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Codex entry: Antiva

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Codex text

In the rest of the civilized world, it is common belief that Antiva has no king. I assure you, gentle readers, that this is untrue. The line of kings in Antiva has remained unbroken for two and a half thousand years—it is simply that nobody pays any attention to them whatsoever.

The nation is ruled in truth by a collection of merchant princes. They are not princes in the literal sense, but heads of banks, trading companies, and vineyards. Their power is conferred strictly by wealth.

But Antiva is not primarily renowned for its peculiar form of government, nor for its admittedly unparalleled wines. Antiva is known for the House of Crows. Since Antivans are well known for being good at everything but fighting, it is more than a little ironic that Antiva possesses the most deadly assassins in the world. Their fame is such that Antiva keeps no standing army: No king is willing to order his troops to assault her borders, and no general is mad enough to lead such an invasion. The attack would likely succeed, but its leaders would not see the day.

—From In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Travels of a Chantry Scholar by Brother Genitivi

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