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Ransom and Flotsam

Ransom and Flotsam

The city of Ransom is just about what you’d expect from a city with the name “Ransom”. It was built by pirates and raiders as a landing and repair site for their ships in unfriendly waters. And with the huge amount of trust exhibited between the various factions involved in criminal oceanic activities, the city spread out quickly onto the various islands and hills around Ransom Bay. Structures rarely adjoin for fear of fire or just that one night your neighbour might kick down the wall between your homes.

In the years since its founding, Ransom has settled down quite a bit, but is still known as a pirate city and is still home to several notable pirates and privateers and very little “legitimate” commerce. Farmers have settled in around the edges of town to sell crops to the locals and a number of skilled clinkers and other ship builders have been attracted to the city because of the quantity of work required and the abundance of looted coins offered.

The northernmost island in Ransom is home to a self-proclaimed “Pirate King” – noted to be both a particularly potent sorcerer as well as a very successful adventurer more than a traditional pirate. The island is the most fortified in the city, and is home to an odd mix of residents including a pair of hill giants and a pack of kamadan – clever giant leopards with snake-like tentacles sprouting from their shoulders (similar in structure to displacer beasts).


The most interesting neighbourhood of Ransom, which can honestly be considered its own settlement, is Flotsam. Three shining white spires of felsite jut out of the ocean floor in a near perfect equilateral triangle that have in turn become home to a rough structure of old ships and other woodwork and nautical detritus to form the floating neighbourhood. Flotsam is a fairly closed community although there are a few shops on the southernmost spire that attract trade from Ransomites looking for unique treasures recovered from the sea.

Built into the bottoms of Flotsam’s streets and homes are many old nets and barrels and other flotsam and jetsam that have become home to a small colony of ixitxachitl who have exerted their influence over the inhabitants and their leaders, leading to the isolationist attitudes of the locals to other Ransomites.

Ransom and Flotsam took root while I was going through the requests from my awesome Patreon supporters. There are times when individual requests get mashed up beyond recognition as I play with them, but I occasionally mash a few of them together to get a final idea that really clicks for me. In this case I took the request from Matt Kay for Flotsam…


and combined it in part by mashing up both of Jeff Russell’s requests for a piratey archipelago and partially ruined city


(although in the end I didn’t include the ruined aspect… something I intend to try out in the future).




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