Flameheart

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"This world has gotten so much weaker... Festivals! Alliances! Squabbling over trinkets! I judge it unworthy.

But know this, pirates. Know this, merfolk. Know this, Sea of Thieves... I have returned, and the fires of my vengeance shall consume you all!"

— Captain Flameheart, The Seabound Soul

Captain Flameheart (aka King Flameheart or Captain Flameheart Senior) is a notorious Ashen Skeleton Lord and the main antagonist of Sea of Thieves.

Flameheart is a highly anticipated character, known of well before the release of Sea of Thieves. He appeared in the E3 2016 Cinematic Trailer and his statue has been a main feature at numerous events attended by Rare Ltd. Despite this, his in-game presence had been minimal until his introduction in the Fall 2019 release of The Seabound Soul. He has since played a pivotal role in the unfolding events in the Sea of Thieves.

Two individuals have taken the pirate moniker of "Captain Flameheart" - a father and an adopted son. The father is currently the only Captain Flameheart referred to in-game by this title. His son appears in-game as the Servant of the Flame.

In the Return of the Damned Adventure, the community ultimately decided to resurrect Captain Flameheart, banishing Sir Arthur Pendragon to the Sea of the Damned.

Official Description

In life, Flameheart and his crew were known as some of the most fearsome marauders to reach the Sea of Thieves; they swore no allegiances, not even to the Pirate Lord, and gloried in the thrill of their many battles on the waves. The stronger their opponents, the better.

After his skeletal transformation and subsequent resurrection, Flameheart's love of battle has grown into an all-consuming obsession with war and conquest. He believes it is his right to rule the Sea of Thieves, and will stop at nothing to assert his dominance and plunge the region into a neverending conflict. Whether he's deploying fleets of Ghost Ships, summoning Sea Forts from another realm or urging on his battle-seeking Faction known as the Servants of the Flame, this tyrant's unfettered ambition should not be taken lightly.[1]

Lore

Early Life

Flameheart was born in the middle of a war and from a young age he gained the reputation of a bully. When he became a man, two scouts from the Grand Maritime Union came to his home to take anything of value as payment for his father's crimes as a pirate, a man whom he had never met. In response, he fought the scouts off. It was then he decided to become a pirate.

He would spend a few days watching a ship in the harbour. Then he killed the captain, threw the first mate overboard, and set sail with the rest of the crew to begin his life of piracy, targeting the Grand Maritime Union. His crew gave him the nickname Captain Flameheart.

Once learning about the Sea of Thieves and travelling to it, Flameheart began to attack other pirates as they made for better sport than merchants and soldiers did. It was during that time that he found a new-born baby whom he adopted as his son, the reasoning for which is still unknown. Flameheart immediately ordered his crew to return home to his estate with the babe.

Raising the boy as his son, Flameheart gave him the best life and ensured that his son was given the best education to become a scholar. He also made sure that the boy learned how to swim, fight, navigate, and sail. Flameheart would tell stories to his son which would later inspire him to become a pirate like his father and seek out the Sea of Thieves for himself.

The Burning Blade

Before returning to the Sea of Thieves, Flameheart would set his sights on the Burning Blade. After becoming part of its crew, he would lead a mutiny against its captain, a mysterious figure known simply as the "Cap'n" and leave him marooned on a desolate island. Flameheart and his crew became cursed after drinking from a set of chalices they found locked away in an obsidian casket in the hold of the ship. It was then that Flameheart became a Skeleton Lord.

He would harness the power of the Ashen Lords and bestow these powers to his most loyal followers, including Red Ruth, who would create the cursed cannons for the Burning Blade. With these powers, he sought to claim the Sea of Thieves for his own, as king, and nearly succeeded in bringing the Sea of Thieves to its knees. Many skeletons and pirates alike would flock to his cause.

He would terrorize the Sea of Thieves for many years and clash with the Pirate Lord, sinking the Magpie's Wing[2].

Downfall

At the peak of his power, Flameheart would learn of an Ancient weapon and send the crew of the Prideful Dawn to acquire it before the crew of the Morningstar could. Later, he would track down the Morningstar to Kraken's Fall and accept a duel against Captain Slate on the island as the rest of the crew fled. While Flameheart had the upper hand, he was lured into a vault by Slate and both were trapped inside. Slate killed himself by snakebite, leaving Flameheart with no way out but to break the vault door down himself.

Flameheart would return to the sea with his armada and battle against the Pirate Lord's pirates. The crew of the Morningstar would arrive upon the Ancient's ship, dubbed The Ophelia, and join the battle.

