The Beginning of the Fourth Age:
Legends say that Zekial Schellenger set sail out of a port in an area that would become Gull’s Rest in search of the Island of Eternity.
Prior to the year 229 in the Fourth Age: Gull’s Rest.
The town of Bastards Bay was once a prosperous port of call in The Arbor, called Gull’s Rest. Many traders and merchants used the town as a stopover on their journeys. Caravans would bring their goods to be shipped up and down the coast, bypassing the roads which were often plagued by bandits and hostile wildlife of the Scattered Lands. Gull’s Rest was never a shining jewel, but it was a good town, full of good people. Most of the permanent residents of Gull’s Rest were fisherfolk, whalers, and sailors. They were peaceful, and well respected among the Arbor as hardy and hard working. Gull’s Rest was situated on the shores of a beautiful bay, which provided the town with everything they needed. The bounty from the sea was easily harvested in the calm deep waters of the bay. It provided protection from the raging storms and rolling waves of the sea beyond. Boats moored safely in the harbors and sailors were able to tend their profession up and down the coast, and into the rivers without worry.
The Year 229 of the Fourth Age: The Searing Plague
The Searing Plague first reared its ugly head far away from Gull’s Rest. The hearty sailors of the port never saw it coming. By the time word of the massacre at Olne reached them, the Dras Hospitaliers helping across Elyria were already dead. A man arrived in town late one evening, parched of throat, and dry of eyes. He requested transport out of the Scattered Lands to escape a terrible sickness sweeping the lands. No one in the port paid him much mind, but a To’reshian sailor took pity on him, thinking he was delirious from the road, and offered him passage a little ways up North. Before the next day, the stranger was found dead in a back alley, his skin cracked and flayed open as if he had been burned. His eyes were bulging, and it was clear his death was painful. This spurred the town into a frenzy. The Searing Plague was in Gull’s Rest, and the news of the devastation in other parts of Elyria had the denizens terrified. People barricaded their homes, stopped showing up to their jobs, and the streets became desolate. No one dared to leave their houses for days after the stranger died. The mann who had found the stranger dead, was soon found dead himself, along with the To’reshian Sailor who offered passage. The Searing Plague had taken three victims, and many more were starting to show the signs. Fatigue, sore, parched throats, dry eyes, and sweaty skin. At least eight townsfolk had symptoms of the Plague. The Town Council decided to meet, and discuss ways to combat the spread. Plague Doctors, Nurses, Herbalists, and Sages were recruited to help find a cure and treat the sick. A week after the stranger had been found dead, thirteen people were claimed by the Searing Plague, and twenty one showed symptoms. Undertakers were brought in from nearby towns to help bury the dead according to their Tribe’s last rites. Eventually, the Plague broke, and slowly, life returned to normal for the citizens of Gull’s Rest.
Between the years 671-696 of the Fourth Age: The Mad King’s Invasion
When the Mad King invaded the Scattered Lands, The Arbor was first on the chopping block. The Capital of Donau was sacked, and the Aristocracy of the town were hung in the streets. The Mad King marched on Gull’s Rest. The Port was tactically advantageous, as it was laying on the outskirts of the County, and on the fringes of the Scattered Lands. Instead of sacking the town, it was occupied. Gull’s Rest became a military outpost for the Mad King’s forces, and his soldiers took up residence inside the once prosperous town. The enemy’s ships sailed the bay, where the townsfolk had once fished. The bay which had fed them, and provided them safety from the raging sea had become a prison. A large blockade of the Mad King’s ships prevented many citizens from leaving, and sailors from returning home after months away fishing. The normally calm townsfolk began to formulate a resistance out on their boats. The sailors turned from friendly fishermen and merchants, to cutthroat pirates, taking the Mad King’s ships out in the bay, in the estuaries, and along the coasts. The Pirates formed bands and worked together to harass and destroy as much of the Mad King’s forces as they could, unable to liberate the town from the massive blockade. They were highly successful in their hits. The Pirates of the bay were more knowledgeable of the bay’s features and currents than the sailors of the Mad King’s Navy. They knew every shoal, sandbar, and rock. They knew where and when the currents and tides would be beneficial, or dangerous. This intimate knowledge of the bay was vital in their victories against the far larger, and more armed naval blockade.
While they were victorious on the waters, their town suffered. The soldiers tightened their hold, and hunkered down in the town. The Blockade choked the town off from the rest of Elyria. The Mad King’s soldiers squandered the town’s stockpiles of food and resources, and pillaged her riches. The Pirates were able to smuggle some supplies in and out of the town, but not enough to sustain the depleting citizenry. Each day, more and more of the townsfolk began to take to the water, joining the Pirate Bands through their smuggling network. It was at this point in time, the Pirates, lead by a duo of fierce sailors named Adraine “Sharkbait” Block, and Joris “Whaleback” Mullica gathered the Bands together and formulated the first Code of Free Pirates of Elyria. They swore to live and die by this code, and to never allow another force to occupy their precious bay.
The Year 696 of the Fourth Age: Bastards Bay is Born.
After a long siege, the forces of William Redwyne finally marched on the beleaguered town of Gull’s Rest. The Arbor was fighting back. As the allied soldiers fought to free the town, the Pirates assisted. They assaulted the main blockade for the first time. Sharkbait and Whaleback took their crews and cut a swath into the Bay. They boarded the Mad King’s flagship, and after a lengthy duel, killed the Admiral of the Blockade. Caught between the allied forces, and without a leader, the Mad King’s forces fell.
During the battle, many pirates were killed. Heroes like Fredrick Blackballs, “Plunderin” Dave Henlopen, “One-Eyed” Willy Godjin, Anne “Ambergris” Ambrose, and even Adriane “Sharkbait” Block were all sent to the briney deep. Once the town was free, many of the surviving Pirates remained together, and rebuilt their once prosperous home. They renamed it “Bastards Bay” in honor of all their fallen pirate brethren. The town, would not be the same as it once was, however. The citizens of “The Bay” had a dark cloud hanging over them. They were jaded and distrustful of landsmen and outsiders. Joris “Whaleback” Mullica declared himself Mayor, and was accepted by his fellow pirates on the accord. Under his leadership, “The Bay” was built back up, but without the civility it once had. There were no more Aristocrats. No more affluent people in charge. It became a free haven. A place where the downtrodden, poor, and washed up could try to make a comeback. A place where your title mattered little compared to how well you could haggle, or swing a sword. It was not of the same tradition as much of the feudal lands of the new Kingdom of Vornair, or even the County of Siren’s Shore. One thing did remain constant though. The town’s love of the sea, and in particular, the bay which they cherished as an ever present member of their community.