Characters, Ships And
What's In A Name?

At the end of most entries there is a sentence with how the name is pronounced and it's meaning. This is just added as I find it interesting, I am not including it as why the name was picked.


A student in his final year at pirate academy (year 10).

Governor Acharo

Captain Molucco Wrathe "got word that the governor's mansion in Port Hazzard was empty and thought we'd make a house visit". "In the months since that attack, Acharo has changed his attitude and his policy towards us quite considerably. And that doesn't just cause problems along the coastline of his territory, he has powerful allies in the north too."

Acharo's Two Sons

The "two attackers were young men, probably only two or three years older than" Connor. They had "deep brown" eyes and "guts to get on board the Diablo and hide in the giant vases, biding their time. The younger boy was afraid and later "close to tear. Clearly, he did not share his brother's venom."

The Albatross

"A medium-sized craft" where all the crew were "dressed head to toe in black and brandishing ... scimitars." The Albatross (ăl'bə-trôs', -trŏs') is a large seabird found chiefly of the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere. It has a hooked beak, long narrow wings and is the most spectacular gliders of all birds. Albatrosses live long and may be among the few birds to die of old age. They were once held in awe by seamen, who held that killing one would bring bad luck.


A male pirate on the Diablo. The name Antonio (an TOE nee oh) is Spanish.

Captain Apostolos Solomos

A teacher at the Pirate Academy formerly "of The Seferis". The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend". His version of "Strength, Stamina and Motivation" is T'ai Chi, when he is not teaching Marine Biology or Nautical Attack Strategy. Apostolos (ah po STO los) is Greek meaning an apostle and Solomos is also a Greek name. George Seferis was the pen name of Geōrgios Seferiádēs. He was one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century,

Barbarro Wrathe

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Middle Wrathe out of the three famous Wrathe brothers and pirate royalty. There was a "strong resemblance" with Molucco, "they were not quite the mirror image of one another, but you could certainly see they were cut from the same flamboyant cloth." "Barbarro was just a little broader and taller than Molucco. Dressed in a bottle green frockcoat with gold braiding and tall boots, ... his hands, however, were devoid of jewels - save for a gold wedding band." "In his hand was a cane, it's head a bulbous skull with a jeweled snake emerging from one eye socket and spiraling down he length of the stick". Barbarro wore his hair long like Molucco's but it was still glossy black, with a thick streak of silver-grey adding both glamour and gravitas" (dignified demeanor). "He had a neatly-cropped beard and mustache. But his twinkling eyes were a perfect reflection of his brother's. Just when you thought you knew which colour they were, it shifted ... They were as changeable as the surface of the ocean."

On the vampirates blog Justin Somper wrote "where I got the names for the three Wrathe brothers... If memory serves, I made up the names Molucco and Barbarro, based on their sounds. Porfirio wasn't made up but a name which I happened upon and which seemed to fit well with the other two."


Bartholomew (Bart) Pearce

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Connor's friend and one of the three Buccaneers, on the Diablo. Bart is twenty two and "was a few inches taller than" Connor, leads one of the teams of broadswords and "one of the strongest men aboard." With Jez "were two of the most popular pirates on board. Both were in their early twenties now". All three Buccaneers have a tattoo on the inside of their forearm "a picture of three cutlasses, their hilts intertwined." He goes "weak in the presence of beauty" and "he and Cate had an ongoing flirtation". "When Bartholomew Pearce tells you he's not about to do anything crazy, that's a very good indication that he's about to do something crazy." All his life he "wanted to be a pirate." On the Blue Peter blog Justin Somper wrote "my Aussie pirate Bart often calls his friends "Buddy" so if that word appears, it's generally safe to assume it's him." "You can pretty much always trust that Darcy and Bart’s hearts are in the right place."

Bartholomew (bar THOL o myu) is Greek/Hebrew and means son of Tolmai or Talmay. Talmay is a Hebrew name meaning "furrowed". Pearce is an adapted from the given name Piers, which means "rock" and usually meaning "son or descendant of Piers or Peter." I asked Justin Somper and apparently Bartholomew (Bart) Pearce is based on Bartholomew (Bart) Roberts was a Welsh pirate who raided shipping off the Americas and West Africa. He was the most successful pirate of the golden age of piracy, capturing far more ships than some of the best-known pirates of this era.

The Blood Tavern

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The Bloody Parrot

"A regal junk, each of its red sails bearing the silhouette of a bird in various stages of flight" and found in the Calle del Marinero. Apparently the "crew sailed in one night for a look-see and never left!"

Young Bobby

"A gawky pirate" on the Diablo who "had evidently come over weary during his meal and fallen head first into his mash." Bobby (BOB ee) is Germanic meaning bright fame

Brenden Gonzalez

Connor "only started to know Brenden Gonzalez since Jez Stukeley's death. Gonzalez could never take Jez's place but he shared a similarly dry sense of humour." “Thing about Gonzalez is he can sleep pretty much anywhere”.

Calle del Marinero

"The Street of Sailors" or "the strip of sin!" "It's a floating city" made up of "vessels ... crowded with people and strung with lights." and music "blasting out."

Nurse Carmichael

Works in the Pirate Academy's infirmary and "her accent, ironically, was not so very different from Lorcan's." Carmichael (kär'mī-kəl) is of Scottish and Gaelic origin, and its meaning is "follower of Michael". Possibly refers to partisans of Saint Michael.

Cutlass Cate

Catherine Morgan (Cutlass Cate)

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"What she doesn't know about swords ain't worth knowing." Cate is "taller and more athletic than Cheng Li. She wore a bandanna around her choppy red hair." "The pirates regarded Cutlass Cate with ... natural respect and affection" In action "Cate does enough for three men." When Cheng Li leaves the Diablo she "needed little urging to fill" to become Deputy Captain. "The deputy captain had quick reflexes." She has "an ongoing flirtation" with Bart, "which she secretly enjoyed but could not encourage when on attack duty."

Cate (kayt) is English and comes from Catherine which is the name of the woman who Petruchio marries and tries to tame in Shakespeare's comedy 'The Taming of the Shrew'. In Greek it means Pure. Sir Henry Morgan was a Welsh buccaneer and adventurer in the Spanish main.

Chang Ko Li

"One of the most bloodthirsty pirates to ever hoist the skull and bones. He was known as the best of the best." He was also Cheng Li's father an after his death she carried his sword as a reminder, "the ornate brass scabbard that hung from her waist on a leather strap." "I wear it to remember that however great you are, however far and wide they know your name, it takes only one thrust of a stranger's sword to end it all. My father, for all his reputation and glory, was killed like a common thief." Chang is Chinese and means smooth, unimpeded, free.

Cheng Li

Cheng Li

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She a nineteen-year-old who has "piercing, brown, almond eyes" and her "long, black hair was swept back ... and bound, with leather strings, into a tight ponytail". "She was clearly strong" but graceful, as she "extended a firm but graceful arm". Cheng Li is the daughter of famous pirate Chang Ko Li and graduated with honours from the Pirate Academy and member of the Pirate Federation.

She fort minimally, "as well as the cutlass on her hip, she had two further weapons slung over her back." The katanas' "blades inside were as sharp and lethal as her tongue" and she was one of the Diablo's "more brutal attackers". "Cheng Li could be arrogant and imperious" (domineering, overbearing) but "even the humiliation she's been subjected to had not removed her drive." As the official second in command of Molucco's ship she was also the head of the ship's security, but also she was "sent by the Pirate Federation, to spy on Captain Wrathe." She was "supposed to bring Captain Wrathe into line, but your mission failed." Cheng Li is the one who pulls Connor from the sea.

