“Fredrick the Black? You mean to tell me you don’t know the Privateer King? Well, you had better learn before you meet him, and run when you do!

There are dozens of rumors about his origins. Some say he’s a heretic empowered by chaos, others say he’s a demon. Some claim he’s of the undead, sent here by the dreaded pirate vampire Luther Harkon. But don’t listen to all that foolishness. He’s neither dead nor a follower of chaos. I know the truth of his origins. Ill not reveal my source, but I give you my word the information is accurate. Hmm, memory’s a bit foggy maybe some gold will help. Ah good lad, I knew you would be smart enough to want to know one of you most dangerous foes.

Despite what others say, he’s as human and free of taint as you or me. Fredrick is the son of a Burgomeister of a minor island city off the coast of Norland, near Marienburg trade routs. Because of its closeness to these shipping routs, it was a prime location for many pirates to set up shop. Whereas it might have been a good place to stop and resupply for trade ships, they now avoid it like the plague. For a while, the place was a rut, a haven for thieves and criminals, and there was nothing the empire could do about it.

Then, during his reign, Fredrick’s father had a stroke of genius. He decided to hire the many pirates as privateers. However, he couldn’t simply make them an offer and expect them to accept. So another grand idea, he sent his son, Fredrick, to become the first of the privateers. After earning some money, and a name for himself, he would start recruiting the other pirate ships as privateers.

Starting off with nothing but a handful of would be pirates Fredrick was ready to start raiding, with one small problem. While he had his mates, he had no ship. The few ships his father owned were on constant duty trying to keep something resembling safety from attack and raids. So they were forced to order the construction of a new ship.

The only ship makers on the island were a hearty bunch of craftsmen who often had to defend their constructs from would be pirates who wanted a new ship for free and thought the ship makers easier prey than veteran pirates. They quickly learned their mistake through the ship makers hammers.

After hearing of their exceptional prowess with their tools, Fredrick made the shipmakers another offer after they completed their work. Realizing that, while his mates were full of spirit and ready to prove themselves, they knew very little in the way of operating a ship! So, Fredrick offered the shipmakers a chance to join him and his mates on the vessel they had just toiled to make. Deciding they were tired of staving off raider’s. the craftsmen wanted to try being on the other end of the attack!

They were instantly successful. They raided the marauders to the north, the Bretonnians and dwarves to the west, and of course the trade ships of the nearby trade routs. Fredrick soon earned his first and most common nickname, Fredrick the Black, for his exceptional skills, tactics, and ruthlessness. In battle Fredrick and his mates were deadly, pistols and cutlasses flashing all over the place. The former craftsmen crushed may a foes head with their hammers. All the while his gunners would support with the swivel guns of the ship and their own handguns, and the boatswains would use their ropes like grappling hooks to get in a good position with their crossbows, periodicly coming down on their foes heads with their hammers. Afterwards, Fredrick’s craftsmen quickly fixed any damage to the other ship. After all, sinking the ship full of valuables is the second to last thing a pirate wants! (The last thing they want is their own ship sinking!). When he finally started offering the other pirates the chance to join him as privateers, they eagerly joined him.

They still operated in the same relative way, but with a few changes. They had the safety of a port that wouldn’t arrest or attack them, and swore not to attack each other and always come to each other’s rescue. A few simple taxes were a small price to pay for such safety, and soon the port was filled with nothing but privateers!

This is where Fredrick got his other name, the privateer king. The oath of loyalty they swore forces them to respond to his summons and allows him to commandeer any crew or vessel as he sees fit. Now, pirates normally don’t raid anything bigger than a ship or a small land caravan. But under the command of Fredrick the black, not even cities are safe! While not uncommon for him to call a few nearby ships to help raid a village or a caravan of ships, every once in a while Fredrick will sometimes call together a large number of privateers for a particularly big raid, or to defend the island of his father.

It came as little surprise when, on hearing of the riches to be had in Mordheim, Fredrick sailed down here to seek even more fortune for his father and himself. So, there you have it, the history of one of Mordheim’s deadliest warbands. While their setting may have changed, their tactics have not. Watch out for their swivel guns, ouch! Lost our last captain that way. Also be wary of the boatswains. Those crossbow-armed craftsmen are not to be underestimated at range or close up! I’ve seen many men lost to one of them jumpin on his head from a rooftop or their arrow from a hidin place. While these guys are dangerous, don’t forget about the captain! He and his mates will be trying to get close, along with anyone else they bring along, and close to them is not where you want to be.

Well, me and my mates are off, looks like one of em got their hands on a map. Just hope it’s not a fake. Remember what I told you boy, and you just might live through an encounter with the Privateer King yourself.?