Neverwinter: The Year of Deep Water Drifting
Traevan Blackdagger – plunderer, pirate and dreaded raider – preyed upon the Sword Coast for many dark years. But the fires of Mount Hotenow’s eruption consumed Blackdagger and brought death and ruin. So it was said, so it was believed, so it was true.
Only fools travel along the seaside keep of Blackdagger’s bandits. Fleets once thought burnt or sunk mass along the Sword Coast and a name is whispered to the wind and carried above the waves – “Blackdagger.”
This, the telling of Traevan’s survival or resurrection spreads and twists as the fearful confide their cowardice in each other. But for the attentive and the learned some rumours speak dark truths – a pirate reborn.
That, of course, is the tavern talk, told with suitable melodrama on dark and stormy nights.
Blackdagger was a sailor and a merchant captain but he entered the Mere of Dead Men seeking dead men’s gold and came out a changed man. Some said he gained himself a ring (indeed, it was a ring of Myrkul) and that awoke an evil in him that sought death and so Blackdagger the pirate was born.
Based in a ruined keep – ruined it may have been, but the dwarven workmanship of ancient Haunghdannar meant the ruins were more redoubtable than many a human-build keep that was well-maintained – north of Neverwinter, Blackdagger and his pirates raided coastal shipping for a decade or so before Mount Hotenow erupted.
An oared-galley was their ship of choice as it was ideal for the shallow waters they operated in. Blackdagger’s press gangs were also feared from Luskan to Waterdeep because he was always needing new crew to man the oars.
His own crew never knew why he chose to be in Neverwinter – there was a significant bounty on his head, after all – but some of the more loyal ones recovered his fire-scarred body in order to give him the burial at sea that he would have wanted. He was buried at sea with the ring of Myrkul that he recovered from the Mere of Dead Men. Several months ago, the quiscient power within the ring of Myrkul awakened and Blackdagger was reborn as a foul undead thing.
And now, a shimmering, high-prowed galley sails the Sword Coast once more. A storm seems to blow ahead of it and the sky darkens eerily. The tattered sail flies the symbols of the dead power, Myrkul, floating on the waves of Umberlee‘s sigil. Fish rot and die in its wake. The ship is crewed by 30 seaweed-draped skeletons under Blackdagger’s command and at his side is a wraith, supposedly the remains of his former first mate. (This description is taken from FR5 The Savage Frontier.)