The Rejuvenationverse 33 members · 20 stories
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Purple Patch
Group Admin

Off the coast of Nogo, the only place in the continent that is well-documented and cartographed, are a group of islands known as the Visles, known as ‘The rottenest pustule of the southern seas’.
There is no law on the Visles whose inhabitants are the descendants of prisoners when the entire island was a penal colony for the unicorn kingdoms of old. However long those lines persist, the moral quality of the inhabitants haven’t changed. Corsairs, slavers, mercenaries, murderers and worse infest the place, making the islands a haven for the worst of ponykind.
They come from far and wide, from every land that can no longer stomach them and only here will they find ponies whose wickedness matches or even rivals their own.
Life here is, as the name of the place indicates, vile in every way. Cruel, fearful and often short.
The isles are hot with little natural cover, the forests having long been cleared and while most of the native animals were hunted down to extinction with their trees, the mosquitos, fleas, worms and spiders have thrived and prove themselves the bane of anything larger than themselves.
Barely anything of note is known about what the islands were like before the age of ponykind. Ruins found on Bitter Isle, Stupe Isle and Cleaver Isle point at some ancient civilisation but no trace remains, apart perhaps upon Stupe Island which we will discuss shortly.

The largest isle, Bitter Isle, is a place where little to nothing has ever grown. A ring of black bogs surround a bed of jagged bedrock and flint outcrops with remains of its denizens in ruined walls, towers and half-destroyed forts.
Founded by the goats of early Tambelon, it was known as Broxcha. Little is known of how the state was run or why the goats chose to settle here of all places but when the unicorn kingdoms warred with the goats, Broxcha fell, captured by the unicorns and renamed ‘Braag’.
By any name, the place was evil. Most of its conquerors did not stay long. Disease and pirates made life on Braag hard and miserable and there was little to be gained from the jagged rock. The unicorns, in semi-cooperation, began sending their worst criminals to Braag to rot away far from civilisation. When obsidian, a very precious metal at the time that pushed Equestria into new technologies, was discovered about the island, the prisoners were chain-ganged and forced into hard labour. Those who volunteered to ward the island were left to their own devices and here, dark tales emerge.
The laws of civilised ponykind did not apply to Braag and some unicorns saw the island as a way to satisfy darker parts of their curiosity. Documents collected from when the Mysterican and Equestrian forces first cleared out the site many years ago tell a gruesome story. What started as unorthodox practices into the field of hypnosis, necromancy and interdimensional travel descended into a deranged school of barbarism and perversity as prisoners who could no longer work were used as test subjects and slave mares were mated with beasts and monsters to produce twisted, unliving monstrosities, collected by the mad mages in some sick game.
Braag saw no change during the Founding, its denizens continuing their wretched exploits while Platinum led the unicorns into a new age. The covens on Braag forgot about their old home and lives before and thought of nothing other than the beastly thoughts that came to them in their darkest dreams. During the First Invasion of Tirek and the rise of Grogar, the city financed the tyrants and supplied them with the foul spawns of dark magic they worked to create for steep prices and Braag grew rich and powerful on wealth built on slavery and blasphemy.
Sixty-six years into the Second Age of Magic however, it is said that the stink of the city began to choke the ponies of Paradise itself and the gods of all the Known World sent forth their wrath. Terrible plagues ripped through the cityscape, killing every nine ponies in ten. The slaves and guards literally fell apart as Emerald Fever caused bright green sores to swell all over their bodies and poison their bloodstream while in the forts and towers, Bubble-Brain disease punished the dark sorcerers for their brutality as they fell about in paralyzed fits, giggling and screaming simultaneously as their heads swelled bigger than their bellies and finally burst.Their towers crumbled as the seas churned around them, submerging the Isle for many years. When they lowered once more, nothing remained of Braag but the rock it was built on.
[Note: The religious spin on the story is certainly a powerful tale but much more likely is that the trading of slaves caused a foreign disease to be introduced to the unsuspecting populace while Bubble-Brain and perhaps even the flood may have been an experiment the mages lost control of.]

