Pirates of The Jewel Archipelago
These are some people of the world whose names would be known by most.
Cristos Drake – The current Emperor of the Middle Kingdoms. He is a competent ruler, but was tested sorely by the rebellion at Stoneheart keep. He regrets to this day having stolen the secrets of black powder from the Dwarves.
The Dragon Empress, Bryndis Drake – The previous Empress, grandmother of Cristos. She was a warlike and cruel ruler, feared by her enemies and her allies alike. She is responsible for burning Tol Lorien and for slaying the last of the chromatic dragons. Her suit of dragonscale plate armor still resides in the Imperial Palace.
Meerka the Knife – A half-orc adventurer. Her tale is different depending on who is doing the telling. Some see her as a folk hero, righting wrongs and re-distributing wealth, but others see her as a lawless troublemaker. Everyone in the Middle Kingdoms agrees that assassinating the Emperor was going too far. She escaped and vanished after the murder, and Imperial guards burned her known holdings and had her associates branded as outlaws. Some half-orcs still mutter her name when they are treated cruelly by Imperial citizens.
Kublai Tal, Imperial Cartographer – A world traveler and gifted poet. He was a half-elven cousin and childhood friend to the empress Bryndis and had already traveled across the Middle Kingdoms by the time she was crowned. She commissioned him to write an extensive report of his travels, and the volume was so well received that he was sent out into the world again, this time through the Deep Roads into Khitai. His second volume was an even greater success than the first, thought there were many passages that were edited out of the work for being too disturbing for general readership. His third volume, on his travels through the islands and sunken ruins of the southern seas, was suppressed from publication, as it had devolved into mad ravings and gibberish. Today only his first volume can be easily acquired, and his other works are likely to be heavily censored.