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Pirate Lore [WFB]
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Old 01 Sep 2007, 23:23   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pirate Lore [WFB]

This thread is sort of a dumping ground for any random bits of fluff and background I come up with whilst working on my Warhammer Pirate Army List. Don't expect any fantastic adventures here; it's mostly going to be nuts-and-bolts material.

With that in mind...

[hr]

The Piece of Eight:
A Piece of Eight is a prime example of the power of money; though originally minted in Tilea and Estalia, it is a coin with value across the Old World and beyond.

A Piece of Eight is a (typically) silver coin, worth 30 brass pennies (or 2.5 shillings) in the Empire. The term comes from the Estalian merchants, who would be paid 30 pennies a week. To save storage space, the merchants had special coins minted, and thus the coin became an accepted coinage amongst sailors.

With the discovery of the new world, Pieces of Eight became very common coins used, largely because sailors were so accustomed to them; indeed, the Empire and Bretonnia began to recognise them, and would accept Pieces of Eight even when minted in other countries. Thus, though the value may vary from country to country, the Piece of Eight was the benchmark.

Naturally, being easy to spend and interchangeable, Pirates would often target shipments of these coins; taxes from the new world sent back to the lords. As the Piece of Eight could then be moved on very quickly, it made spotting pirates very hard to track.

Some City-States voiced the opinion of attempting to ban the Piece of Eight, but that would mean losing the trade of every sailor in the Old World; like it or not, the Piece of Eight is here to stay.

[hr]

Buccaneers:
Easily the most fearsome of Pirates, the term "Buccaneer" comes from the Bretonnian word "Boucanier", a name for Lustrian settlers who practiced smoking meat.

According to tavern legend, a group of Buccaneers had established a beach-head called Switchback, where the Bretonnian Galleon Avant Garde would make port. As the Bretons disembarked and began their expedition into the jungle, the Buccaneers snuck aboard the Galleon and gained control. The vessel sailed off under pirate colours, and the Bretonnian expedition was stranded. It is said that no more than two dozen were ever seen again.

The Buccaneers are easily the most dangerous of Pirates. Adept at assaulting coastal installations, they have become a blight upon all who wish to sail to the new world. Rumour has it that, tired of their simple pickings, some Buccaneer crews have set course for the Old World...

Alternative meanings of "Buccaneer":
The Term Buccaneer is sometimes used to refer to any and all Pirates, though it should only apply to Pirates in Lustrian waters.
Buccaneer is also used to describe any Pirate ship that specifically targets Bretonnian ships.

[hr]

Corsairs:
The Bretonnian nobility is distasteful of naval warfare; it is an affair of cannon and catapult, a far cry from the honourable clash of sword and lance that they crave. Nevertheless, it is essential to maintain a battle-worthy fleet, and it wasn't long before the King of Breton came up with a simple solution; hire them.

Corsairs were the first Privateers; Pirates who fight on behalf of their parent country. In exchange for attacking enemy fleets, rival Pirates and other enemies of Bretonnia, the Corsairs are given immunity from their crimes. Naturally, the Bretonnian King demands payment (typically a third of the Corsairs ship's takings), and should they ever attack a Bretonnian ship, or an ally of the Bretonnians, they are hanged as Pirates.

Whilst Corsairs are usually loyal to Bretonnia, some have a reputation for betrayal and greed; many are little better than the Tilean Mercenary Armies, changing their loyalty to whoever pays best. As almost all nations use Privateers, it is not unknown for Corsairs to switch sides mid-battle!

Alternative meanings of "Corsair":
The term "Corsair" is often used to describe the more flamboyant, romantic Pirate forces, such as rogue High Elf fleets.
Corsair may also refer to any Privateer ship.
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