However, Flameheart would be defeated by the hand of his Duke. With the help of DeMarco, he used a Box of Wondrous Secrets to transport gunpowder into the cabin of the Burning Blade and set off an explosion, killing them both and causing the ship to sink.

Subtle Plotting

Though defeated and trapped inside his own remains, Flameheart's impact on the Sea of Thieves would not be eliminated entirely.

A man called Salty had acquired a cursed cannon from the Burning Blade. He and a weaponsmith by the name of Wanda would form a partnership and they managed to recreate the effects of the cannon in the form of Cursed Cannonballs. Eventually, one experiment on the cannon backfired on them; Salty was turned into a skeletal parrot while Wanda suffered a more typical affliction of the skeletal curse. Through her journals, it would become apparent that her continued work to raise Skeleton Ships and wage war on the Outposts was at least partially due to Flameheart's influence and not only her own temper.

Sometime later, Wanda would discover a marooned Stitcher Jim in the Devil's Roar, who then became infatuated with her. Some time prior, Jim had peered inside a Box of Wondrous Secrets and gone mad from doing so, opening himself up to Flameheart's command and causing Jim to change his allegiance and aid in the efforts to free him.

The Seabound Soul

Main article: The Seabound Soul

Following Flameheart's defeat, Captain Adara and the crew of the Ashen Dragon would recover his body and transport it to his final resting place. Old Horatio, the last of the Ashen Lords at this point, would join them. During this voyage, they came under attack from two pirate ships under the command of the treasure-seeking Martha Jane and Randal 'The Vandal' Stone. Both ships were easily decimated by the infernal cannons of the fiery ship, and both Captain Stone and Martha Jane's souls were also cursed in the same manner as Flameheart by Old Horatio.

The Ashen Dragon made landfall at Flintlock Peninsula in The Devil's Roar, where Captain Flameheart was laid to rest, entombed in a sealed chamber deep in the island.

8 years later[3], the Masked Stranger and Stitcher Jim would put into motion a plot to trick Duke and the Bilge Rats. A pirate crew and Sir Arthur Pendragon would also be unwittingly enlisted into this plot to free Captain Flameheart from his curse with Pendragon's Sword of Souls, believing that he was also a victim of the Ashen Dragon.

To Pendragon's dismay, Flameheart's burning skull lit up the sky as he promised to bring his vengeance upon the Sea of Thieves.

Heart of Fire

Main article: Heart of Fire

After being released from his remains, Flameheart retreated to his lair, the Heart of Fire, beneath The Devil's Thirst. With the assistance of Stitcher Jim and a Chest of Rage containing the souls of the Blackwyche crew, Flameheart pushed forth his plan to unleash the Ashen Lords and his flagship, the Burning Blade, upon the Sea of Thieves.

Captain Pendragon and some brave pirates ventured into the Heart of Fire to stop Flameheart, but the Skeleton Lord was unconcerned, confident of his plan for the return of his army. It was then that Stitcher Jim found himself fooled by his master, having his arm burned by the flames of the cursed chest, becoming a sacrifice that would eventually become an Ashen Lord himself. Despite being too late to stop Flameheart's plans, Pendragon was able to retrieve Jim's Chest of Rage and use his Sword of Souls on it to rescue his crew.

The Reaper's Bones

Coinciding with Flameheart's return, the construction which the Masked Stranger had been overseeing, with the help of Stitcher Jim under the guise of assisting the Bilge Rats, had come to completion. This became the home of a mysterious new company called the Reaper's Bones, led by the Servant of the Flame. This Trading Company stands for "true piracy", a school of thought following closely to that of Flameheart's.

While the Skeleton Lord was never mentioned by name for some years, the company's insignia depicts the cursed chalice associated with the Flameheart name.

Furthering Plans

Taking action, Flameheart would unleash Ghost Fleets upon the Sea of Thieves. These Ghost Ships were summoned from the Sea of the Damned and were led by ghostly Ashen Dragons and the Burning Blade. These ships haunted the shores across the Sea of Thieves, aiming to invoke fear into its inhabitants while he observed and taunted from above.

Following Flameheart's spectral fleet was the appearance of four Ashen Lords, summoned by Ashen Skeletons using ritual items previously spotted on sketches left around The Reaper's Hideout by the Masked Stranger. The tomes used had been collected by pirates and given to the Bilge Rats during Stitcher Jim's time in Duke's place.

Taking A Breather

Things with Flameheart would slow down after this burst of activity. After a time, Skeleton Forts would occasionally become active as a Fort of Fortune, sounding a horn of challenge to pirates as they did.

