The High Captains of Luskan were the leaders of the city of Luskan. Each of them ruled over one of the five factions ruling the city of Luskan, which were Ship Kurth, Ship Baram, Ship Rethnor, Ship Taerl and Ship Suljack. When a High Captain died, a long-standing tradition caused the new High Captain to become known by their predecessor's name.
The Five High Captains rotated the role of First High Captain to each other at the new moon when the tides were low.
In 1310 DR a fleet of pirate ships out of the Nelanther Isles took over the city of Luskan, destroying any hopes the city of Neverwinter, who had rebuilt the city only eight years ago, had about gaining a trading partner to the north.
The five most prominent captains of the fleet, Captain Baram, Captain Kurth, Captain Rethnor, Captain Suljack and Captain Taerl, each declared himself the High Captain of Luskan. Of course, five pirate captains each desiring leadership of the same city was bound to cause friction and the fleet fractured down factional lines, called "Ships" named after each of the High Captains.
A year later Arklem Greeth arrived and opened the Host Tower of the Arcane, quickly forming the Arcane Brotherhood. Within 43 years, Arklem's group had completely dominated all five of the High Captains, directing them to attack merchant shipping but to avoid boats flying the flags of Waterdeep for fear of bringing down the wrath of the Lords' Alliance. The High Captains became the public face of Luskan's government but no one was in any doubt as to who really reigned. While the High Captains still had temporal power and were given a large degree of respect by the populace, they took orders from Arklem and the Brotherhood that overrode any wishes they might otherwise have had.
Five wars of conquest were started with the fleets of the High Captains, two with Ruathym and one each with Mintarn, Orlumbor and Lantan. All eventually ended in failure, but Luskan ships were still organized enough to endanger most shipping along the Sword Coast North.
Briefly, the attacks wound down as Arklem got older and more frail, almost coming to a stop just after an attempted coup within the Brotherhood in 1371 DR. When Greeth returned as a lich however, he exerted his influence once more and the High Captains became vastly more organized again almost immediately.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (May 1998). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 227. ISBN 0-7869-0698-7.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (March 2003). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2959-6.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Elaine Cunningham (May 1998). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-0698-7.
- ↑ Warning: edition not specified for The Companions
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 112. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.