Savage Tide; Pathfinder
The Crimson Fleet
The Crimson Fleet is the name adopted by a well-organized armada of pirate ships roaming the Pirate Isles and the Vohoun Ocean. Known to engage in everything from theft, to kidnapping, to murder, to slavery, to smuggling, to drug running, the pirates of the Crimson Fleet have a well-earned reputation for ruthlessness and cruelty, operating under the banner of the notorious and fearsome Captain Wyther.
While now inactive, during its heyday rumors abound about the Crimson Fleet, most of them alluding to some sort of narcotic or cult induction into the fleet. Crimson Fleet captains were said to be everything from cannibals to hardcore drug addicts to demons, and some of the more wild rumors revolve around the mythical size, resources, and leadership of the fleet. Little was known for certain, save that the Crimson Fleet was not to be trifled with, something that was made abundantly clear from the party’s first encounter with Captain Harliss Javell at Kraken’s Cove.
However, with the death of Captain Wyther and Vanthus, the Crimson Fleet is now in ruins. In the years to come, doubtless a new pirate scourge will rise to torment the Vohoun Ocean waters. But for now, the seas remain safe.
Known Crimson Fleet Personnel
Cold Captain Wyther:
Cold Captain Wythers’ name was enough to inspire pant-shitting dread in even the most hardened old salts. While the details of his youth are largely obscured, his sixty-year reign over the Crimson Fleet is a curriculum vitae that speaks for itself. A towering figure nearly nine feet tall, Captain Wyther clearly displayed the investments his demonic patron has infused into him, with long, ropelike hair, horns that were a formidable weapon in their own right on his head, eyes that bordered on serpentine, massive, black, bat wings sprouting from his shoulders, taloned hands, and skin flecked with red scales.
The Gang of Five sacked the Captain on his home turf and fully expected a terrifying combat with a debauched and wicked dog they would be only too happy to put down. But with his empire crumbling around him, Wyther surprised his murderers by showing himself to be mentally and physically exhausted with the events of the previous weeks and moreover accepting of his inevitable death. With a throat that sounded as though it was collapsing in on itself, he spoke at length to the party of his regrets, his plainspoken and honest awareness that he was a villain, and his deep and profound sadness at the direction his life had gone. Revealing himself to be nearly a hundred years old, the Captain accepted his fate, offering the group his sincere admiration, even going so far as to offer them advise and counsel before the imminent battle.
In the end, Wyther made it plain that he could not live, and he could not die without a fight. The combat that followed was fierce, and Wyther, in his prime, with his men behind him, almost certainly would have won the day. But alone, and already accepting of his death and the closure of his life, the heroes emerged victorious, although somewhat uneasy with the doing. His final words resonated with sincerity, “Good luck.”
His journal, taken by Dorian, shed a tremendous amount of light on Wythers’ past, motivations, his deal with Demogorgon, and the Abyss. A heart-wrenching tale of loss and grief, reading it has enabled the party to better face their ultimate foe.
Lastly, Wyther participated in the final battle against his former lord by virtue of Charon, the Boatman, who waylaid Wythers’ deliverance to his ultimate fate long enough that Demogorgon could suffer a final defeat. What destiny may await him as the plaything of Malcanthet, the newly-christened Princess of Demons, is anyone’s guess, though it is unlikely that the Demon Queen would dispose of a pawn of such experience and skill.
Known to the party only as a corpse, Throgriff was the representative sent by the Crimson Fleet to monitor and report on the production of shadow pearls at Thanaclan. His journal, the only window into his life, indicates that he was resentful of the position, which he likened to babysitting. During the tumultuous weeks that followed the fall of Golismorga, Throgriff was summarily executed by his demonic hosts. Whether he had simply outworn his welcome, had become a liability, or offended his patrons is unknown, but it was from Throgriff’s body that the party recovered valuable intel that described the number of shadow pearls shipped around the earth by the fleet, and at last glimpsed the full scope of Demogorgon’s insane plan.
Brissa was described as a buxom, blond woman who preferred pirate-themed and scandalously skimpy leather and lace that accentuated her cleavage. She tended to either tease her hair up high or pull it back into a tight ponytail. While by no means a combatant, she was said to wear a dagger or cutlass, though the latter was apparently only ever for show.
Typically regarded as a bit of a bimbo, Brissa was a bubbly, vivacious young woman before Vanthus’ betrayal at Kraken’s Cove. When the party encountered her, she had been horribly disfigured by Savage Fever, with what looked like a shock of corruption running down her front in a streak, spreading out to her arm and leg. It was in this wretched state that she died.