Since leaving "the former deputy captain was talked about aboard The Diablo with a mixture of fear and disdain." She becomes a teacher at the Pirate Academy where Grace "was struck by her deep sense of pride in the Academy. Connor noticed it too. This was a very different Cheng Li to the one he'd known abroad the Diablo. She seemed calmer here - like she belonged." Before for-filling her dreams of being Captain of her own ship. "Clearly she was ambitious and committed" with a vision of a new world of piracy.

Chéng (chung) is Chinese and means accomplish, succeed or sincere. On the Blue Peter blog Justin Somper wrote "Cheng Li is based on a famous Chinese pirate called Cheng I Sao. ... I have some fun with this as Cheng Li tells Connor about Cheng I Sao and what an inspiration she found her." Cheng I Sao (wife of Cheng) or Ching Shih terrorized the China Sea in the early 19th century. A brilliant female pirate, she commanded 1800 ships and about 80,000 pirates.

Miss Conescu

A junior student at pirate academy in Captain Avery's sailing class.

Tempest Twins

Connor Tempest

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A fourteen year old and the mail protagonist (primary focus) of the story and one of the three Buccaneers. All three Buccaneers have a tattoo on the inside of their forearm "a picture of three cutlasses, their hilts intertwined." "A young boy with a breaking voice" who has been described as: "physically strong", "body of an athlete", and "was so much better at sports than the rest." Out "of all the sports he had learned, there was something unsurpassable about swordfighting." But he has "this ridiculous fear of heights", "the very thought of blood made him nauseous" and "Connor hated being around smoke" (from cigarettes). Connor is "conquering the fear" of heights, "he's a pirate prodigy!", loyal "brave and true."

The Tempest Twins have auburn hair and bright green eyes "as if an emerald had been cut in two" and they "had always been outsiders in Crescent Moon Bay. No one but their dad had ever cheered for either of them. In spite of his considerable talents at sport, he'd never felt welcome into the team." They were "two kids who, through force of circumstance, had had to grow up far too fast." They also "have such an admirable desire to protect the other." Connor is broad 'n tall.

Connor (KAH ner) is Gaelic and means high desire. Tempest (tĕm'pĭst) means a violent wind storm, frequently accompanied by rain or a great disturbance or uproar. On the Blue Peter blog Justin Somper wrote "the character of Connor was in part inspired by one of my nephews, Matt, who was about the same age when I was working on the first book." From the Vampirates blog "Grace and Connor’s names were the toughest to settle on really as I knew they needed to be simpler but engaging enough that neither you nor I would tire of them as the sequence developed. I’m pleased to say that I haven’t tired of them yet!"

Crescent Moon Bay

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From the Vampirates blog. "I had three good reasons for choosing Australia as a key setting in VAMPIRATES – 1) I thought it would make a nice change to set a book sequence somewhere other than the UK or USA, 2) I had recently been to Australia and drew on some of the places I’d visited, such as Byron Bay which I drew from somewhat in conjuring up Crescent Moon Bay and 3) I thought that Australia was in good proximity to other countries which I could include as the story developed."

Crescent Moon Bay High

The local school which Connor and Grace Tempest attended in Crescent Moon Bay. With "dull old tests and required reading lists", "you would have to go a long way to find a nastier, more down-at-heel, more narrow-minded institution." "At CMB High, his brain would have felt totally numb after a double dose of Physics or Geography. But, challenging as Commodore Kuo's lesson was, he could have listened for another hour or more." "Getting praise from a teacher was an entirely new experience for him" at Pirate Academy.


She works at Sanctuary as one “of Mosh Zu's assistants” wearing crimson robes and has “bright eyes”.


Darcy Flotsam

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The Nocturne's "figurehead by day, figure of fun by night". "Darcy Flotsam, entertainer at large, formerly of the Titania" "was a young woman," with a "strange, squeaking, cockney accent", "sleek black hair", " styled in a neat bob," and she was "wearing an old-fashioned dress. ... She had a headband too, with a black feather in it." She "walked, with the elegance of a ballet dancer". When she sings her "voice was high and breathy". "Darcy - with her strange ways and words - always made her (Grace) feel better." She "was such a generous soul" and was saving herself "for Mr Jetsam, my one true love."

"It's my duty to sound the bell. It is my responsibility to wake the crew." The Nightfall bell is rung after a quick swim. "She had been clearly been wearing quite a bit of make-up and it was running all over the place.", "It's my duty to sound the bell and then light the lanterns. And then I can go and get changed out of these wet things into something lovely and dry." In the morning she rings the Dawning bell before becoming the figurehead again. As a figurehead she said "I can hardly hear you at the moment. My head is filled with the sounds of waves during the day. My ears and mouth are only wood until it grows dark. It's not easy to talk until after nightfall." At dawn she returns to "her position as figurehead" and "quickly transforms from living flesh to a painted figurine." "You can pretty much always trust that Darcy and Bart’s hearts are in the right place."

Darcy (DAR see) is English and is from a Norman surname meaning "from Arcy" from French D'Arcy, originally denoting one who came from Arcy in France. It is also found in Celtic/Gaelic meaning dark one. Flotsam (flŏt'səm) is the wreckage or cargo that remains afloat after a ship has sunk. Jetsam (jĕt'səm) is cargo or equipment thrown overboard to lighten a ship in distress. On the Blue Peter blog Justin Somper wrote "My friend Debbie has been especially helpful and even gave me the idea for a figurehead who comes to life - so I dedicate the character of Darcy Flotsam to her!"

De Cloux

A pirate on the Diablo who is "a little over-eager" with the sword.

Dexter Tempest

Ran the lighthouse at Crescent Moon Bay on the East Coast of Australia and single handedly brought up Grace and Conner Tempest. He was often found drinking hot gum tea in the lamp room, he had "keen eyes and an even sharper sense of duty". Whenever the twins were upset, he used to sing them a sea shanty. Unlike the twins his eyes were brown. One day he had "left Crescent Moon Bay ... a year or so later - he returned with heavy heart and two swaddled parcels containing his twin children". "He had never been known to wear a watch, preferring to set his clock by the sun and moon, letting the ebb and flow of the light and tide mark out his day."

From the Vampirates blog. "what I mean by “Trust the Tide!” Well, you’ll have seen that it’s something that Dexter Tempest says to Connor and Grace in the books. I often sign books with that message too. It means to be an optimist, I guess, and to have faith that things will be OK, even when it might not feel that way. It’s a reassuring message for Connor and Grace because they go through so much in these books! And on that note (where better?)….
Trust the tide!" Dexter (DEKS ter) in English is an occupational surname meaning dyer of cloth. It is also found in Latin meaning right-handed, auspicious. Tempest (tĕm'pĭst) means a violent wind storm, frequently accompanied by rain or a great disturbance or uproar.

The Diablo

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The pirate ship whose captain is Molucco Wrathe, "everyone pitches in" "and the Diablo is a democracy." "Life on The Diablo was based on teamwork and there was real friendship amongst the crew, cutting through the hierarchy without weakening it. There was no sense on The Diablo that even one pirate was expendable." On the sides of the galleon is 'the wish' a device to allow the pirates to go from ship to ship during attacks. "Being part of Molucco Wrathe's crew gave you instant celebrity status in the pirate world." Diablo is the Spanish word for 'devil'.


A female fishtail from the Lorelei. Diani is a form of Dianira (DEE an ee rah) which is Greek and Spanish meaning he who kills forcefully.

The Dirty Dolphin

"A beautiful old junk" found on the Calle del Marinero.


The Dirty Dolphin's bartender. "A thickset guy in a singlet." (vest) "An inky school of dolphins swam down each of his arms. Even the barman's fingers were tattooed, just below the knuckles. D-O-L-P-H."


A server at Ma'Kettle's tavern with "tousled hair".


The person who operates "a small boat" which takes passengers to Ma Kettle's Tavern jetty for a fee. Until he has the misfortune to take Sidorio.

