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"Bloody waters, that's our gift to Azyr. And full purses are their gift to us."

—Haesek Sharda, Fleetmaster

A Scourge Privateer Black Ark mobile fortress-city on the hunt for new prey.

The Scourge Privateers are highly-skilled, ocean-going aelven corsairs, pirates and mariners in uneasy service to the Free Peoples led by Sigmar.

Scourge Privateers are often employed by the ruling conclaves of Sigmarite port cities such as Anvilgard and Excelsis. Once aelven pirates and reavers, they now turn their murderous talents to hunting the monstrous beasts that haunt the seas, as well as enemy fleets. Such is the aelves' skill on the open sea that there are few of the latter that dare approach the Cities of Sigmar, save perhaps the junkfleets of Orruk freebooters.

Ruthless and utterly mercenary in their outlook, the Scourge Privateers often engage in skulduggery to supplement their pay, hiring themselves out to anyone with the coin to pay them, and the willingness to put up with their often vitriolic -- and deadly -- senses of humour.

Aelven pirates of the Scourge have travelled the waterways of the Mortal Realms and hunted mighty sea monsters for generations. Some are dragged back to the free ports to be sold to pitmasters or curious wizards for a rich haul while others are slain and stripped of valuable materials.

However, the ambitious ruling fleetmasters of the Scourge chafe under the orderly rule of Sigmar's servants and many disavow the laws of the God-King's new empire to pursue their own ends. While slavery is outlawed under Azyrite decree, loopholes are frequently exploited by the fleetmasters.

Huge Black Arks, floating fortress-cities built on the shells and hides of marine behemoths, carry Scourge Privateer raiding parties across the seas of the realms wrangling monsters for their organs or to serve as steeds or war beasts for the mighty of Azyrheim.

The fleets of the Scourge consist of swift-moving frigates and so-called "wolfships" while their land forces are comprised not only of aelf corsairs but also enslaved war-beasts such as the fearsome Kharibdyss as well as the swift Scourgerunner Chariots, harpooning unlucky prey.

History

Scourge Privateer wolfships are implacable in hunting down their prey and returning it to the Black Arks.

Long ago in the Age of Myth, the aelven ancestors of the Scourge Privateers controlled vast ocean-spanning empires, which they ruled from the deck of their titanic Black Arks, great floating fortress-cities. Now, they are considered the greatest monster hunters on the Mortal Realms' seas, but they have not forgotten the glories that once belonged to their people.

While the majority have allied themselves with the Sigmarite forces of Azyr for the time being, their commanding fleetmasters chafe under Sigmar's rules and ethics, and no few turn to piracy away from the prying eyes of others. Their wolfships are as swift and deadly as the aelf warriors who crew them, all of whom excel at vicious close-quarters combat on both land and sea.

Infamously ruthless and even sadistic, the Scourge Privateers are remarkably devoid of pity for their enemies and delight in unleashing terrible beasts they have dredged up from the depths of the oceans.

Goals and Ideals

The Scourge Privateers are motivated by pure profit and a love of adventure. For some fleetmasters, that equates to cash on the barrelhead, in the form of bounties on monsters and unlicensed privateers. For others, profit comes in less tangible forms -- influence, favours owed, and immunity from the laws of the land.

But always, it is their driving goal and they will go to any lengths to acquire it. While many are currently employed by the conclaves of Sigmar's cities, some Scourge Privateers -- even a few of those under contract -- continue to live as outright pirates, preying on shipping and isolated coastal towns and cities.

Many Scourge Privateers fill their coffers by hunting sea and land monsters. Some of these beasts are more valuable alive than dead, are sold on to the Collegiate Arcane for study, or to the owners of gladiatorial arenas and fighting pits. Others are slaughtered and their organs and bile harvested on behalf of medical and alchemical guilds or other, more esoteric, groups.

In many of these cases, the Scourge Privateers often leave the tedious business of offloading and transporting such goods to others. Such tasks often prove dangerous, especially when the beast is bound for the fighting pits.

Society and Structure

The infamous Black Ark Fleetmaster Arika Zenthe

The lives of the Scourge Privateers are centred on their ships -- their Black Arks are immense, floating fortress-cities built on the shells and hides of monstrous oceanic behemoths. These ships are fiefdoms, run by autocratic admirals called "fleetmasters," who maintain their authority by skill at arms and duplicitous cunning. The hierarchy of the crew is often determined by violence or politicking or even games of chance, depending on the ship and the crew.

For a Scourge Privateer, their ship is the whole of their world. However, a few are almost as at home on land as they are on the water. These corsairs are often chosen as huntsmen by their fleetmasters, and sent to track rare beasts or spy on the captains of rival vessels.

Scourge Privateers are rarely encountered on land, save in harbour towns or port cities. They are more at home on the water than on shore, and rarely stray far from the sea. They are hardened fighters, who have spent their life plundering ships and slaughtering their foes. The average corsair will be a battle-scarred veteran of a thousand boarding actions and hunts, armed with a plethora of blades and killing implements.

Most are skilled at swordplay, the equal of any warrior on land, and a dead aim with a repeater handbow or a pistol.

Notable Factions

  • Twilight Cabal - The Twilight Cabal is a group of fleetmasters of the Scourge Privateers who intend to re-establish a new Scourge empire in the Mortal Realms in the Age of Sigmar ike those which once ruled the waves in the Age of Myth. A Scourge Privateer named Arika Zenthe attempted to assassinate her father but interrupted a secret meeting of the cabal and discovered that he had been expecting her. Her father, Zarkland Zenthe, explained the cabal's objectives and offered her a place among them -- at least until he needed to claim her heart. Zarkland's plan was to capture the city of Izalend and use it as a base from which to expand, fighting off any enemy that dared to face ships of the cabal. When Arika foiled this plan, it is unknown if the cabal continued.

Notable Ship Types

  • Black Ark - The massive, floating fortress-cities that serve as the capital ships for the Scourge's admirals, called "fleetmasters."
  • Waverunner - A type of aelven ship used by the Scourge Privateers; it is primarily used as a cargo and transport vessel rather than for military purposes.
  • Wolfship - Wolfships are one of the most common seaworthy vessels used by the Scourge Privateers. Wolfship fleets are often found in the presence of Black Arks, the imposing flagships of the Scourge. Wolfships are slender, predatory sea vessels propelled by sails and oars that prowl the open oceans until their holds are fit to bursting with loot. They are armed with harpoon launchers and bolt throwers and unlike Freeguild ships the use of cannons is avoided to ensure the prey is relatively intact. This allows the Scourge to maximize their plunder and also make it easier to capture certain beasts alive.

Sources

  • Grand Alliance: Order (1st Edition), pp. 222-223
  • Order Battletome: Cities of Sigmar (2nd Edition), pg. 40
  • Heart of Winter (Novella) by Nick Horth, Ch. 5, Cover Image
  • Legends of the Age of Sigmar: City of Secrets (Novel) by Nick Horth
  • Warhammer Age of Sigmar - Soulbound: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 47-48, 195
  • Warhammer Age of Sigmar - Soulbound: Steam and Steel (RPG), pg. 114
Grand Alliance of Order Factions
Free Peoples Cities of Sigmar (Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedEldritch CouncilFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder of AzyrOrder DraconisOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsWanderers)
Aelven Factions Idoneth DeepkinLumineth Realm-lordsDarkling CovensDaughters of KhaineEldritch CouncilLion RangersOrder DraconisOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesSwifthawk AgentsWanderers
Duardin Factions FyreslayersKharadron OverlordsDispossessed
Others Monsters of OrderSeraphonSoulboundStormcast EternalsSylvaneth
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