Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ripped From The Headlines

You CAN make this stuff up, and we do it frequently and with gusto in our games, but it is interesting to see when someone tries applying these things to the real world.

Apparently some wealthy types are planning to have floating islands built for them that they want to anchor out in international waters so they can withdraw from global society and live outside everyone else's laws.

You really need to read the article to understand exactly the intent, however if you flip it on its head and make it campaign worthy . . .

The Drifting Kingdom
Not truely a kingdom, this wandering non-nation gained the nickname in jest.

Currently anchored to an underwater mountain, this floating construction is pulled together from hundreds of barges and boats. Over time the small colony of misfits that began it have managed to collect additional followers who like them are fleeing the laws of land for the imagined freedoms of the sea.

Begun by an adventuring company seeking ways to avoid the taxes and rules they felt were too restricting, the Drifting Kingdom was intended as a refuge. Instead it rapidly accumulated many rules each inspired by incident after incident where people felt they were infringed upon by other refugees.

Most conflicts are settled by dueling, though a fair share are settled by a knife in the back and heavy stones to sink the offender beneath the waves.

The kingdom has attracted a good number of lower ranking nobles and rich merchants bringing with them slaves and indentured servants since doing for themselves is very unappealing.

Other factions include a robust number of people from fringe religions seeking to live where they aren't seen as crazy the vast majority of the population and claiming those populations were oppresing them by not seeing the "truth" of their ways. Now these very people are trying, and failing, to influence the laws of the Drifting Kingdom as they tried and failed in the lands they fled from.

All manner of illicit trade or fetish can be found amid the great junk armada that comprises the Kingdom.

Occasionally pirates that have not yet found the place to be a valuable home port will raid a portion and attempt to ransom some of the population back to the rest. This tactic doesn't work. The wealthier people have hired guards, nobody on the island cares enough about anyone else to pay and the pirates that use the place as a safe haven do not take kindly to the risk of their welcome being revoked.

Storms are the greatest threat the Drifting Kingdom has yet faced. When a particularly nasty storm is expected large sections of the kingdom cast off and scatter for safer areas intent on returning later. Because of this, the place cannot keep much of a constant configuration and where a business or residence once was in relation to another rarely recurs.

I may expand on this later, and I welcome others to do so since it seems like it could have just about any mix and match of floating mess included.

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