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“Pride in small things, loyalty to great ones”

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

For centuries, the Marcher Households have marched with the Empire’s armies, reliant not so much on magic or shining faith, but on the strength of their arms, the courage of their hearts, and the knowledge that they fought for the green fields of home.

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.

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.

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.
  • They're governed by consent. They choose their leaders, their councillors and their delegates. Marcher Folk are led not ruled.
  • 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 touching iron to avert ill and casting salt for luck, where Imperial Virtues are just plain common sense.
  • Land matters above all else. Land influences every aspect of Marcher life, most especially politics and magic.

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. No yokels.
  • 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.
  • Re-enactors. 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.

The Nation