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Sir Francis Drake (c. 1540 – c. 1596) is a historical character that is heavily referenced in Drake's Fortune and Drake's Deception. He was an English explorer of the Elizabethan era. Queen Elizabeth I awarded him with knighthood in 1581 after being sent on a mission to locate the fabled city of Iram. He later faked his death so that he could search for the lost treasure of El Dorado. Nathan Drake renamed himself after Sir Francis and told everyone that he believed himself to be a descendant of Francis Drake.


Francis Drake faked his death on the 28th of January 1596, and the coffin that was buried at sea contained only his diary. On the 29th of January, he had the date inscribed on his ring as a clue to any future treasure hunters who would follow him. Also engraved on the ring were the co-ordinates of his empty coffin off the coast of Panama. He then traveled to a Pacific island where the Spaniards hid El Dorado.

On the island, Drake and his men learned of the curse of El Dorado and destroyed the ships that had brought them there. Some time after arriving, Drake's men were murdered by the transformed Spaniards, eventually leaving him as the sole survivor as he continued to search for the statue. Upon finding it, Drake learned of the statue's curse and proceeded to sink all his boats and blew up the dam to flood the city in an attempt to stop the treasure from leaving the island. He then returned to the treasure vault where he wrote his final message to the world before being killed:

My end is near. The devils hunt for me in the darkness. The gold of El Dorado bears a terrible curse. The Spaniards have unleashed hell, and become as demons. My men have all been murdered, leaving the task to me alone. No ship will depart this island. I destroyed them all. Drowned the cursed city. A thing of such great evil must never leave these shores. In my final hour, I commend my soul to God. May he have mercy on this unholy place.

Francis Drake belonged to a secret Hermetic society, headed by Queen Elizabeth. The society included many notable members, including but not limited to: the British Occult Secret Service, the School of Night, the Hellfire Club, the Order of the Golden Dawn, and Francis Walsingham, and has a hideout which connects with John Dee the rest of the underground to another mission to circumnavigate the globe. Drake reached the Arabian Peninsula after the East Indies, and in trying to find Iram, discovered a chamber of sorts underneath Yemen (via a well with a pentagram-esque symbol). He sketched the controls to open the way to the cistern on the back of his map and wrote the message "The moon will show the way" in Enochian script on the walls should future explorers try to find Iram. He proceeded into the chamber; what he saw (presumably the effects of the tainted water from Ubar, though how it could be there in the first place is unknown) was enough for him to stop his secret mission altogether. Drake then realized that the water was what the Queen wanted. He wrote 6 messages (in English) on the walls of the chamber before leaving:

Let not the world deceive thee with its beauty,
It is the dream of a dreamer, a mirage of the desert,
The cup of death will be filled for thee,
The devil adorneth it for man until death,
Their wealth did not save them,
What has become of the rulers of the Earth.

After returning from his trip, he lied to the Queen and told her he didn't find anything on his voyage. By doing this, the society he, the Queen, & many others were part of did not have the means to control through fear. Essentially, he rewrote history, as countless people in the future would believe his saying of how it took him 6 months to sail through the East Indies when a month was more likely, given his sailing skills. Regardless of Drake's "failure", he was knighted and given a ring by the Queen, inscribed with the motto "Sic Parvis Magna" (translated as "greatness from small beginnings").[1] He hid all traces of his voyage, by hiding the map of his trip to Arabia (which was signed by John Dee in a 007 mark) in the deer figurehead of his ship, the Golden Hind. Dee created a decoder (which looked like an astrolabe) which when joined with Drake's ring, would reveal the message "Long Hidden", an anagram for Golden Hind; the reasons for this are unknown. His ship was also broken down, as a chair in Buckland Abbey is made out of the wood of his ship.

Drake's FortuneEdit

In the chapter "Ambushed", Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher sailed into the waters of Panama to salvage Sir Francis' lost coffin, with Elena filming the discovery for her recorded story. Nate opened the coffin, and like he said, there was no corpse, but he found Drake's lost diary, which he kept on his person throughout Drake's Fortune.

Drake's End

Nate discovering Sir Francis' body.

Nate and Elena later discovered Sir Francis' body in the heart of the treasure vault in the chapter "The Treasure Vault". Nathan was disappointed in discovering Drake's horrific death and ultimate failure in recovering the treasure. He laid the ring near his skeleton as a token sign of respect. The ring was, however, retrieved by Elena and returned back to Nate after Atoq Navarro's defeat.

Drake's DeceptionEdit

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In his lifetime, Francis Drake had a diary which contained a lot of information pertaining to his various adventures as an explorer. Nate found the diary inside the explorer's empty coffin at sea, proving his theory that his supposed ancestor had faked his death.

Grave Robbing

Nate opening Sir Francis' diary.

The diary aided Nathan Drake greatly in tracking down the treasure of El Dorado. Francis Drake had previously set out to find the statue himself, and his diary contained detailed logs and clues that Nathan used to decipher the puzzles found on hidden island. The diary was damaged when Victor Sullivan was shot by Gabriel Roman, as it was being kept in the former's breast pocket and blocked the bullet from penetrating through his chest, inadvertently saving his life.

In real lifeEdit

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Behind the scenesEdit

Francis Drake's leitmotif throughout the series is entitled "Sir Francis Drake", composed by Greg Edmonson. It is heard prominently throughout Drake's Fortune and Drake's Deception.


  1. The literal translation of Sic Parvis Magna, is "Thus, from small beginnings, Great Things Come".
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