|The Indubitable Romans|
|Author||Nults McKagan and Parax|
|Published by||McKagan Productions|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
After observing the weak state of almost all European nations, Richard Cannonwalker and Christopher Crane reflect on the glory of the once-great Roman Empire. Encouraged and inspired by this reflection, the two set out to re-create the Roman Empire (although run by pirates this time around).
- Richard Cannonwalker - A main protagonist. He is the son of Christopher Crane and former Pirate King of the Eighth Brethren Court. He is a skilled swordfighter and ship captain, as all pirates should be.
- Christopher Crane - A main protagonist, sometimes referred to by his nickname "Hermit." He is a ruthless, feared pirate, former Pirate Lord of the Eighth Brethren Court, and father to Richard Cannonwalker. He is immortal except to cursed weapons, making him a difficult opponent to beat.
- Jim Logan - A former Pirate Lord of the Eighth Brethren Court looking for riches and fame. He is friends with Christopher and Richard and sees their conquests as an opportunity to achieve both of these.
- David McMartin - A sarcastic, poor dockworker who, unbeknowest to him, is Prince of Sardinia. He was once Pirate Prince (and briefly Pirate King) of the Eighth Brethren Court.
- Jeremiah Garland - A former Pirate Lord of the Eighth Brethren Court and former British politician who moved to Italy after the pirate purges nearly killed him.
- Tyler Wellington III - The Commander-in-Chief and Field Marshal of the British Army. He leads the British Army into many battles, which result in him encountering the "Roman" forces from time to time.
- Johnny Goldtimbers - Prime Minister of Great Britain. He is one of the three major claimants to the Throne of France, being backed by the British military.
- Robert McRoberts - British-instated Military Dictator of Spain. He runs the private army, "Viceroyalty Co." and frequently uses them to force his will upon the Spanish people, although he's willing to make deals with local Spaniards to strengthen his army.
The Ottoman Empire
- Albert Spark - Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He holds a stance of staunch opposition to piracy and brutally punishes anybody suspected of it.
- Johnny "Shark" Turner - King of the Barbary Coast. His nation is a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire, meaning that they have nearly complete authority over all of his actions.
- Governor Pasha - The Ottoman Governor of Egypt. He is both staunchly anti-piracy and staunchly anti-protesting. He puts down protests of any kind with violence and sentences any pirates he catches to death without a trial.
- Bobby Moon - One of the three claimants to the Throne of France. She is a mentally-unstable pirate who attempts to rule with an iron fist. She makes everybody to refer to her as "Queen Bobicus," a demand that is carried by the threat of an extremely humiliating and painful death.
- Jack Bluehawk - One of the three claimants to the Throne of France. He is a charismatic and noble leader who gains followers through his words rather than by his military force.
- Ned Edgewalker - The King of Sardinia and a pirate. Due to his history of piracy, Ned made Sardinia a pirate nation upon taking it; the first nation of its kind in Europe.
- Lukas Eigner - Austrian Governor of Lombardy. The Lombard people continually riot against his rule, to which Lukas always responds with Austrian troops opening fire on them.
Part I: The Mission Statement
In the city of Cagliara, Sardinia, a tall man of about six feet wandered dizzily into a tavern. He bought a bottle of grog from the bartender and sat down in a chair in the corner. His clothes were dirty and smelly not from a life of piracy, but simply because the services of the local laundress were too expensive for a man who had to beg just to get enough money for the day's meals. His long, black hair was greasy enough to slick back with ease and most likely contained lice. His beard, once refined and well-kept, was straggly and long as his hair was.
Richard Cannonwalker, former Pirate King of the 8th Brethren Court, was sitting in a chair, drinking the little bit of grog he had left. Since the dissolution of the 8th Court, the tides had treated Richard poorly. After his crew had abandoned him due to a lack of payment, Richard decided that he needed to find pirate work elsewhere. After a long period of sailing through the Americas and into Europe, Richard found himself in a tavern in the heart of Cagliara, Sardinia.
However, Richard had no fear of his situation; Sardinia was a pirate nation under the rule of one of his close friends, Ned Edgewalker. This made Sardinia special, as it was the only nation in the world that openly advocated piracy (with the other being the Barbary Coast). Therefore, Richard's reputation as a pirate would go unnoticed, which was exactly how he wanted it to be.
As Richard was sipping the last of his grog, a tall shadow cast over him. Richard looked up to see his father, Christopher Crane.
"It's been a while, son." Christopher said. Richard stood up and look at Christopher as close to eye level as possible, although direct eye level contact was impossible due to Christopher's stature.
"It has been a while, Chris." Richard responded. "How has life in the Caribbean been?"
"The life of piracy in the Caribbean has been on hard times. I relocated to the Barbary Coast for a while due to difficulties in the Caribbean. However, issues in the Barbary Coast resulted in me sailing up here to Sardinia." Christopher explained. Richard scratched the chin underneath his beard, during which a few specks of lice fell out and dropped to the floor.
"I see you've been keeping up on your hygiene." Christopher said, attempting not to show his feeling of disgust at Richard.
"It's difficult when you can barely afford the day's meals. There are days where I go without food. I rely entirely upon the generosity of Sardinia's people, which doesn't particularly pay off." Richard responded.
"Well, now that I'm here, let's drink up!" Christopher said.
"Let's!" Richard responded.
The two sat down at the bar counter and drank for hours on end. At the end of the drinking session, the two could barely stand on their own volition. They stumbled out of the bar together in a drunken stupor, but not before stumbling and around and unintentionally knocking things over in the tavern. The two sat down on the curb near the tavern and began to talk.
"You know, Europe isn't that strong right now." Richard stated drunkenly.
"That's true. Most nations of the world are fairly weak right now. The only nation with any significant power is Great Britain." Christopher said. Richard contemplated this for a moment.
"You know, Europe was a lot stronger during the Roman Empire days." Richard responded.
"Perhaps it may be beneficial for us to bring Europe back to those glory days." Christopher suggested.
"That's not a very bad idea. A second Roman Empire, although this time ruled by pirates." Richard responded.
"We should get a crew together and go for it, definitely." Christopher added, "But first, we need to get you to a bath."
Richard sat in a tub of water in the middle of a locked, dimly-lit room, washing himself off and—at Christopher's urging—rubbing himself with scented soap. After about ten minutes of bathing, he declared himself clean enough and climbed out of the tub, proceeding to dry himself off. Christopher, hearing the splashing, entered the room with his eyes closed.
"I haven't felt this clean in years," Richard chuckled, rubbing a towel against his skin.
"Here, put these on," said Christopher, tossing a set of fine, dark blue clothes to his son.
Richard complied, donning the garments. It's been a long time since he last wore something like this; the fanciness of the clothing was unusual compared to what he typically wore, giving Richard a somewhat awkward feeling.
"So, I've been doing some research lately," Christopher continued, opening his eyes and flipping through several pages of scribbled notes. "In order to bring back the once-glorious Roman Empire, we're obviously going to need people willing to aid us, as we mentioned earlier."
"Yes, have any ideas?" Richard asked.
"Of course," replied Christopher. "I think our best bet is to recruit Jim Logan, as a start. Then we can go around looking for more followers."
