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Friday, September 18, 2009

Pirates of the Vast Freeholds

I would like to do an article on pirates, infamous figures and bands, their culture, their idioms, their attitudes, their fashions, and their haunts.

I will be undertaking a review of the ideas that have already been developed to date, give it some continuity, and make it reasonable from a roleplaying perspective. Shadow Shack has already provided a rather large body of information on pirates to the community through his reverse Pirates! adventure.

As I do, instead of creating a bunch of posts on pirates, I will edit this post to add the information.

If you have ideas to inject, keep an eye on this post. I would be glad to hear them.

Shadow Shack's Star Devils
To start, Shadow Shack's pirates operate aboard the Star Devil under the direction of Captain Lucifer Yurack. Their haunt is Outpost One and Slave City One. They are merely a faction of the "Vast Freeholds". (I like the name.) Thus the Vast Freeholds is a central entity around which to build on the pirate culture.

The Star Devils are apparently a very large organization. The following five groups mentioned by Shadow Shack are under the Star Devils faction:
The Red Devils (Star Devils offshoot of mercenaries, symbolized by a red demon's head encircled with stars)
The Black Serpents (Made up of a reptilian race wearing trademarked red armor who run the Crimson Guard security firm)
The White Rogues ("A large group of smugglers, obtaining goods without attracting any unnecessary attention with their complex network of travel routes and swift transports that can quickly transfer their various contraband. Due to their nature, they have not adopted any universal or widely recognizeable insignia.")
The Tri Star Warriors (An elite fighting force of shock troopers available to the Star Devils factions for overcoming more challenging targets, symbolized by 3 concentric stars)
The Dark Marauders (A group specializing in intelligence gathering, symbolized by a cloak wrapped around a dagger.)

I will be letting Shadow Shack do any write-ups on these groups, and I will only mention the Star Devils as a large network of mercenaries, smugglers, and spies. I will add the Volturnus adventures information later.

The Vast Freeholds
I got the idea that the Vast Freeholds is a conceptual, enforced entity rather than a voluntary alliance or organization. It is an ideal without governance. That is, if you claim to be a pirate, then you are considered a member of the Vast Freeholds. If a group of pirates does not comply with the code of the Vast Freeholds, then they will not be able to perform piracy in the Frontier. Thus they must submit to the code of the Vast Freeholds or perish. The various pirate bands are considered "factions" because they have no loyalty to one another. The Vast Freeholds is a code of territorial division, respect, and interaction. There is no written code, only a mutual respect that is enforced and mediated by the whole of the Vast Freeholds. Any faction can be called upon to arbitrate between other factions. Such need is rare, however. Usually, matters are resolved through brief deep space skirmishes.

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