The high seas of Orn are no friendly place to the uninitiated. Deadly sea monsters, hazardous weather, and treacherous magical waters plague those daring or foolish enough to travel by sea. And though such perils are undoubtedly worrisome, many sailors will claim a greater fear of something far more sinister: pirates.
Thanks in no small part to the ascendancy of various naval fleets, such as the Sultanic Navy of Quito, piracy is no longer what it once was. There was a time in Orn's history, however, during which lawlessness reigned on the land as well as the sea. It was an age of high piracy, when the oceans themselves were stained red with blood.
The Lucky Dice, Flagship of the Gold Coast Corsairs
During this time, no pirate ship was more infamous than the Lucky Dice. Tales abound of its skilled and merciless crew pillaging ports, raiding ships, and killing any who crossed their path. Such was their reputation that other pirate ships flocked to their banner, forming the only pirate fleet in Orn's history, the Gold Coast Corsairs.
Despite their fierce reputation, however, the Gold Coast Corsairs eventually fell into decadence, turning their blades on one another when no one remained who could challenge their dominance of the sea. It is said that several ships in the fleet attempted a coup against the Lucky Dice. In a legendary naval battle, the Lucky Dice stood its ground against impossible odds. And though the ship was supposedly lost with all hands, so too was each and every mutinous ship sent to the black abyss along with it. To this day, sea goers use the expression "following the Lucky Dice" to describe the fate of any mutineer.
After the loss of its flag ship, the Gold Coast Corsairs disbanded, although other pirates would continue to adopt the moniker for years to come. With the strength of the pirates divided and weakened, naval and merchant fleets seized the opportunity to regain control of the sea. When the dust had finally cleared, the great pirates of Orn had been reduced to mere figures of legend and superstition.
Among the Gold Coast Corsairs, few were as feared as Atrius Bloodbrand. Atrius was one of the most infamous swordsmen on the high seas during the age of high piracy. As the quartermaster of the Lucky Dice, even his fellow pirates feared him. This fear was not misplaced, either, for history speaks of Atrius' sadistic and murderous tendencies. It is said that he killed for nothing more than sheer love of slaughter, even going so far as to dispatch the wounded after a battle just to see more blood flow. So great was his bloodlust that legend says his sword, Blood Tide, became stained crimson in the blood of his victims.
His thirst for slaughter was not restricted to combat, however. One tale speaks of Atrius brazenly killing a commoner in the street in broad daylight for not moving out of his way. Several city guards died attempting to bring him to justice until there remained none brave enough to try, after which Atrius walked calmly out of town, a wicked smile playing across his face.
Such incidents occur all too commonly in Atrius' bloody history. Indeed, many accounts indicate that he went out of his way to court violence. It is said he once knowingly spent a night in a town in which a bounty had been placed upon his head. The morning sun rose to reveal the bodies of the bounty's would-be collectors stacked outside his room.
It cannot be counted exactly how many people's lives were ended by Blood Tide. At the height of their influence, the Gold Coast Corsairs pillaged dozens of ports, killing combatants and innocents alike. Always loathe to miss out on a chance to kill, Atrius was often at the forefront of such engagements.
Perhaps his most notable fight, however, was against his fellow pirates. During Atrius' final battle, when many of the Gold Coast Corsairs staged a coup against the crew of the Lucky Dice, he is said to have slain 100 mutineers in a matter of hours. As the Lucky Dice sank into the sea, the waters around it were red with the blood of Atrius' victims. Many scholars agree that this incident more than any other earned his sword the name Blood Tide.
According to all accounts, Atrius Bloodbrand went down with the Lucky Dice along with his legendary crewmates. Some whisper, however, that his thirst for violence could not be quenched, even in death. And so his spirit still roams the land, seeking out new victims for Blood Tide.