Realms of Tirakan

Realms of Tirakan


Gas'Danir is considered by the other realms of Tirakan to be a loose community of pirates, buccaneers and other riffraff. Situated in the middle of the Rock Sea, the island is home to three larger towns and many small settlements. Although Gas'Danir does not have a good reputation, there is a social structure on the island.

The geography of Gas'Danir

The island of Gas'Danir lies in the middle of the Rock Sea. Gas'Danir has been known for centuries as a pirate's nest, and a bastion of the outlaws. Danir Hohstadt, Danir Astadt and Ark Horiel are the three cities on the island, with Ark Horiel being the largest city with about 15,000 inhabitants. The landscape of Gas'Danir in the coastal regions is mainly characterised by forest landscapes. The middle of the island is divided by the notorious Skeleton Ridge, in whose abandoned silver mines countless pirate gangs have taken up residence. Ships can only approach the harbours of the three towns and the Bay of Fire in the south of the island, as the rest of the coast rises 30 steps above the sea in places. Pirate guards are hidden in the cliffs, armed with fire arrows and catapults to ward off possible royal attacks, a measure that has not been necessary for almost a century. The three islands of Je Danir, Tor Danir and Fel Danir are also inhabited by individual pirate gangs.

The history of Gas'Danir

Silver! (around 350 b. EC)

Around the year 350 b. EC, the stranded merchant Arkas Horiel stumbles upon a vein of silver in the Skeleton Ridge while searching for fresh water. A short time later, the Yavoner is rescued from the island by a meridian warship, but he keeps his secret to himself. A year later, Horiel returns with an expedition and begins the first prospecting operations, which prove extremely successful. Horiel's silver trade grows and also the reputation of Gas'Danir as a true treasure chest spreads like wildfire on Tirakan. Hopefuls and desperados alike flock from everywhere, all driven by greed for the precious metal. Most of them even find it, for Gas'Danir's silver deposits seem inexhaustible.

Founding of Ark Horiel (328 b. EC)

Arkas Horiel founds the city of Ark Horiel and gives it his name. Ark Horiel proclaims itself as a free trading city. Yadosia, Meridian and Asgoran in particular feel that their claim has been ignored, but are too bogged down in their own problems to assert it.

The Treaty of Gas'Danir (320 b. EC)

The rising tensions between the kingdoms and Gas'Danir finally lead to the negotiation of a treaty on the status of Gas'Danir. Taxes and mining duties are agreed to be paid to the individual kingdoms, in return for which they guarantee recognition of the free city status.

No more silver (300 b. EC)

What had been foreseen for several years comes true: Gas'Danir's silver mine runs dry. In one fell swoop, dozens of silver mine owners and thousands of workers are left without money and a bitter distribution struggle breaks out. The kingdoms refuse to accept "refugees" from Gas'Danir or to tolerate them at their ports. As more and more silver workers from the mountains crowd into Ark Horiel, the city is soon overrun and Danir Hohstadt and Danir Astadt are founded. Arkas Horiel, now in old age, takes his own life out of despair at the collapse of his business.

Outlaw (260 b. EC)

Emissaries of Gas'Danir enter into negotiations with Asgoran. They say that a new silver mine has been discovered and that they already want to hand over a large part of the tribute to the kingdom in order to secure its protection and to bring about the opening of the harbours. King Elonar DeCreston, whose kingdom is in urgent need of money, badly affected by the plague, agrees to the deal and sends three war vivons and two tansporters to the port of Ark Horiel. The emissaries of Asgoran are shown an incredible amount of silver over food and drink, and are told of the first results of the new mine. Later that night, hundreds of Gas'Danir's men board and take over the ships of the surprised Asgorans. The crews are abandoned in by-boats in the Rock Sea, many drowning or dying of thirst. Asgoran and the other kingdoms condemn the attack and together declare all the inhabitants of Gas'Danir to be outlaws. But the kingdoms are unable to back up their words with action. Either weakened by the plague or bound elsewhere, an attack on Gas'Danir fails to materialise. Meanwhile, the men of Gas'Danir, under the command of a self-styled and unscrupulous Captain Lorrbart, a bearded boor, begin further captures. In just a few months, 30 ships soon gather under Lorrbart's command and he becomes a feared man on the high seas, known not least for his cruelty and temper.