A Castaway would appear at the Outposts. While events coinciding with this had little to do with Flameheart himself, these events were observed by the entirety of the Sea of Thieves. This also marked the time that it became apparent that Wanda had split away from him.

A Renewed Plot

One day, many islands across the Sea of Thieves would be shrouded in a Fog of the Damned. Larinna and Belle would ask for Pirates to investigate this, leading them to Shipwreck Bay. There, they would find that the Servant of the Flame and his Reapers were now actively working in Flameheart's name. After lighting a brazier with a lantern lit with a Flame of Souls, pirates would summon forth a Soulflame Captain. This was a purposeful sacrifice as the energy released by it allowed Flameheart to bring forth six Sea Forts that were created with the memories of those who roam the Sea of the Damned.

Pirates would once again be tasked with interfering with Flameheart's plans as the inhabitants of Golden Sands Outpost were discovered in these Sea Forts as prisoners. In an attempt to procure a new Warsmith, Flameheart captured Wonda and attempted to use the other residents to coerce her into taking her sister's place.

The Veil of the Ancients

During her captivity, Wonda overheard the guards talking, revealing that Flameheart had captured an Ancient, leading Belle to suspect that he was searching for the Veil of the Ancients. Aware of the summoning of the Shrouded Ghost, Flameheart sent a Ghost Fleet in an attempt to retrieve the Veil of the Ancients first. However, Belle, Merrick, and the pirate crews aiding them were assisted by Sir Arthur Pendragon, allowing them to retrieve the Veil first and force the Ghost Fleet to retreat.

In the Legend of the Veil voyage, Flameheart is mentioned by the Servant of the Flame during the Haunted Islands and Shipwreck Graveyard modules in letters that are intercepted by the Pirate Lord's allies. He is also responsible for the summoning of the fort in the final module of every Legend of the Veil voyage.

The Herald of the Flame

During The Herald of the Flame Adventure, Stitcher Jim was shown reassembling the skeletal remains of Flameheart. Soon after, he would become the Herald of the Flame and prepared to resurrect Flameheart by draining the fires of The Devil's Roar, causing the region to become silent.

After the Herald was defeated, along with Sir Arthur Pendragon destroying Flameheart's skull with his sword, the Herald fled with Flameheart's remains, implying that Flameheart could still come back at the Time of Resurrection, better known as the Festival of the Damned.

Return of the Damned

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I am... Reborn![4]
— Captain Flameheart (Sea of Thieves Season 8 World Premiere)

In Return of the Damned, the ritual for Flameheart's resurrection began with a substitute in place of his old skull to be subsumed during his resurrection[5]. However, Pendragon is eager to stop this ritual at the cost of being banished instead.

The pirates of the Sea of Thieves ultimately chose to resurrect Flameheart, seeing Pendragon banished to the Sea of the Damned.

Pirates for all Eternity

With the correct requirements, Player Pirates are able to access the Reaper's Lair. There, they can partake in a ritual to obtain the Skeleton Curse where Flameheart, in the form of a shadow against the wall, personally oversees and accepts their transformation.

Dialogue

(During the Ritual of the Flame in the Reaper's Lair)

Voice of the Flame

At last, your courage and ambition have lead you to me.
Better still, you have scorched a path through the Pirate Lord's allies to stand before us now.
The Sea of Thieves is no place for childish dreams of adventure and prosperity.
It is a realm meant for the true freedom of the pirate life.
There are those who need reminding of their place in this world - as our prey!
Your loyal service to the flame has been noticed...
And your unending enthusiasm has been thoroughly enjoyed.
Now it is time for you to give yourself, body and soul, to him.
Come now. Begin the Affirmation of the Flame.
Our King seeks to restore the natural order of the waves...
And create a world where the weak once again fear the strong!
He is the rightful ruler to the Sea of Thieves...
He shall show us the path to true freedom and bestow his might upon us...
And soon we shall reign as pirates for all eternity!
We pledge our unending allegiance to the flame...
With countless vessels sunk in our wake...
Charting a course of fire and fury...
We offer our hearts as tribute to you...
We pledge our unending allegiance to the flame...
With countless vessels sunk in our wake...
Charting a course of fire and fury...
We offer our hearts as tribute to you...
We pledge our unending allegiance to the flame...
With countless vessels sunk in our wake...
Charting a course of fire and fury...
We offer our hearts as tribute to you...

Flameheart

I accept...
Flesh is weak, and fire is strong. Rise, and be reborn.
Now you are a true pirate, fit to fulfil your destiny.
Go forth in my name, and BURN!

