In Ga'Leah, pirates are 'criminals' of the Maritanis. They are, in fact, a culture of maritime humans who worship the goddess of the sea and were blessed with the ability to call the world above the waves their home. The Pirate Kingdom is recognized by the Pantheon, with the Pirate King being a man accepted by Lyrielle the Coming Tide as a suitable leader for the kingdom.
They are typically found on the open ocean but sometimes take homes on land as well, either in coastal villages or on the islands off the coast of Ga'leah, many of which are claimed by the Pirates as part of their kingdoms. They are typically considered a plague upon the land-based kingdoms of Ga'leah especially those with navies, large fishing populations, and who depend upon maritime travel for the purposes of trade. Most often, the pirates exact a 'tax' upon any vessel on the oceans and those who either refuse or are unable to pay the tax live to regret it.
Pirates were first recognized by the Coming Tide shortly after the creation of humanity. Unlike the Fae who tried to tamper with the oceans using their magic, the humans seemed content to enjoy the bounty of her creation and praise her for its wonders. For this reason, she was much more apt to accept them as both denizens of the ocean and as worshippers.
One man was brave enough to venture into the temple of the Coming Tide and pray for a sign of her favor. He was rewarded with a rare appearance by Lyrielle who promised him several things in return for his appreciation of her domain and devotion to worshipping her.
The first was the opportunity to call the world above the ocean waves as their homes. They would not face her wrath for trespassing on the oceans so long asy tributes were made to the Coming Tide. The second was a ship of her own creation. There is a superstition that the Pirate King's ship has a soul of its own and that the ship itself will eventually rebel against any who try to usurp the Pirate King's throne but there is no documented proof of this ever ocurring. The Pirate King's vessel is renamed by each King who takes the throne. The last Pirate King, Captain Flint, named the ship the Walrus after his favorite seagoing animal. After Flint's murder, the ship was renamed the Hispaniola by Long John Silver. The third gift was the magical Treasure Island
Pirates are known far and wide for living however they wish but there are still laws in which they all follow.
- Obey the Pirate King for he is blessed by the God of the Ocean.
- Desertion in battle is punishable by death.
- Duels among crew are to be settled on shore. Quartermaster declares winner at first blood.
- Every ship must give a portion of their profits to the Pirate King or risk excommunication which can include but not limited so banishment, shunning and/or shaming.
- No prey, no pay; any man participating in a raid or expedition shall receive a portion of the loot based on seniority and length of service.
- Mutiny is punishable by death.
- Any pirate may request that their crimes be taken before the Pirate King for final judgment.
The Coming TideEdit
All pirates worship the Goddess of the Ocean, The Coming Tide. She is seen as many things to them but most commonly a mother and, on occasion, a lover of sorts. Praying to her provides them with protection on the seas although many ask for blessings in multiple things from a winning hand in a game of cards while on shore leave to having a successful raid or expedition. If a pirate finds themselves further inland, they will still try to remain close to a body of water such as a river or stream.
Ascension to the ThroneEdit
When the Pirate King dies, he passes on his legacy to his heir. Given that pirates are not known for their monogamy in most cases, there may be several possibilities from more than one mother. In these cases, the heir is the eldest child that the King recognizes as their own. Before his passing, a King may find the oldest to be unfit to rule and the next in line then becomes the heir.
Unlike most kingdoms, however, an heir is not simply given their throne. First, they must find the altar of The Coming Tide to make their claim. The location is either given to them by the previous King or marked on a map that is always in his possession should he pass unexpectedly and is also the current location of Treasure Island where the Pirate King hoards his stockpile. After reaching the altar, the heir must then state their claim. It is then up to The Coming Tide to either approve or disapprove through a sign of their own, whether it is appearing before them, an elemental change of their doing or some other magical display.
If the claim is accepted, that person shall become the new Pirate King and soon move the location of Treasure Island to one of their choosing along with the altar for The Coming Tide. Should the claim be disputed, they will not have any claim to the throne and further attempts to take it for themselves will lead to grave consequences.
Nobility can only be bestowed by the current Pirate King. Essentially, Captains are lords in the Pirate Kingdom and through the ceremony, in which they receive their title, are blessed by their patron god of the ocean. All are given a ship to command which serves as the equivalent of land although in rare cases, land might be given as well in the form of an island or in a coastal town that they have a strong hold on. Captains have the ability to choose their own Quartermasters and the title suggests that they are recommended to have their own ship someday.
Captains who try to claim to be a pirate without receiving the title from the Pirate King are a nuisance to the Kingdom. If caught, either by another ship, the King or even the God of the Ocean, their ship will be attacked and likely sunk. It is an incredible insult to sail under the title of pirate without the blessing of the patron god of the pirates, and is not tolerated.
Numerous pirates, particularly older ones, believe that it is bad luck to bring a woman on board a ship whether it is in port or at sea. This stems from men fighting over who will get to lie with her and causing overall tension among the men on board. Many think that a woman's presence will bring about harsh storms, fruitless raids and expeditions as well as mental illness. Proof has yet to be seen.
There is a tale that is spread among not only pirates but other sailors as well about Davy Jones. Some say that he is a ghost left to wander the open ocean while others make claims that he is actually cursed, trapped to his ship after making a bad deal with a god. It is believed that even just uttering his name will summon him from the depths. No matter the real story, it turns out that he is much more than a myth and trying to maintain 99 souls on his ship.
It is often considered good luck to have a cat on board. Not only do they help to keep down the pests that might find their way on the ship but an animal companion can be helpful in keeping the crew company while they are away at sea and far from their families.