Captain Woodes Rogers travels to the Bahamas to accept his new position as Governor. With him he brings a King's pardon to all who will give up piracy. Blackbeard is not convinced and suspects a trap.There is dissension among the pirates between who wants the pardon and who does not. In the confusion Blackbeard makes his escape.
The island of New Providence is in danger from pirate raiders led by Charles Vane. Governor Rogers must decide on whether to go after Vane, thus leaving the island unprotected, or repairing the damaged fort and waiting for Vane to return and strike again.
Captain Dan Tempest arrives at the island of New Providence. He is several weeks late to accept the pardon and is promptly arrested by Governor Rogers for piracy. He is later approached by Rogers and given a chance to redeem himself by delivering cargo to Charleston. Lt. Beamish accompanies him on the voyage. When they are met on the open sea by Blackbeard, will Tempest fight him or join him?
Gov. Woodes Rogers has left the Island of New Providence and left Lt. Beamish in command as Acting Governor. Meanwhile a Spanish Galleon has sailed into the harbor presumably with peaceful intentions. While Beamish believes their message of peace the one group that does not is languishing in jail...Dan Tempest and his men arrested for a barroom brawl. Beamish is soon betrayed by the Spaniard Captain and it's up to Tempest to save the Island from the Spanish.
A raiding party of pirates led by Blackbeard is looting the storehouse of New Providence. They leave behind one teenage lad to cover their retreat. Tempest is frustrated that raids like this can happen and wants Beamish to supply him with weapons to arm his sloop so he can go to sea and take the fight to them. Beamish sees to it and the captured boy is pressed into service as Tempest's cabin boy and they head out to sea to search for Blackbeard.
A crew are at sea in search of Ambergris, better known as whale gold. A substance worth 5 times its weight in gold. When a number of the crew find a deposit on an island things get difficult when they try to hide their find from the rest of the crew.
Tempest is tasked with securing extra gun powder from the Admiralty after a succession pirate raids. The Admiralty refuses to give him the gunpowder and Tempest has to resort to some unconventional tactics.
Word comes through that a promised shipload of women is approaching New Providence. Tempest and the island administration have a concern that Blackbeard may be aware of the ship and decide to lay a trap for him if he attacks.
The island is running out of food. The situation becomes even more desperate when a Spanish naval ship arrives insisting that if Spanish prisoners are not released then an expected food ship will be attacked and destroyed.
The authorities are trying to drum up more business for the colony. The first merchantmen to arrive has a crew member killed with a warning, "beware the mark of the Hawk". Dan needs to try and figure out who the murder might have been and what us the significance of the warning.
The colony is celebrating the Kings birthday when a raiding party led by pirate Clip West attacks and steals most of the supplies. Once the authorities become aware of the situation, Dan is sent in pursuit of the raiding party.