Arkan Delath (1612-) is the leader of the large band of pirates known as the Crimson Blades. He was the one who led the Crimson Blades to the capture of a large Stratanian convoy in the Sea of Tears, and the complete and utter destruction of the fleet that protected it, all with only four ships at his disposal. He has been commented on being one of the greatest military leaders of his time, even if he is a scoundrel.
Picture description: The famous leader of the Crimson Blades Pirates, Arkan Delath. Picture by Faugar.
Arkan Delath was born in the year of 1612, on the 3rd day of the
Month of the Passing Clouds. His birth place was the port town of
Strata, and his parents were the
wealthy merchants Deld Delath and Isia Delath. He bore baby blue eyes and
maroon colored hair, and had an odd tree-shaped birthmark on his left bicep.
Arkan's parents were, as already stated, very successful merchants, who were often traveling across the Sea of Tears to make trade with Nybelmar and R'unor. Because of this consistent traveling, Arkan grew to be very fond of the sea at a young age, and became tolerant to the swaying and rocking of a ship on the waves. The baby boy was often seen crying and wailing while inland, yet when on the sea, he was calm, peaceful, and had he not been a small baby, he might have even seemed brooding and calculating.
The boy was five years old at the time when his first terrible tragedy happened. While on a ship in a small convoy, a band of pirates came from out of nowhere and attacked, raiding the ships, and killing many of the passengers who tried to resist. Arkan's mother, Isia, was cut down before his very eyes, and he would have been killed himself, had his father not jumped in the way and held off the attackers. Arkan is said to still recall this day of his father's blood-thirsty battle rage: Deld held off six pirates at once. At the end, when the pirates had finished looting the convoy and fled, Arkan noticed his father panting with exhaustion, blood dripping from his crimson-red blade.
After this incident, Arkan's father turned into a disciplinary, and merciless man. He taught everything he knew about sea tactics and melee combat to his son, who was only six years old then. Deld punished the boy by hitting or slashing him with a whip, and turned the one-time thin and weak-looking child into a muscular and strong boy, far older in appearance than his age.
Arkan grew cold and dark from his beatings, and began to hang out with the worst of children, those who would raid shops, mug people, and play maniacal tricks. His gang was filled with many older kids of fourteen and fifteen year olds, but Arkan's savagery and tactics were enough to make the group accept the ten year old boy.
The gang's biggest heist was the stealing of a trader ship just finished being built in the shipyard. Arkan had given the commands on the operation, and had some of the boys stay back and set fire to the dock, driving those who were on the ship off to go and put it out. The rest of the gang swam up to the ship and climbed onto the pears, sneaking into the ship by simply walking onto the main deck.
When the fire, which had been increasing very rapidly from numerous fires in other locations, had been put out, the sailors returned to see their ship fading off into the distance.
Arkan was thirteen at this time, and he had become the leader of his gang, not necessarily in combat, but his tactics were beyond any of the other members. This group he eventually began calling the Crimsons, and they were becoming more and more ruthless as they grew in the years.
Arkan's group modified the trading ship they had stolen, arming it with mounted crossbows on the deck, and bolting in hand-made catapults onto turn able bases. They began to use this ship, while pathetic, to raid unprotected merchant ships.
By the time of his 17th year, Arkan's "Crimsons" were becoming highly successful, for a low level outlaw group. Their operations earned them enough money to start arming their ship with heavier weaponry, and were soon able to assault lightly protected vessels. The gang was also using swords now, and prided themselves on their melee skills. They left none alive on their incursions onto the trader ships, only leaving with their crimson-bloodied swords.
Arkan had become what his father and he himself had hated. He had become a pirate. And he enjoyed it. Arkan had completely forgotten about the death of his mother. The only thing he remembered from that day was the bloodied sword his father had brandished.
The Crimsons worked many years, gradually gaining reputation, and with reputation comes members. Still small, but expanding rapidly, the Crimson organization was becoming more of a threat upon the open seas, where they had concentrated their efforts, for the most part pulling their operations out of the port city of Strata.
In the meantime the Crimsons had acquired another ship, a galley-class, that had been protecting a small convoy. The Crimsons had attacked at night, using small rowboats from their trading ship, which they left a distance away to keep it out of firing range, to board the galley and discretely kill all of the sleeping soldiers aboard. The convoy was rather surprised when their own escort turned against them.
For years, the Crimsons worked on gaining members, and ships. It is even rumored that they took out a rival pirate group and recruited members from this defeated organization. And from the size of the Crimsons at the time, that was a very possible speculation.
At the time of their first bash with the government of Strata, the Crimsons had two galleys, along with their battle trading-ship. Though, the first battle was mainly fought in melee, rather than ships. In a standoff on the Scattersand Shoals, the Crimsons' elite warriors of 200 men defeated the larger government army of 500. The Crimsons lost 48 men that day, and a horizontal slash to the eyes left Arkan blinded for life. But this handicap did not stop him. If anything, it only made him an even better tactician, now that he could no longer fight in battles. After this battle, the Crimsons renamed themselves to the Crimson Blades, priding themselves on their melee skills.
The greatest triumph of the Crimson Blades came seven years later. In the Battle of the Crimson Blades, Arkan's superior battle plans ended in the defeat of the government fleet of 12 ships, and the robbing and sinking of the convoy the fleet had been protecting. This was done with 4 galleys for the Crimson Blades, against 10 galleons and 2 galleys on the part of the Stratanian Government.
After this battle, it did not take too much convincing for Arkan to incorporate various other pirate guilds into his own, thus vastly increasing its size.
However, this enlargement of the Crimson Blades is currently proving to be their downfall. Hardly able to keep so many greedy and blood-thirsty men in order any more, the Crimson Blades have all but broken out into warring rivalry with itself. To this day Arkan is still attempting to bring them back under his control.
Importance. Arkan Delath is important for rather a few things. First off, and his most well-known, was his tactics used during the Battle of the Crimson Pirates, which was the largest naval battle ever fought between an outlaw and a government fleet, and also the most successful on the part of the pirates. The Crimson Blade Pirates had only four ships of galley-class, and were against a fleet of ten galleons and two heavy galleys of the Stratanian Navy. The Crimsons lost no ships that day, whilst the Stratanian fleet lost all of its ships. The Crimsons had then proceeded to board the various ships of a large convoy that was being protected by the Strata fleet.
Arkan later also integrated and organized many small pirate groups into his Crimson Blades, and eventually built up the largest outlaw fleet to have ever been possessed by an outlaw organization. However, whilst this fleet is strong, it is gradually beginning to wither from inner strife. Arkan has done his best to keep the armada together, but he is only delaying the inevitable. He is an intelligent and combat-worthy man, but even his tactics cannot end the bitter struggle for power within the dissident factions of his Crimson Blade Pirates.
"Theme of Arkan Delath", composed and
performed by Vladeptus
Format: MP3, Length: 1:09, Original Title: "Homage to a Pirate Warrior" from the album "Music To Watch Unicorns By".
Click here to download the song, use right-click and "Save as..." (1.05 MB)
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