The Burning Bay (250 b. EC)

The kingdoms are increasingly helpless in the face of Lorrbart's growing fleet. The fleet now numbers nearly 250 combat-ready ships, and so the kingdoms decide to act. Scouts unanimously report the bulk of the pirate fleet in the bay in the south of the island, the target of the royal fleets has been found. Around noon, a fleet of nearly 180 heavily armed ships reaches the bay. They discover that no war fleet is waiting for them, but rather that they are encountering well-maintained but decommissioned ships. With the sun behind them, Lorrbart's ships, hiding behind Je Danir, attack the encircled ships of the kingdoms. Supported by incendiary arrows and catapults from the mainland, the pirates manage to destroy their opponents with extremely light losses of their own. The wrecks of the royal ships continue to burn for three days, a fact that has earned the bay its name.

Lorrbart's death (235 b. EC)

Over the years, Lorrbart has become known less as a captain than as the tyrant of Gas'Danir. His henchmen firmly hold not only Gas'Danir, but almost all the sea lanes of the Rock Sea in their hands. Resentment spreads among the rest of Gas'Danir's population until it finally comes to an uprising. Driven by the mob, Lorrbart and his remaining men escape to the forests in the south of the island. There they finally come to a confrontation in which Lorrbart fights for his life to the bitter end. His last words are said to have been a curse, and it is not uncommon to read of him and his men making the south of the island unsafe as ghosts. Lorrbart's death resulted in the collapse of his pirate fleet: from then on, smaller and smaller individual pirate bands sailed together, as most of the captains who succeeded Lorrbart were at odds with each other or even enemies. For the first time, the kingdoms manage to achieve small successes against the pirates again.

The Council of Captains (180 b. EC)

More than 60 years after Lorrbart's death, Gas'Danir's end seems sealed. Weakened and scattered across the Rock Sea, the pirate fleet is hardly a threat against the might of the realms. There are already rumours throughout Tirakan of a major attack by the kingdoms on the pirate island, but the kings are still crippled by the trauma their countries experienced at the Battle of Burning Bay (The Massacre of Gas'Danir as it is known in the realms). In the face of this threat, the 12 most powerful captains of Gas'Danir make a pact, the so-called Council of Captains is created under the leadership of Captain Argalon. Together, the pirates begin to gather and organise their fleets, and the immanent threat of invasion seems temporarily banished.

Quandary (160 b. EC)

The organisation of the pirate fleet proves to be a complete success. New ships are captured and attacks by the royals are repelled. Meanwhile, ships of their own are built in Ark Horiel, the wood from the forests of Gas'Danir proving to be perfect material for fast, manoeuvrable ships. A stalemate on the Rock Sea is emerging, in which it once again seems impossible for the kingdoms to take Gas'Danir.

A fragile peace (50 b. EC)

An agreement is finally reached between the kingdoms and Gas'Danir. Officially, a peace treaty is signed between Asgoran, Meridian, Yadosia and Gas'Danir. All ships travelling under other flags are exempt from the agreement. Despite the peace, the inhabitants of Gas'Danir are still considered to be outlaws and so there are still occasional skirmishes on the high seas, which are described by both sides as misunderstandings.

Common enemies (120 EC)

Under the patronage of the Council as well as representatives of all kingdoms, a mutual agreement is reached to protect the Rock Sea as well as the West and East Seas from the Minotaurs. The pirate fleet proves to be an extremely effective instrument against the Minotaur ships.

A history of important personalities

  • Arkas Horiel, first silver mine owner of Gas'Danir, founder of Ark Horiel (350 b. EC)
  • Captain Lorrbart, first known pirate of Gas'Danir (260 b. EC)
  • Captain Argalon, first chairman of the Council of Captains (180 b. EC)
  • Captain Heiner, second chairman of the Council of Captains (180 b. EC)
  • Captain Finsterhaken, notorious pirate in skeleton ridge (170 EC)

Law and Politics on Gas'Danir

Since the first Council of Captains, the island has been under the rule of just that. The 12 most powerful captains sit on the council and govern the affairs of the island. Who gets on the council is determined by ship ownership. As a rough figure, Gas'Danir's fleet has consisted of about 200-400 ships over the centuries, with about half being under the control of the captains of the high council, and the rest distributed among the other factions of the island.

Although the atmosphere is rough and assaults and brawls are commonplace, murder and grievous bodily harm are punishable by the most severe penalties on Gas'Danir. Under the supervision of the council, those found guilty are tortured for hours until they are handed over to a redemptive death. Even overly brutal behaviour during a pirate attack has been forbidden since the times of Lorrbart. It is therefore no wonder that Gas'Danir is one of the safest areas of Tirakan in this respect. Nevertheless, it is advisable to keep your wallet hidden when you are on Gas'Danir.

