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{{CaptionedImage|file=MarchesHenry.jpg|title=Film:Henry V|width=350|align=right}}
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{{CaptionedImage|file=Marchers_prepare.jpg|caption=The Marchers prepare for battle, Spring Equinox, 379YE|width=450|align=right}}
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<quote>“Pride in small things, loyalty to great ones”</quote>
 
<quote>“Pride in small things, loyalty to great ones”</quote>
  
For centuries, the Marcher Households have marched with the Empire’s armies, reliant not just on magic or faith, but on the strength of their arms, the courage of their hearts, and the knowledge that they fight for the green fields of home.
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For centuries, the Marcher Households have followed the beat of the Empire's drums. Aided by the Landskeepers' magic and inspired by the faithful of the monasteries, the Marcher armies have been built from the strength of the [[Yeomen of the Marches|yeomen's]] arms, the courage of their hearts, and the knowledge that they fight for the green fields of home. Stubborn as stone, they give ground grudgingly, and even if they are forced to retreat they are not defeated: they will return.
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The Marches are the guts of the Empire. They may not be pretty, but they are vital. They fought a war of independence long ago and they will die, one and all, before they give up their freedoms. None stands above another but that their neighbours put them there. Everything they have they have taken with blood and sweat, every season, their prosperity dragged from the soft earth with every harvest. Nature is their servant, bound and shackled with looming menhirs and iron ploughshares, a hound tamed and set to lie before their doors.
  
Old folk tell of glorious conquest in their grandsires' time, of defeat in their own, and hope for victory in years to come. The woodsman and the smith turn their hands to things of war. The merchant’s clerk lists supplies for the baggage train. The ceremonies of the harvest are marked with blood.  Those granted stewardship remember wicker men. Those who choose to follow know the power of sacrifice.
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They understand sacrifice - not the easy sacrifice of blood for the harvest, but the hard sacrifice of lives spent day after day working for the future.
  
The Marches is the sleeping giant of Empire. Enemy boots churn up the rich soil, as the dog days of Summer give way to the cold dawn of Autumn – and to war.
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The Marches is the sleeping giant of Empire. Enemy boots churn up the rich soil, as the dog days of summer give way to the cold dawn of autumn – and to war.
  
<quote by="Hered the Wakened, Memories of Home">Hearth and home; loyalty and land. Rivalry, pride and a nation of traditions. Sentinel hills, silent marshes, and standing stones that mark their dominance over the fields. Generation to generation tilling the good, dark earth as their forebears did and reaping the harvests that feed all the Empire.</quote>
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<quote by="Hered the Wakened, Memories of Home">Hearth and home, loyalty and land. Rivalry, pride and a nation of traditions. Sentinel hills, silent marshes, and standing stones that mark their dominance over the fields. Generation to generation tilling the good, dark earth as their forebears did, and reaping the harvests that feed all the Empire.</quote>
  
===Five things about the Marches===
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==Five things about the Marches==
*'''The heart of the Marches is the Household.''' Yeomen loyal in livery, proud of their history and versed in the long rivalries between their Households.
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*'''Land matters above all else.''' Control and ownership of the land influences every aspect of Marcher life, most especially politics and magic.
*'''They're governed by consent.''' They choose their leaders, their councillors and their delegates. Marchers are led not ruled.
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*'''They have deep roots and long memories.''' Proud of their history and the long rivalries between Households, they never forgive a grudge.
 
*'''They're fiercely independent, proud and stubborn.''' They solve their own problems and stand their ground to defend what is theirs.
 
*'''They're fiercely independent, proud and stubborn.''' They solve their own problems and stand their ground to defend what is theirs.
*'''They hold to traditional beliefs.''' This is a land of heart and soul, of spilling beer for luck and weaving straw to keep out evil, where Imperial Virtues are just plain common sense.
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*'''They're governed by consent.''' They choose their leaders; Marchers are led not ruled. Everyone is born equal and respect is earned not demanded.
*'''Land matters above all else.'''  Land influences every aspect of Marcher life, most especially politics and magic.
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*'''They hold their traditions dearly.''' This is a land that dislikes change for change's sake, a land comfortable with routine, where Imperial Virtues are just plain common sense.
  