"He's still alive?" Richard inquired. He thought the recent pirate purges had taken the former Pirate Lord.
"You've missed a lot, son," said Christopher. "But yes, Jim is alive. When we've gotten him, we'll get set to recruiting more of our kind."
"I can understand why Jim would join us… but why would your average pirate want to bring back the Roman Empire?" asked Richard, his eyes widening. "They're a symbol of order and unity."
"True, but our 'average pirate' would do anything for a bag of coins," replied Christopher. "We'll just have to promise them great fortune and females… and maybe something else enticing, like what I did with the Rangers."
"Asking them if they want to join 'the Brotherhood'?" asked Richard, reflecting on Christopher's overused method of inviting people to his causes.
"If necessary," Christopher answered. "Though I'm sure the money and females will work just fine."
"Fair enough," said Richard, slipping on his old tricorne. "Where do we start looking for Jim?"
"Last I heard from my sources, he's somewhere in this city, but he disappeared shortly after coming," said Christopher. "We'll start searching from here, and we'll employ some eyes and ears."
"Why would he be in hiding?" Richard asked. "I recall Ned turning this place into a pirate nation.
"I honestly don't understand him sometimes," said Christopher. "But either way, he's hiding, and we need to find him."
Richard and Chris searched the city thoroughly for any kind of clues that could lead them to the whereabouts of Jim Logan. They asked bartenders all over the city, random peasants on the streets, and anybody who appeared as though they had a tongue. However, all of these efforts were in vain, as most of these people had no idea who Jim Logan was; additionally, the few people who knew had no idea.
After hours of searching, Richard and Chris found a building whose ornateness heavily outweighed the ornateness of every other building the two had seen throughout the city.
"Perhaps the people in this building will know where to find Jim." Richard suggested.
"It's worth a try, I suppose." Chris agreed.
Richard and Chris went up to the door of the great building and knocked upon it. A few seconds later, a fancily-dressed man answered the door.
"Yes, may I help you?" The man asked.
"Yes, do you know anything concerning the whereabouts of Jim Logan?" Richard asked the man.
"I apologize, but I do not. However, Mr. Edgewalker, who is very close friends with the person in question, may know." The man responded.
"May we see him?" Chris asked.
"Of course." The man responded. The man took Richard and Chris through the building. The inside was very well-built, almost as if all of the best artists in the world collaborated in order to create the perfect building. After walking through the beautiful and elaborate building for a minute or so, the group arrived in a throne room.
Upon the throne, which sat in the back of the room, was Ned Edgewalker. Edgewalker smelled and looked like rotten cheese due to never leaving the throne room. There were even urine stains on the walls around him because he didn't want to leave the throne room. The throne was surrounded by half-eaten turkey legs and toenail clippings. Ned, a man 56 years of age, carelessly ate many turkey legs, despite being told by the best medical professionals in the world that he'd have a heart attack powerful enough to take down an elephant if he did.
"King Edgewalker, you have visitors." The man told Ned. Ned jumped off of his throne and angrily threw his crown to the floor.
"I'VE TOLD YOU TO STOP LETTING PEOPLE IN MY THRONE ROOM." Ned screamed. Ned then began headbutting the wall.
"YOU BROKE THE RULES. YOU BROKE THE GOD DAMN RULES." Ned screamed. Ned then collapsed to the floor and began sobbing uncontrollably. Richard knelted beside Ned and slapped him across the face.
"Ned, please." Richard said. Ned stood up and looked at Richard.
"Oh, it's just you. I thought it was those Middle-Eastern opium lords trying to take my money again. It's nice to see you again, Richard." Ned said. Ned looked over at Chris and walked over to him.
"Please don't." Chris mumbled. Ned hugged Chris.
"I don't even remember which one you are." Ned said. Chris pried Ned free from the hug. Richard came over to the two.
"Ned, do you have any idea where Jim is?" Richard asked. Just then, many rushing footsteps could be heard coming from another room. They sooned silenced, and a man dressed entirely in black with a crew of about ten others walked in. The man had a very stern look on his face and a pistol and cutlass on his weapon belt.
"I've returned." The man said.
"Ah finally, you've freed up my restroom." Ned said.
"Ned, you haven't left this throne room since the 8th Brethren Court was abolished. Why would you care if I freed up your restroom?" Jim asked.
"Because it's mine and you can't continue having bathroom parties in there with your crew without my permission." Ned complained. Jim stared at Ned, and Ned just grinned.
"Jim, it's been a while." Chris said.
"Indeed." Jim responded.
"What have you been up to?" Richard asked.
"What do you think I've been up to?" Jim responded.
"Well, you were just in the bathroom with your entire crew, so..." Chris began. Jim looked in Chris's direction. Chris decided not to continue his sentence.
"In any case, we need to get down to business guys." Richard began. "We want to revive the Roman Empire." Jim's crew began muttering about it.
"What does reviving mean?"
"How does one 'Roman?'"
"Just never mind that. We need to make Europe strong again as it was during the Roman Empire days. However, this time around, it will be pirates ruling the empire." Richard said.
"Will there be money involved?" Jim asked.
"Most likely." Chris stated.
"I'm in." Jim said immediately.
"And I'm in too. I'm sick of sitting on my behind all day fighting Muslim drug lords." Ned said. Everybody stared at Ned for a moment.
"Guys, we should go find David. He'll probably join our group." Jim said. The group seemed to be in consensus with Jim's idea.
"Now, Ned..." Chris began.
"What?" Ned asked.
"Before we go on this adventure of ours, something must happen." Chris said. Chris pulled out a bar of soap and Ned knew what was next.
Ned was still shuddering from the bath Chris forced him to take, but he felt somewhat relieved to be this clean after so long. After Ned unwillingly cleansed himself, the group split up in search of David, setting a place to meet up periodically in case one of them finds him and the others don't. It took hours before Richard managed to find someone recognizable; the red-haired man was garbed in a dirty, light blue vest with a white shirt underneath—though it was more of a shade of light yellow now after a long time of not bathing. He wore baggy, light brown trousers and boots, as well as a dark brown cap on his head. His hair was longer than it usually was, and a poorly-trimmed beard and mustache occupied his face.
"David, is that you?" asked Richard, closely examining the pirate.
"Oh no no, no David here!" replied the man unconvincingly.
"Come on, I'm not buying it," sighed Richard. "We need to talk."
"Okay, fine, what is it?" asked David, looking around nervously.
"Remember the times where we could plunder freely? When pirates ruled the world?" asked Richard. "That time is coming. We're getting the whole group together again, and we will be reviving the Roman Empire… only ruled by pirates."
"…That…" David stuttered doubtfully. "Who's 'we'?"
"Me, Jim, Ned, Chris, and hopefully you," replied Richard. "We're rounding everyone up, and getting set to-"
Chris suddenly came out of nowhere, tackling David to the ground.
"I got him!" exclaimed Chris. "I got-oh. You've already…"
Chris got back to his feet and took a look at David, suddenly shuddering at the poor hygiene of his dirty friend. He flung a chunk of soap at the pirate as he got up and quickly backed away, taking notice of a barrel filled with rope. David slowly climbed to his feet and dusted himself off, examining the soap.
