Skull & Shackles
The small port fortress of Fort Benbem has been the base for Screaming Reaver since the ship was banned from using even Shark Island ports. Old Black-Eye chose the fort’s location, hidden from prying eyes by thick palm trees, and had it built using slave labor that the wicked captain drowned soon after its completion. Today the settlement still bears his name, though it is little more than a dozen single-story wooden buildings surrounded by a sharpened log palisade. Coal-Dark is less arbitrarily violent than Benbem ever was—she would never drown slaves who could be sold on the market—but the uneasy residents of the sordid place are careful not to offend her, instead living gratefully off what largess she and her crew offer. The approach to Fort Benbem’s solitary dock, not visible to anyone who doesn’t already know its location, is tricky for pilots because of its hidden reefs and shoals. The fort is well-provisioned: a large, internal lagoon makes for good fishing, crabs are plentiful, wild boar and other game populate the jungle, and the fort’s walls encompass a freshwater spring. Thanks to their remarkable self-sufficiency, the pirates of Fort Benbem can hide out in their secluded atoll for weeks on end while naval vessels and rival pirates hunt them down, and all of their plundered riches can go toward funding the crew’s lavish and expensive vices instead of food and water.