 
== What the Marchers are not ==
 
== What the Marchers are not ==
*'''Stereotypical cider-drinkers.''' While the inspiration is England, it's the North and East as much or more than the South or West.
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*'''Pagans.''' The Marchers use magic and hard work to tame and control the land; they subjugate it to their will, they don't worship it. The Landskeepers draw on many of the visual imagery of druids, but they are a core part of the agricultural Marcher society, not a throwback to an earlier age.
*'''Pagans.''' While they have elements of paganism, notably a concern for the fertility of the land and its crops, it's not worship, and they are are not polytheistic, nor theistic at all for that matter.
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*'''Authentic.''' The Marches is a low-fantasy nation designed to allow people to use the extensive costume resources of The Anarchy, the Wars of the Roses and the Hundred Years war. However the Marches is still a fantasy nation, owing as much to ''The Wicker Man'' (1973) or Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series as the Ellis Peters' Cadfael stories or the Cousins' War; this is no place for arguments about historical authenticity.
*'''Historically accurate.''' The Marches are a fantasy nation, owing as much to ''The Wicker Man'' (1973) or Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series as the Cousins' War. While re-enactment quality kit of that era would be marvellous to see, this is not a place for argument about what's historically accurate in the real world.
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{{CaptionedImage|file=Not All Gloom And Doom.jpg|align=right|width=750}}
 
 
==The Nation==
 
{{CaptionedImage|file=MarchesHousehold2.jpg|align=right|title=Film: Ironclad|width=300}}
 
=== Core Brief ===
 
* [[Marches People|The People]]
 
* [[Marches Culture and Customs|Culture and Customs]]
 
* [[Marches Look and Feel|Look and Feel]]
 
 
 
=== Further Reading ===
 
* [[Marches History|History]]
 
* [[Marches Leadership|Leadership]]
 
* [[Marches Military Concerns|Military Concerns]]
 
* [[Marches Economic Interests|Economic Interests]]
 
* [[Marches Religious Beliefs|Religious Beliefs]]
 
* [[Marches Magical Traditions|Magical Traditions]]
 
* [[Marches Hearth Magic|Hearth Magic]]
 
* [[Marches Lineage and Species Attitudes|Lineage and Species Attitudes]]
 
* [[Marches Territories|Territories]]
 
* [[Marches Children|Children]]
 
* [[Marches Music|Music]]
 
* [[Marches Costumes|Costumes]]
 
* [[Marches Tales|Tales]]
 
  
[[Category:The Marches]]
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{{The Marches Links}}
[[Category:Nations]]
 
  
 
{{pdf}}
 
{{pdf}}

Latest revision as of 18:57, 6 May 2020

Marchers prepare.jpg
The Marchers prepare for battle, Spring Equinox, 379YE

“Pride in small things, loyalty to great ones”

For centuries, the Marcher Households have followed the beat of the Empire's drums. Aided by the Landskeepers' magic and inspired by the faithful of the monasteries, the Marcher armies have been built from the strength of the yeomen's arms, the courage of their hearts, and the knowledge that they fight for the green fields of home. Stubborn as stone, they give ground grudgingly, and even if they are forced to retreat they are not defeated: they will return.

The Marches are the guts of the Empire. They may not be pretty, but they are vital. They fought a war of independence long ago and they will die, one and all, before they give up their freedoms. None stands above another but that their neighbours put them there. Everything they have they have taken with blood and sweat, every season, their prosperity dragged from the soft earth with every harvest. Nature is their servant, bound and shackled with looming menhirs and iron ploughshares, a hound tamed and set to lie before their doors.

They understand sacrifice - not the easy sacrifice of blood for the harvest, but the hard sacrifice of lives spent day after day working for the future.

The Marches is the sleeping giant of Empire. Enemy boots churn up the rich soil, as the dog days of summer give way to the cold dawn of autumn – and to war.

Hearth and home, loyalty and land. Rivalry, pride and a nation of traditions. Sentinel hills, silent marshes, and standing stones that mark their dominance over the fields. Generation to generation tilling the good, dark earth as their forebears did, and reaping the harvests that feed all the Empire.

Hered the Wakened, Memories of Home

Five things about the Marches

  • Land matters above all else. Control and ownership of the land influences every aspect of Marcher life, most especially politics and magic.
  • They have deep roots and long memories. Proud of their history and the long rivalries between Households, they never forgive a grudge.
  • They're fiercely independent, proud and stubborn. They solve their own problems and stand their ground to defend what is theirs.
  • They're governed by consent. They choose their leaders; Marchers are led not ruled. Everyone is born equal and respect is earned not demanded.
  • They hold their traditions dearly. This is a land that dislikes change for change's sake, a land comfortable with routine, where Imperial Virtues are just plain common sense.

What the Marchers are not

  • Pagans. The Marchers use magic and hard work to tame and control the land; they subjugate it to their will, they don't worship it. The Landskeepers draw on many of the visual imagery of druids, but they are a core part of the agricultural Marcher society, not a throwback to an earlier age.
  • Authentic. The Marches is a low-fantasy nation designed to allow people to use the extensive costume resources of The Anarchy, the Wars of the Roses and the Hundred Years war. However the Marches is still a fantasy nation, owing as much to The Wicker Man (1973) or Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series as the Ellis Peters' Cadfael stories or the Cousins' War; this is no place for arguments about historical authenticity.
Not All Gloom And Doom.jpg

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information

This selection of articles can be downloaded as a PDF book (or as html only)