Skies of Arcadia
If Errol Flynn had lived in Arcadia, he’d have been a Blue Rogue. Blue Rogues are the dashing, swashbuckling, treasure seeking, folk-heroes of Arcadia. While they’re definitely trying to make a living off this pirate gig, they’re in it as much for the adventure and the challenge as for the money. Consummate thrill seekers, a Blue Rogue would rather fight a monster for a pittance than be handed a fortune. Most Blue Rogues also claim to be Robin Hood types. They rob from the rich to give to the poor. While this is something of a boast on their part (their favorite charities are always themselves) it is not an entirely empty one. Blue Rogues are surprisingly generous with their treasure when they encounter someone in need. The difference between a Blue Rogue and Robin Hood is that the latter sought out people in need, while the former merely helps when the opportunity presents itself. Still, it’s more than most people do. People rescued off of distressed ships by Blue Rogues can count on safe passage to the nearest port, and accommodations and board on the trip at least as good as those of the crew that’s saving them (sometimes even better). Often as not, the Pirates will even drop them off with a little seed money to help them get back on their feet once they drop them off.
The Blue Rogues are NOT an organized faction. Each ship sails under its own captain and has its own base of operations and territories. Most Blue Rogues have never met each other except through reputation. They respect each other immensely, though, and do consider themselves to all be part of an adventuring brotherhood. This means that they respect each other’s hunting patches, personal reputation, and trademarks. This means that they will not attack each other, won’t poach ships in another Blue Rogue’s territory (Black Pirates are the exception; they’re always fair game), will never copy another pirate’s signature styles or motifs, and will always go the extra mile to help each other when in need.
Since each group of Blue Rogues operates independently, each has their own customs, principles, goals, and style. However, ALL follow a basic code. To fail the Code of The Blue Rogues is to become a Black Pirate, the scum of the skies.
The Code of The Blue Rogue
- NEVER harm an innocent; protect them.
- Never attack or plunder the unarmed.
- NEVER take hostages.
- Only plunder armed targets that have MORE than you. Never attack the less well off no matter how many guns they have.
- NEVER kill a helpless foe, but feel free to take him for all he’s worth as long as it was you who defeated him.
- Never harm or torture prisoners.
- Fight hard and use all due force in combat, but never fight with reckless abandon.
- Your crew is your family; treat them as such.
- Ship and crew are always at risk in the ventures of an Air Pirate, but this should never be done carelessly.
- ALWAYS render assistance to ships in distress. (Even Black Pirates and Valuan Armada)
- Never fight a pointless battle, but never back down from one that has meaning as long as there is a shred of hope.
- Fight the good fights!
- Respect those who follow this code, for they too are your family.
- Respect all who are willing to brave the skies, even those who are your sworn enemies.
This all being said, while Blue Rogues may avoid being villains they aren’t saints either, though to their credit, they don’t claim to be. Blue Rogues do rob and plunder other vessels, and do occasionally kill people in the heat of battle. They justify this by only attacking armed vessels, that way they take the same risks of death and injury as their opponent. Their philosophy is: If you don’t want to get in a gun battle, don’t carry a gun. If you’ve got a gun you’re fair game. Blue Rogues also only plunder those they believe can handle the loss, such as the very rich or The Valuan Armada, or those who deserve it (such as Black Pirates and The Valuan Armada).
No… Blue Rogues are neither saints nor villains… But sometimes… just sometimes… They manage to be heroes.
Typical Ships and Resources.
Since air pirates don’t have the support of major populations like the governments of Arcadia, they have to go in for the simpler ship configurations. By no stretch of the imagination does this mean that these ships are not formidable, however. Since they can’t afford the heavy metal of Valua, and lack access to the hexagonal bracing techniques of the Nasr, air pirates go for lightweight sailing rigs that use a mix of moonstone buoyancy and thrusters for lift, and a mix of thrusters, hull sweeps, and sailing rigs for propulsion. There is nothing as fast as an air pirate ship sailing with the wind. This makes for speedy approach when executing an ambush, and a quick getaway. While their armaments aren’t as heavy as most military vessels, they make up for that by using their speed advantage to maneuver close in and pound a target ship at pointblank range. They then use that chaos to grapple and away boarding parties. Air Pirates are masters at hand-to-hand combat; Blue Rogues in particular pride themselves on these skills. While elite military troops may have stricter training regimes, air pirates get a lot more practical experience in their use which often makes these two groups near equals, much to the shock and chagrin of the former. That bit of underestimation is often all the advantage the Air Pirates need to turn a fight to their advantage.
