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 Kingdom of Bordeaux

Flag: Golden hammer on a dark blue background

The Kingdom of Bordeaux, or the Grand Kingdom of Bordeaux and Navarro (if one prefers the official name), is run by a royal family tracing its roots back to the Taurian Empire. With Anglavia to the north and the myriad city-states of the Taurine peninsula to the east, the Kingdom has always been surrounded by enemies. The century long Archers War between Bordeaux and Anglavia is considered to be the start of such tensions.

Bordeaux was, until recently, two separate nations. Bordeaux was nearly half of its current size, with the nation of Navarro to the west. While Navarro had grown wealthy from its South Aquilan colonies, Bordeaux found little wealth to compare with its neighbor from its own empire. War between both countries seemed likely, until a political marriage unified both. Prince Pedro of Navarro and Princess Yvette of Bordeaux formally united the two countries, but Bordeaux managed to become the dominant party by means of political maneuvering. Since then, they have assembled a colonial empire that rivals the Anglavians.

The culture of Bordeaux has always favored individual and personal combat. As such, many of their infantry are fitted with angled breastplates and helmets (unlike their Anglavian counterparts). While their elite infantry are known as the Chevaliers, the title has become adopted with various smaller units (often militias seeking to make themselves seem more imposing). To differentiate between the elite and the "imposters," the Bordeaux military elite are known as the Royal Chevaliers, due to their bodyguard duties for various nobility.

The ships of the Bordeaux Royan Navy used to be the largest on the ocean, but their sizes noticeably shrank after they were humbled by longer ranged Anglavian guns in the Battle of the Grand Armada. Despite this, Bordeaux ships are typically larger than their Anglavian counterparts, and built to take more punishment. Some craft even include a reinforced prow for ramming. They prefer to send a team of marines and a ranking officer aboard an enemy craft while boarding, often giving their foes a chance to surrender. Boarding parties often carry weapons that force foes to engage them directly instead of waiting in ambush, such as grenados and bomblets. Their tactics, however, still can leave them open to ambushes more than once, so the Bordeaux warship typically follows up the loss of a boarding party with a broadside. If the vessel is one they seek to capture instead of sink, they would seek to either chop down the masts with a naval axe or use chain shot with their cannons. Ironically, some pirates have caught onto this, and now use this tactic against Bordeaux ships prior to boarding them.

Despite this, Bordeaux still commands a massive fleet and colonial empire. While the Anglavians rely on speed and firepower, Bordeaux prefer to charge and rapidly close the distance. Their ships are frequently the targets of pirates and Anglavian privateers, due to carrying the wealth of their colonies back home. When missionaries of the Royal Church arrive in a new country, they are often backed by the firepower of Bordeaux. While conversions at gunpoint are often insincere, the Bordeaux believe it is their duty to save the souls of pagans, and show them how to properly manage their lands.

While they deride the Anglavians for their greed, their nobles and clergy often publicly display their lavish wealth. While the peasants may occasionally revolt, the nobles often shrug off their efforts and merely repress them more. The Royal Family claims descent from the Carpenter himself, so they believe all who oppose their will, oppose the will of the Creator directly. Regardless of the truth, millions of citizens believe in the teachings of the Royal Church and the divine right of kings. They hope to be like their blue-coated Chevaliers, modern knights able to endure whatever a foe may throw at them.