The Tuuma Cormayr
Pirates of the Necklace of Plenty
The Tuuma Cormayr are a pirate band that prey upon shipping through the Tuuma Strait that cuts through the Necklace of Plenty archipeligo. They first rose to prominence about one hundred years ago, when Imperial power began to dwindle and the Imperial navy no longer had the resources to secure shipping lanes. They were originally founded by Cormayr Bloodhawk, also known as The Red Talon, a man of mysterious origins. Some stories say that he was a renegade admiral of the Imperial fleet, others that he was a bloodthirsty criminal escaping a death sentence on Oksa. Other tales say that he was a wizard from the magical chaos of Kam Ultdour, or that he was a freedom fighter driven from Llaza by the authorities. In some versions, Bloodhawk is said to be a woman. The Tuuma Cormayr maintain the mystery, and many of the more colourful stories concerning Cormayr Bloodhawk are sure to have been started by the pirates.
In any event, the Tuuma Cormayr (also known as The Bloodhawks and The Red Talons) built up a naval force to be reckoned with. Leadership of the Tuuma Cormayr passed from father to son, along with the name Cormayr Bloodhawk (or so it is believed). Command is currently held by Cormayr Bloodhawk IV, great-grandson of the founder. The fortunes of the Bloodhawks have waxed and waned over the years. By the time of Bloodhawk II the Merchants League had built up sufficient forces to deal a devastating blow to the Tuuma Cormayr, and the remnants of the pirates scattered into the myriad small islands of the Necklace of Plenty. They remained a minor annoyance under Bloodhawk III, mere raiders and skirmishers, but gradually built up strength. A rennaissance of power is occurring under Bloodhawk IV.
There are two reasons for this. One is that as the influence of the Merchants League has expanded, its ability to police its territory has decreased. The Tuuma Strait is no longer as heavily patrolled as it once was. Secondly, the Red Talons have acquired the use, presumably through magical means, of narhemoths. These huge horned whales are used as bludgeons to cripple ships whilst the pirates use small craft to make lightning raids on the stricken vessels.
The Red Talons have several bases throughout the Tuuma Strait, always moving when the League Navy come looking for them. It is rumoured that they have a central base in an ancient city somewhere, home to their riches. This may just be sailor's talk, but it is certain that the Tuuma Cormayr can be found in Paradise City on the distant island of Tas-Nabrenor.
Goods stolen by the Tuuma Cormayr are usually fenced in Llaza and the Oksan ports, sold via a chain of middlemen to the people for whom the cargo was originally bound. The criminal cartel known as the Black River Society is sure to be involved. Riskier cargoes are sometimes offloaded either to the west in Denra-Lyr, or to the east in Mopendor, Tautoa or the Ssth'gar islands. However, the Red Talons don't have the power (yet) to maintain such an extensive network continuously.
Members of the Tuuma Cormayr
All members of the Bloodhawks, no matter what race or sex, have a red talon tattooed somewhere on their body. These are usually located on a part of the body that can be easily hidden - chest, back, arms etc. to enable the pirates to travel in disguise, but some members tattoo their face or hands. These individuals are usually real desperadoes with nothing to lose, who would fight to the death rather than allow capture.
The Red Talons are comprised of all manner of folk; mainly outlaws from Imperial territory but also some members from Kam Ultdour (usually the mundane peasantry), The Technocracy of Hudan, some Moa-Ruaki and even a few Ti-Kop of various types. All take the tattoo and swear an oath of loyalty to the Tuuma Cormayr. The penalty for betrayal involves the use of a red hot poker on the eyes and tongue.
Cormayr Bloodhawk IV
The fourth Bloodhawk is now a grizzled veteran of piracy, in his fourth decade and still without an heir. Cormayr IV has instigated a ruthless hit and run policy amongst the Red Talons in order to build up wealth and wear down his opponents. He dreams of nothing more than making the Tuuma Cormayr lords of the Tuuma Strait, and then, maybe, the whole of the Necklace of Plenty. Already he has begun cowing local settlements with a bit of coastal raiding to supplement his piracy. He is a ruthless fighter who leads from the front. In the process he has lost the thumb and index finger of his left hand, the tip of his right ear, gained several impressive scars on his face and body and a slight limp in his right leg.
