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A Pirate with a Cause

Explore the daring exploits of Ade, the legendary pirate captain and son of Abioye and the queen of Anansiya.

Pirate Captain Ade "Blackheart"

an oil painting of man wearing privateer garments.
An oil painting of Captain Ade Blackheart. c.1733

The Origin of Captain Ade

Ade Sundiata Merianansi, fondly known by his nom de guerre, "Ade Blackheart," belonged to the regal lineage of Anansiya. The older son of Queen Moremi Amanireni Qasi-Merianansi and King Regent Abioye Keita Sundiata Amanireni Sidi-Merianansi, Ade was always drawn to the sea, fascinated by the tales of his seafarer father.

Ade was a man of the sea, seeking adventure far from the confines of his royal heritage. Instead of stepping into the shoes of a ruler after the death of his parents, he chose a path of daring exploits, assembling a formidable crew of misfits known as the "Blood Runners."

The Blood Runners and Their Missions

The Blood Runners were feared and respected in equal measure. Their reputation was built on their audacity to challenge the heinous practice of slavery, the ability to plunder enemy ships, and their undying loyalty to their captain. Ade himself, with his powerful charisma, keen strategic mind, and an uncanny ability to anticipate danger, was a force to be reckoned with on the high seas.

However, the pirate life of Ade took a significant turn when his younger brother, Tafari, ascended the throne of Anansiya. Recognizing Ade's exceptional skills in naval warfare and his commitment to the abolition of slavery, King Tafari issued a letter of marque to Ade, transforming the Blood Runners into privateers under the Anansiyan flag.

As privateers, Ade and his crew were legally sanctioned to seize and plunder slave ships, freeing the captives on board. Their reputation grew; Ade's rules of engagement, which explicitly forbade the harm of women and children, and his commitment to liberate enslaved people, earning him a measure of respect even among his enemies.

An image of a skull and crossbones with a cutlass and a knife and heart.
Image of Captain Blackheart's Flag - The Blood Runner

The Fall from Grace

However, peace between the brothers was not destined to last. Following a dispute with King Tafari, Ade severed his official ties with Anansiya, returning to his renegade life. However, this time, he was branded a rogue, his actions now considered crimes against the very kingdom he once called home.

Years passed as Ade skillfully evaded capture, his strategic brilliance, and knowledge of the sea making him a elusive quarry. But his life of freedom came to a dramatic climax around 1736 in a fierce battle with the royal navy of Anansiya in the Arabian Sea.

The Disappearance

The confrontation was intense, the air filled with cannon fire and the roars of battling sailors. But as the smoke of the battle cleared, Ade, the once formidable pirate captain, was nowhere to be found. The man who had been a prince, a pirate, a privateer, and then a renegade had vanished, leaving behind a legacy as turbulent and vast as the seas he had once roamed.

To this day, the tale of Captain Ade Sundiata Merianansi, alias Ade Blackheart, resonates across Anansiya. His adventurous spirit, his fight against slavery, and his love for freedom are inscribed in the collective memory of the nation, the man himself becoming a symbol of defiance and resilience against all odds. His name, just like the sea, remains untamed and free, a testament to the life he chose to lead.

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