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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Pirates of Ratan
Related thread: Pirates of Ratan Player Recruitment
GM for this game: Hammer
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Pirates of Ratan

GREETINGS RED DRAGON INN LURKERS Pull up a chair and enjoy the tale of the 'Pirates of Ratan' as they begin an epic journey in the world of Aihrde fraught with unknown dangers and high adventure!

WARNING This particular adventure may contain intense graphic scenes and/or Mature Adult Content that some readers may find to be too sensitive or offensive in nature for their literary tastes!

Please Proceed with Caution! For the sake of creating a great adventure any tobacco or alcohol related, drug related and/or sexual references are by no means intended to promote or glorify their use in Real Life!

The same should be understood regarding the descriptions of any major or minor graphic violence ... including the use of all other elements in this adventure that are necessary components for an Epic Fantasy Adventure!

SPECIAL THANKS to the Owners and Moderators of the Red Dragon Inn who make the posting of this and other adventures possible for us InnMates to enjoy!

SPECIAL APPRECIATION to Stephen Chenault of Troll Lord Games who gave me permission to use the Castles & Crusades products to help craft an exciting and entertaining adventure!

Posted on 2013-07-05 at 13:35:30.

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Pirates of Ratan Intro

World of Aihrde
Beyond the Deepling Channel
Sea of Chaf
On Board the Dragon Hawk
Dawn on Wedero
Aprero 1, 1500awd (After Winter Dark)

The skeletal fingers of the first light of dawn stretched themselves across the rising mists from the deep, frosty waters of the Sea of Chaf; while the prow of the 'Dragon Hawk' bobbed lethargically in the gentle waves, as the faint billow of the listless sails in the nearly nonexistent Aprero 1st spring wind went unnoticed by the sleeping crew, most who were numbed by the effects of their boisterous drinking from several nights past.

Captain Bludd and his Renegade Rovers, aka the Pirates of Ratan (Rah Tahn), had made their way through the Deepling Channel from the city of Haven, enroute to Gareth Castle; after several series of successive and largely successful plunders of Storvik, Nordenosy, Akvuk, Borja and Aesegg.

The dragon and hawk battering rams at each end of the 120 foot longship, were no match for any vessel plying the waters of The Inner Sea, nor were any vessels that sought refuge in the Gulf of Gleiphneer, nor those threading their way through the shallow depths of the Roheisen Straits!

For the Dragon Hawk was a formidable foe to behold, 27 feet wide with a lone mast, boldly displaying the embroidered sail of a a sinister black hawk, spreading its wings and talons, above the fearsome image of the open maw of a black dragon.

Twelve oars lined either side of the Dragon Hawk, with another oar rudder placed strategically near the stern. Although there were no artillery cannons, nor ballistae on board, the current crew of 75, including Captain Bludd himself, were well armed and well versed in the use of force and weapons!

After a long winter of inactivity in their home port of Ratan, these Renegade Rovers were glad to once again set sail and ply their infamous trade at the expense of the merchants of these aforementioned coastal cities!

Especially in the wake of a mild winter, that had urged these Renegade Rovers to set sail weeks earlier than previously anticipated, to relieve many an unsuspecting merchant of their coin, merchandise and intimate company of comely wenches!

But the rumors of the Great Wars raging to the south were disturbing indeed to pirates such as these, who were on their way to Gareth Castle; to trade for the artifacts, weapons and powder promised, in exchange for the goods they had acquired in recent weeks!

Wars in the south that were spreading ever northward towards the lands of the regions of Aachen, Augsberg, Eisenheim, Rhuneland and Zeitz; or so saith the rumors of the dire warnings that were carried by refugees and battle weary warriors, who had forsaken the ways of the mercenary life, seeking peace and safety!

But the whispers of undead legions, hideous monsters and unknown evils, coupled with the struggles of humanoid armies shedding innocent blood on the battlefields of warring factions, were spreading the fear of an ancient evil that would also, sooner or later, threaten the regions of Trondheim and Haltland, where the Pirates of Ratan called home; not to mention the eventual possibility of spreading its evil stench to their favorite raiding region of Holmgald.

Now stalking the lands are the prophesies and hushed whispers of an ancient evil now all but forgotten:

For a thousand years the horned god ruled from his throne in the great towers of Aufstrag. Shaped in mockery of the Great Tree, Aufstrag lorded over the kingdoms of man, elf and dwarf and its master, Unklar, ruled with his iron mace. But time swept him away and into the Void; and upon the ruins of his dark memory new kingdoms have risen, a new world born. An age of heroes is begun, where adventuring crusaders ride forth into the wilderness to reclaim it through the iron in their veins and the magic they too control.

But memories run deep and the stain of Unklar’s reign is not so easily rooted out. His minions haunt the dark places of the world. They occupy forgotten temples, ruined dungeons, castles on the borderlands; from these bastions they plot the return of their horned master, or at the very least, the terror of men. Here evil resides and thrives; treasures abound, hidden magic lies unused and forgotten.

This is now the world of Aihrde in the aftermath of things dark and unspoken, that once ruled the lands and now threaten to do so again!
It has been 1500 years since The Great Thaw (after Unklar the Horned One was banished from this plane of existence) flooded the lowlands, making the land fertile and ripe.

