The Rilador, Pirates of Volos
The Rilador are a brotherhood of pirates and the rulers of the city of Volos. Their number includes dashing gentlemen of fortune and brutal killers, and does not distinguish between them. Mostly made up of orcs, the Rilador is willing to employ anyone who will sign on and pay their dues. Many shopkeepers and mages of Volos are also members, without having ever committed an act of piracy or even set foot on a ship.
Legend has it that the Rilador was the most feared ship in all the seas, committing all manner of piracy under the banner of the blood wyvern. Its captain, the orc Hamzah the First Raider, was as brilliant as he was brutal. The Rilador began preying on other pirates, forcing their surrender ship by ship. Others would have crafted a fleet and sailed on the cities by the sea, but Hamzah knew that such a fleet would be too dependent on them to conquer. Instead, using ransoms he had earned, he founded the city of Volos and created the compact of captains. He retired in luxury, and the Rilador became larger than one ship. Other leaders of the Rilador have attempted to raise a fleet against one of the cities, but with little luck. The captains of the Rilador aren’t a navy, and don’t take well to orders which don’t result in immediate personal gain.
The Rilador are interested in two things, profit and security. Anything past that is a bonus or a threat. They participate in politics to guarantee security for Volos, usually through favours or force, leveraging nobles and factions in other cities in order to keep pressure off, and keeping a careful eye on their raiding habits. If it isn’t profitable to trade on the sea because of pirates, it could lead to war between Volos and the other cities, or worse, a cessation of trade. As Hamzah once said, “A hungry orc picks an apple rather than cut down the orchard.” There are many such sayings and sutras, recorded for posterity by Hamzah’s daughter Yusira, who led the Rilador after his retirement. These aphorisms decorate buildings in Volos, and can be found on the lips of many outside the Rilador as well.
Iasin of the Scarred Sails was retired as the head of the Rilador and the ruler of Volos nine years ago, but the newest ruler, Kangar. Formerly the captain of the Wandering Night, Kangar seized leadership in a careful coup. His rule is said to be brutal and decisive, and he commands the respect of his captains through profitable seasons and the point of his sword. Sotiris Ione Konstantinos is the captain of the Kallistos Thanatos, the first and only dwarven warship, sailed down in pieces at the beginning of the most recent war. It’s said that he’s since become a free agent, sailing under his own banner, but some suspect that he may be a spy from the Crag, though none would dare say it to his face. The minotaur Kusuma Spearthrower and his halfling partner Edmund Fitzgerald lead the Blackgate Smugglers, commanding three ships which traffick illicit goods up and down the coast. Lorea Kel’Sarano, a Lirasi blade dancer, captains the Phyrexia now, after her captain’s untimely demise during the war. But not all of the Rilador members are captains or pirates. The Archmagus Aran who heads up the Volos Alchemist’s Tower is a member, as well as Deror, the second best tailor in Volos. Many of the merchants and innkeepers of Volos maintain a membership in the Rilador, serving the organization’s needs in their own way, and enjoying its protection.
The traditional symbol of the Rilador is the a Wyvern on red, the banner of the original Rilador and the sign of piracy on the Lankaeran Sea. When a ship flies the blood wyvern, they mean to take your goods. Other symbols include crossed pistols, as Volos is home to many gunsmiths and pistoliers, and the severed noose, raised in honor of the pirates who’ve escaped the hands of the Tachros navy.
Advancement through the Rilador is not related to one’s advancement through the ranks of pirates. While being a captain helps, it doesn’t guarantee advancement, and there are many high ranking members who are not pirates (though the highest are reserved for captains and former captains). The titles, once used by Hamzah to indicate how many shares a crew member received, have been adapted into a sort of aristocracy, their original function long since falling by the wayside (as many a young up and comer has learned when demanding an extra share due to their rank).
Ship's Passage: When you need to, you can secure free passage on a sailing ship for yourself and your adventuring companions. You might sail on the ship you served on, or another ship you have good relations with (perhaps one captained by a former crewmate). Because you’re calling in a favor, you can’t be certain of a schedule or
Proficiency in Athletics, advantage on Athletics checks when on Rilador ships.
Must settle or survive a fight in the Stone Circle. Operational support 200 gp/month in spellcasting or expendable items.
Advantage on Athletics when aboard any ship. Must take an apprentice.
Wyvernhide cloak: activate for a single use of a Stoneskin spell. Operational support: mobilize squad. Must captain a pirate ship for a year.
Bonsu Feat: Athlete. Always have a room at the Moon and Meteor, gain a personal Honor Guard, enjoy occasional assassination attempts