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Introduction

An Islander, to most other civilized nations, is nothing more than a fancy name for the “Pirate Ships” that plague the Eastern and Southern Shores of the High Kingdom and Kurasia. To an Islander though, it is to be free from the confines of unfair laws, where a Man, Woman or Beast’s only orders are their own, and to be truly independent. They don’t like the phrase Pirates though, so be warned.

Not all Islanders are Pirates, but nearly all Pirates are Islanders, though they prefer the term Privateers. Free and independent spirits that traverse the chartered oceans of Terra and settle on unknown Islands, repurpose Avalonian Colony-Islands and claim Kurasian Trade-ports, the general populace are arguably one of the most diverse and varied peoples one might encounter.

Regardless of an individual’s opinion of their lifestyle, none can argue that the Islanders are a dangerous force to be reckoned with. Once mostly harmless Fishermen and Prison Colonists that turned into a functioning society under the Council of Elders, the self-styled ‘Heroes of the Sea’ employ ruthless cunning in all aspects of their life.

History

The Islanders came from humble beginnings - Avalonian Prisoners were dumped on the Southern-most Avalonian Islands in an attempt to ignore the problem of rising crime. Most were actually content with escaping the Death Penalty, and made makeshift Prison Settlements and lived out their lives in unity and peace. Eventually, the first “Islanders” came about in a uneasy but effective union of Fishing Villages, the Prisoner Colonists and a handful of independent Privateers.

The Rise of the Islanders was considered a nuisance at first - it caused the Avalonians to stop their habit of dumping their Prisoners on the Isles, but soon other bannermen and freefolk began to flock to the Islands for a chance at a new life and promised freedom - and the odd one-ship raids turned into “Pirate” Fleets with alarming frequency. 

The Islanders came into their own with the Elders Council - a collection of the most venerable and influential inhabitants of the Islands who guided the populace through war and peace times. These roles would later be inherited by the Families these Elders left behind - except in the event of a Dynasty having no children - in which case a new Elder Line was voted into power by the Elders Council.

Kurasian and Avalonian fleets were destroyed by the united front the Privateer movement that transpired, and in less than a hundred years, not so long ago in History, the Islanders pushed the Avalonians and Kurasian’s to their shores, claimed their Colony Ports, and dubbed themselves the Free Men and Women of the Islands - The Islanders.

Many of the more “Civilized” Nations consider the Islanders little more than Pirates - but since the Islander Independence War, none have ever made a move against the Elders Council, and none will for the foreseeable future whilst their trade routes are routinely and expertly raided by the very ships they once owned - and their poor and impoverished flock to the Islands in droves for a new life of fortune, fame and freedom.

Culture

The concepts of Freedom and Consequence are the prime directive of the Islander People. Many truly believe that there is no greater gift than utter, complete Freedom. Not the sugar-coated half-freedoms that the Aridians or the Avalonians might peddle, but the unadulterated freedom to choose one’s own path in life. Surprisingly, the Island Nations are mostly crime free, and some scholars would argue that it’s because of the populace are genuinely happy living a chaotic, but withdrawn life.

The Islander notion of Consequence is often held in equal regard to Freedom, mainly because for one to be accepted into the Islands and attain this much coveted Freedom, one must turn their back on all previous allegiances and become a free man, accepting the consequence of becoming hunted and hated by all other nations for the rest of their lives. Most importantly however, if an Islander WAS to become a Pirate, or commit a crime on his fellow Islanders, he must accept the potential consequences of his actions, come what may. Likewise, if one was to take dealing with a crime into his or her own hands, they must accept the risk and consequence that comes with that decision. 

Fiercely independent and free-spirited, the Islanders let nothing stop them doing what they want to do in life, nor do they let anything get in the way of their right to do what they want. 

Social Structure

Islander structure is mostly free and some might argue chaotic - though the entire Faction is managed by the guidelines set by the Elders Council, which are titles inherited by the Children of the Elders, or a nominated candidate in the event an Elder dies and has no family. Outside of the Elders Council, The Pirate Lords, or the Lords of the Sea as they call themselves, are the most powerful, famous, and influential Pirates on the High Seas. 

Every Islander considers themselves, and other Islanders, free to do as they wish. Every man is worth whatever they make of themselves, and the only punishment for trying to advance your station on the Isles are the consequences your actions bring upon you - it's entirely up to an ambitious privateer if he wishes to work hard to earn the respect of his peers honorably, or if he wishes to underhandedly slaughter his way to the top. The former might be easier and more tempting, but will more than likely lead to an untimely death at the hands of a vengeful victim - which other Islanders will not feel guilty about.

Clothing and Apparel

Clothing is as you might expect for a Pirate Nation. Long coats for warmth and practicality on the high-seas, cheap material clothing made from fabrics that are cheap and easy to produce or steal, belts and straps for use with vials and weapons. 

Long hair is commonplace due to what could be described as cultural laziness with one’s appearance. Trinkets of a past life or trophies from an adventure are common decorations 

Surprisingly however, Gun and Pistol holsters are not all too common despite the Islander’s generally superior technological advantage over other Nations. Bows and Crossbows are common instead, as well as ship mounted ballista. Very rarely do the Free Dwarves of the Islands give their precious weapons to the Humans, despite their cordial relationship with most Islanders.

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