Šóta Glešká the Pirate Lord
Šóta Glešká hails from the Nabeedo people who cling to the eastern reaches of the Meztiltian Desert. He made his name in the Cape of Swabby, and took advantage of the great trade that passed through the inlets of the Relics of Boryen. Šóta Glešká called himself the Pirate Lord. He commanded the greatest fleet in the West, coming around to a size of 300 ships. He was the bane in the newly formed Empire's side, and for a long while there was little the Imperial Navy could do. But at last, Šóta Glešká was captured and his head was displayed hanging from the mast of Lord Gilbak's ship, the Golden Retriever.
A Time of Strife, a Time of Opportunity
801 Year of Huraedon was a momentous year. The Twin Borne Empires of Kilae and Juraedon were confirmed by the Patriarch of Uendale, and were solemnly declared formal empires. At last, the Blood Wars had ended, and peace seemed to have been restored under the newfound reign of Magic. Trade commenced, and cities such as Quen Called Thalassokratia became prominent and wealthy again, after many years of languishing.
But with peace comes difficulties not often foreseen. The many soldiers and sailors employed as either mercenaries or professional soldiers were without work and pay. They soon turned to banditry and piracy. In Juraedon, the flowing wealth between Lower Huraedon and the Capital was preyed upon by pirates who lay traps in the narrow inlets of the Relics of Boryen. The Cape of Swabby soon became a large base of operations for these pirates, being far from the central government and its laws, and being a deep-water port near the Relics of Boryen. The golden age of piracy had begun, and would last for decades hence.
In these wealthy and chaotic times, Šóta Glešká arose. In 828 Year of Huraedon, he made his name known.
He was a darkly colored man. He was short, they said, but walked with a proud gait. His hair was dark and long, bound in a tail. His chin protruded and his nose was diminutive. Most written of by admirers, crewmen, and conspirers alike were his eyes: narrow and oblique, staring off towards the horizon of the sea, obscuring the brilliant mind within.
He was almost certainly common-born. The Nabeedo people are a large but poor cultural group in the far south. They are related to the jungle races of Kilae. The Nabeedo people were not properly conquered at the time of Šóta Glešká's rise to power. Indeed, most of the Southern Marches had been unconquered by Juraedon at this point in time. Only the Country of Swabby was under Juraedon's dominion, and they were, for the most part, independent. The rest of the Southern Marches were barbaric territories or filled with disputing tribes and minor states that were often too insignificant to be considered states proper. It was a wild land, and Šóta Glešká was a child of its wild people.
Šóta Glešká was the most famous of the Golden Age pirates, but not much is known of his childhood. His parents are unknown. Even his closest friends did not know of his past. He remains an enigmatic figure, which is probably what inspires all the copper-dreadfuls written about him wooing the smitten, fair maidens of Seinis.
828 Year of Huraedon
In 828 Year of Huraedon the name Šóta Glešká became a cursed one. On that day he captured and raised the pirate's flag on Juraedon's capital ship: the Golden Freeze. Its crew was slaughtered, and the ship was appropriated as Šóta Glešká's own primary ship. The methods through which he stole the Golden Freeze were cunning and brilliant. It was not a mere and paltry theft. It was a long and difficult scheme, requiring preparations, bribes, gambles, and impeccable timing. Šóta Glešká manipulated the malleable coastal officials and ensured the Golden Freeze to be alone for a small moment, and in that moment he stole her away, and the Empire never got her back.
Šóta Glešká became famous. Sailors flocked to the mere rumor of his name. Šóta Glešká was said to have gold beyond reckoning and a wit to match. Every deserted island became a possible hiding place of his famous "Double Barrels" in which are said to hide the Gems of the Black King Elwëdorf, the Holy Sapphires of the Blue Dwarrow, and Mathiel's Iron Sword which Amandil bore in his travel towards Heaven, among other, equally ludicrous and legendary treasures.
Šóta Glešká himself somehow evaded the banes of fame but reaped all its benefits. He amassed an armada, and with ships both stolen and built with his own ill-gotten gains, he controlled a fleet of more than 300 masted ships. Over 90 of these ships were heavy warships. He stationed himself in the Cape of Swabby, and practically controlled the local government of the City of Swabby.
Šóta Glešká called himself Lord of the Pirates, and he proclaimed a new order on the High Seas. His fleet was mightier than the Empire's. He himself commanded many Wizards. With his great powers he asked for the freedom of all, and for the Empire to relieve its yolk on the people of the Southern Marches and Lower Huraedon.
Even in those times, when information passed more slowly, Šóta Glešká quickly became a romantic figure of daring, swashbuckling, and gentlemanly charity. He was a champion of the people, and though the rule of Juraedon was light and fair, there seemed to be signs of trouble from their newly conquered peoples.
Lord Gilbak and Šóta Glešká's Death
Lord Gilbak was ever the foe of Šóta Glešká, and he was the shadow of the Pirate Lord, ever present, ever watchful for any sign of weakness. It was 835 Year of Huraedon, seven years of Šóta Glešká's escapades had passed, and the Lord Gilbak saw his time to strike. The Empire of Juraedon had begun to grow its navy to combat the growing pirate threats, and the sailor pools of men were thusly shrinking in size. An ironic thing. The pirates were beginning to weaken. The Imperial Navy was a mighty force, now, and they were beginning the Great Sweep of Boryen. A strategic effort to wipe out all the pirates along the coast of Lower Huraedon
Lord Gilbak headed this cause. He sought to crush the pirating spirit. The death of Šóta Glešká was an invaluable requirement to this cause. The fifth level Spell Slot had just been developed, and Lord Gilbak used the Scrying Spell to great effect. He baited Šóta Glešká with a treasure fleet heavily guarded -- Lord Gilbak knew that Šóta Glešká enjoyed a challenge, and would not fall for a simple, unguarded bait. When Šóta Glešká came with a great fleet in tow, Lord Gilbak rushed in with an even greater one. A deadly battle was done that day, but at the end of it Šóta Glešká was gripped by his hair and thrown on his face. Lord Gilbak decapitated the Pirate Lord right then and there, fearing another daring escape as had happened many times before. The head of Šóta Glešká was hung on Gilbak's mast, there for all to see the end of the Golden Age of Piracy.
So ends the pirate legend of Šóta Glešká. His legend lives on, and there are still many romances about him, wondering if he still lives, subsisting off of an elixir of immortality, biding his time to rise again and free the people of the Southern Countries now fully conquered and colonized by Juraedon.
Some sailors reported hearing the sighs of a woman as Šóta Glešká was decapitated, and that they felt that the Pirate Lord's chest was tightly bound before they threw the body overboard into the sea. It would be an interesting story, if this rumour was true. But it probably isn't.