Captain Floris van Amstel

A teacher at the Pirate Academy formerly "of The Kohi-Noor." The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend". The Kōh-i Nūr which means "Mountain of Light" from Persian, also spelled Kohinoor, Koh-e Noor or Koh-i-Nur, is a 105 carat (21.6 g) diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world.


Captain of the Lorelei and Kally's Dad. "He was older than the other members of the crew, with a face weathered by the ravages of time and a life at sea." His face resembled his daughter's, "his eyes were blue - but they were a paler, milkier hue", and "his hair ... was actually pure white." "He walked erratically, a soft boot-step on the deckboards with one foot, then a heavy thump with the next." The back of chair "was carved to resemble the curve of a fish's tail, disappearing into the waves." and had casters on it's legs. He calls "the other crew-members 'kids'". He comes "from a line of sailors," his "father was a captain and his father before him. Diving was always our business." Flynn (flin) is Gaelic and means Ruddy; red-headed.

Captain Francisco Moscardo

A teacher at the Pirate Academy "formerly of The Santa Anna and The Inferno". The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend".

Gidaki Sarakakino

A swordsman from the Albatross. He had "a taut, musclebound chest and arms, channelled with thick veins. ... Across the tanned skin of his back was a vast tattoo of a bird with long wings stretching out over his shoulderblades." He was a large chap even making Bart "look puny." and he had "an advantage in height" over Jez. Gidaki is a beach in Ithaca Greece.


Grace Tempest

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A fourteen year old and the female protagonist (primary focus) of the story. She has been described in several ways: "Grace was thin and bony as a rake, but as tough as an old boot", "quite fearless", "steely mental strength", "tall, lanky with a rare intelligence" and "as sharp as a tack". She also enjoys watching the ocean, listening to storms and "the repetitive aspects of cooking – finding that gave her a sense of calm and control". "Once Grace's mind was made up, it was implacable." (Impossible to placate or appease.) "You are courageous and wise, Grace. You have great powers, but you do not yet, I think, quite understand the extent of them. Or how best to use them." Grace was told she has “something of the healer's art about you.”

"Grace was hard presses to remember the last time she'd worn a dress", before her stay on The Nocturne. "Her two most precious possessions" were a chain and locket around her neck from Connor with Lorcan's ring which she had for a while.

The Tempest Twins have auburn hair and bright green eyes "as if an emerald had been cut in two". Grace' has "beautiful skin. Smooth as silk." "Somehow, she always managed to argue things around to her way of thinking." They often felt like the outsiders in their hometown, Crescent Moon Bay, as they "seemed talented in ways other kids were not." They were "two kids who, through force of circumstance, had had to grow up far too fast." They also "have such an admirable desire to protect the other." Grace has freakles.

Grace (GRAYS) is Latin and means good will, in the grace of God. Tempest (tĕm'pĭst) means a violent wind storm, frequently accompanied by rain or a great disturbance or uproar. From the Vampirates blog "Grace and Connor’s names were the toughest to settle on really as I knew they needed to be simpler but engaging enough that neither you nor I would tire of them as the sequence developed. I’m pleased to say that I haven’t tired of them yet!"

Captain Gresham

"A distinguished-looking man, with a neat white beard and moustache," found frequenting Ma Kettle's Tavern. Gresh·am (grĕsh'əm) is a city of northwest Oregon, a mainly residential suburb of Portland.


An island in the Ionian Sea, in Greece, where Molucco Wrathe last saw Narcisos Drakoulis. Ithaca is believed to have got it's name from several sources, Ithacos a mythological hero, the Greek words meaning cheerful, straight, just or true and lastly a Phoenician word meaning colony.


Student at pirate academy engrossed in Sebastian copy of 'The Book of Five Cutlasses'. Ivan (ee VAHN or EYE vun) is a version of John and is Hebrew meaning God is gracious.

Toothless Jack

One of the two "most useless excuses for pirates you'll ever meet" on the Diablo. "His mouth opened to reveal a desert of space, broken only by a few stumps of rotten, brown teeth and scraps of food." Jack (JAK) is Hebrew meaning God is gracious.

Jacoby Blunt

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"A tall, good-looking boy with flushed cheeks and pale straw-like hair" with "grey-blue eyes." "Jacoby is perhaps the finest fighter at the Academy," and "the most easy-going of companions." "Nothing seemed to faze him". He is in his final year at pirate academy (year 10).

Jacoby (ya KO bi/JAK oh bee) is found in Hebrew and Latin meaning held by the heel. Blunt (blŭnt) means Having a dull edge or end; not sharp and lacking in feeling; insensitive.


Works in the Vampirate kitchen for his Aunt the cook and has "a beaming face", although she describes him as a "good-for-nothing lump of a nephew of mine." He also likes food "throwing a deep red apple in the air and catching it between his teeth. He had unusually sharp teeth, she thought, as he bit deep through the skin and into the creamy white flesh. But vampires don't eat food, did they?" Jamie (JAY mee) in Hebrew means Supplanter

Jasmine Peacock

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"The foxiest girl at Pirate Academy" with "brains as well as beauty". She has "green eyes and silky black hair."

From The Vampirate's blog "Jacoby’s pet-name “Min” is an abbreviation of Jasmine. Simple as that!"

Jasmine (JAZ min) is a flowering plant with a gorgeous fragrance. A peacock (pē'kŏk') is a male peafowl, distinguished by its crested head, brilliant blue or green plumage, and long modified back feathers that are marked with iridescent eye like spots and that can be spread in a fan like form, it also is used for a vain person, a dandy.


A male pirate on the Diablo who is "a little over-eager" with the sword. Javier (hav YEHR) is Basque meaning New house.

Little Jenny Petrel

A former serving girl at Ma Kettle's Tavern. "She like a little angel."


Jez Stukeley

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He has "long wet eyelashes". "From his garb alone, you can tell he was a pirate, even were his hands not folded about a cutlass and even if the skull and bones flag was not tied about his wrist." Like the other two 'Buccaneers' he has a tattoo on "the inside of his forearm ... a picture of three cutlasses, their hilts intertwined."

“Awful popular he was. A pirate lad” on the Diablo and one of the 'three Buccaneers', before he died. “Killed in a due on a pirate deck,” using "his épée". He had "been a pirate since" he "was knee-high to a sea-urchin" and was a "brave and honourable man". "From the start he kept us amused with his sharp wit and his love of a good tale." With Bart they "were two of the most popular pirates on board. Both were in their early twenties now". “A handsome pirate.” "Jez was smaller and leaner but, truth be told, the more accomplished swordsman." He took "Connor under his wing" and with his "full genius of rapier-handling" helped "his young apprentice." "He was never too busy to help out another fellow in need."

He is sired by Sidorio at twenty-three and returns as his Vampirate lieutenant. "Sidorio is his captain and his father. It is an unbreakable bond." "This is a second chance. And Stukeley intends to be the very model of a good and trustworthy lieutenant." "It is always down to Stukeley to provide the charm." He is now "pale as marble except for a deep indigo gash" on his chest and he "is getting good at surfing, really good." considering "only lately having acquired the skill."

** I do sometimes base my characters on real people I've met but generally they are a bit of a mix of people and then evolve into something a little different as their involvement in the story gathers momentum. The best example is Jez Stukeley, who was originally inspired by broadcaster Jez Edwards, who interviewed me on the BBC. He was the initial inspiration for Jez but the character has gone off in his own - dark - direction from that impetus. **

Jez is short for Jeremy (JER ah mee), which means God's appointed one in Hebrew. The Stukeleys is a civil parish in Huntingdonshire in Cambridgeshire, consisting of the villages of Great Stukeley and Little Stukeley.


A male fishtail from the Lorelei who plays the guitar. João (zja OH) is Hebrew meaning God is gracious. On the Blue Peter blog Justin Somper wrote "The character of Joao in Dead Deep was a tribute to a Brazilian boy called Joao who had written to me about the books."