Many air pirates operate out of secret bases, built into small islands where their crews and family live in small, unassuming villages that hide the reality of the pirates’ presence. Unfortunately for pirate hunters like the Valuan Armada, there are plenty of such communities that are exactly what they appear to be and despite its ever-growing influence in Middle Ocean, Valua is not so influential as to be able to withstand the fallout from trying to go around and shake each such community down looking for pirates. At least not yet. Some Blue Rogues eschew the hidden base system however, and simply operate out of Nasr ports. They’re well protected harbors safe from the reach of Valua, with plenty of places to fence their loot, get supplies, and to kick back and relax. All they have to do is not attack Nasr shipping.
Relationship with Other Factions
Other Blue Rogues: On the rare occasions when Blue Rogues meet, it’s generally time for a party. While Blue Rogues help out people in distress as a matter of principle, they do give extra special attention to their beneficiaries if they happen to be Blue Rogues as well. After all, everyone has their ups and downs, and next time it might be they themselves who need the assist. They’re all one big happy brotherhood, even if most of them have never met.
Nasr: Unlike Valua, Nasr does make a distinction between Blue Rogues and Black Pirates. Blue Rogues who do not harass Nasr shipping are welcome in the ports of Nasrad and Maramba, where they have full trading rights. Since virtually all Nasr merchants prefer to rely on the navy to secure the skies rather carrying armaments, this is not an issue. Also, unlike the Valuan Armada, the Nasr Navy is not richly appointed. The only thing they have to steal is their armaments, most of which can be purchased in Nasrad anyway (and at much cheaper rates than hull repairs) as long as one doesn’t tick off the Nasr. Of course, this cordiality irritates Valua to know end, and they often accuse Nasr of being little more than a fence. The response from both Nasrins and the air pirates to this taunt is the diplomatic equivalent of sticking out one’s tongue.
Valua: Valua hates all air pirates. Most air pirates hate them back. Of all the targets out there, only Black Pirates are more relished targets than the Valuan Armada by Blue Rogues. Richly appointed, high tech, fully loaded ships make for a very high payoff with a successful raid. The fact that the Valuan high command is filled with assholes only sweetens the pot. Still, Valuan warships are the MOST formidable prey the Blue Rogues take on, and they are inclined to be careful when hunting this most dangerous of prey. And even though the Valuans so about as much civility as a Black Pirate in this game, it is incumbent upon all Blue Rouges to maintain their own principles and keep this a clean fight, even as Valua becomes more and more vicious. It is important to note that most of the antagonism and hard feelings lies between the Blue Rogues and the Valuan government & its military arm The Armada. While Valuan merchants aren’t quite as…“enamored” of the Blue Rogues as their comrades in Nasr, most of them also don’t arm themselves and so have little actual enmity or fear of Blue Rogues. And of course whatever animosity they may feel for The Armada, Blue Rogues never take it out on the unarmed Valuan merchantmen.
Black Pirates: Black Pirates are the scourge of the skies. Everbody hates them. Blue Rogues take special exception to this scum as they are the type that gives air piracy a bad name. Armed, belligerent, well-stocked with valuables, and frequently with a price on their heads, the sighting of a Black Pirate ship is the ultimate score for a Blue Rogue, and few ever turn the opportunity down. Naturally, Black Pirates regard Blue Rogues as soft, prettyboys, who spout off nonsense about challenge and adventure just so they can snuggle up to the authorities and worm their way into ports for easy access to to the fences. While Blue Rogues are armed, they still tend to have plenty of “the good stuff” to plunder and taking a Blue Rogue vessel eliminates a dangerous competitor. Needless to say, Black Pirates and Blue Rogues will attack each other on sight.