“‘Do not stand directly under a hornet nest’ is a recurring, though oddly-specific, maxim in the Lex Antiqua Piratica, the oldest and most-revered code for piratical conduct in all Realmgard. Despite its importance, very few pirates have actually read it. Annie has, though. She counted no less than eight spelling mistakes, along with fifteen instances of questionable grammar.”
The governing document for piratical conduct in Realmgard, the Lex Antiqua Piratica was first codified several centuries ago by the leading pirate captains. Given the general reputation of pirates for lawlessness, self-interest, ego and occasionally-literal backstabbing among pirates, the mere codification of the document proved to be a colossal feat in itself.
The earliest form of the Lex Antiqua Piratica was finally agreed upon by the seven most powerful captains of the day, though only after seven weeks of intense negotiation, fifteen fistfights, three late-night backroom deals, five duels at dawn, six attempted assassinations, one successful assassination, and one hastily-arranged wedding. Following this, actually enforcing the principles of the Lex Antiqua Piratica among the rest of Realmgard’s pirates proved similarly difficult, though ultimately successful.
This was eventually followed by the formal proclamation of the Brotherhood of the Coasts to create further cohesion among the pirates of Realmgard, as well as stipulating that the members of the Brotherhood were obliged to mutually defend one another against any demonstrable threat to the piratical interests of the Brotherhood. At this point, the Lex Antiqua contained the rules for proper conduct in battle, the terms under which a member of the Brotherhood could licitly enter the service of the cities and kingdoms of Realmgard, how to properly treat a defeated enemy, the rights and responsibilities of both captain and crew, and the terms of the Brotherhood’s very generous dental plan.