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Calistas

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Pirates of the Mediterranean! - The County of Corsica​


Or, the very long story of how a small county turned into a Mediterranean-spanning empire! Maybe.


Alberto looked out over his lands. The beautiful county of Corsica! How different the life of a landed gentleman was from his days out at sea as captain of a mighty pirate ship! How Alberto loved the life of pillage, loot and debauchery, that was until a fateful day when he realised there was something missing in his life, a wife and a child to carry on the Obertenghi name.

It was that same day his ship did battle with three warships from Cagliari. Alberto had almost lost his life and was forced to flee north to Corsica. This pleasant land looked so inviting and the peasants, counting and moving filth, so happy. The local noble had even welcomed them and signaled them ashore, happy talk about the news of the day.

It was then Alberto had an amazing idea! Why not buy this island off the noble and establish himself a Mediterranean dynasty to last the test of time!

"Gaar!", Alberto exclaimed.
"Err, yes, indeed", the noble had replied.
"I be wanting your land! 1000 gold coins!"
"You want my land? But, oh, heck, that's a lot of money, but I just don't have that much to pay you to take it off my hands!"
"No, you not be understanding me, garr! I be wanting to BUY your county!", said Alberto.
"You.. you actually want to buy this piece of... this fine real estate?", said the noble.
"Yaarrr, it be a luverly! Do the peasants and holdings come with it, garr?"
"You mean those two flea-ridden scum over there and their dog, the filth piles and the small mound I jokingly call a 'hill fort'?", said the noble.
"Yarr, them all!", shouted Alberto
"Yes, why not! And.. I will take 1000 gold and your ship, and not a penny less!"
"Ye strike a hard bargain ye scurvy land lubber! But I be loving this paradise, so the deal be done! Yaar!".

Surprised, happy, excited, the noble packed up his possesions and his family and boarded the ship within the hour, handing the titles to Alberto on the dock. Soon the noble was sailing off with those among the crew not inclined to stay, Alberto was surprised to discover this was a great many of them.

But no matter! He was now a Count, of no clear parentage, with a piece of the Mediterranean of his very own! How soon would his empire, his pirate empire grow! Garr!
 

cthulhu

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As a fan of famous pirates as Captain Blood, Guybrush Threepwood, LeChuck and Michael Milken, I just have to follow this promising tale. :)
 

unmerged(17581)

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Pirates! :cool:

Yet CK lacks navies...which will allow the naval segments of this AAR to become creativity in its most unrestrictive form!
 

Calistas

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Alberto, pleased with his purchase, set about considering his future. Turning to his trusty aid he reminded him that he had no wife.

"I be needing a lusty wench, yarr! Find me one me lado!", said Alberto.
"I'm 58, Sir, not a lad any more" said Silvano, wearily.
"Ye be right lado, but I be needing a wench!", Alberto replied. "A lusty one!"
"Well, there's this young lass who has been hanging around the docks. She's lusty, for a price, so.. er.. so they say".
"Arr, she be sounding great, bring her to my castle!", said Alberto, excitedly.
"Which castle would that be Sir?"
"I mean, my dirt mound with the hut on it", said Alberto, testily.
"Right you are Sir"


The First Decade
With Margherita at his side Alberto was ready. It was only a matter of time before all of the Mediterranean was his! But first, he must put his county in order.
"Silvano me lad-o, tell me of our holdings, our treasury and our mighty army!"
"Well, Sir, we have 25 gold left now, we gather a little over 1 gold a month in tax and we have around 350 men at arms"
"Yarr, that not be sounding very mighty Silvano!", said Alberto.
"Indeed Sir, you are most observant"
"Yarr. I think I be needing a lie-down"
"Right you are Sir, do you need anything else?", said Silvano
"Erm, try not to be stepping in the filth pile on your way out, it be freshly stacked. Garr"

But all was not to go badly. Within days of taking over the Count of Capua had sent an envoy to treaty an alliance. Alberto readily agreed, even though the count was clearly a scurvy land lubber who could do with days at sea, the salt spray stinging his face and a swathy sailor to cuddle up to at night.

In June 1067 Silvano came rushing into Albertos hut. "Sir, most wonderful news!".

