“Attack! We’re under attack!” one of the pirates shrieked. Sleepy-headed corsairs jerked awake, scrambling in confusion as Doric and his marines bailed off the sides of the ship and charged up the beach. Their thirty-six hoplites against the pirates’ seventy-odd thugs would have been a rough but winnable fight under normal circumstances. Drowsy and disoriented, the pirates stood no chance.
—Excerpted from First Empress
Queen Viarra’s marines, for First Empress. Female and male gear. Any feedback is most welcome!
‘Marine’ is something of a blanket term for shipboard soldiers. These are generally selected for sailing experience and ability to swim, on top of being strong fighters. As soldiers-turned-sailors, marines tend to be a bit more rugged than the average soldier. As members of the ship’s crew, they’re likely to be required to help sail the ship or even take turns at the oars. Combat-related duties may include skirmishing with pirates, boarding and capturing enemy ships, small-scale beach storming, raiding enemy settlements, or guarding important passengers/cargo. Marines may also be assigned as boarding crews for city-states’ privateers. As such, their individual gear varies more than does that of land soldiers.
The whole range of Tollesain armors can be found among marines, though leather is most common for being easier to swim in than bronze and less susceptible to sea weather than linen. Generally, marines only wear their armor in combat situations. Though some city-states employ archers for shipboard skirmishing, bows’ susceptibility to saltwater makes javelins or slings preferable. Shield size varies from hand-held to hoplite-sized. Arms may include short spears, boat hooks, boarding axes, short swords, broadswords, daggers, or harpes.
Queen Viarra’s recent increase in ship production to combat the local pirate threats has increased the need for shipboard soldiers. Captain Vola’s daughter, Banlia, serves as a marine aboard the bireme Gorgon’s Gaze.