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Are the Brethren real pirates?
They’re more real than you think. The pirates of the Brethren are not the same type of pirates you need to avoid when in the various waterways of the world. They won’t kill you for your goods or kidnap your children. But these pirates do look for treasures and go on adventures. They do “obtain” things mysteriously, and do live life a certain way. Some study the water, some sail, some study history, but all of them take the mantle of pirate seriously.

Where are the pirates from?
Few of the pirates are from the same place. Some live in West Michigan, some from other parts of Michigan. Other pirates that have been seen in the area come from Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, St. Louis, MO - even San Diego, CA!

What do the pirates do?
Mostly have fun, in whatever ways they can, and they often like to entertain. Pirates each have their own talents, some sing or play instruments, some are sword fighters, some are jugglers, some are historians, others are fire-eaters, still others are crafters. Quite a few are or were members of different performance groups. Each pirate usually has something that they are known for. The Brethren attend events or produce their own, they work fund raisers, promotions, and generally try to put a little fun in everyone’s lives.

Where do the pirates get their costumes?
Pirates get their costumes from so many different places, and each piece is likely to have come from a different place, this is almost impossible to answer. Some pirates make part of their costumes, some buy from different pirate shops, others get them from e-bay. There’s even some pieces that come directly from museums and motion picture prop houses! Of course pirates often trade, and may have no idea of the origin of a specific piece.

Where’s their ship?
Depends on which Captain you ask as they all have different ones. Not all pirates have a ship, but all Captains do, or did, and they can tell you exactly where they left their Ship. Keep in mind, you can’t just pull up to shore and park on the beach with your average pirate ship so most stay docked in a suitable location until it’s needed for something.

How many pirates are there?
Pirates are all over the world and number in the thousands. Most are independents, only grouping themselves with their own ship making an accurate count difficult. There are a few organizations that pirates can associate with and many pirates join more than one depending on where they are and what they’re doing at the time. Most, but not all, of the Brethren of the Great Lakes pirates come from the Great Lakes Region.

How can I be a pirate?
The easiest way is to find a Captain willing to take you on board their ship and train you, but if you are really serious and can’t find one to sponsor you, then just hang around with whatever pirates you can find. It does sort of rub off. Public membership to the Brethren (for beginners) is in the works. Please note though, that you just can't be a captain or something, you have to earn it:

Pirate Council - The Pirate Lords of the Great Lakes

Pirate Lord - Must be from a single body of water of more than 450 km3 or 9,500 square miles. Pirate lords must be accepted as such by a majority of the Pirate Council.

Commodore - Must command two or more ships. Each ship must have a Captain and a crew.

Captain - Must command a ship and have a crew. See Black Roger's ship manifest as an example: the Marie Griffon

Do pirates have rules?
There are plenty, only we call them articles. The Pirate Code does exist and all of the Brethren are pledged to follow it. Besides the articles, the pirates take direction from their Captain and generally follow the guidelines set by the Pirate Lords.

What is a Pirate Lord?
Pirate Lords are stewards, so to speak, of a certain body of water. Although this does not give them direct authority over the pirates on the waterway, it does affect the way the Brethren conduct themselves. Pirate Lords are elected positions within the Brethren and there are specific criteria that must be met to be eligible.

Can I hire the Brethren?
The short answer is yes. Pirates will do just about anything for the right amount of doubloons. If you are looking to book the Brethren for an event or party, please see our page for bookings, or contact one of the Pirate Lords.


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