There are few left today who remember Thanos's exact motivation for forming the Crimson Tide, but it is still clear that he was looking for an alternative to what the rest of the flags ruling the ocean offered. He placed ownership of the island Xi at the top of his list of goals and made it into a happy home for his ragtag band of pirates. As the last day of the Azure Ocean dawned, Thanos left Xi with his loyal servant, Piggy Rocky, and headed for Midnight with high ambitions.
Thanos washed onto the shores of the new ocean of Midnight and immediately began working to re-form his crew, the Pirates of the Damned, and his flag, Crimson Tide. On this new ocean, Thanos vowed that Crimson Tide would bow to no other flag; so while others played, he and his senior officers worked. New crews, such as the Cookie Pirates, joined the flag and older crews from the days of Azure grew stronger. Tedv's Numenoreans merged with Jenvieve's (now known as Misery) Gladiators, reorganizing the two crews into one unit and helping to solidify the strength of Crimson Tide. Thanks to the hard work of its crews, and especially the ceaseless pillaging of Misery and Dotte, Crimson Tide shocked the ocean when it managed to purchase a large number of shoppes on Alpha Island. The flag began hoarding commodities for the future colonization of Xi and producing war ships in mass numbers.
Tensions began to rise between the old guard of Azurian times and the new guard of Midnight. Things especially became heated and personal between Crimson Tide and the Rudder Revolution, the combination of Rudder Lubbers and Orange Revolution. When the war mechanic was created and introduced to the game, these two flags decided to exercise it. There were terms originally stated, and whether or not they were followed is an issue still disputed today. After Benda's attempts to run away in battle failed, resulting in a sunken cutter, Crimson Tide called foul. Thus, the war ended after only four hours. However, these four hours would in many ways impact the shape of the ocean for years to come.
Many believed that Pennsuedo's victory in the war would break Crimson Tide, but instead it had the opposite effect. The lost cutter was instantly replaced by Thanos. Many in the flag who had doubted Thanos before were impressed by this display of leadership. Crews that had been less than attached to the rest of Crimson Tide now banded closer together in response to the pressures being exerted on them by the Rudders and other anti-Crimson Tide forces on Midnight. Crimson Tide slowly withdrew from the rest of the community, becoming a unit onto themselves. The hoarded commodities, already impressive, were doubled. The fleet, already fearsome, was tripled.
Azure returned for a short time to allow players to experiment with the newly created blockade mechanism. Crimson Tide soon found it was quite good at these blockades thanks to the help of its allies and secret weapons, Aiziril and Greenwolf. It took the ultimate prize of Alpha Island. It was clear that Thanos had not been idle and had a few tricks up his sleeves. He and his flag were ready for blockades to hit Midnight.
Crimson Tide's ultimate goal was Xi; they wanted to rule it just as they had in Azure. However, they were told by the Dread Ringers that Xi would not be opened for colonization until a supply chain had been established. So Thanos, as representative of Crimson Tide, conspired with Imperio, Tyr's Own, The Jolly Company, Black Sails and a few other secret allies to divide the ocean among themselves. After the first few weekends of blockades were over, they had taken the first islands in the supply chain.
They also participated in the defeat of the Rudder Revolution in that flag's first attempt at gaining a home island. The conflicts between Rudder Revolution, who reorganized into Rudder Hell, were epic; the events culminated in what many people still argue is the greatest blockade ever: Papaya I. The blockade lasted twenty-four hours and the maximum twelve rounds; each side seemed to hold insurmountable advantages at different times. Ultimately, an inspired final round win by Crimson Tide, caused by high level puzzling and battle navigation, led to the end result of a tie. Much emotional and physical energy was expended in these blockades.
That's why some were surprised when Crimson Tide decided to take on a force that many people considered to be the darlings of the ocean, Nyx's Scions, in a bid to conquer Turtle Island before them by dropping an unexpected war chest. Nyx's responded with a war chest of its own. In what could arguably be considered the most expensive blockade ever (the war chests alone were one million PoE each and many ships had been sunk to Davy Jones'), Crimson Tide emerged victorious. The colonization of Turtle was very controversial and many feelings were hurt; some left the game due to the results.
