It is said that there is one place on Zenth where a person can be truly free; free from the shackles of authoritarian government, free from the dictates of religion, free to pursue their livelihood and prosperity in any way they choose. This is all true. It is also said that with freedom comes danger, and this is very true indeed. Kallazand, the City on the Black Silt is a place where you can be free if you are strong enough, or a victim floating face-down in the mighty Mother of Seas if you are not. On one hand it is a haven of anarchists, free-thinkers and free-livers, unfettered by the crushing hold of emperors and kings; on the other, it is a nest of pirate warlords, where murder is the principle means of enforcing one's will.

Created as a wintering harbour and treasury by a variety of corsairs three centuries ago, the great wealth of the isolated strongholds and prestige of the captains began to attract opportunists, hangers-on, and trades and services that could be of use to the pirate fleets. Shanty towns and camps sprung up around their holdfasts, soon becoming permanent settlements on the banks of the river.

The pirate haven of Kallazand - the City on the Black Silt - has been cobbled together on the Uzay delta by sinking vast amounts of stone and debris into the sodden earth, then piling sand brought all the way from the desert and gravelly earth atop it. The city began as an anchorage for elven corsairs raiding the south-western coasts, and grew into a series of unmanned strongholds around the river mouth where they could store plunder when their holds were filled to bursting. It soon became a crossroads for thieves, black-marketeers, merchants and outlaws, who gathered around the elven forts to make camp away from the eyes and laws of other nations, to exchange goods stolen or fairly traded. With an influx of goblin refugees and dwarf expatriates following the Padishar Empire's occupation of the mountains and swamps the place grew, bolstered by orcish renegades from the old kingdoms of the Medraphayrus. The various elven pirates return to their strongholds perhaps once a season at most, and have taken to styling themselves corsair-lords, though they are neglectful and absentee rulers at best. When moored in Kallazand they hold court, settling disputes with a capricious iron hand, taking tribute and distributing largess to their followers before returning to the sea. But all defer to the vicious pirate Alyh Rala'Byn, terror of the west, and when his towering orcish battleship the Banebringer - stolen from port at Sutharad -sails into port the other corsairs set quickly to sea. The result is a prosperous anarchy that the corsair-lords fight to maintain, making the city the most dangerous and chaotic anywhere in the world. It is said that, no matter what your fancy, or how black your soul, you will find welcome in Kallazand.


location, landform, districts
tsunami scoured out the delta, making it deep enough for ships.
shark's teeth, defences made of coral, stone and metal that rip apart the hulls of any ships passing through them
hidden coves as fallback positions in case of attack
only the corsair-lords can grant permission to build in stone.


The oldest, largest and most mercantile of the riverports, Blacktown is built around Alyh Rala'Bin's stronghold. It is home to the major bazaars where stolen goods and plundered cargo are traded and resold, so if anything can be found on the western coast of Zenth, it can be found in Blacktown's markets. The buildings are tightly clustered and rather ramshackle, with upper levels and additions leaning together to created shadowed alleys, and walls often being knocked down to merged several structures into one.
Tiered Market: Blacktown's great marketplace is built on a series of terraces. Lower down and closer to the docks, perishables such as food and drink are resold. At higher tiers, the loot becomes progressively more valuable; wood and ingots, bolts of cloth, arms and armours, and in the uppermost market jewellery, books and other fragile treasures.
Madame Jaiet's: The most exclusive brothel in Kallazand, Madame Jaiet's is a two-storey house of black basalt and jet close up against the foot of the stronghold. The elegant courtesans are drawn from across Zenth, and provide companionship to the richest captains and criminals of the city. Alyh himself takes mistresses from Madame Jaiet's - a lucrative proposition for the girls, but one with a lot of disappearances.


What passes for law and order in Kallazand can be found in Ironport, around Kalimah's citadel. Vigilante gangs that provide policing for a fee, professional magistrates who will weigh up disputes for a slice of the settlement, scribes who can set out a contract and renegade sorcerers who can seal it in blood magic are all found here, but one should not mistake Ironport for a settlement under the rule of any law by Kalimah's. Unlike the other riverports Ironport actually has a network of streets, laid out according to the Sea Queen's plans.
Smelt Street: If you want weapons and armour made instead of buying dead man's gear from the markets, Smelt Street is the place to come. It is home to the best metalworkers in Kallazand, and the air is always full of smoke and sparks while hammers ring night and day.


Stormhaven is the riverport that receives most of the land-based arrivals in Kallazand. Overseen by Dalav's stronghold, it is home to markets for fresh produce and live animals brought in overland, and has a reputation as a settlement of 'lubbers'.


Built around a sheltered oxbow lake that feeds into the mighty river, Freeharbour was once the slave market of Kallazand, but is now its shipbuilding and repair hub. Ravyr's stronghold has expanded to take over the Castigation Pits, the former slave dungeons, and from here the army of freedmen plot to increase their numbers.


A raucous and lively sprawl, Ruddyport is the best place in the city to go to be entertained - with a slightly lower chance of being knifed in the kidneys or pick-pocketed. It is full of taverns, whorehouses, gambling dens, fighting pits and even playhouses, a vast array of diversions to separate a sailor from his silver. Liet's stronghold is home to as much drinking, feasting and dancing as any alehouse in Ruddyport.

Bloody End

Bloody End is the only riverport that is neither of those things. It is set some ways inland, and is the most dangerous and scum-infested part of a dangerous and scum-infested city. Roaming out from their fortress, Brankier's men are the worst of a bad lot of gangs and desperadoes that call the district home. In addition to slaughter-yards, tanneries, and Kallazand's graveyard, Bloody End hosts the Lichmarket, where the belongings picked off dead bodies - and sometimes the bodies themselves, or bits thereof - are for sale.

