red flag fleet

The Pirate Queen of the South China Sea

The Red Flag Fleet under Ching Shih’s rule went undefeated, despite attempts by Qing dynasty officials, the Portuguese navy, and the East India Company to vanquish it. After three years of notoriety on the high seas, Ching Shih finally retired in 1810 by accepting an offer of amnesty from the Chinese government. Ching Shih died in 1844, at the ripe old age of 69.At the dawn of the 1800s, a former prostitute from a floating brothel in the city of Canton was wed to Cheng I, a fearsome pirate who operated in the South China Sea in the Qing dynasty. Though the name under which we now know her, Ching Shih, simply means “Cheng’s widow,” the legacy she left behind far exceeded that of her husband’s. Following his death, she succeeded him and commanded over 1,800 pirate ships, and an estimated 80,000 men.

Her husband, Ching I, was the formidable commander of the Red Flag Fleet of pirate ships. He married a 26-year-old Ching Shih in 1801. She quickly took to the pirate life and when Ching I died six years later, Ching Shih wasn’t going to let Ching I’s adopted son, Cheung Po Tsai take over.  Cheung Po Tsai, however, was more than just Ching Shih’s adopted son –-  the young man had also been Ching I’s lover.

Keep reading

Season 2 Rewrite - First Drafts

They’re here, and they’re glorious!

Episode 1 – An Arsonist’s Tale - robininthelabyrinth

Episode 2 – [Untitled Crusades/Cretaceous] - asexual-fandom-queen

Episode 3 – Heirlooms -  polytropic-liar 

Episode 4 – Schrodinger’s Canary - robininthelabyrinth

Episode 5 – The Sorceress’ Apprentice – oneiriad

Episode 6 – Waverider’s Eight - sanctuaryforalluniverses

Episode 7 – Invasion! - Kakopumpkin 

Episode 8 – Legend Lost – arkhambright (old)

Episode 9 – Turncoat - sanctuaryforalluniverses

Episode 10 –  The Red Flag Fleet – cederexnescio + marywisdom

Episode 11 – There Is No Depression In New Zealand – prouvairablehulk

Episode 12 – Ghost Ship – kakopumpkin

Episode 13 – The Missing - airyalmost + blue-ink-pearls

Episode 14 – Let Them Grumble - daughterofscotland

Episode 15 – The Riots of New York - cleverqueen + delkios

Episode 16 – Legends of the Hidden Temple - hippothebrave

Episode 17 – Resistance Is Futile - kako-pumpkin

Episode 18 – Veni Vidi Vici - lacommunarde

Episode 19 – Once And Future Legends - drownedinlight  (old)

Episode 20 – Doomworld 1 - pretzel-log1c 

Episode 21 – Doomworld 2 - pretzel-log1c 

Episode 22 – Whole World In His Hands – robininthelabyrinth

Everyone, please read through the episodes! Leave comments (and compliments!) directly on the google doc or submit comments to @lotrewrite. Proofread edits, suggested edits to content, recommendations about keeping characterizations and arcs consistent, title suggestions, anything! and don’t forget to leave comments on the sections you find particularly good!

Writers: feel free to keep editing as you start getting comments!

Ching Shih 鄭氏 (1775-1844) Cheng I Sao

Ching Shih was one of Asia’s strongest pirates who terrorized the China Sea in the early 19th century. At the height of her power she commanded at least 1000 junks and 20.000 to 40.000 pirates.

Ching Shih was born in 1775 in the Guangdong province under the name of Shil Xiang Gu. She worked as a prostitute in the city Canton, but was captured by pirates and married Zheng Yi, a famous pirate. She participated in her husbands piracy, and together they made a coalition of Cantonese pirates, known as the Red Flag Fleet.

When Zheng Yi died in 1807, Ching Shih took over leadership. To stop her rivals she sought support of powerful members of her husbands family. She also made herself essential to the remaining captains of the Red Flag Fleet. When she needed someone loyal to help her manage the fleets daily operations, she chose Chang Pao, her husbands first mate. Ching Shih and Chang Pao eventually married and she had a child with him.

Ching Shih further united the Red Flag Fleet by making a code of very strict laws. Special rules were made for female captives: standard practice was to either release women or make them concubines or wives, but this was not allowed on Ching Shih’s fleet. Pirates who raped the captives were executed, but if they had consensual sex with captives, both the pirate and the woman would be killed.

The fleet took control over many coastal villages, sometimes even imposing levies and taxes. The Chinese, Portugese and British navies all tried to defeat Ching Shih, but none succeeded, so eventually in 1810 they offered amnesty to all pirates. Ching Shih began negotiations with government official Zhang Bai Ling and got everything she asked for: she even could keep her loot. Ching Shih then ended her career, and returned to Canton after Chang Pao’s death with her son to open a gambling house, becoming one of the few pirate captains to retire from piracy. She eventually died of old age at 69.

LOT Rewrite - Episode 10: Red Flag Fleet

by myself and @marywisdom


Constantine’s compass directs everyone’s favourite team of time-traveling misfits back in time to 1809 China, where pirates, the Chinese government, and the British East India Company are battling it out for control of the high seas. But now the Legion, the Legends, and a certain Spear are involved, and things are about to get a lot more complicated.

In which Jax becomes captain for an hour, Sara meets a fellow female captain, Amaya finds out the dirtier history of the British, and Ray learns to be himself. Mostly. But with swords.

(Episode 10 of a full 22-episode rewrite of season 2 - the same broad story arc, but rewritten episodes.)


Jax pulls out the compass, following it around the hold.

“Y’know,” Ray starts, “It kinda reminds me of that compass that Jack Sparrow had.”

Jax snorts at the irony. “Guess it works out, then.”

Mick grumbles. “Yeah, ‘cept instead of the thing you want most, shows you your biggest pain in the a–”

Footsteps make him stop mid sentence as an all-too-familiar figure comes into view on the steps into the cargo hold in the midst of a group of Company sailors, a smirk curled across his face. “Well, well,” Darhk drawls. “Look who decided to join the party.” 

Read the full episode here.

Read the previous episode by @sanctuaryforalluniverses here.

Read the series here.