The ocean experienced relative peace for a time after this. Crimson Tide's fleet, as massive as it once was, was much reduced after the blockades at Papaya and Turtle, and internal flag changes occurred. A relative peace was even formed with Equinox (the latest incarnation of Rudder Revolution). Thanos began to have other interests outside of the game, so Misery and other royalty members started to take on increasing responsibility in the flag. Eventually it was time for the peace to end, and the alliance decided to help Greenwolf in his bid to take his dream island - Jorvik Island. However, their efforts failed and the Looterati instead successfully defended the island they had won a few weeks earlier. Two months later, a second attempt to win Jorvik failed.
This failure was ultimately the end of an era. Thanos passed the crown to Misery and she became the second monarch of Crimson Tide. While Misery and Thanos had much in common, they ultimately had very different philosophies on how a flag should be run. Misery transitioned the flag from an absolute monarchy to the current oligarchic form.
Misery at the helm
Approximately two months later, the moment that Crimson Tide had long waited for arrived: Xi was finally opened for colonization. The controversial decision was made to return Turtle to Vilya so that all efforts could be focused on Xi. The island was taken with little resistance, but the flag enjoyed every second of the blockade.
In the months after colonizing Xi, Crimson Tide again underwent internal changes. Misery worked hard to reconnect the flag to the rest of the ocean and fundamentally changed how the flag operated. Some members disliked these changes and left the flag, while some crews wanted larger parts of Xi than they had worked for. However, the overall health of the flag and island was put ahead of individual wants, leading to the exit of these crews as well. After a crew split in Pirates of the Damned, things began looking bleak; it looked as if the Tide might end.
Thanks to the arrival of fresh faces, as well as the strong leadership of Misery, this did not happen. By the time Crimson Tide's allies, Avalon, were in peril at Spring Island, things were back in order for Crimson Tide, and they successfully helped their allies fend off Parthanos and his newer version of Imperio. Shuranthae joined Crimson Tide, once again solidifying the skill level of the flag. New crews seeking to earn their fame and glory joined the Tide, as old rivals, such as Orange Revolution, mended fences and joined the flag.
Over the rest of 2005, Crimson Tide had a few setbacks and public losses in blockades, putting the flag under heavy criticism. Some saw this as a signal that Crimson Tide had become weak, leading to a race to attack them at Xi. Notorious Fandango won the race and dropped a war chest in September 2005. However, Crimson Tide proved they were still a force to be reckoned with, defeating one of the largest foes that any island-owning flag on Midnight had faced.
Committee of royals
Early 2006 saw Crimson Tide transition from the rulership of Misery to the rule of Shuranthae. He never officially became monarch, as being a Crimson Tide monarch comes with a lot of unwanted responsibility that had driven away Thanos and Misery, players who loved the game. So the royals agreed to lead as a committee, although Shuranthae was the defacto leader. His eccentric methods of leadership were sometimes difficult for outsiders to understand, but they were very effective. Shuranthae made most of the shoppes that weren't profitable on Xi successful, and his popular pillages swelled the numbers of the flag to the greatest they had been since people had begun to migrate to new oceans.
It was a fairly peaceful year, at least for Crimson Tide, if not her allies. In June 2006, Jester's Court, told Crimson Tide that they wanted either Crimson Tide or Dies Irae to double cross Caper's Capers (who were allied to CT) and purchase Turtle Island before Caper's could blockade the island. After Crimson Tide refused, the island was taken by Dies Irae, ultimately giving Dies Irae a base.
In was at this time that The Uprising merged into Crimson Tide and Angelfish became Crimson Tide's first protectorate. Crimson Tide agreed to help defend the island but the day-to-day management and maintenance of the island and its defense fleet and finances would continue to be by former Uprising members.
Late 2006 found Crimson Tide in a new position: that of the underdog. With Silver Dawn defeated by Dies Irae at Eta after a month of weekly blockades, Crimson Tide decided to take action herself. Although Crimson Tide had no standing issue with Dies Irae, despite their wins at Turtle and Eta, the flag blockaded Eta. The blockade on paper was unsuccessful for Crimson Tide, but their intent to start a resource war was a success. This resource war would last throughout the last months of 2006 and into the beginning of 2007.