The Planks

The Planks are a precarious network of wooden walkways and platforms built on pilings driven into the riverbed and the silt-bars that fill the river. Eddies created by the piles of rubble and debris poured into the river create murky little islands, connected by bridge and barge. The changeable current makes these water-houses precarious, and sections are always collapsing and being washed away, so the Planks are an ever-changing cityscape. Merchants paddle canoes or barges stacked with goods around the mid-river structures, which are full of every kind of residence and business found in the rest of the city, though anyone who can afford it usually prefers to live a more stable life on the banks.



government, power structures, sources of power, laws and justice, crime and punishment, military and defence
on one hand, pirate warlords; on the other, anarchist slave-freers


industry and trade, subsistence and population flow, trade and communications, taxes and tariffs
repair their vessels, resupply, recruit, spend their plunder, avoid capture, and/or lie in wait for merchant ships to pass by


etiquette and customs, arts and entertainment, diet, fashion and sumptuary laws, religion
has its own seaport argot, siltmouth
bayou / se asian cuisine; spicy, gumbos


Murderer's Guild - assassins who commit random killings to conceal their paid jobs, and are proactive in killing people and then shaking down those who benefit from their death.

Characters of Note

The Corsair Lords

Alyh Rala'Bin, the Black-Veiled Death The most powerful and most feared corsair-lord - which is saying a great deal indeed. Alyh is a tall elf swathed entirely in black and grey robes with black leather and silver scale armour beneath, letting not an inch of skin show except his eyes, aphotic and pitiless as the depths of the ocean. He speaks rarely, and only in a harsh whisper, preferring to let his herald do any necessary yelling and to let violence speak louder than words. A swordsman of incredible talent and lethality, he wields a long-bladed scimitar named The End You Never Saw Coming, which through skill or enchantment moves so fast as to be invisible. Alyh is the ultimate law of Kallazand, but only insofar as he lets it be known he is willing to kill anyone who disrupts the convivial corruption and bandit prosperity of the city by pushing it too far towards bloody anarchy or opportunity-crushing tyranny. His fleet consists of six ships: the Banebringer, the Blood of the West, the Sea God's Shame, the Devilspear, the Drowned Dragon and the Undying Curse.

Kalimah Mor'Saerin the Sea Queen The Sea Queen to her followers, or Sea Bitch to others, dreams of becoming more than a corsair-lord. She sees Kallazand as the seat of a pirate empire engulfing the Samdur Kalla, and perhaps stretching its tentacles up the Medraphayrus Valley and across the Mangrove Court and Clashlands. She seeks to foster military discipline in her fleet, and is more likely to set up garrisons and governors in conquered towns than pillage and burn them to the ground. So far, Kalimah has been careful not to provoke Alyh by overtly seizing power in Kallazand, but that day may be coming. She commands four ships, the Imperious, Night's Queen, All The Kraken Grasps and the Coral Crown.

Dalav Bor'Thyras, the Storm Mage A renegade sorcerer from the Splendid City, Dalav owns but a single ship, the Weather Eye, but his spells make him a match for any of the other corsair-lords. He can conjure thick fogs from the sea, steal the wind from enemy sails to fill his own and wreck ships with bolts of lightning. Dalav is less interested in plunder and profit than in exploring the mystical secrets of the Samdur Kalla and the seas around it - and especially in avoiding the emissaries of the Splendid City that might be sent after him.

Ravyr Su'Jorn, the First Amongst Equals Perhaps the most benevolent of the corsair-lords, Ravyr makes a point of targetting slavers above all others. His fleet sails not under the harsh authority of a captain, but under freely-sworn articles of agreement amongst the crew - though all are happy to follow his lead and his vision.
His three ships, all former slaver vessels that suffered insurrections and joined him, are The Liberator, the Broken Shackle, and the Slaver's Doom.

Liet Volning, the Crimson Smile As a youth, the goblin Liet was taken as a prisoner when his ship fell to pirates. The captain had a soft spot for the vicious, friendly daredevil of a child, adopting him as a cabin boy and the crew eventually came to regard him as a sort of mascot. Liet grew to become as elvish in culture, tongue and spirit as any of the crew, but with a streak of goblin cunning that manifested in murdering the captain's favoured successors and demanding that the captain announce Liet as his heir. With ruthlessness and charisma, the goblin seized his place as the pirate's leader, and they have had little cause to complain about the plunder and excitement he has lead them to. Liet is a reckless fighter, always the first to leap onboard an enemy ship with a dagger between his teeth, and when pickings grow slim he often leads his men to other adventures, such as ransacking old ruins, seeking buried treasure and mercenary work. Liet has two ships, the Corsair's Scream and the Manta.

Brakier, the Salt Jackal Brakier is a beast. The crew of any ship unlucky enough to become his prey are more likely to find themselves as a meal for his band of savages than hostages or slaves. Tortured and mutilated bodies hang from the railings and masts as a warning that the Salt Jackal is on their tail. Whether the other corsair-lords know that Brakier is a shifter or simple believe him to be a sadistic thug is an open question, but the majority of his crew are also beast-men, psychopathic murderers and those suffering from the early stages of ghoul-sickness. Brakier has but one ship, the Wandering Hate, and a wolfpack of a half-dozen smaller vessels, mostly keelboats, that serve to flank and harry his victims while his vessel closes.


Qaraqolus orcish priest that preaches liberty