Even though the buccaneer managed to get most of his crew through the storm alive, the scurvy scalawags were immediately attacked by Spanish landlubbers, who were more than eager to show the already-notorious Frenchman the same professional courtesy he'd been showing to their galleons.
The Spanish opened fire immediately, and a hail of bullets cut through L'Ollonais's troops, exploding people like blood packs in the hospital microwave. Seeing that the battle was lost, and badly wounded by a musketball through some non-musketball-friendly portion of his body, L'Ollonais dropped down to the sand, covered himself with the dead bodies of his fallen men, and pretended to be dead in a ruse not dissimilar to Liam Neeson in that scene from Taken. As soon as the Spaniards left, L'Ollonais climbed out of the corpse-pile, took some clothes off a dead Spaniard, walked right into the city of Campeche, bluffed his way past the guards he spoke fluent, accentless Spanish, having picked it up during his indentured servitude , and reconned the city.
That night he freed a couple French slaves from a local prison, killed a couple dudes, stole a pair of canoes from the dock and started rowing for freedom. He didn't get far before the Spanish saw the trail of bloody corpses and figured out what the fuck was going on.
FRANCOIS L'OLONNAIS aka Jean-David Nau (c 1635- c 1668) French pirate
When the local governor learned that L'Ollonais was alive and on the run he sent a crew of pirate-hunters out with very specific orders — get out there and don't return until every pirate is dead, except Francois — he needed to be taken alive so he could be tortured to death at a later date. But the cagey L'Ollonais sniffed out the pirate-hunters, got the drop on those assclowns, boarded their sloop by rowing his canoes right up to them in the middle of the night! Thus I have retaliated the kindness you designed to me and my companions.
From this point on, Francois L'Ollonais became even more merciless and even more totally fucking insane. Now, not only did this French motherfucker massacre every man aboard Spanish ships except one he usually put that dude in a rowboat and sent him out to spread terror, so that all the Spanish Main would quake at the pirate's name , he now found a bunch of new, exciting, and horrific ways to torture them to death that were so sadistic that Dexter probably would have cried a tear of joy.
The most famous act was the time a totally roided-out L'Ollonaise cut a dude's still-beating heart out, ate a piece of it, and then threw the half-eaten heart in another Spanish dude's face while ROFL'Ollonaising his ass off about it, but that doesn't even begin to cover it.
This murderous psycho was also a master at cutting people apart bit by bit, starting with the hands, and he could also keep you alive for a while as he was burning you to death with fire. In his shipboard blood fiesta he also perfected something called "woolding", which sounds like it should be some cute thing involving petting sheep or something but in reality was the practice of tying a rope around a dude's head and then tightening it to the point where the guy's eyes pop out of his head like they've been shot out of a potato cannon.
For his extreme brutality, L'Ollonais developed quite a reputation, and everywhere he went the Spaniards resolved to fight this freakshow to the last man and never surrender — even when the battle was over, many enemy sailors would jump overboard to their deaths rather than face the unbelievable wrath of this maniacal Frenchman who was more fit for Arkham Asylum than the deck of a warship.
François l’Olonnais: Cunning and Cruel Pirate and Flail of the Spanish | Ancient Origins
I mean, shit, this dude was so fucking psychotic that his own people deserted him whenever they got the chance — sure, he made them rich with plunder, but WTF, right? L'Ollonais is also one of the first privateers to attack ports as well as ships, which was seriously bad fucking news for the poor citizens of the towns in his wake. In , he assembled a fleet of 8 ships and men and attacked the port of Maracaibo in present-day Venezuela.
The harbor was guarded by 16 cannons, but L'Ollonais docked along the coast, rowed up a small river in a bunch of canoes, and attacked the port from the land side, crushing the defenders in a hail of bullets after a three-hour gun battle. He then spent the next four weeks horrifically torturing the population for their loot, and when the populace didn't give him enough cash he ransomed the city back to Spain for a little extra dough.
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After that he attacked the nearby town of Gibraltar in a similar way, but since he'd lost so many men in the attack he ordered every guard and citizen put to death. The entire town was wiped out, usually after torture, and burned to the ground. The pirates made out with cases of jewels and a quarter-million pieces of eight, which were promptly brought back to Tortuga and spent on gonorrhea-laden hookers.
L'Ollonais' next cruise wouldn't go quite so swimmingly for him or for the prostitutes of Tortuga, for that matter — he plundered Puerto Cabellos and San Pedro in a similarly-vicious manner to what he'd done at Maracaibo, but constant ambushes by Spanish forces continually whittled down his crew.
The infamous French psychopath was a little too cocky at this point, and was unwilling to be slowed down by something as insignificant as a crippling lack of manpower.
François l’Olonnais: Cunning and Cruel Pirate and Flail of the Spanish
The stories talk of an attack or variations on an attack which he and his entire crew survived, only for most to die in a Spanish attack immediately after. Then, once the Spaniards had left, he and the few remaining crewmen plus a handful of slaves they had help escape went to Tortuga, acquired a boat, and continued their piratical ways.
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A lifestyle which included hunting down the ship that had attacked them and killing the entire crew, except for one person who was spared so that he could return home and inform his Governor who had attacked the ship. A town which locals had considered impenetrable, mainly because its fort was armed with 16 large guns aimed directly towards the coast.
Consequentially, it took less than a few hours for him and his several hundred crewmen to overrun and plunder the town. That is until one day, while fleeing from Spaniards, he was caught in the Gulf of Darien by natives, chopped in to pieces, roasted over a fire and then eaten by them. Explore The Pirate Ship.