Council Deciding on Action
Another merchant ship, the Bright Star out of Tarant, appears to be the latest victim of the ever-increasing pirate activity, which has been interfering with Tarantian sea trade as of late. The ship was found adrift, about a day's sail from Tarant, her hull scored and her decks bloody with the signs of battle. Her owners stated that all of the cargo holds had been emptied, and that neither the crew nor their bodies could be located.
In response to this latest incident some of the merchant shipping magnates of Tarant asked for an emergency meeting of the Industrial Council. In the meeting the proposed the building of a "fast, ironclad warship using the latest in steam technologies, and carrying heavy armaments". This ship could then be used to patrol the shipping lanes and put an end to this scourge once and for all, or so say the merchants.
In light of this proposal, the foremost question is where the funding for such an endeavor will come from. Tarantian locals fear increased taxes, and, considering the past policy of the Council, their fears are well-placed. "Something must be done, and soon," said Edward Willoughsby, chairman of the Council.
The identities of the pirates are unknown, although an interesting theory was proposed by Three-Tooth McCoy, a local fisherman. "It be none other than the ghost a' Stringy Pete hisself. Old Pete no like so many ship in his waters, and the blood's gonna run 'til he's good and tired of it." For those unaware of the Stringy Pete legend, he was a pirate who terrorized the seas of Antagarich almost 200 years ago. This writer would like to believe that the old pirate is enjoying some rest after such an illustrious career.