Black Bart

Hear a tale in the darkest hour,
Of a pirate strong and bold
As hungry as a shark for blood
Was his want o’ gold

He scoured the sea both night and day
Ever watchful for a mark
And when he found ye, sailing the bay
He’d spring on ye like a shark

Your ship he’d take or burn to ash,
Its crew all stole or drowned
and if ye had no gold aboard
To the deep you’ll all be bound.

So ware yerself upon the sea
When traveling Black Bart’s lanes
And be sure to carry plenty of gold
Lest ye learn to swim in chains.

Black Bart, was a famous pirate who sailed the Pirates bay, south of Freeport, and hunted the trade lanes between the Port City and Seaport to the south. His ship was known as the Reaper and like many pirates of the time, it’s hull painted dark blue. He was called the Poet Pirate by some do to several messages he left behind on ships he had plundered. He was also known for his kindness to any who paid him a large amount of gold, even returning their ship to them. However, if there was no gold, or anything worth value, it was not uncommon for him to tie the crew up to the masts, and sink the boat killing everyone aboard.
Another thing he was known for was convincing members of the crew of boat he had taken, to join him. Many of his own crew had come from ships he had attacked. He also had a habit of picking up the strangest folk as crew. He seemed to take on anyone else that was willing to work and was unwanted by other. Tales of his crew include a turncoat Navy Captain, a trio of Goblins who had a love of reading, a Dwarf female almost as nasty as Black Bart himself, and even a hill giant who would lift the anchor up on his own without the use of a winch. Whether any of these actually served aboard the Reaper is not known, but they make a colorful tale.
Even his very existence has been called into question as being the fanciful drama of down-on-their-luck ship captains, who needed to explain away their poverty, though most in Freeport believe he existed. In fact, in the Freeport Pirate Museum, he has a whole display to him, including the captains bench of the Calypso were he carved his first famous poem.

Black Bart was known for sailing dangerously close to the shores and preying on boats that tried to stay out of the open sea. He would attack and board the ships and demand a chest of gold. He would then search the crew for anyone he thought might make a good convert. If the captain paid his price, he would take the gold and leave the ship be. If the captain had no gold, he would then take any on the crew that he thought he could get a good ransom, and any cargo that he thought he could sell. If there was enough to sell in his opinion, he would let the rest of the crew go. In some cases he would commandeer the whole ship of he new he had a buyer, and leave the crew in the life boats to row back to shore. On the rare case he found nothing of value, or worse, was told by the captain there was nothing of value, and he in fact found something, then he would show his vicious side. He would tie the crew and captain to the boat and sink it.

There were two famous cases that were attributed to Black Bark and really made him a personality. The first was the looting of the Calypso. The Calypso was a small carrack that was making its way from Freeport to Sandpoint when Black Bart came upon it. The captain of the Calypso, Davos was a proud man, and would never bend to a pirate. Black Bart chained him and his crew up in heavy iron chains, and dropped them off the side of the boat. Then he carved a poem into the Captains bench and left the ship drift. The Poem Read:

Here I lay you down to sleep
I wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat,
And everlasting sorrow.
Let come what will, I'll try it on,
My condition can't be worse;
And if there's money in that box
Tis munny in my purse

The second was a Freeport navy ship that had been hunting Black Bart for days. For this one, no one really know what happened, as none survived the encounter, and none of Black Bart’s crew had ever spoken of it, but the Navy Schooner, The Admiral was found floating in bay. All of its crew was gone, save the Captain. He was found tied to the mast, with the following carved into his chest.

I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor, and for riches,
But on my sails too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons of bitches

Black Bart’s Treasure.

When Black Bart was finally captured, it was a bit of a letdown for the Freeport Navy. They found him half starved on a rowboat, with nothing but an old rusty dagger and a bottle of Dwarven Whiskey. He was almost dead from the lack of food, water and the elements, but he did manage to say a few thing before he died. He told his rescuers “They will never find where its buried”; She got them all, the bitch”; The Eye, It fills the sky”. Those were the last words he ever spoke. Even in captivity, he could not speak further as if something had broke in his head. He was executed shortly after, Black Bart’s ship, the reaper was found shortly after. It mast was torn off and its lines and rails damaged, but it hull was sound. There was no crew aboard, not any valuables

Given that Black Bart was a very successful pirate and not one to gamble, drink or whore away his gold, many believe his last words refer to his treasure. That it is buried somewhere on one of the island the pirate used to use to hide out and rest. As for his other two sentences, their meaning’s have been debated over the years.

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