Commodore John Kuo

"John Kuo is not merely Headmaster of the Pirate Academy. He's one of the most powerful operatives in the Pirate Federation." Teaches modern pirate behaviour. "Commodore Kuo was smartly dresses in calico britches tucked into tall leather boots," made of stingray skin, "which seemed to shimmer in the sunlight. He wore a crisp white shirt - open to reveal the beginnings of a strong, tanned chest - and a red silk waistcoat. Hanging around his neck was a chain with four charms on it. He wore his silver-grey hair to his shoulders ... - his hair was smooth, well groomed ... His handsome face was tanned and his dark brown eyes sparkled". The four charms were "a sword, a compass an anchor and a pearl." The sword was a miniature of his "very own Toledo Blade" a simple "long, sword, the hilt of which was leather-bound" with "stingray skin". While working at his "immaculately tidy desk" he also wears "a small pair of spectacles" and writes with "turquoise ink".

John (jon) is Hebrew meaning God is gracious. Kuo is Chinese, for Kuo's meaning Guo. The first character, pronounced as 'Guo' with a flat tone is a common surname and the 2nd character with a falling and then rising tone is a less common surname. Both of them are likely to be the surname from the Guo countries. The 3rd character could also be a surname. There used to be not much more than 150 in total for over a billion people, but there are over 18,000 surnames in China these days. According to statistics in 1996, single sound with single character surnames (such as Li, Wang, Zhao, Guo, Kuo, etc. ) were 5732. A Toledo Bland (tə-lē'dō) is a fine-tempered sword or steel sword blade made in Toledo, Spain.


A pirate from the Diablo in the second eight fighting team. She was promoted to first eight when Cheng Li wanted to watch Connor's back. Johnna (JAH nah) is Hebrew God is gracious.


Plays the base at Ma Kettle's Tavern and she does not pay him. Johnny (JON ee) Hebrew God is gracious.


Johnny Desperado

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Johny was a Vaquero before becoming a vampire. When "out of his Sanctuary robes" he was "dressed instead, in boots, jeans, a chequered shirt rolled up to his elbows and a stetson."

From the blog, "Sidorio has started calling Johnny "Stetson" on account of JD's trademark cowboy hat!" Johnny (JON ee) Hebrew God is gracious.


A pirate on the Diablo, he leads one of the teams of broadswords. Joshua (JAH shoo ah) is Hebrew and means god rescues.

Kalypso, Kally or Kal

"Kally was wearing a singlet, which revealed strong shoulders and muscled arms", her hair "was neatly cropped and bright blue." and "her eyes sparkling as blue as her hair." She gets about by wheelchair as she has "no visible legs. They were hidden in an oilskin bag, fastened at the waist with a cord." Kally means different things depending on were you come from, in Sanskrit it means Time or black, in Swahili fierce, intense, but to an African it means lively and energetic. In Greek mythology Kalypso was the goddess Nymph of the mythical island of Ogygia, and one of the many daughters of the Titan Atlas. She detained the hero Odysseus for several years during his wanderings following the fall of Troy.


A server at Ma Kettle's tavern.

Captain Kirstin Larsen

The Danish "Captain Larsen had the whitest blond hair Grace had ever seen, intensified by a deep suntan and eyes as blue as a mountain spring." A teacher of year 10 Swords class at the Pirate Academy "formerly of The Krönborg Slot." The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend". The name Larsen (l(a)-rsen, lar-sen) is of Scandinavian origin, and its meaning is "son of Lars" or Lawrence, which is Latin from "Laurentum". Kronborg is situated near the town of Helsingør (immortalised as Elsinore in Shakespeare's Hamlet) on the extreme northeastern tip of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Øresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden. The manufacturer Royal Copenhagen created a 2010-series plaquette to honour the castle bearing the words "KRONBORG SLOT".

Lachlan Busby

"Director of the Crescent Moon Bay Cooperative Bank, President of the North East Region Board of Trade, Elder of the Crescent Moon Bay Progressive Church" and husband to Loretta. He and Loretta have no children and he "had his own plans for the twins." He likes using hard words like "stoicism" (Indifference) His name is Gaelic meaning warrior from the Land of the Lochs (and pronounced LAHK lin). Busby (bŭz'bē) is a full-dress fur hat of varying shape, worn by hussars in the 19th century and by the foot guard regiments of the British army.


A fishtail from the Lorelei, she likes playing cards. Lika is Greek meaning messenger and is also a mountainous region in central Croatia. When Justin Somper went to talk to Portsmouth Grammar School he met Lika "He put me in his book Dead Deep...I'm the mermaid called Lika:-) He told me that he was writing about me when he visited my school and a few months later the book was released:-))) Lika xxx"

Captain Lisbeth Quivers

A knots teacher at the Pirate Academy "formerly of The Passionflower" and "a pirating legend". She is clearly a teacher that identifies, smiles and laughs with the kids. "No finer Captain and no greater heartbreaker. With those eyes and that flame-red hair. ... she certainly kept" the Wrathe "brothers in line!" Lisbeth is a version of Elizabeth. In Hebrew, Elisheba means either oath of God, or God is satisfaction. A quiv·er (kwĭv'ər) is used as a portable case for holding arrows or the action of shaking with a slight, rapid, tremulous movement.


One of "two young women", Sidorio and Stukeley meet in Powder Creek. They were on the shore waiting for their "ship to come in." Out of the cousins Lily is more outgoing than Pearl.


A male fishtail from the Lorelei. Loic is French and Germanic meaning fame and war.


Lady Lola Lockwood

See also the official website
Lady Lola Lockwood is the captain of an all female Vampirate ship called The Vagabond.

From an email from Justin Somper - "LADY LOCKWOOD, yes in part she is inspired by "The Wicked Lady". Indeed the fact that she is called Lockwood is in part a tribute to Margaret Lockwood who plays the part of the highwaywoman in the movie." From the Vampirates blog while discussing songs "'Whatever Lola Wants' sung by the utterly, darkly brilliant Camille O’Sullivan (herself a bit of an inspiration for Lady Lola)."

Lantao Island

See also the official website

Lorcan Furey

Lorcan Furey

See also the official website and
"Lorcan, was not a seventeen-year-old boy but a seven-hundred-and-nine-year-old vampire!" born in 1803 and died at seventeen in Dublin. He has "deep blue eyes" like a dazzling blue sky, long eyelashes, "long black hair with eyebrows to match", pale skin, strong grip and "a strong Irish brogue" (strong dialectal accent). He wears "the universal costume of a pirate or seafarer" and a special Claddagh ring, the hands clasp a skull with vampire teeth, instead of a heart. "His writing was rather old fashioned but wild" or "spidery" and using a rapier "he was a good swordsman". Lorcan was Grace's rescuer, sharing a deep relationship with her and suffers greatly when she leaves. He starts as a Vampirate midshipman and is promoted to lieutenant.

Lorcán (LOR kan) is Gaelic and means fierce, cruel. Furey is Irish (an Anglicized form of Gaelic) and means ‘bushy eyebrows’. From the Vampirates blog "You asked about the idea behind Lorcan’s Claddagh ring – well, Lorcan is Irish, obviously, and it’s a typically Irish ring. I really like the design too, and I thought it would be fun to adapt it for a vampire. " "Lorcan was always going to be Irish. I’ve mentioned before that one of the inspirations for him was a character called Michael Furey in one of my favourite short stories, “The Dead” by James Joyce. Michael is a tragic, romantic character. I wanted Lorcan to share something of that and I borrowed the name to pay homage." "When I was in Dublin, I met my first real-life Lorcan and signed a book for him, which was cool." "I can’t remember where I mentioned that Lorcan has a brother – possibly during one of my US tour events. But yes he does. His name is Cathal and he’s involved in Lorcan’s “Crossing Story”."