"…The point is," Richard continued, "we need all the help we can get. Are you in or not?"
"I… honestly, I think piracy's doomed," replied David. "With the recent purges, it won't be long until we're taken if we don't find something else to do. Sorry, but-"
"You have no say," growled Chris, flinging the rope onto David and putting the barrel on him.
David struggled for a moment while Chris—and reluctantly, Richard—forced him into the barrel. The two lifted it up and carried it through the dusty, alcohol-scented streets, heading over to the rendezvous point. They waited there for a bit longer, and soon enough the others arrived.
"Any sign of David?" asked Ned, suddenly taking notice of the barrel. He could hear a faint snoring coming from it.
Richard took the lid off the barrel and the group turned it over, dumping David out onto the ground. Dropping a duck carving he made with the soap Chris gave him, David woke up immediately and looked around, startled and confused.
"Sadly, he's been most uncooperative," sighed Chris. "He believes we have no chance."
"Well, if I'm in and he's not, I think now's the time to make a confession," said Ned, stepping forward. "David, have you wondered why I've wanted you to stay in Sardinia for so long?"
"Not really," replied David, turning over on his back.
"You see, you're my… heir," Ned admitted. "When I die or step down from the throne, or am otherwise absent, you're in charge of this wonderful ci-"
"Alright, I'm in," moaned David. "I'll join you guys on your fool's errand."
"That's great to hear," said Richard victoriously.
"Now then, you guys do your planning," David continued, picking up the soap carving. "I have a masterpiece to finish."
"You have failed to use my gift of soap properly," said Chris, dropping another chunk of soap onto David's lap.
David looked up at Chris, then down at the soap. He began carving into it again, much to his hygiene-obsessed friend's frustration. Chris picked up a large bucket nearby and disappeared into an alleyway, muttering to himself.
After a couple of minutes, Chris returned to the group with a giant bucket of water.
"Hey Chris, what are you going to do with that?" David asked. Christopher, without speaking a word, dumped the entire bucket of water on David. David's clothing was drenched with water. Everybody else began laughing.
"Wha---?! Why did you do that?!" David asked Chris indignantly.
"You refused to use my gift of soap properly, so you were punished." Chris said. Chris then took David's soap duck and rubbed it in his face, covering his face in suds. David shoved Chris away and the soap duck dropped to the ground.
"I guess that's as clean as I'll be able to get you, David." Chris said, shaking his head.
"Alright guys, enough messing around. We need to prepare for our adventure." Richard said.
"Finally; I'm sick of watching Hermit forcibly bathe people. Let's get this show on the road already!" Jim added.
"The crew seems to be a bit small, though. Is there anybody else we can recruit?" Chris asked. Ned walked over to a barrel on the dock and dumped out the contents of it onto the dock. Garlic bulbs spilled everywhere.
"We can always recruit these garlic things!" Ned suggested.
"Recruit garlic? I don't think that a bunch of garlic bulbs will help us on our adventure, Ned." Richard replied.
"Garlic? That gives me an idea." Chris said. Chris motioned for the crew to follow him. They walked away from the dock area and into the town.
"What's your idea?" Richard asked Chris.
"Just wait and see." Chris replied. After walking for a few minutes, the group walked up to a small house that was away from all of the other buildings.
"Hold on a moment, please." The voice from inside requested. After a minute, the man inside of the building opened the door.
He was short in stature. His arms and legs were spindly and his skin was pale. He had a black, patchy beard and straggly, greasy black hair to compliment it. He had bags under his eyes and looked very tired.
"Jeremiah Garland at your service." The man said.
"There's no time for fancy greetings, Garland." Chris said.
"Oh, it's you guys. I haven't seen you all in quite a while." Garland said.
"Yea. How have times been?" Richard asked.
"Bad. My assets are down the drain. I was here when they all went, so I was never able to leave. I can only afford the absolute bare minimums, which doesn't include razors." Garland said, touching at his patchy beard.
"Well, we have a plan that could result in us all becoming rich and powerful." Chris said.
"What kind of plan is this particular plan?" Garland asked, rubbing his beard still.
"We want to invade all of the Middle East and Europe and revive the Roman Empire." Richard responded. Garland rubbed his chin for a moment more.
"With only about 15 people?" Garland asked. Chris and Richard scratched their heads.
"Uh, perhaps..." Chris replied. Garland stared blankly at them for a moment.
"Well, I guess nothing could possibly go wrong with such a solid plan." Garland replied. Garland stepped outside his house and closed the door.
"But what about your house?" Ned asked.
"Oh, I don't care about that stupid old house. It's not even mine." Garland said.
"...Oh." Ned said.
"Well, that's enough fooling around. We need to continue onward and begin our empire!" Richard exclaimed.
"But wait..." Garland began, "we're on an island. Don't we need a ship to go elsewhere?" Garland asked. Everybody pondered this for a moment.
"If you don't have our own ships, then how did you get here?!" Ned asked. Everybody began mumbling their answer to the question; none of the answers could be understood.
"Hermit, don't you have a ship?" David asked.
"No, my ship's back in France." Chris replied.
"Then how did you get here? Did you walk on the water or something?" David asked. Chris scratched the back of his head silently and gave no response.
"Guys, chill out. I have a ship we can use." Jim said.
"Then why did you not tell us this before?!" Richard asked angrily.
"Because I enjoy watching you all fight." Jim said, chuckling. Richard glared at him angrily.
"Never mind that. Let's go down to the docks." Chris suggested. The group went down to the docks, boarded Jim's ship, and sailed on their way to begin the conquest of Italy.
Part II: The Formation of an Empire
After several hours of sailing, the group arrived at the Italian region of Piedmont, in the northern part of Italy. They agreed that it would be most beneficial for them to rally support here, due to it and Sardinia being together as one despite being separated by the Mediterranean Sea. Using the positive relations Ned had with the locals, the group planned to convince them to join the cause; after enough followers were gathered, they were to set off to other territories, which they would then liberate and gain supporters.
Within a few weeks, the support the group had in Piedmont and Sardinia had increased dramatically, rising from the original fifteen to several hundred, composed entirely of people who wished for the "ultimate freedom" they associated with piracy. Feeling that they had sufficient allies, the group moved eastward to Lombardy, a territory currently under the influence of Austria. As they had hoped, Lombardy was suffering from pestilence and a general economic decline, as well as resentment for Austrian control.
"They smell so unclean…" Chris mumbled to himself.
"Don't," Richard growled, glaring at Chris. "Conquest first."
"So what do we do now?" asked Jim.
"Spread out," replied Richard. "Learn about this place from the locals. Who's in charge. Economic state. Support for ultimate freedom."
The group complied, splitting up and heading to separate places across Lombardy to interview the residents. Those who couldn't read or write had to accompany someone who would, as Richard preferred it over reciting solely from memory. It took several days, but they were soon able to learn what they needed to complete their plans. The inhabitants of Lombardy were unhappy with the Austrian representative, Lukas Eigner; according to them, he was nothing short of a bully.
"So, as we have all heard, Lukas has been manipulating the poor, lower class citizens into doing his bidding," Chris said to the others, pacing. "Clearly, they have developed a deep hatred of him."
