Welcome to the Web site of Marion van Ghent — artist, musician, scholar, and sea-captain. Look around and learn a bit about her history, interests, and especially her artwork (mostly in the Shoppe), created primarily for use in Flying Lab Software’s Pirates of the Burning Seas, a massively multiplayer online game set in the 1720’s Caribbean.
Mlle. van Ghent herself was created initially as a persona for Age of Sail II — another multiplayer game of maritime adventure, set in the late 18th century during the classic era of epic naval warfare. Since Pirates of the Burning Seas (PotBS) was announced, she has had the curious distinction of becoming her own thrice-great-aunt as well. This Marion van Ghent was born in 1692, the great-granddaughter of the Baron Willem Josef van Ghent, a Dutch admiral, 2nd in command of the fleet under the reknown Michiel de Ruyter. Most discontent with her father’s inflexible attitudes and isolated station in Batavia, she stole away upon a homebound Indiaman at the tender age of twelve, masquerading as a boy; luckily for her the captain was her own uncle, who took the girl into protection for the remainder of the journey and taught her much about seafaring life, self-defense, and business.
While her uncle’s hope was that the rough voyage home would strip young Marion of her love of the sea, the opposite happened. She only grew to love it more, and furthermore showed rather an aptitude for navigation. When their ship was attacked by corsairs off the coast of Morocco, Marion’s uncle was gravely wounded defending her — at which point the young girl, in a panic, took up the sword and fought fiercely. Her bravery startled the Moors boarding the ship, and rallied the crew of the beleaguered Indiaman; thus they kept the corsairs at bay until another ship in the convoy was able to join them and drive off the pirates. Though shaken by the experience, Marion still longed to be a sea-captain.
Marion’s uncle recovered, feeling indebted to the girl; eventually he helped to reconcile her with her father, and continued serving as her mentor. She traveled twice more to the Indies, officially as a ship's clerk, and in those subsequent years earned much respect and many florins for her efforts. When an opportunity presented itself in the Caribbean, she co-founded the Sint Maartens Zeevaarders Syndicaat, hoping to do profitable business in the West Indies... even though recent treaties meant she would be sailing not under the Dutch flag, but the French.
The year was 1720. This is where her story begins.