For a time Delmaria served under the flags of numerous nations and employers, including services in the British, French, and Spanish Navies, alongside short-lived employment under the crew of Jolly Roger. Though mainly considered a free captain, his services are often called forth under the jurisdiction of the Brethren Court, as well as other pirate organizations, such as "The Libertists," which he currently serves as Second-in-Command of, as well as his own guild.
John was the only child to Amelia and Adam Balnette, an upper-middle class family who lived in a small trading town known as St. Joseph's Cove just on the Southwestern coast of England. For the most part, he grew up as a very quite child, not paying much mind to the other children around his age. He did not often see his father, who was often away on "merchant's business," but when his father did return he often brought home a wide array of old and weathered books and journals, which John took pleasure in reading. He progressively taught himself how to read and write, as his town did not have it's own schoolhouse, and from there he became very well educated, building a fascination for sailing vessels.
By his fifteenth birthday John had developed in to a strapping young man, and as a gift John was given a place aboard his father's ship (at which time his father planned to inform him of his real role.) Later that night, though, a group of "business-men" who had done work with Captain Balnette took John hostage, where he would later be rescued by a passing British patrol ship. As John was soon to be returned home, however, his home-town was ransacked by the same group of pirates he had been spirited away from, which led to the death of his mother, and John being taken in by the British as a deckhand.
As time passed John began to lose thought of his past, and began to learn from the other crew members the ways of a sailor. The captain of the ship, Captain Charles Rutherford, on the other hand, was much more strict about such practice going on, and open beat the young boy for disrespecting orders. It was not until some time did the ship he was on encounter another, much larger ship, captained by the captain's brother, Commodore Icabod Rutherford. Wanting to tease his little brother, the Commodore forced the Captain to fight John in a duel, which ended in John killing his former captain. Impressed, the Commodore took the boy aboard his own ship.
Over time John learned the basics of sailing, cannoning, and even sword-fighting from the Commodore, much to the dismay of the rest of the crew. At one time, the Commodore considered awarding the boy a higher rank within the Navy, but was consistently talked out of the idea by his First Mate. It was on a journey to a small, secluded part in the Basque region of Spain did John begin to develop thoughts away from the life of a sailor, encountering his first meeting with his new love interest, Maria Truneworth, the adopted daughter of her father Garcia de la Avaricia.
A few nights after meeting Maria, she warned him not to go along with the rest of his crew to a nearby cove along the shore, where Avaricia had told the Commodore a group of resting pirates hid. Not taking her warning, he went, and it was there his crew was ambushed by Avaricia's men, the Commodore being shot by Garcia himself. Scared, John fled from the battle by himself, running back to Garcia's home where he hoped to grab Maria and take her away with him aboard Rutherford's ship, The Darkskull. However, while the two fled Garcia's estate, he confronted them, which led to John shooting a piece of glass in to Avaricia's eye, blinding him on one side.
Birth of a Pirate
John and Maria spent most of their time running about the ship, trying to maintain the ship by themselves as they fled from Garcia's henchmen. They made very few stops along the way, mainly trying to work their way down to Southwestern Spain, where Maria intended to meet with an old rival of her father's where they may hide. Early on in their voyage, Maria mentioned to John that he should rename the ship to mark his captainship, and he did so by renaming the ship the "Maria Darkskull," in honor of both Maria, and his fallen Commodore.
Arriving in Cadiz, Spain, they met with Baron Hernan Jaenada, one of Avaricia's fiercest rivals in hopes of taking refuge in his home. Instead, they were thrown in to the midst of what would be one of the first battles of the War of Spanish Succession at the Battle of Cadiz, where they attempted to wait out the hovering British armada within a small tavern hidden amid the ruins, where some of the other civilians hid. During this time John met a younger Captain Edward Teague, who introduced John officially to the life of piracy, giving him the name "Delmaria Darkskull."
After a month in to the siege of Cadiz, Teague and his crew, accompanied by Delmaria and the Spanish army, headed out in to the dead of night to spring an attack on the British forces, successfully catching them off-guard. However, during the battle, Delmaria was seemingly captured by enemy forces - instead, he was actually kidnapped by Captain Teague, being brought to a secret pirate stronghold far off the coast of Spain. It was here Delmaria was reunited with his father, and it was revealed to him that he was a pirate.Delmaria spent numerous months training in the pirate fortress under the close watch of his father, who eventually decided to induct him in to a secret society of pirates known as "The Libertists" by having him take a "test" - torturing him for ten days continuously with little food or water. Having passed the test, he was rewarded with his own "mark," which symbolized his introduction to the group.
It was not long after his introduction that Delmaria met with the rest of the group, where he became apart of their fleet. This was his first encounter with Captain Roger Renveil, who would become one of his greatest enemies under the now-infamous guise of "Jolly Roger." Still, at the time Delmaria sailed onward with the group to London, where they planned to interrupt a meeting between Avaricia and his "benefactor."
