Armada is a floating pirate city that roams the waters of Bas-Lag (usually the Swollen Ocean). It is constructed from a multitude of scavenged, captured, and assimilated ships joined together with chains, planks and bridges. The city's existence has been kept as secret as possible for centuries (perhaps millenia), and survives by way of piracy, scavenging, and some trade with other pirate factions like the Cactacae faction Dreer Samheer. Its vast network of ships (using thaumaturgical compasses to find their way back), raids coastlines and vessels to bring back everything from soil to books to new citizenry. This last group is largely composed of prisoners, slaves, and others who are unlikely to hold loyalty to another power; even so, "press-ganged" citizenry are rarely allowed to venture away from Armada before years of loyal service, and the most unruly of them are sometimes executed.
Culturally and racially, Armada is extremely diverse, and while its collection of scientic and thaumaturgical knowledge grows unpredictably in fits and starts of scavenging, there are many accomplished and brilliant minds among its populace, and Armada approaches the level of more conventional cities in these areas. Politically, Armada is divided into mostly autonomous "ridings", but apart from the haunted quarter, its inhabitants move freely between these miniature polities while (usually) identifying as a citizen of one of them.
Below Armada, cray, menfish, dolphins, and the occasional acquatic or amphibious Remade live and work on the vessels' underside. Suited human divers also work on repairs and construction projects here, but the acquatic races form their own sunken cities and societies. The political and cultural nature of these places remain unclear (part of the ridings above? Additional ridings, or completely autonomous governments?)
While Armada has long traveled at crawling speed and great expense of fuel, the Lovers' have plans to replace the city's ineffectual fleet of tugboats with a more powerful motive force.
Appearance in Bas-Lag NovelsEdit
Neighborhoods (Ridings) Edit
Armada is comprised of smaller sub-states known as "ridings". Each riding has its own ruling class which participates in a council that governs Armada as a whole. It is the chief setting (within Bas-Lag) of the novel The Scar Each riding consists of a number of ships. The ones that are mentioned in the novel are included below.
Note that the layout of Armada is never precisely described. Shaddler - Booktown - Garwater's Basilio docks - Jhour seem to form one edge of the city, while Garwater nestles in the center between all of these and Curhouse. Bask, Shaddler, Dry Fall, Thee-and-Thine, and the haunted riding must make up the other side of the city in some configuration.
Has "uniformed proctors" as police.
- Tailor's Moan, the flagship
Also known as the khepri quarter, or the Clockhouse Spur.
The Pinchermarn, Corrosive Memory and Dancing Wight are some of the vessels that make up the Grand Gears Library.
A democracy ruled by the Democratic Council, which oversees an orderly system of courts.
A "protectorate" ruled by the Brucolac.
The most powerful riding in Armada, ruled by the Lovers.
- Grand Easterly, the flagship
- Cable's Weft
- Glomar's Heart
- Lynx Sejant
- Magda's Threat
- Surge Instigant
Ruled by a "solar queendom" with the cactacae woman Braginod on its throne.
Home of the scabmettlers.
Site of the very popular arena fights, glad' circuses, and bazaars and ruled by King Friedrich.
Not really a riding, but an abandoned and feared area of Armada.