"Aye," said Jim. "But how do we stop him?"
"We'll help the poor. Gain their support. Promise them ultimate freedom," replied Chris. "We'll convince them of the benefits of piracy, and that they will never be truly free of oppression without it. We'll show them that piracy is their way to happiness, wealth, and fame. Use examples if that's not enough."
"But how would we secure their loyalty after they take back Lombardy?" David asked, still doubtful.
"Easy. We'll personally liberate them from Eigner's rule," Chris explained. "And when he's out of the way, we'll be sure to let them know that in order to ensure the future of piracy, they must join us in our quest to conquer the rest of Europe… and beyond."
"Alright, it sounds good," said Richard, contemplating the plan. "Just one problem…"
"And that is?" asked Chris.
"When we do this, our presence is going to be made known to the world," Richard anticipated. "How are we going to keep the other nations from ruining our plans?"
Chris thought about Richard's question for a little bit, pacing.
"The key to them crushing us is knowing that we specifically are responsible," said Chris. "We'll have to keep our names and faces unknown. We'll have to use alternate names. We'll also have to ensure that we cannot be identified by our appearances. Try convincing them that our identities and physical description are to remain unknown. If they do not listen, eliminate or intimidate."
"I guess it could work," sighed Garland, stretching tiredly. "It's worth a shot."
"Now, let's get set to our secret advertising," said Richard, getting up off the bench he was on.
"And try to minimize use of voodoo," Chris reminded the group. "Most 'civilized' people these days will burn us at the stake for witchcraft."
"Noted," sighed David, flashing back to the last time he used voodoo.
"So after we've taken over Lombardy, what's next?" asked Ned. "Is there certain order that we have to do this in?"
"Chris and I have been discussing that," replied Richard. "We're going to start off in the northern areas of Italy, such as here. We'll slowly work our way towards the south, territory by territory. When Italy's been liberated, we'll move onto North Africa, challenging the authority of the Ottoman Empire. We'll update you when we've dealt with that."
"Sounds like a plan," said Ned, satisfied with the answer.
Once more, the group dispersed, keeping the plan in mind. Within the week, public support for piracy was higher than ever, with the citizens demanding Lukas Eigner to resign and let them rule freely. Naturally, Eigner sent in troops to suppress the riots, but only achieved the opposite of what he wanted; the residents supported Richard's group even more. Desperate for answers, Eigner began kidnapping people, interrogating them for information regarding the ones responsible for the spread of piracy. However, he received little to no helpful information; the people he questioned were either too loyal or frightened to give out names, or they simply had no idea who was spreading the word of piracy.
In the meantime, support for the group continued to increase as they advertised piracy, promised wealth and freedom, and even served as vigilantes, protecting citizens from Eigner's troops and the occasional street gang. Still too determined to lose his power, Eigner gave a speech at Lombardy's capital of Milan, denouncing piracy as a pathway to disorder and destruction and insisting that he was needed to keep the balance.
"The man lies," announced Chris, finally stepping forward. "You've seen it yourself, people of Lombardy. Lukas Eigner is a tyrant who wishes only to further his own goals. If you want balance, piracy is the path to take. Your fate won't be dictated by a single, power-hungry man, but rather by yourselves. I urge you, if you wish for freedom, to join us. We promise wealth. We promise independence. We promise you the 'balance' you seek. A world where the only one who controls you is you."
Eigner's face took on an expression of despair as the crowd shouted excitedly at Chris's speech. He nodded to several guards, who raised their muskets and opened fire on Chris; he flinched at the pain of the bullets piercing him, but regained his footing and marched forward into Eigner's palace.. Richard gave a signal to the crowd, causing several of the group's supporters to yell out in anger at Eigner. In agreement, the rest of the crowd joined in, unhappy with the Austrian representative. David, Richard, Garland, Ned, Jim, and the others saw this as their chance, taking advantage of the distraction to enter the palace. Inside, they found the bodies of several soldiers spread around the rooms; a few of them were sticking out of the wall, hinting that Chris had used voodoo on them. After exploring the palace for a bit longer, they found Chris leaning against a staircase, waiting for them.
"It's about time," Chris sighed. He was examining his wounds and removing the bullets.
"Take down Eigner?" Richard asked.
"Take down Eigner," Chris replied.
The group went up the stairs with their weapons ready, taking down the guards that attempted to stop them. Soon enough, the rioters outside entered as well, pouring into the palace and stealing valuables. At the top floor, Chris, Richard, and the others were pacing around Eigner, who was on his knees.
"I know who you are," said Eigner, examining Chris. "You're Christopher Crane. Godfather of La Mafia, former Spanish lord, and famed pirate. Why are you here?"
"I think he made that obvious in his speech," replied Richard.
"Shut up," growled Eigner.
"Don't insult my son," Chris ordered, pulling Eigner back by the hair. "You know what we want: liberation. You're standing in the way."
"Don't you realize that you need people like me to keep the world in order?" asked Eigner.
"We don't want order, we want piracy," replied Chris, examining his flintlock.
The rioters downstairs heard a loud gunshot and dashed up the stairs, where they found their heroes.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Chris started. "You've been oppressed long enough, and now it has come to an end. But the war is not yet over."
"But Eigner's dead!" said one of the rioters. "We're free!"
"Eigner is one of many obstacles that we must overcome," replied Chris. "We must spread piracy across Europe and liberate the other countries. Otherwise, someone just like Eigner will come forth to replace him."
"How can we thank you?" asked another rioter.
"Join our cause, and we can promise you everlasting liberty," answered Richard. "But no matter what, nobody else must know of our existence. If you want your freedom, the world must not know of us or our plans until we are ready. Our appearances and identities do not leave this room."
The rioters all nodded and chattered in agreement. Satisfied with the way things were going, the group walked out of the palace.
News of Lombardy's upheaval inspired the other nations of Italy to begin rebelling. By the time the group arrived to Genoa, citizens already began violent protests, resulting in these nations' leaders being overthrown in the same manner Lombardy's leader was overthrown. Similarly, Tuscany was experiencing the same issue Lombardy and Genoa faced. With the conquering of Genoa and Tuscany, hundreds more Italians dedicated to the freedom piracy offered them joined the cause.
The only state in Italy that wasn't dealing with violent revolutions were the Papal States. However, due to the collapse of the Spanish government after a series of crushing defeats in what seemed like a perpetual war with Great Britain, the Papal States were left without a strong military. When the group arrived to the states, the Pope surrendered his states under the condition that his life and the lives of his constituents be spared; he was granted this.
After only a few weeks, the entire Italian Peninsula was under the control of the pirates. After the group's conquering of Sicily, they commandeered some of the state's finest ships in order to cross the Mediterranean into North Africa, where their next conquest began. After a few days of travel, the group touched down in Tangier, Morocco.
"So Richard..." Ned began.
"So Ned..." Richard responded.
"You said that after Italy was conquered, that you'd 'update' us on how we'd conquer the Ottoman Empire." Ned said.
"And...?" Richard asked.
"HOW ABOUT THAT UPDATE?!" Ned yelled.
