Friday, 7 August 2015

5e Setting Building: Welcome to the bordermarches.

When I started this project this, it was with but a few images in my mind and a general idea of "I want it to be like these things". It has come a long way from that already, but one side effect of this is starting to  really effect this process. That is a lack of a name for the setting. Over the last few posts, there has been a lot of referring to this place and time as "the setting". Well that ends now!

Welcome to the Border Marches.

The Border Marches is the name for the wider setting. It is a world between world, where hard bitten sell swords fight bandits in fey touched forests. It is a world where merchant princess conspire together to raise prices in coffee houses by day, and sacrifice vagrants to their  hungry ghost ancestors by night in exchange for aid in their intrigues. The fey and the dead are always near, and the physical world must always be mindful that they live on the boards of these two worlds.

For the foreseeable future, we will be focusing on the kingdom of Arnel, a once great nation in decline thanks to the ravages of civil war, plague and barbarian raiding, but to understand Arnel. We need to know a little more about how it relates to it's neighbours and the region within which it can be found.

Arnel is situated at the throat of the Solenel peninsular, at the base of the Iceclaw Peaks. To its west lays the forest of slumber, Highmarch and the black fens. To the east the Sundel sea and the slithermarsh.To the north it borders the Iceclaws, and direstly to the south lay the principalities of  Alass, Norren, Vodda and Salerna

The forest of slumber
These thick pin woodlands, flow out from the base of Iceclaw Mountains, spreading into civilised lands. They are a place shunned by man, for their are many gateways here to the feywild.

Over the last two thousand years, Highmarch has grown from the shattered remains of Vortmarr, into a powerful and expansionist, militant nation. Ruled by the Sentinal Knights, who's chapter houses dot the land, the entire nation is in constant preperation for war, should the black kings rise once more. In aid of this aim, the sentinal knights have expanded east and south by the conquest of three of its neighbours in the last five hundred years.

The Black Fens
The lands today known as the black fens, were once the cities and fertile farmlands of the kingdom of Vortmarr, home to the black kings. However, when Vard rose up, and led his people to overthrow the black kings, they turned terrible magic against the slave revolt. These magics ruined the cities and coastal farmlands, creating these bleak and terrible fens.

The Sundel sea
A shallow sea lies to the east of the peninsular seperating it from the lands of the east.

To the east of Arnel, a large coastal swamp sits at base of the Iceclaw mountains s

The Iceclaws
Your standard and terrible fantasy mountain range. It acts as a fairly effective barrier to the cold wastes of the north, where giants and barbarians roam. Every so often barbarians raids make their way through the mountains into Highmarch and Arnel. (Need to find something interesting to do with these)

One of a number of small nations direstly to the south of Arnel

Another small nation directly south of Arnel.

Vodda is sits at the southern border with the forest of Slumber and the eastern edge of Highmarch. The nation is currently preparing for what it believes in an inevitable war with Highmarch.

Salerna is the banking and trade capital of the penisular, and while it is a small nation with little military might of its own, it has been instrimental in early attempts to forge an alliance between itself, Alass, Norren, and Vodda.


  1. Great job
    What is the scale of the map ?

    1. I haven't sorted scale on it yet. What I can say is that Arnel is about the same area as the United Kingdom.