#BalticPirates is a historical role-playing game on Twitter from the 9th until the 22nd of January, 2017. The scene is set in medieval Baltic Sea, year 1401.
Klaus Störtebeker, the leader of Victual Brothers - the cruelest group of pirates on the Baltic sea, has arrived in Eastland (the area which in later times has been known as Finland). He is staying at the Guild of St Nicholas, which is a popular establishment among sailor in Turku. The customers are entertained by a talking parrot, who had been traveling towards the Mediterranean on a Hansa ship but somehow ended up at the tavern in Turku. Störtebeker orders a large tankard of beer and it is served to him by Birgit Fleming. Birgit is from a family of privateers and she has a dream. Thus begins the story that will take you to the midst of medieval pirates on the Baltic Sea.
How to follow the story or participate in it:
Highlights of the story in Finnish (hashtag #merirosvot) will be translated in English and posted by Twitter account @BalticSeaPirate under hashtag #BalticPirates. A British sailor Ulric Hughes found himself left behind in Turku and is now getting acquainted with #BalticPirates. He shares his experiences through his Twitter account and will surely welcome English-speaking company if you want to connect to the life on the Baltic Sea in 1401.
Finnish-speaking audience can follow the story on Twitter through Finnish master account @merirosvot and hashtag #merirosvot and the characters' own accounts. To balance out any fake news circulating around Eastland nightly Pirate News will be broadcast on Yle Areena at 8pm Eastland time. Most of the newscasts will be in Finnish but there will be a taster episode also in English.
Finnish-speaking main characters:
Birgit Fleming, @Birgit_Flem
Falling out with with her pirate father led to her father marrying her off to Eastland at the age of 13. Birgit's husband vanished in the battles of Novgorod and because of that she does not have a breadwinner and she cannot remarry. Birgit works in a tavern and wants to get free.
Klaus Störtebecker, @klausstorte
Former nobleman Klaus von Alkum is the leader of the dangerous companionship of privateers called the Victual Brothers. Störtebeker lost his crew when Queen Margaret took over Korsholma Castle, which was conquered by the Victual Brothers. The sobriquet Störtebeker means a large tankard (4 liters), which he could down with just gulp.
The parrot arrived to Eastland on a Hansa ship from England. Prior to ending up in Eastland he was a pet at the Oxford University. That earned him his name Master Wigbold. The parrot is a masterful insulter and he dreams of the warm Mediterranean.
Hannu Hannunpoika, @HHannunpoika
A seadog who's seen it all. Hannu is an average Joe pirate - an obedient soldier with no leadership aspiration. He joins Birgit's crew as a part of the sale of the ship.
Juhana Lagus, @J_Lagus
A nobleman running from a forced marriage, Juhana Lagus is a romantic aesthete who admires male bodies. Interested especially in humorism he has studied medicine abroad.
Ilmo Näätä, @Ilmo_Naata
A defiant son of a huntsman who has arrived to the Guild of St Nicholas from Novgorod. Ilmo's father taught him to respect god of forest Tapio and other nature deities.
Joonia Pekanpoika, @luuttujoonia
A musician touring taverns Joonia is known for well crafted rhymes. He is somewhat greedy for female beauty.
Baltic Sea – "Famous" for Pirates
#BalticPirates has a strong basis in the history of the real Baltic Sea area and it offers a way to experience some of the lesser known parts of our history. In the middle ages the Baltic Sea was one of the most notorious pirate areas. Some had an official privateering credentials from the king. Others were pirates just by their own mandate. Both kinds of groups hijacked ships from the Hanseatic League and kept the area in fear. Many of the castles in coastal Eastland, for example Raseborg and Korsholmm, were pirate bases from time to time. Being a pirate was dangerous. Those who were caught could be executed immediately without a trial. Still pirates arrived to the Baltic Sea from all over Europe because also the potential loot was enormous by the standards of the time.