"Yarr? What be it? You be interupting important affairs of state!". There came a giggle from under the blanket of the straw bed"
"Right you are Sir, but here, look, I found this document behind a wall when we were rennovating the cow shed!"
"What be it man, speak plain!", said Alberto, sitting up and causing a squeal from a wench-shapped lump under the covers.
"It be.. I mean, it is a document proving that the count of this land has claim on the Duke of Milano!".
"And that be a good thing?", said Alberto.
With a sigh Silvano replied, "Yes sir, it means that we could take the lands of the Duke and make ourselves strong!"
"Garr! That be good news! Mobilize the army! Call on the ships! Lets set sail! How many of them are there again?", said Alberto, excitedly.
"One, maybe one and a half thousand, Sir. Shall I belay that order?"
"Er, yes. Perhaps... perhaps we shall bide our time and take back our rightfull title when they least expect it!"
"Yes, yes, most wise Sir", replied Silvano.

Later that year Margherita announed she was pregnant and in June 1068 Camilla was born. Within months another child was due and the people were pleased to see their Count so active! Sadly, the child was another daughter, Euginia.

July 1069 turned out to be an interesting month. The King of England became the Papal controller (what a terrifying idea!) and Capua managed to get itself into two wars. The first, with the Kingdom of Nubia, the second with the Duchy of Apulia. Of course, envoys were rushed to Corsica to plead Alberto's assistance.

"Sir, the Count of Capua seems to have a fight on his side. He asks for assistance!"
"Lets join him, he's our ally after all! Gar!", said Alberto.
"Are you sure you want to join two wars, my lord?!"
"Why not? We've 'ad worse me lado!", shouted Alberto.
"Er, no we haven't. The odd scared merchant and tittilating bar wench does not compare to the might of an African Kingdom, let alone an italian Duchy! But, as you will my most wise Lord"

However, a lack of funds, men, or any interest from the locals in those foreign wars led to the indefinite delaying of any offensive action. But perhaps this was the wise course of action as the delay meant the messenger informing that Alberto could claim the title of Piombio was not hindered any longer than necesary. Soon he was sent rushing back to the continent to inform the great houses that Alberto did indeed wish to persue his legal right!

By December Capua was conquered and Alberto, under pressure from Silvano, sent messenger after messenger to the Duke of Apulia requesting peace. During this time the Count of Ancona offered an alliance, to which brave Alberto happily agreed. However, by February the traitorous dog had abandoned the peace pact, scoring him a mark in Alberto's little black book.

A stroke of luck! In February 1070, the shaky alliance between the heathen Nubians and Apulia collapses and a white peace is signed, but the Duke of Apulia is inconsolable and soon a fleet is dispatched.

April, Apulia invades, 1600 hardened warriors land and the siege begins. "Yar, we can't be letting these scurvy sons 'o dogs be looting our island!", shouted Alberto over the din of the siege. "Raise the men, Yar!".

Five hundred sallied out from a gap in the mud, and the hardened pirates put the Duke's men to the sword. Despite losing half their number, they won the fight and the Duke's men were driven back to their ships. The pirate cutlasses did their work that day and Corsica remained un-pillaged and sovereign!

Despite the glorious victory another 1600 men were seen sailing to Corsica and so all the County's gold and a humble apology was sent to the Duke as fast as possible. This offer he finally accepted and licking their wounds the men and count of Corsica welcomed peace once more.

The only bright spot in this time of trouble is that finally a son was born to Alberto, Bonifacio. He was shortly followed by Ottavio. Perhaps a sign of the county's luck changing?

But it was not to be! Bonifacioi died in infancy, leaving the county's hopes on Ottavio, the spare.

The next few months and years proved quiet. At least, there were no wars to worry about! The Duke of Belgrade favoured an alliance and the girls started their education at court. In 1073 Silvestro, the loyal steward died. Later that year, a bastard born of the lustful Alberto also dies. The only bright point being the birth of Ezzelino, a second son in November.

By 1076 the county is stable and profitable and within a year or so the first building will be constructed. The lineage is fairly secure and the future count already has 11 stewardship before starting school. Perhaps now it is time for Alberto to look south, to Sicily, to start the might pirate empire!
 
