In the Rum-fueled haze of time, people forgot exactly what the name of the big, craggy isle in the middle of the sea was called, nor what the city that took up most of its surface was called. There are many, many nicknames for them, of course, but the original name has been lost to time. Unless you believe the old folks who said it used to be called something corny like "Skullduggery Fjord" or some nonsense, in which case it was better off lost to time and you should feel ashamed for canonizing it.
For the sake of a title, most tend to call it "Dirty Bay" for all the gunpowder burns painted across the buildings, rocks, and beaches. And that seems to be a title and reputation the residents are more than happy with, for, you see, Dirty Bay is a nigh-lawless sprawl of shanties, hamlets, and fortresses populated by only the most scandalous of scoundrels and the swashbucklingest of rogues. Dirty Bay holds no pretensions about being anything other than a pirate haven, and while bands of thieves and killers struggling for their own power can't agree on much, they can definitely agree on keeping any flag that isn't black and/or gruesome from flying over their home. Try as they might, the powers of the world just cannot root out this hive of scum and villainy... And for those seeking danger, glory, and adventure, perhaps that's a good thing!
This is a collaborative work to flesh out the people, places, history, and stories of Dirty Bay. Adding in your own write-ups is allowed and HIGHLY FREAKIN' ENCOURAGED! Yes, I did ruthlessly commandeer Berka's idea, but that's kinda in the spirit of the place anyway.
We only have a few rules:
Respect the continuity that comes before you! Not that we can't make exceptions based around different points in time in the lore, but try not to go around retconning people's carefully constructed shit.
Nobody else conquers any bits of Dirty Bay unless they're pirates and/or some other criminal force. If you want to flesh out the world powers that fight the pirates, put them on another island!
It's a big, big sea. Very possible that the known world is just a sea. (or ocean) There are unlimited islands, but try to keep track of space and time.
Always do your best, and have fun with it!
Other rules will come up as they are made and agreed upon.
Down the winding cobbles, around the corner of Daggie's Bar and across from the perpetually overbooked Cooper's guild, is a 2-floor shack with a chimney, and a broad plank over its door with "LEG BRAKER 4 HIR" smattered across it with inconsistently red paint and consistently backwards R's. A giant man named Arry Crankmer somehow lives on the second floor of the shack, and makes his living out of the "office" on the ground. His sinewy back is just hunched enough to keep his head away from the ceiling, and his stagger is just crooked enough for him to fit his broad frame through the door.
Arry was a prolific legbreaker, from a long line of legbreakers. It was a profession passed down from father to son in the Crankmer family for generations, and as such, his service has become as luxurious and high-class as legbreaking work can be. He goes about his work as a famous painter or a fine vintner. A prospective customer will be cordially invited into the shack, offered a dubiously alcoholic beverage, and sat down in front of a desk. If they seem particularly literate, they'll also be provided with a menu, detailing (in lacking grammar and penmanship roughly imitating cursive) all the services available. And there are plenty of services.
You'll often hear Arry muse about how misleading the title of "legbreaker" is, and that's true. For a few shillings more than the standard price of a leg, Arry will break someone's arm. For about half the price of a leg, Arry will break someone's nose. He'll remove people's ears at a bargain price unrivalled throughout the entire island, however it does cost more if you want to have them preserved for your collection. Arry's services even extend to frightening, gouging, protecting, surveilling, terminating, framing, enforcing, extorting, laundering, threatening, dismembering, embroiling, and even plain battering. Versatile though he may be, he is most often called upon to do legbreaking work, and that's where he shines most.
As with almost all of his services, if you ask him to break some legs, you'll have to give him a name, a rough location, and a description. He will then open up his toolbag and show you a selection of hammers and bludgeons. The typical service is one shin with the petrified beam he stole from under the church, but the tent-pitching maul he took from that damnable circus clown is also a customer favorite. As a fairly simple man who usually loses track of exactly how many bones he breaks, (and doesn't have much difficulty with different bones either way) he doesn't charge per kneecap or per femur as more stingy legbreakers might, but rather per leg, and how broken the leg is supposed to be.
Ever since Arry and his apprentices moved into town and set up shop, they've been a boon to the community, setting the standard in legbreaking and all related businesses across the island, and, some might say, even the world. For the discerning customer, there is no better leg-breaking service, and there's no other face on the island more loved by doctors, blacksmiths, carpenters, and other citizens in the business of making crutches and attaching hooks and peg legs. From the port taverns to the far reaches of the swamp, you'll hear people saying that Arry is one hell of a guy. Or, at least one hell of a something...
If one were to look at a map of the sea about these places, one would see an island shaped like a perfectly round circle with only a few tufts of greenish hair sticking out (fault of the artist, most likely, who was shot), and another island stretched out like a dirty leer or, perhaps, a banana, in such a way that the latter appears to be eating the most noble, perfectly formed and blessed island that is The Center of the Known Universe, known by the common folk as Great Freinham and by the pirates as Greasy Fat Hog.
