|Titles||Captain of the Belle Dame, Captain of the Deathknell|
Source: Raiders of the Fever Sea, pg(s). 55
In 4631 AR, Captain Jeremiah Pilk took his ship, the Belle Dame, from its home port in Magnimar to go out whaling. His ship was known to sail for months at a time, hunting and processing whales and bringing back all but the bones. This is how he earned his nickname "Whalebone". He was very good at this until his last voyage.
Pilk's last trip went as far as Hermea before sighting a pod of bowhead whales and he gave chase. Whalebone was so vigorous that as he was ringing the bell to alert the crew, he tore the skin from his knuckles. This pod of whales stayed just out of reach for long enough that they had sailed into the Arcadian Ocean. During this time at sea, the ship's provisions were used up, and the crew mutinied. After winning his ship back, Whalebone had the mutiny's ring-leader cleaned like one of their catch and his skull nailed to the mast of the ship. A few days later a huge bowhead whale rammed the ship, and it sunk with all hands aboard and amid much cursing.
The Bell Dame has been renamed the Deathknell, and is occasionally seen on the waters at night chasing other ships. Usually, one of the first signs a ship is being chased is the loud clang of the ship's bell as Whalebone alerts his crew to the spotted prey. As an undead he toys with his targets, chasing them for two nights before attacking on the third. Pilk is under a curse: he must remain undead until he takes 50 heads for each crew member he brought to a watery grave with him. This means he must collect 1,000 skulls in the hold of the ship before he is free. When the last skull is taken, the brine zombies who make his crew will attack Pilk, render his fat into oil, and nail his skull to the mainmast of the Deathknell. Then the ship will sink to the ocean floor forever.