While they looked over this meeting, however, Delmaria was pulled forward by Renveil, who revealed himself to be working with Avaricia. Garcia intended to kill the boy himself, but before he could, Balnette rushed in to the warehouse, where a duel ensued with the father and son facing the two pirates. In the end, Avaricia and Renveil retreated, but not without dealing a near-fatal blow to Delmaria's father. Darkskull was instructed by Balnette, however, to tell Teague that he was to act as the Keeper of the Code in his abscence, before running off from the boy.
Flight to the Caribbean
With their mission now jepardized by the British attempting to capture the pirates in London, they hastily fled from London and coincidentally ended up taking refuge in the ruins of St. Joseph's Cove. Distraught, Delmaria demanded to see Maria, who he believed was safely aboard Jaenada's ship - instead, the news was broken to him that he had sent her off to a friend in the Caribbean, as a way to ensure her safety. Angered, Delmaria stormed away from the group, and set immediate course for the Caribbean.
After months of delayed and tiresome sailing, Delmaria finally made first port on the volcanic island of Padres Del Fuego, where Jaenada had told Delmaria Maria had been sent. Eager to find her, he searched across the entire island for weeks, asking every man or woman he saw where she was. It was after being jailed for starting a very violent bar fight that he was finally found by Ernesto Victorio, a noble on the island, who bought Delmaria his freedom. The two developed a very strong friendship, and soon the two devised a plan to topple the tyrannical governor of the island.
The two men lead a rebellion against the governorment of Padres Del Fuego, which largely grew from public support. What begin as a few skirmishes in the streets turned in to masses of poorly-armed civilians storming the mines and forts of the island. The Governor's grip on the island weakened so greatly that by Christmas day in 1703 the militia had stormed the mansion, killing the governor and looting his home, which Victorio ascended to his seat and officially declaring Padres and pirate port. In the process on looting the mansion, Delmaria discovered Maria, who had served as one of the governor's maids.
Employment Under France
Maria and Delmaria soon settled down in a small house just on the outskirts of the main town of the island, where they laid low for a few years. By 1710 the two had been married for a few years, and Maria had already beared two children - Delpadros Darkskull, born on June 2, 1705, and Marina Darkskull, born on June 15, 1706. However, things began to change as Don Victorio's policies began to change; to help with the plummeting treasury of the island, he sold back some of the old fort to the Navy, as well as loaning out a nearby quarry to the East India Trading Company. Soon, the Navy began to patrol around the island regularly, forcing Delmaria to hide more and more inside his home. He even went so far as to growing a large beard and dying his hair a deep black to hide his identity, but even then was he fearful of his family.
Delmaria and Maria fought constantly over whether they should move off of Padres or not. It was one day when Maria stormed out of their home that she was caught in the crossfire between a rogue crew of pirates and a militia of Navy soldiers doing battle, in which a bullet lodged itself straight into her heart. Knowing that they would soon come after Delmaria after finding out who his wife was, Delmaria left his children to Don Victorio, and flew from the island aboard a small fishing boat he stole from the docks.
Many nights Delmaria spent wandering around his ship, thinking of what to do or where to go. Often he would stand on the edge of the ship, contemplating suicide, but he kept to himself and continued sailing. Just off the coast of Cutthroat Isle, however, Delmaria was taken prisoner by a crew of Spanish privateers, only to be then stolen back by a crew of French privateers after hearing who was onboard the ship.Delmaria was brought to have a private meeting with French privateer Pierre le Porc, who proposed that Delmaria joined his forces. Taking it in to consideration, Darkskull accepted, and was soon awarded by being reuinted with his old ship the Sea Dragon, which had been fetched specifically for him.
Delmaria spent numerous years under Porc's service, rising through the ranks until he became one of Porc's more respected privateers. The French forces had managed to progressively push back Avaricia's men to the shores of his island under Delmaria's direction, and the pirate was eager to launch an attack against the island in hopes that he would be able to kill Garcia. However, Porc saw Delmaria as a very large threat to his power over the French forces should he be victorious, and thusly sent out Delmaria and a small brigade of French ships promising that he would sent reinforcements behind him - this did not, however, occur.
Delmaria was captured by Avaricia's forces, and taken to Avaricia for punishment. Instead of being executed, however, Garcia had a much more devious plan up his sleeve - Delmaria was handed over to Renveil as a "gift," and was forced to serve under Roger "for the rest of yer miserable life!"
Service Aboard The Harkaway
On his first time aboard Roger's ship, Darkskull was called in to Renveil's private quarters. Stepping inside, he was immediately subdued and chained down in to a chair. Renveil's personal witchdoctor, Amo Dorsi, was then instructed to preform a curse on Delmaria that would "eternally remind him of his service to [Renveil]." The result was a horrific skull tattoo being etched permenantly on to Delmaria's face, akin to his last name.