Needless to say, the island that appears to be eating the most favored and blessed of all islands is that belonging to the Gold Devil himself. It is said that, in the beginning, Frog created M'adam and the Gold Devil. He showed to them the world he had created, and he told them that anything they wanted on this world they could have. Gold Devil, when he heard that there were no wenches to have yet, took the most vile and putrid of all the islands and named it "Dirty Bay." M'adam, as snooty and full of hot air as a chimney, claimed Great Freinham. And thus Frog grinned, for he knew that he had created something so devious and so awful that he could sadistically grin whenever one of the poor souls trapped in his world cried out to the heavens for Frog to save him from his horrible fate. Some ask if Frog actually exists, and one can find proof of his existence on a stone tablet nestled at the edge of the universe on an island full of enormous jumping and cannibalistic snakes with legs, but of course no one has ever visited that island.
Ever since then, the pirates of Dirty Bay have preyed on the innocent civilians of Freinham, and only now the greatest minds of the island gather to find a way to defeat the pirates once and for all.
"Gentlemen, I believe the answer is perfectly simple," said a grotesquely plump man standing in front of a blackboard before a crowd of bespectacled and highly anemic men with a long floppy ruler in his hand. "We shall debate these pirates to death, and because they have never partaken in the esteemed Sociology courses of this island, they will be momentarily baffled by our knowledge and thus forced to retreat back to their sinful hellholes and inns and other such unlit places of the earth."
"Arnold," whined another, "how do we know they won't grow angry at us for their own ignorance?"
"Why, we'll graciously throw a few of our chickens over to their ship so that they can vent their frustration on such weak and pliable objects of affection."
"Yes, but- but-"
"What is it, Gregory?" bellowed Arnold "Bullfrog" Tonsils.
"But Arnold, what if the chickens drown? Our sailors aren't quite good at this er... ‘throwing,’ I think they call it, due to all the statistical logistics handling courses we force down their throats."
"Well, they're going to have to; we don't have any other options."
"Aren't we supposed to be making up-"
"SILENCE!" yelled a stately man, dressed in a red coat with sparkling badges on his uniform, just entering the room. "It's clear that all this fiddling with "new ideas" and such will not save us. I propose that we continue our current code of conduct with pirates and immediately surrender all objects of value to the pirates in the hope that our goodness will eventually prevail and these savages will accept the higher callings of civilization."
"Pfft, what an idjut," said a man dressed in ragged clothing and sneering like a madman at every comment there uttered.
"What did you say?" growled the Bullfrog.
"Oh, nothin', Cap'n."
"Let me see your credentials," declared the military commander.
After a bit of a fuss, the anemic men pinned down the greasy savage and snatched a small piece of parchment tucked in one of his pockets.
"Says here he works at the 'Special Intelligence Collection Division of Strategic Wealth Reclaiming at Sea,' located on a small island between this one and Dirty Bay," hooted the messenger boy.
Everyone was immediately impressed at the man's professional experience. Obviously, the man's speech did not accurately reflect the depth of “special intelligence” hidden behind his lazy, drunken eyes.
"Well, if yer done insp-ect-in' this old fella, Rickety Rick would like to make an exit."
The men watched as a great man made his way for the exit, two soft pillow doors that swung open easily and slammed as the staggering man went through them.
The commander solemnly added, "Companions, I have only known two such noble men in all of my existence, and they both impressed on me the great strength of spirit and mind which I had never seen before in the most learned of men. They are attractive like magnets, and you will always immediately recognize them. The first was Townsend Rowe, who tragically died in a rowing accident last fall. I am disgraced by our treatment of this man."
The rest sat down quietly as a reed flute played off in the distance before being cut short by a brief round of gunfire and bloodthirsty yet joyful hollers echoing throughout the island.
"Marmalade, anyone?" piped the butler, who had only now entered the room and uncovered a bountiful platter of toast.
Here in the Dirty Bay, most of those more civilized folks have a certain... image when they think of the people from the lawless island. Of course its true that most of the scum in Dirty Bay are messy haired, straggle toothed no for good brigands, but Pretty Pete (a very lame name, I know, but don't say that to his face) is very, very different. He is perhaps the most handsome man the world over. Long, clean golden locks, a face chiseled from stone, piercing eyes, and the deadliest blade in the city. Its what he's known for, even if he doesn't have the scars to show it.
He runs a band of some of the most sought after assassins in the whole of Dirty Bay, and each one marked by their near impeccable beauty. Men and women, young and old these backstabbing, quick bladed devils are the bane of anyone with wealthy enemies. There are stories in every nook of Dirty Bay about Pretty Pete's band, some even say that some men willingly take the blade for a night with one of Pete's enthralling devils.
Now you might be asking, how do you join this deadly band of friends? First off, you got to be lucky enough to be pretty enough to catch Pete's eye... but not prettier than Pete. Anyone prettier than Pete in Dirty Bay face a simple fate, and that's a quick and jealous blade. Now, if your pretty, but not too pretty, you might just be lucky to be taken in by Pretty Pete and his band of lover and killers. Of course its no easy life, your trained in every subject of murder and pleasure, the tools you'll use to kill.
Its a scary life in Dirty Bay, when any pretty face could be the last face you see... but would that really be all that bad?