Groups of Power
The Sea Kings
The Sea Kings are a group of independent warlords who govern trade on the Dragon Sea. Each Sea King commands his or her private armada of ships. Some Sea Kings are legitimate traders and merchants; others are privateers, freebooters, and bounty hunters in the service of the Dragovar. The rest are self-employed explorers, slavers, or pirates.
Thirty-three Sea Kings currently ply the waves, and their goals seldom align. Bitter rivalries among the Sea Kings have been known to escalate into major conflicts on the high seas, impacting trade across the entire world. That said, the Sea Kings of the modern day are somewhat more civilized than their barbaric predecessors. When faced with a common threat, they can present a unified front—at least for a short time. The Sea Kings convene regularly at the city-fortress of Krakenholt to discuss business and various sundry “opportunities.” Even then, such gatherings are usually attended by no more than a dozen Sea Kings. The rest simply can’t be bothered, either because they are at odds or have more pressing business half way around the world.
Very few Sea Kings are willing to swear fealty to the Dragovar of Arkhosia, either because the empire is too corrupt to be trusted or because they believe the empire’s demise is inevitable. Like vultures, they wait to feast on the Dragovar’s succulent, proverbial carcass.
Any sea captain who pledges allegiance to a Sea King gains the instant benefit of a powerful ally as well as some measure of protection against pirates and other threats (provided her ship flies the Sea King’s flag). Unaligned sea captains must often bribe the Sea Kings to safely traverse the seas, lest they be attacked, boarded, pillaged, and sunk.
Known Sea Kings
Most commoners can name upwards of nine Sea Kings based solely on tales recounted in local taverns. Very few people know the names of all thirty-three Sea Kings (save the Sea Kings themselves). The following Sea Kings are among the most prolific:
Sea King Valkroi (Mykel Valkroi): A fair but brutal Sea King endorsed by the Thunder Lords, Valkroi claims to have sailed his flagship to the Elemental Chaos and back.
Sea King Senestrago (Evan Senestrago): Valkroi’s ambitious rival and former shipmate, now a Sea King with one of the largest fleets on the Dragon Sea.
Sea King Kalas (Lorelei Kalas): Also known as the Black Wren of the Kalas, “Lady Lorelei” is good to the captains that serve her loyally and positively vicious to those who cross her.
Sea King Trystoval (Xelior Trystoval): Rivals claim to have killed this half-elf Sea King in battle, yet he lives. With every “death,” he seems to gain more power and influence.
Sea King Deepstaff (Rhone Orlak): The self-proclaimed “wizard of the waves,” Sea King Deepstaff has arguably the fastest fleet on the high seas. His “flagship” isn’t a ship at all, but a floating tower that skims across the surface of the Dragon Sea.
Sea King Firerazor (true name unknown): A charismatic dragonborn exile who fights honorably and proudly, Firerazor has no love for the Dragovar dynasty. His flagship, the Inferno, is considered the most heavily armed and armored ship on the Dragon Sea, capable of sinking entire armadas by itself.
Sea King Mithralstar (Verdigris Mithralstar): An intrepid, swashbuckling dwarf with expensive tastes and vast troves of hidden wealth, Sea King Mithralstar carries a magic horn that summons a terrible sea dragon when blown.
The Deeplantern Guild
The Deeplantern Guild was founded ten years ago by a band of human and halfling entrepreneurs who realized the vast spoils that wait to be discovered at the bottom of the Dragon Sea. The Deeplanterns plan extensive forays into the lost ruins of sunken empires. They also keep a sizable percentage of what they find, which enables them to fund future expeditions without the need to rely on benefactors. The Deeplantern Guild can also be hired to find anything that’s been lost at sea, including sunken ships and precious cargo.
The guild has representatives in every city and raft-town, and they’re always looking for new members. Members are required to deal honestly and maintain an adventurous spirit. Members of the guild also enjoy several perks, including sea-travel discounts and free access to water breathing magic.
The Thunder Lords
The Thunder Lords are a group of storm titans that inhabit the titanic maelstrom known as the Eye of Io. These tempestuous giants have the power to unleash the Eye of Io upon the world, and so the Sea Kings pay them tribute to keep the great storm “trapped” above the southern pole.
It is rumored that the Thunder Lords serve a powerful being or force of nature called the Harridan. Whether they serve the Harridan out of fear or respect is unknown. Scholars speculate that the Harridan might be an exarch of the goddess Melora, a monstrous kraken or leviathan that stirs the sea beneath the storm, or a forsaken sibling of Bahamut and Tiamat.
All of the core deities described in the Player’s Handbook are worshiped on Iomandra. Within the Dragovar Empire, the temples of Bahamut and Tiamat hold sway and maintain a tenuous equilibrium. It is forbidden to erect temples to other gods, although shrines to “lesser gods” are permitted. In major cities, it’s not uncommon to find shrines dedicated to the many gods of the core D&D pantheon, particularly Melora (goddess of the sea), Erathis (goddess of civilization), and Sehanine (goddess of the moon).
Mysterious group of unknown origin and intent.