The island of Redhaven can be seen from miles away in summer as the sun gleams on the marble villas of the rich, and it's main port is said to be the most busy in Acqua during working hours.
Once Redhaven was a relatively small island a few miles long and a few miles wide inhabited by poor farmers who were just about able to scratch a living from the sea. Every now and then their plows would turn up chunks of the purest purple amethyst but apart from the local mage, who concentrated mainly upon healing and weather magic and used it often, they kept quiet about it.
Several years ago they had taken in a few refugees to the west whose island had also been rich in amethyst and had made the mistake in trading in it until the De Madden Company found out about it and occupied the island, killing or driving the inhabitants away. Now and then rumours would reach them of prospecting Company vessels, which scared them terribly.
When one of these dreaded ships did show up, to the surprise of the villagers it was promptly pulled to the bottom by a passing Kraken who most likely just wanted food. It was then that the islands mage did something that would change history and lead to the rise of a rival power that could and did challenge the Companys control of the seas.
He threw a large piece of amethyst into the sea near the Kraken and spoke in its own tongue, promising it more in exchange for protection and the deal was struck. The islanders gave some of their amethyst to the Kraken and when the Company sent a man of war the Kraken sunk it. The islanders traded in amethyst at relatively cheap prices and a city grew.
Like Banhoesea, the island has now almost totally been built over. Two thirds of the bay is full of wharves, quays, docks and jetties, cranes and warehouses and ships and boats of all sizes from speedy little skiffs and fishing yawls to large warships with up to seven masts. The other third, carefully cordoned off by boyes, is reserved for the huge Kraken Big Red .
The bottom of it is filled with great chunks of amethyst-and of the white skulls and bones, picked clean of flesh, of those who thought they could steal from Big Red and paid the price. Not all of the dead tried to steal from him. Any serious criminals found guilty are fed to him, as are most of the dead. There is no disgust for most people at the thought of their bodies being eaten after death- it is an honourable way to go and benefits the whole island, and is done after a proper funeral. Diseased bodies are cremated instead on a pyre at the edge of town.
The harbour closes from ten at night to eight in the morning to allow the Kraken to sleep. In the case of a real emergency when the Kraken was asleep, such as a battle fleet attacking the island, a barrel can be chucked into the Kraken's area so that he can rise to deal with the threat.If woken wrongly he would be likely to eat the human who woke him after grabbing him with a tentacle.
The houses by the beach are the best ones, and are several floors high made of white and green marble, which keeps them warm in the hot summers. The floors are often decorated with Kraken mosaics. The houses of the poorer people, manyly immigrants, are basic white plaster constructions with two or three rooms. The islanders themselves are mostly rich as half of the money generated is shared amongst them all with the other half being saved. Apart from a house tax, they don't have to pay any other taxes aport from doing some work for the state.
The main duty is digging out amethyst, trading it, and giving Big Red his cut in raw amethyst, but there are also all the other jobs of the town. Hard work is seen as a great virtue. Unemployment and crime is relitivly rare. Whilst some towns might have a public gallows Redhaven has a plank above the Kraken's part of the harbour, and serious offenders are made to walk it.
Whilst the leadership of the De Madden Company is autocratic, in times of peace everyone who earns above a certain amount of money has a say. In times of war and dire danger power rests with a Council of Five, who also decide if death sentences should be carried out, and also speak with Big Red about important policy issues. Their state building is made of the finest green marble with a marble statue of a Kraken outside and the flag of the Kraken States, a red Kraken on a blue background.
Although it is the richest island and it's Kraken is the largest and most piowerful, it is only one of a hundered or more islands that togther make up the Kraken Confederacy. It's people have a well deserved reputation for being unpleasent and arrogant to outsiders, and the worst jobs are done by immigrants from other places.
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? Responses (5)
Well, it's interesting, but I have to wonder: How long is this Kraken going to live? How come it hasn't been ganged up on if you can buy your own Kraken for a big ol amethyst?
It just seems a little too... clean.
It is a very big Kraken with a huge stockpile of magical power. A few other Krakens and ships of the De Madden Company did try and kill it and it killed and sunk them. Many other Krakens did the same thing with their own islands afterwards but they are content with what they have, and get the humans to trade as richer humans can and do provide more tribute. Each island has a small fleet to help the Kraken if need be-Kraken and people are dependent on each other.Without the Krakens the De Madden Company would occupy the islands and loot everything.Without the humans to mine for them the Krakens cannot get their tentacles on amythest.
Of course it will die given enough time, every living thing dies, but it has a young Kraken by it's side.At the moment the youngling is the size of a dinner plate but one day it will be able to succeed it's father.Of course if Big Red should die or be killed early, then there could well be serious trouble.
For some reason I've always liked ole'Red the Kraken. As for the lack of other krakens with the same deal going for them, I would guess that most of the islands with substancial amethyst deposits have already been claimed by the company, and islands with unexploited reserves are going to be quite rare. Big Red is sort of a Moby Dick among Krakens, one of a kind and larger than life (which is saying something for a kraken)
I like this sub Cheka!
An okay background piece for the great Kraken drama. I also vote for the larger than life variant!