Skull & Shackles
The only functioning settlement left on Whyrlis Rock, the grim mining town of Chalk Harbor serves as the base of operations for a slaver by the name of Alahandra Boisich. Rumored to have once been a powerful baroness of Cheliax, Alahandra is the ruthless but effective captain of the barkentine Cloudbuster’s Dream. Three months out of the year, Alahandra can be encountered anywhere throughout the isles of the Shackles as well as in the waters of the Inner Sea, where she attacks bloated merchantmen and noble-carrying vessels with her crew of highly disciplined and loyal pirates. Alahandra drags aboard any individuals from the other ship who manage to survive the Dream’s onslaught, then offers her newly captured victims an interesting proposition: either die by the blade of her razor-sharp sabre, or serve her in the Chalk Harbor mines for a period of no less than 2 years. Needless to say, when faced with such a decision, most victims choose the latter.
Despite her ignoble means of recruiting new workers, Alahandra is a mostly kind overseer, and she sees to it that all her workers are fed, watered, and treated respectfully, and at the end of indentured worker’s service, Alahandra repatriates refugees back to their nations of origin. She has remained secretive about her motives behind the entire mining operation, and even her loyal and inquisitive first mate, Rockbogger, and her favored lieutenant and adopted younger sister Luisa Boisich have been left completely in the dark since Alahandra first organized the massive undertaking more than 5 years ago. While it remains to be seen how much longer the operation will continue before Alahandra finds what she is looking for, in the past few months she has become increasingly excited as her indentured miners have begun to strike patches of oddly shaped minerals and gemstones during their work. There is no wildlife around Chalk Harbor save for the scattered nomadic bands of earth elementals and the few clusters of crysmals that lair beneath the surface of the island, and no one can eat the sparse blighted crops that grow from its rocky soil. Water is drawn from the Elsewhere River, and all food is supplied by other islands, an expensive process paid for by Alahandra’s personal treasure hoard.