Captain Merrill Pegsworthy

Duty's call us a strong voice, but when that voice changes to one of rejection, that which is left must become stronger. A disillusioned former patriot, Merrill now answers to his own code as he plies the waters of the Fever Sea.


Merrill Pegsworthy was once a military man of Andoran,
bound by honor and duty to a cause, but he has since
found his faith in such things to be based on illusions—
the greater causes all being made of individuals who
themselves define the causes to which they cling. As such,
he is much less interested in “the greater good” and much
more focused on individual honor and loyalty. He defines
his own code of conduct and sticks to it. He is a ruthless
but fair adversary and is prone to holding prisoners of
worth for ransom and letting those without such means go
free. For this he is a Free Captain both popular and reviled
among his peers. That he stills wears his Eagle Knight
coat and epaulets makes his fellow captains nervous, but
his skill and knowledge of naval combat along with his
willingness to engage in battle with ships of Andoran
make them recognize his value as an ally. For his part, he
goes his own way making few enemies and fewer friends.
Captain Pegsworthy controls four ships: the Bonaventure,
the Drale, and the Hound, and the Chelish galleon Strix,
which he has just captured at the start of this adventure.


Merrill Pegsworthy began his career in the Andoren navy
as Merrill Tantrey, eventually becoming an Eagle Knight
of the Steel Falcons and joining the infamous f leet of the
Gray Corsairs. As a loyal patriot, Captain Tantrey and
his ship the Bonaventure faced down the Chelish navy
and Inner Sea slavers alike through dozens of missions
on behalf of Andoran and the precepts of liberty. He
unf linchingly watched many comrades die in action, and
even lost his younger brother in a storm off of Yanimere
Island, yet never swerved from his duty or his oath to serve
the cause of freedom and democracy with his last breath.
In the end, it was not Tantrey who turned away from
the cause, but the cause that turned away from him.

In an engagement with Katapeshi slave galleys off the
Scorpion Coast, his right leg became fouled in fallen
rigging lines as one of the Bonaventure’s masts broke
from a hurled catapult stone. As the mast fell into the
sea, it carried Captain Tantrey with it to what would have
been his watery grave, had not his first mate and best
friend, Carson Drale, dived in to save him. Lieutenant
Drale swam down but was unable to free the trapped leg
from the tangled lines. Quickly using his famous blade
Steeltooth, Drale severed the captain’s leg and pushed the
feebly struggling Eagle Knight back toward the surface,
where a ship’s boat was waiting. The lieutenant’s own
metal cuirass weighed him down too much, however, and
he never made it back to the surface. Even as a naval cleric
stanched the blood f lowing from the bleeding stump,
Captain Tantrey swore an oath to the memory of his first
mate, who had given his life to save him, that he would
not allow the injury to keep him from the sea.
Captain Tantrey was transported back to Augustana to
recover, but lacked the funds and the clout to have his
leg magically regenerated. Instead, he had it fitted for
a peg and joked that he would be the first one-legged
captain in the Andoren f leet. The admiralty did not
take his injury so lightly, however. Tantrey was told that
he was no longer fit to command a ship of the line and
was reassigned to desk duty in the shipyards. Captain
Tantrey appealed his reassignment to the admiralty and
ultimately to the People’s Council. For over 2 years he
wrote letters and made overtures without headway until
he chanced upon the Admiral of the Fleet one day on the
street. Referring to Tantrey’s continued doggedness, the
admiral laughingly remarked to a member of the Council
that Lieutenant Drale should have let Tantrey drown: “Of
more value to the cause of liberty is a foolish mate than
the honorable ‘Captain Pegsworthy.’”
This insult not only to himself but also to the sacrifice
of Lieutenant Drale, along with the sure knowledge that
the Council took his appeals no more seriously than did
his superior officers, caused something to snap in Captain
Tantrey. His oath to Drale now seemed to outweigh
his loyalty to the Eagle Knights. Tantrey began quietly
recruiting others who had been drummed out of the navy
for supposed infractions and used his extensive knowledge
of the shipyard’s routines to make his plan. On the next
occasion that the Bonaventure was in port for repairs, the
ship’s sentries were found tied up in a carpenter’s shack—
the ship was back under the command of the one-legged
captain and making for the open sea. Thus was born the
infamous Free Captain Pegsworthy of the Shackles.

Captain Merrill Pegsworthy

Pathfinder RPG: Skulls & Shackles dartanion74