|Government||The Free Captains,|
a council of pirate lords
|Religions||Besmara, Calistria, Cayden Cailean, Gozreh, Norgorber, Pharasma|
The Shackles is a stretch of land and a number of nearby islands in western Garund, directly to the south of never-ending hurricane known as the Eye of Abendego. It is the haven of the notorious Shackles Pirates, built on the ruins of an ancient civilization.
Little is known about the early history of the region. At one time it was part of the now-lost kingdom of Ghol-Gan. There are many ruins of an ancient civilization, which left behind disturbing carvings depicting cannibalism and blood sacrifice.
Few scholars know that several millennia after the collapse of Ghol-Gan, two powerful sorcerers known as Raugsmauda and Gray Whyrlis came to the Shackles and fought one another for control of the archipelago. They both uncovered the powerful sorceries that caused the doom of Ghol-Gan and attempted to harness them. In the end, however, the sorcerers failed to understand and control the powers they were using. In a disastrous incident Gray Whyrlis lost and Raugsmauda, heavily injured, was forced to retreat into her dungeon on Motaku Isle for centuries.
As trade grew between Sargava and Cheliax, it attracted those who wished to prey upon it. Pirates found the ancient harbours of the Shackles made excellent hiding places from which to strike. Soon these havens grew into proper communities.
The creation of the perpetual storm known as the Eye of Abendego permanently disrupted the sea trade in the region. The Free Captains met this challenge by banding together in 4674 AR to form one pirate fleet, under the leadership of the newly elected Hurricane King. They started preying on shipping to the north of the Eye, as far as the Arch of Aroden. When they are pursued by foreign ships the pirates skirt the edge of the Eye, using their superior skill and local knowledge to escape their enemies.
In an ironic twist of fate, the pirates now receive a hefty tribute from Sargava in return for protecting the independence of the former colony of Cheliax. The Shackles themselves have twice been attacked, once by Cheliax and once by Rahadoum, but in both cases the Eye destroyed most of the invading fleet. There is a rumour that one of the Free Captains has offered to guide a Cheliax fleet to the Shackles, in return for a pardon for past offences.
It is also known that the Rahadoum navy is willing to pay good money for accurate charts, or ideally a pilot, to assist them in a new attack on the Shackles.
The leaders of Shackles society are the Free Captains. Most command only a ship or two, but the most powerful each control one of the region's ports and/or islands and make up the Pirate Council. The leader of the council is Kerdak Bonefist, the Hurricane King.
The population of the Shackles consists mainly of runaway criminals, escaped slaves and the buyers and sellers of illicit goods.
They are mostly human, with a comparatively high proportion of half-elves and half-orcs. The wilder regions are home to the degenerate kuru, and tribes of goblins. There is also a large tengu population, with many settlements having a tengu quarter; pirates believe it is good luck to have a tengu on board ship, as they "soak up" bad luck.
The larger ports of the Shackles are heavily fortified, to defend against threats from the wild interior, foreign navies, sea monsters, and (albeit rare) attacks by other groups of Shackles pirates.
There is also a Shackles settlement just outside its borders: the town of Greenblood in the Sodden Lands. The town grew up around the ferocious pit fight known as Green Blood on a Black Rock, an event started by the Free Captains.
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 170. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Mike Shel. (2012). Isles of the Shackles, p. 35. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-408-5
- John Compton, Eleanor Ferron, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Isabelle Lee, and Christopher Wasko. (2017). Elemental Master's Handbook, p. 15. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-965-3
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). River into Darkness, p. 30–31. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-075-9
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 170–171. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 171. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 155. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 172. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Mike Shel. (2012). Isles of the Shackles, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-408-5
- Joshua J. Frost et al. (2010). Faction Guide, p. 46. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-221-0
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 175. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 176. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2