Pirates' Skyhold was an earthmote that floated in the skies over the Sword Coast North during the 15th century DR. It was named after the bands of sky-faring pirates that used it as their safe haven as they raided settlements and ships along the Sword Coast for well over a decade.
Pirates' Skyhold hovered over the Sea of Swords northwest of Neverwinter, approximately 100 feet (30 meters) in the sky. As it lacked any connection to the city, it was difficult to reach the earthmote if one didn't have their own means to provide flight transportation.
The earthmote comprised one large landmass, around which floated a number of small "islets" that hovered just beyond its edge. Many of these were interconnected with one another by rudimentary wooden bridges and managed to remain secure to their moorings.
Its terrain varied a bit, from grass-topped rock formations that were well-suited for the building of stone and wooden structures, to a dense swamp that was quite difficult to traverse.
Some years following the cataclysm of the Spellplague, some time before the Year of Ten Terrors, 1429 DR, a group of pirates led by Bartholomew Blackdagger acquired a small fleet of skyships and the captain's personal vessel, the Black Scourge, and seized control of the earthmote. Blackdagger and his crew spent years assailing ships and terrorizing innocents along the Sword Coast, accumulating great wealth and an infamous reputation in the region. They began construction of Skull Fortress atop their personal flying island, which itself came to be known as Pirates' Skyhold.
After ten years of pillaging and piracy, the Pirate King Blackdagger grew too bold, taking up pursuit of a black dragon they saw soaring in the skies with the goal of capturing the great beast. The evil dragon was actually Garrundar the Vile, and it killed every crewman of the Black Scourge, leaving Blackdagger alone to flee back to Pirates' Skyhold. As Garrundar pursued him back to his hideout, Blackdagger and his men holed themselves up within Skull Fortress.
While the remaining pirates were trapped within the fort, Garrundar performed a ritual that struck Bartholomew Blackdagger with a vile curse that bound his soul to the island fortress. The malevolent wyrm them poisoned the river that provided their only source of fresh drinking water, leaving them to waste away within what became their prison. Unwilling to let Garrundar dictate the terms of his end, Blackdagger willed his curse to spread to his men, causing his already-deceased comrades to rise as undead and securing the fates of those few living that remained.
As the undead pirates remained bound to their fortress, Garrundar gained influence over the tribe of lizardfolk that dwelled in the bogs to the west. It corrupted their home just as easily as it ravaged the hideaway of the pirates.
Some years later, in the Year of the Ageless One, 1479 DR, Captain Shil Yargo and her crew ventured up to Pirates' Skyhold with the hopes of finding some of the lost skyships in order to grow their fleet. With the aid of a famous adventurer from Neverwinter, they managed to destroy the undead pirates within Skull Fortress, rescue a group of mutineers that managed to avoid Garrundar's curse, and even recover one of the remaining flying skyships.
- Pirate King's Retreat, a secret hideaway used by Kayliss, second-in-command to Captain Blackdagger.
- Market Square, an open-air meeting place atop the isle that housed a number of ballistae that protected the entrance to Blackdagger's retreat.
- Scoundrel's Retreat, the secluded pirate town where the Bartholomew Blackdagger and his crew remained following their transition to undeath.
- Video Games
- Pirates' Skyhold article at the Neverwinter Wiki, a wiki for the Dungeons and Dragons: Neverwinter MMORPG.