In the later centuries, however, it is the pirate islands that suffer under the pressure of the war that surrounds them. From the 6th century onwards, Gas'Danir is increasingly ruled by arbitrarily brutal, hostile pirate clans. Gas'Danir is thus considered one of the most dangerous places in Tirakan around the 7th century.

Alliances and contacts

Gas'Danir's alliances are fragile and mainly based on the power of the pirate fleet. All official external contacts are conducted from Gas'Danir via the Council of Captains. To this day, the following problem also arises: since the island's inhabitants are officially considered outlaws, shrewd officials in the kingdoms' ports may decide to treat returning visitors to Gas'Danir as such as well.

The life of the people

The 30,000 people on Gas Danir are divided between the following towns: Danir Hohstadt, Danir Astadt and Ark Horiel. Since the collapse of the silver economy, almost everyone on the island lives from piracy. The only exceptions are a few organised farmers, and the men of the shipyards and ports. Almost everyone else is employed either as crew, combat troops or captains on the ships of the pirate fleet. A small part of the islanders in Danir Astadt and Ark Horiel are also engaged in distilling and brewing beer and rum. Furthermore, in Ark Horiel there is the only blacksmith on the island, a mute member of the Morgala people, whom everyone just calls the blacksmith.

The manners on the streets of the towns are harsh and it is never advisable to travel alone on Gas'Danir, unless you are very aware of your abilities in battle or simply naive.

Trade on Gas'Danir

Gas'Danir lives from the import of pirate ships as well as from self-produced agricultural products. There is a lively barter trade on the island, whereby gold, precious stones or noble fabrics are far more popular than coins of the kingdoms, but these are also accepted at horrendous exchange rates.

Cities and towns

  • Danir Hohstadt - Westernmost city of Gas'Danir, population approx. 9,000.
  • Danir Astadt - Northernmost city of Gas'Danir, population approx. 8,000.
  • Ark Horiel - Easternmost city of Gas'Danir, population approx. 15,000.
  • Lorrbart's Woods - Enchanted forest in the south of Gas'Danir. Whoever enters it has a good chance of encountering the ghost of the legendary Captain Lorrbart, as well as the ghosts of his men.

The Skeleton Ridge

The mountain range in the middle of Gas'Danir is called Skeleton Ridge because of its jagged appearance. Added to this is the fact that many old silver mines still curve around its tops like bones. There is much talk of haunted mines and sinister pirate gangs. Some even say that deep in the Skeleton Ridge there is an ancient lizard temple. Many who once set out to find it never returned...

The Skeleton Ridge has been mainly in the hands of Captain Finsterhaken since 120 EC. Although he has a fleet hardly worth mentioning, his men are known for raiding unsuspecting wanderers and expeditions in the Skeleton Ridge. It is not known exactly how many missing explorers in search of the Lizard Temple can be attributed to him.

The Bay of Fire

Southern Bay of Gas'Danir. Here occurred what is known in the kingdoms as the Massacre of Gas'Danir. A huge fleet of royal ships was devastated here in 250 b. EC by pirate ships and burnt out for 3 days.

Je Danir

Southwestern island near Gas Danir, inhabited by about 300 pirates.

Tor Danir

Group of islands east of Gas Danir. Inhabited by approx. 600 pirates on the individual islands.

Fel Danir

Group of islands east of Gas Danir. Inhabited by approx. 400 pirates on the individual islands.

The cities of Gas'Danir

All 3 cities look the same in their basic features: Large sprawling harbours that are crowded at all times of the day, stone houses and wooden barracks that rise no higher than 3 floors. The cities are built in a truly chaotic way, so that main streets narrow into small alleys and behind the most inconspicuous corner a small market place reveals itself to the visitor. Trapdoors lead down into gloomy pub cellars along the clay roadside and groups of sinister-looking figures huddle in the shadows. The status of a captain can be seen not only in his fleet but also in his house in the towns: In each town there are at least 5 houses which are quite high, made of stone and permanently guarded by a pirate crew. Each city has a main house, a simple stone building, which is used for the meetings of the 12.

The harbours of the towns are heavily armed: Catapults and large crossbows are located at the mouths of the harbours, and to some extent on the rest of the island. The pirates have a reputation for being able to vehemently repel attacks on Gas'Danir. Due to the planning of the Council of 12, there are always at least 10 armed ships ready to sail in every port, while the rest of the fleet can reach Gas'Danir at any time within 3 days.

Almost everything is available in the cities if you bring enough money and are wise enough and able to take care of it. Gas'Danir is also a veritable hoard of rumours concerning the rest of Tirakan, plus almost incomparable sailor's yarns that are spun.