|Protectorate of the Black Marquis|
|Ruler||Marquis Urdal Bazzak|
|Government||Conventional (pirate despot and council)|
Source: Guide to the River Kingdoms, pg(s). 42f.
The Protectorate of the Black Marquis is one of the River Kingdoms of northeastern Avistan. Since its founding, it has been ruled by a series of despots who call themselves Marquis, despite having little proper claim to the title.
The Protectorate was established in its present form in 4700 AR by a pirate from Cheliax called Morgan the White. He was seeking a base from which to prey upon water traffic without being threatened by hostile navies, and the River Kingdoms was the ideal spot. Gathering together pirates from all over the world, he established his realm on a northern tributary of the Sellen River called the Dagger, and named himself the White Marquis.
Since then, rulers have come and gone—the current incumbent is Urdal Bazzak, who styles himself the Black Marquis—but the methods remain the same. River traffic flying the flag of one of the River Kingdoms is allowed to pass unmolested, in accordance with the River Freedoms. Foreigners are forced to pay a toll, or risk having their vessels boarded, crews killed, and goods sold on the black market. Anyone willing to work as a river pirate for the Black Marquis is entitled to a share of the spoils taken by the Protectorate, under the terms of the region's Pirate Pact.
Places of Interest
- Bodie's Haunt: The former pirate settlement of Bodie's Haunt was destroyed by the forces of Numeria. Today it is a haunted ruin.
- Echo Wood: This spider-infested forest contains numerous Azlanti ruins, but the locals consider it too dangerous to explore. More recently, Thornkeep seems to have made a better claim on the Wood than the Protectorate.
- Deadbridge: Capital of the Protectorate, Deadbridge is largely built on a huge wharf in the Dagger River.
- Farhaven: This town has aspirations of legitimacy. Aside from its black market, bar brawls, and scoundrels, it also boasts a small town guard and some legitimate trade.