(During the Ghost Fleet World Event)

Flameheart's taunts:

Flameheart

When a Ship Approaches the Fleet

A ship approaches... I see you, little vessel.
Before you lies the vanguard of my fleet...
Spectral vessels that I have summoned from the Sea of the Damned itself!
When my armada is assembled, we shall burn our way across the Sea of Thieves...
...obliterating anyone who dares stand against us.
I suggest you turn back now and savour the time you have left.
Unless, that is, you wish to experience the true might...
...of Captain Flameheart!

~ ~ ~

My Keep at the Heart of Fire... My Ashen Lords...
...all are merely facets of a greater plan for this world!
Your self-righteous obstinance is proof enough that the Sea of Thieves is infested...
...with 'honour' and 'sacrifice'. DISEASED!
The fires I shall bring will purify the waves. I shall reign above an empire of flame!
And for my first decree... I ORDER YOUR ANNIHILATION!

~ ~ ~

Why have you chosen to stand against me?
Do you believe that you are more deserving than I?
Better-suited to impose your will upon the seas?
That you alone know 'how things should be'?
You know NOTHING! I have walked beyond the veil, and it gave me...
Vision...

When a Crew of Pirate Legends approaches the Fleet

• Ah, the Pirate Lord's puppets have arrived!
• It seems that Pirate Legends wish to challenge me!

When an Alliance approaches the Fleet

• An alliance! Against me? Ha ha ha ha…

General Taunts

• You think you're worthy of facing me?
• You sail only as long as I wish it!
• I expected more resistance.
• The waves are mine to command!
• I'm just getting started!
• You call this bravery? I call it stupidity!
• Was that it?
• Can you match my strength?
• Don't you realise you're outnumbered?
• All that you see is under my control!
• You would do well to avoid me!
• How much longer can you last out here?
• My galleons will overwhelm you!
• You're no match for me!
• Let's see you handle this!
• Is this your first time at the helm?
• You won't last forever!
• You dare defy me?!
• I'll show you no mercy!
• Tremble at the might of Flameheart!

Later Stage Taunts

• You're starting to annoy me.
• Surely you don't expect to triumph?
• Surely you don't expect to win?
• The time for games is over!
• Your supplies must be dwindling by now!
• This isn't going as planned....
• I'm losing my patience...
• Your luck is about to run out!
• I'm amazed you've survived this long.
• I've been complacent, but no longer!
• Surely you realise this is a lost cause?

At the start of the Boss wave

• You fought hard, but the battle ends here!
• This skirmish shall end with my Burning Blade!
• To me, my Burning Blade!

Boss Stage Taunts

• This can't be happening!
• I'll finish this once and for all!
• It's time to end this!
• ENOUGH! Leave, now, or be destroyed!
• Your suffering shall know NO bounds!
• You will regret this insult!
• How? HOW can you still be alive?
• I refuse to be defeated by YOU!
• You've signed your own death sentence!
• Keep your distance, fool!
• I'll tear your world apart!
• So many ways I can kill you...
• I'll never surrender. NEVER!

When his Ghost Ships are defeated

• Too many losses, I-- I don't understand!
• I need more ships!
• I shall sink you in kind!
• Insolent Wretch!
• How can this be?!
• NO! Cease this at once!
• Another ship destroyed?!
• Barely a scratch!
• I am tired of your interference!
• Go ahead, waste your supplies!
• What is one ship to me? I have so many....
• I'm not beaten yet!
• This is far from over!
• The odds are still in my favour!
• With each loss, I grow more determined!
• Enjoy your victory while you can!
• That accomplished nothing...
• Is that the best you can do?
• That was only the beginning!

When new Ghost Ships appear

• A new ship... Excellent!
• Another new arrival...
• My fleet grows stronger...
• I have whole fleets at my command!
• Come forth and fight for me!
• The might of my forces increases!
• The Sea of the Damned provides...
• If a ship falls, another shall take its place!

When his ships hit you

• A direct hit!
• An excellent shot!
• You're mine!
• There's no escape!
• Good... Good!
• There's more where that came from!
• I'm unstoppable!
• I'll drown you all!
• Keep firing!
• I'll reduce you to ashes!
• Let's see you burn!

When a Ship leaves the area

• I knew it! Not pirates, but cowards....
• Decided to live a little longer? How wise...
• So, you do possess a survival instinct!
• Run and hide, you fools! Ha ha ha!
• Ha ha ha! That's it, turn and flee!
• Ha ha ha!

When returning to the area

• Back for more? As you wish...
• You've returned! How stubborn you are.

After defeating the Burning Blade

• Savour this while you can... Until we meet again!
• Noooo, my beautiful galleon!
•My Flagship destroyed?! NOOOOOoooooo!
•This is a temporary setback, I shall return...!
•I choose to withdraw... FOR NOW!

