Lucile Culpit Character in Wilde Blue | World Anvil

Lucile Culpit

Queen of Soot

If you see someone matching this description, report it immediately to the nearest House Tenevine Enforcer. Do not approach or engage.
— Poster promising a 200 Aeris bounty for information on Lucile Culpit
  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.


Not 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.


Though 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 Market

Recently, 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.


One 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.
— Anonymous Source

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Corvo Branco
Corvo Branco
28 Jul, 2021 18:20

Piracy and magic do make a nice mix. I like way you connect this character to the world, implying more than revealing.   Most fictional pirates are distinctive colourful types, but by obvious reasons a pirate with a common enough face to walk the streets side by side with guards without being noticed is more likely to live long enough to became a legend.

28 Jul, 2021 22:22

Part of the trick as well is that Culpit's brand of magic specifically affects perception. Shadowbloods can erase themselves from the senses of those around them, essentially turning invisible. Thanks for the comment!