The pirates overlord, a legend that fills sailors' hearts with dread.
No further qualification than being a pirate is required to acquire the title, although a pirate has to gain the respect of the community to have a shot at the title.
To have a shot at challenging the title, one must be a pirate and have completed some significant deed, i.e. capturing an important ship from a national marine, kidnapping the daughter of a noble, recovering some important artifact, hoarding a incredible treasure. Once their name starts to be an inspiration for every pirate, they can choose to challenge the pirate who holds the title.
Once the challenge is casted, the title holder decides the terms on which he wants to be challenged, more commonly a duel with pistols or blades, occasionally something less lethal has a boxing match, but sometimes could be a less bloody challenge such as a card or dice game. The challenge can be to death or other rules can be placed to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Once the new Scourge is raised, can still decide to send his predecessor to walk the plank.
There are actually no specific duties associated with the rank, but to avoid prompt challenges a Scourge should keep morals high with raids and plunder. Some scourges of the past have been sensible administrators, some other have squandered their treasure in whores and gambling, without necessarily losing the respect of their subjects.
The benefit obtained from the title are deeply influenced by the respect the subjects have for their leader, weak scourges can still claim a higher portion of the captures, but will hardly able to impose more. Some influencial can impose fees and, even, obtain the right of life and death.
Accoutrements & Equipment
The only significant piece of equipment that gets passed over, where possible, from a scourge to the successor is a Jolly roger flag with a skull surmounting to cross rapiers, on a black field with red trigonal tassels.
Grounds for Removal/Dismissal
The title is removed once the present Scourge gets defeated in a duel. Occasionally the present scourge may get captured by the a national marine, in this cases the title is lost and a struggle for succession will arise. If the present Scourge gets killed in battle, usually his successor will be elected by popular acclaim, if the holder is prisoner something that may win the title for a daring pirate is a dangerous rescue mission of the previous Scourge before he faces justice, usually rapidly after capture.
Captain or occasionally Admiral
The rank is slightly superior to admiral, but inferior to a king.
Fear and respect
Lifetime, unless challenged