Before the fall, Corsair, Privateer, and Pirate were names The Nations gave to sailors who got on the wrong side of their wars. They talked about them like they were all raiders and thieves. It’s true that many who became Corsairs turned to raiding and thieving once they lost their nation’s graces, but most started as ships that had suddenly lost their fleets and had no ports to call home.
Of course we don’t have nations anymore. Today a Corsair is any Sky Jack that sails without the blessing of the Red Feathers. Just like the pirates who came before them, Corsairs sometimes turn to desperate measure to stay in the sky. It’s also true that they attack Red Feather ships. Red Feathers would have you think that Corsairs are just Mariners who took to the sky.
Now I might be just a lucky old Sky Jack who just happened to avoid the worst of them, but in my years I’ve shared drinks and an Illimat with more than a few Corsairs. They didn’t seem too different from your average Sky Jack to me. The largest difference probably being that they’re a bit more worn for their years. That and the stories.
If you ever get the fortune to sit at an Illimat with a Corsair you do yourself two favors: Don’t bet too much, and ask em for a story. Most Sky Jacks just get to go wherever the Red Feathers tell them, but Corsairs don’t have to go anywhere. They get to sail to places Red Feathers won’t even bother to chart. Some have even seen places that The Nations never even knew about. It’s not a popular opinion, but I’m fond of em.
Of course I never seen The Tempest. The first ship to be named a crew of corsairs. But I know it’s real, and no matter what The Red Feathers tell you, I know she’s still out there, and even The Mariner might think twice about crossing swords with them.
I been around long enough to know that if someone tells you that any folk are monsters, they have a reason to do that what got nothing to do with their concern for your wellbeing. Even if The Red Feathers pay the checks that keep this belly fat they ain’t earned the right to tell me who’s a monster.
The only monsters on the Speir come from the sea. If you don’t remember any of my other stories, you’d do well to remember that.