Pirates in the Inner Sea, particularly those that ventured into Dragonmere, were of a manageable sort. They pillaged and plundered, taking whatever they desired, but they did it by the Code. Needless killing was a sign of sloppiness, lack of forethought, and brutality; after all, if the common folk, the tradesmen, craftsmen, and farmers were killed, how could they be used as a resource? Cormyr was considered the breadbasket of the Pirate Isles: usually prosperous, but always in too much turmoil to consider occasional pirate raids their highest priority. Koomaruk Thickfist considered Magrath’s plan to have been altogether too ambitious. Why waste so much potential? So many men and arms to be king of the land when you can be king of the sea? Cormyr would remain, and Cormytes would always accumulate more wealth, create more goods. To be the leader of that land was to have your hands full in work. Better to be leader of the pirates, he thought, and live off the work of the Cormytes rather than having to oversee it. The key is balance, restraint he often told his men. Plunder too much in one area and they bring more guards; kill the farmers and they have no food. Make a name for yourself but never claim another man’s territory. A wandering pirate can be feared, and you can use that fear. But once you take land you’ve made yourself a target instead of a plunderer. The pirates respected their leader, and their exploits continued to be more successful under the reign of Koomaruk, King of the Corsairs.
Cormyr, too, was finally experiencing some peace. After Magrath the Minotaur, the Goblin Wars, the Spellplague, and war with the Netherese and Sembia, King Foril Obarskyr could finally give the attention to rebuilding and strengthening the citizens of Corymr that had been so long overdue. Nobles still squabbled and turf wars with Sembia and the Dalelands still caused strife, but peace was the rule, rather than the exception.
So it came as a great surprise to both pirates and Cormytes when the Reavers attacked. They were merciless killing machines that ravaged the shores and the ships of the Dragonmere. No one knew where they came from. They took no prisoners, no surrenders, hardly any goods, and they gave no mercy. Survivors spoke of undying pirates, traders, and Cormytes with a dull look in their eyes destroying everything good and wholesome in their path. At first they came after a few farming communities. Then, ships began to disappear in the sea and sailors told tales of empty boats, floating in the Dragonmere. Stories of attacks continued to spread until the sack of Marsember, when nine ships of of these monsters ravaged the city until they were finally driven out, a day and many casualties later, by the Purple Dragons of Lord Woodcock.