The Isle of Twilight

The Isle of Twilight
(Nation Designer: Roman Kovacic)

Though the name might sound pretty, the Isle of Twilight gets it’s name from the cloud of haze that hangs over it. Much of it’s land mass is jagged rocks, with sulfuric springs and volcanic vents spewing ash and chemicals into the air; enough to dim the sun, giving the afternoon a feeling of perpetual twilight. This makes growing things nearly impossible save for a few small regions, and as a result next to nothing lives there. Were it not for the strange passions of a legendary pirate, the island might have been uninhabited to this day. Instead, the world inherited the singular strangeness of…

BARGE – The City of Scoundrels

Brief History:
Following the end of the Vile War, naval trade sprang back to life across the globe, and with it a new age of privateers and pirates. At the head of that age was one man: Captain Diego Kahn, known even to his enemies as the Scoundrel King of the Oceans Blue. By the end of his reign, Khan ruled a fleet of thirty-seven ships, commanded by a handful of fellow buccaneers who had, mostly through bonds of respect and friendship, come to follow Captain Diego as loyal comrades.

But Diego Kahn was a mortal human, and their age cannot linger. As he grew older, Kahn spoke often of finding a place to settle down – a place where a buccaneer could live out his old age in the comforts that he had enjoyed in youth. After he took a mortal wound in a battle against a navy flagship, he made a last request of his fellows – to scatter his ashes in a port that a pirate could call their home.

The remaining Captains wished to honour Diego’s last wish. Chief amongst them was the man Diego had named his heir – a Scalefolk man named Shahadet Sharzah, known to the seas as Symahn the Viper. He had been one of Diego’s original crew, his staunchest brother in arms and some whispered possibly also his lover, who believed devoutly that finding a port fit for Diego’s last request was the greatest legacy his loyal crew could offer.

They sailed across the seas, but at every port the truth was clear – while they welcomed the privateer’s money, no landlubber port was ever going to be a true home for a buccaneer. At last, in escaping a storm over the Ocean of Winds, the fleet took safe harbour at the Isle of Twilight. After the storm broke, Symhan looked to the shore and was startled to see a small copse of willow trees growing on a hill above the harbour. To Symahn, it was a sign – even in this blighted place, something special could grow. He assembled his fellow Captains, and told them his plan. They all agreed that it was brash, foolish, and exactly the kind of thing Diego would have done.

And with that, they sailed their four mighty flagships into the harbour at equal distances, and ran them up onto the beach to serve as moorings. Then they sailed another dozen ships into the harbour, and then another dozen, until most of the fleet was crammed in edge to edge all lashed together with ropes and gangplanks. When they were done they had built themselves a huge flotilla that took up the entire edge of the bay. And thus, the City of Barge was born.

Government: The reigning “Scoundrel Princes”, of which there are always 5, rule in council. The Rules of Parley state that they must be elected by those who call Barge home, which is (for the most part) business owners, their workers, and retired sailors. As a result the council tends to be made up of one or two respected pirates, and the three people who employ the most people in town.

People from here are called: “Scoundrels” mostly, and worn with pride. It was the label Diego Kahn took for himself, meaning to be both a gentleman and a brigand in equal measure. But on official documents the term “Barger” or “Twilian” (T-why-lee-an) is generally seen as more acceptable.

Population: As with any port of call, population depends on traffic. Barge has never had a particularly distinct racial or ethnic profile. All are welcome in Barge if they have money to spend or a service to sell, though gaining ‘resident’ status here requires the sponsorship of someone who is already a resident, usually someone who is at least a Captain.

What is interesting about living here:
To say that the nightlife here is vibrant would be to undersell it thoroughly, especially considering this is an island where it’s always evening. Be it booze, sex, narcotics, gambling, rare magical treasures, lessons in etiquette, lessons in sword-fighting, or advice on the finer points of juggling fish, very near to anything is available to be bought or sold on the decks of Barge.

Everything, that is, so long as it fits within the bounds of the Scoundrel’s Code. The Code was a list of rules-of-thumb that Diego Kahn used in his dealings, and which the devoted Symahn finally codified when Barge was founded. In the modern era, these rules are generally called “Symahn’s Laws”. The laws were inscribed on plaques that can be found on each of the four Greatships of Barge.

Upon the Ironshrike, Captained by Shahadet Sharzah, called Symahn the Viper: “Let no quarrel aboard the ship descend to blows, for at sea all crew have duty which shall not be shirked for sake of argument. Get ye to shore before any blow be struck, and then see the matter resolved with fisticuffs or blades-at-paces in a manner befitting proper scoundrels.”

Upon the Gallant, Captained by Nate Flynnward, called Nate the Rose: “Every crewman shall be called fairly to what is theirs, because over and above their proper share, Scoundrels are encouraged to thrive. But if they defraud the company to the value of even one gold coin, they shall be marooned. If any crewman rob a shipmate, he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.”

Upon the Maelstrom, Captained by Numa Broadhorns, called the Demon Cow of Antova: “He that would desert the ship or his brothers in a time of dire circumstance shall be called a scallywag, and no quarter shall be given to such a base knave in future dealings with proper scoundrels.”

Upon the Widdershins, Captained by “Lady” Jeniel Tathulien, called Jen Knife-Ears: “Tis fair to give chase and board the foe in a manner befit of brave corsairs, but mind you never to part one what has surrendered in good faith from any but their wealth. Further, let it be known that any man what brings harm upon a child or helpless maid in the boarding shall be spit upon by all right pirates for the rest of his days, for he is no proper scoundrel.”

What is good about living here:
Anyone who isn’t an easy mark can live pretty comfortably in Barge, so long as they do not scruple overly much in the manner they conduct their business. It is a land where people make their own business, make their own money, and then make their own fun. (Sometimes all three at once, when you’re lucky.)

What sucks about living here:
The two leading causes of death on barge are knife fights and getting lost on shore. Most of the time a strong sea breeze keeps the air in town clear, but during hot summer days the air can become heavy, and almost suffocating from all the sulphur and smoke. Some children born in the city develop respiratory issues, and the constant threat of the island one day erupting in a molten catastrophe can occasionally dampen the mood.

  • Why are people from here coming to the Forgotten Continent:*
    There are ships and ports there. Why do you think?

The Isle of Twilight

The Forgotten Throne Starhunter