…we agonized over cutting the zebra finch article
The Doclopedia #940
Islands Of The Circle Sea: Black Dragon Island
Despite being located a mere 200 miles off the coast of the Corcoro Empire, this island is not claimed by the Corcorites or any other government. Nor will any ship not crewed by madmen get within 20 miles of it. As the old sailors say, “if ye can see Black Dragon Island, yer too damned close”.
The black dragon that rules the island is Tuwalunga and she is just the latest in her line, which stretches back well over 900 years. Like all black dragons, she is huge (300 feet from nose to tail tip), dangerous (she can breath both fire and a deadly poison gas) and not interested in meeting any creature unless it is to eat them. Any ship that comes too close to the island will be destroyed and the crew eaten. The only other dragons that get close to the place are the few males that come there during a rare breeding season. Most of them never get out alive.
The island itself is about twelve miles ling and five miles wide. It is mostly made up of high craggy volcanoes and narrow strips of beach. Many animals and birds live there, but none are larger than a housecat. Anything larger gets eaten.
The Doclopedia #941
Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Alandooro Archipelago
If there were ever a group of islands tailor made for pirates, it would be the 1,687 islands that make up the Alandooro Archipelago. Ranging in size from less that 100 yards across to 140 miles long by 78 miles wide, the islands also cover a range of climate zones from temperate to tropical due to the archipelago stretching over 1,800 miles from end to end. Many of these islands are quite close and the larger ones have easily navigable rivers. Such features give pirates many places to hide, which they do in large numbers at all times of the year.
The pirates are also aided in their hiding by the three kingdoms that make up the island group. To the north is Parland, home to fishermen, farmers and brewers extraordinaire. Parlanders are big friendly folks who don’t think much of the large empires and kingdoms. They do like pirates, whom they trade with and often marry their sons & daughters to. Most of the 400 islands that make up Parland are of the larger sort and they are typified by gentle rolling hills and a few forested mountains. This is at the temperate end of the archipelago.
The 682 islands that make up the middle of the archipelago form the nation of Shang. These islands are seldom larger than 50 miles and many are much smaller. About a third of them are mountainous while the rest are hilly or flat. Wildlife abounds on these islands and in the waters around them.
The Shangasi people are small, seldom standing more than 5 feet tall. Their skin is a light green and their eyes are large and almost always yellow. Both sexes wear their hail long and dress in togas of various shades of green, blue and brown.
The Shangasi are a race of mystics, scholars and storytellers who live very lightly on the land. They enjoy hearing pirate stories and telling pirates stories they have heard. Pirates who visit Shang are very respectful of the Shangasi rules and beliefs.
The final country in the Alandooro Archipelago is Lakama and it is by far the favorite among pirates looking to relax and revel. This is made very easy by the Lakaman people, who lead a laid back life punctuated by festivals, food, strong drink and sex.
The Lakamans are a tall and slender folk, brown skinned and almost universally good looking. Their mostly tropical islands are small, but very close together due to the narrowness of the southern end of the archipelago. Indeed, many islands are actually linking together thanks to very shallow seas and fast growing mangroves, boolee vines and irongrass..
Throughout these mostly flat to moderately hilly islands, the Lakamans make a living by fishing, farming and trading, all of which they do in a very relaxed manner. Festivals and parties break out at a moments notice and the islands all run on “island time”, which means things get done when they need doing, then you take a break.
Lakamans love pirates for their hard living ways and the interesting goods they bring. There are hundreds of places to hide ships and the Lakamans have made an art of doing so. Many old pirates retire to these islands.