The Lorelei

"A dive-boat" which Kally is from, where all but the captain are in wheelchairs. "A small windjammer, its hull sat low in the water ... it's billowing lateen sails shimmered silver-blue in the moonlight. The boat was strung with lanterns and there was the sound of chatter and soft, sweet singing. The deck, however, was much quieter and more sparsely populated than that of the Diablo." "The Lorelei had been adapted so ramps replaced stairs to the raised platform." "Kally's crew mates were clearly bursting with as much energy as she was. ... all young and fit. Like her, they kept their legs bound tightly in oilskin bags, ... they were all strong, with the same well-developed shoulder and arm muscles". Lorelei (lôr'ə-lī', lō'rə-) is siren of Germanic legend whose singing lures sailors to wreck their ships.

Loretta Busby

"A middle-aged woman, round in the figure" and wife to Lachlan, the Director of Crescent Moon Bay Cooperative Bank, before meeting Sidorio. She and Lachlan have no children, so she tends her rose garden instead. Her name is Latin meaning laurel (and pronounced law RET ah). Busby (bŭz'bē) is a full-dress fur hat of varying shape, worn by hussars in the 19th century and by the foot guard regiments of the British army.

Louisiana Lady

An old fashioned style wooden yacht owned by Dexter Tempest.


"A small ginger-haired boy at the front of" "Captain Quivers' Knot class". "Grace guessed, between six an seven."


A pirate on the Diablo he leads one of the teams of broadswords. Lukas (LOO kahs) is a form of Luke, and in German and Greek means Man from Lucania.


Former Vampirate on the Nocturne, before endangering the life of his donor and being forced to leave the ship and join the rebel Sidorio, who was "an old friend." "His voice is rich and sinister" but "sometimes his voice is so soft, Stukely can barely hear his words. But Lumar always sits beside Sidorio and the captain always hears his words". He "was a tall black man" with a "similar build to Sidorio but his skin is black and his head close-cropped with silver stubble that shines like shark-skin in the moonlight. He is dressed somewhat like Sidorio too, in clothes that speak of the military and of the sea." Lumar and Olin "stick limpet-like to the captain." and he "prattles incessantly, as if he is the captain." "Stukeley detests the way Lumar speaks. Grand words. Saying nothing. He seems to feel the need the fill the air." "His presence works some kind of alchemy upon Sidorio".

Ma Kettle's Tavern

See also the official website
Ma Kettle's Tavern is a place for pirates to gather and have a drink or ten on a "rocky outcrop". As you approach "a neon light came into view, flashing erratically through the darkness." "At the back of the structure rose a vast waterwheel, sloshing noisily as it revolved", "illuminated by the moon. Above it, a skull and crossbones flag". "A cross between an old pub and a pier. It was set on wooden stilts some four metres or more above the water and looked completely unstable, as if at any moment the whole structure might collapse in on itself and sink into the sea." "They climbed the stairs to the first platform of decking." "She looked down and saw the treacherous gaps in the wooden floor, giving way to the ocean below." "It was unclear whether the wood had rotted away over time, or if there just hadn't been enough to complete the floor in the first place." "There were patches of apparently solid decking on which stood long tables and benches." "Ropes hung down from the wooden beams at regular intervals, presumably to help the fallen pirates climb back up again".

On entering the tavern ahead was the VIP section, but "to one side of the tavern" was a dark "narrow stairwell, emerging in an upstairs gallery. It was lined with booths. Each booth was separated from its neighbour by wooden panels, which were intricately carved with images of ships and waves." These booths were dark but "a glass lantern in the centre of the table" and "a red velvet curtain you could draw across to shut out prying eyes and drown out some of the hubbub below."

They've “got everything you could wish for here. Rum beer wine ... your choice,”. From the Vampirates blog, "Moulin Rouge (in Paris, France), one of original inspirations for Ma Kettle’s Tavern. Ma Kettle’s Tavern is one of my favourite locations in the books and you’ll see that it has a very important role to play in the new one." "I always think of Ma Kettle’s of being a combination of three places – the Rover’s Return (from UK soap Coronation Street), the Moulin rouge (in Paris) and the Boar’s Head Tavern (from Shakespeare’s Henry 4th plays). It’s a crazy, over-the-top kind of place that changes all the time so I’d say just run with your imaginations."

Captain Makahazi

Captain Makahazi's biography is called 'The Book of Five Cutlasses'. "A piratical classic."

Me as Ma Kettle

Matilda Kettle

The Alewife (woman tavern keeper) or "merry lady and her kegs," of Ma Kettle's Tavern. Ma Kettle was too intriguing to remove your eyes from for any period of time". "A striking woman in a vast black ballgown", "her outfit was make entirely of skull-and-crossbones flags, sewn together. Ma Kettle was older than her 'girls' but she was a fine-looking woman with jewel-like eyes and a shock of blood-red hair, in which she wore a tiara in the shape of a cutlass." "On the back of her dress was a rendering of a the skull and crossbones in sparkling rhinestones." "Matilda Kettle has connections" and is "most eloquent" in "a distinctive, smoky voice". She also has a "rather ample bosom". Molucco Wrathe calls her Kitty as well as referring to her as "pirate royalty."

She is a realist for example "Now Ma's going to give you some free advice - which you're at liberty to take or leave, my sweet. Number one - death. It never gets easier. Whether you're fourteen years young like you or ... well, as old as the coral reefs like me ... losing someone close to you will always be the most bitter blow. Number two ... don't bottle up your emotions. You have to let them out. That's one of the reasons we lay on a party, see." Matilda (muh-TIL-dah) is German meaning mighty in battle.

Master McLay

A junior student at pirate academy in Captain Avery's sailing class. McLay is a Scottish variant of the McClay surname, which is probably an Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic Mac an Léigh meaning son of the physician.


A girl in "Captain Quivers' Knot class" who "was just delightful - barely seven years old but already a born teacher".


Former Vampirate on the Nocturne, before endangering the life of her donor and being forced to leave the ship and join the rebel Sidorio. Stukeley notes that "Mistral is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen" with a soft smile. Stukeley notices "she always smiles at him and makes room for him at the fireside." "Like Olin, she is wearing a cowl, but she draws it back and ... a length of fine blonde hair uncoils itself." Also "she is wearing several small rings".

Molucco Wrathe

Captain Molucco Osborne Mortimer Wrathe

See also the official website
Captain of the Diablo. Oldest Wrathe out of the three famous Wrathe brothers and pirate royalty. He "was a man of indeterminate age with long tousled" (neat and ordered), "many coloured" hair with "three dreadlocks, bound with seashells" "and small, circular glasses. He wore a long, sky blue velvet coat over two silver holsters containing daggers, and his tall leather boots, as pointed as knives, jangled with silver spurs." "The captain's eyes were large and flecked with as many shades as his hair" and he had "sapphire-studded fingers". Molucco's rapier hangs in the Pirate Academy's Rotunda and has a "sapphire in its hilt."

He "had physical strength, not to mention the charisma of a natural leader" and "was loved and respected by his crew." Even when things go wrong "It's good to know that the recent turn of events has robbed you of your rapier-like wit." "The captain's kind of old school, a bit irregular, but treats us like his own family. He's a good guy." "He doesn't think you can get educated to be a pirate. He reckons that either you have it in your veins or you don't." "Molucco isn't a bad man but the way he behaves does invite trouble." "Captain Wrathe had little - or rather, no - respect for the system of sea lanes instigated by the Pirate Federation." He loves sapphires and in his cabin he sat "like a sultan of ancient times on a mound of plump silk cushions." Molucco Wrathe usually gives everyone their title for example Mistress Li and Mister Tempest. Ma Kettle calls him Lucky. When Cheng Li was on the Diablo, she was "a bit of a thorn in his side and he's ... well, he's like a bloody great dagger in hers."

