took their transgressions personally and painted their sails red in navy men's blood after every victory. Late into the war with the empire, the entire fleet’s sails were red with blood. Ever since, the fleet has hoisted red sails as a tribute to their ancestor’s anger and vengeance, giving themselves the name “The Red Fleet”.
The Red Fleet uses Caribbean style ships in their arsenal. They typically can rise around 90 blocks long for their frigates and as small as 45 blocks long for their sloops. They’re well crafted for tropical and rainy climates and sometimes customized with heavy rams that can break into the sides of ships or break up the ice. Their sails are typically red and consist of a mix of jackknife sails and heavy masts. They are typically armed with Xbows and sometimes ballista as their main armament.
The Red Fleet uses a variety of weaponry that’s similar to your classic pirates. European style blades and hard steel. They typically embroider them with symbols of their Jolly Roger. There are some rare cases that they’ll find ores from the ocean and make fine pieces of weaponry and rings with it. They specialize in close combat, so most weaponry is built with that in mind. Siege weaponry isn’t their strong suit, but they do specialize in ship weaponry such as ballistas for naval battles.
They use common tongue mixed with a variety of slang. A more formal list of the language will be set at a later date once proper rp is set and made with the language.
OOC Blood Line Info
If anyone wishes to make a bloodline they’ll have to contact cypriancyberniskos#3032 or Mistel#5521. Anyone who makes a bloodline (Six Total) will have to design a culture post within reference to this post, allowing a more unique look to their fleet/bloodline. If anyone wishes to use this culture we’re open to letting people join and thrive as a Pelagian crew. If you’re wanting to talk to us about anything confusing we have a discord for this culture. https://discord.gg/aWJJatg