Encyclopedia Realmgardica: William Newgate

William Newgate

“William Newgate was never a man for half-measures.

The stories say that in order to steal the orichalcum from the vaults of the Dwarven Royal Metallurgist, he shaved his beard, put on a wig and pretended to be a scullery maid in the palace kitchens, sneaking into the treasury in the dead of night and smuggling the orichalcum out piece by piece in his socks … for a year and a half!”

As a candidate for Realmgard’s most famous pirate, William Newgate‘s only possible rival claimant is Jonathan Fryte — in fact the debate has continued for generations among the scholars of piracy unabated.

Newgate’s numerous daring thefts have inspired generations of storytellers and other pirates. Thanks to such efforts, Newgate remains one of the most enduringly popular pirates in the history of Realmgard, even nearly two hundred years after his death.

His most famous heist looms large over his career — even as Newgate himself looms large over the history of Realmgard’s pirates.

Making use of a clever disguise, Newgate was able to infiltrate the Dwarven royal treasure vaults and smuggle out the Dwarven king’s stockpile of orichalcum piece by piece. Often overlooked in discussions about the heist is that a target as far inland as the Dwarven royal treasury is a strange target for a pirate.

It remains a well-known fact in Realmgard that Newgate was able to make off with exactly 775 orichalcum ingots. That Newgate was able to secret his stolen treasure all the way to the coast to safely take to the sea speaks to his natural audacity.

News of this daring heist spread quickly throughout Realmgard, leading to many ambitious adventurers setting off in pursuit of Newgate and the location of his treasure.

The Dwarven king promised a massive bounty for anyone able to apprehend Newgate or return the stolen treasure, though many of those pursuing the treasure simply sought to claim the priceless prize for themselves.

However, Newgate himself eluded capture for years and the hidden treasure continued to elude discovery even long after Newgate himself was finally apprehended.

Numerous rumours have swirled in the intervening regarding Newgate’s personal life. Both scholarly inquiry and popular tall tales have been fascinated by Newgate’s possible relationship with the female Elf pirate Timaea.

Folklore is quick to unanimously agree that Newgate and Timaea were involved in a romantic relationship and even historians will concede that this is probably true. However, very little of Timaea’s own life can be independently established and it is unknown what happened to her after Newgate was apprehended and hanged.

The most popular — albeit historically unverifiable — version of the story is that Newgate and Timaea were married in secret shortly before his capture, whereupon Timaea was entrusted with the location of Newgate’s buried treasure.

It is a common flourish to the popular stories to add that Timaea was pregnant with Newgate’s child while he was imprisoned and that she was able to arrange a secret meeting in prison between Newgate and his newborn child the night before he was hanged.

This is, however, generally dismissed as dramatic licence by serious historians and the consensus is that Newgate never had children, though his surviving younger sister did do much in her lifetime to attempt to rehabilitate her brother’s image and played a major role in his later legacy as a dashing folk hero.

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