Copyright (c) 2003, all writings under this fictitious character to his writer. Web Design by McHugh Graphics

Gypsy Blood Flowed as Deep as the Ocean Depths

"Lan' Ho!" was cried from the crow's nest along with "Foul Starboard". Darren McCullen, Gypsy pirate, so ordained by those who knew him, was pellet by rain as he steered his ship out of the dangers of the storm and the raging sea around them. Hair a chestnut brown was offset by the deeper burnt umber of  his eyes rimmed in black giving them an ominous a look as that which raged around them. His skills saved many a crew in his journeys upon the seas. He stood a good 6' 3", 10 years senior to the lad Toby he took in under his wing, becoming more like a younger brother he never had.

A russet bandanna was worn around his head to keep his braided hair tamed back. A white buccaneer shirt look stark against the sun bronzed skin. A wide belt against black pants held a dagger and various pouches, money well hidden on his person along with extra weapons. His features could best be described as striking, a face not soon forgotten. Rare was the meeting of him like two ships passing in the night. He was becoming noted on the high seas for his fairness and efficiency in his dealings. Noble ranking he kept well hidden for now. He was a dual personality, the pirate with the wanderlust and the noble who could pass off with the best of them in business intrigue within any court.

Proud owner of the Challenger.

The sea had always been his mistress and would probably continue to be such. It was not an impossibility one could win his heart one day, even over his first love and wanderlust, it would just be a mighty tough deed. 

Irish born with the blood of the Gypsy, he was drawn to the sea like a moth to a flame. He bought the Challenger while in his teens with the monies he saved while helping his father in his shipping business. Darren was more prone to the wild adventures that were life risking challenges, thus he named his ship.

The ship was older built but solidly made as he spent the next two years restoring it to a near new condition. He proceeded to hand pick his crew of those of like attitude. He learned to fight as one did when their life was at stake scouting the vast seas in search of treasures left by the less scrupulous pirates. A thief that stole from thieves.

Dark eyes held that intensity of a deep rooted passion, there were no bars held in gaining that which he set out to do.

He was more at home on the tropical paradise of islands than main bodies of land. The sea to surround in the fresh sea air and away from civilization and pollution. Here he found the solace of his heart and soul. They charted maps along the way.

There was a set of islands that few knew of that were discovered by accident after a storm. Darren didn't believe in coincidences or accidents. Whatever he discovered he considered his in a way as the islands were watched. They were used by another pirate that was known as Red Beard for the flame coloring attributed to it. This was one of the unscrupulous ones, Darren had every intention of stealing from. Patience was his as in time he would find a way to sneak in and steal that which the other thought was hidden. He had stolen from him before and would again, a much bigger prize this time.

There was a drawback for the islands could only be reached certain times of the year when the ocean was higher than normal and the passageway clear. He planned to intrigue a few others he knew to aid him in this high seas adventure.

The Elaborate Ruse?

Upon his father's death at a ripe old age, his titles were then passed onto the son. Thomas' only son. His mother, June, had died when he was a boy of some sickness that had ravaged the town in which they lived. Thomas never married again for there had only been one for him. There were no other children.

Darren was raised in the courts of the elite, conducting business as his father trained him. Little did Thomas know of his own son's wanderlust, the blood of his mother's people. He could spar words with the best of them in diplomatic conversations, more than just holding his own. He had away about him that was very convincing when Darren chose to be.

He was well acquainted with his father's library while growing up. Many the hours were spent studying in his lust for knowledge. Hours that would pay off later in his own adventures, gaining him the able to think on his feet in any situation. A kind of challenge Darren liked to meet, such made his blood rush and sometimes even boil.

In his adventurous ways he came upon a man from the lands of Ballicastle. In spite of his wandering ways he enjoyed a central point, a home, as his basis to work from. The skills of the nobleman were well embedded to temper him enough. It was this temperament that would be needed if he ever one day married and raised a family of his own. It was not a goal for certain but he knew anything could happen, even love. Life was like the rolling waves of the ocean, ever changing and a challenge each day to meet those changes.

Darren was at home in any courtly gathering as he was with the sea. He could walk the walk of the Lord as well as he could walk the walk of the Pirate. He found a balance between the two and the lands of Ballicastle gave him a grounding foundation.

A small manor home, Oceanview Vineyards, was his for as long as he stayed in the lands. It was situated northwest of the castle itself on a rolling meadow that held the view of the ocean from a second floor balcony of the master bedroom. A small staff was hired of the local residents that were skilled in their areas. He conducted business from here as needed. One thing he made certain was to have an extensive library of his own. Books he collected in his many journeys that were not easily found in local libraries. He liked his wines and so took over the small vineyards that came with the manor home. They were productive and he sold what he didn't need for his own stock.