What happened between Crimson Tide and Dies Irae to sour relations is still a source of much contention. Crimson Tide claimed DI used underhanded tactics, targeting solo merchants and officers-in-training but running from more equal battles and using alts to lower might rings. Both flags tried to portray the other as villains on parley, despite the fact that Crimson Tide had not intended to make the war personal. Before the conflict was over, Dies Irae had blockaded Xi once, and Crimson Tide had blockaded Eta twice and double-dropped on both Eta and Turtle.
Ultimately, it was a very costly for both sides. Crimson Tide got what they wanted out of this war, still spending much less than Dies Irae and setting themselves up for many months of peace, at least from human opponents. Over the course of the struggle, the members of Crimson Tide had grown tired of constant war. Although DI was not defeated, CT was ready to stop fighting, and it would be a while before Dies Irae could truly fight again.
As this war took place, the Crimson Tide flag would fly above another island. Dark Judgment merged into Crimson Tide, thus transferring Lagniappe Island to Crimson Tide as a protectorate.
Fannon took the mantle of Queen in the summer of 2007, as the royals had learned during the war that not having a recognized point of contact caused more problems than it fixed. By this time Shuranthae had already passed many of his day-to-day leadership tasks to her. Before transitioning the leadership, Shuranthae amassed the largest war fleet that Crimson Tide had ever had.
The peace that Crimson Tide had earned against Dies Irae was not to last: Brigand Kings invaded Midnight. Owning islands in two adjacent archipelagos, Crimson Tide had to fight flotillas throughout Jet and Coral to avoid the BK blockades. Non-sinking flotillas proved to be difficult for Crimson Tide to defeat, though, as they were not as popular among jobbers (likely due to their lower payout than sinking flotillas). These became nearly a weekly chore, and by spring of 2008, Crimson Tide stopped killing the flotillas, with nearly monthly Brigand King blockades as the result. Crimson Tide used many of these blockades to train new pirates in various blockade staffing positions.
As time passed, the frequent blockades and weekly flotillas caused many in Crimson Tide, once a blockade loving flag, to burn out. Blockade attendance dropped with each subsequent blockade and flotilla interest flatlined.
When there was not a BK blockade to deal with, Crimson Tide faced human foes. Crimson Tide assisted her ally Avalon in repeated blockades at Spring, as well as Broadsiders and Lunar Bin in their own series of attacks and defenses. After years of warfare and changes throughout the ocean, the size of Crimson Tide's alliances had grown small.
The young flag Riot decided to blockade Angelfish, using it as a "sloop event" for two of the rounds. Crimson Tide prepared small ships for round three to discover that Riot had switched to larger ones. Surprised, the flag quickly switched back to larger ones. A fun blockade for both sides, Crimson Tide successfully defended the island.
In August of 2008, Crimson Tide was caught by surprise when Midnight Marauders dropped a war chest on Lagniappe. Midnight Marauders fought an excellent blockade and used several of Crimson Tide's most famous tactics against them, successfully winning the island. Crimson Tide, after much internal debate, decided to retake Lagniappe as its own. From this point forward, Lagniappe became an official island of Crimson Tide and no longer a protectorate.
Shortly after retaking Lagniappe and learning they would have to fight yet another Brigand King, Crimson Tide heard rumors of an impending Dies Irae blockade. Herculean efforts managed to gain Crimson Tide a fair amount of support, allowing them to have equal or slightly greater jobber numbers throughout the first round. However, the decreased number of faithful alliance jobbers coupled with blockade fatigue causing the flag itself to not attend the blockade in large numbers led to a growing jobbing advantage for Dies Irae that Crimson Tide was unable to overcome, and Xi was lost to Dies Irae in the later rounds.
Crimson Tide retook Xi Island from Dies Irae in January of 2009. It was a controversial blockade because Dies Irae decided not to defend the island without telling the ocean, by simply not showing up. Not being fans of "flag sitting", Crimson Tide asked their friends in Folie Circulaire to enter the blockade so that those who were excited for a blockade could at least have some fun. All funds to cover Folie Circulare's expenses came straight from the Crimson Tide's own coffers.
On April 26, 2009, Annaleese was officially instated as the newest monarch of Crimson Tide.
What comes next for Crimson Tide is uncertain, but the flag continues to be a place where its members care for one another and have pride in their flag's long history. Her mates are a mixture of merchants, pillagers, carousers, and friends.