The Red Sabre was a powerful fleet of pirates that existed during the Third and Fourth Eras. It was created and led by Torradan ap Dugal, the Lord of Pirates and Tamriel's most powerful pirate king. The fleet was founded as a way for the various groups of pirates to take advantage of the chaos of the War of the Usurper to plunder riches beyond their wildest dreams.
The fleet fought in the Pirate War where it was defeated. Dugal and his flagship, the Black Flag, were buried alive after battlemages collapsed a cliff over them. The crew survived but died out after several months, and the rest of the Red Sabre scattered or were destroyed. In 4E an unknown thief found Dunbarrow Cove and resurrected the Red Sabre. He recruited many pirates, spies, thieves, and blackmarket members and transformed the Red Sabre into a criminal organization that rivaled the Thieves Guild.
War of the UsurperEdit
Captain Torradan ap Dugal was in Anvil when the war against the Usurper broke out. He was out on hire with a rickety tub and her worthless rot of a captain when the Imperial Navy stole every pirate ship in Anvil to go and fight in the war. Dugal and the crew were coming back to the ship when they heard about it. The captain was going to hand his ship over to the Navy. But the crew didn't like that.
They cut his throat and tossed his carcass into the water. The crew then stole the ship and made way to the nearest cove to lay low for a while.
While the Navy was putting down the revolution, they were too busy to worry about a bunch of pirates running up and down the Gold Coast. And even better for Dugal, the Navy was needing a stream of supplies up in High Rock to fight and did not have the ships to escort them with.
In just a couple of years Dugal had every buccaneer from Anvil to Valenwood flying under his flag. They had dozens of ships and crew and more men joined every day. The Red Sabre at the time was made up of soldiers, sailors, castoffs from the war, and escaped prisoners.
But even better than the men were the ships, captured navy cutters, and refitted privateer galleons. They even had a few of those Bosmer ships with the funny living sails in their fleet. The finest ship Dugal saved for himself. The Black Flag in that day could outrun and out fight any ship.
The Red Sabre got to be so feared that most crew just abandoned ship when they saw the flag of the Red Sabre on the horizon. With no navy to stop them, Captain Torradan ap Dugal and the Red Sabre was known all over the east.
Captain Dugal by this time had a bounty on him of forty thousand septims. Anvil being the wretched den it was, and since most of the sailors there worked for Dugal anyways, the Imperial Legion could not ever get anyone to give him up.
A couple of months after the War of the Usurper, Commodore Fasil Umbranox turned his attention to the Red Sabre. He decided to come down to Anvil and took up port in Dugal's mainbase. The Emperor gave him whatever he asked for to campaign against the Red Sabre, despite the treasury bring empty from the war in High Rock.
When Umbranox could not get what he needed from Dugal's men in Anvil, he set out looking all over the Abecean Sea for the Black Flag. There are hundreds of islands in the Abecean, and he landed a crew on each one. He rooted out Dugal's men when he could find them, hung those who were not willing to go peacefully and jailed those who laid down arms.
No matter how many ships it cost him, Umbranox kept coming with more and more. The Red Sabre could not ever get ahead of him and could never mount a counterattack. It took Umbranox four years and a lot of ships, but he finally tracked Dugal down.
Umbranox had his main force out of port following a lead that Dugal had planted. Dugal then set sail back to Anvil, hoping to catch Umbranox off guard, capture the boats he left behind, and fight him with his own ships in Anvil Bay, but Umbranox had his men in Anvil waiting there for Dugal.
The Red Sabre fought bravely, but they were trapped in the bay. The Legion set Anvil on fire to keep the pirates from fleeing on to land.
The main force of Imperial ships held the Red Sabre until Umbranox showed up in his flagship. Umbranox fought Dugal to the last ship and in the end, the Bay was filled with sunken and burning ships. So the Black Flag and Umbranox's flagship were the only ones still floating and fighting when dawn came. So then Dugal tried to run.
The Black Flag cut across the south side of the bay, along the huge cliff wall that used to be there. Dugal had his helmsman stay as close as he could to the cliff. The mages from Umbranox's ship yelled something into the wind. A few rocks fell onto the Black Flag's deck, a few more, and then the whole cliff came crashing down ontop of the last ship of the Red Sabre.
Death of Dugal and his crewEdit
Dugal and his crew were trapped in Dunbarrow Cove, never to see the light again. They tried digging out. They tried blasting out. They even tried calling out to the nine and the Daedric princes for help. They made the remains of the Black Flag into the best home they could, accepting their fate.
They had plenty of stores with them and since most of the crew was killed in the fight, it was more than enough to go around. Then a sailor named Grim died off. Grim was the first and one by one, the other crew members began to die. They all got the same sickness. The survivors buried them when they could, and threw them in the water when they didn't have enough strength to bury them. Then Dugal caught the sickness and died as well.
For the rest of the Third Era the Red Sabre remained destroyed and Dunbarrow Cove was never found. But then later in the 1st year of the Fourth Era, rumors began circulating about Dunbarrow Cove. An unknown thief heard the rumors and decided to make good on them. He found the cove, and drew thieves, spies, criminals, blackmarket members, and pirates to him, and the Red Sabre was rebuilt. It was not until later in the same year that the Red Sabre truly became known again. The events around the reformation are confusing, namely because of the Oblivion Crisis. The unknown thief turned the Red Sabre into a criminal organization that rivaled the Thieves Guild in size and scope.
Ranks within the Red SabreEdit
At the head of the Red Sabre hierarchy is the Lord Captain, Torradan ap Dugal, and later the unknown thief. The Lord Captain gives orders directly to his members. The Lord Captain gets his own cabin in Dunbarrow Cove.
Below the Lord Captain are the First Mates, who are basically lieutenants who carry out the orders of the Lord Captain. They are given command if a Lord Captain is killed and choose the next Lord Captain.
The midshipmen are basically in charge of just different areas of the organization when the unknown thief was in control, but during Dugal's reign, midshipmen were basically quartermasters.
The smugglers help the organization move any stolen goods that its members pick up on their travels.
Black Market FletcherEdit
The Black Market Fletchers provide members of the organization with marksmen supplies and training that they won't be able to find elsewhere.
The housebreakers train the crew in the subtle art of security and provide members with specialty training and items that will make it possible for them to slip in and out of any place they want to go.
The spymasters train the members in the subtle art of sneaking and assassination. They also provide information for the Lord Captain.
The suppliers can get all manner of things that are difficult to find in Cyrodiil, but never reveal their sources.
Dunbarrow Cove is a cave located behind and under Castle Anvil. The first section of the cove is called Smuggler's Cave and contains some crates, barrels, and chests. The lower passage leads to Dunbarrow Cove itself, while the upper passage leads to a secret passageway in Castle Anvil and ends up in the Umbranox private bedchambers.
Dunbarrow Cove houses the remains of the infamous Black Flag and becomes a base for the reformed Red Sabre after it has been cleared of Red Sabre Skeletons.