The Bretonnian lands are dotted by many castles across the plains and divided by the many rivers and forests. Whilest to the north, where the borders of Bretonnia with the Empire is separated by the Grey Mountains, to the west is a lengthy coastline along which fishes and commerce are abundant.
Trade is the lifeblood of the costal people, for Bretonnian wine is famed across the world and in high demand; and though the merchants are regarded no different from a peasant legally and worse socially in Bretonnia, they are often far richer than the lords they apparently serve. (WFRP2E:Knights of the Grail p10,25
The most important port in Bretonnia is within the city of L'Anguille, which was built by the Elves before their departure from the Old World in ages past. As it sits on the mouth of the river Sannez, the city receives traffics from the King's seat at Couronne and receives a lot of trade as a result (Grail p9
). Within its ancient and mighty walls dotted the more recent human homes for sailors, fishermen and traders.
In L'Anguille the merchants rule the town; since Duke Taubert had elected to ventured inland as to be as far from the sea as he could years ago, they lined the city with watch towers with cannons. L'Anguille has no other major towns for the coastline of the Dukedom were often perilous cliff sides, and most settlements lay in the interior, where the soil were fertile and the people, in contrast to the city folks, are humble and unadventurous (Grail p45
).The perilous Dragon's Maw off the coast of L'Anguille (Grail p46)
The chief rival to the port at L'Anguille is the port of Bordeleaux, where even the nobles take the worship of the sea god Manann far more sincerely than elsewhere in the Kingdom; the seaborne Temple of Manann in Bordeleux even forbids Grail Knights and Damesls from setting foot upon its floating decks. The fact that the port of L'Anguille is easily the better trading port has caused much rivalry between the two Dukedoms. Unlike its rival Dukedom L'Anguille, Bordeleaux is host to over a dozen other natural harbours; like its rival, however, there is a drastic divide between the Bordelens who live along the coast and those who live inland, and the coastal noblemen are as likely to send their son on an errantry tour as they are to send them on a ship (Grail p58
Another significant Bretonnia port is in the city of Brionne, which sits at the mouth of the river Brienne (Grail p61
). The Dukedom of Aquitaine, despite her proximity to the coast, has no major ports due to a lack of suitable locations (Grail p47
There is one other port of Brettonia, much preferred to be forgotten by many, is Mousillon -- the city of the eponymous Dukedom that sits at the mouth of the River Grismerie. With the Dukedom in disgrace, the swamp lands around the city is threatening to consume the port; yet, by some dark miracle it lingers on (Grail p83
). Ships that flies no flags run the Bretonnian blockade at night, bringing goods and slaves in and out of the duchy (WFRP2E:Barony of the Damned p16
).Above: Map of Mousillon
The Bretonnia Fleet
The Bretonnians are arguably the best human sailors in the world; the great sails billowing in the wind upon their elegent ships is a majestic sight to behold. While Bretonnian ships have fewer cannons in total against the Imperial ships, all their guns are broadside. Using their mastery of the sail, their ships are as fast in the wind as they are against, which they use to position themselves so as to outgunn their foes with mighty broadsides.Depicted: Bretonnian ships breaking through the imperial line
The smallest of their ship-of-the-line uses the catapult, which cannot target enemy ships in lower sections, nor fire at targets too close to itself, and unlike cannons, does not penetrate better in close range (nor worse from far distances); though the projectiles may crush through the hit area above and damage the parts beneath.
History of the Bretonnian Navy
Strangely for a people so proud of their maritime traditions, scarcely little has been revealed of the proud founding of her navy, nor the organisations of his majesty's fleets. What is known for certain is that the Bretonnians has lived on the coasts for a tremendously long time.
According to the scholar Adelround of Couronne, in his treatise titled "History of Bretonnia", L'Anguille was already considered a "grand port", thanks to the foundation laid by the Elves (Bretonnia 6th edition p9). Whether this is an anachronism, it is reasonable to presume that the maritime origin of Bretonnia predates the founding of the nation. Indeed, in present-time, L'Anguille is famed for the sights of the Bretonnian Galleons as well as other ships of the fleet, which are often found docked there (WFRP4E: Sea of Claws p10).
The Bretonnians faced many foes along her coast. Norscan raids have long troubled the land. When the Tomb King Settra awoke to find his Empire under the sands, he ordered his fleet raised from the tomb pits and began raiding the human lands to the north, bringing back living slaves in order to rebuild his lost domains. In year 197
of Bretonnian reckoning (1175 IC), the tomb fleet returnted to Bretonnia. This time, Admiral Henri Lamorte de L'Anguille met the Tomb King Amenemhetum the Great at Savage Point, and triumphed (Bretonnia p39
). In 1449 IC
, it is known, that the Crusade against Araby took place. Bretonnian and other ships carried the Knights of Bretonnia and their allies to victory against the forces of Sultan Jaffar (WFRP2E: Tome of Salvation p199). It was said that the fleets of the human nations had been so mobilised, that no other vessels could be found to carry a second Bretonnian army led by Baron Tybalt, and they were forced to march there (Bretonnia 5th edition p14
). What naval engagement that must have taken place, is unrecorded.
Yet even the great Bretonnian navy had its share of defeat in the past. When the Plague Fleet of the Chaos Lord Kharan the Blighted came to Bretonnia in the year 1028
(2006 IC) and slayed King Louis, burning and pillaging across the Kingdom for a year uncontested, surely he must have repelled the mighty Bretonnian navy first in order to do so (Bretonnia 5E p68
).Source: Warhammer Armies Warriors of Chaos 8th edition, page 14.
(2320 IC) the loathsome ratmen raided the Bretonnian ports in winter, whilst her fleet was anchored, and destroyed many ships. The king at the time had to contribute monies to the Dukes in order to rebuild the Bretonnian navy. This suggests that individual Bretonnian fleets are under the command of their respected Dukes.Source: Warhammer Armies Bretonnia 6th edition page 39.
I initially intended for this article to also include info on the other human nations' navies. Sadly, it once again got too long, and I felt compelled to make that part an independent article. There's certainly more to come, however, as I am constantly revising my plans as it goes and certainly hope to cover everything naval that I can get my hands on.