"I'd say that we try and appeal to the King of the Coast. The Ottomans, although they're anti-piracy, allowed the Barbary Coast to become semi-independent again. They're a protectorate state." Christopher told Ned.
"Oh... well that was easy enough." Ned said.
"Alright, let's stop fooling around and just get to work already." Jim said. The entire crew stood idly by, unsure of what step to take next.
"...Guys..." Jim began. The crew continued to stand by idly. Some scratched their heads, some their behinds. Nobody knew exactly what to do next.
"GUYS!" Ned shouted. The entire crew was startled. "WHAT DO WE DO NOW?!"
"God damn it Ned, why do you have to yell all of the time?" David asked. Ned shrugged. "You guys may not know what to do next, but I know."
David threw a soap carving at Ned's face, much to Christopher's irritation. David then walked over to a citizen working at the docks.
"Ahoy!" David said.
"Ahoy!" The dockworker replied.
"Say, by any chance, do you happen to know where your king is?" David asked the dockworker.
"He's been out at sea the past few days. He should be back soon." The dockworker said. Just then, a warship began approaching port.
"THE GOLDEN DRAGON! SHE HAS RETURNED!" A dockworker shouted.
"WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" Ned screamed. Ned then drove face-first into the water randomly and without purpose.
"GET! THE! SOOOOOOOAP!" David ordered. The entire crew began picking up soap carvings and pelting the ship with them. The only one not trying to attack the ship with soap was Christopher, who was still disgruntled over the fact that David made the soap carvings.
The ship docked and the crew began pouring out. Many of them were covered with soap, including the captain, King Johnny "Shark" Turner of the Barbary Coast. Johnny, attempting to get the soap off of him as he was walking, went up to David.
"Why were you pelting us with soap?" Johnny asked indignantly.
"I thought you were a threat." David replied. Johnny began flicking bits of soap at the ground.
"No, my beautiful creations!" David said. David knelt down and scooped the soap bits into his hands, crying.
"Don't get so sentimental over soap." Johnny told David. David stood up and looked angrily at Johnny.
"Don't tell me how to feel about soap, you filthy barber." David told Johnny
"Gentlemen, gentlemen, please. Let's not fight over something so trivial. There are more important matters at hand." Garland said.
"Like what?" Johnny asked.
"Johnny, we've been working at an idea; to make Europe and the Middle East as strong as it was during the Roman Empire." Christopher told him.
"Why would I be interested in that?" Johnny questioned.
"Because it would be ruled by pirates this time." Richard replied.
"Now I'm intrigued. What would we need to do to make this happen?" Johnny asked.
"Help us overthrow the Sultan." Christopher responded.
"I'm with you. I'm sick of him trying to oppress piracy." Johnny said. With this encounter, Johnny "Shark" Turner, his crew, and the limited Barbary Coast military were on the side of the revolutionaries.
As one of the steps to overthrowing the Ottoman Sultan and dominate the Mediterranean with piracy, the group headed for the desertlike Egypt, taking a large amount of their supporters with them. On the way, they left a few of their most charismatic followers in Tunisia and Syria, instructing them to start revolutions in those places. Upon their arrival in Egypt, the group started out by splitting up to gather knowledge of the region, then began to formulate a plan for the actual takeover. They compiled their observations of Egypt and thought of how they would take the land from the Ottoman Empire, but were soon stumped on ideas. As a result, they wandered the land in hopes that one would come to them.
"They're devoutly religious, and their Sultan's heavily anti-piracy," Richard said, reviewing the information on Egypt. "That will make getting them to support our cause… difficult."
"We have the manpower; we could attempt to conquer them," suggested a tired Ned.
"We need the peoples' love if we want to keep the idea of piracy around," replied Chris, pacing in a frustrated manner. "Otherwise, we'll have to put up with riots. Then Ottoman troops."
"We could try convincing them that we received a vision," Richard thought aloud. "Something about Allah demanding ultimate freedom, or wanting us to enjoy life as we can."
"Perhaps," said Garland. "Then again…" His face suddenly lit up with excitement.
"What is it?" asked David.
"We use Richard's idea of a vision, but we convince the people that the Sultan is an unfit ruler… somehow," replied Garland.
"The question is how," sighed Chris. "The Sultan claims a divine right to rule; the last thing his people will do is turn on that."
Richard walked around in circles for a moment before suddenly looking up.
"We'll influence them from the shadows," Richard started. "Cause economic issues, perhaps lead political figures on the path of corruption…"
"And then?" asked Ned.
"Well, Chris here is skilled in voodoo, as we all know," explained Richard. "If he were to, say, conjure up a sandstorm… or blow up a building, perhaps they'd agree with our speeches that the Ottoman Empire must fall."
Everyone looked at Richard, intrigued by his idea. Chris smirked and clasped his hands together against his chin. There was an awkward silence for about a minute before Ned stood up, looking like he was ready to announce something… but he wasn't.
"YESSSS!" Ned exclaimed excitedly.
"Ah, the pyramids… so pretty…" Jim mumbled to himself as he gazed off into the distance, taking the group off-topic.
"This gives me another idea for the plan," Richard said. "This way."
Richard led the group over where Jim was looking, taking everyone to the ancient pyramids. When several disgruntled guards refused to let them get close to them, the group was forced to leave the scene and sneak in at night.
"It smells in here," Garland complained.
"Don't tempt Chris, please," said Richard anxiously, raising an eyebrow at Garland.
"Right…" Garland muttered. "I mean, it smells like roses and fresh soap."
"Alright, so what I'm thinking here is that when we have support from the residents, the Sultan will obviously send troops to quell the rebellion," said Richard. "Even more importantly, he'll be most interested in the people who started it."
"Alright, and?" asked Jim.
"We'll lure the troops in here and play a nice little game of hit-and-run," replied Richard. "Start studying the corridors of this place, I don't want any of us getting lost or killed."
After a few hours, the entire group had managed to memorize certain parts of the pyramid, planning out the routes they would take. However, they did not set up their base of operations in it, fearing the possibility of being discovered in an off-limits area. Instead, they rented several rooms in a nearby town and got set to their planning. They proceeded to split up and head to individual towns and cities, where each individual group would wreak havoc and political corruption according to plan. Over the next course of months, the pirates would bribe public officials and destroy property from the shadows; soon, Egypt will be liberated.
It only took about half a month before the pirates' goals came early. Through their bribing and stealing, they managed to cause unrest among the residents, who were disgruntled at the increasing crime rate and bribing of political figures. Sultan Albert was forced to repeatedly replace them, but it seemed as if each one was worse than his predecessor. Soon after, Chris did his part of the plan; using a variety of voodoo rituals, he created violent sandstorms and knocked down entire buildings. Though local politicians and their lackeys tried to cover up the problems, it was obviously not that hard for word to get out about the demolishing of homes. As a result, officials tried to assure their citizens that the storms were natural. Still, the public was not convinced; in time, they began demanding that the Sultan do something.
"Fear not, the matters are being looked into. We can assure you that these storms are not divine signs," announced Governor Pasha. "These are clearly natural disasters brought on by the harshness of the desert."
