The Rise of The Fallen
The Dread Pirate Hellbeard
Infamous pirate lord who sails the waters of Elondaron and Alrahon. The name is a title—the mantle of Dread Pirate Hellbeard is only bestowed on those who can take it through force of arms, cunning, and ruthlessness. The Dread Pirate Hellbeard is responsible for the formation of The Black Fleet—an irregular army of brigands and buccaneers. The traditional home of the Dread Pirate is the pirate haven of Skullport in The Scorpion Isles.
There have been many to hold the title Dread Pirate Hellbeard (and a few pretenders to the name). The most famous of these are listed below:
- Gaius Halberd—The first to bear the name Hellbeard. Formed the first Black Fleet during The Hundred Years Chaos. Laid siege to Fort Karras and sacked it, setting up his base of operations there. He renamed the city Hellbeard Keep, and forced the residents into slavery while his raiders acted as a privileged class. He ruled for five years before Hannibal Lightfoot and his privateer army laid seige to the city. Halberd fled, his power broken, and Hannibal reclaimed the city for the Empire and renamed it Coral Town. The final fate of Gaius Halberd is unknown, though he is thought to have been behind the assassination of Hannibal Lightfoot twenty years later.
- Cyrano The Black—Reformed The Black Fleet after being granted a letter of marque from King Yorick The Mad to raid Coralton shipping lanes, starting The Trade Wars. Ruled the seas for 16 years, before his ship was sunk by the White Fox.
- Cynthia Flamebraids—The first female to lay claim to the title. Her attacks against the East Alrahon Trading Company lead to The Second Trade Wars. Many have speculated that she bore a personal grudge against the EATC. Her efforts united almost all the pirates operating during her time under the banner of The Black Fleet, a feat that has yet to be duplicated. Her fleet was destroyed during The Blockade of Coral Town during a three-way battle between the EATC, the Black Fleet, and the Coralton Royal Navy. Her allies, the Mother Sea Company, were destroyed and her flagship was heavily damaged. She withdrew back to Skullport, but the ship never arrived, and it is assumed she sunk before reaching port.
- Blythe The Kracken—After decades without a Hellbeard, Blythe The Kracken found the loot cache of Cynthia Flamebraids. Among the plunder he discovers Hellbeard’s Cutlass, and surmises that the cutlass Cynthia Flamebraids had with her at The Blockade of Coral Town was a fake. He decides to attempt to reform The Black Fleet, and proceeds to wreck havoc on the high seas until he is captured and hung by the Coralton Royal Navy (with help form an adventuring band). The blade is stolen from the Royal Navy headquarters by a disgruntled captain.
- Red Dreyfus—Formerly a captain in the Coralton Royal Navy, Dreyfus Bochart was an ambitious man who had designs on an admiralty. He was part of the crew that captured Blythe The Kracken. However, he was also corrupt, and had been actively helping The Black Fleet on raids against those captains he saw as his rivals. The adventuring crew he was working with at the time uncovered his corruption, which torpedoed any chance he had at an admiralty. Facing court martial and being hung next to the very pirate he had helped capture, Dreyfus stole Hellbeard’s Cutlass and commandeered his old ship. He reestablished The Black Fleet remarkably quickly. He was murdered by his concubine, who took the Cutlass from his corpse and took his place during a mutiny.
- The Darkwind Princess—The latest Dread Pirate Hellbeard. Raven-haired and mysterious, she was the second woman to lay claim to the title, after murdering Red Dreyfus, the previous holder, during a mutiny. Her face has scars resembling tears torn down her cheeks. Her Black Fleet was small, but vicious and growing bolder every passing year. She was killed by The Lady Of Black Tears, who tracked her all the way to Skullport and ambushed her.