Originally connected to Vanthus, Brissa was a young artist and thief from the Azure District. During the party’s investigation of Vanthus, the party learned that Brissa was a boastful woman who was attempting to make a living as a sculptor and painter, but that prior to that, she had been a low-grade pickpocket. She had last been seen with Vanthus in the days after he left the Vanderboren Manor.
During the raid of the Lotus Dragon guildhall, it was further discovered that Brissa had done some contract painting for Rowyn, and from a stack of love letters between Rowyn and Vanthus it was found that Vanthus had been maintaining a relationship with her as a means to acquire an “in” with the Crimson Fleet. It seemed that Vanthus had started dating Brissa because of his attraction to her, but during that time had come to learn of Brissa’s family connections to the Crimson Fleet. Meanwhile, Vanthus had started sleeping with Rowyn Kellani, mistress of the Lotus Dragons, and hatched a plot with her to exploit Brissa’s connections in order to pull off a massive heist of Crimson Fleet booty.
While staying as guests and ostensible customers of Captain Harliss Javell, Vanthus attempted to steal a massive, black pearl from the ship’s hold, but was caught by the captain. During the struggle that followed, the pearl cracked open, releasing a wave of dark energy that changed Brissa into a monstrosity. Vanthus, somehow unaffected by the pearl’s power, kicked Brissa overboard before leaping off deck from the opposite side to swim to shore, leaving Brissa to die.
Instead of dying, however, Brissa swam through an underground channel beneath the cove before ending up in a tunnel deep in Kraken’s Cove, where she sat in her misery until the party stumbled across her. Driven mad by savage fever and her grief over the betrayal of her love, she attacked the party, who slew her, recovering a small, silver locket with Vanthus’ picture from her death’s grip.
Former Crimson Fleet captain and sometimes romantic companion of Kizziar, Harliss first met the group when Vanthus attempted to steal a load of cargo from her at Kraken’s Cove. Their next meeting over half a year later, in the bane port of Scuttlecove, where Harliss was rescued from the Sisters of Lamentation and brought along on the raid at the Crimson Fleet Base against Cold Captain Wyther.
Humbled by her disappointing performance against the fleet home base, Harliss decided to hang up her weapons for a while, opting to stay in Farshore. However, when the final assault on Gaping Maw began and the gang’s contacts on the Prime Material Plane were roused to mount an offense for the sake of all mankind, Harliss found the temptation to be present for “the end of this” too great, and she traveled with Vincent and Moxie through the portal to the Abyss, and helped to establish and keep the beachhead that allowed the Gang of Five to sack Wat Dagon.
With the danger passed and the world saved, Harliss returns to the seas, her only true love, and sails away into the sunset.
Only known to the party as a clean-picked skeleton, Kigante was the owner and operator of the Crimson Fleet staging ground at Kraken’s Cove. While he survived the initial madness Vanthus loosed upon the cove, he ultimately succumbed to his wounds by those that had not, and was subsequently eaten. In life, a salty half-elf and accomplished sailor. In death, a meal for madmen. All that remains of him now are his caves, and a magical, gryphon-hilted rapier, claimed by Dorian Ridgetide.
A burly mountain of a half-orc, Drevoraz is Harliss’ First Mate, and recruited the bullywugs in the attack on Vanderboren Manor. He wore appropriately ragged leather armor and his flesh bore numerous scars and tattoos. His most prominent feature was an empty and scarred eye socket, testament to some past skirmish, no doubt.
While initially hostile, Othar managed to negotiate with Drevoraz by producing the marilith earring Harliss had given him, successfully saving Lavinia’s life and halting the attack, at least for Drevoraz. While he initially bargained for safe passage out of Sasserine, the bullywug priest of Dagon in attendance refused to be negotiated with, allowing Drevoraz to escape out the window while the party fought off the mad cleric and his summoned demons. It’s unknown what became of Drevoraz, but after meeting with Harliss again several months later, she did not volunteer any mention of him.
A former freelance pirate who was convicted of piracy in Sasserine and due to be hung about five years back, “Slipknot” Peet earned his nickname by slipping free of his noose and managing to escape during his execution. He thereafter joined up with the Crimson Fleet, but his volatile and aggressive nature proved to make him a liability to his new allies. To curb his destructive impulses, he was sent to lead the operation at an enclave called Rat’s End, where he conscripted many men into fighting for him with the promise of an eventual Crimson Fleet membership.
Slipknot Peet was subsequently killed during his ill-conceived raid on the colony of Farshore.
Lefty, the Pirate:
Lefty was part of Peet’s raiding party on Farshore. The lone survivor, he has since been persuaded into the party’s service and now serves as the boatswain for the Sea Wyvern and a close friend and confidant of the Gang of Five.