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Genthrix’s Port is a system-neutral adventure location, featuring strange ships and a surprisingly reasonable wizard. Does your world feature terrain like this? This article is designed to help you flesh it out.

Far out in the Western Sea, there is a large island with a mage’s tower sticking out of the canopy of the trees. A large dock has been built on the eastern side of the island, in the lee of the wind. This island is known as Genthrix’s Port, a small safe haven in the lawless, dangerous seas.

The Mage King

Genthrix shipwrecked here decades ago during a search for the mythical lost society of Magron. As the only survivor of the shipwreck, he declared himself Genthrix the Mage King, and began building his tower. Unfortunately, this tower drew notice from traders, who began anchoring at the island for repairs. After realizing that these traders could bring him magical tomes and supplies, Genthrix struck a simple deal with them: Bring him tribute, and he would provide protection around the island.

Genthrix, wizard. Genthrix is a short man with tan skin and sharp features. His speech in Common is slow and stilted, but his voice is smooth and booming when casting spells. He’s a sensible man, by wizard standards.

Jacob Ellis, wizard acolyte. Jacob is a short, thin man with dark hair and gray eyes. He wears a wide-brimmed hat to shield his eyes from the sun. He carries a wooden staff with a wide hooked end lined by purple flowers. Jacob is one of Genthrix’s apprentices, but, unfortunately for him, he spends most of his time keeping tabs on what ships are in port, which crew started a fight with which, and so on. His favorite trick for getting the attention of crowds is slamming the butt of his staff on the ground and magically amplifying the resulting thud into a loud boom.

Knowles’ Tattoos

On the southern shore of Genthrix’s Port, is a small hut with a thatched roof, sitting on stilts to keep it above the tide. One side of the hut has a hammock and some bedding; the other has a comfortable chair and several bins of colored powder. Near the bins is a leather case that holds a tool made of whalebone, with a sharp brass spike pointing downwards at one end. Most of his income comes from sailors commemorating their first voyage to Genthrix’s Port, or a particularly dire struggle along the way.

A simple symbol like a star or a popular religious icon costs 5 SP, while more complicated imagery like specific monsters starts at 1 GP and goes up from there. Text costs 5 SP per word.

Johnny Knowles, tattoo artist. Johnny is a brown-haired man with intricate tattoos on his left arm. He lives on the island full-time, tattooing travelers and enjoying the sun. As far as he’s concerned, this is paradise.

The Southern Star

The Southern Star is an old privateering ship that was beached in a storm a decade ago. Its captain made the best of a bad situation and has since turned the inside of the ship into an inn, providing a reasonable amount of comfort to any sailor with a few spare silver. All cannons are still in place, though they haven’t been used since the beaching.

The Southern Star’s cargo area and gun deck have been split into rooms with rough wooden walls. Each room has a double bed, and costs one gold piece per night. The ship’s deck has been turned into a common area, with a few tables and benches strewn between the cannons. The captain’s quarters have remained unchanged, and Captain Renn still spends most of his time there.

Captain Kristo Renn, innkeeper. Captain Kristo is a portly man with white hair and salt and pepper stubble. He’s an optimist by nature and always seeks to make the best of situations. He still calls himself a captain, despite the fact that he hasn’t sailed since his landfall, and likely never will again. He ends most of his thoughts with “You know?” regardless of how likely it is for the person he’s speaking to to know.

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The Swill Shack

The largest bar on the island is The Swill Shack, a wooden building on the western beach. The bar is split between a large patio over the water, and an inside area over the beach. A small dock on the patio is used for unloading and processing fish, ensuring a constant supply of fresh fish for the customers.

Michael “Smilin’ Mike” Kanzowski, bartender. Mike is a short, light-skinned man with a bright red scar along one cheek, running from the corner of his mouth to just below his ear. He’s an experienced thief, but he claims to be retired now. Now, he just pours drinks, performs coin tricks, and jokes around with his customers.

Beth Witko, barmaid. Beth is a tall, skinny woman with dark skin and brown eyes. She enjoys the opportunity to meet all kinds of strange people passing through, and spends her downtime drawing patrons from memory in a journal.

Ships in Port

The Dragon’s Death

The Dragon’s Death is a ship with a striking profile. At its bow is an enormous ballista mounted on a complicated mechanism allowing it to aim anywhere within a 180-degree arc of the front of the ship, and up to 45 degrees up or down. A red dragon’s skull has been mounted on the bow, just below the front of the ballista.

The crew of the Dragon’s Death makes their living by slaying monsters and selling their parts.

Captain Jack “Whistler” Grimsby, monster hunter. Captain Whistler is a tall, broad-shouldered man with a large burn scar on the left side of his face. He orders his crew with distinct whistle signals, thus his nickname.

Eofar, elf butcher. Eofar is a tanned elf with white hair and pale eyes. The sides of her head are shaved, leaving a wide strip of hair which is pulled back into a loose braid. Over the course of her life, she has encountered many strange monsters, and she keeps a book of notes on each in her cabin.

