Silvers Rayleigh was the first mate of the Roger Pirates and known as the Dark King. Now a coating Engineer at Sabaody Archipelago.
It was over thirty years ago Rayleigh had to steal a boat in the East Blue since his house had recently burned down. He was approached by a man in a straw hat named Gol D. Roger. Roger felt their meeting was fated, and asked Rayleigh to join him. At first he was reluctant, but joined him to be the first-mate of the Roger Pirates. They became great friends and would gather others to become one of the most legendary pirate crews the world ever saw. Among the other members of the crew was Crocus, the doctor they met on Reverse Mountain; and two young apprentices named Shanks and Buggy. Roger became the first King of the Pirates, Gold Roger; and Rayleigh became known as the Dark King (冥王 Mei-Ō).
Roger led the crew all over the Grand Line. From Drum Island, to the sky island, Skypiea; and finally to Raftel. Roger was soon infected with a deadly and incurable virus. After leaving his greatest treasure, One Piece, on Raftel, he called for the crew to disband. One year before his death, Roger came to see Rayleigh. He hold him that he was turning himself into the Marines, but promised, "I wont die.". The news reached Rayleigh that Roger had been taken to his home town of Loguetown to be executed. It was his final words that ignited the Great Pirate Age by tempting all who heard him with the promise of One Piece if they could reach where he left it. Rayleigh never laughed more nor cried more in that day.
Rayleigh went to live on Sabaody Archipelago to work as a coating engineer, and frequented the bar of Shakuyaku. He was saved from drowning after a shipwreck by a young octopus fish-man named Hatchan. It was there he met Gloriosa, the former empress Amazon Lily. They all soon took in three young Kuja Amazons who had escaped slavery from Holy Land Marie Jois under the Celestial Dragon. Three sisters named Hancock, Marigold, and Sandersonia. Gloriosa returned to Amazon Lily with the girls, and Shanks from the Roger Pirates came to see him, minus his left arm. He told him about a young boy he met on Dawn Island in the East Blue named Luffy who surprised him by using the same words about becoming the pirate king that Captain Roger had said.
The character of Silvers Rayleigh is a supporting character in the One Piece series that was created by Eiichiro Oda. The series first began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump on August 4, 1997. He first appeared briefly in a flashback of the Orange Town Arc, but would later appear in the Sabaody Archipelago Arc that began in Volume 50.
His first appearance was in One Piece Volume 3 CH. 19 "Devil Fruit", and his first anime appearance was in One Piece - Episode 8 "Who Will Win? Showdown Between the True Powers of the Devil!". His character in the Japanese series is voiced by Keiichi Sonobe, and the U.S. dub produced by FUNimation is done by Bradford Hutson.
Twenty-two years after Roger's death, Rayleigh was still living on Sabaody Arcipelago. He was running low on money and decided to give himself to be sold into slavery at the auction house. He intended to rob the rich person who was to buy him and escape. While sitting in the cage a young mermaid, Camie, was brought in, and he used his Haki abilities to keep the auction workers from abusing her anymore. The auction plans were soon canceled when a fight broke out. Rayleigh removed the explosive collars from all the slaves and allowed them to escape. When he came outside to the auction stage. He saved Camie from being shot by a member of the Celestial Dragons, Saint Shalria; and found all the commotion had been caused by Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew. Hatchan was also there and had been shot. Rayleigh removed Camie's slave collar, and he carried Hatchan as everyone escaped the Marines who had surrounded the auction house.
At Shakky's Bar, Rayleigh finally introduced himself to the Straw Hat Pirates and revealed he was Gold Roger's first-mate. He told them the true story of how Roger wasn't captured by the Marines but turned himself in. He agreed to give their pirate ship the coating they needed to travel to Fish-Man Island, but it would take three days. He gave them a piece of Vivre Card that led to him, so, they could hide out from the Marines who surrounded the island and return to him when done.
