Syreni Islands

The pirates of the Syreni Islands tend to not get along. They fight whenever they meet in the waters around the isles, but do not seek each other out or attack the cities of the other crews. They instead travel to other continents, mostly the coastal countries of Iussus, and Carthak of Harena, and make raids. They take the booty, pokemon, and women they win back to the islands. In order to defend their islands from threats that would seek to end the threat of these pirates once and for all, the different crews have an ancient alliance to unite in the face of an outside attack. This Treaty of Ten has only ever been invoked three times in the years of the islands, but every time the united front of the pirates has been enough to demolish any who seek to exterminate the sea rats living in the Syreni Islands.

Regional History: Discovered 157 years ago by Roger the Grand, these islands had been left to their own devices for eons before humans even set foot on them. The legendary pirate captain did arrive when fleeing from the law, and he quickly formed a pirate settlement. Other crews followed his lead, and the soon 10 pirate settlements could be found scattered around the islands. Roger did not appreciate other crews invading his new-found territory. Lawlessness reigned as sea battles between pirate cities consumed the waters around the islands. Many of the species unique to the islands were pushed to the brink of extenction in the wild due to widespread capturing to gain advantage in the battles. Then 133 years ago Roger the Grand died while fighting a swarm of sharpedos. When his will was found, his last wish was for the war in the islands to end. It included a copy of what would later become the Treaty of Ten. 10 pirate captains gathered at Shipwreck Cove in peace for the first time in their history to ratify the treaty, and such serious infighting vanished from the Islands.

From there, the pirate cities in the Syreni Isles developed. People that weren't pirates made their way to the isles for several reasons. Some looked at the economic prospects, building stores in the coves to sell weapons or pokeballs. Others looked at the natural recources that the Syreni Islands might offer and tried to strike gold. Trainers with an appetite for the exotic hopped on pirate ships on their way home to capture the rare specimens that can be found nowhere else in the world. Though the cities developed, they are still pirate cities, and one should not expect a peaceful visit when planning your trip there.

Culture: The Syreni Isles are not a land that most countries would call cultured, and these people are, on the whole, correct. The people of the islands generally don't give two trubbish about what other people think, and their actions reflect that. Prostitution is encouraged, street duels are common, and taverns are found on every street. A night rarely goes by where a couple men have a few too many drinks and end up brawling in the roads. Pickpockets walk the streets, and they usually are of the highest quality; the bad ones die after a failed attempt. the only formal laws that govern the islands are the Treaty of Ten, which is more of an alliance in the face of danger and less a set of laws, and decrees that the captain of each city gives. However, there are unwritten codes that keep the Isles from becoming places of complete lawlessness. In the Syreni Isles, a mans word is a binding contract, and any insult - no matter the size or insignificance - ends up in a battle over honor and pride.

Despite the bloody nature of living in these pirate infested islands, a surprising amount of cultural and historical growth occurs in these islands. Due to it being the collection spot for the innumerable raids throughout the world, there are a large amount of masterpieces in the cities of the Syreni Islands. Whether it be art, music, history, or literature, great treasures can be found among the caches of gold and silver. Many an art collector will journey to these islands to search for pieces that had been lost to the world. They hope that a pirate crew picked up this forgotten bit of lore, and, more often than one would think, they're right.

Geography: The Syreni Islands consists of five closely grouped islands laying east of Iussus. Most of the Islands are hilly grasslands, though some small mountains dot the coastlines, and seaside cliffs are relatively common. The weather is usually humid and hot, and winters are mild. Syreni is rich in natural resources, and small mines are starting to pop up around the islands run by outsiders who pay hefty tribute to the local pirate captain. Most of the countryside remains untouched save for the explorers who seek to capture wild pokemon however. All the inhabitants of the islands either keep in town or sail onto the ocean with a pirate crew.

The waters of the Syreni Islands are both bountiful and deadly in one picturesque location. The crystal clear waters are filled with coral reefs, fantastically colored schools of pokemon, and sunsets to die for. Some nobles from foriegn lands even come here specifically to swim with warturtle and swim with mantine. However, these waters also claim the lives of countless people each and every year. Aside from carnivorous pokemon attacking without warning, nature itself makes the waters around the Isles deadly. Storms often rip through ships and crash them into the rocky shores of an island. Those who can swim at the bottom of the ocean find large numbers of human skeletons littering the ocean floor, often with golden jewelry glinting on their ebony knuckles.

Demographics: Most of the Syreni Islands are either petty criminals, pirate crew, or general scum of humanity that fled to the islands to avoid the law of their homelands and do business in a more hospitable, climate. You can find anything from convicted murders to professional pickpockets, and snaggers to mercenaries. Many of them are motivated purely by the allure of freedom that the Syreni Islands grants. No government is stupid enough to chase criminals to these islands. They have to learn how to survive in this world though, because stupid people often meet their end after a carelessly carried out murder.