Afterward, life itself seemed to shun the isles as Braag was left to rot away in silence.
It wasn’t until the coming of the Corsairs, shortly after the Harmonisation of Trottingham, that the Visles saw life again. The giraffe pirate, Karux Bo-Marux was the first to lay his banner there on Cleaver Isle. Finding new, strange stone upon the island, he constructed a great jet-black fortress upon the island. In weeks, he went mad with power and declared himself ‘Pharoah’ of the isle.
The Red Jesters, a notoriously depraved pirate fleet, made their base upon Swarm Isle, an island so infested with flies that no pony ventures far into the swamp, camping on the shore and keeping the flies at bay with every substance and device they knew. From these bases, the new settlers were placed perfectly to ambush merchants or explorers sailing the rich lands of the far south and within years, almost every one of the Visles were home to dens of corsairs, each new ruler more venomous than the last.
[Note: Karux Bo-Marux is long gone but the fortress still stands, partially. Explorers record the stone feels oily and unsettling, as if the stone lives, and no light seems to touch it, making it appear cloaked in shadow even while the sun is upon it. Folk unafraid to tell the stories of that place say that Karus Bo-Marux built his fortress ever larger, driven mad by the evil stone until it swallowed him up.]
The Third Pirate Wars were waged when the Equestrian pirate captains loyal to Pirate King Jolly Rodger, having signed a pact of peace with the Princesses, fought against the Visle Corsairs on the seas for many years. It is recorded the Eternal Knights accompanied them, Domino meeting up with her old friend, Galley Galoot, now sporting the moniker of ‘Pirate Queen Booty’.
[Note: ‘Booty’ referring to the colloquial term for treasure...I assume.]
Every few years, Equestria, Zebrica, the Mystericas or another empire with a grudge sends a fleet to purge the Visles of the corsair threat.
Some of these raids ended dismally when the corsairs fled, forewarned. Others have seen hundreds of the sea raiders arrested, hung, drowned, beheaded or whatever fate the punitive expedition deems necessary.
Two have ended in infamy.
The first was when a fleet commanded by Captain Wiggles of Whinneapolis led her fleet directly through the isles were the corsairs sailed round, ambushed her and put the fleet to the sword and chain. Wiggles and every female on the fleet were enslaved and every male slaughtered. The fleet, commanded by Pirate King Wracken Wrake, took the opportunity to raid the southern Equestrian shore, taking every mare and foal they could capture and, once done with them, sent their despoiled bodies in rowboats along the Seadragon River to find their way to the capital. In retribution, Wiggles’s sister, Captain Giggles of Galloping Gorge, took command of a larger, more powerful fleet that sunk Wracken Wrake’s armada into the south seas. Wracken himself was broken on the rack by the furious sister of the mare he’d so horribly butchered, then locked in an airtight steel coffin and sent to the Ceto Trench, as deep as the sea will go, still alive to either be drowned by the water, crushed by the pressure or lose himself in madness for the rest of his life.
The second was when a Mysterican fleet led by the dashing Elmaro Enfuego turned on itself, Enfuego turning to piracy once the Visles were cleared and ruling as king for forty years, long for a self-titled king of the isles.