They wouldn't get a chance to hide since they were attacked by Sentomaru and Admiral Kizaru. Rayleigh appeared just in time to save Roronoa Zoro, and held off Kizaru from the pirates. They were still under attack by Sentomaru with some cyborg copies of Bartholomew Kuma called the Pacifista. Things only got worse when the real Kuma appeared and used his powers to blast away the Straw Hats. Kuma approached Rayleigh and told him that he was a member of the Revolutionary Army and wanted to help the Straw Hats to escape. Kuma used his powers to cast away all of Luffy's crew one at a time, but never told him why. Rayleigh watched from the side and escaped once they were all gone.
Kuma came to meet with Rayleigh to tell him he had sent Luffy to Amazon Lily. Rayleigh watched from Sabaody Arcipelago with much of the public during the war between the Marines and the Whitebeard Pirates on Marineford. Luffy on Marineford and witnessed his brother's death before him. He was seriously injured by Admiral Akainu, but was taken away by the Heart Pirates to save his life. Rayleigh watched as Whitebeard fell in battle to Blackbeard. He now wanted to find Luffy, but didn't know where to look. He tried to figure out how Luffy could get to Marineford from Amazon Lily, Shakky suggested that it was perhaps Boa Hancock was in love with Luffy. To check, he left for Amazon Lily.
Rayleigh's ship was damaged on the way to Amazon Lily in the Calm Belt, so, he was forced to swim the rest of the way. He arrived to find Trafalgar Law, captain of the Heart Pirates, there and holding Luffy's straw hat. He gave Rayleigh the hat and left with his crew. Rayleigh was met at the shore by Jimbei carrying Luffy, and Gloroisa, now going by Granny Nyon, and the Boa sisters. Shakky's instincts had been right about Hancock, but he was there to talk to Luffy. Since Luffy and his whole crew were defeated, he suggested a plan to return to Marineford with him to send a message to his crew.
Rayleigh with Luffy and Jimbei captured a Marine ship and sailed it to Marineford. Written on Luffy's arm was the message "
3D2Y". This was a secret message to Luffy's crew that meant they wouldn't met at Sabaody Archipelago as they originally planed but in two years. They were all photographed by the media on the island and the message spread across the world. After reuniting with the Kuja Pirates, Rayleigh asked they be taken to Rusukaina Island.
They were going to stay here alone to train, and Hancock wasn't happy about not being allowed to come visit Luffy. He explained to Luffy that they would train on this harsh island filled with dangerous animals for two years. He would be teaching him to use the three forms of Haki, Observation, Armament, and Conqueror's Spirit Haki. When a rampaging giant elephant attacked, Rayleigh used this as an opportunity to demonstrate all three forms. Luffy had already used the most powerful of these abilities without knowing it. Luffy was excited to learn and they began a two years stay to train.
After a year and half, Rayleigh returned to Sabaody Archipelago. Luffy's training was already complete. Luffy stayed on Rusikaina, and Rayleigh waited for Luffy to return. The coating was long finished on their ship, and the Straw Hats soon arrived one after the other. He explained to Nami, Luffy's navigator, how the coating worked, and word spread about a commotion on the island. Luffy had arrived and gotten caught up in a mix up with some imposters claiming to be his crew. It drew the attention of the Marines, and Rayleigh defended Luffy's escape. Telling the scared soldiers not to interfere with his pupil. On the island's edge, Luffy called out to Rayleigh to thank him for everything and announced he would become the King of the Pirates. He then watched as the Straw Hats sunk into the ocean to head for Fish-Man Island.
On top of being a top notch sword fighter in his own right. One of Rayleigh's greatest power comes from the little known skill called Haki. This is a power that all humans could potentially use, but few can access.
Conqueror Haki: (覇王色, Haoushoku Haki) is the power to command and control the wills of others. It's an ability that is most likely found in those who gain fame in the world. When used it an cause people surrounding the user to pass out or even control the person's will for a short time. It's an intimidation tactic that is not to be abused, because it will effect all that surround. It's one of the rarest forms of Haki, but cannot be trained or strengthened. It is measured by the user's own spirit, and reinforced through personal growth.