Last edited:

coz1

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Yaar! This be a funny read, me boy! 'Tis such that laughter causes me drink to spill from the nose! Yaar! I be followin' this as it goes, lado! Now where's me lusty wench?!? :D
 

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The Second Decade

The year was 1086 and Alberto was feeling sad. The fact is he'd not been feeling well since the year of 1079, when Camilla, and then his wife had developed an illness and he was sure no good would come of it.

The decade had started so well! Goats had arrived on the island. No one was quite sure where from, but all of a sudden they were there, and feta became the latest in Corsican fashion. Feta soup, feta steak, feta candy, even feta hats. If it had anything to do with what you could squeeze out of a goat's tit, people loved it. It was all rather depressing really.

It was also the year the Great Corsican Library was completed. That cow shed the poor old Steward had cleared out had come in handy after all, and as books arrived from all over Europe, Alberto had noticed some of his pirates actually trying to read and learn!

Sure, there had been many great discoveries. Roads for example. But what about the downsides? His pirates used to just strike out over the land and go where they pleased with nary a "Garr!" of hesitation. Now, they were looking into this whole 'roading' thing. Next would be indoors toilets! Town planning! Soon pirates would scoff at the idea of quaffing ale and pinching a wenches behind! The thought of it! Alberto figured maybe this was what empire was all about. Why had no one told him?!

Alberto had also seen a lot less keel-hauling since the County started to show signs of civility. And as for yard-arm stringings? He couldn't even remember the last time that had been seen in these parts. Alberto was, in fact, beginning to worry that they were turning into a pack of landlubbers. And by all accounts, with all the sickness about, they were definitely scurvy landlubbers at that.

The good news was that the boy, Ottavio was taking to his lessons well. He was already excelling at book keeping (12) and Alberto knew he would be a great ruler. But as for his skill at fighting (3)? Well, Alberto had given him a cutlass to stab at the local peasants, but Ottavio had simply rolled his eyes, sighed, and gone back to studying.

Alberto couldn't help but feel that Ottavio was ashamed of his old dad. But what was wrong with a good honest life of pirating? Sure, there was the thieving, the keel-hauling and the business with the yard-arms, but other than that, it was a good clean life! Alberto would admit that the chance of the odd limb going missing, only to be replaced with a utensil of some kind, was there, but the life wasn't much more dangerous than any other workaday trade. And it sure as hell got the ladies giggling! Maybe not ladies. Maybe not women in general. Maybe just the whores at every dive port on the Med, but they were real women weren't they?! Well, those that were women, of course.

In fact, Alberto was starting to see more and more of his old steward in the boy every day. The boy had hardly ever let out a "Yar!" of joy or a "Garr!" of frustration, except to please his dad, and even then Alberto thought he saw his wife give the child a kick under the table.

But, the worst had yet to come! Ezellino had fallen sick as well! He was a terrible fighter, but his reckless zealousness had endeered him to Alberto. He had even contemplated giving him a ship and some pirates so he could head off and try his luck.

But alas, it was not to be. It was decided an ecclesiastical education might be a good idea. Perhaps some time alone with god would square the boy away. But after a few years it was clear it wasn't doing much good by all accounts.

But the final straw came in 1084 when Camilla got pneumonia just weeks before she turned of age. This threw him into a deepning depression and Alberto knew he had to act fast. She was married within days to a lowly official, Demetrios of Napoli. It was all Alberto could do to convince them she would be a good bride, thankfully, sight-unseen, because she died 6 weeks after wedlock. As Alberto reminded Demetrios, "Caveat Emptor, me hearty! Yarr!". It didn't help Alberto's depression to realise he now knew some Latin. All this nancying about on land was not doing anyone any good!

The highlight of the decade had to be Eugenia marrying Sciarra in 1085. She was a bit of a scatterbrained girl, but there was no doubting both of them were sneakier than shithouse rats. Alberto had never quite worked out what was sneaky about the rats at the shithouse, but he had noticed they did seem to have far many more trinkets and necklaces lying about than most rats in the kingdom. Of course, not many people wanted to try and retrieve them! Ahhh. The lightbulb flicked on in Alberto's addled mind.

