Thursday, October 15, 2020

Sea Princes history

 From: Creighton Broadhurst [creighton@EASYNET.CO.UK]

Sent: Monday, April 05, 1999 4:57 AM


Subject: [GREYT ALK] history of the Sea Princes

as Mr Schmit has thrown the gauntlet down and i was the one who "dared" him to opst some material, i post below my (almost) finished history of the Sea Princes. Personally i like to stick to canon as much as possible and so most of the people/events are sourced from various canon publications including Treasures of the Flanaess, UK1, 2 and 3, the Scarlet Brotherhood Accersory, From the Ashes boxed set and the World of Greyhawk boxed set. Note in my campaign the Korinn Archipelago extends southward from Fairwind Isle southward towards the Amedio Jungle effectively cutting off Jerlea Bay.

If anyone is interested in receiving a fnished draft (eventurally) please let me know. Also if I have missed any Sea Princes references please let me know.

And i finish with a question: I know the Sea Princes practise slavery but do you think they have an arena for gladiatorial combat? I have decided so in my campaign and a player has started to build a scale model which we plan to take to conventions. If anyone is interested in my take on this just let me know and i will post what i have. (It is an entertaining way to spend an evening, and for new players to learn the mechanics of game play)


A minor Suel house, the Monui, fleeing the Rain of Colourless Fire through Slerotin s tunnel in -41 ?CY and finding itself at the mercy of larger and better armed groups of Suel and Oeridians sailed to the east and found several large islands. They elected to settle and explore the islands intermingling with the indigenous population. For the next several hundred years history tells nothing about them but they prospered on the islands, learning the arts of seamanship and building many sleek hulled ships. Ancient Keoish records circa 200CY speak of several ships reputed from the region, which traded pearls with them for metals.

Other tribes, including the Hokki, fled southward towards the Amedio Jungle, attacking all that stood in their way. The Hokki were the last tribe to traverse the area and discovering it almost free of opposition elected to settle it.

Circa -200CY many kinglets and fiefs occupied the land that would become to be known as the Hold of the Sea Princes. 2 fledgling kingdoms occupied the southwestern portion of this land. To the west the Grand Dukes of Berghof, progeny of the original flan inhabitants, lived in the fertile and lush hills that tumbled down from the Hellfurnaces. To their east lived their hereditary foes the Barons of Hokar descendants of the Hokki. These 2 groups warred sporadically; the Hokki coveting the lush and fertile hills of Berghof. The only way into Berghof was through Gann Pass. The Suel were stronger, constantly trying to force the Pass and so the Grand Dukes built Adlerberg Keep to deny it to them.

The Hokki constructed, with the aid of a mage with ambitions as dark as his soul, The Gauntlet; a potent magic item designed to destroy the Keep. Discovering this the Grand Dukes built The Sentinel to defend the Keep and gave it to a succession of mages who styled themselves The Guardians. The Sentinel allowed the Grand Dukes to keep the Suel at bay. The 2 nations traded with each other in between sporadically fighting in Gann Pass.

So well had the Monui adapted to conditions on the islands that by 250CY they were becoming overcrowded. Some elected to travel to the south and explore the large archipelago that lay there although only the nearest, Sybarate was colonised the rest being small, storm tossed or unfertile. Accounts from sea captains of the time indicate that they had discovered the Amedio Jungle a hundred years previously but had not landed in strength.

Other more indiscriminate Suel took to raiding the sea traffic that strayed to close to their islands, much of it originating in the Barony of Hokki. (To this day the occupants of the islands tend to be hot blooded and quick tempered).

These privateers began to call themselves the Sea Princes after Aquillius Monui a very successful pirate captain who was descended from the original leaders of House Monui. They began to cross the shallow water separating them from the mainland with increasing frequency and to colonise the coastal areas commencing around 289CY. Monmurg was settled in 294CY, with Port Joli following 5 years later after the discovery of a deep and sheltered bay. With the founding of Port Joli as a base to better strike at Hokki ships traversing Jerlea Bay the Sea Princes precipitated full-scale war. For several years the war ground on neither side gaining an advantage. The Sea Barons interdiction of Hokki trade vessels began to tell and in the final campaign (306CY) the Sea Princes captured Hokar.

Inspired by tales of verdant grassland beyond the mountains the Sea Princes launched several assaults on Adlerberg Keep (310-330CY), which were as successful as the Hokki assaults before them. Deeming the land of Berghof no threat to their burgeoning power the Sea Princes made peace with them and traded food for metals and other essentials.

While Keoish eyes were fixed on the north (350CY 360CY, the Short War) the Sea Princes became emboldened by their lack of opposition and began to raid the coast from Gradsul to Grygax. Keoish reverses on land and the loss of many of their client states forced a change in position of their foreign policy so much that by the mid 400sCY the Sea Princes were viewed as Keolands greatest threat. Keoland therefore began to fortify its southern borders and to rebuild its navy.

In 382CY the 4th Prince of Monmurg, Derik Drakkonheart, came to the throne. He was a mage of surpassing power who became a fighter so that he could better lead his people in battle. He worshipped Kelanen, Prince of Swords and became the leader of the church. It was rumoured that because of the level of perfection he achieved as a warrior he actually became the Avatar of Kelanen. His eldest son Peranius was the first of the family line to not be intellectually gifted and Derik became worried as to who would lead his people after he was gone.

To be assured that his son would have a wise advisor he created the Sword of the Dragon. This mammoth task took him a year and when he returned he was a shadow of his former self. He died 2 years later but the sword survived him and helped his son to rule wisely.

