Bloodcove is unique in appearance as the entire city is built into and around the roots and trunks of one of the gargantuan mangrove trees that are found only along the Mwangi coast. The whole city is perched atop boardwalks and scaffolding, while the name Bloodcove comes from the reddish colour of the water that pours from the Vanji River into the Fever Sea.4 To the south of Bloodcove lie the Kaava Lands and the ex-colonial nation of Vidrian. To the north lies the pirate haven of the Shackles, an island chain filled with pirates and the remains of whatever cannibalistic society dwelt there before them.5
Bloodcove is officially ruled over by a single person given the title of the Grand Admiral, currently Harthwik Barzoni. The Grand Admiral is a position kept for life and is elected from amongst the scions of the original pirate founders. While this sounds like an all-powerful position, in reality, the Grand Admiral's duty extends to little more than making sure that the lawlessness of the town never gets in the way of trade, and Bloodcove has a small force of poorly trained militia to make sure this occurs.6
Behind the scenes, the true ruler of Bloodcove is the Aspis Consortium, whose control over the city has traditionally been absolute. However, recently, a shadow war has sparked between the Consortium and the Free Captains who sought a share of Bloodcove's wealth, after the new government of Vidrian put an end to their racketeering in that country.2
Bloodcove was founded by some of the greatest pirate captains of the Shackles when they realised that they were getting too old for the pirating lifestyle. They saw legitimate trade as the easiest way to keep their coffers full and their lives easy, and founded Bloodcove many miles south of the more rough and tumble of the Shackles.
Bloodcove's heritage shows through the very nature of the town somewhere between a legitimate port and sea-soaked pirate city. Despite this, Bloodcove is nowhere near as dangerous as the pirate cities to the north. Trade serves as a stabilising factor in Bloodcove and many prominent trading concerns have bases in the city, including the world-spanning Aspis Consortium.6
The city achieved notoriety in 4696 AR when the Beast of Bloodcove, a froghemoth of immense size, killed 204 victims over the course of an exceptionally hot summer. The Beast was eventually killed by a dozen heroes.7
In 4717 AR, after the native peoples of Sargava overthrew their colonial overlords, established the new nation of Vidrian, and stopped paying protection money to the pirates of the Shackles, many former colonists fled to Bloodcove to make a new start; while the pirates, cut off from the funds from Sargava, turned their eyes toward Bloodcove.2
The population of Bloodcove is surprisingly diverse for such an isolated community. Non-humans make up more than a fifth of Bloodcove's inhabitants. Over half the human population of Bloodcove is of the Mwangi ethnicity. Many come from deeper within the Mwangi Expanse to trade with the outside world, many are just run-of-the-mill pirates.
The rest of the human population is made up of various ethnicities, most of whom have come to Bloodcove looking to make their fortunes from the rich bounties of the Mwangi Expanse. There are racial tensions between the various ethnicities within Bloodcove but these tensions rarely turn violent.6
In decadent, lawless Bloodcove, subterfuge and shady dealings are the only ways to move up the social hierarchy. Social mobility is nearly impossible for the poor, and the best way for newcomers to gain standing is to put morality aside and align with either the Aspis Consortium or the Free Captains.2
Trade is the lifeblood of Bloodcove and without it the settlement simply would not exist. It was founded to further exploit the vast wealth of the Mwangi Expanse. Bloodcove is ideally positioned to exploit this being situated where the River Vanji, the only river to emerge from the depths of the Mwangi, meets the Fever Sea.
Bloodcove trades in many commodities the most common include rare woods, precious metals, exotic creatures, and Mwangi artifacts. None of these are easy to come by but their value keeps a steady flow of traders coming to Bloodcove.46
Culture, entertainment, and landmarks
- Admiralty Militiahouse and Jail
- The Castellany of the Fever Sea
- The Chelish Embassy
- Dockmaster's office
- Aspis Consortium
- Cartahegn Sugarpress
- Free Trade Square
- House Barzoni
- House Cartahegn
- House Luxlor
- House Umbertine
- Vanji Prospector's Guildhouse
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- As of 4721 AR (date based on publication date of The Mwangi Expanse). This is a large increase since 4710 AR (date based on publication date of Heart of the Jungle) when the population was 5,281 with a demographical distribution of 4,200 humans (2,000 Bonuwat, 500 Bekyar, 1,700 other humans), 475 dwarves, 250 elves, 150 halflings, 75 gnomes, and 131 other.
- Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Mwangi Expanse". World Guide, p. 86. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
- Rob Lazzaretti. (2011). Inner Sea Poster Map Folio, p. 1. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). River into Darkness, p. 2. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-075-9
- Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Mwangi Expanse". World Guide, p. 85. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). River into Darkness, p. 31–32. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-075-9
- Erik Mona et al. (2008). "The World". Campaign Setting, p. 203. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). River into Darkness, p. inside front cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-075-9