Cormayr Bloodhawk IV
Male human Ftr12 (Thug): CR 12; Medium Humanoid (human); AL NE
Abilities Str 14 (+2), Dex 16 (+3), Con 12 (+1), Int 13 (+1), Wis 8 (-1), Cha 12 (+1)
Initiative +3; Speed 30 ft.
Armour Class 17 (+2 Dex, +5 armour) touch 12, flat-footed 15
Saves Fortitude +9, Reflex +7, Will +3
Hit Dice 12d10+12; hit points 76
Base Attack/Grapple +12/+14; Combat Expertise (+5)
Melee Masterwork longsword +15/+10/+5 (1d8+4, crit. 18-20)
Melee Dagger +14/+9/+4 (1d4+2)
Ranged Heavy Crossbow +15 (1d10, crit. 19-20, 120 ft.)
Special Attacks None
Special Qualities None
Skills: Balance +6, Bluff +11, Climb +13, Diplomacy +3, Gather Information +10, Intimidate +12, Jump +13, Knowledge (local) +11, Profession (sailor) +7, Sleight of Hand +13, Swim +11, Tumble +6
Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Sunder, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialisation (longsword), Whirlwind Attack
Languages: Low Imperial, Moa-Ruaki
Possessions: +2 studded leather, masterwork longsword, heavy crossbow, dagger, 20 bolts, 5 +1 flaming bolts, ring of swimming, potion of water breathing, potion of cure serious wounds, assorted jewellery worth 500 gp (50,000 yen).
Combat: Cormayr IV loves to remain mobile in combat, using Spring Attack combined with Mobility and Dodge to move around the battlefield evading enemy counterattacks. A common attack combo is to use feint, disarm (or sunder) followed by an attack, using his full attack iterative bonuses. Against tougher opponents he eschews the stunt attacks, although will often feint against those with tough armour class bonuses. Using a bull rush to shove opponents off the side of a ship is another favourite Cormayr IV move. He uses his crossbow only when closing with enemy ships. Cormayr has a stash of potions of water breathing and healing, although tends to carry just the one of each when in action. Between water breathing and the ring of swimming, Cormayr IV is not afraid himself to pitch into the water.
Yellowcrest is a member of the K'keer culture of the Ti-Kop species, that humans call "Wild Gloppies". His true name is a series of clicks and whistles that cannot be reproduced by humans. Yellowcrest was cast out of his tribe for selling the eggs of his tribemates to nearby humans who treasured them as a delicacy. How he came to be so selfish and lazy is unknown but, basically, Yellowcrest delights in causing trouble for others and little else. He owns a magical item known as the Crown of the Whale King that allows him to command narhemoths. This item is more than likely stolen from its rightful owner. He is a druid, using the Aspects of Nature variant of wild shape.
Male ti-kop Drd12: CR 12; Medium Humanoid (Aquatic); AL NE
Abilities Str 12 (+1), Dex 13 (+1), Con 11 (+0), Int 12 (+1), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 10 (+0)
Initiative +1; Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Armour Class 13 (+1 Dex, +2 armour) touch 11, flat-footed 12
Saves Fortitude +9 (immune to poison), Reflex +4, Will +10
Hit Dice 10d8+10; hit points 55
Base Attack/Grapple +7/+8
Melee Spear +8/+3 (1d8+1 plus poison, crit. x3)
Melee Dagger +8/+3 (1d4+1)
Melee Wrist touch +8 (poison)
Melee (Tooth and Claw plus Venom Aspects) Bite +8 (1d6+1 plus poison) and 2 claws +3 (1d4)
Ranged Hand Crossbow +9/+4 (1d4, crit. 19-20, 30 ft.)
Ranged Spear +8 (1d8, crit. x3, 20 ft.)
