At some point around the War of Spanish Succession, she was refitted to become a warship, carrying privateers of the British crown. In 1713, the young Edward Kenway, who had been recruited by Dylan Wallace joined the Emperor's crew. After the ship left Bristol a day later than planned, he and the other newcomers were given training and practice.
In 1712, foreseeing the end of the war, the crew turned to piracy. Dolzell asked the privateers who did not want to become pirates to step out of the ship. Edward initially intended to do so, but was stopped by the ship's deckhand, Friday. The five other sailors who refused to become pirates were thrown overboard by the ship's first mate, Trafford.
In January 1713, while flying the British flag, the Emperor sailed near the Amazon Galley, a merchant ship of the East India Company that was reportedly carrying treasure. The Amazon was fooled by the ruse, with her crew only realizing the threat when they found swords, pistols, and cannons aimed at them. Trafford called the captain of the Amazon, Benjamin Pritchard, to come to the main deck of the Emperor; he was subsequently interrogated and tortured in the captain's cabin by Dolzell and Trafford.
After the interrogation, Dolzell and crew boarded the Amazon and began to loot its cargo, while Edward and Blaney stayed behind to watch Pritchard. A conflict ensued between the two pirates when Edward realized Pritchard was wearing a Templar ring, which was soon taken by Blaney, who was unaware of its significance. Before the fight further escalated, Dolzell stormed in, informing them that they were being attacked by the Sea Dog's Bite, captained by Edward Thatch, who was still loyal to the crown.
Beset on both sides, the majority of the Emperor's crew was quickly killed in battle. Captain Dolzell escaped the conflict, but would be hanged for piracy two years later, while Edward managed to find himself a place in Thatch's crew.
- Alexander Dolzell - Captain (unknown – January 1713)
- Trafford - First mate (unknown – January 1713)
- Edward Kenway - Lookout (1712 – January 1713)
- Blaney - Sailor (unknown – January 1713)
- Melling - Sailor (unknown – January 1713)
- Friday - Deckhand (unknown – January 1713)