Born during the Renaissance, Corvo worked as a mercenary during the day and moonlighted as a gladiator in the underground arenas of Rome. Known in the arena as "The Crow", Corvo was highly respected by his fellow gladiators, many of him he had beaten but spared. As a result of this, he was regarded as the unofficial champion of the underground gladiatorial scene.
At one point, Corvo came across Bartolomeo d'Alviano, a fellow mercenary and a member of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins. On numerous occasions, Corvo served as a mercenary working in one of his companies. Bartolomeo's Mercenary Guild also managed the fight clubs and arenas of Rome, which led him to take notice of Corvo's combat skills. Finding a kindred spirit in his proud and direct personality, Bartolomeo invited him to join the Italian Brotherhood.
As Corvo always chafed at the norms of hierachy and the entitlement of the nobility, the Brotherhood was a perfect fit for his rough but idealistic traits. He accepted the offer, with his resilience and combat skills proving useful to the brotherhood.