Very little is truly known about the pirate Surtain, but there are a great deal of rumors, legends, and myths surrounding him.
Of what is known, it is accepted that he is an imposing figure that wields a magic sword, supposedly with the ability to turn metal to rust. Physical descriptions place him as either a half or full blooded orc, which would explain both his height and seemingly supernatural strength.
While orcs are not often known for their intelligence and leadership, he and a group of mercenaries pulled off the near impossible as well as suicidal task of not only boarding but taking over a Muspellian military airship known as the Wild Hunt. His ship has been directly responsible for multiple attacks on trading and military vessels as well as several towns and cities. He generally operates near the borders of the trade empires but is so brazen as to penetrate deep to the heart at times.
That is what is known, but here is what is speculated:
While he is officially and publicly a wanted man by the Muspell government, portions of the populace, Varangians in particular, believe that he is a corsair operating under Muspell’s directive, publicly scorned as a means of denying involvement in his actions.
Others believe that his ship is crewed by a spectral army consisting of the souls of the people he has killed. There have been several accounts of the Wild Hunt appearing in the night sky only for ghosts and the undead to rise and become restless in the days following.
Some speculate that his iconic sword is cursed and that the wielder must take a life every time the blade is unsheathed. Some believe that the sword is the instrument he uses to gather souls and that each life taken by the sword becomes his to command.
Several people who were unfortunate enough to encounter him but lucky enough to survive swear that weapons cannot cut him, speaking of blows that simply bounced off of his skin. This rumor may simply be just an offshoot of another: that he is often seen accompanied by a warrior made entirely out of stone.
Some believe him to be a lich, theorizing that this is where his seeming control of the undead stems from as well as his seeming invincibility.
While his very nature makes it difficult to say, it is believed that he has killed several Arisen who have tried to confront him in the past.