""This bag of meat used to be Black Balfour," I said loud enough for the entire crew to hear. "He never met a person he didn't cheat, beat, or kill!""
—Tawni, at Black Balfour's funeral
Black Balfour was a rich and famous pirate captain on Enroth, battling the Erathian navy while plundering merchant vessels. One day, he'd stopped at the Rusty Mug, a tavern in Nighon, for a drink. He was attracted to the serving woman, but he'd had a lot to drink, and passed out on his way up the stairs to her room. His Second Mate Eight-Fingers Oba ended up in bed with the serving woman.
Ten years later, Black Balfour returned to the Rusty Mug, where he found the woman and her ten-year-old daughter Tawni. As he was unable to remember his actions that night, she quickly convinced him that Tawni was his daughter, and that he should send her some gold to pay for the girl's future. Oba gave him his dagger and told him to give it to the girl as a gift.
When the Reckoning came, Black Balfour and his crew managed to sail to Axeoth, but he lost most of the wealth he had accrued during a long and successful career. He became a pirate on the Gold Sea, where his crew spent most of their time battling other pirates. One day, Tawni approached him in a tavern and introduced herself, telling him that she was now a pirate like him, and was looking for work. He told her that his ship already had a full crew, and left.
Tawni decided to sneak aboard his ship, hiding in the cargo hold until they were far out to sea. Black Balfour scowled at her and slapped her in the face, before ordering his men to throw her into the sea. As she was too far out to swim to the shore, Tawni trod water for days, and was delirious with exhaustion by the time the ship returned. Black Balfour pressed her dagger into her hand and told her that he still had a full crew - if she wanted to join him, she'd have to make room. Tawni threw the dagger at the nearest man, and as she collapsed with exhaustion, she heard the man drop dead to the deck.
Tawni served aboard Black Balfour's ship for years. Eventually, she was given command of one of the other ships in his fleet. While she appreciated what he'd given her, she also hated him for his cruelty.
One day, the crew spotted two rich merchant ships, and Black Balfour ordered them to attack. Suddenly, two pirate ships appeared on the horizon, and they realized that it was a trap - the pirate Captain Swift was hoping to take out his competition. Tawni's ship became damaged and unable to continue the fight, so she was forced to sit and watch as Balfour battled Swift's pirates. Balfour was driven forth by his legendary rage, but Swift was the better fighter, and Balfour soon fell dead to the deck. Swift's pirates had suffered greater losses than they'd expected, so they withdrew, and Black Balfour's crew could recover his body. Tawni later prepared a burial at sea for him, but she secretly cut the ropes, knowing that the sea would eat through them - when the weights broke free, his body would rise to the surface and be eaten by sharks.
Black Balfour appears only in Heroes of Might and Magic IV.