There are also a large number of people who come from higher classes in society. Some are dirt poor and looking to strike it rich by becoming a member of a pirate crew. Others are merchants who look to expand their wealth by opening up mines, capturing businesses, and treasure appraisal stores. Still others are nobles who come to have a bit of fun. These nobles are left alone by the rabble-rousers, as the captains have made it clear that interfering with them is an offense punishable by death. None of the captains wants a dead noble to start a naval battle that will cause their crews to loose manpower and raiding time. These respectable folks are often outnumbered by their more villainous counterparts.

Economy: The economy of the pirate coves in the Syreni Islands is relatively simple. All stores and businesses are required to pay a protection fee to their local crew. Those that don't are quickly put out of business until they can spare the coin to pay off the pirates. The numerous taverns and brothels see an extraordinary amount of traffic, and many merchants who come to evaluate gold and paintings find themselves pulled into managing these lucrative places of business. Weapon shops also flourish, and their success is universally credited to the large amount of violence seen by almost every individual who comes to the islands. Pokeball stores, while rarer than weapons stores, are valued by those who came to the islands to capture some of the regions pokemon that are found nowhere else in the world. Surveyors come to try and make a quick buck off the land by building mines, though these people rarely benefit the local economy. Instead, they rent land from the pirate captains for years at a time and start miniature settlements for the workers there. Treasure comes in throughout the year as raiding vessels of the crew come back with bounty aplenty. Some of this is taken home with the pirates, but other portions of it go to treasure appraisers that buy the loot in exchange for cold hard cash.

Politics and Government: Each cove is led by a pirate crew. These range anywhere from 100 to 3,000 people strong, and are generally obeyed without question for fear of repercussions. Each crew has a captain that leads the crew on choice raiding voyages and lays out the laws of any particular cove. These captains also function as governors of their respective towns. Generally, these crews bring in revenue from a combination of protection money from local businesses and the raiding season, which is anytime that monsoons aren't hammering the coasts.

The 10 captains together form the Crew of 10, which meets in Shipwreck Cove once a decade, and when the Treaty of 10 is invoked. The Crew of 10 is a powerful force, and can muster the strongest navy in the world. They are notoriously difficult to mobilize, however, and usually they only unify in the face of a serious threat to all the coves. Each of them struggles to gain an advantage over in their meetings, and trust between them is nonexistent. When they do choose to act as a nation however, the force the command is a force to be reckoned with.

Pokemon: Due to the extremely high number of brawls that break out every day in the Syreni Islands, pokemon battles are an exceedingly common occurence. All it takes is one comment to turn a friendly conversation into a showcase of one's talents and an attempt to ruin any reputation the enemy might have. One cannot turn around without a new battle springing up from some perceived or real insult. In a society in which strength is necessary to remain alive and unmugged, having a powerful team of pokemon at your disposal is an invaluable asset. Wild pokemon also play an important role in the Syreni Islands. There are also an abundance of pokemon that can only be found on the Syreni Islands: shuckle, venipede, and alomomola are all unique to these watery rocks. Trainers will come from around the world in an attempt to capture one of these rare pokemon for breeding purposes. In addition the islands have a higher rate of naturally shiny pokemon than anywhere else in the world.


Important People:
Hook: Hook is the captain in Crag. As his name suggests, one of his hands has been replaced by a hook. A very poisonous hook that he is very adept at using. Hook generally sees himself as above most of the rabblerousers that frequent Crag, and instead busies himself with plotting the death of his enemies.

Neria: The only female pirate captain, Neria is the current leader of Shipwreck Cove. She is often seen sailing the ocean on a raft with her milotic in tow. Some say she is the most beautiful woman in the islands, and not many disagree.

Xerxes: Captain of The Roost, Xerxes is the most powerful man in the Syreni Islands. His flying wailord is famous around the world, and he is widely recognized as being head and shoulders above anybody else on the island when it comes to pokemon battling. He leads they only flying navy in the world, with the pirate ships of The Roost enchanted to ride the wind in addition to the waves. Leader of the Crew of 10, Xerxes is one man that you do not want to get on the bad side of.

Important Areas:
The Roost: The Roost is the least visited of all the pirate coves. In fact, visitors do not receive a warm welcome unless they arrive with the backing of at least one crew member. This feeling was probably facilitated by the fact that the entire town is carved into the side of a sheer cliff. Various alcoves serve as shops, houses, and meeting places. Flying pokemon are required to traverse most areas, though ladders run between important caves. A giant cave lays at the base of the cliff, that houses Behemoth: the giant flying wailord that the captain of the Roost uses in battle. Some people believe the Roost is only a myth created to deter invaders from the northern side of the Islands, but the flying wailord sightings over Iussus would tell a very different story.

