Return of the Annunaki
In Minata, many pirate clans rule the open seas between the islands, as well as many of these islands as well. While the northern region (Atas Pulu) is mainly ruled by trade captains who deal with the pirate clans as outsiders, and the southern region (Rendah Pulu) is a savage region dominated by cannibalistic head hunters and demon worshipers, the central region is dominated by the pirate clans, who use the relative chaos and discord of the region to their advantage.
The island of Belem in central Minata is one of the biggest hotbeds of pirate activity, and it is considered their unofficial home base, in most cases. The pirates of Minata are divided into clans, which rise and fall over time, but which currently stand at over a dozen major clans, and many more minor clans who all seek to make a name for themselves among their peers. A few of the major clans which might be encountered in the region of Minata featured in this adventure are described here.
* Crimson Lotus Clan (CE exiled samurai, ex-nobles and assassins): This pirate clan is known for being merciless and severe, keeping their minions in check through blackmail, deceptions, and brainwashing techniques including addictive drugs.
Flag: Red and white lotus on a black canvas
Leadership: A Black Daimyo samurai and sailor named Garan-Su-Hoan
* Indigo Bones Clan (CN mystics, necromancers, and head-hunters): This pirate clan is as well known for its magical resources and demon-worshiping membership, as well as its interest in propping up local necromancers with finances and resources, often for the simple purpose of having like-minded influential allies when the need arises.
Flag: Pink or white skull and crossbones on an indigo canvas
Leadership: The Oracle-Queen, Lady Omisung Naraoi Potachi
- Clan of the Dying Wind (NE vampires and minions): Led by the Tian vampire magus, Captain Xinxao Kasmochi (whose powers, it is said, include the ability to travel over water without harm), and often said to be under the true guidance of the half-elf lich-mage named Qogris Xamzra, this clan if often considered nothing more than a sea-going variant of the vampiric cults of the mainland. Its upper membership is most often composed of vampires (standard, or vetalas), but liches and other powerful, sentient undead also comprise a considerable segment of its populace.
Flag: Fanged skull holding a red and green rose in its mouth, on a black canvas
Leadership: Vampire magus, Captain Xinxao Kasmochi
* Clan of the Seven Brazen Suns (LN lesser nobles, clergy/inquisitors of Shizuru, Empress of Heaven): Led by a council of seven nobles, trade captains, high priests, and grand inquisitor of Her Lady of Heaven and Grace, Shizuru, this unique clan originated in Minkai, decreed by an alliance between the clergy, nobles, and traders of the northern nations, in order to combat and decrease the negative influence of the pirates in the region which make their livelihoods on taking from others, such as trade ships and peaceful coastal towns. They often use the symbolism of suns, seven-pointed stars, and items made of brass in their decor, cultural and linguistic characteristics.
Flag: Orange seven-pointed star with a golden sun at the end of each point, on a white canvas
Leadership: Council of the Seven Brazen Suns
* Mossy Grotto Clan (N weather druids and sailor rangers): This clan boasts the largest weather cults in southeastern Tian Xia, and one of the largest groups of sea-faring rangers on this side of the planet.
Flag: Dark gray cloud on a light blue canvas
Leadership: The Arch-druid Khu-Lung Ni Hunao, and her high consort, the sailing sea-ranger, Karungkoni
* Zo (CN sailing nomads, exiled nobles, the most populous and far-reaching clan): Led by a substantial group of “Peers” which is often called the largest organized crime ring in Minata, whose central leadership often meets in very different places at different times, in a very unique, sea-faring nomadic fleet of flotillas that are often no more than covered rafts, with some floating constructions the size of small villages. Some of the citizens of this substantial population, often considered the fourth region of Minata in and of its own right, will occasionally separate from the larger fleet, and return later when necessary – many serve as the eyes and ears of the upper leadership of the Zo, which can sometimes act in unison and other times at odds with one another.
Flag: A sundered katana on a field of blood (leadership); or, a yellow sickle on a green canvas with a red edge border (trade faction – possibly allied with the Golden League)
Leadership: “The Peers” of the Zo, an unknown number of ship captains