Pirates of the Expanse
The Sea Witch
“The people are sheep. Nay, cattle. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, five percent of the population will still live with ninety-five percent of the resources. The poor will forever support the rich on their backs, and thank them for being allowed to do so. Are these half-men, these dogs, even worthy of the name “human”? No, they have allowed themselves to become livestock, and so I shall butcher them like livestock. These swine would trade their own freedom for a little safety, and I shall show them that their owners cannot even give them that.
“I know my days are numbered. So far, I’ve been faster, stronger, and smarter than the Empire. But one day, I won’t be. One day, they’ll catch me, they’ll string me up and they’ll hang me in the town square, and that’ll be the end of it. I can only hope that before they do, I show at least a few souls the horror of the reality they live in. Even if it takes me killing everyone they know to get the message.”
Mad Molly has a reputation as the most hideous creature ever to crawl out of a deep sea vent, and in person she does not disappoint. Sea weed hangs from her head in place of hair, her face is covered with lines, pitted with scars, and flowing with running mascara. She walks hunched over with a limping gait, making her distinctive even from a distance. She smells horrific to boot: the odor can be described as like nothing but rotting seaweed and weeks-dead fish.
In private, she has revealed it to be an act. The sea weed is a wig, and her horrific appearance is due mostly to carefully-applied makeup. Similarly, her limp and hunch have been exaggerated, although there’s no faking the smell.
Mad Molly was once a revolutionary, believing in overthrowing the Crown and uniting the people across the Expanse under one free banner. She was met with nothing but apathy. “People don’t want freedom, they just want a just master,” she says now.
As her revolution failed, Molly turned to increasingly violent means to get attention, such as attacking tax collectors and even ambushing soldiers. When she finally threw in the towel, she bought a ship and used her stage presence, instead of inspiring change, to create a persona that would inspire fear in all who met her.
And a fearsome reputation she has built indeed. She is known for attacking towns just for the sheer joy of slaughtering everyone in her path. Women and children are not spared: some rumors have it, in fact, that she makes the adults watch as their children are butchered, then makes the men watch her kill their wives before granting them death.
When she attacks a ship, she never takes prisoners and never shows mercy. She doesn’t even want the cargo: she sends that to a watery grave along with its guardians. One rumor holds that, when she captured a slaver ship, she put a hole in the hull so the chained slaves below deck would go down with the ship.
Through all this, she still sees herself as a revolutionary. She commands her ship, The Scarlet Corsair, to ever more daring victories, and her men will follow her to the death. Although at this point, death may be what she’s gunning for…
Mad Molly has crossed paths with the crew of the Squid once, up in Royal waters near Saint Elix’s Harbor. Showing a soft spot for fellow pirates and outlaws, she invited the crew aboard her ship for dinner and dice.
The men discussed personal philosophy and ethics with her over a game of Liar’s Dice, which ended with Fenrir Esjbourn taking the pot. As she bade them farewell, she offered to let them know if she needed help in the future.
They met again up north, where they played a game of Knockout Wist, which ended with Captain Bloodlung taking the pot. She cautioned them that the Crown had dispatched their elite Smoke Knights to deal with the pirate problem along the colonies. She warns to be careful, as anyone they meet could be a plant, and Smoke Knights have a fearsome reputation not only as terrifyingly skilled combatants but also master spies.