In an interview Justin Somper said where the idea for Captain Molucco Wrathe (pronounced Mo-luck-o) came from. "I've also looked in Heat magazine! In my story, the pirates are hero figures and enjoy the same kind of adulation we give to the world's coolest, most colourful music, movie and sports stars. Molucco Wrathe, Cheng Li and the others are extreme characters and I've looked to some of the most extreme celebrities for inspiration. I'm not giving you any names though!" I have later discovered that Molucco Wrathe is based on a mixture of Blackbeard (Edward Teach was a notorious English pirate in the Caribbean Sea and western Atlantic during the early 18th century. It was reported that he had hemp and lit matches woven into his enormous black beard during battle to intimidate his enemies.) and Ozzy Osbourne ("Godfather of Heavy Metal"). From the vampirates blog "Molucco was partly inspired by the legendary pirate “Blackbeard”, a.k.a. Edward Teach."

Moonshine Wrathe

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Barbarro Wrathe's son and Molucco's nephew, was "a tall, thin boy, not much older than" Connor at fourteen, "dressed in worn black leather. The boy's lank hair was as dark as his clothes and hung low over his face, obscuring half of it. The half that was visible was pale and waxy, with a smattering of acne and a small purple scar. On his pale lips, a nasty cold sore had taken up residence" and one of his "long white" finger's was "crowned with a bruised nail" the rest were "blackened, chewed fingernails". “He looks like the kind of kid who's got a chip on his shoulder the size of the Diablo … not to mention that nasty spread of acne. Bit of a mummy's boy too! Did you see the way he hung around Trofie's skirts?”

From a distance his weapon of choice was "a starfish shuriken" (traditional Japanese Multi-pointed throwing weapon). From the Vampirates blog, the captain wrote "The name Moonshine was one of those that just came to me – as you may know, moonshine is a slang term for “illicitly distilled or smuggled alcohol” and I like the idea that the name is therefore somewhat disreputable. I also thought that Moonshine was a good name for Molucco’s nephew, though when I first thought of the name, Moonshine was actually going to be Sugar Pie’s ne’er-do-well brother!"

Moonshine (mūn'shīn') although is an informal, foolish talk, is better known as Illegally distilled whiskey.

Moonshine's Goons

Moonshine's henchmen come when he calls and do his bidding. "They were huge. They too were dressed in worn leather. Each brandished a razor-sharp rapier."

Mosh Zu

Mosh Zu Kamal

See also the official website
"He's an old friend of mine. My guru, you might say." "He's the one that came up with the idea of the ship, the captain continued." He "showed me the way" and "lives in a place called Sanctuary". “It was Mosh Zu, the captain had told her, who had helped him to make a refuge from the world and to welcome into it 'the outsiders of the outsiders' – vampires who had been exiled from regular society and finally, in the cruellest twist, from vampire society itself, because they rejected the constant hunt for blood. It was Mosh Zu who had devised the system of donors and who helped the captain to train himself to feast no more blood.”

Mosh Zu “was a young man” with a “shaved head” and “dark eyes”. He “was dressed simply in a white vest and baggy brown cloth trousers, tied and folded over at the waist. His feet appeared to be bare.” “He might look to be in his early twenties but this was only an indication of the age he had been when he had died. Or rather, she reminded herself, when he had crossed.” “He carried himself with strength and vigour. The skin on his face was as smooth as a mask. You could if you chose to describe it as handsome.” “It made sense that he should be able to read her thoughts, just as the captain could.”

From the Vampirates blog. "You mentioned that we don’t know who the deputy of the Nocturne is. You’re right. I think that Grace has noticed, and referred to, this too. I guess you could say that Mosh Zu is the deputy as he is standing in for the captain until he is ready to return. But in some ways, Mosh Zu is MORE powerful than the captain himself."


A fishtail from the Lorelei. Musimu is named after a famous free diver.

Narcisos Drakoulis

"Narcisos Drakoulis is another loose cannon, ... I'd say he was 'psychotic'." He had a "voice that spoke of violence and no mercy" and was "clad in the same costume as his crew, head to toe in black." When he "removed the dark coverings off his head" "the captain ... was a good head taller than Molucco Wrathe. His face was tanned, angular and smooth as soapstone, save a deep scar, which dissected his cheek like a purple river." "Narcisos Drakoulis was lean and hard" with "dark eyes". His old "crew mutinied" and he was left marooned on Ithaka. He believes in the Pirate Code and sea lanes. Narcisos or Narcissus (när-sĭs'əs) Latin form of the Greek Narkissos, possibly derived from "narke" meaning "sleep". The name was borne in Greek mythology by a handsome youth who was loved by the nymph Echo. Narcissus did not return her love, however, and Echo pined away until only her voice remained. After her death, Narcissus was made to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool, and there he remained, mesmerized until he turned into a flower. Drakoulis is the name of an important family in Ithaca, Greece.


A "poor old man" "his skin looked as pale and fragile as tracing paper." "Nathaniel, little more than a frail shell" was also Sidorio's donor. Nathaniel (nah THAN yull) is Hebrew meaning gift of god.


"One of the younger-looking boys" in "Captain Quivers' Knot class". "Grace guessed, between six an seven."


The Nocturne

See also the official website
An old galleon with "red-painted floorboards". Inside "the stairs led down to another corridor. It was dimly lit with lanterns, just barely illuminating the rows of cabin doors on either side. ... a carpet - albeit a threadbare one - had been stretched out along the deck boards". "The dining room ... was a vast space, more like an elaborate ballroom, lit by crystal chandeliers, with a long banquet table that stretched far into the distance. It was immaculately laid with damask tablecloths, fine china, cut glass and sparkling silver cutlery. But it had only been laid along one side." It "is no ordinary ship", "our ways are strange." "This ship has been sailing for a very long time, ... a safe haven - for outsiders, for those of us forced, or drawn, to the very edges of the world." There is a feast once a week with "percussive music".

"No one but the Captain ventures out into the light". The captain is usually found in his cabin or visible from his cabin, "his silhouette through the balcony shutters. He was standing at the ship's wheel." "The ship's wheel turned back and forth, free from its master's touch." The sales were "like wings, glimmering with thin veins of light" made of a "strange leathery material". The Vampirate Captain and the ship are some how connected as "the cape he was wearing flashed with veins of light. Above them, the sails of the ship glowed and began to flap. Bolts of fire shot across the wooden boards of the deck."

"Bats ... skins are as leathery as the sails of the Nocturne." A nocturne (from the French for "nocturnal") is usually a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night usually pensive, dreamy mood music, especially one for the piano.

Obsidian Darke

From the Vampirate's blog "The new guy you mention is Obsidian Darke, a new Vampirate."


Former Vampirate on the Nocturne, before endangering the life of his donor and being forced to leave the ship and join the rebel Sidorio. "Olin is tall and thin, dressed in a long cape, with a hood covering his head. His face is lean and angular inside it, the bones pushing through the pale skin." Lumar and Olin "stick limpet-like to the captain." and "Olin says little, but the way he watches you is unnerving. His eyes fix on you and do not let go. If you meet them, your own eyes begin to burn from the intensity of his stare."


He worked at Sanctuary as one “of Mosh Zu's assistants” wearing crimson robes. “Olivier's dismissive tone” was used for the donors.


One of "two young women", Sidorio and Stukeley meet in Powder Creek. They were on the shore waiting for their "ship to come in." Out of the cousins Lily is more outgoing than Pearl.

Captain Pavel Platonov

A Russian teacher at the Pirate Academy formerly "of The Muscovite." The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend". His version of "Strength, Stamina and Motivation" is "a brisk ten K run!" but he usually teaches Combat Workshop. Muscovite (also known as common mica, isinglass, or potash mica) is a phyllosilicate mineral of aluminium and potassium.