Drakenforge: Situated on a the flattest island, Drakenforge is a relatively obscure town that sees little traffic. The only visitors it usually sees are collectors and dragon enthusiasts who travel way out of their way through dangerous waters to capture one of the draconic charmander line that populate the island. Fights between fire types are common here, and the people have leaned how to craft non-flammable houses to handle the large amounts of grassfires that occur on the island.

Silenco: Silenco lays furthest west of any of the Pirate Coves. It is named after the crew's rather morbid practice of making whomever becomes captain a mute. It is possibly the most dangerous of all the coves due to the crews tendency to remove the tongues of anybody that annoys them. Tread carefully in Silenco, or forever hold your tongue.

Sharpedo's Crossing: True to its name, the waters of Sharpedo's Crossing becomes infested with large numbers of sharpedos during the annual breeding season. This period of about two weeks signals the stop of all traffic into and out of the city except for individuals who brave the dangerous waters to make it to the relative safety of town. Of course, many a foolhardy trainer gather for the breeding season in hopes of snagging one of these powerful dual type pokemon.

Stormshire: Stormshire is a very volatile cove. In many respects it is a stereotypical cove, but the captain of the cove changes constantly as the crew members constantly challenge the current leader for the right to lead (an occurrence unheard of in the other crews). Each leader decrees some new law, and nobody is ever truly sure what is or isn't allowed. Be prepared for sudden changes in climate in Stormshire.

Treasure Isle: Rather separated from the rest of the coves, Treasure Isle is a bit of an anomaly. Most coves are inhabited by a variety of people looking to make a profit in the rough and tumble world of the Syreni Isles, but none are found on Treasure Isle. This is because only the pirate crew who run the cove are allowed to leave the city and roam the island. Instead of drinking in town, the crew roams the island looking for clues pointing to Roger the Great's buried treasure on the island. They are so protective of this ideal that anybody not part of the crew seen on the island is put to death, no questions asked.

Merrin's Grave: The smallest, and weakest, of all the pirate coves, Merrin's Grave is generally forgotten when listing the coves. Nothing particularly special makes Merrin's Grave stand out from any of the other pirate coves, and the crew rarely brings back treasure of any significant value.

Crag: Crag is the place people think of when the pirate coves are mentioned. Street fights, shady salesmen, drinking games, a one handed pirate captain, and more street fighting characterize the cove. It's a boisterous town, and the people there mean well … most of the time. As long as you don't look like a naive rich person or insult anybody, you should make it through Crag with only a few scars and some really good stories.

Shipwreck Cove: The first settlement on the Syreni Islands, Roger landed in this location as the first human to ever set eyes on the beautiful landscapes of the islands. Today, Shipwreck Cove is recognized as a neutral ground for all. Fighting is rare here, as the Treaty of Ten forbids violence in this city by any except the Crew of the Cove. These warriors patrol the city to ensure the keeping of the peace. Since violence here is kept to a minimum, this is where most of the "civilized" travelers spend their time. Prospectors and Collectors roam the streets looking for fresh meat to accompany them into the island center proper, but some of them are con artists that will attack you as soon as you leave the city limits.

Raider's Swoop: From the outside, Raider's Swoop more resembles a fortress than a pirate town. Due to it's exposure to the seasonal monsoon winds and invader naval attacks, large stone walls protect the entirety of Raider's Swoop. The wall extends out about 100 feet into the sea, and towers higher than the mast of any ship. Inside though, the sheltered appearance disappears. Raider's Swoop seems to have outgrown its original walls. It isn't uncommon for the waters inside the walls to be filled so full that every day something sinks by accident. Tavern rooms meant for two are stuffed with 6 in one night, and they turn many more away. Pickpockets are extremely common, as everybody tries to make a spare buck. Tempers run high due to the press of people, and you will almost always witness a fight taking place, which often devolves into a streetwide brawl when one attack flies wide and hits a bystander. The center of the city is surrounded by another wall in which lies the quarters of the pirate crew, which is much more spacious.

Plots and Rumors:
A scientist has arrived at Drakenforge, and is looking to hire a bodyguard or two to protect her while she goes to study the unusual draconic charmander line that inhabits the island. The catch: she doesn't want anybody to capture the pokemon, so if you're looking for a capture you better be sneaky about it.

A Gaventian noble of high stature has been visiting the islands with his family as a type of safari. On their last outing in the lands near Shipwreck Cove, the entire caravan disappeared. The local pirate crew has advertised a huge reward for anybody who can find them and kill the kidnappers. If the situation isn't resolved soon, hostilities with Gavent will open, and the Council of 10 will face a new threat to their waters.

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