unknown, guesstimated to be at least
2 million

unknown, guessed around 55%
Fleet of the Bloody Waters
Unknown, heavily diverse
Island nation,
ISLAS DE LA SANGRE - The Caribbean was hit hard by the collapse and Wasting plague.  Some of the more strategically important islands weathered the collapse, most did not.  Without the tourism industry to support them, and with their host countries in no shape to provide aid, many of these smaller islands were left to fend for themselves completely, lawlessness and piracy soared, and the islands, particularly in the southern stretch of the Caribbean erupted into total chaos.  Any foreign nationals, or anyone with enough affluence and wealth, fled the islands, crippling them even further.  When the wasting plague hit, this environment made the situation doubly worse, as even in situations where aid could be distributed, the risk of piracy and terrorism was simply to great to risk.  The plague destroyed the populations of these islands, an exact death toll may never be known, but estimates range from 1 to 4 million islanders succumbed to the disease.  Some islands were completely eradicated of human life, and some islands are feared to still contain pockets of the disease.

In the aftermath of the plague, the survivors of the smaller islands felt completely betrayed, especially those that were part of the British Commonwealth and other European territories.  Piracy again surged, and any intervention attempts were met with increasingly hostile resistance.  The aggressive nature of these islands and the complete and overwhelming hatred of the populace towards western powers was a boiling pot about to erupt.  After sufficient recovery from the collapse, there were brief attempts by the EDF to reclaim there territories, and stabilize the area, but increasing insurgency made this impossible.
  It was during this period, after pirates attacked an EDF supply ship en route to Martinique and killing everyone on board, that the media dubbed the region, Islas De La Sangre, (The Islands Of Blood).  The name stuck, and was embraced by the native populations as yet another means of keeping foreigners out.  When the Second South American War hit, Europe pulled out completely, fearing getting embroiled in direct involvement if the lost islands decided to side with the cartels.  They needn't have worried, at the time the islands were too disorganized, and paranoid of direct Naval confrontation from the US and Europe to mount such an operation.  Still many groups in the region did work with the Cartels as smugglers. 

The Islands remained in a perpetual state of chaos.  Fighting amongst each other was beginning to take its toll, and the separate warlords of the region were not very apt at distributing the booty.  Europe watched anxiously, waiting for the opportunity to retake their territories, and pacify the region for the once again rising tourist trade and making the shipping lanes safe again.  That opportunity never arose, in 2012, a pirate leader from Barbados, Captain Shamus Mandrake, embarked on a quest to unite the islands under one banner.  Before the collapse, Barbados was ranked third in the Americas in education and literacy.  Mandrake was a straight A student, and had graduated from the British Naval Academy with top honors, serving with the British Navy for 10 years before retiring at the rank of captain and coming home to Barbados to live a quiet life with his wife and children.  The plague took all that away from him.  When the EDF attempted to retake the island of Barbados, after ignoring it during the plague and the collapse, it was Mandrake who led the first attacks against them.  This charismatic and ruthless pirate quickly gained a large following, and popular support of the people.  He fed the peoples bloodlust, displaying gruesome trophies of his victims after every victory, soon he had complete control over Barbados.  When he began to expand his fleet, and unite the islands of the region, he was already well supported, and his fame and notoriety preceded him.  Many of the islands were anxious for a semblance of stability, and joined willingly, others had to be coerced by more forceful means, but in the end, Captain Mandrake was the leading power in the region, and united the islands under his flag, a customized Skull and Crossbones.  Under his leadership, the Islas De La Sangre was truly born.

Islas De La Sangre is pirate confederation comprised of the islands of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Martinique, Montserrat, Barbados, Netherlands Antilles, the Cayman Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks & Caicos Islands, and Guadeloupe.  They proclaim themselves a new singular nation, although they are not recognized by any governing body.  Now unified, and loosely organized, the Islands of Blood are a major force in the region, and a haven for criminals, refugees, and terrorists.  Only Barbados itself offers any semblance of safety for foreigners, though safety is an extremely speculative term, and operates as a black market for the goods procured through piracy. 

The Islands of Blood comprise the largest pirate confederation the world has ever seen, with virtually ever man, woman, and child of the population involved in some capacity or another.  Their methods are bloody and brutal, and include air support.  Private travel through or near these islands is strictly advised against by every authority and government on the planet.  Cargo ships typically only travel the waters with armed escorts, though all to often a captain will try and push his luck, often to his eternal damnation, as the pirates rarely take prisoners, and rarely leave survivors from these corporate vessels.  Private yachts and boats are not treated quite as brutally, especially if they surrender without a fight.  Crew, women, and children are often left unharmed, though adrift in life rafts, though more often than not wealthy men captured will be held for ransom.  If these private boats offer resistance however, examples are made of them, and stories of butchery, even committed against the women and children of boats who choose to fight, are common, and reported heavily upon on a global scale anytime the media hears of it.  Not even military vessels are completely safe, smaller vessels have been attacked, even captured, and larger vessels have been damaged in terrorist style attacks.  The Islanders media representation claims that the waters these vessels are operating in are part of the sovereign territory of the Islanders, but since no such territory is officially recognized, retaliations from military forces in the area have been carried out, usually in the form of bombing runs on the islands, or shelling from offshore.   It seems the only vessels safe from attack are small independent fishing boats and nomad vessels.  While these smaller boats may be stopped and searched by the pirates, conflict is almost unheard of, probably duie to the fisherman and nomads willingness to trade.  In fact many nomads and private fisherman operating in the area ally themselves with the pirates for protection.  It is an uncomfirmed rumor that some corporate fishing companies have made similar arrangements, but it would certainly explain the wealth that the pirates have come into that has allowed them to stockpile weapons and munitions.

The increasing conflict in the region has allowed the cartel controlled South American Alliance to approach Mandrake, and rumors grow of Isla De La Sangre joining the Alliance.  This has escalated the paranoia in the Caribbean to unheard of levels with the US building up its forces for the looming Third South American War.

The Pirates themsleves, the Fleet of the Bloody Waters, have been building up their naval strength.  In addition to the small captured military vessels, they have been making purchases from Russian and Chinese surplus, and their fleet is estimated to have at least 3 destroyers, a large number of heavily armed patrol boats, and a vast armada of small, very fast, speedboats, often armed and armored, and used for both attack and smuggling. 

The culture of the islands is a mix of old world traditions, and the people are extremely culturally diverse.  The islands have always been rich with legends of pirates, and many have adopted these legends as a way of life.  The islands have become refuge for anyone on the run, and a haven for mercenaries, terrorists, and criminals of every sort.  However, as brutal as mandrake is against his enemies, his people he protects just as fiercely.  Serious crimes committed by one islander against another, especially rape, murder, theft, or assault, are dealt with harshly.  Any intentional crime against a child doubly so.  Punishments for such acts include public flogging, branding, maiming and execution. 

Because the islands are so incredibly diverse, a new language has emerged, Caribista, a heavily slang laden mix of English, Spanish, Chinese, Dutch, Indian, and various Asian and African languages.

(Written by Deric Bernier, with suggestions from Cameron "Bonedaddy" Jacobs.)