The leader of my pirate crew shall be named João, o Vermilho, or João the Red. This, because the first pirate captain that popped into my head was Rackham le Rouge from the Hergé's Tintin graphic novel Red Rackham's Treasure. Hergé's Red Rackham was based on John "Calico Jack" Rackham, who sailed with the famous female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read until his capture and execution at Port Royal in 1720. I just love the way portuguese sounds, even if I don't speak it, so I went with the portuguese version of John, João.
João, o Vermilho, fully named João Ulisses Ventura Texeira e Gago da Silva Neto, was born a pirate. His father, João Álvaro Salgado Texeira e Gago da Silva Filho, was a feared terror of the high seas. From an early age our João Neto was taken along on his father's voyages and witnessed many sea battles and raids.
João Neto grew to detest his father's violent life and had vowed to escape the next time their ship came to port and make himself an honest living as a merchant or a craftsman. But then fate struck. Their ship, Não-Afunda III, attacked a merchant vessel, whose one passenger was one Keith Hiker.
Unknown to anyone else involved, Mr. Hiker's real identity was The Phantasm, "The Spook Who Hikes," sworn to carry on his ancestors' work of protecting the innocent, especially against pirates, who murdered the parents of the first Phantasm.
The Phantasm and his faithful mountain lion companion Old Nick took the pirates completely by surprise, and after a short mêlée, during which João Neto received a skull shaped scar he still carries today, the powder exploded, destroying Não-Afunda III and killing the pirates, including João Filho.
As if by miracle, João Neto survived, floating to shore clinging to the ships wreckage. Despite his resentment towards his fathers profession, this sudden loss caused João Neto's heart to harden. He decided to carve his place in the world by force following in his father's footsteps.
João the Red became a legend in his own right, fighting his way up the command chain to become a captain of his own ship, and for a while an admiral, commanding at most 4 vessels and 200 men. He robbed, raided, hunted treasures.
But now the years have started to catch up with him. The nightmares of his past have begun to haunt João's nights and all the grog and perhaps some souvenir from the nights of pleasurable company bought with ill-gotten gains more and more often cause his hands to tremble and his moods to swing.
Suddenly fearful for his life as well as for his immortal soul, João lent his ear to rumours of The Great Bonanza, a fabulous treasure nobody really knew anything about. But it was whispered to be a prize beyond anything of this world. Sometimes said to be just more gold than a dozen kings could spend in a lifetime, sometimes said to hold the secret to eternal life, or to offer redemption even to the blackest soul. Whatever the Great Bonanza was, it was the stuff that dreams are made of.
Through no small effort, Red João has acquired the means of locating the Great Bonanza and with the most trusted members of his crew is on the treasure hunt of all times..
Thanks to Wargames Foundry and the fine art of plagiarism, I now have a pirate leader with a backstory!