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Red Rodney Radcliffe

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Red Rodney Radcliffe
Fictional Character
Atlantis
POD: c 85,000,000 BCE;
Relevant POD: 1452
Appearance(s): "Avalon
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: English settler of Atlantis
Date of Death: ca. 1660
Cause of Death: Gunshot wounds
Occupation: Pirate
Children: Ethel Radcliffe (daughter)
Affiliations: Pirates of Avalon

Rodney Radcliffe, better known as Red Rodney, was one of the most notorious pirates to ever inhabit Atlantis. The captain of the Black Hand, Rodney and his fellow corsairs controlled the rough and tumble settlement of Avalon, founded generations earlier by his ancestor, Henry Radcliffe. He had one daughter, Ethel, whom he raised in the pirate lifestyle, allowing her to drink, curse, and shoot.

Unfortunately, Rodney's legendary rapacity and plundering of the Spanish and Dutch settlements in northern Terranova as well as the English settlements in Atlantis earned him the lifelong ire of his second cousin William Radcliff, as well as the the ire of the English and Dutch governments. In the mid 17th century, England and Holland agreed to pool their naval resources under the command of William Radcliff to destory the pirates of Avalon once and for all.

Radcliffe was not without his resources, however. He had spies all over Atlantis, including in its largest city, Stuart. He also made use of pigeons to communicate with those spies. Thus, he was not surprised when he learned of his cousin's planned offensive. Rodney acted, uniting the jealous and paranoid pirate captains under one banner. He did not lead the pirates directly, a compromise for their unity. However, their chosen leader, Michel de Grammont, was a complete non-entity, leaving Red Rodney as the true leader.

In this capacity, Rodney made himself personally responsible for preparing strategies for the defense of Avalon. He even attempted (indirectly through Grammont) to school the pirates in sea-warfare. His daughter, Ethel, delighted in helping him. Among her more useful suggestions was the stationing of a pinnace in the waters north of Avalon. The pinnace, although run to ground by the approaching fleet, was able to warn Rodney of the impending attack. Rodney and his colleagues sailed forth to meet the attack in the Hesperian Gulf.

From the start, Radcliffe was stymied by the pirates' lack of discipline. They could not stay together as their opponents did. Nonetheless, the pirates were defiant. When the Armada fired, the pirates responded. Things went badly for the pirates early, however. The Black Hand herself was hit by canonfire. One pirate ship was ablaze. And the English men-of-war were content to pound the pirates.

It was then that Rodney surprised his cousin: fireships appeared from the west. Rodney had the satisfaction of watching a Dutch ship and a British man-of-war destroyed. With the sun setting, the Armada pulled back.

Rodney took the opportunity to bury his dead. He refused to give chase, knowing that his fleet would be destroyed. Instead, he rowed to Michel de Grammont's ship, the Aigle d'Argent for a parlay. After some contentious conversation, the pirates decided to stay put. At least half presumed that William Radcliff had returned to Stuart. The next day proved them wrong. When Radcliff's Armada appeared the next day, Rodney Radcliffe ordered a retreat, intending to make his stand at Avalon.

After spending thirty minutes with his paramour, Jenny, Rodney faced the wrath of Ethel as he prepared to fight. He awoke to cannonades from William Radcliff's ships. To his horror, Ethel took command of a gun crew on Black Hand Fort's pallisades. When he tried to pull her away, she refused. Seeing that she was commanding ably, and acknowledging how desperate the situation was, Rodney left her there, and turned to the defense of the Fort.

After a continuous canonade, Rodney assumed that the Armada was afraid to land men. Then he was told that the enemy was already in Avalon. Within minutes, Rodney was fighting for his life against Royal Marines. Nonetheless, he remained defiant to the end, convinced that the marines could be stopped. Then he saw his mate, Ben Jackson fall, and his hopes began to fall further. Nonetheless, he finally met William Radcliff face to face. After a brief but fierce fight, Red Rodney Radcliffe was shot pointblank in the chest. A second bullet found his belly. After cursing his cousin, a third finished Red Rodney Radcliffe off.

Rodney's daughter, Ethel was captured. William Radcliff took her into custody, sending her to New Hastings for an education. Later, as a grown woman, with a family of her own, she returned to Stuart and murdered the elderly William Radcliff.

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