Cardinal Rank/Title in Ulskandar | World Anvil


When he deserted with his ship and crew from the Royal Navy of the Sultanate of Fashaddon, Utkan the Bold declared himself to be the first Cardinal of the Red Hawk Corsairs. To date Utkan has maintained his leadership of the Corsairs, and has moulded the role of Cardinal into what is essentially the ruler of an independent nation state that moves and floats in the coastal waters off the continent of Turoza.


There is no official process for appointing the Cardinal, as the first and only position holder Utkan the Bold is still alive, and has no intention of relinquishing the position for anyone. There is a formalised process for the removal of the Cardinal, through the personal challenge system (see below), but as no one has successfully challenged Utkan to single combat for leadership of the Corsairs and won, there has never seemed any point in putting a formalised succession process in place.


The Cardinal has the following duties to carry out:
  • Direction and leadership (personal or delegated) of all raiding and piratical activity.
  • Giving sign-off and their blessing to all mercenary activity that is contracted by a third party either with the Cardinal themselves, or with one of their captains.
  • Oversight of Red Hawk Corsair finances.
  • Direct Management of each of the captains of the Red Hawk Corsair vessels.
  • Personal oversight of any ‘diplomacy’ that the Red Hawk Corsairs engage in.


The prime benefit of being the Cardinal is that the holder of the position effectively gets their own personal naval force to command. With this comes the overall authority to choose where and when each of the Red Hawk’s ships will raid, and also the prime choice of whatever loot is secured in these raids.

Grounds for Removal/Dismissal

There is only one ‘official’ way to remove the current Cardinal of the Red Hawk Corsairs, and that is through a challenge of personal combat to the death. This challenge duel must be fought by the current Cardinal and their challenger only, no substitutions or seconds will be recognised. The current Cardinal does not have to accept such a challenge, but to refuse would probably result in their challenger attempting to kill them through less public means.
Self proclaimed
Source of Authority
The Cardinal’s source of authority partly comes from his own strength and charisma to prove that he is the strongest person to keep the position, and partly through the sense of loyalty that the rest of the Red Hawk Corsairs have for him.
First Holder
Current Holders
Related Organizations

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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