By 446CY the Sea Princes were not only ravaging the coast from Gradsul to Gryrax and beyond but they were also raiding lands such as the Pomarj (under the rule of the Principality of Ulek) and distant Scant. Their ships also probed as far east as the Tilva Strait.

In 453CY the Keoish fleet, augmented by a squadron of Ulek warships met the Sea Princes in battle north of Jetsom Island. The battle was a draw; the Sea Princes inflicted heavy casualties on the Keoish ships but where forced to retreat in the face of superior Keoish morale and tactics. Minor skirmishes and actions followed but by 470CY it became evident to the wiser captains that the Keolanders would never again become so lax in their defence of the sea-lanes. They therefore appointed trusted lieutenants to command their ships and retired to their mainland estates. These lieutenants strove against the Keoish for several decades and minor actions were common in the western Azure Sea.

The descendants of Derik Drakkonheart became more reckless after the Battle of Jetsom Island as they tried to extend their domain westward. The 7th Prince of Monmurg, Marcus, lost the Sword of the Dragon and was slain during the Battle of Lost Hope in 478CY while trying to subjugate the last few independent kingdoms in the area who marked their eastern borders by the Hool River.

In 493CY Berghof joined the Sea Princes domain peacefully.

By 520CY the last of the kinglets abutting the Hellfurnaces had been absorbed into the Hold. The estates of the Holds nobles now reached the Hellfurnaces. The estates had grown so vast however that there was a shortage of workers to till them and so the nobles cast about for another source of labour. The first expeditions landed on the Amedio coast around 530CY having explored the Olman Islands the year before. They immediately started to explore the vast jungles, enslaving all the natives they came across and killing any that resisted. Many were sent to the Hold to work on the plantations or in the few mines in the Kamph Mountains. Many died from disease, malnutrition and the brutalities of their overseers. Still more were kept in their native lands clearing vegetation, picking fruit or working in the mines the Sea set up in the Hellfurnaces to the west. Several forts were established on the coast. Some chiefs organised attacks against the invaders but these were in the main ineffective, the superior defences and battle magic of the Holders being more than a match for native courage. Some tribes took advantage of the situation catching and selling their enemies to the Sea Princes for metal weapons, cheap jewellery and alcohol.

By 546CY the Holders controlled the peninsula known as the Hook and all the land bounded by the River Bodal to the west and the Havekijhu River to the south. They also controlled the coast to the west of this all the way to the Hellfurnaces and raided further south into the Densac Ocean. They even came into occasional (violent) conflict with the inhabitants of the Pirate Isles.

In 583CY Korenth Zan sent an ultimatum to the rulers of the Hold stating simply Submit to the Scarlet Brotherhood or be destroyed. The nobles refused and were presented with a list of minor nobles of the realm. Before the next sunrise 27 of the 30 named on what was to become known as the Death List were dead, killed by red-robed assassins. Of the 3 survivors 2 were sorely wounded, having been saved only by the quick action of their bodyguards.

In 584CY the Scarlet Brotherhood arrived in the Amedio Jungle and immediately imprisoned most of the slavers, throwing them into the same holds as their human prey. Almost all perished. The Brqtherhood began to recruit among the Suel natives, promising them weapons, a place in the armies of the Brotherhood and, most importantly, freedom. Thousands accepted this offer and were transported to the Hold.

Attacks launched from the Hold through the Hool Marshes and into Keoland using native troops initially met with some success but their progress was halted by the elves of the Dreadwood. Despite reinforcements sent by Hammandaturian the elves held the savages in the woods. Sensing that he would soon over-reach himself the Father of Obedience ordered a halt to these actions. In the Hold Brotherhood agents began to suppress the Holders with a series of new laws. New temples were raised in all the major population centres to the deities of the Brotherhood and native troops were used to maintain order.

Throughout the following years the slaving operations the jungles to the south continued with many new troops being accepted from among the racially acceptable individuals captured. This increased military might allowed the Brotherhood to hold its new border against a series of determined Keoish probes.

In the summer of 589CY several minor Brotherhood agents discovered the grim news that the Father of Obedience had allowed the loss of ldee and Onnwal. They sent the native troops under their command into the street of the capital, Monmurg, to take control of the city. Loyalists slew or captured the leaders of the attempted coup by the end of the day but by then the savages were out of control, looting, burning and fighting throughout the city. Inspired by this slaves rose up against their masters and within a fortnight fighting was widespread across the whole country. Taking advantage of the sudden lack of opposition on its southern border Keoland forced a passage through the Hool Marshes and captured the city of Westkeep in 590CY. Keoland s navy also keeps up the pressure on the Holds seaboard, interdicting as much traffic as possible from the east as all ships docking in the Hold were considered to be the Brotherhood s.

At the outset of 591 CY vicious fighting raged across the Hold. The Brotherhood controls the cities of Monmurg and Port Joli and the major islands through the use of tyrgs, mages and their savage armies. The Olman led by their priests, dominate the west of the Hold where they were formally employ tending the various plantations and farms found there. The central portion of the land is ruled by an alliance of commoners, middle class folk and freed slaves led by surviving minor nobles.

Taking Westkeep was the easy part of the operation as King Kimbertos discovered early in 591 CY. The city is almost surrounded by swamps teeming with disease and hostile natives. Supplying his troops is becoming extremely difficult but Skotti refuses to retreat, believing he can still force the Brotherhood from the Hold through land campaigns. Keoland s elite naval squadrons also continue to be a thorn in the Brotherhood s side.

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