As a nation of outcasts, strays, and brigands drawn from many species, there isn’t really a physical profile for Reaverkin. But the environment of the Reave leads to a few common traits. Reaverkin tend to quickly acquire scars from the numerous edges, points, and barbs that cover their spine-ships, especially on their arms and legs. Frequent exposure to the elements ages them quickly, creating weatherworn, leathery faces. And while the Reave manages well enough on its supply of stolen fare, you will rarely encounter a Reaverkin with much weight on their bones. Clothing-wise, they stick to simple, utilitarian garb intended for the seas, occasionally augmented with serpent-bone to provide protection in battle. And Reaverkin always, always have a knife on them, carved from serpent-bone.
The Reaverkin have survived due to a combination of ruthlessness, loyalty and raw determination. As a people who rely on piracy and privateering for their livelihood, the Reaverkin are comfortable and very willing to kill to protect themselves and their allies. Loyalty is the highest virtue of a Reaverkin; since the Reave was first founded, Vassalor, Larassa, and Heild have all tried to find a way through the bone reef. And in all that time, no Reaverkin has ever betrayed his homeland. That’s why they carry knives at all times, so that they cannot betray their friends. Betrayal carries the heaviest penalty in Reaverkin society; impalement on the spines of the serpent bones.
The Reave began with a Larassan expedition into the Beyond, a trade mission to Vassalor. The intention was to sell off slaves in Vassalor, acquire a fortune in luxury goods to sell to the aristocrats, and then sail home. But in the navigator’s ignorance of the Beyond, they ran into the bone-reef, a wide swath of ocean made dangerous by the presence of a seemingly endless number of bones. The bones of some long dead sea monsters, bones covered in spines, barbs, and all manner of protrusions capable of sinking a ship. Long story short, the expedition found themselves stranded amidst the bones. The officers forced the slave labor and the common sailors to build new ships from the serpent bones. The work cost many men their lives, skewered or gutted on the terrible bones. But they succeeded, creating the first spine ships, which they used to escape the reef. Once they were at sea, the crew and slaves united against the officers, cutting them open and casting them into the sea. They then took the spine-ship and sailed to Vassalor. There they refilled their numbers with other Larassan renegades, and began raiding. The Reave has existed for about a hundred years, their founding happening around the time the Larassan Empire began to fall into disrepair. The Reaverkin helped accelerate that process, cutting deeply into the empire’s treasury. They also explored and settled a series of islands that exist in the middle of the bone-reef, using paths that only they know and taking advantage of the durability of the spine-ships. Using the islands as an unreachable base of operations, the Reaverkin have been able to raid ships with impunity. The Reave is essentially a tightly-knit confederation of settlements dotting the islands, each of which is ruled by a captain, who is elected from amongst the community’s sailors. Only those who go and risk their lives out on the seas are able to vote or hold office of any kind. The Captain enjoys wide power, and a sizable cut of the loot, but can also be replaced at any point by popular vote. When decisions must be made that affect the entire Reave, the captains gather and vote amongst themselves.
The Reaverkin are not religious by nature. They live brutal, difficult lives, which are all too often cut short by violence or disaster at sea. Thus the pirate-folk have little regard for gods. The only religion that has any kind of following is the Ancient Faith, which is generally aimed at the oceans. The Reaverkin worship the seas, mostly out of pragmatism. If a prayer helps keep the storms and waves at bay a little, then it was a good investment of time.
The Reaverkin would love to have more ready access to magic. But given their isolation, and the fact that few wizards or clerics would willingly join the Reaverkin, they make do with what they can get. There are a few druids in the Reave, and a small number of other spellcasters, none of whom are particularly powerful. But collectively, they help keep the Reave save by weaving illusions, summoned monstrosities and other hazards into the bone-reefs. The magic-users never join the spine-ships on raids; they’re too valuable to lose at sea.
No standard naming conventions. Most Reaverkin stick to the names of their heritage, or create new names for themselves as a form of reinvention.