“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 Landskeeper's magic and inspired by the faithful of the monastaries, the Marcher armies have been built from the strength of the yeomans' 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 to a man before they give up their freedoms. No man stands above another but that his neighbours put him 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 plowshares, a hound tamed and set to lie before their doors and hunt beside them.
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
- 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; Marchers 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 their traditions dearly. This is a land that dislikes change for changes' sake, a land comfortable with routine, where Imperial Virtues are just plain common sense.
- Land matters above all else. Control and ownership of the 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.
- 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.
- 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.