Queen of Soot
If you see someone matching this description, report it immediately to the nearest House Tenevine Enforcer. Do not approach or engage.Probably one of the most well-known infamous names among the Empire, Lucile Culpit has been the bane of House Tenevine for decades. She is an accomplished pirate in her own right, and has managed to keep herself and her crew out of an Imperial jail through a combination of cunning and skilled sorcery. Though she cannot claim to have the highest bounty in the Empire, as that dishonor falls upon the captain of the Homicidal Avem, Culpit is the longest-lasting, having held a bounty of at least 600,000 Aeris for over 30 years.
PiracyNot much of Culpit's early life is known, but it is theorized that she grew up on the streets of Nokte, and was sent to the Sayles Academy to spy on the Trade Union for the Midnight Oathbreakers. After that, she quickly turned to piracy of her own, gathering a skyship and crew of her own to terrorize trade routes between Heliopolis and Salva for their precious cargo of silk.
HeistsThough silk piracy is a lucrative endevour, it is also very risky. The trade route between Heliopolis and Salva is one of the most heavily guarded in the Blue, and a pirate ship is destroyed by the Imperial Navy roughly once every three days. So Culpit turned to a different tactic: heists. First, she stole several nests full of the incredibly valuable Serica from the farms on Heliopolis, and from there she used her illicit winnings to fund more and more bold endevors. The apex of her infamous career was when she orchestrated the only successfull heist on Fort Aurum, where she distracted the guards with a skyship tunnelling into the vaults from below while she personally cleaned out the smaller safes.
Soot MarketRecently, rumors have circulated that Culpit has assumed control of the furtive black market hidden somewhere in Ilysium, known as the Soot Market. Tales and rumors of this place paint it as a sprawling hub of criminal activity, secreted away amongst the alleyways and warehouses of Ilysium's west side. Though it is unlikely that such a place could ever have one person in control, it is possible that Culpit has assumed management over the market to keep it from being found by Imperial peacekeepers.
SorceryOne concrete bit of information about the pirate captain is that she is an academy-trained Shadowblood, which has certainly helped keep her and her crew out of harm's way. Academic documents state her skills as 'highly potent, but lacking in precision or scale', but this seems to have changed over the decades since her graduation.
I saw her, once. She walked right through a squad of Tenevine Enforcers. She practically was brushing shoulders with them. None of them even glanced at her.