Delmaria was tasked as a cannoneer in Renveil's forces, and as such was forced to man very arcane ammunition and cannonry that caused many of his fellow sailors to lose limbs and their lives due to how elaborate they were. Whenever he would not be on the job, the crew would be subject to very severe punishment based on how they had worked that day, though Delmaria himself was always treated more harshly than the others.
Darkskull would often watch as the Harkaway would go after fellow pirate ships, an action which is often looked down upon by the Pirate Code. Renveil did not discriminate when it came to sinking ships, and nearly every vessel they passed met the same fate as the other. Darkskull began to worry what Renveil's plans were as to why he kept going after fellow pirates, but was often "talked out of" asking questions by Renveil's henchmen, who, as Delmaria described it, "Seemed to be more dead than alive."
One evening during July in 1717, Renveil made land at the pirate island of Tortuga for what he described as a very "special" occassion. Although the crew was forced to stay aboard the ship as Renveil and Dorsi made their way through the island, Delmaria managed to sneak off the ship and follow the two to the Faithful Bride Tavern, where Renveil was set to play a game of poker against Captain Jack Sparrow to decide who would claim the role as Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea. Sparrow continuously lost hand after hand, and as Renveil came within a single hand of winning the seat, Delmaria managed to steal an ace from the dealer and slip it in to Sparrow's shirt, sending it down his sleeve and in to his hand. When the game ended, Sparrow claimed the Piece of Eight, and in a fit of rage Renveil attempted to shoot Delmaria, but instead missed and hit Dorsi. In his dying breath, Dorsi set a curse on Roger, transforming him to Jolly Roger, and his entire crew (with the exception of Delmaria) in to undead.
Rescue of Adam Balnette
Now freed from the service of Jolly Roger, Sparrow graciously thanked Delmaria, which would begin a very long friendship between the two. Noting the name, Sparrow commented that there had been word that Delmaria's father was residing somewhere in the Caribbean. Eager to look for his father, Delmaria began to assemble a crew of pirates that he hoped he could rely on, searching high and low across Tortuga. Though the majority of pirates turned him down, knowing of his fued with Jolly Roger, a group of brave pirates stepped forward to aid him, which he would later nickname as his "partners in crime."The partners and Delmaria were able to pool together enough gold to buy a sizable war sloop that they would use as their first ship as a crew, which Delmaria named the Victory Shark in determination of finding his father. The crew sailed from island to island looking for the pirate, but to no avail could they find him. It was after nearly being sunk by a pack of Navy warships when they managed to overpower the ships, and force them to surrender. Aboard the ship, they had discovered from a weary soldier that Balnette had been captured, and was sentenced to be hung on the island of Kingshead.
The crew quickly made their way to Kingshead, though their efforts only seemed to damn them as they were quickly captured by Navy forces. While his crew was sent to jail, Delmaria himself was set to meet with Admiral Hugh Longshire, who at the time was one of the head admirals of the Navy in the Caribbean. He made an attempt to try and talk Delmaria in to serving the British once again, but in the end the Admiral was forced to strip Darkskull from his cutlass and sent him off to be with his fellow pirates.
Once Delmaria entered the jail, his crew, along with many other pirates present, became increasingly rowdy, attempting to reach out and grab the guards as they threw Delmaria in his cell. Before they could, however, one of the locks on the cells came free, and a large crowd of pirates mauled the guards, alongside freeing Delmaria and their fellow pirates. The crew proceeded to flood out of the jail, making their way down to the docks where they desperately fought to get back to their ships.
As they made their way downward, Delmaria passed what seemed to be a heavily guarded area of Kingshead, blocking off what appeared to be a gallows. The pirate immediately redirected the large group of men, and they stormed the fort, breaking down the barricades the Navy had lazily established. Before they could pull the lever, Delmaria's crew was able to storm the gallows, freeing Balnette. However, a large group of reinforcements appeared as they attempted to make their escape, one of the British shooting Balnette right in the chest. For a brief moment, both Delmaria and Balnette disappeared, though Delmaria reappeared moments later at the base of the dock. It is rumored to this day that Delmaria allowed for his father to fake his own death.
Fortunately Darkskull and his crew were able to make it back to the Victory Shark, which the Navy had been unable to get rid of in their brief time on the island, and sailed off accompanied by an even larger group of pirates.
Stirring the War
Power Struggle for Port RoyalAfter laying low for a few years, Delmaria resurfaced in 1723 causing a considerable stir on Port Royal. It began on a late evening in June when "Lady Esmeralda," who served as the Garrison Commander of Fort Charles at the time, (and would discover being Delmaria's daughter, Marina) called on the civilians of Port Royal to be aware of a certain pirate who was running around the streets of Port Royal, causing havoc. Though the majority of the island wanted to capture and kill him, Delmaria set out on his own to meet the boy and recruit him. Sure enough, the boy fell in to Delmaria's hands, and soon joined his ranks.
