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Torradan ap Dugal, colloquially referred to as the Scourge of the Abecean Sea, the Terror of the Gold Coast, and Cutthroat of Hunding Bay,[1] was a male Nord[1][note 1] who was the founder and leader of the Red Sabre, a group of pirates and sailors that terrorized the western waters of Tamriel during the Third Era.[2]

Commanding his organization from his flagship, the Black Flag, Dugal took advantage of the chaos caused by the wars of the Camoran Usurper to raid Imperial shipping and trade on the western coast of Tamriel.[2] Dugal rose from his humble origins in the town of Dunbarrow in Skyrim to become one of the most well-known pirates in Tamrielic history.


"I'm findin' it unlikely that anyone will be findin' this journal, but if they do, know that here be written the last words of the great Captain Torradan ap Dugal, Scourge of the Abecean Sea, Terror of the Gold Coast, Cutthroat of Hunding Bay, and Lord Captain of the Red Sabre - the finest band o' buccaneers and pirates e'er to sail Tamriel."
―Torradan ap Dugal, Cap'n Dugal's Journal, Book I[src]

Early life[]

Torradan hailed from the ap Dugal family, which dates back to the Interregnum. His ancestor, Fortunata ap Dugal, was the leader of the pirate group known as the Red Sails, and later ruled Anvil for over five years.[3][4]

During an unknown year of the Third Era, Torradan ap Dugal was born in the small town of Dunbarrow on the northern coast of the Imperial province of Skyrim into a poor family. Due to the fact that his family was poor, Dugal was not educated during his early years at the academies where children learned in Skyrim.[1]

At the age of nine, Dugal's parents sold him to the captain of a smuggling vessel that was visiting Dunbarrow at the time. The captain taught Dugal all about the art of sailing and quickly became the father figure to Dugal that he never had. Dugal learned how to avoid and smuggle goods under the nose of the Imperial Navy from the smuggling captain.[1]

This learning was further cemented by Dugal's serving on the vessel which smuggled skooma from Daggerfall, High Rock to Vivec, Morrowind. However, Dugal's time serving as a smuggler was short as the captain was eventually caught by the Imperial Navy and executed by hanging.[1]

After the execution of the captain of the smuggling vessel that he had served on, Dugal was stranded in Hammerfell, the home of the Redguards. He served on several different vessels for short stints of time, but eventually secured a more permanent position as a midshipman on a pirate ship commanded by Captain Kaladas.[2]

However, Kaladas was a notorious drunkard, and ended up running his ship aground near the city of Anvil in Cyrodiil shortly after setting sail from Hammerfell. Dugal's stint with Kaladas lasted a little while longer until Kaladas ended up drinking himself to death in a tavern in Anvil, and then he once again became unemployed.[2]

Shortly afterwards, Haymon Camoran, or the Camoran Usurper as he was more commonly known, began his undead crusade against the Septim Empire in the provinces of Cyrodiil, Hammerfell, Valenwood, and High Rock. At the time of the outset of the war, Dugal was serving on a "rickety tub"  that had a "worthless rot"[2] of a captain.

Stretched thin by the undead legions of Camoran, the Imperial Navy took control of all pirate vessels docked at Anvil and conscripted their crews into service to fight against Camoran and his forces. Dugal's captain agreed to hand his vessel over to the Imperial Navy for use in the war effort; however, Dugal led a mutiny against the captain which resulted in Dugal taking control of the ship after he cut the captain's throat and threw his body overboard.[2]

Pirate lord of the Red Sabre[]

After seizing control of the ship from his captain, Dugal led his crew to Dunbarrow Cove where they stayed until things had blown over and the Imperial Navy was too busy fighting against Camoran to search for Dugal and his crew in order to punish them for their mutiny.[2]

Sensing the profit that could be made from the chaos that the Septim Empire was experiencing, Dugal used his vessel to raid the Imperial Navy's supply lines which were unprotected due to the fact that the Navy was stretched thin and did not possess enough ships to defend their cargo ships. As more and more ships succumbed to his ship, Dugal rallied other pirates under his flag and formed the organization known as the Red Sabre.[2]

Dugal commanded his new organization of pirates, cutthroats, deserters, and ex-prisoners from his flagship, the Black Flag. Controlling refitted privateer galleons, Bosmer ships with living sails, and captured navy cutters, Dugal raided merchant ships on the western coast of Tamriel. He eventually earned such an infamous reputation that crews of merchant ships abandoned ship as soon as his standard was seen, and the Empire placed a bounty of forty-thousand septims on his head.[2]

However, his good fortune was not to last. Eventually, the War against the Camoran Usurper ended, and the Imperial Navy, under the command of Commodore Fasil Umbranox, turned its attention to the Red Sabre and Dugal. With unlimited funding from Emperor Cephorus II, Umbranox occupied Anvil and attempted to discover Dugal's location from his crew member's that had been captured there. Umbranox landed soldiers on every island in the Abecean and killed or arrested Dugal's forces wherever he encountered them.[5]

Fasil Umbranox burned down Anvil's port in order to prevent the Red Sabre from landing.

Planting a lead elsewhere, Dugal drew Umbranox's forces away from Anvil so that he could capture the ships that Umbranox had left behind. However, Umbranox saw through the deception and trapped Dugal in Anvil Bay. In order to prevent the Red Sabre from fleeing onto land and into Anvil, Imperial forces torched Anvil.[5]

Trapped in Anvil Bay, Dugal led the Red Sabre against Umbranox's Imperial Navy until all ships on both sides had been sunk except for the Black Flag and Umbranox's ship. Realizing that he was going to lose, Dugal attempted to escape and sailed the Black Flag under a cliff. However, Umbranox had brought mages on his ship. Umbranox's mages used spells to bring the cliffside down on the Black Flag and trapped Dugal, his ship, and his crew under a mountain of rubble.[5]


Trapped under the rubble of the cliff, Dugal and his crew survived off of the rations and supplies that the ship had been supplied with before the battle in Anvil Bay. They turned the ruins of the Black Flag into their home in the caverns that had formed around it due to the avalanche caused by Umbranox's mages. Dugal; however, did not give up on escaping from his prison. He and his crew attempted to blast their way out, dig their way out, and even pray their way out. However, nothing worked and they were trapped.

The ruins of the Black Flag.

Dugal and his crew survived in the caverns for approximately twenty years on the supplies of the Black Flag.[6] During that time, Dugal recorded his life story in his journal TD.[1] Eventually; however, a sickness descended upon the remaining crew of Dugal. A pirate known as Grim was the first to succumb to the illness, but he was quickly followed by many other members of the crew. Dugal tried to quarantine the sick in the farthest sections of the caverns, but even that failed and eventually, Dugal contracted the illness.[6]

Dugal eventually died in 3E 286[1] and he was turned into a walking skeleton along with the rest of his crew. His skeleton was not put to rest until 3E 433 when the Hero of Kvatch rediscovered Dunbarrow Cove, defeated the skeletons of Dugal and his crew, and re-formed the Red Sabre.[7]




  1. Ap Dugal's journal indicates that he was born in Skyrim, the homeland of the Nords; however, his ancestors were Imperials. There is no explicit reference indicating that he was a Nord.