- For the NPC located in the Hall of Shadows, see Pirate (Hall of Shadow).
The term pirate now refers to a much wider selection of traits, and while several groups of criminals branded as pirates do sail the Great Sea and search for treasure, other factions prefer to remain secretive, reserving piracy for the inner ranks of their organizations. Needless to say, most pirates are considered less clean than your average sailor.
Synonym terms for a pirate includes: freebooter, privateer, corsair, buccaneer, raider, sea king, etc.
Following the Second War and the Invasion of Draenor, Kul Tiran fleets patrolled the trade lanes hunting pirates and marauders on the high seas. Azeroth's pirates raided one another in search of treasure, giving little thought to the risks they would undertake. The choice to create a pair of nimble cutlasses, Fate and Fortune, the sort of weapons favored on the high seas, meant that the eredar Talgath saw great potential in corrupting pirates to the Burning Legion's cause, including the Bellwether's crew and later a portion of the Bloodsail Buccaneers who splintered into the Dread Fleet.
Over the years, many pirate groups have formed on Azeroth, operating in many coastal areas and most importantly on the open seas between the continents.
The island of Tol Barad's location on sea lanes and lack of policing due to the collapse of many of the Alliance's states during the events of the Third War made it a very attractive location for pirates. The abandoned Rustberg Village was repurposed by a band of pirates into a base from which they would strike at the wealthy trade towns along the shores of the Baradin Bay. Over the years, some pirates had journeyed to Kalimdor and recruited or impressed various tauren into their crews, tauren who would later call Rustberg home just as their shipmates do. Other pirates in Rustberg include humans, orcs, and gnomes.
At some point after the Cataclysm, Feral Scar of Feralas "made a deal" with some pirates to transport his yetis and the Woodpaw gnolls to the Blasted Lands. The deal was that the pirate should help them unless they wanted to be pounded into dust by the yeti leader, so they agreed to give them ships.
What follows is a list of pirate organizations within Azeroth.
- Blacksail Crew
- Blackwater Raiders
- Bloodsail Buccaneers
- Briona's Buccaneers
- Defias Brotherhood
- Dread Crew
- Dread Fleet
- Greenbelly's Raiders
- Irontide Raiders
- Fogsail Freebooters
- Hozen pirates of Unga Ingoo
- Northsea Freebooters
- Oona tribe
- Red Blade
- Rotting Mire pirates
- Rustberg pirates
- Seawing Saboteurs
- Southsea Freebooters
- Thalo'dan Privateers
- Virtuous Blades
- The Bloody Dawn's crew
- Wastewander (formerly)
- Southshore privateer fleet
There are also pirate groups on alternate Draenor.
- The Bonefleet
- Giras the Guileful - His surprise attacks were legend, though he was just as infamous for his gambling addiction. He sails with his ship Snake Eyes and his submarine The Veiled Threat.
- Vhaka the Vile - Cursed for their evil deeds for terrorizing Draenor's seas without remorse, they lash out at the living with their ship The Last Wish and their submarine The Shiv.
- The Bloody Scimitar
- The members of the Hidden that attacked the ship of Greydon Thorne, the Wavestrider, were initially considered to be pirates by the Wavestrider's crew. Makasa Flintwill later brought it and doubted that they were pirates at all.
- Some pirates make reference to Neptulon's Locker, seemingly Azeroth's equivalent of the real-world euphemism Davy Jones' Locker which refers to the bottom of the sea. To be "sent to Davy Jones' Locker" means to be killed in a shipwreck or drowning.
- ^ Kul Tiran Executioner says: For the crimes of piracy, theft, and murder, the courts have found you guilty. Piracy is one of the most vile of crimes under Kul Tiran law and you will be served justice.
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual
- ^ Blood Ledger#The Dreadblades
- ^ Ask CDev #3
- ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 104
- ^ Traveler: The Shining Blade
- ^ Garrison Mission: The House Always Wins
- ^ Garrison Mission: For Hate's Sake
- ^ Traveler
- ^ : "[...] any man, woman, or child found consorting with the Blackwater Raiders will be sent straight to Neptulon's locker."
- ^ Bloodsail Oarsman yells: They be on either side of us! Send 'em down to Neptulon's Locker!
- ^ Bloodsail Corsair says: I'll send ye down to Neptulon's Locker, ye three-gallon pufferfish!