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Here there be pirates!

by Andrew Theisen

Just picked up this great book from the bookstore about pirates throughout history, and it got me inspired to think about Mystara pirate cultures. I've been stuck for awhile trying to think about how to make the Merry Pirates work in the Hollow World, and partially got this book to help with that. But it got me thinking, rather than try to find a way to make the MPs work with the Spell of Preservation, why not try to flesh out the living, breathing pirate cultures on the Outer World?

To that end, I thought I'd see if we could make a list of the various piratical cultures/locations in the Outer World. Off the top of my head, we've got:

Sea of Dread

Alcove Island- primary pirate haven in Ierendi
North Island- primary pirate haven in Minrothad
Terentias/Crossbones- primary pirate haven in Thyatis
Thanegioth Archipelago- pirate haven
Five Shires- pirate havens are probably on the numerous tiny islands in the surrounding seas
Tenobar- could possibly harbor pirates?
Jaibul- pirates galore here

Sea of Dawn

Ostland- vikings raid the coasts of Brun and the Isle of Dawn (Soderfjord has pirates to an extent as well, IIRC)
Ylaruam?- could there be a sort of Mystaran Barbary pirate culture somewhere here? (Possibly in/near Tameronikas- Ylari pirates who are striking back at Thyatians that kicked them out of Tel Akbir)
Teki-Nura-Ria- the Kara-Kara strike out against merchant shipping in the sea lanes from this (and possibly other) islands in the south Sea of Dawn
Caerdwicca- highland pirates prey on shipping in the eastern Sea of Dawn
Ochalea- There is a lot of cool info on Chinese piracy that I wasn't aware of. I could see using that info here and placing some pirates in the seas around this rather sadly underdeveloped nation.
Ne'er-do-Well- in competition with Caerdwicca, and also preying further abroad to the east on Bellisarian coasts. Possibly home to some sky pirates as well?

Savage Coast

Texeiras and Vilaverde- these cultures, modeled on Portugal and Spain, are the likeliest sources of piracy in this region.
Hojah?- Bruce Heard mentioned in an article that he planned on modeling the Hojahites on RW Albanians, and the Slagovichi on RW Croatians. The book I've got talks about the Uskoks, who were a group of Croatians that engaged in piracy against the Ottomans who displaced them. I'm thinking we could throw a similar group in the City-State region, though Hojah seems a more likely location than Slagovich. Possibly even one of the islands that seems to be unclaimed by any of the others in the area.


Minaea- there are evidently numerous pirates in this region, who plague the coasts of Bellissaria.

Can anyone think of any pirates I've forgotten, or some cool ideas to throw into the mix? (Actually, there could be Madagascar pirates in and around Cestia, now that I think of it.)