While technically still part of and governed by the coastal nation of Torrine, the Sea of Maridia (more commonly referred to as just "the Sea") functions somewhat as its own territory outside of nations - both above and below the water. Where the world below belongs mainly to the Sireni - including Torrine's own king Dominic Stacey - the surface of the Sea of Maridia is home mainly to Songhaven's sailors and pirates. It is not generally included in Torrine's usual motive of craft above all else, as the main focus of those who spend their time on the seas is either collecting treasure, fighting monsters, or simply building a reputation for themselves.
The Sea of Maridia has generally always been regarded as one of Songhaven's most dangerous places; holding not only aquatic Beasts, but more traditional horrors such as sea hags and aboleths. Such creatures would be nightmarish for people and Giants alike...were it not for the brave souls who travel the waters in search of 'adventure', felling these monsters to gain whatever treasures they might have hidden.
In this, the life of piracy in Songhaven takes something of a different turn - thievery is less prominent, though there is always competition between ships and crews, as those on the seas are well-provided for in thanks for the service they do for Songhaven as a whole. Tradition now dictates that pirates, while not celebrated by the people in most cases, are somewhat excused from normal regulations while ashore. To those willing to risk themselves in Maridia's waters, the seafaring life is one of the most free in all Songhaven.
In addition to fighting monsters, pirate crews are often feuding with each other - though many of these rivalries are for sport more than they are out of true spite, there's something to be said for the theatrics of it.
Beyond the danger of monsters, the Sea of Maridia has other strange properties that make it somewhat intimidating to the normal populace.
It is largely regarded as unchartable - while the start of a border can be found at Torrine's edges (marked by Skeleton Trees), the edge of it is reportedly impossible to judge the distance of. Those who sail out may vanish for weeks or even months at a time, but somehow always find their return trip takes no more than a few days at any given time no matter how far they've sailed. Even sailing directly alongside the border of Skeleton Trees, the Sea doesn't ever seem to stop. There is also no trace of the sea in Wintervale or Violl's Garden, despite the two nations being directly next to Torrine. While it is widely agreed that this makes no sense geographically, somehow no one has been able to figure out why the situation is as it is.
Where there are rumors of races such as the Irotori simply 'appearing' from out of nowhere, ships and people are like are confirmed to simply show up upon the Sea of Maridia and make their way ashore, sailors telling grand tales and pirates proclaiming their conquests from their 'homelands', but...like all other people, can't seem to remember how exactly they got to Songhaven, or what brought them. In most cases, there is no information whatsoever about these 'homelands', as well.
Notable Figures Edit
While the Sea of Maridia is full of interesting figures, some have more notoriety than others. Here are just a few:
Captain Amadea van Gandt Edit
A self-proclaimed pirate 'queen', this woman keeps her true origins and life story a mystery from others - preferring to come up with a new tale of her life for every new person she meets. She and her crew are most notable for the amount of Beasts and monsters they slayed upon their initial arrival in Songhaven - though these days, at least goes the rumor, quite a few of her original crew now live in disguise among the regular nations, collecting information for their captain while she tries to figure out a way to get back to where she came from. Amadea herself still primarily sails the Sea on her ship, the Winifred, and slays many monsters, asking for no real reward save notoriety; she claims there's some people she'll want to impress "whenever she can get her ass back home to tell them about it."
The Stormbreaker Edit
Once a half-orc sailor with humble origins, the Stormbreaker and his ship, the Sequence, are known only in stories. The "Ghost Ship" of the Sea of Maridia, the Sequence is said to appear in the worst of storms to protect others from harm - though the Stormbreaker himself, and all his crew, have long since passed on, their spirits remain to protect those who sail the waters. Stories of the ship and its deeds vary from teller to teller, but two things are always consistent: One, that the Stormbreaker himself is beheaded, and two, that he travels, always, with a Dwarven companion who lights the ship's way while he protects others.
The Great and Powerful Lord Ventrical Edit
If his name didn't tell you enough, Lord Ventrical thinks quite highly of himself. Known for his tendency to 'steal' kills from others, he 'convenienly' finds monsters and Beasts that others have been hunting and weakening and takes their lives (and treasure) just before anyone else can. Never faces consequences, as he also makes his exit rapidly after the fact. No one is sure what he does with the wealth he's earned, as most merchants won't publically sell to him knowing his deeds.
It is a quiet, calm day on the sea when you hear it: A gentle, almost invisible song worrying and fraying at the edges of your mind. A singular tone, enough to alert but gone too quickly to analyze more. If you are unlucky enough to catch even a single note, fear for your life, and flee as fast as you can - this is the call of the huntress, Cinza. A woman who can hardly be called human, she draws others into her unending song and kills purely for sport - shockingly, with no relation at all to Beasts. If you are lucky, you may outrun her...but hesitate even a moment, and you will find yourself lost in her world, trapped in her song, dancing like a puppet on strings to her music until she ends your life.