The Sea People are an ancient, mysterious culture that is entirely bound to the sea. Legend has it that they are the decendants of the ancient Kingdom of Mhytyrda, which was swallowed by the sea. The Sea People were those, cast adrift, whom survived this great cataclysm. They are famous for their large Treasure Ships which form the center of their flotillas.They were forever doomed to roam the waves. Little is understood of how this culture is organized. However, each ship seems to be a society until itself.
The Sea People are an Iron Age culture. However, they are prodigious seafarers and navigators. Despite this, they are some of the most skilled marine archeticts and craftsmen on the entire Jadess.
The Great CataclysmEdit
When the Great Cataclysm occurred, the fabled city of Mhytyrda was rent in two and collapsed into the sea. This event destroyed the Mhytyrdese war fleet which lay at anchor in it's sheltered harbor at the time. The back of the the Mhytyrdese marine trade and colonial empire was broken on that that day. However, many of the Mhytyrdese colonies survived, all though they were scourged by the great waves of the Cataclysm as the washed ashore across the entire coastline of the Western Jadess. These colonies slowly emerged from the ruins and formed today what are the cities of the Corsair Coast. There was also a great fleet that was lost at see which carried many colonists headed for the land of the Setting Sun, the land of the Horizon Empire far beyond the west. This expeditionary fleet contained a number of mammoth Treasure Ships which were sent to display the wealth and power of Mhytyrda to all peoples and nations they encountered. When this fleet heard of what happened, it abandoned its mission to explore the Western Jadess. It returned to the wreckage of its mother city and took aboard those who were surviving adrift in the sea. After this, a great counsel was held in aboard the greatest Treasure ship. All of the Mhytyrdese captains attended. They voted to split up the great refuge fleet and head separate ways in search of new lands for settlement. They believed this would increase the chances of all to survive and re-establish roots. The disbandment following the Council of the Ships marks the beginning of the Sea Peoples a disperate, high-seas culture.
Each flotilla is centered around a Treasure Ship. These massive ships are richly ornamented and are monuments to the wealth accumluated on the high seas. They are also colosal in size, easily surpassing the largest warships of the Jadess Coast. Each Treasure Ship serves as a repository for all of the trade goods amassed by each flotilla. It also serves as a mobile bank, carrying on all of the major trade financing of the fleet. Treasure ships never aproach ports upon which as flotilla calls. Instead they stay far out to sea, beyond the reach of all but the most seaworthy ships.
Sea People SocietyEdit
Sea People are most remembered for their shear lack of clothing, their wild elemental magic, their lack of religion, and their abhorance of slavery. As far as scholars can determine, Sea People society is organized around the individual ship in each flotilla. Each ship operates like a clan. With the captain functioning like a chieftain. Ties are more fluid than in a clan structure, because captives taken in sea raids are regularly adopted in to the ship-level society with a warm embrace. Each ship has a handful of carefully defined ranks. Everyone else must fine the place dictated by those in power. The ship captain the greatest role. He or she is elected for life. Often, they appoint a commanding officer or second mate in once they have past their prime fighting age, in order to help them carry out the duties of their office. The captain is elected by all voting adults onboard the ship for life. The Captain has complete authority onboard the vessel and has the power to appoint people to various positions as he or she sees fit. Everyone's role is assigned by the captain, except the Navigator. The Navigator is the second in social rank. The Navigator serves the function of a diviner and spiritual advisor for the whole ship. They are trained in the mystical arts of aquamancy and aeromancy. They are trained to use these mystical power for navigation, and to minipulate maritime conditions for optimal sailing. They are feared among the people of the Jadess coast for their ability to summon storms and favorable headwinds.They study for two years aboard the Treasure Ship under the Arch Navigator of the flotilla. The Coxswain is appointed by the captain to man the helm of the ship. This person must be of magical talent and serves as an apprentice to the Navigator. There are many other roles that are common aboard ships according to the will and need of each captain. Examples include burserar, chief oarsman, galley cook, slave master, etc. The Sea People have a elemental religion revearing the raw elements of wind, sea, and sky. They do not believe in spirits and have no thought of the after life. As a result, they regularly raid and desecrate temples that most peoples of the Jadess Coast would hold sacrosanct. Through this they have acquired a reputation as a godless people. However, they are passionately pious. Believing in apeasing and manipulating natural forces. And possessing an extensive lore and study of the elements of wind, fire, and water. They largest religious practices include summoning of storms and winds for various yearly rituals, the forging of elementals to fight and serve aboard their ships, and the use of the elements in maritime warfare. They are noted for their strong control transmarine trade in the Western Jadess, and their heavy influence on trade in the eastern Jadess. They are feared on the high seas as pirates and on the coasts as major raiders. They often disrupt the trade of the Jadess Coast by attacking unsuspecting ports and whole trade convoys at sea. Their most famous feet is when they ambushed the entire Lorican Fleet on the high seas, sunk its entire escort and took all of its trade goods plunder and held its people for ransom. They are feared for their use of magical jets of fire which can consume whole ships at sea, impervious to water. Even though the Sea People take many captives, they abhor slavery, being a free people. They do everything in their power to disrupt the lucrative slave trade in the Eastern Jadess. They often impress captives into their society, teaching them Mhytyrdese and indoctrinating them in Sea People customs and values. They are also renouned for their ability to hunt the great creatures of that plough the abysses of the Jadess.
Every decade all of the flotillas conviene for the largest religious festival of the Sea Peoples to celebrate and remember the lives of those lost in the Great Cataclysm those many millennia ago. Before the Flotillas arrive at the designated point in the middle of the Jaddess, the captains of each flotilla sail ahead aboard the Treasure Ship and meet for a Council of the Ships. This is where cases are brought, arguments settled, trades relationships are cemented, deals are made, marriages are arranged, territory for the next decade is negociated, and laws are passed. Each captain represents his ship with all authority. At the end of the Council of Ships a great ritual is performed by the Arch Navigator using the legendary artifact the Staff of Vasis and a Great Maelstrom is summoned. This cyclonic storm provides the secretive cover for the rest of the Flotillas to converge for the Cataclysma Festival. Each Flotilla has an artifact in its possession which allows its ships safe passage through the Great Maelstrom into the Eye where the Flotillas link with each other, lashing together into a great pontoon city for festivities they continue for many months.