Dragonriders of Masai
To the south of Callispar, little over a day’s journey from Amaros, is a fortress of pirates lead by Draconic captains. Lead by Lord-Captain Archibald Tulley, they are a force that commands respect and attention.
After an attack by what is being assumed is the Amarosi, a massive beam of destructive purple energy was brought down on the island. A young apprentice whom scryed on the event said that the individuals he saw were transformed into nothing but dust in its wake, and it is assumed that none survived.
After a visit to the isle by Zila and Jathal, they find the scrying to be true. The very life of the island seems sapped away and practically removed from this plane, and whatever magic that caused it still seems to linger in a small way. Ash, a few feet deep, coat the entire island. They come to find that these are the remains of every being on the island, their belongings scattered among the ash. Umbrorax, the ancient dragon at the center of the pavilion, turns out to be the very being behind his namesake— a shade of Death. As it dissipates, the island is finally devoid of life.
|Cold, Dark Rock|
Blackthorn Isle is a cold dagger of rock in an otherwise icy sea. Only a sliver of habitable land surrounds the main fortress; the sharp cliffs and snow-covered rock of the island are all that is. A short, soft-sand beach is home to decommissioned and furloughed ships, while the rest of the fleet anchors in the deep water within a mile of the island.
Then there is the Fortress of Blackthorn itself. Made of the same grey stone as the rest of the island, the structure clearly precedes its current owners; the styles seen in wood and stone carvings predating the Breath. The main fortress is composed of an open mess hall that links to a converted draconic pavilion and sprawling ancient barracks. Legends say that below the island is a network of prison tunnels, holding the criminals even pirates can’t tolerate… along with mounds of treasure.
|The Pirate’s Life|
As one might expect, the life of a pirate on a cold, stormy island is pretty miserable. While the fortress is warm enough to block out the everlasting winter, the temperatures outside will freeze grog in minutes and do worse to a warm body. Cabin Fever is a common problem for retired or injured pirates. As such, alcohol is oft employed as a means of lifting spirits, packing the mess hall at all hours of the day.
While food would be a problem on the island, the raiding life suits this need well. Trading ships from all provinces are good targets for hungry pirates; though it doesn’t hurt if they’re carrying more valuable cargo. Expensive goods are either traded behind a front or stockpiled as bounty.
The Blackthorn Pirates are well known for their love of Dragons and are considered as a serious martial threat as such; years of raiding diplomatic vessels has provided them with more than enough eggs to start their own force. In particular, they are most well known for a covert operation that secured them the last of the metallic dragon eggs in Callispar and a particularly willing and prestigious draconic farrier.
Unlike the Callisparians, who prefer to force Hatchlings to chose from a pool of pre-selected individuals, the Blackthorn pirates allow them to roam the grounds as they want and bond with the community rather than an individual. Dragons who show an interest in the lifestyle are granted a ship and to take on as their charges, in exchange for a hefty cut of the treasure to be found. While not all ships have Dragons at their backs, it is said that a dragon-captained ship will bring good fortune to all involved.