The pirate lair of Gao the Greater is situated on an island along the Silkworm River. From it, pirates raid the area around the trading town of Tien's Landing. In the past, their activities have been largely confined to theft, but under Gao's direction, they have refocused their operations on slavery.
The pirate lair is accessed from Tien's Landing, courtesy of Ru the Boatswain. Ru must be persuaded to help the player before he will provide transport, but once convinced, he will remain available for as long as there is need of him.
Story and quests
Players visit the pirate lair as part of the Quest: Find a New Flyer quest, which is obtained once they are informed that the pirates are using flyers to raid the area around Tien's landing. Once players have convinced Ru the Boatswain to transport them to the pirate lair, they are taken to a small beach on the southern side of the island. North of this point is a small dock, where several pirates can be found — the player can talk to Cheung the Pirate, and can kill the remaining pirates either in battle or by dropping a heavy cannon onto the dock (killing an innocent slave in the process). Further north is a room containing several more pirates and a scrollstand. When players reach the slave pens, located in a cavern in the middle of the island, there is another fight. Players then speak with Yeung Yifong (who assigns the optional side-quest Quest: Yifong and Fuyao) and with Sky (who will work with the player to open the door that leads onwards — designed by Kang the Mad, it requires two people to work the mechanism. On the other side of the door is another fight. Further up the side of the island, the player will overhear a conversation between Gao, Kang, Inquisitor Lim, and (through a magical communications device) Grand Inquisitor Jia. After this, there is another fight and a conversation with Kang. Players then have the option of entering another cave to find Fuyao, completing the previously mentioned side-quest. When players continue upwards, there is another fight before the area transition to the upper levels.
When players enter the flyer workshop in the pirate lair's upper levels, they will fight a number of pirates and also several demons summoned by Gao the Greater. The Marvelous Dragonfly, the objective of the quest, is found in this workshop, and although it cannot be used yet, players can operating some controls to lower it to the floor. The jolt sets off one of its weapon systems, opening the door to the south — this leads to a treasure room, guarded by the elephant demon Xianxi, which players may visit if they wish. In order to complete the quest, players must continue onwards to the very top of the island, where Gao the Greater's room is located — there, they fight Gao, along with either Inquisitor Lim or three other pirates. Once this is done, players can return to the workshop and depart in the Marvelous Dragonfly.
There are four regular reading texts found in the pirate lair — the first three parts of The History of Flight and the fourth installment of Jade Empire Bestiary. There is also a scrollstand which, instead of displaying a text, provides a Configuration for Lord Lao's Furnace.