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Attack on the Empress

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Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject is pure conjecture. Please see the reasons for this title in the "Behind the scenes" section below, and/or the relevant discussion on the talk page.

Previous:

Skirmish off of the Black Sand Beach

Next:

Battle of Calypso's maelstrom

Attack on the Empress
Empress Flying Dutchman Attack
Conflict:

War Against Piracy

Date:

1740s

Place:

Unknown

Outcome:

Decisive East India Trading Company victory. Death of Sao Feng aboard the Empress, after granting Elizabeth Swann the positions of captain and Pirate Lord. The Empress crew captured and later escaped with the help of Admiral James Norrington, who meets his death in the hands of Bootstrap Bill Turner.

Factions

Feng Swann flag

Crew of the Empress

EITCo flag

Crew of the Flying Dutchman
(with EITC assistance)
Commanders

Elizabeth Swann
Tai Huang

Admiral James Norrington
Davy Jones

Participants

Chinese pirates

Crewmen
EITC soldiers

Casualties

Sao Feng
Few Empress crewmen
Capture of survivors (later escape)

James Norrington (post-battle)
EITC soldiers killed or wounded

  [Source]
"Signal the Dutchman to track down Sao Feng."
Cutler Beckett[src]

The Attack on the Empress was a sea battle that took place shortly before the Fourth Brethren Court between the Empress and the Flying Dutchman.

Prelude

"We follow the Pearl. How soon can we have the ship ready to pursue?"
Cutler Beckett before the Endeavour's mainmast breaks[src]

After the escape of Jack Sparrow from the HMS Endeavour to the Black Pearl, Lord Cutler Beckett ordered one of his officers, Lieutenant Groves, to signal the Flying Dutchman to track down the Empress while they followed the Pearl. Beckett wanted Sao Feng taken care of, because of his betrayal in helping the pirates, but didn't want to lose the Pearl, as it was the only chance of finding Shipwreck Cove, the meeting place of the Brethren Court.

However, as Jack damaged the Endeavour'smainmast, they were unable to pursue the Pearl and continued with their main concern: Sao Feng. At some point before the Dutchman set off to find Sao Feng, Ian Mercer came aboard to keep an eye on the Dutchman's captain, Davy Jones.

Calypso

"By this time tomorrow, we will arrive at Shipwreck Cove and you will be free...Calypso."
"Excuse me?
"
Sao Feng and Elizabeth Swann[src]

Meanwhile the Empress was sailing off to the meet with the Brethren Court at Shipwreck Cove. During the voyage, Sao Feng admitted to Elizabeth that upon first sight, he believed she might be Calypso, and her actions since then had only made him more certain. However, Elizabeth ignored his advances. Enticed, Feng forced himself upon Elizabeth, who bit his lip when he attempted to kiss her.

Attack

Ambush

"Who among you do you name as captain?!"
"Captain—her!
"
Davy Jones and Tai Huang[src]
Norrington01

Admiral James Norrington boarding the Empress.

The Flying Dutchman immediately came upon the Empress and delivered a massive attack, giving thunderous broadside and sending numerous crewmen to attack. Sao Feng was mortally wounded in the first blast, and thus unable to rally his men to defend the ship. He turned command of the ship over to Elizabeth Swann, making her a Pirate Lord. Tai Huang arrived right when his captain gave his last breath and questioned Elizabeth on what Sao Feng told her. After Elizabeth told him that she was made his new captain, Tai Huang angrily left, not willing to accept her as captain.

Liz Empress Attack

Elizabeth Swann and Tai Huang being taken hostage.

Caught completely by surprise, the crew of the Empress was unable to counterattack. Admiral James Norrington boarded the Empress with the Dutchman crewmen and EITC marines. The Empress' crew was swiftly overpowered and either killed or captured. Elizabeth and Tai Huang were taken hostage by two marines before Norrington was reunited with Elizabeth.

Norrington informed Elizabeth that her father, Weatherby Swann, would be overjoyed by knowing she was alive. But Elizabeth informed him that her father was dead, despite what Norrington was told by Lord Cutler Beckett. Davy Jones arrived and questioned the Empress crew on the identity of their captain, in which the crew, fearing for their lives, said it was Elizabeth. Before Jones went on with the matter, Norrington ordered the Empress to be towed and for the Empress crew to be sent to the brig, and offered Elizabeth his quarters. However, Elizabeth declined on Norrington's offer, as per what side he had chosen, preferring to remain with her crew.

Escape

The brig

"Tow the ship. Put the prisoners in the brig. The captain shall have my quarters."
"Thank you, sir. But I prefer to remain with my crew.
"
James Norrington and Elizabeth Swann[src]

Elizabeth Swann and her crew spent most of the night in the brig. It was there that Elizabeth met Bootstrap Bill Turner for the first time, who was slowly fusing with the ship. She also learned, from Bootstrap, about the choice that Will would have to make in order to rescued his father:

"The Dutchman must always have a captain. And if he saves me, he loses you."
"I see."
"He won't pick me. I wouldn't pick me.
"
―Bootstrap and Elizabeth on what would happen if Will killed Jones[src]

Turner thus told her to warn his son not to rescue him.

Escape of the Empress Crew

"All hands! Prisoner escape—"
"—Belay that!
"
Bootstrap Bill Turner and James Norrington[src]
Empress escaping

The crew escapes to the Empress.

James Norrington was now forced to choose between his loyalty to Beckett and his guilt over Elizabeth. He ended up choosing to join Elizabeth's side, and so he decided to rescue Elizabeth and her crew.

Norrington was able to get most of the Empress crew gone before being caught by Bootstrap Bill. He told Elizabeth to get away and he would follow her. However, he was forced to shoot the ropes and destroy his chance of joining Elizabeth. He was then mortally wounded when he was stabbed by Bootstrap. Davy Jones came to Norrington and asked his signature query, "Do you fear death?". However, Norrington was now adamant to die on Elizabeth's "side" and so, with his last breath, he stabbed his sword into Jones' shoulder. Jones took that particular action as a "No" and Jones pulled out Norrington's sword and kept the weapon for himself as he left Norrington, dead.

Aftermath

Mutiny on the Dutchman

"The Dutchman is under my command."
"...For now.
"
Ian Mercer and Davy Jones[src]
Jones and his crew during the death of Norrington

Davy Jones and his crew failed to take over the ship.

Davy Jones and his crew, realizing the admiral was dead, decided to try to take back the Dutchman. Their retribution was swift. They subdued most of the Marines, with Davy Jones pacing towards the captains cabin, still admiring James Norrington's sword. However, when Jones arrived, he discovered that the Dead Man's Chest was still guarded by a dozen Marines aiming pistols at the entrance to the room, as well as Mullroy and Murtogg aiming swivel guns at it. Ian Mercer then declared himself in command of the Flying Dutchman. Grudgingly, Davy Jones left the cabin, back under control.

Sources

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