Pirate Academy

See also the official website
They have "classes in combat and navigation and EMS" (Extreme Maritime Survival), as well as Marine Biology, Practical Piracy, Ocean-faring, "History, Navigation, Strategy and Captaincy skills." "There were no boring subjects here!" For about "one hundred and fifty" students "ranging from seven-year-olds to seventeen-year-olds. There are just fifteen students in each of the ten year groups. With the Academy's high teacher/student ratio, every pirate apprentice is given the very best opportunity to thrive." "Every morning kicked off at 7:00 am with something called 'Strength, Stamina and Motivation' and the Academy day didn't end until 8:00 pm" with "delicious and plentiful food" in-between.

jacaranda tree
"The academy's harbour was enclosed by a sea-wall, the entrance marked by a tall stone arch rising out of the water. ... the arch bore an inscription. ... Plenty and Satiety," ("taking everything you want, and then everything else besides") "Pleasure and Ease, Liberty and Power". "The academy was a colourful oasis - a sprawling mass of old buildings, painted in bright yellows, pinks and oranges and set amongst lush gardens, leading down towards the dockside." "The scent of the tall jacaranda tree near the dock was heady ... Running around the tree was a circular seat". Further on was "a dazzling fountain made of coloured glass and seashells." "Trees and bushes which appeared from above to mark the academy's boundaries, in fact disguised new parts of the Academy - each pained in the same soft, sunny palette as the main cluster." "The entrance to a tall, domed terracotta-coloured building" had "intricate carvings on it's Rajasthan doors before entering the Rotunda "a vast circular room, bathed in cool blue light" with a chequered tiled floor. The Rotunda or 'the Octopus' has several corridors coming off it and a "domed ceiling ... studded with circular glass panels, in every shade of blue ... The effect was stunning, as if you were wandering upon the ocean floor itself." "Hanging down on steel wires from the very top of the Rotunda were glass cases, forming a giant mobile."

"The lagoon of doom!" was "a large amphitheatre, set back a little from the harbour, but an amphitheatre with a difference. In place of the stage, was a sparkling pool of water. And, in the centre of this was a ship - a galleon not dissimilar to the Diadlo or indeed, to the Vampirate ship." There is also the freshwater pool and "the inner circle - a secluded courtyard of manicured grass, where a class of kids were practising their martial arts skills." The main lecture theatre was "along the harbour path" and was "a pale-gold-coloured building."

Pirate Federation

"The Federation exists to further the cause of piracy throughout the world - to consolidate the power we have on the oceans and to develop a global network of pirate fleets, working in peaceful cooperation." "Those of us in the know are busy forming alliances, not only across the oceans, but also on land. In a short time, our influence will be unstoppable. And rather than working as disparate crews, often coming into conflict with each other, you'll see the formation of vast fleets of pirate ships united in one cause." "There's a big difference ... between immediate gain and the more fruitful rewards of delayed gratification." In Kuo's study is a globe "it's surface turned black and hundreds of lights" shine out. "Each one represents a cell of the Pirate Federation - all over the world. More are coming on-line all the time."

Polly Pagett

Matron at the Crescent Moon Bay Orphanage. Pagett I believe is a status name for a young servant.

Porfirio Wrathe

Youngest Wrathe out of the three famous Wrathe brothers and pirate royalty. On the vampirates blog Justin Somper wrote "where I got the names for the three Wrathe brothers... If memory serves, I made up the names Molucco and Barbarro, based on their sounds. Porfirio wasn't made up but a name which I happened upon and which seemed to fit well with the other two." Porfirio (por FEER ee oh) is Spanish, meaning purple rock.

Captain René Grammont

A teacher at the Pirate Academy "formerly of The Troubadour". The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend". A troubadour was a composer and performer of Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages (1100–1350).

Wild Rose

"A very old girl" missing several teeth, who's "ruby ringlets" "were an ill-fitting wig, her face was thickly caked in powder and her false eyelashes were as long and thick as a tarantula's legs."


Read the Blood Captain and Black Heart.

Samara Pescudo

A girl in "Captain Quivers' Knot class". "Grace guessed, between six an seven" who wants "to be a pirate captain, just like my mummy and daddy."


See also the official website
"I'm afraid you won't find Sanctuary on any map". "It is at the top of a great mountain." "Everyone makes their own way to Sanctuary."

"Two flaming torches stood like giant sentinels on either side of the gates." Which were "made of iron ... they're twice as tall as" Lorcan with "spikes along the top and below is an intricate circular pattern, a bit like a clock face or sundial." "Thick mountain vines were within the iron fretwork", beyond which "a column of lamps illuminated an empty courtyard". "The courtyard was bordered by a walkway and low buildings on three sides. ... there were no doors or windows in these buildings - except for a pair of doors in the centre of the block facing them, on the far side of the yard."

“Several figures were milling about. They were all dressed alike in matching crimson robes.” “There are quite a few of” “Mosh Zu's assistants.” “The walkway, which had been cleared of ice, ” was “around the courtyard. They came to the doors Grace had noticed earlier.” “Inside, the light was dim but as Grace's eyes adjusted she saw they were in a long narrow corridor lit by more lamps this time suspended on low chains just above their heads. The flames guttered the settled again as Olivier closed the doors behind them.” “You are now in the Corridor of Lights.” “They turned the corner and the corridor grew a little wider. It was a good thing too because on either side, the walls were groaning with shelves covered in trinkets and photographs. There was not a patch of spare wall and Grace could see that in places the items on the shelves were packed three and four deep. It was like walking through a junk shop or a shrine.” “This is the corridor of Discards. These are the things which those who enter Sanctuary have left behind.” “The corridor turned another corner this one devoid of possessions,” They used butter “to fuel the lamps here.”

“The main part of the compound is underground.” “The corridor turned again, and Grace realised that their path was sloping down at an increasing gradient.” “Suspended from the ceiling on a thin rope between the lights, were ribbons. They hung down like cobwebs, different colours and lengths.” “We are in the Corridor of Ribbons,” “As the corridor turned once more, Grace spied another set of doors. Olivier pushed them open and Grace saw that the chamber beyond was squarer in shape and lit more brightly. The floor was tilted and there were chairs and tables in there.” “This chamber was only the anteroom.” Through a pair of doors was a room “larger than the one they had come from. It's floor was tiled but it was largely devoid of furniture and it's decorations were basic – a few simple wall hangings.”

“As they followed the path down still further Grace realised that this was no different from being on a ship and going down to the cabins. Perhaps, she thought, the underground nature of Sanctuary was not merely designed to prevent the vampires from exposure to the light, but also to prepare them to life aboard the Nocturne.” The vampire rooms were “Like the other rooms they had walked through dimly lit. There was a single bed in the centre of the room and a chair in the corner. Above the bed and on one of the side walls were hangings, similar to those in the hall above.”


Molucco Wrathe's pet snake. He is small and lives on the captain's person. Scrimshaw likes honeyed dates and in the Captain's cabin sat "on a bright purple cushions", "We have to take a detour around the cape to buy them by the barrel, but whatever it takes to keep the little fellow happy". Scrimshaw (skrĭm'shô') is the art of carving or incising intricate designs on whalebone or whale ivory.


A ten-year old student at pirate academy reading 'The Book of Five Cutlasses', after making "excellent progress in Combat Workshop". Sebastian (seh BASS chen) is a version of Sebastianus and is Latin meaning Man from Sebaste.

Serving Boy

A server at booths of Ma Kettle's Tavern who knows the regulars by name. "He smiled and bowed once more, then disappeared."


See also
"She was tiny and very pretty, though also very pale." "Her brow was stitched with worry-lines." and the "wind toying with her long, dark hair." Shanti was a "beautiful but vicious donor" and "remarkably possessive of Lorcan.". "Grace knew she blamed her for Lorcan's blindness and for the fact he had stopped taking Shanti's blood." "If he chooses not to take my blood, then there's nothing left for me here. I'll have to leave."

