Skull & Shackles
Once a fishing village boasting only a wharf with four berths for vessels and two small warehouses for temporary storage of plundered goods, Slipcove has become a fully realized pirate capital since Raffles commandeered Bag Island. In the 25 years since the Chains of Freedom set anchor on its shore, the settlement’s population has grown exponentially. Nearly 80% of the town’s inhabitants are halflings, but many humans and half-elves also call the city home.
In order to dock in Slipcove, a Free Captain must pay a hefty one-time tribute to the halflings of the city and agree to a series of directives known as the Bag Mandate, a strict but fair decree penned by Raffles himself. While Bag Island’s capital does not possess a form of law enforcement in any traditional sense, it is well known that the vast majority of the city’s halflings pledge undying allegiance to their leader, and the citizens of Slipcove take it upon themselves to mete out the punishments set forth in the Bag Mandate should any visitors break the covenant. While this crude form of justice sometimes results in mob mentality, only the most heinous crimes result in a punishment more severe than exile.
Jolis Raffles himself lives in a sprawling manor that sits atop a hill overlooking Slipcove. For the past 6 years he hasn’t commanded a ship, instead delegating that responsibility to trusted subordinates. Raffles’ sedentary lifestyle has allowed the ruler to indulge in his excessive appetite, and as a result the ruler has grown quite lax in recent times. His decadence has taken its toll: Ugly muttering in taverns across the Shackles alleges that Raffles’s attitude toward slavery has shifted considerably. His fleet still plagues the shipping lanes of Chelish slavers up north, but those liberated individuals who decline the offer to join his enterprise in the Shackles are said to be sold back into bondage, with Raffles himself pocketing a tidy profit from the exchange. The normally affable halfling flies into frightening rages when such rumors reach him, and thus no one has yet dared to directly question his furtive actions.