Forests, valleys, lakes and streams all came to life again. The free creatures wandered the paths as they had in the long ago of yesterday, before the 1000 years Dark Reign of Unklar the Horned One, that had become known as the dreadful and desolate Winter Dark.

During the Dark Reign of the Horned One, heavy snows blanketed both the northern and southern lands throughout the World of Aihrde, stretching eastward and westward with his evil taint of terror; destroying the great cities and lands that fell beneath his cloven hoof, ravaged by his foul servants!

When the Horned One first conquered the lands of the World of Aihrde, it was as restless and troublesome as its inhabitants: the elves, fay of many type and those stalwart men of noble bearing, did not easily bend to his will.

So it was, after many a rebellion and uprising the Horned One turned his armies loose upon the lands of the World of Aihrde; but freedom loving humans, elves, dwarfs and countless others banded together and found a way to banish the Horned One from their world, if not entirely free from his influence!

But the men of the World of Aihrde are like all men, quickly forgetting or choosing to forget, that each new age fosters new challenges and past evils often haunt the hopes of the future!

For there are as many evil fey as good and these creatures thrived in the ruins of the minions who once ruled with the Horned One.

And as in all lands, some of the Horned One’s servants survived and hid themselves away in the dark places, as they waited for the return of their dark master.

In time elves, in search of ancient homelands and shrines, and men, in search of fertile and peaceful lands to farm, returned and settled in the once abandoned lands of Aihrde; the fey awoke as if from a long slumber and the forest assumed the shadow of its former self.

Now many creatures long away from the lands of men and elves, find its fresh fields and peaceful inhabitants easy filling for their gluttonous desires; for they be foul creatures hungry for the easy pickings of the world of man and elf.

The years spun out and those who remembered the Winter Dark were very old and few listened to their tales. They paid no heed to the rumors that the former minions who served Unklar, now sought to rebuild the kingdom of their master, by summoning the Horned One from beyond the World of Aihrde.

A great many orc, goblin and other evil creatures issued forth from the foul pits once ruled by the Horned One, driven by long ago promises of power and a return to the glory of the old days, seeking to lay waste to the lands of the World of Aihrde, driving the inhabitants into the sea, enslaving them or scattering wide the free peoples now populating the lands!

The past 1500 years have witnessed crops, animals and lands multiplying and returning to a prosperous and bountiful life!

People of all races have been breeding and populating the known lands; spreading their communication to other regions that had been cut off and decimated beneath the evil rule of the Horned One.

But in recent years news from the outside world has spread ever northward; mostly speculation and rumors spread by adventurers and mercenaries from the Great Wars, who have told their tales of the dark minions whose evil influence still lingers in unexplored areas of Aihrde.

These Great Wars, raging in the regions to the south, were waged between unknown forces and peoples, to establish their freedom by uniting the lands for commerce between the cities, successfully beating back the evils bearing the taint of the banished Horned One.

In recent years, trade and piracy has grown throughout the lands with Trade Ships spreading northward to port, where the Pirates of Ratan have found easy plundering; while Trade Caravans have steadily made their way to the northern regions, spreading prosperity for the Pirates of Ratan to enjoy looting and sharing with the peoples of the Haltland.

But with their looting, the Pirates of Ratan have also heard of the Tales of Treasures to be found and wealth to be gained in the regions to the south; however, stories of the southern wars filter ever more steadily into the Haltland, with the influx of various Adventurers and Mercenaries of diverse races and abilities, who have entered the region in tatters, with perhaps a few assorted gems or gold to show for their efforts, bringing wild tales of fighting for their lives!

The Pirates of Ratan have also encountered others without anything to show for their long journeys, except more stories of hardships and perils, that cost them the lives of dear friends and loved ones, who were better men and better women warriors than they.

The time has now come in the wake of relative peace and prosperity, even among the members of the Pirates of Ratan, that boredom for some must give way to the blossoming destiny of a world to be freed from the taint of Unklar the Horned One and his Dark Minions, who once ravaged the lands of the World of Aihrde, but now are rumored to be joining the warring factions in the south, infiltrating their ranks, seemingly arisen again to conquer Aihrde anew with their fear and terror!

These were the shared thoughts of a handful of adventurers, who had joined the ranks of the Pirates of Ratan more than a year ago; but who now in recent weeks, were ever stirred in their hearts to venture southward, to help stem the tide of the evil taint of the Horned One and his devoted minions, that were intent upon invading their beloved home lands with their evil poisons!
The crew began to stir this first day of Aprero, as a man in the Crow's Nest of the Dragon Hawk shouted to his fellow pirates below to take heed to the horizon!

In the far distance, just barely discernible above the horizon, could be seen an ominous plume of black smoke, rising from the foundation and walls of Gareth Castle!

Squinting their eyes in the morning sun, the hardened features of the crew were slightly caressed by a gentle breeze, as they stared in disbelief at a most unexpected sight this new Aprero morn; along with an alarming, auditory alert of ominous origin, a message urgently carried aloft by the mid spring wind, the sound of a faint explosion!

Posted on 2013-07-05 at 13:38:47.

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