Captain Cinnabar, also known as Bloodbones, is the main villain of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Bloodbones. He is an undead Pirate Lord who killed the playable character’s family, triggering their thirst for revenge. Bloodbones and its setting are heavily based on the 1988 novel On Stranger Tides.

About Cinnabar

Captain Cinnabar numbers among the most dreaded pirates to ever dwell on the seas of the world of Titan, rivalling in infamy with Lord Varek Azzur himself. He is surprisingly polite and cordial, as if his crimes were mere business, but cruel, bloodthirsty, unforgiving, and fanatically devoted to his foul deity, killing as many as possible in each of his raids. He is also cowardly, losing all composure and frantically begging for a mercy he never deserved as soon as things go downhill.

Cinnabar leads the Pirates of the Black Skull, a large and violent crew, aboard his ship called the "Virago". Each and every pirate at his command bear a Black Skull tattoo on the back of their hand.

He controls indirectly most, if not all of the piracy plaguing the Diamond Sea, located in the north of the continent of the Old World, and has a secret lair in Port of Crabs: a wretched pirate hive at the north of the country of Ruddlestone.

Cinnabar is also a powerful practitionner of Voodoo sorcery and a worshipper of Quezkari, the evil Voodoo deity. He works in cohort with Quezkari's high-priest Ramatu and his fanatical devotees, and harvests the souls of all his victims as an offering to his idol, in exchange for immortality.

Ten years before the start of the story, Cinnabar's pirates ransacked Clam Beach, hometown of the playable character, and killed most of its population, including your father and brothers. After your mother's death, you became sailor and spent most of your free time learning about the Pirates of the Black Skull, hoping to one day get revenge.




The idol worshipped by the Pirates of the Black Skull. Quezkari is a highly powerful demonic spirit of Death and Dark Magic, who answers to the evil Goddess of Sorcery Shekka.

He is a highly powerful Arch-Spirit who passes as a deity and is revered as such; and is described as a manifestation of the souls of his worshipper's victims, hinting that he needs to constantly feed on souls to sustain himself. Still, he is of Demi-God status, more or less equal footing with the Demon Princes of Titan, though his influence seems much less expanded. He controls Voodoo sorcery, he can, prevent his followers from dying, or resurrect them as greater undeads, raise zombies, cast curses and controls monsters and evil being.

During the First Battle, which opposed the Gods of Titan to the Demons Gods, he and Shekka fought against Hamaskis God of Learning and Magic and were defeated, but he and the other evil deities were compelled into obedience by the Gods instead of being banished into the Void.

In the game

Game setting

At the beginning of the story, you learn that Captain Cinnabar finally met his demise at the hands of a famed bounty hunter. His body was thrown at sea and his ship is thought to have sunk in a storm. However, you are later told that Cinnabar's threat is not over yet. It turns out that a now undead Cinnabar was recovered by his right-hand-woman Mirel the Red, and that he is about to be resurrected and made fully immortal in the temple of Quezkari on Bone Island. Knowing this, you set out to track him down and put a definite end to his reign of terror.

You must scout all over Port of Crabs to buy useful (if not mandatory) items, and to gather clues about Cinnabar's lair in town and the location of Bone Island. You can make an ally of the ghost of Captain Valyarde by relieving him of his curse. You must measure the time you spend investigating, given that if you take too long to enter Cinnabar's lair, the pirates will have left, and the game will be lost. Otherwise, the Pirates of the Black Skull will capture you.

The game in itself

Once aboard the "Virago", you need a wristband made of shark teeth to cut your ropes, before you drown as your prison is slowly filled with water. Once you sneak into the ship to get the second clue about Bone Island, you must fight your way against Cinnabar's pirates, severing the arm of Mirel the Red in the battle, until they throw you overboard, and kill the great white shark who attacks you before you drown.

After being rescued, you finally reach Bone Island. There, you must search for the treasure of Captain Blackscar to gain the magic bone-sword. Then you can save a native from a dangerous giant mantis. In gratitude, he takes you to his village, where Queen Zythea tells you the bone-sword's name: Nightdeath. Then you must venture into the mountains towards the temple of Quezkari. The temple is filled with zombies and monsters, including the Scarachna, an arachnid monster, and Ramatu, Quezkari's high-priest.

  • The Scarachna is a very powerful and dangerous enemy with 11 in skill (power-level) and 12 in stamina (life-points), whose attacks might cost 6 stamina points 1 in 6 times and who kills you if it wins two attack-rounds in a row. If you spend too much time fighting it, it will be backed up by zombies.
  • Ramatu is a powerful enemy with 10 in skill and 9 in stamina, who decreases your skill by 1 point. You must smash his magical crystal to prevent him from casting dangerous spells, greatly weakening him in the process.

After killing Ramatu, you must take the fetish in which Cinnabar's heart was sealed and touch the magic pearl to get healed. Now it is time to invade Cinnabar's ship and settle your score with the Pirate Lord once and for all. You might need special items to increase your skill score to safely face the many powerful enemies who attack you.

  • Cinnabar's champion has 10 in skill and 11 in stamina. His blows can cost 3 stamina points instead of the regular 2 and yours might cost him only 1.
  • Mirel the Red has 11 in skill and 10 in stamina. After defeating her, you must win a test of skill to avoid a dangerous injury, or get hindered by 2 skill points when fighting Cinnabar.

Facing Cinnabar

Combat contre Cinnabar

Battling Cinnabar

Cinnabar is a very powerful enemy with 12 in skill (the maximum available) and 16 in stamina. Moreover, his pet parrot Jezebel will pester you for the entire battle, hindering you by 1 skill point and trying to peck you every attack round, costing 1 stamina point 2 in 6 times. If you defeat your hated enemy, you must destroy the fetish containing his heart to kill him once and for all, while having the satisfaction of having the wretched pirate grovel pathetically in panic; otherwise the game is lost.

Facing Quezkari

Quezkari is fought right after Cinnabar. If you lack the bone-sword Nightdeath, or cannot activate its power by saying its name, you are doomed. Quezkari has 13 in skill and 18 in stamina and his claws cost 3 stamina points, making him even more dangerous than Cinnabar.

However, Nightdeath grants you 2 skill points. Moreover, if you own the Blue Jewel, it will drain the demon's power and reduce him to 10 in skill and 12 in stamina; and if you own the Lion Talisman, Quezkari's claws will deal regular damage. With Nightdeath and the two talismans, you can vanquish Quezkari with little trouble, banishing him for all of eternity.

With justice being served and the sea freed from both the Black Skull pirates and Quezkari's worshippers, victory is yours to enjoy.


  • Bloodbones was released in 2006, which might lead readers to believe that Cinnabar is inspired by Hector Barbossa and Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean. However, Bloodbones author Jonathan Green had worked on it since 1996 but could only release it after the Fighting Fantasy series was restarted. Both stories are in fact based on the novel On Stranger Tides.
  • Cinnabar also shares similarities with LeChuck from Monkey Island, also inspired from On Stranger Tides.
  • Cinnabar's page from Titannica the Fighting Fantasy wiki :