The Charlotte

The Charlotte is an agile merchant ship with a steel contraption of pumps and hoses mounted on its port side. This contraption is a flamethrower, and black scorches mar the port side of the vessel where burning fuel has blown back onto it.

Captain Orestas Serelis, captain. Captain Orestas is a chubby human man with red hair and sparse facial hair. He makes his money trading high-value goods like silks, but he has claimed a few pirate bounties over the years.

Rhak, lizardman weaponsmith. Rhak is a six-foot-tall lizardman with blue scales and red eyes. He is responsible for maintaining the Charlotte’s weapons, including its flame-thrower. He laughs maniacally whenever he gets to use the flamethrower in combat. He has little interest in land combat but is highly passionate (bloodthirsty, even) when it comes to naval engagements.

The Sharp Beak

The Sharp Beak is a galleon whose most notable feature is its “cannons,” which are fleshy beasts that sit near the gunports until needed. When their services are required, they stick their heads through the ports and spit large balls of calcium at enemy ships with frightening power. Their diet consists mostly of bones, sometimes of the opposing crew.

The Sharp Beak’s crew hails from a place they call Festerport, an island run by a cult obsessed with experimenting on living things.

Captain Shellbeard, cultist captain. Shellbeard is a cold and practical man, making trades and deals to get what he wants, be it gold or arcane relics for his masters in the cult. Of course, he’s willing to shed blood and sink ships to get his way as well. He speaks in a dry monotone voice and has a large plate of turtle-like shell growing from his chest.

Orika, pirate. Orika is tall, dark-skinned, and lithe. Her pupils are jet black, as is her hair. Her hands have been modified by Hame, giving her squid-like suckers on her fingers, which gives her excellent grip. In a fight, she likes to toy with her opponents.

Hame, wizard-surgeon. Hame is an eccentric human man with short blond hair, slit pupils, and a pair of tentacles attached to the sides of his torso. He uses them like additional arms. For a price, he is willing to graft otherworldly parts onto anyone.

Ships of the Elven Theocracy

Far west of Genthrix’s Port is a chain of islands ruled by The Church of the Tempest, an order of elves dedicated to Esus, a sea deity. They have a powerful navy guarding their island from pirates and other nations.

Rozor’s Sword

Rozor’s Sword is an elegant ship with a white hull and the traditional blue sails of the Elven Theocracy’s naval fleet. Just below where its name is carved in Elvish script, there is a carving of the constellation it takes its name from. As a naval ship, this vessel is well-armed and carries little cargo. It is currently escorting Shae’rra’s Will.

Captain Waire Anzoth, captain. Captain Anzoth is an elf with black eyes and brown skin. He does not drink alcohol, and believes that he must remain composed at all times to provide a good example for his crew. Anzoth is a talented tactician and enjoys hunting pirates.

Treyyor Anvatan, priest. Anvatan is a divine herald of the god Esus. Anvatan is a tall elf with gray hair and blue eyes. He wears blue robes with a silver hash-like symbol embroidered on the back. Like all priests, Treyyor is forbidden from proselytizing on shore at Genthrix’s Port, but he is more than willing to bring travelers on to Rozor’s Sword to tell them about Esus’ glory and grace.

Leerzius Zon’loth, sailor. Leerzius is a hardly elven sailor with large biceps and braided blonde hair. He wears a holy symbol of Esus around his neck. When on leave, he can usually be found wherever gamblers gather, playing card games.

Shae’rra’s Will

Shae’rra’s Will is an elven ship with a long history. It was built three centuries ago in the elven homelands and spent two centuries serving the elven navy patrolling the ocean. Its naval blue sails have been replaced with white ones, and half of its cannons have been removed (leaving two per side), but it’s still recognizably a naval ship. The ship is referred to by its crew as “the Will.”

Eira’o’en, captain. Eira’o’en is tall, even by elven standards, and he keeps his long black hair braided behind his head. His skin is dark, and a pale scar mars one cheek. He has little love for non-elves, but his personal biases generally take a back seat to his mercantile desires.

Taimaidh, first mate. Taimaidh is a short elf with pale blue eyes and blonde hair. Her fingers are long and skinny. She is the Will’s navigator and usually has a spyglass in a pouch on her belt. When in port, she can usually be found at the nearest tavern, swindling peoples’ money with sleight of hand tricks.

Afterword

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about strange pirates. Genthrix’s Port is meant to serve as a neutral trading area, where people who would normally try to kill each other are forced to play nice or get fireballed by a grumpy wizard.

While this island can act as a destination on its own (after all, it’s not hard to imagine problems that can only be solved by a powerful and reclusive wizard) it is largely meant for breather sessions, where the party can grab a few drinks, get some tattoos, and soak up some sun.

Hopefully, in the near future I’ll have an article up about the Elven Theocracy. Look forward to it!

-Garm

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Garmbreak1
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About the author

Garmbreak1

Former esports wannabe, current TTRPG streamer and TTRPG creator interviewer. I like science fiction and I have a soft spot for licensed tabletop RPGs. You can find all the campaigns I'm in and interviews I've done over on YouTube.

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