1718: Crimson Kings

Daniel Mohr, guest writer

“Hard to starboard, she’s bearing right down on top of us”

“Is this really how I want this all to end?” I thought to myself as the massive man-o-war H.M.S Scarborough was lining up a broadside with fifteen of its thirty massive guns that would surely send us all down to Davy Jones locker. I looked to the captain to see if he was as scared as the rest of his crew was. He was not. He stood as calm as if we were sailing around some nice islands in the calmest sea you’ve ever seen. Edward Teach was his name, and although he was relatively new to being a pirate, he commanded his ship like he had been sailing for his whole life.

“We have to get out of their firing range!” Captain Teach shouted.

“Aye captain” the crew chanted in uncanny unison back.

The crew moved as one as they manned all of the stations to move the massive sails to get us turning. Typically this would be accompanied by singing of a sea shanty of some sorts, but not now. Now, it was real and half of the men were almost too scared to do their jobs effectively, but they trusted the captain as he had proved himself before to them.


The British ship rattled off a full broadside. We had practiced broadsides before ourselves but it was nothing compared with the massive power of this thirty-odd gun behemoth. The blast from it rattled the Queen Anne’s Revenge all the way from its position about three-hundred yards away. Luckily for us they missed all but one cannonball of the fifteen they fired. Unluckily it had disabled one of our own guns.

“Bring us around! We’re going to show her what we’ve got” shouted Captain Thatch, as he was also known.

The crew looked at him stunned for a second, we had just barely escaped with our lives, how were we supposed to survive another pass. But, trusting in the captain and his sailing skills the crew began to do this.

“Wait until we are right up alongside them and give her the whole starboard side.”

The crew was ready for this moment to come and when the time came worked like they were all one mind. The sail men kept the ship as steady as could be and the power boys had the guns loaded and the gunners picked the perfect time to fire their guns.


The recoil and pure power of the guns caught even the men who were firing them off guard, to the men who were on the sails, they were practically shook out of their pants.

When the smoke had cleared we saw the full extent of the damage we had caused. All of our shots had hit and a one in a million cannonball had perfectly hit their main mast.

The fight was over.

We knew we had won, there was no way that in its state that the Scarborough could or would pursue us further. This was a massive victory not just for the crew of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, but for the all of the pirates in the Caribbean. This victory for us would be a sign to all pirates that the Royal Navy was no threat to us.

I think that Captain Thatch knew this best of all of us. Soon after this victory he announced that he would be known as Blackbeard and began to grow out his beard and hair so long that it would cover his whole face. If that weren’t scary enough he would tie cords into the end of his hair and set them on fire so that his whole head was engulfed in smoke. He looked like the Devil incarnate.

The sight of him in battle is something no mortal man would forget, and my time under his command would soon prove to be the most exciting time of my entire life.




Pow! Pow! Pow!

            The new cannons we had “procured” went off, still just as shocking as when we were in battle. We were able to save 10 of the guns from the H.M.S Scarborough that we added to our ship, bringing our total of guns up to a massive 40 guns.

Shortly after this test-firing, the captain called a meeting and explained that we would be setting sail to the north. Where the seas are cold and poseidon’s mighty wrath has no shortage of reach.

Charleston, Carolina was to be our target.



Five. Long. Days.

It had been five whole days, of just sitting at the mouth of the charleston port, we had taken all the loot we could carry in the first three days, and our top deck was full of hostages that the captain had taken. Every hour he would pace up and down the row of them and intimidate them.

“I’ll cut your heads off, and use them as bowls,” was one of the more colorful things that was overheard by the men working, though I did not hear this myself, since I was below deck most of the time, taking inventory of the goods we had “acquired”  from the ships we had “stopped” to “reason” with.

What had actually taken place were acts of piracy against her majesty the queen. Looting of cargo worth maybe a few thousand pounds on the right market. The loot that took the cake however, was the crews of the ships we had taken.

“I’ll tie you to barrels and drag you all the way to England!” I heard Blackbeard bellow at the men above me. I had to feel sorry for them, they were just trying to make a honest living selling goods, and here we came along messing that whole notion up. However, I couldn’t feel that bad because this journey would make me rich, so rich that after this I could sail back to England and never work a day for the rest of my life.

This was not the case.

Back to the poor crews of these ships, they were not valuable because we were going to trade them on the slave market or force them to work for us or any of that. They were used as bargaining chips.

At this time we were in dire need of medicines for illnesses that were very prevalent on our ship. Whether this was your typical scurvy from being at sea too long, or from wounds sustained from our fight with the Scarborough. Ships carrying medicine, however, were few and far between. So the captain planned to bargain with the governor of the Carolinas.

“I’m going to send 15 men to the shore,” the captain bellowed, “ you will take a message to the governor, a chest of medicine for the prisoners and to let you go free, or I will cut the heads off these men and set the ships that they came from on fire.”




It has been a week since we sent the messengers out, Blackbeard is just about ready to go through with his plan. I think that our prisoners have a day at the most left to live. If he does go through with it that is. I’ve never seen the man hurt anyone directly, but I wouldn’t want to test him.



The messengers returned today, with a chest of medicine, it looks as if the captain’s plan worked out, no one was hurt, and we will live to sail another day.







Johnson, Charles. A general history of pyrates: their robberies and murders, as also their policies, discipline and government: from their first rise and settlement in the island of Providence, to the present year. Published by J. Watts …, 1725.

Conservation Highlights: Desalination 2, Electrolytic Boogaloo.” QAR Project, 15 Jan. 2018, www.qaronline.org/. January 18, 2018.

Ossian, Rob. Edward Teach – Blackbeard, www.thepirateking.com/bios/teach_edward.htm.  January 18 2018.


“Blackbeard (Aka Edward Teach) (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/people/blackbeard.htm. January 18 2018.

“Blackbeard – Pirate Edward Teach.” Blackbeard – The Most Notorious Pirate Ever, www.thewayofthepirates.com/famous-pirates/blackbeard/.  January 18 2018.