Free Captains

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Free Captains
A half-elf free captain.

Loose organisation of pirate fleets
Pirate captains
Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 171

The Free Captains are the leaders of the Shackles Pirates. Anyone can declare themselves a Free Captain so long as they possess a ship.1 Some control the various ports of the Shackles and have a number of other Free Captains serving under them, but the most powerful of all comprise the Shackles' ruling body: the Pirate Council.2


The Free Captains protected rebellious Sargava against House Thrune and the Chelish Navy since 4640 AR, when they started taking annual tribute from Baron Grallus. This includes victories by the Free Captains in 4643 AR and 4660 AR.3 While most Free Captains abided by the treaty, the dissenters of Firegrass Isle refused to obey it, creating a rift between them and the Pirate Council.4

The Free Captains united under the Hurricane King in 4674 AR to harass shipping north of the Shackles, and the first Free Captains' Regatta was held three years later. Their recent success spurred the so-called Glorious Age of the Free Captains that began in 4681 AR and represents the unprecedented era of prosperity that the Free Captains currently enjoy.5


While Free Captains have little affection for one another—much less any trust—nearly all of them respect and support each other as a group when called upon by the Pirate Council or its leader, the Hurricane King.6 For the rest of the time, however, the Free Captains are perpetually on the brink of conflict, with even the slightest provocation capable of igniting violence between them. Their hostility extends to outsiders, who receive even less hospitality.7

Each year since 4677 AR, independent Free Captains can attempt to increase their status by entering the Free Captains' Regatta. The winner gains a seat on the Pirate Council, lordship of an island, and a hefty purse.28

Known members


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Mike Shel. “Shackles Gazetteer” in Isles of the Shackles, 3. Paizo Inc., 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Matthew Goodall. “Tempest Rising” in Tempest Rising, 12. Paizo Inc.,
  3. Robin D. Laws. Pathfinder's Journal: The Treasure of Far Thallai 1 of 6” in The Wormwood Mutiny, 90. Paizo Inc., 2012
  4. Mike Shel. “Shackles Gazetteer” in Isles of the Shackles, 21. Paizo Inc., 2012
  5. Amber E. Scott. “Dangerous Waters” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 3. Paizo Inc.,
  6. Amber E. Scott. “Dangerous Waters” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 14. Paizo Inc.,
  7. Tanya DePass, et al. High Seas” in World Guide, 66. Paizo Inc.,
  8. Matthew Goodall. “Tempest Rising” in Tempest Rising, 47. Paizo Inc.,