Regardless, no matter what force may brave the shores and cross blades with the sea vermin, the corsairs always resurface after a time to continue their foul work in privacy, much as its original denizens did some thousand years ago. Their shanty towns, black markets and lawless ports sprout up like mushrooms on the shoreline or deeper into the swamps only to be abandoned the next year or the year after that or perhaps later, each time inevitably sinking into the mud and slime from which they rose. The twin ports, Gritt and Spitt, are always together no matter where they sink and rise up again, the two sites being run by two feuding family clans which keep together so as to continue their feud, unwilling to let anything other than themselves kill the other. Port Pickle-Egg invariably sits at the hottest zones in the Visles which vary from year to year. Port Offal and Port Bonedust usually set themselves up in place after a battle or massacre and sell bones and body-parts as souvenirs.
Despite this, there appears life in other places on the Visles.
Mt. Scuttle, on the island of Knack, is the only highpoint on the isles and is built like a honeycomb with a complex system of deep holes and tunnels carved into the stone. Most of them are inhabited, fortified and unofficially owned as property by corsairs or slave-masters. Here, slaves and prisoners are held before sale or ransom. On the beach of Knack is Kobble Kove, the largest official slave-market on the Visles. But folk say the mountain and its tunnels are far too intricate to be natural yet no sane pony could have burrowed so thoroughly into the rock and in such random patterns. To anypony’s knowledge, only a third of the tunnels are actually occupied and most fear to go further. There are tales that something lurks in the mountain’s core, the creators of the tunnels that guard it still, preying on the odd slave or even guard, suddenly going missing in the night. And anypony foolish enough to delve deeply into the tunnels is never seen again. There are noises one hears when they press their ear against the rock, they say. Scuttling, chittering, hissing and growling and giggling, millions of legs, millions of voices, the things in the mountain whom not even the corsairs dare to speak of.
Stupe Isle is a peculiar place where short, hairless, slightly-scaly beasts of hoof go around with the top of their heads sawn off (Though their heads are shaped as if this is natural without any sign of laceration or defacement) and instead of brains carry clear water in their open heads, their faces set in a dull, blank-eyed expression, unable to talk beyond meaningless mumbling. None know if is this is some sort of ritual or if they’re born in such a way but they don’t make good slaves or sport and so most corsairs shun them. Folk say, however, that if any beast spills the water in their heads, the Stupes become as wild and violent as rabid dogs, ripping apart whoever spilt the contents of their skulls and turning to madness, though strangely they will ignore their fellow Stupes as if they weren’t even there. To anypony's knowledge, this is the only remnant of native, or at least closely originated civilisations of the islands remaining in the Known World though how they've survived none can be sure.
This may be linked to what goes on in Harn Isle. In ages past, a sorcerer of Braag whose name escapes history began removing the brains of useless slaves and burying them in the island’s soil in a strange experiment to see whether he could give the island life and sentience by giving it enough intelligence, using magic to keep the brains alive in limbo. There are those who say it worked at, looking at the island where moss and mould flush a dull pink, the trees more resemble fleshy polyps and the strange, slimy pink vines are said to trail newcomers and, if one mis-steps, burrow into their ears to get at their brain. Survivors claim the soil gently but perpetually resonates, as if throbbing with some fell power none can trace.
Regardless, the Visles are best avoided as little to no good has ever come out of them.

Most however are content to let the Visles wile away as they will, protecting against their attacks which seem to grow more and more infrequent over the age. As the world forgets about them, there are some who believe the doom will come upon the Visles in its own way as it did during the first time their vileness grew too great for the world to stomach. Though what force will sweep them aside and succeed them none know and few dare to imagine.

Group Contributor

Very interesting as always. Reminds me of the british Penalty colonys in Australia.

Seriously, I loved this.

Purple Patch
Group Admin

Yikes. I never things got that bad.:twilightoops:

Purple Patch
Group Admin

Thank you very much. :pinkiehappy:
It was mostly based on the Basilisk Isles in ASOIAF but I thought it worked well.
You'll hear about the forbidden continent of Nogo next.

What parts did you like in particular?

Group Contributor

Well the way you described it, reminded me of that as it sort of sounds familar

Purple Patch
Group Admin

Yeah, there's a joke about that.
"Let me get this straight...Law-abiding citizens keep the crappy food and the crappy weather while the criminals get the sunny beaches and lobsters the size of canoes?... Hello! I'm Jack the Ripper!"

Group Contributor

I see. A good one!

Braag in particular because it seems the perfect counter to modern Equestria. A dark mirror if it had survived. I also enjoy how it's a haven for pirates and such. Particularly Pirate Queen Booty. It's seriously a perfect nickname!

Purple Patch
Group Admin

Yeah, I'm quite pleased with it.
The name is Braag is taken from the creature from Northumbrian folklore, a spectral horse who lets travellers ride on its back then bucks them into a lake to drown or carries them away into hell, depending on the story.
As far as possible, I try to ensure magic isn't a Deus Ex Machina and in many cases, showcase why there are rules to that sort of thing.

Yeah, couldn't resist the joke. :twilightsheepish:
Pirate Queen Booty, also known as Galley Galoot, was Domino's lesbian lover for a time.
It's possible Domino gave her the title, or at least the idea.

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