Some sailors say that the seas are angry. In Tangaroa and the Dark Sea, the waters themselves have been tumultuous and dangerous - moreso than usual - and the horrors that dwell in those waters have, supposedly, become more numerous and more aggressive.
In the Golden Sea and the waters of civilized lands, sightings of the Abomination have been on the rise, although no one is still quite sure what, if anything, that ship - if ship she be - is.
The Merfolk and Locathah tell tales of war beneath the waves. A new mutant breed of Sahuagin more vicious, powerful, and horrifying than the normal ones and dedicated not to Sekolah (as if he was not a horrible enough deity) but instead to the Enemy himself.
And through it all the Pact has been cracking down on you and your way of life. Freebooters, privateers, pirates, adventurers-at-sea and more have found themselves targeted by that global superpower, meeting death at their hands or, if they are unlucky, imprisonment within dreaded Irkalla.
But who cares? The oceans are big, and there's still plenty of booty, adventure, wenches, ale, and fun to be had.
Latoti was one of many free ports in the Golden Sea that was at least as lawless as it was popular. In this island's pirate haven was a tavern. Well, okay, there were lots of taverns. Okay, fine it was basically just taverns, shops, and whorehouses.
Okay, yes, some of the taverns were whorehouses, but that's not really the important part.
What's important was that one such tavern, the Scurvy Dog, was where this story begins. Five relatively nameless sailors/pirates/peoplewhatgoonboats had gotten together to strike it out on their own, for glory and fame, ale and wenches, coin and cleavage.
And by all the gods and powers of the sea, something really stunk of fish.
The Scurvy Dog was even more crowded and rowdy tonight than it usually was - the whole island, in fact. Supposedly the (in/)famous Captain Criostoir Blackpool was either due in port tonight, or already somewhere on the island hurling about copious amounts of gold in exchange for copious amounts of sex, booze, and shiny things (which were probably made of gold themselves, so it kind of all came full circle when you think about it).