"I wouldn't be so sure of that," replied Garland, stepping forward. "Do you not see the signs, brothers and sisters? Open your eyes! Only a couple weeks ago, this land became plagued by corruption."
"Those are problems with the individual officials," replied Pasha. "You need not blame the Sultan."
"Then why is it that each successor was worse than the previous?!" demanded Garland. "Why have we began suffering from all these disasters? These storms?"
"As I said, we're looking forward to it," Pasha answered. He made a motion of sorts with his hands behind his back. "They are likely simple coincidences."
"There are no coincidences," Garland retorted. "You cannot hide the truth. The Ottoman Empire is stagnating, and must fall."
Several guards appeared from out of the crowd and seized Garland, dragging him away.
"I will not be silenced!" exclaimed Garland. "You will let your people be free!"
"Quiet, worm," ordered one of the guards. "A few days in the dungeon ought to do the trick."
However, it was clear that the pirate had won the hearts of the civilians, who quickly surrounded the guards and pulled them away. Several more soldiers stepped in and tried to intervene, but the people in the crowd would not allow it. The troops attempted to force their way through to Garland, but it backfired; within seconds, the conflict was escalating into a full-blown riot.
David and Ned watched from the shadows, watching the fighting intently. Chris and Richard were perched on top of a building on the other side of the crowd, passing the time by tossing a grenade between each other. Two muskets were lined up next to them. Soon enough, Garland came bolting over to them and took cover behind a pillar.
"Beautiful speech," David complimented.
"Thanks," panted Garland. "Hermit and Richard thought up half of it and locked me in a room until I memorized it." He looked around. "Where are they, anyways?"
"Up there, having father-son time," replied Ned, pointing to the building the two were on.
The rioting continued for hours. Just as planned, the sun was positioned directly behind Chris and Richard; the brightness would ensure that nobody saw what they were doing. The two tossed the grenade into the crowd and each took a musket; there was an explosion, and everyone looked around, confused. Chris and Richard fired into the crowd, provoking the soldiers into doing the same. This infuriated the rioters even more, and it was obvious as to what was coming.
Word of the incident, as well as the deaths of multiple civilians, quickly broke out across Egypt and the Ottoman Empire itself. Pasha desperately tried to quell any thoughts of dissent, but it was hopeless. But he refused to allow the people responsible for this to go unscathed. Having sent agents to watch the group, Pasha discovered the location of the rooms they were renting, soon encountering them while they were in the middle of a meeting.
"So, you're the lot that's been making trouble in Egypt," Pasha said, walking in accompanied by several Janissaries.
"You're not welcome here," growled Chris.
"Come on, let us be civilized," insisted Pasha. "Obviously, I won't be able to stop this rebellion, so I'd simply like to talk. For starters, how'd you do it?"
"That would be playing fair," chuckled Chris. "Perhaps your empire is meant to fall."
"All nations fall eventually," said Pasha, calmly pacing around the room. "And a new one is reborn from the ashes. But now is not the time for the Ottoman Empire."
"We'll see," replied Richard.
"I guess I won't be getting anywhere with you," Pasha sighed, snapping his fingers. "I guess I'll just start by tying up loose ends—in this case, getting rid of the troublemakers who have brought this upon us."
The Janissaries unsheathed their swords, and the group knew what was next. Pasha sprinted out of the room while the pirates cut down the Janissaries, taking a few injuries in the process, but nothing too serious. They ran out the door to pursue Pasha, who was waiting outside with another group of soldiers.
"So it ends," said a confident Pasha, clasping his hands together and walking towards a carriage. "Deal with the pirate scum, and bring me their heads."
The Ottoman governor disappeared into the carriage, which road off into the distance. The pirates knew they were outnumbered and outmatched, but they knew what to do next.
They turned around and ran.
Chris and Richard stood inside the entrance to the pyramid, shooting at the Ottoman soldiers to cover the rest of the group. Jim was the last one in, sliding through the entrance and ducking out of the way of an incoming musket ball. The pirates dispersed and ran into separate hallways, each being chased by a few soldiers. Nonetheless, the maze-like corridors proved to be advantageous for the group, as they had memorized the paths while the soldiers had not. This would allow hit-and-run tactics to be most helpful.
Richard carefully backed down a hallway, listening intently for the footsteps of his pursuers. He could hear them running in his direction, the footsteps getting louder by the second. He quickly took cover behind an Anubis statue and waited, his eyes still adjusting to the darkness of the pyramid. A hand grabbed his shoulder, startling him and causing him to turn around with his pistol ready. Before he could pull the trigger, he could see the dim figure of Jeremiah Garland crouching down in front of him.
"Shhhhhhhhh," Garland whispered, firing at the approaching group of soldiers.
David and Jim felt their way around the cramped passageways; perhaps choosing an unlit pyramid for the final fight wasn't a very bright idea. The two bumped into a squad of troopers, who quickly shouted in Turkish and fired blindly into the darkness. David shouted something unintelligible and tackled one of the soldiers, causing a domino effect.
Chris and Ned had gotten split up earlier, but the former was confident by the gibberish from Ned and Turkish shouts that his fellow pirate was doing just fine. He had a dagger and his sword out and quietly walked through the corridor he was in; he could see a light getting closer rapidly, and soon enough encountered a group of about ten soldiers. The troops raised their muskets and opened fire on Chris, but the metaphorical giant simply cocked his head to the side.
"Allah tarafından…" whispered one of the soldiers. "Gerçekten gönderildi-"
Long story short, Pasha's men were no match for the pirates' superior techniques and knowledge of the place. The group emerged victoriously from the ancient structure and proceeded to limp off back to their so-called base. Obviously, they would have to convince the residents to join their cause.
After the exhausted group had gotten back to their base, they slept until daybreak. Once the sun rose, they began their planning as to how they would get the residents of Egypt on the side of their cause. However, before much planning could be done, an inside informant burst into the meeting area.
"It's happening! The revolution has placed its roots!" The informant said. The group went outside to the sight of tens of thousands of Egyptians rallying outside their base.
"We want change! No more of the sultan!" Many of them shouted. The group looked at each other, and then went outside to confront the mob. As soon as they got outside, the mob began swarming the group.
"TO CAIRO!" The mob began shouting immediately.
"TO CAIRO!" Richard shouted.
"TO CAIRO!" The rest of the group said.
"FOR THE SOAP!" David shouted.
The group joined with the mob and began the long march to Cairo. It was a difficult, but after a few hours of exhausting marching the group finally reached Cairo. However, Governor Pasha was expecting this. Pasha lined the outside of the city with guards. However, the mob easily overcame the guards, taking their guns and charging into the city.
The mob surrounded Pasha's government building soon thereafter. Pasha stuck his head out of the window.
"You insolent protestors won't get away with this! Down with the revolution!" Pasha shouted at them, angrily shaking his fist. Suddenly, a soap carving traveling at high speeds pelted Pasha in the head, making him stumble out of the window.
"Yeah, get wrecked!" David shouted. The mob then grabbed Pasha and began literally tearing him apart, until nothing was left except unrecognizable chunks of his body. After tearing Pasha apart, the mob began to celebrate. David quickly fled the scene and came back with an armsful of soap.