Angered by this showing of disrespect, Esmeralda sent out a warrant for Delmaria's arrest, though they were unable to capture the pirate as he fled the port. A few weeks later, Darkskull sent a letter to the woman, challenging her to come and hunt for him himself. Taking this as a challenge, Esmeralda commissioned her very own vessel, and set out in pursuit of the pirate.
Little did Esmeralda know just a few short miles out from Port Royal, a group of pirates lead by Captain Darkskull were waiting to capture the woman. Though attempting to flee, the pirates were able to chase Esmeralda to the shores of Devil's Anvil, where she was captured and then taken to a pirate safehouse on Tortuga, where the pirates would use her to gain information concerning Navy operations on Port Royal.
Meanwhile, while the defenses of Port Royal were weakened due to a lack of a military leader, Delmaria saw this as the opportune moment to successfully breach the walls of Fort Charles. Accompanied by a small group of pirates, Darkskull was successful in sneaking beyond enemy lines and completing the assassination of Admiral Longshire, which Delmaria had supposedly been planning for numerous years beforehand.
Though Delmaria's intent was to weaken Port Royal's defenses to the point that pirates would once again be able to freely move around the port, this was not the case. The destruction of Port Royal in the past had been blamed on the pirates by the government as a way to draw attention to their threat, while in actuality the responsibility of the event laid with the East India Company. With pirates becoming more abundant in the port after the Admiral's death, Delpadros Darkskull (who lived under the guise "Ambrose Royles" as a way to keep the public unaware of his family ties) abandoned his life of piracy within his father's crew, and instead became a politician on Port Royal, hoping to gain a substantial role with the disappearance of Governor Weatherby Swann.
Using a platform of pirate-aggressive policies, Ambrose was quick in being appointed Governor of Port Royal, and soon began to push himself on the port, using very forceful tactics. Taxes saw an all-time high under Ambrose, and execution rates became much higher than in the past due to his policy on executing any person affiliated with pirates. Although Delmaria and his crews were tasked with killing Ambrose, Delmaria failed to do so simply because of a heavy heart, and fled Port Royal while he would still be able to make it out alive.
While moving about the Caribbean, Delmaria made a pit stop at Kingshead, which had now become less of a city than it had been a military installment - and as such, it was the perfectly ironic place for the Libertists to have their headquarters. While in a meeting with the head of the Libertists, Edward Low, Delmaria was informed of Ambrose attending a meeting at Kingshead, and should he fail to kill him, would be stripped of his membership within the group. As this meeting occured, however, the Navy managed to infiltrate the Libertist headquarters and begin to arrest the pirates, yet Delmaria was able to escape safely through a hidden dock on the back of the island.
That night, Delmaria was able to coax his was in to Ambrose's office, where he violently held a discussion with his son over what he had been doing with his life. The conversation was extremely heated, with Darkskull becoming more and more violent until he calmly approached Ambrose with the opportunity of joining his crew. However, when Ambrose declined, the meeting was interrupted by Mercer, who had been sent by the East India Company himself to deal with Mr. Royles failing to pay his dues to the company for sweeping his past "under the rug." For a moment, Delmaria seemed to walk away, thusly preparing to allow Mercer to kill his only son. Instead, Darkskull caught Mercer off-guard, jumping for his pistol and fatally wounding Mr. Mercer. When Delmaria left his guard down, Ambrose stole his father's pistol and attempted to kill him, but instead was subdue and knock out his son. Feeling a message had been sent, Delmaria cut off a lock of his son's hair as "proof" of his death, and left.
A few days later on his return to Port Royal, Ambrose's assassination was attempted by the captain of a crew of pirates who had been executed at the hand of the Governor. Instead of being killed immediately, a bullet was lodged in his shoulder and soon became extremely infected, leaving the man in a fatally ill state. Prone to bed rest, Ambrose decided that he would write out his will - in it, Ambrose wanted for Delmaria to take his seat as Governor of Port Royal. Instead, Delmaria passed "his" seat on to Lawrence Prince, the pirate he had rescued from Port Royal, in hopes that he would restore the city as a pirate stronghold. Meanwhile, Delmaria paid a visit to his son, who tried eagerly to apologize for everything he had done to his father. Though appearing sincere, Delmaria infamously walked to the side of the bed, and as his son pleaded "I'm sorry," Darkskull shook his head and giggled "I'm not," before plunging a dagger in to his son's heart. Engraved in the dagger was the phrase "An expression of gratitude for all of your services."
British Weakness and Undead Militarization
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