Empire of Lightrune
The Imperial Ocean
The entire eastern border of the Empire is an ocean, devoid of any large islands (as far as Imperial explorers have found, at any rate), but dotted with a number of archipelagos. These have been largely subjugated by the Empire, although in many cases this merely meant having whoever was already in charge of the given island(s) swear fealty to the Empire, pay token taxes, and support Imperial shipping to the best of their ability. In exchange, the Empire deals with the marauders and monsters that are two of the great dangers of the Ocean. Not every island has been subjugated, however, and several pirate havens are known to exist.
Sites of Note
Fireheart Isle: This volcanic island is the largest open pirate haven and quite possibly the largest of all. The two principle industries of the island are providing pirates a place to spend their coin in safety, and extorting protection money from those pirates to keep the Imperials at bay. Since this protection is still less than Imperial taxes (especially now), the pirates in the area grumble and don’t complain. The protectors of the island are quite good at their jobs: when an Imperial Fleet was sent to subjugate the island, it was destroyed to a sailor. The secret of the island’s defenses are unknown: some say a great former pirate and mage has taken up residence and has weaved intricate spells of defense. Others say the volcano provides a portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire, allowing the island’s summoners relatively easy access to fire elementals of all varieties, up to the feared Efreeti.
Spirit Island: Spirit Island is something of a sailor’s joke. While the name evokes something eldritch, the reality is something much more mundane: Spirit Island is the centre of the sugarcane growing and rum making industries. The native sugarcane does not grow nearly as well elsewhere in the Empire (beyond a few smaller islands nearby), so all the island that can has long since been converted to the growing of sugar. The rum is made on site for the most part. While it saves on shipping to bring the molasses back to the mainland and make it there, most agree that the rum produced here, backed by centuries of tradition, is finer than any other in the world.
Spirit Island is headed by Grand Admiral Barack Greenhide, the fifth in the Greenhide line to achieve the title of Grand Admiral. The Greenhide ancestry is a popular topic of debate, outside the hearing of the Greenhide clan and those of their supporters with the least sense of humour. Theories that explain the family’s green skin range from orc-blood to a merfolk blessing granting prowess on the waves. Regardless, it’s not arguable that the Greenhides are all fine sailors and capable captains, and are well respected despite (or perhaps because of) their mysterious origin.