The decade ended with poor old Alberto hoping to god his court would grow with his daughter's progeny and that some stroke of luck or fate would help him propel his empire to glory. Yar.
 
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coz1

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Garr!! Ye be a right fast one with the updates. Tis almost hard to keep up, but keep up I will. Perhaps ye be needing a Pirating school to kick the landlubberness out of the people. If not, Corsica be full of 'em in just two generations time. Garr!!
 

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't is really nice. Can we have some screenies too?
 

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The Third Decade

To his Most Exulted Holiness, the Pope
From your loyal servant, Ezzelino Obertenghi, Bishop of Corsica

Your Holiness. Enclosed is my report on the last ten years on this island. I am sure you will find it interesting reading and useful intelligence on the nature of this heathen port!

In 1087 my lewd brother, well known for his indulgences got a maid pregnant! Of course, the Count, my father, thought it was all rather funny and instead of castigating Ottavio, he congratulated him, only further encouraging his lustful behavior.

The pregnancy was discovered some time after Ottavio's sixteenth birthday and the scandal (for it was a scandal to anyone of proper upbringing) was soon news around the region. It became very difficult to find the boy a suitable wife, let alone one who might provide an inheritance. In the end a comely Italian courtier named Ippolita was found from some Italian duchy. I had hoped that this would keep my brother's lasciviousness in check, but it was not to be, alas!

By the end of 1087 it seemed like Ottavio had gone from bad to worse. My father caught him embezzling the county of funds! Who would have thought! That boy thinks himself worthy of far more than he ever could attain. And I swear he is ungodly too, I've heard him say such things...

But I digress. The Count was most displeased. For weeks he strutted around the place gnashing his teeth while grumbling under his breath. "Gar, I should give the boy a taste o' th' cat, yarr!" and the like. Nothing came of it of course and the Count even confessed to me he sort of admired my brother for having the balls to steal of his own dad. In drunken moments he admitted "Maybe the lado will make a pirate yet, garr!". I'm sure you would have been as aghast as me if you had been there!

The year saw further tribulations for the County, something I took to be divine punishment for the hubris of our Count and Heir. In November Margherita, my mother, caught pneumonia, apparently while chasing Alberto to some wench's hut whom he was debauching. Further sadness occurred in December when my sister, Eugenia died in childbirth along with her child.

The following year, 1089, new roads were built around the country. You could see my father's men proudly walking up and down them and there were many happy cries of "Gar!" that day, and a few "Yars!" for good measure. My father seemed somewhat disappointed, however, but refused to speak of it.

As you will recall I was made Bishop in 1090 as I came of age and took to a wife. Ottavio also brought us joy with the birth of the first of his children. The following year a claim to the title of Savoie was found wedged in a book in the library. My father claims his name was on it, even though the document was hundreds of years old and a new name had clearly been scrawled on top of the old! Still, no doubt it will hold some sway with those who find these things important.

For the next three years I struggled with the burden of God's Work in this land of drunkards and criminals. However, I must confess that explaining the gospels to the people around here proved difficult. In order to win any converts I had to.. lets say.. bend the stories a little.

I hope you will forgive me for explaining that Jesus was this sort of pirate who liked to mess with the kings and so on and that he didn't like money lenders. The people here got quite excited at that so I ended up getting a bit carried away. One Eye'd Jesus McSkull is the name for him I ended up with around here. And I hope the Good Lord will forgive me for giving Our Saviour a wooden leg and an eye patch. And no, I am not quite sure how you nail a man with a wooden leg to a cross, but the people didn't seem to consider such ecclesiastical complexities..

I also had to translate the Latin text into the local dialect to make things understood. "Thar be seven commandments thar be, Arr!" seemed to convey the right ideas well. "The meek Pirate be inheriting the earth, Gar!" was easily understood too. However, the whole bit about forgiveness and atonment was a little lost. That being said, more than a few lcoals admited to me after services that, in their words "Yar, that Jesus fella, 'e would make a fine cabin boy, yar!". Sir, I believe that is progress! Or perhaps a sign we need more carpenters in these parts?

