Clockmakers of Achaea
Also known as the Kalibos Pirates, Lybian Pirates, and Metal Men.
T96, Corsican Kingdoms
On Christmas Day, 1468 AD, in the midst of a balmy mediterranean night, some three thousand Corsican nationals swarmed over the city walls of the city of Bastia and the keep on the edge of the harbor. Within, the Danish garrison was soundly asleep or comatose - due to the effects of a large Christmas Eve Dinner and much drinking thereafter. The few guards upon the walls were quickly slain and the blood-thirsty Corsicans were upon the slumbering Dane! Unfortunately for the Corsicans, a concurrent attempt to rescue Luigi the Tall from his durance vile in the Tower of Blood failed spectacularly - foiled by the alert senses of Capitan Segutorio, a mercenary serving with the Danish garrison. Fighting broke out and quickly spread throughout the keep and the city. The resultant battle was won by the Tyrolean troops employed on the island by the Danes, though the city of Bastia was destroyed in the resulting conflagration and the great statue of Luigi the Fat vanished from the headland over the bay.
T98, Corsican Kingdoms
On Corsica the brave and gallant Corsican freedom fighters had finally massed sufficient forces to assail the Danes hiding in Bastia. Fighting raged in the streets and in the keep of the fortress before the last of the scum Zendrati were ... Whoa! Too much Robotech there! ... scum Danes were wiped out and put against the wall by the revolution. After the victory there was much revelry and rejoicing amid the return of Luigi the Tall from exile. Then the Danes landed 10,000 men at Bastia and smashed the revolt. Once more the Corsicans retired to the hills to fight on against the Robotech Masters (I mean Danes!). This time, however, the Danes weren't having any of that and began loading the civilian population onto slave ships to be sent to Road projects in the north. A civil insurrection followed and the rapacious Invid were not defeated (so much for the fourth series). The Corsicans were bundled onto the slave boats and sent north to toil and die in the harsh climes of Germania.
EDITORS NOTE: Robotech, eh. Merely a playful bit of name dropping? Or a hint at the technology available to them?
T176, Duchy of the Isles
The notorious pirate haven of Asopus (a town on the western coast of Cape Malea in the Pelleponese. And yes, it probably was a notorious pirate haven for most of the past 3000 years) was devastated by a small earthquake. According to the crew of the Juliet, a merchant galley from Marseilles that happened to be passing offshore at the time, the entire village was obliterated in moments 'as if an angry giant was rampant among the houses'. In a bizarre twist to this story, one crewman reported that he actually saw this giant: a towering golden figure that loomed above the town and bellowed the nonsense words, "Luigi Andromenes" at the height of the destruction. The rest of the crew was quick to denounce this story as a drunken fabrication.
T177, Danish Empire
In other news the Swedish archaeologist, Lady Vestigen Orontes of the University of Uppsala at Alfskrona, announced a remarkable discovery on the coast of Cape Malea in the Pelloponese. This was a statue, or a fragment of a statue, in the shape of a golden fingertip many times life-size. Details of its manufacture indicate that this fragment was hundreds of years old. Unfortunately, the fragment was stolen, along with lady Vestigen herself, by Lybian pirates as she was returning by ship to Venice.
EDITORS NOTE: The statue of Luigi the Fat disappeared from Corsica in 1470 (T96). The statue discovered at Cape Malea was uncovered in 1677-1678 (T177) - a two hundred year difference. Is it the same one?
T177, Duchy of the Isles
Efforts to continue the missionary work on Rhodes were stymied when Lybian pirates sank the merchantman carrying the Franciscan fathers to that island.
T178, Swedish Empire of Russia
The Grand Captain of the Knights of Wonder named the Clockmakers of Achaea as one of numerous cults that had subverted his order. (For more details see the Knights of Wonder, T178)
T178, Duchy of the Isles
Lady Vestigen Orontes, the archeologist from the University of Uppsala at Alfskrona who was kidnapped by Lybian pirates after her remarkable discovery last year, has reappeared in the hands of the 'Kallibios Phratry' of Thessaly. While salacious rumor suggests that their leader has taken her as his mistress, or perhaps even his Queen, it seems more likely that the bandits are holding her for ransom. This clan, which dates back to at least the time of Luigi, is known for its rapaciousness, and also for its alledged devotion to some strange mechanical ideal of perfection.
T179, Swedish Empire of Russia
In the Mediterranean, efforts by the Swedish Foreign Office to secure the release of Lady Vestigen Orontes from the Lybian pirates turned up only rascals and neer'do'well opportunists. The whereabouts of the Lady, as well as her archaeological discoveries, remain a mystery.
T182, Albanian East India Company
An Irish mercenary in Denmark reported that the 'Kalibios' pirates attacked a village with a "big steel wagon ... that climbed right out of the sea with the metal bands around its wheels. Our shots just bounced right off it, and when it shot back with that cannon in the steel house on its roof ... terrible! Someone kept shouting from inside in a loud metal voice, as if he was made out of clockwork. He shouted for the pirates to 'destroy the badlife!' I don't know what a 'badlife' is, but they sure destroyed us! It were terrible! They spared no one in the village!"
EDITOR'S NOTE: Could the Golden Fingertip be a key or necessary part to enable the steel wagon or golden statue to operate? The steel wagon did not start appearing until the fingertip was found.
T182, Grand Duchy of Burgundy
There was yet another midnight attack on the University of Dijon, this time by mysterious figures clad in dark metal. Accoring to witnesses, the attackers moved in a jerky fashion and "ticked, as if they were made of clockwork".
T182, Danish Empire
The village of Palla, on the south coast of Corsica, was destroyed by a strange attack from the sea. The circumstances of this attack are confused, and authorities are uncertain whether it was an actual hostile assault or some kind of celebration that got out of hand, but witnesses spoke of a mob of 'Bon Vivants' led by a 'great big golden statue' who were 'hunting for someone named Luigi.' "Iza mistree to me," said one witness. "You knowza anyone namea 'Luigi'?"
T183, Albanian East India Company
The Dalmatian fleet was set to sea to hunt pirates along the Illyrian and Epirote coasts - an effort that met with the defeat and capture of many small fry, but the big fish, the kallibos, evaded the net.
T183, Kingdom of Spain
Spanish customs officials in Barcelona were concerned to learn that a pre-paid shipment of Toledo steel ice-picks, engraved with the motto "Better luck a next time, xxxooo, Luigi" was supposedly being smuggled out of the kingdom. Despite extensive efforts to find this shipment, the Spanish were unable to intercept it.
T183, House of Facòn
The 'Kalibios' (Goodlife) Pirates, who plague the Eastern Mediterranean, have extended their depredations to the west, to the coast of Sicily. Recently they attacked and destroyed the village of Leon, several miles south of Palermo. Reports are confused, but several survivors spoke of 'a bigga golden statue dat climbda outta da sea, shoutin somtin abouta Luigi.'
T184, Danish Empire
The village of Aigues-Mortes, west of Marseilles, was destroyed by a raid from the sea. Reports are confused, but some survivors spoke of, "Zee pirates who rode out of zee sea upon zee big moving houzez. They followed zi great statue of gold zat jouted in a voice like thundeur. It zpoke of deztroying zee 'vie mauvais'." Local authorities gave little credence to these reports, but were at a loss to explain the strange tracks that lead north from the ruins.
Editor's Note: A large 'mechanical man' was found on the coast of Spain after the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1752. It proved to be a fake, filled with junk.
© 2003 Robert Pierce