"SOAP FOR ALL!" David shouted. David began handing the protestors soap, which confused them dearly. However, regardless of how confused the protestors were, they knew that they had liberated Egypt from Ottoman control.
"FOR FREEDOM! FOR LIBERATION! FOR THE NEW ROMAN EMPIRE!" The protestors shouted.
"Well, I think we've done our work here." Christopher told the group.
"Indeed." The group agreed. The group decided that they best begin to conquer the Arabian Peninsula, so they gathered their supplies and began the travel. However, by the time they arrived at each of the locations in the Arabian Peninsula, they found that revolutionaries had already began to liberate the areas; all they had to do was assist.
About halfway to the capital, they were stopped by a messenger, who told them that Tunisia and Syria had been liberated. Nearly two months after the liberation of Egypt, the group found themselves nearing Constantinople.
"Well guys, it's been a great trip, but I must get going." Johnny Turner told the group.
"But why?" Jeremiah asked him.
"Well, I wasn't exactly planning on traveling throughout the Middle East after I docked my ship that one fateful day a few months back. I never officially left anybody in charge of the Coast before leaving, so it could have entered a state of civil war for all I know." Turner stated.
"Oh." Jeremiah responded.
"Well Johnny, it's been a nice travel. Good luck on your way back." Richard said.
"I must go, my people need me!" Johnny said. Johnny then ran away into the distance without saying another word. The group looked at him heading off over the horizon, and then back at their destination.
"We're almost there; just keep pushing." Jim said.
The ship docked at the primary port of Istanbul, or Constantinople, as many knew it. During the trip, the self-proclaimed "new Romans" had come to wear the clothes of fallen rebels and Ottoman soldiers alike, whose bodies they stripped in order to blend in and infiltrate the empire's capital with minimal chances of detection. As per the usual strategy, the group spread out and scouted the area and used their disguises to blend in with the other citizens; Crane was probably the one to have done the least of this, for his unusually tall height and dark complexion would've easily attracted attention and could alert the sultan. Instead, he opted to sit in a rented room and compile ideas.
Because this was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the takeover of this place was going to require more organization in planning and execution; while places like Egypt and Piedmont were nearly flawless in their takeovers, the Romans knew it would be far more complex when dealing with the primary city in the nation.
After a couple of months of gathering information and spying on the inhabitants of Constantinople, the Romans began heading back to the room Christopher rented to compare ideas and come up with a plan.
"Good god, I'm glad we're finally doing this," Ned sighed as he walked through a dark alleyway with Richard, who was carrying a large sack over his shoulder. "I'm tired of being a consort to these people. I look ugly as a lady."
"You look ugly in general," Richard laughed.
Ned gave Richard the evil eye, but before anything else could happen, the latter opened a door and entered the apartment complex Christopher had rented out. They went up a dusty wood staircase to their right and walked down the long hallway they found themselves in. At the very end, Jim was leaning against a window with his arms crossed.
"Sup," Jim said.
"Is he letting us in yet?" Ned asked, knocking on the door Jim was next to.
A wood panel on the door slid to the side, revealing two serious, hazel eyes staring back at the three. Ned felt like someone was staring into his soul.
"Password?" asked the voice of David.
"Password?" Richard repeated, confused. "What password?"
The wood panel slid back into place as a series of locks could be heard unlocking. The door swung open and David ushered the three into the room. Chris and Jeremiah were on opposite sides of a table, staring down at a massive map of the city.
"Like we did in Egypt," Jeremiah said, "we need to convince the citizens that their deity demands the rise of the Romans. We'll use natural disasters and expose government corruption."
"This is our only shot at truly crippling the Ottoman Empire," replied Christopher. "We'll need a contingency plan in case a large amount of citizens don't cooperate."
"What do you have in mind?" asked Jeremiah.
"Pretty much the same thing you're suggesting," Christopher explained. "We'll just have to maximize our influence on enough people to keep the loyalists busy. The more loyalty we secure, the better."
"Then we'll have to lure as many armed loyalists over to the key areas I pointed out earlier," said Jeremiah, drawing dots on various areas of the map with a quill. "Then we'll begin the invasion with our fellow pirate nations. In fact, I think we should do the same thing the Turks did to capture the city many centuries ago."
"Ah, Richard," said Christopher, looking up from the map. "Did you bring the explosives?"
"Aye," replied Richard, handing the sack over to Christopher.
"Splendid," Jeremiah commented. "We can go raid that barracks, now."
"And arm the citizens already loyal to us," Christopher continued.
"Richard, Ned, you're coming with me," said Jeremiah, taking several muskets from the wall behind him and handing them out to the others. "David and Jim, you're with Chris. Follow our leads and try not to get killed."
The pirates fastened bayonets onto their muskets and walked out of the room together. They headed down the staircase and exited the building. Jeremiah's group continued to walk straight, going down an alleyway in front of the building. Chris nudged David and Jim and took another alleyway parallel to Jeremiah's path.
"Here's what we're gonna do," Jeremiah whispered to Ned and Richard. "We're going to a nearby barracks to get more weapons, as you may have figured out already. Chris's group will give us a signal—and by that, I mean explosions and gunshots. While the guards are distracted with them…"
"They'll sneak through a window and kill off anyone who gets in the way," Christopher explained to David and Jim. "Again, try not to die."
Both groups stopped at their designated spots. Christopher's trio split up and took separate spots; David climbed onto a rooftop, Jim took the corner of a building, and Christopher approached the guards at the front door of the barracks.
One of the guards halted Christopher and began speaking to him in Turkish; his speech was interrupted by a loud gunshot. David and Jim immediately appeared from their hiding spots and opened fire on a selected soldier, while Christopher cut down anyone they didn't have time to shoot.
Jeremiah peeked through a hole in the wall between his group and the inside of the barracks. He watched carefully as soldier after soldier entered the room he was spying on and exit into the area Chris's group was at. Some of the guards were still in bed, trying to muster the energy to get up.
"Let's go!" Jeremiah shouted, smashing open a window with his musket. He and his group climbed in and shot down the guards who were on their feet; the ones who were getting up were stabbed with bayonets. Jeremiah, Richard, and Ned reloaded and bolted into the next room, stabbing and shooting this way and that, until Chris, David, and Jim entered to finish off the rest of the soldiers.
"We don't have much time left," said Chris, picking up as many guns as he could and sticking them into several large barrels. "Someone will be telling the others soon."
"Ned, David, get the explosives," Jeremiah ordered. "Chris, keep doing what you're doing. Everyone else, you're handling cannons and cannonballs."
"But Jerry, there aren't any-" Jim interjected.
"CANNONBALLS!" Jeremiah exclaimed.
The pirates raided the armory until it was completely devoid of anything that could remotely be used as a weapon. After emptying the building, they fled down the streets quickly and quietly and stashed everything in one of the apartments they rented.
The next day was the day to start manipulating as much of the population as possible. Chris sat down with his voodoo gear and proceeded to carry out various rituals, while everyone else set out across Constantinople and spread rumors of government corruption, using forged documents to convince the untrained eyes of the citizens. Within weeks, angry civilians were rioting in the streets on a daily basis, demanding that the sultan give up his power. News of the protests spread throughout the Ottoman Empire, and soon enough, rebels from other areas in the nation were overthrowing government officials. In this period of time, the group members who were capable of writing sent out letters to the various liberated nations, calling upon them to invade Constantinople in the name of the Roman cause.
