Across the shade-ports and city slums of Ulgu, wherever desperation and want are greatest, the cult of the Great Gatherer have sunk their talons deep. Pickpockets and cutthroats, brigands and pirates alike are bound in a loose weave of homage to the God of Thieves and Killers and his shadowy priests. The most infamous of them all are the Blackwing Corsairs and their dread captain, the Carrion Queen. For years, they have perched like a malevolent spectre over the warm waters of the heartlands of Ulgu, preying on ships and travellers alike. Their great skill has brought them wealth and success, yet their seemingly prescient knowledge of where to find their prey and uncanny talent for slipping away from retribution have led many to believe that they are favoured above all others by the Great Gatherer, his chosen reapers and harbingers of woe.
The Blackwing Corsairs have been drawn from all across the realms, united by circumstance and skill rather than origin. Many, like their captain, were born in the desperate slums of Ulgu, the struggle of their daily lives honing them for a life as sea reavers. Others have been drawn from across the realms. Wherever want or need drives those to take, the God of Thieves and Killers finds purchase, and the greatest of his followers feel the instinctive urge to find their way to the Realm of Shadows. Humans and aelves make up the majority of the Blackwing Corsairs, yet all who can meet their demanding standards both at sea and in offering to the Great Gatherer are welcome. Skaven, particularly those who have fallen from favour in the Eshin clans, are a common sight, as are the more cunning of the greenskin races. All, regardless of origin, pay homage to the Great Gatherer. For a few these are small acts of obeisance, made alongside similar prayers to sea gods or the gods of their people. Yet some of the most fanatical among his followers, the true devotees of the Great Gatherer, are counted among the ranks of the Blackwing Corsairs. They proudly wear his crow’s skull symbol, fighting for prizes to offer and draw his eye. The great hope of these fanatics is to die under the gaze of the Carrion Queen, for they believe she will gather the souls of the deserving and deliver them to their eternal reward in the realm of the Great Gatherer.
The Blackwing Corsairs now make sail from the warm waters of Ulgu’s heart to its icy and mist-shrouded rim. Talk among the crew has run rampant with rumours of a city of lost treasures uncovered in these gray seas, rich and ripe for the taking. The more fervent among them whisper of the hand of the Great Gatherer himself guiding their path. A singular treasure, unlike anything they have ever been able to seize before, lies open. Many, they know, have also converged to claim that prize, and taking it out from under all of them would be the greatest act of devotion they could make in the Great Gatherer’s name. For the champion that claims it, no reward would be too great.
Few would forget the first time they beheld the Carrion Queen at the helm of her ship. Tall and proud, and flanked by two massive wings so black they seem to almost shimmer with blue flame, she is a figure of nightmares made manifest for the many she preyed upon on the darksome seas of Ulgu. Few would imagine that beneath that carefully cultivated figure was once simply Lissea, orphan girl from the bleak docksides, scrounging a meagre living and hiding her gifts beneath bulky rags. Her life had changed forever when she was found by the cult of the Great Gatherer, who embraced her gifts and respected her talents when all others had turned on her. She has earned her place of infamy among Ulgu’s underworld, yet still stands with a foot in two worlds. The Great Gatherer’s cult has brought her everything she ever wanted, yet view her with a reverence she never sought. Now, driven by visions of a sword in ice, she has taken her crew to the very edges of the realm, yet that small part of her wonders what seizing the blade would mean. If given the choice, would she embrace her destiny as the immortal champion of the Great Gatherer, or forge her own path as a pirate queen?
Character hooks for if your PC is a member of The Blackwing Corsairs
Character hooks for if your PC has joined the cause of The Blackwing Corsairs