Special Attacks Poisonous secretions (1/day)
Special Qualities Amphibious, aspect of nature (4/day, 2 at once), low-light vision, nature sense, poison tolerance (+2), resist nature's lure, trackless step, venom immunity, wild empathy, woodland stride
Skills: Bluff +6, Concentration +10, Diplomacy +2, Handle Animal +5, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (nature) +7, Listen +8, Perform (farsinging) +4, Ride +3, Sleight of Hand +9, Spot +8, Survival +7, Wild Empathy +10
Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (hand crossbow), Great Fortitude, Poisonous Secretions, Rapid Reload
Languages: Low Imperial, Moa-Ruaki, Tik
Possessions: Crown of the Whale King, masterwork leather armour, masterwork hand crossbow, 20 bolts, 5 doses sea anemone poison (treat as large scorpion venom), spear.
Poison (Aspect): Bite injury, initial and secondary 1d6 Con, Fortitude DC 15.
Poison (sea anemone): Injury, inital and secondary 1d6 Str, Fortitude DC 18.
Poison (wrist): Contact, initial 1d3 Dex and sickened for 1 round, secondary 1 Dex. Fortitude DC 15.
Spells per Day: 6/5/5/4/3/2
Spells Typically Prepared:
5th Level (2/day, save DC 18) - animal growth, stoneskin.
4th Level (3/day, save DC 17) - dispel magic, freedom of movement, rusting grasp.
3rd Level (4/day, save DC 16) - call lightning, cure moderate wounds, quench, wind wall.
2nd Level (5/day, save DC 15) - chill metal, fog cloud, gust of wind, resist energy, wood shape.
1st Level (5/day, save DC 14) - cure light wounds, longstrider, magic fang, onscuring mist, shillelagh.
0th Level (6/day, save DC 13) - create water, cure minor wounds, guidance, light, mending, resistance.
Combat: Yellowcrest generally uses his narhemoths and spells such as call lighting or wood shape to attack enemy shipping. He dislikes personal combat unless he has an unfair advantage, hence his fascination with poison. If possible he keeps people at bay with poisoned crossbow bolts but if forced into melee he likes to assume the Tooth and Claw and Poison aspects of nature, giving him claw attacks and a poisonous bite. Sometimes he takes the Endurance aspect instead to boost his Constitution and thus the potency of his poison.
The Crown of the Whale King
Aura: Strong Enchantment. CL 13th
Slot: Head. Price: 95,300 gp (9.53 million yen). Weight: -.
The Crown of the Whale King is a circlet made of coral, with a very organic appearance. Five branches of the coral project upwards to give the prongs of the crown. Once per week, the wearer of the Crown may summon one narhemoth, who serves him faithfully until it is slain or the wearer dismisses it. The wearer of the Crown may have several narhemoths in his service at once, up to a maximum of 2 plus Charisma bonus. If the wearer travels more than one mile from the sea the narhemoths are released from effect of the Crown. The Crown allows the wearer to communicate telepathically with his narhemoth servants.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, Dominate Animal, Summon Nature's Ally VII. Cost: Cost 47,650 gp (4.8 million yen); 1906 xp.
Using the Tuuma Cormayr
Sooner or later, any game based on or near the sea will require Pirates!, and the Tuuma Cormayr represent one of the largest and most organised pirate bands of the Southern Sea. They are very likely to have annoyed any number of patron groups, from most of the Southern Sea governments and the Merchants League to fellow criminal groups such as the Black River Society. The upper echelons of the Tuuma Cormayr are quite skilled opponents, and player characters capable of facing them would be at a level where they shape their own destiny rather than follow the commands of others, so early encounters would be with the lower level Tuuma Cormayr.
The hidden bases and caches of the Tuuma Cormayr may be found in strange locations that spawn a secondary adventure by themselves (ancient ruins, abandoned crypts, etc.). Retrieving stolen goods or hostages could propel the player characters on a journey to the strange jungles of Tas-Nabrenor, where the pirate haven of Paradise awaits.
(c) 2007 The Creative Conclave.
City of Llaza
Empire of Splendour
Necklace of Plenty
Queendom of Mopendor
Technocracy of Hudan