Legend of the Pirates of Britannia
In the year of our Lord 854, a wee lad by the name of Arthur MacAlpin set out on an adventure that would turn the tides of his fortune, for what could be more exciting than being feared and showered with gold?
Arthur wanted to be king. A sovereign as great as King Arthur, who came hundreds of years before him. The legendary knight who was able to pull a magical sword from stone, met ladies in lakes and vanquished evil with a vast following who worshipped him. But while that King Arthur brought to mind dreamlike images of a roundtable surrounded by chivalrous knights and the ladies they romanced, MacAlpin wanted to summon night terrors from every babe, woman and man.
Aye, MacAlpin, king of the pirates of Britannia would be a name most feared. A name that crossed children’s lips when the candles were blown out at night. When a shadow passed over a wall, was it the pirate king? When a ship sailed into port in the dark hours of night, was it him?
As the fourth son of the conquering Pictish King Cináed, Arthur wanted to prove himself to his father. He wanted to make his father proud, and show him that he, too, could be a conqueror. King Cináed was praised widely for having run off the Vikings, for saving his people, for amassing a vast and strong army. No one would dare encroach on his conquered lands when they would have to face the end of his blade.
Arthur wanted that, too. He wanted to be feared. Awed. To hold his sword up and have devils come flying from the tip.
So, it was on a fateful summer night in 854, that at the age of ten and nine, Arthur amassed a crew of young and roguish Picts and stealthily commandeered one of his father’s ships. They blackened the sails to hide them from those on watch and began an adventure that would last a lifetime and beyond.
The lads trolled the seas, boarding ships and sacking small coastal villages. In fact, they even sailed so far north as to raid a Viking village in the name of his father. By the time they returned to Oban, and the seat of King Cináed, all of Scotland was raging about Arthur’s atrocities. Confused, he tried to explain, but his father would not listen and would not allow him back into the castle.
King Cináed banished his youngest son from the land, condemned his acts as evil and told him he never wanted to see him again.
Enraged and experiencing an underlying layer of mortification, Arthur took to the seas, gathering men as he went, and building a family he could trust would not shun him. They ravaged the sea as well as the land—using his clan’s name as a lasting insult to his father for turning him out.
The legendary Pirate King was rumored to be merciless, the type of vengeful pirate who would drown a babe in his mother’s own milk if she didn’t give him the pearls at her neck. But with most rumors, they were mostly steeped in falsehoods meant to intimidate. In fact, there may have been a wee boy or two he saved from an untimely fate. Whenever they came across a lad or lass in need, as Arthur himself had once been, they took them into the fold.
One ship became two. And then three, four, five, until a score of ships with blackened sails roamed the seas.
These were his warriors. A legion of men who adored him, respected him, followed him, and together they wreaked havoc on the blood ties that had sent him away. And generations upon generations, country upon country, they would spread far and wide until people feared them from horizon to horizon. Every pirate king to follow would be named MacAlpin, so his father’s banishment would never be forgotten.
Forever lords of the Sea. A daring brotherhood, where honor among thieves reigns supreme, and crushing their enemies is a thrilling pastime.
These are the pirates of Britannia, and here are their stories…