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Sky Pirate (Final Fantasy XII)

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XIIRW-SkyPirates
The infamous band of sky pirates; from left: Balthier, Penelo, Vaan, and Fran, from Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.
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Hadn't you best be off? That's what a sky pirate does. You fly, don't you?
—Fran
A name for the freefolk who ply the open skies in airships. Though they are collectively called "pirates", their actual occupations vary by individual. Some search for legendary treasures, some merely travel the world, while others are indeed ruthless villains who attack trade ships and plunder goods for profit. In recent years, the Archadian Empire has stepped up patrols, bringing in the worst of the lot, all but consigning the more flamboyant feats of piracy to history. Of late, many are pirates who have given up the thief's life for that of the headhunter, bringing their former comrades-in-arms to justice... for a bounty. Those few who remain pirates have struggled hard to retain the title, and are duly proud of it.
—Sky Pirates, Sage Knowledge

Sky Pirates are adventurers who devote their lives to traveling the world on airships in the world of Ivalice, during the time of Final Fantasy XII. Though some are adventurous bandits, others are simply working-class airship crew members. Some people dream of and aspire toward becoming sky pirates in order to escape the trapped existence led by most citizens of Ivalice, battered constantly with territorial wars.

The life of a sky pirate may not remedy the issues that have trapped them, but they will, at least, no longer be trapped themselves. Sky pirating is also a way to amass money, thus escaping poverty or making up for material possessions lost in the wars that have swept all Ivalice.

Most sky pirates, and pirates in general, gather at the Port at Balfonheim. The most famous sky pirates are Balthier, his partner Fran, and the lord of Balfonheim, the pirate Reddas.

Around 600 Old Valendian, the number of sky pirates began to dwindle due to the constant harassing by the Archadian Empire's growing military strength, particularly in its air force. Many of the sky pirates turned to a life of robbery, partly due to their dissatisfaction with the Empire. The Empire struggled to control the sky pirate and their activities, and some are known to ally with the Empire for reasons unknown, though this allegiance is in itself questionable. After the war involving the Sky Fortress Bahamut, Archadia reviewed its air force, and the number of sky pirates increased due to their connections with the Empire.

In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, many sky pirates are manipulated into stealing auracite by the Judge of Wings. Eventually, many of them lose their anima to Feolthanos. Some of them would even ally themselves with aegyl insurgents to get auracite, effectively turning them into Yarhi.

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