Sunrise Isles

Well if it’s a legend you want it’s a legend you’ll get. I have been sailing these waters for nearly forty years now and have seen not a tenth of what there is to be seen. What I know though is that there’s not a day goes by when I don’t curse old Silverthorne’s line for the muckety job he did when it comes to the Isles of the Dawn.
Suren they’re real enough. Real enough to produce a mean and scurvy fleet which’ll chew up any fishing lugger they can find. They hate us, with a passion. You see long ago the King of those isles was the brother of the first king of Silverthorne. He came here asking for a place to stay, to launch his pirate raids from. His own brother turned him away, saying that his kingdom in the Bay of Thornes had no place for piracy.

Well, of course the brother felt betrayed. He sailed east vowing revenge. For several months he traveled, cresting the horizon beyond any trace of land. His men said he was a fool, and nearly mutineed, but he was a wily old shark, and skinned the first two he found plotting. After that it sort of dried up.

Their water was down to the dregs, and the food running low when the lookout hailed land on the horizon below. They drew in to port, and found three large isles. Each only sparsely populated, but waiting for them. They struck a deal with the witch-doctor ruling one of the islands and used his tribe to conquer all three isles. When that was done, they set about using the natives as labor, to build a great harbor in mockery of that found in the bay of thorns. There they built an enormous stone vault, covering the entire entrance to the harbor. Sea gates on both sides of the vault controlled any ship that wanted to get in or out. To this day, any from the Corsair Isles who want trade with Sunrise have to heave to and take on a crew for passage through the seagates.

Over the years dire warning of black magic have drifted down from those who have visited Sunrise. Many come back with strange illnesses, drawn and gaunt though they have eaten their full. It is even said at night in dockside Taverns that the brother of old Silverthorne still lives, sitting his throne of human bones and waiting for his revenge.

It was to the reavers of Sunrise that I lost my first ship. They came out of the dawn fog, with the sun glare at their backs. I couldn’t count masts or beam in the light, but it must have been close to a score that bore down on my old coaster. She was a barge, and stout in her timbers, but with nowhere to run there wasn’t a chance. I cut close ashore, near reef and shoal, hoping to bottom their deepwaters out. They lit up my canvas with jars of burning oil, not caring for loot or for our thwarts.

Well my mates and me went over the side, we settled in the water to hide. We drifted for days, and washed ashore as strays, luckily enough on an isles off the normal ways. We caught a lugger back to our lands the next summer, but not before cursing Silverthorne and his pompous ways.