The Silver Lining

The Pain and the Blessing

As with all hardships in life there usually comes a blessing to offset it. The silver lining to each storm. Darren had fallen in love or so he felt was mutually shared with another but love is not something one way. Not to say it wasn't good in the beginning but maybe he should have seen the first signs that supported it was not really there when his mate spent more time wandering and being with others than him. A habit that grew. He believed in freedom and not smothering another but there came a certain unspoken code of ethics when one took on a mate. A certain commitment. One would think both wanted to spend as much time together even when with others. It was when a friend of his mate sent an unknown guard on her, wherever she went, whatever she did he was there, became the crux. Darren came home to find out about this man after a trip. It dawned on him that what should be in their marriage, in a commitment was not there when she defended the unknown man over him. Argued in his defense. 

She insulted him as a man, as her mate and protector. He had almost ended it there that day but waited in hope it was a misunderstanding. Instead she took more trips alone when all his included her and finally he felt forced to set her free because it was the right thing for him to do. He had become her albatross to freedom. Freedom of him was granted completely. Done and done. The hurt went deep but as a friend told him he deserved better. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. He wasn't so sure about such statements -deserving better- but he knew what he thought he had, he did not. It was a mistake that was corrected, another learning experience.

It was with a heavy heart he sailed to Dublin on an emergency request to find it was he had a son. Donnie, who was called Dolphin and a story behind it. There was no denying the lad was his from four years prior, an island, a beautiful and loving woman and what transpired. He lost her for she did not wish to burden him once they ported in Dublin. She disappeared. Now her most trusted friend brought the boy to his father as her dying wish. He gained a new friend in Aban Gallagher, his partner there, but the trip home and the run in with Red Beard brought the death of his closest friend, Sammy. The added pain in his heart was far greater than any pain of the ax wounded shoulder during that faithful battle when he killed Red Beard. The next few weeks were spent in excessive drinking to kill the pain of body and mind and it was his son that kept from going over the edge.

Darren's life changed tremendously but where he should find heartache he found his heart filled more in a different way than he ever could imagine in Dolphin. He had the makings of a father. He flirted when intoxicated and he'd been propositioned by a few women but the Pirate found he had become more the Lordship in scruples. He wasn't sure he wanted scruples at this time either. This became a new battle within.

The Christmas season was upon them and for the first time he needed to go shopping for a three year old child. Friends helped and he admitted, something he never thought he'd be doing, he enjoyed. He enjoyed seeing his son's eyes light up as if he discovered a new island or treasure in small things that were far left behind as one grew to adulthood in such wonderment. Donnie was a balm for his heart and each new day a discovery through the eyes of a child.

Years passed as his son grew up. Still he had not found love but he continued to believe there was one special for him. That someone might well be right under his nose he was discovering.

In the Wake of Red Beard

Although he ported the Challenger for the winter, the sea and adventure could never be taken from one that had Gypsy blood in his veins. Tempered perhaps but he didn't give up on the maps he was working on. Red Beard was dead by his hand and by Sammy giving his life to ensure it. The Phantom Pirate's fame would only grow, embellished along the way and a desire by some to find and kill him. Darren knew that notorious pirate had a wealth of treasures buried. Who better able to figure out where than the one that followed him for years unseen? He knew full well any that knew where Red's stash was hidden were killed. Eventually anyone of that ilk getting wind of his death would also be on the prowl.

The islands stranded within a land mass was the first map he worked on. They had traveled there and barely made it out with some of Red Beard's treasure stolen. He knew there was more and he knew there were other areas so he was carefully mapping everything of those isles and land mass surrounding it he remembered accurately.

The second map was of the island where Donnie was conceived and where Darren first encountered Red Beard. Perhaps he should have made sure of his death that day but Fate had her own ideas that spanned near a decade with Darren earning the title of Phantom Pirate in the process. He still held that title.

Main Staff of Oceanview Manor:
James, butler. Wilma, cook. Betsy, kitchen and chambermaid. Josh, handyman. Shelly Dunn, Governess


SLs on HF MB:
Pirates Lot   The Course of Time   Taiiki Island   Breaking Up   Phantom Pirate   Challenges
(they will be added here in time)

Disclaimer: Pictures used are of the talented actor Johnny Depp. I make no claims as they are only used in reference to depict how this fictional character would look.