Critical Intel

Critical Intel
Decoding the Uncharted 4 Teaser

Robert Rath | 9 Jan 2014 16:00
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But the prize was so enormous and its route so predictable that every pirate in the area hove into view. Five other ships - including Thomas Tew's Amity - were already lying in wait when Every arrived. The pirates decided to join forces. The six ships formed a squadron, elected Every leader, and gave chase.

The pursuit was a mess. One ship fell behind. It had to be burned after the crew abandoned it and piled aboard the Fancy. Tew engaged one of the escorts and got his belly ripped in open by a cannonball, causing the Amity to drift, leaderless. The squadron finally took the Fateh Muhammed, but the £50,000 of gold and silver amounted to little after dividing it among so many crews. But a few days later Every sighted the Ganj-i-Sawai, which was the largest ship in the convoy and personally owned by the emperor. It had 40 cannons and 400 rifles - Every, on the other hand, had luck.

A fluke cannon shot from the Fancy dismasted the great ship leaving her unable to maneuver her guns in defense. The Indian crew managed to hold off the pirates until one of their cannon barrels exploded, forcing the defenders to abandon their posts and fight the fires. Every's men saw their opportunity and swarmed aboard. The hand-to-hand battle stretched for two hours before the ship belonged to the pirates.

That's when the slaughter began. According to several firsthand accounts, the pirates started a multi-day sack as the ships sat becalmed in the Arabian Sea. They murdered crewmen and tortured merchants to find hidden valuables. Pirates gang-raped the women aboard, causing several to commit suicide.

Once the carnage was done and the survivors sent on their way, Every counted coin. Records differ about how much he got - the East India Company likely tried to lowball the ensuring insurance claim, whereas Emperor Aurangzeb probably inflated it - but all agree it was somewhere between £350,000 and £600,000. The question then becomes: What happened to all that treasure, and what happened to Henry Every?

According to Captain Johnson, Every swindled his crew into letting him serve as custodian for the treasure, then ran off with it. Considering that the Uncharted trailer has a reference to Every betraying a shipmate, this is probably the path Naughty Dog will take. But historians have discredited this as fabrication. Records indicate that after the battle, Every distributed the treasure amongst his crew, then took shelter at New Providence by bribing the governor with £1,000 worth of ivory tusks. But a score that big made Every a marked man. The Mughal Emperor was furious that English pirates had desecrated his subjects and property, and he threatened to expel the British from India if nothing was done (in hindsight, this would've been wise in the long term). The only way the English could repair the damage was to either find Every or make reparations themselves - they chose the former, and began the first worldwide manhunt in history. The governor of New Providence, fearing he'd be held accountable for sheltering the culprit, warned Every that he had no choice but to alert the Royal Navy to his presence. By the time the Navy showed up, Every was long gone. Though authorities eventually caught and hanged six of Every's crew, their captain was never seen again.

Some sources claim he went back to England, where merchants swindled him out of his fortune. More embellished tales like 1712 play The Successful Pirate cast Every as a buccaneer king ruling over Madagascar. So there - in addition to Thomas Tew - is another link to Libertalia.

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