POD: c 85,000,000 BCE;
Relevant POD: 1452
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Nationality:||English settler of Atlantis|
|Date of Birth:||c. 1630|
|Date of Death:||c. 1687|
|Cause of Death:||Gunshot wound|
|Occupation:||Shipper, Businessman, Sailor, Admiral|
|Military Branch:||Radcliff's Armada|
Radcliff was a descendant of Henry Radcliffe, son of Edward Radcliffe, the founder of Atlantis. William's grandfather, according to family legend, saw no purpose to the letter e, and so dropped it. This Radcliff's brother was the grandfather of pirate Red Rodney Radcliffe. William and Rodney shared a deep enmity. William saw his cousin as a stain on the family honor. Adding insult to injury, Red Rodney preyed upon William's ships as they made their way from Terranova or Europe. In the 1660s, when the powers of the Avalon pirates were at their zenith, Radcliff was approached by the English agent Elijah Walton about destroying the pirates once and for all. William jumped at the chance.
Soon, Radcliff had the support of England's recent enemy, the Netherlands as well, when Nieuw Haarlem governor Piet Kieft, who'd been personally assaulted by Red Rodney, arranged for Dutch ships to sail under English command. The planned offensive was nearly stillborn, however, when Elijah Walton insisted that the fleet be commanded by an English admiral. Radcliff asserted, firmly, that he was an Englishman, and persuaded Walton to allow him to lead the offensive. Walton, seeing Radcliff's point, agreed.
William then recruited another relative, Marcus Radcliffe, to lead a crew of woodsman as soldiers during the proposed attack. However, once plans were in place, William was frustrated by England's slow progress in producing a fleet. In the meantime, by chance, Radcliff learned of Red Rodney's elaborate spy network, when hunter Hiram Dill killed a pigeon carrying a message from Stuart to Avalon. William was pleased to have at least one part of his pirate-cousin's operations stymied.
One glorious morning, the fleet arrived. William took his place as admiral aboard the Royal Sovereign. Marcus Radcliffe made good with sixty woodsmen, who acted as marines. To William's surprise, Elijah Walton sailed with the fleet, calmly and respectfully accepting William's authority.
As the fleet approached Avalon, they encountered a pinnace off North Cape, acting as look-out. While they were able to beach it, the crew (unknown to William, but suspected by him) sent word to Red Rodney. Thus, as William's armada approached Avalon, they were met by the pirate fleet in the Hesperian Gulf.
While William was initially aided by the pirates' lack of discipline, and seemed to be getting the better of the pirates, Red Rodney had a nasty surprise: fireships appeared from the west. William watched one Dutch ship destroyed and then a British man-of-war. With the sun setting, Radcliff ordered the Armada to pull back.
However, Radcliff did not admit defeat. After taking stock of the fleet, including a quick meeting with Marcus Radcliffe, William Radcliff ordered that his Armada would attack again the next day. When the pirates retreated, William ordered the invasion of Avalon itself.
William began a two prong offensive. He ordered the marines, Marcus Radcliffe and his men with them, to land south of the town and fight their way in. In the meantime, the ships would cannonade the forts that protected Avalon. William joined the marines. While not an experienced woodsman, he was able to keep up with the marines as they made their way around Avalon's defenses and into the town.
When they'd gained the advantage, William ordered his men to raise a red flag, a signal for the fleet to put sailors in boats and attack the defending wall. He then went hunting for his cousin. When he found the desperate Rodney, a brief but fierce fight ensued, ended only when Red Rodney Radcliffe was shot pointblank in the chest. A second bullet found his belly. After cursing his cousin, a third finished Red Rodney Radcliffe off.
With Avalon fallen, William Radcliff took Red Rodney's daughter Ethel into custody. She swore vengeance against him. William hadn't the heart to kill her, and decided to send her to New Hastings for an education. He even dowered her. He also spared Red Rodney Radcliffe's paramour, Jenny, who had pleaded for her life (William took advantage of her offer of sexual favors).
Much like his ancestor, Edward Radcliffe, William sought to prevent direct rule from England. Thus, he thwarted Elijah Walton's proposal that the English Crown would directly rule Avalon. Moreover, William sought to make Atlantis a great entity in and of itself, envisioning a day when Stuart would rival London. William acted on his Atlantean patriotism throughout the remainder of his life, until the fateful day over 20 years later when Ethel Radcliffe, married and with a family of her own, visited him, and shot him dead.