(During The Seabound Soul The Seabound Soul)

Flameheart's Return:

Pendragon

Whoever this poor soul may be, the Ashen Dragon went to great lengths to hide them away. Stand back, and I’ll release them from their prison!

Mysterious Voice

Free! At! LAST!
All those long years spent trapped inside my own remains... Betrayed by my own kind...
Dreaming of the day I would be at liberty to once again burn my name across the waves. CAPTAIN! FLAMEHEART!

Captain Flameheart

I see you, little pirates... The ones to whom I owe my gratitude. Thanks to your pathetic act of mercy, your sword has set me free!
The Ashen Dragon was never my prison. It was my funeral pyre, crewed by those who were loyal to my cause.
Ashen Lords who still long for the thrill of battle, and shall soon be reawakened.
This world has gotten so much weaker... Festivals! Alliances! Squabbling over trinkets! I judge it unworthy.
But know this, pirates. Know this, merfolk. Know this, Sea of Thieves... I have returned, and the fires of my vengeance shall consume you all!

Pendragon

...What have we done?...

(During Heart of Fire Heart of Fire)

Flameheart's Taunts in the Heart of Fire:

Flameheart

Entering the lair:

So, you've come to steal my chest and stop the ritual?
How brave you are! Such a pity you won't leave here alive.
If you really think you can make it through, I invite you to try. It should be most amusing...

Proceeding deeper into the lair:

No-one will ever know how you died in here.

Before the first lava lake:

I'd tread carefully, if I were you.

Before the central room:

Turn back now, and I might let you live.

At the central room:

These catacombs were here long before you were born. They will endure long after you have been burned to ashes.

When returning to previous areas:

Feeling a little lost?

Further taunts:

Flameheart

When opening a Pathway:

Another door opens... Just smell that sulphur! It's the sweet scent of death... Your death.

Before a Trap or Skeleton room:

Let's see how you deal with this

After beating a room:

Oh, that was just the beginning

Before a room:

You will fail, and you will burn...

After a room:

This foolishness has gone on long enough! Leave now, or be destroyed! I said LEAVE!

Before a room:

You're not strong enough to face me!

After a room:

You've been lucky so far - but luck runs out.

Before a room:

Look at you, scurrying around like a rat in my trap...

After a room:

I have commanded armies, and yet you defy me. How arrogant you are.

Before a room:

You will never make it through in time!

After a room:

You won't last much longer

Flameheart & Jim in the Heart of Fire:

Flameheart

All of that wasted effort and you were still too slow!
The ritual is already underway.
It requires only one thing more to summon forth an Ashen Lord...

Flameheart

Behold, the galleon that once ruled these waters!

Stitcher Jim

The return of the Ashen Lords - it's going to be spectacular!
(Screaming in pain)
My arm... It's burning... What have you done to me?! Aaaaaahhhh!

Flameheart

...An unwitting sacrifice.

Stitcher Jim

You... You tricked me! We were supposed to be in this together!

Flameheart

What a contemptible little man.
He should be grateful for what I have done to him.
Soon he will possess true strength - the strength of an Ashen Lord!

Flameheart

Take the chest, if you still desire it. I have no further need of it now.
Until we meet again...

Trivia

  • While responsible for the creation of the Ashen Lords, Captain Flameheart himself is not referred to as an Ashen Lord.
  • Captain Flameheart may have a deeper motive for waging war over the Sea of Thieves, based on the dialogue from his Ghost Fleet encounter.
  • Captain Flameheart's sarcophagus is made out of stone and appears to be sealed with blood.
  • Captain Flameheart is missing his left ring finger, which could be found hung around Stitcher Jim's neck.
  • Who Shall Not Be Returning can be heard during the Seabound Soul, seemingly a requiem for Flameheart. This is heard during the first scene of Old Horatio leading the funeral procession after departing the Ashen Dragon.
  • Captain Flameheart's theme, Who Shall Not Be Returning, shares melodies with the Siren Song found in the Shrine of the Coral Tomb and the song sung by the Siren Queen at the beginning of The Sunken Pearl.
  • Captain Flameheart was betrayed by "his own kind", referring to skeletons as revealed in Heart of Fire.
  • Flameheart shares a common view point of the Ancient Warriors, specifically the Great Warrior, who is said to thirst for war and still lives on. A grave at the Reaper's Hideout had glowing flowers that were in the shape of the Great Warrior constellation prior to it becoming the Reaper's Bones' hideout.

See also

Gallery

Patch history

  • 2.0.9 (November 20, 2019)
    • Introduced.

References