Captain Shivaji Singh

A teacher at the Pirate Academy formerly "of The Nataraj". The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend". Nataraja (literally. The Lord (or King) of Dance, is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for god Brahma to start the process of creation.


Quintus Antonius Sidorio

See also the official website, and
Under the Vampirate Captain he is a Lieutenant. He has "a gruff male voice", "dark eyes" and "was a tall, bald-headed man, his muscles seeming to burst from clothes which were a cross between those of a sailor and a gladiator." "Grace looked at him. It was like facing a wall of muscle. His neck was as thick as the trunk of a well-established tree. His arms were far broader than her own legs." Sidorio was about twice the size of Lorcan with "lengthy strides" and a "flawless" "sense of direction". He is also arrogant and "quick to rise to anger". "He had two over-sized canine teeth, apparently made of gold" and was the first rebel crew member, we know of, who feeds on too much blood.

After leaving the Nocturne he becomes Captain of his own group of Vampirates He is "heftier" than his first Lieutenant Stukeley. "Sidorio only truly comes alive when the hunt is on. Then, he is a different man - a different creature - altogether."

On the Blue Peter blog Justin Somper wrote "I think it's safe to say that the Captain and the other Vampirates underestimated the range of Sidorio's powers. He's a bit of an unknown quantity." "The character Sidorio is based on a real-life Roman pirate, although he was killed in Roman times, he has been a vampire ever since." He was based on a Cilician pirate called Isidorus who was crucified by Julius Caesar. From the Vampirates blog "when I’m writing Sidorio I now tend to think of Javier Bardem (though originally he was more Vin Diesel!)." "Sidorio’s name is pretty much an anagram of a pirate from history called Isidorus. Sid isn’t based on Isidorus but, like him, he does come from Cilicia and I wanted his name to sound a bit similar for that reason."

Sitar Player

A "diminutive musician" found in Molucco Wrathe's cabin. When Connor first visited he was sitting behind the Captain. A sitar (sĭ-tär') is stringed instrument of India made of seasoned gourds and teak and having a track of 20 movable frets with 6 or 7 metal playing strings above and usually 13 sympathetic resonating strings below.


Scrimshaw's brother who like his brother lives "amidst Barbarro's dark locks".


One of the two "most useless excuses for pirates you'll ever meet" on the Diablo with an "ugly face", "foul breath" and a "bulging belly". A stink bomb emits a foul odour on detonation.

Sugar Pie

"Ma Kettle's beautiful assistant" and server with "a much sweeter voice" than the Alewife, "long blonde hair" and "disarmingly blue eyes", who Connor gets cleaned up for. "The fearless serving girls ran along the narrow rafters, as nimble and sure foot as gymnasts, carrying foaming mugs of beer to the waiting pirate crews. But, as agile as they were, the girls were not to be messed with." "Without make up, she looked more beautiful than ever".


A fishtail from the Lorelei.


See also the official website
A "tall woman ... dressed in a regal coat, the same pale gold as the hair swept up onto her head." "Trofie's right hand was made of metal. It was literally as gold as her hair. And what he had taken for red - vanished nails were, in fact, actual rubies."

On the Blue Peter blog Justin Somper wrote "a Norwegian pirate who uses expression, "min elskling" ("my dear" in, you guessed it, Norwegian)." On the Vampirates blog he wrote "When Trofie Wrathe calls people “min elskling”, she’s saying “my dear” or “darling” in Norwegian – sometimes genuinely but occasionally in a patronizing fashion, I fear." and "Barbarro’s wife is called Trofie. You do pronounce it like “trophy” – it’s a bit of a joke, but really the joke is turned on its head because Trofie is much more than a trophy wife; she’s a courageous woman and a very capable pirate leader in her own right.". Trofie is a mis-spelling of trophy as in a trophy wife (A trophy wife is commonly used to describe the second or third wife of (usually) older man; and who is considered a status symbol).

The Titania

A great cruise ship which "was struck mid-ocean by a powerful bolt of lightning". Darcy Flotsam "sang after second supper each night and all the posh gents and ladies". Titania (tĭ-tā'nē-ə, -tān'yə) was the queen of the fairies and wife of Oberon in medieval folklore.

The Typhon

See also the official website
"It was a galleon, not dissimilar to The Diablo."


"A new ship of Vampirates is sailing the seven seas. It’s called The Vagabond and it has an all-female Vampirate crew, captained by the deliciously devilish Lady Lola Lockwood."

A vagabond or "drifter" is an itinerant person. A vagabond is characterized by almost continuous traveling, lacking a fixed home, temporary abode, or permanent residence.

Vampirate Captain

Vampirate Captain

See also the official website and
Out of the Vampirates, "None but the Captain can walk beneath the sun." He speaks in a whisper that "seemed to flow into every corner of her brain" and even when angry "it was strong and firm, yet it did not rise above the volume of a whisper." "A tall stranger, dressed in a dark leathery cloak and a mask." "Above the gloves, the Captain's arms disappeared into the folds of a dark, multi-layered cape, made of thin leather. Grace's eyes traced up to his neck, where the cape fanned out in a jagged ruff and was fastened by a chain of black gemstones." (Jet? - sm) "And then she glimpsed his face. Or rather, the space where his face might have been. For in it's place was a mesh mask. She could see nothing beneath the mask but it was shaped to the contours of a face, with indentations for the eyes and mouth. It fitted as perfectly as a death mask but was not rigid. It couldn't be because as she gazed at it, the mask creased on either side of the mouth indication. Grace realised with shock that the Captain might be smiling at her." "The back of the Captain's head was closely shaven and Grace could see that far from being deathly pale, his skin was deep brown in colour. The mask was fastened by three leather straps: two extending from each ear to the centre; the third reaching down over the crown of his head. The three straps met in a buckle, shaped like a pair of silver wings, in the centre of his head." The cape's "material was not leather, as she first thought. It seemed lighter and the lamplight illuminated thin veins running through it. The veins appeared to soak up the light, making the cloak glow." Grace had a fleeting vision of what was under the mask "of a tearing of flesh and a flash of crimson blood on dark skin." "The Captain is a fair man," "he isn't someone you get to know very well. But he treats us all fairly." "He had a knack of sounding so very reasonable, as if they were talking about a problem with her homework" and he could read "her unspoken thoughts."

Vampirate Cook

"A round, red-faced woman" with "shrill cries." She was a "harassed-looking" vampire with a "vice-like grip" who works with her nephew Jamie. They created "a succession of culinary treats", "extremely high in nutrients."

Mister Webb

A junior student at pirate academy in Captain Avery's sailing class. Webb is an English surname, given to a weaver of fabric, from the Old English word "webbe," meaning a woven cloth.

Miss Webber

A junior student at pirate academy in Captain Avery's sailing class. Webber is a surname of German origin, meaning A trade name given to one skilled in the ancient craft of weaving.

Captain Wilfred Avery

An old teacher in a cap, at the Pirate Academy who taught sailing class. He had a "tanned face covered with white wisps of moustache and beard." The teachers at the Pirate Academy "are all former captains - every one a pirating legend", Captain Avery used to captain the "Barbary Corsair." Avery (ā'və-rē), is from the Anglo-Norman French personal name Auvery, a Norman form of Alfred. The Barbary Corsairs, sometimes called Ottoman Corsairs or Barbary Pirates, were an alliance of Muslim pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa from the time of the Crusades (11th century) until the early 19th century.


A freshwater crayfish found in Australia.


The quotes are Justin Somper's words from Demons of the Ocean, Dead Deep, Tide of Terror, Blood Captain and The Blue Peter blog.

Above are some new images of the characters, drawn by Kevin Walker, (from the left they are Lorcan Furey, Lady Lola Lockwood, The Vampirate Captain, Cheng Li, Connor Tempest, Grace Tempest, Sidorio and Molucco Wrathe). The original drawings were by Bob Lea's (for other vampirate drawings see