The Dark Tides are a colloquial name given to the vast, wild, and innavigable oceans to the west of the world.
What lies within, or beyond the tides is whispered about in pubs, or on long nights watches. The ocean itself becomes black as ink, sometimes splitting open to reveal jagged reefs that are the doom of ships. They speak of monstrous creatures, churning the waters and striking at vessels that dare to venture forth. It is an eternally storm-wracked region, with hundred foot waves that crush even the mightiest brigantine, cyclonic winds at their back, and the further you travel the harder it is to see the stars with nigh constant cloud cover.
Worst still is the knowledge that a soul lost to The Dark Tides must surely be damned, as it is claimed that wicked things dance amongst the fogs that wrack the waters in rare moments of calm, dragging men to the depths as playthings, slaves, feed, or worse.
Most would call these tales tall, were it not for the fact that not a single known ship that has dared to venture into the dark tides has ever returned.