Skull & Shackles
“Good fortune comes to those what can crack the Rock” is a fairly common bit of old wisdom passed on to pirates just seeking to begin careers in or around the Shackles. Over the years, it’s taken on a colloquial meaning of doing great deeds and impressive displays of strength and then bragging about them as loudly and as publicly as you can. One Free Captain hopeful a few years back actually literally smashed rocks in every port he came to in order to show everyone that he was unbeatable in hand to hand combat. He died before he could ever reach his goal, a crossbow bolt through his chest.
The adage has truth in its roots, however. The “Rock” refers to an impressive fortress at the southwesternmost point of the Shackles. The tower is built on WIndward Isle, virtually due west of Rickety’s Squibs. The Rock was constructed by one of the earliest Free Captains, a ferocious woman and brilliant strategist by the name of Magna Stormeyes. To this day it serves as a key southern point of defense for the Isles and is one of the best staging points for raids on the shipping lanes out of Sargava.
Since its construction, the fortress has only fallen to attack a handful of times, but virtually every Free Captain has enjoyed phenomenal fame and fortune for as long as they could control Tidewater Rock.