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The Raiders of the Waking Sea—or simply, the Raiders—is the common name given to an association of Antivan pirates called the Felicisima Armada. These pirates were once little more than opportunists, based out of the coastal city of Llomerryn, that preyed on sea traffic. They were often targeted by Orlesian and Free Marcher cities that were bent on destroying the pirates once and for all. After each such effort, new pirates would appear to fill the vacuum.
During the New Exalted Marches, the nations of Thedas needed every ship they could muster against the massive power of the Qunari dreadnoughts. The Llomerryn pirates were faced with a difficult decision: they had to band together under one flag and fight with those they had previously preyed upon or face conversion and annihilation by the Qunari.
Thus the Armada was formed. The pirates brought their knowledge of stealth and trickery to bear, plaguing Qunari supply lines and even launching seaborne invasions against the Qunari coast. For a time it was said the Armada was the premier naval power of Thedas, and after the signing of the Llomerryn Accord, they maintained their association rather than disband as many had hoped.
Wealthy merchants now often pay the leaders of the Armada rather than risking their ships commandeered and their merchandise stolen and sold on the black market. The Armada is hardly unified, and bloody battles between Armada leaders are frequent, but when faced with an attack by outsiders, the group instantly puts aside their differences and closes ranks; the raiders have thus become far more of a threat in the last century than they ever were before.
There is many a legend told about how dashing and romantic life aboard a Raider vessel is, but don't believe it. They are scoundrels and smugglers all.
—From The Dowager's Field Guide to Good Society, by Lady Alcyone