So Aden Sank to Grief

A New Campaign

Letter from the DM #1

We will soon begin a game in a new setting​! This game should be more episodic than the last, so we can play whenever any number of players are available. It will take place in Boveney-Brill, a march nominally subject to the rapidly-declining Adenian Empire. Exactly what you will be doing will be somewhat dependent on who your characters are, so I ask that you come up with a solid character idea before the first game you attend. You need not make your character as in choosing a class and rolling attributes and everything; the character idea is what is important.

When creating your characters, please give your character a bond that ties them to Boveney-Brill in some regard. Perhaps they're a courtier in Brill with a plot of land in the country. Perhaps they have family in a village by the coast. Perhaps they seek an ancient tome that lies buried in the tomb of a long-forgotten king. The choice is yours, but be sure to make it.

I'll give a description of the setting below. Read as much of it as you care to; you don't need to know all of this information to create your characters.

Boveney-Brill is the most remote of five marches along the northern frontier of Aden. It is bordered on the south and west by the march of Boveney-Cemais, on the north by the wilderness, and on the east by Boveney Bay. The River Mersey runs eastward through the march from Boveney-Cemais, and flows into Boveney Bay. The hills of the northwest give way to Spine of Cerackinnion, or Dromonian Moutnains, which end their run near the border with Boveney-Cermais. Mael's Head is the most prominent of the range and lies at its far east end.
The march has a cool, wet climate, with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. The area is rather wet, receiving rainfall on nearly half of all days in a year, and snowfall for a few days each winter. Locals often say that "If you can see Mael's Head, it's going to rain; if you can't, it is raining." The Mersey floods each spring as snow melts upstream.

Population
Today, the march has a population of over 40,000. The largest town and namesake, Brill, lies at the mouth of the Mersey. The seat of the march is Castle Bridgend, which overlooks Brill. About a quarter of the population live in towns, while the remainder live in rural villages and homesteads. The population is centered on the Mersey valley and other low-lying areas in the center and southeast of the march. Just over half of the population are Halflings, who live in the hills and upper valleys; the rest are humans, residing mostly in the lower valley near Brill.

Politics and Law
The march is ruled by the noble House Glenfair, who were awarded the title over 90 years ago after the rebellious Halfling lords of Boveney were defeated. The current ruler is Lady Nerys, who assumed the title after the early death of her father, Lord Madoc, four years ago. The march is remarkably autonomous; the March Lord is nominally a direct vassal of the Emperor, and no noble families exist in the march besides House Glenfair. With the seat of Aden sitting vacant, Boveney-Brill is de facto independent.
The legitimacy of Lady Nerys has been challenged by her cousin Iory, who claims right of succession by virtue of patrilineal Adenian succession laws.
While the Imperial Code is the nominal system of law, Halfling law is practiced throughout the march outside of Brill It differs substantially from the Imperial Code: it does not tolerate slavery or serfdom; extends property rights equally to women; holds families responsible for the actions of their members; does not employ capital punishment; does not recognize the Imperial system of fealty; and does not rely on professional justices or magistrates.

Religion
Most Marchers believe in and worship multiple gods, though many will devote themselves to a single deity. There are said to be as many gods as people in the area, though most estimates range in the hundreds. A small minority, mostly humans, worship the Imperial Solar cult, which has syncretized aspects of the native sun god Cealbezan. A small group of mystics belonging to the secretive cult of Nasra have built at least two monasteries in the foothills of the northwest.

Economy
Boveney-Brill is a largely agrarian culture, with most goods produced by artisans or imported. The Mersey links the northern marches to the rest of the Empire, bringing significant trade through Brill's ports. A web of unpaved roads connect the villages of the march, but no major road connects the march with its neighbors.

Beyond the March
To the south lies the vast Adenian Empire, currently in the midst of a decades-long collapse that began with a succession crisis. Further south beyond Aden lie the Great Desert and the nomadic lizardfolk. To the west are the other northern marches; beyond them are mountain passes guarded by the dwarves and through which no humans may pass. To the northwest beyond the mountains are the orcs, a proud tribal people. To the north and northeast are the wild forests, in which are said to dwell the enigmatic elves and their fey cousins.

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