Skull & Shackles
Captain Harrigan is a tall, muscular man, with skin the color of fertile earth. His head is shaved, and he keeps his long black beard twisted and waxed into a single lock bound with gold rings.
Originally hailing from the port city of Senghor, Barnabas Harrigan was born Dwali Kepu, the fifth child to a poor family of Bonuwat fisherfolk. As a young child, he accompanied his mother to her job as a fish-gutter. There, he listened to the stevedores tell romantic tales of pirates and plunder, and he became seduced by thoughts of living a life of freedom, riches, and infamy. When he turned 13, as his mother lay dying of blood poisoning from an infected cut she suffered on the job, Dwali left home and took a job on a merchant vessel headed to Bloodcove, where he hoped to seek a new destiny as a pirate. Upon arriving, his fantasies were quickly shattered when he discovered the pirates he’d romanticized were little more than lice-infested drunks who’d cut a boy’s throat over a few gold pieces. With little money and fewer prospects, Dwali lurked around the docks, pickpocketing sailors and stealing stray crates from merchant ships. Eventually, he ran afoul of the authorities, and for his crimes he was pressed into the service of Bloodcove. He served most of his 2-year stint in the militia, during which he received martial training and made numerous contacts with local pirates. Only 2 months before completing his sentence, he abandoned the Bloodcove militia and joined the crew of the pirate ship Sea Wasp. As a pirate, Dwali changed his name to Barnabas Harrigan, and over the next 5 years, slowly rose to the rank of first mate, though he lost one of his eyes in the process.
The Sea Wasp mostly targeted merchant vessels off the coast of Senghor, but eventually worked its way up the coast to Port Peril. There, Harrigan jumped ship in search of his own vessel to command. Unfortunately, he learned that there were few opportunities to immediately start as a ship captain, and so he pledged himself to the service of Captain Alaster Flint of the Wormwood. Harrigan soon found himself headed south again, but after enduring a few months of slim pickings at sea, Captain Flint looked to shore for easier bounty—slaves. The Wormwood’s first raid was quick and brutal, and in one strike against a Zenj village, the ship’s hold was full of living plunder. Among these slaves was the young Adelita Doloruso, a wild girl who eventually slit Flint’s throat and handed Harrigan his ship in exchange for her freedom.
Now finally in command, Captain Harrigan spent the next few years developing a fearsome reputation.