Friday, February 13, 2009

A Riot Is an Ugly Thing

News of the embassy from the Greeks, at first a subject of idle gossip throughout the souks and bazaars of Bizercca, curdled swiftly, first into sullen resentment at the honours accorded the Byzantine churchman leading the delegation, then into violent protest after Imam Chellai Ben Chellai, of the dominant Kechooup Mosque, devoted the bulk of his Friday sermon to vehement denunciation of the rumours of the commutation of the death sentence of the Morean buccaneer Spyridon Dukas.

The agitated crowd spilled into the market district and by misadventure encountered revellers from the Armenian millet spilling out of a wedding celebration into the streets near the bazaar. Insults and posturing swiftly escalated to violence throughout the merchant district, and the janissary orta of the Dey itself was required to restore order.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tour of the Tyrhennian

After several weeks preparation, corresponding with his associates and partners in Livorno and Monte Cristo, Salomon Baci departed Bizercca for Livorno aboard the newly launched xebec Al-Murabit, mounting 22 guns and the first fruits of the Dey's aggressive shipbuilding campaign to make good last year's losses in the treacherous attack by the Imperium.

Baci knew well that the ultimate success of that programme, as well as the Dey's overall campaign of revenge, now hinged on the success of his business in Monte Cristo, and that he would need to conduct his most delicate bargaining in order to succeed.