The Codex of War

Summary: Notes on the world of "Stone Against The Sea," a pulp swashbuckling serial in the spirit of Robert Howard.

The Republic of Anglavia

Flag: A scale weighing a chalice and sword on a whitish gray background

The land of Anglavia spans the northwestern part of the continent, stretching from the fog-shrouded Emerald Highlands to the Stilt City of Dorchester to the Mire Straits. Much of the land that nature granted to it has been expanded upon, due to the use of dykes and seawalls to capture land from the sea. This has granted them fertile farmland, where only miasmic swamps were previously. Much of the country includes islands and rivers, and a significant portion of their economy comes from fishing, colonial exports, and overseas trading. As such, they are required to have a strong navy.

After the fall of the Taurian Empire, Frozen Sea barbarians sacked Anglavia from the waves. The coastal raids by Bordeaux knights during the Archers War and by monarchist privateers in the Anglavian Civil War prompted them to reorganize their navy into the best on the planet (although Bordeaux would dispute this). Their mercantilist empire requires adept seamen, just as a sword requires sharpening. Their marines have fought a number of foes in any number of lands, making them the most respected troops in the Republic, and amongst the most feared in the world.

The history of the Republican Marine Corps dates back to the monarchist period. In response to the raids of monarchist privateers on civilian shipping, a group of powerful guilds in Dorchester began to organize their own security and eventually, their own privateers. Many Marines began to offer themselves as mercenaries to civilian ships, so that any Anglavian merchantman may be carrying a crew of Marines. May a pirate had learned the hard way that Anglavian crews often included some of the fiercest fighters on the high seas. The line between national and private soldiers is always blurry, although disputes between Anglavian merchants are more often settled in court (or with daggers in backs) as opposed to firefights.

Just as the Anglavians began to standardize products, so too do their Graycoats lead utilize standardized weapons. While many are still manufactured by hand, a Graycoat in a foreign country may take comfort in the fact that any weapon of his can take the same ammunition and parts as another. Anglavian naval prowess ensures a stable logistics chain around in the world. Various mercantile interests produce large volumes of weapons and munitions, as they realize weapons can allow them access to new markets, by force if need be.

The large volume of standardized munitions carried by even civilian ships means that Graycoats often expend large amounts of ammunition. The common musket used by the Graycoats is nicknamed the Blue Betsy, after the cold steel used in its barrel and flintlock mechanism. More exotic weapons are often employed by the Marines, given their specialized and elite role. A weapon commonly used amongst sharpshooters in the rigging is the Notch Gun, a volley gun with several barrels. Most boarding parties prefer to saturate an enemy vessel with gunfire and grapeshot prior to boarding, if they most. Smaller handheld weapons often include swords and pistols, with a double barreled flintlock pistol being a favorite amongst the Marines.

Their primary naval tactics, however, often seek to avoid being boarded. Their ships are often lighter and possess more accurate guns than their rivals in Bordeaux. During the Battle of the Grand Armada, faster Anglavian vessels with longer-ranged cannon managed to sink the slower, larger vessels of the Bordeaux Royal Navy.

Both nations are currently in a state of detente and uneasy peace. Differences between both powers abound. One is a mercantile republic, while the other is an absolutist monarchy. One has the Free Assemblies as its dominant faith, while Bordeaux has its Royal Church. One prefers to seize foreign lands for gold, while the other prefers to seize foreign lands for God. With both lands competing for influence and colonies abroad, many feel it is only a matter of time before the Anglavians and Bordeaux begin another massive conflict. Given the century long Archers War between both, it is hoped any future conflict lacks the duration and intensity.