By this point, pirates from all over the world had grouped up along the borders of the city and the various bodies of water. With that, the group exited the city and ordered the pirates to lay siege. Using hundreds of thousands of stolen explosives and cannons, the army of outlaws opened fire upon the Ottoman capital, blasting its walls and slaughtering countless troops. They then proceeded to break the concentration of the Turks, utilizing loud noises from trumpets to explosions to achieve this goal. With the enemy disoriented, the pirates forced their way through the city's entrances and the various holes in its defenses, only to find themselves being mercilessly slaughtered by the Ottoman janissaries—the greatest and most famous soldiers in the empire's army.
It was then that the group called upon their own favorite set of pirates—specifically, ones who had endured years of experience in combat. Battle hardened pirates. Using their leadership skills, Jeremiah, Chris, Richard, David, Jim, and Ned led their allies into battle, preserving a slight sense of unity and enabling them to overwhelm and eventually cut down the janissaries, ignoring the heavy casualties they suffered in the process.
The Ottoman forces were strained greatly by the pirates' forces on land as well as the frighteningly large number of ships firing upon the city. It was clear that the pirates would win this. One of the greatest empires in history had fallen to an army of outlaws and ruffians. Even the civilians had begun to turn on the Ottoman forces, massacring soldiers in the streets and helping the pirates gain entry to the city.
Over a week had passed since the siege. Pirates and Ottoman rioters alike rallied outside Topkapı Palace, demanding that the sultan step down.
"We want change! We want freedom!" cried the rebels. "Death to the sultan! Long live the Romans!"
"The sultan refuses to surrender his power," Jeremiah proclaimed to the vast army. "You've seen it all! People from across the empire have seen it all! Corruption and destruction, and the sultan does nothing to help us! He is concerned only with himself, and must step down or die!""
"Aye!" agreed Christopher. "We want change! Rulers and empires rise and fall! Now is the time for a new nation to rise from the ashes of this corrupt and dying one! Up with the Roman Empire! Down with the Ottomans!"
The pirates roared in acceptance. Soldiers rushed in to open fire, realizing that negotiation could never possibly preserve Ottoman influence on the area. But this only enraged the crowd more; to them, it was only proof that the sultan would continue to seek control. They immediately returned fire, some missing due to their lack of training, while Jeremiah, Christopher, Richard, Jim, David, and Ned hurled explosives at the walls of the sultan's palace.
"Death to the sultan! Long live the Romans!"
Albert looked on from his balcony, contemplating what to do.
"Death to the sultan! Long live the Romans!"
The sultan whispered something into the ear of a soldier next to him.
"Death to the sultan! Long live the Romans!"
"Silence!" shouted Albert. "You have fought and led well. You have successfully invaded and toppled this grand empire. You have even won the hearts of my citizens and myself. I would like to negotiate with the leaders, and see what we can do about creating this 'Roman Empire'. Come, enter my palace."
The pirates did as Albert said and followed a pair of guards through the palace. They were led up a rather large and ornate staircase, then through a long, carpeted hallway, at the end of which was a bejeweled door leading into the sultan's room.
"Welcome, my friends," started Albert, "to Topkapı Palace."
"You are most kind," thanked Crane, his eyes briefly and quickly examining the area.
"Please, sit down," Albert requested. "Let's talk politics."
The pirates lowered their weapons and approached the sultan.
"It's a trap! Get down!" Chris exclaimed, tackling the others as the loud booming of gunshots filled the room. The pirates raised their weapons and returned fire, while Albert himself grabbed a pistol from a table drawer and aimed at Richard.
"Unlike the others you people have dealt with, I actually know who I'm up against," stated Albert. "Crane, surrender, or I'll kill your friend."
"Go on, try it," replied Christopher. "You only have time for one shot."
"I may have worded that incorrectly," the sultan continued, smiling devilishly. "Surrender now, or I'll kill your son."
Crane's pistol remained pointed at Albert's head; the weapon's owner contemplated what to do as the other guards aimed their muskets at the other group members.
"Plan C?" Richard asked.
"Plan C," Crane sighed.
Jeremiah flung several smoke bombs as the rest of the group ducked, narrowly avoiding the shots fired by the soldiers. While the pirates drew their swords and charged at their opponents, Crane opened fire on Albert, who barely dodged the shot and fired his pistol as the rebel lunged for him. Much to Crane's surprise, he actually felt uneasy as the bullet dug through his shirt and into his torso.
"Damn it," the pirate growled. "Cursed."
Chris swayed slightly in mid-air, missing Albert completely and crashing through a window. He looked down at the army below; they were pouring into the palace in response to the conflict. Gunshots and explosions could be heard.
"You bastard!" Richard shouted, cutting down one of the soldiers. The pirate sprinted in Albert's direction, brandishing his sword and leaping over the table at him. Albert pulled a sword out of its sheath on the wall and narrowly blocked Richard's furious slashing. The pirate performed a spin attack to disorient the sultan before kicking him in the knee.
"I know all about what you and your group have been doing!" Albert proclaimed, catching Richard's sword arm with one hand and tackling him. "Did you really think you were that clever?!"
"We only wish to liberate the world!" exclaimed Richard, headbutting Albert and pushing him off of him.
"It's not your place," replied Albert, tackling Richard again with a dagger. "This path will only lead to the destruction of civilization."
"Not while we're around," insisted Richard.
Another gunshot echoed throughout the room. Albert slid off of Richard and rolled over on his back, clutching the wound in his abdomen. Richard grasped the sultan's arm and dragged him over to the balcony.
"This is for my father," the pirate growled, trying to pick Albert up.
"No need," muttered a deep voice with a slight English accent. Crane crawled over to Albert and held a lit grenade to the sultan's lower body. "Richard, you might want to run."
Richard widened his eyes in shock before running as fast as he could away from the two. The balcony was consumed by a large explosion, leaving pieces of Crane and Albert lying around.
"What do we do now?" Jeremiah asked, cutting down the last soldier in the room. "We've lost Christopher."
The pieces of Crane began shaking slightly and inching towards one spot, slowly coming back together. The other pirates watched in amazement as Crane literally put himself together. There were still a few minor wounds in him, but those began to heal themselves to compensate for the rest being completely obliterated.
"Yes, Garland, what do we do now?" Christopher asked.
Conquests are to be added to as the story progresses
This section follows the conquests of the group through each chapter:
- Chapter I & II
- No new territory
- Chapter III
- Kingdom of Sardinia incorporated (Sardinia & Piedmont)
- Chapter VI
- Austrian Lombardy incorporated
- Chapter VII
- Entire Italian Peninsula incorporated
- Barbary Coast incorporated (Morocco & Algiers)
- Chapter VIII
- No new territories added
- Chapter IX
- Egypt incorporated
- Tunisia incorporated
- Syria incorporated
- Arabian Peninsula incorporated
- Anatolia incorporated
- Chapter X
- Constantinople incorporated