After those first, three hard years I lost my illness (1093), a sign, I belive, of the Good Lord rewarding me for my efforts. In 1094 a training ground was completed after the Count heard of some nice island properties to the South West. Mallorca or somesuch, currently in the hands of Heathens. Of course, I informed my father it was his God Given duty to take those lands back for Christians. "For Christian pirates, yar?" he asked. I ascented, at least he had the idea. Approximately.

None the less, war did not come. Initial investigation revealed a strong and well armed force defended the islands and my father was reluctant to persue them in his old age, "That be a job for ye young pirates, yarr! Pass me a wench and an ale. No, belay that, pass me a wench covered in ale, Yarr!"

As a sign of God's annoyance with our cowardly leader and the heir, Ottavio's wife Ippolita caught him in the arms of a servant girl! And what happened? No, he was not punished at all. Instead, again, he was let off and the old Count merely consoled her with these words "Ye best be losing some weight, wench! Ye be too bluff in the bow and too round in the stern! And yarr, if ye be having him catch you docking with another schooner, perhaps he be coming back to ye port more, yar!". How disgusting!

As I'm sure you recall 1095 was the year my first reports came to you and you sent a letter accusing Alberto of being skeptical. He challenged you but it did manage to curb his behavior somewhat. God's grace working through you, your Holiness! But it was not enough and later that year my mother, Margherita died, aged 56. In September the old count married again, this time to a courtier from the Duchy of Toscanna, a political marriage I believe, and much to soon! Shortly after a claim to the Duchy of Apulia was discovered. I believe these two events were interconnected some how, but I can not fathom it.

1096 was a year of great change. My father finally died. It is said he was debauching a wench on a high wall of his fort. It was some sort of filthy sex game I ehar tell, and he simply slipped and fell to his death. I believe his last words were "Yaaarrrr...". Fitting. When they found him it was clear from the state of his body that he died happy, if in sin!

Of course, my brother took over, but his skepticism, lustfulness and selfish pride all caught up with him and you wisely excommunicated him in October! Your Holiness knows best and does gods work, I believe it!

As it stands the County has 94 gold and some prestige. Ottavio has a son, Giberto, and three daughters. Of course, Corsica is widely regarded as a most impious place and I have great difficulty in keeping staff! Those that don't take the next boat home end up down at the docks drinking with sailors. Some even end up with the sailors. With, in the biblical sense, that is! It's most distressing!

I pray to god for some relief from these heathens, and soon!

Your Humble Servant, Ezzelino Obertenghi, Bishop of Corsica
 

Gebhard Blucher

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Garr! That be most sad, to hear the fate of that fine pirate Alberto! Here's hoping he had a proper funeral at sea. I wonder how his excommunicated, land-lubberly son will fare? :D
 

J. Passepartout

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Yar! Twas a fine Pirate, that thar Count. Tis a sad day, tis, but I shall be heading to me boat now with me bag o' 94 pieces of gold.
 

coz1

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Garr!! A sad day indeed for the good old pirate, Alberto! Twas told he could debauch better than anyone. And no ale was safe in his sight. He be blessed by One Eye'd Jesus McSkull, he be. And good on him for it.

But how does the boy - Giberto - take to the sea? He not be one of those land-lubbers, is he? Garr!!
 

Saumarez

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I definately will keep an eye on this. Mighty good yarn sailor, AARGH :rofl:
 

Fiftypence

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Yaar, this be a mighty fine AAR ye have goin' here, lado. 'Tis a great shame about that thar demise of Alberto, and equally tis a shame that the scurvy dog of a Pope made Ottavo walk the plank of excommunication!
 

Nikolai

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Yarr! Me likey tis aaaaAARrrrr! Me follow! Good writing yung lado!
 

Pirate Z

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Ghnyarr har har, this seems t' be th' best AAR fer me! I'd giv' a whole bottle o' rum jus' t' see 'nother update, hnyarr! :D
 

stnylan

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Much chortling was done, yar!
 

The Yogi

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Herr's heftin' one mug o' grogg for this one fine yAARn! Made me chortle like a prissy landlubber full o' Jamaica rum, it has! AAR! :rofl: