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Thread: Freemarch as a March

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default Freemarch as a March

    Going back through the Defiant starter zones made me curious about Freemarch's designation as a march. From what I can tell, the most simplest of meanings of a march is a border zone between two existing realms/kingdoms - sorta like a buffer zone. Again, a very simplified definition, but the hardcore lore hounds will get the drift. So, if we apply that definition to Freemarch (stated specifically in game as a march, if I'm not mistaken, hence the name), then I'm curious as to its background where it NEEDED to be classified as a march. Freemarch borders Silverwood & Droughtlands/Stonefield as far as "kingdoms" go. Were the elves and Eth at odds so badly in the distant past that this border/buffer region came into existence? Maybe I'm taking things too literally, but I hope the devs didn't just name a territory as a march without considering historical context. For me, either I missed the references or forgot, but I don't recall why Freemarch was a march in the first place. Insight welcomed. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Champion Eilauria's Avatar
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    KInd of a good question and I don't recall for sure either but I believe its more recent then elves/Eth. I think it was something to do with Mathosia itself and the uncontrolled lands to the south (Droughtlands/Shimmersand).

    The Mathosian Capital is/was the starting zone which is the grey splotch between Silverwood and Freemarch. Freemarch being the southern most tip of the Mathosian dynasty.

  3. #3
    Plane Walker
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    According to Telarapedia:

    Once, Freemarch was the breadbasket of the Eth Empire, called the Emerald March for its fruitful fields. When the Empire fell, a warlord named Jakub crushed the March-folk, ruling from his hilltop fortress of Iron Keep. A simple peasant named Eliam roused the people to cast down Jakub and was elected the first of the March Wardens. Even as part of the Mathosian Empire, the March Wardens were allowed free reign over what came to be called Freemarch, and the land prospered.
    If this is accurate, it was called a march before Mathosians, in Eth Empire days. After the Eth Empire it became somewhat free, and people started calling it Freemarch.

    Judging by this text, it's unlikely that the Emerald March was a march in the original real life sense. It was a key economic region, the breadbasket of the empire. A Medieval king or emperor wouldn't make such a key territory a march. Marches were semi-independent buffer zones. They were nominally part of the kingdom or empire, but they had highly independent local rulers with a lot of political and military power. Marches would often declare full independence eventually.

    A "breadbasket of the empire" was unlikely to be a true march in the original Medieval sense. And that text indirectly confirms it, because the March was so much more independent under the Mathosians that it affected the name of the whole area and it became Freemarch.

    It's likely that lore makers simply used the word "march" in a later broader sense of "borderlands."

  4. #4
    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Last post has it pretty much correct. It went like this:

    1) Early (for this continent at least) and more tribalish human land. Or maybe a bit elven, but very long ago. Cue Blood Storm War where mortals clashed with planar armies and heroes emerged to stop the dragons while scientists used whatever magitech they could to turn the tide of the struggle.

    2) Region existed as a flourishing breadbasket of Ethian Empire, but more of a border land to the elves, whereas 'Scarwood' was the furthest north extent of empire, Stonefield and Scarlet Gorge were sources of sourcestone and places of experimentation, and Droughtlands and Shimmersand were the core of the empire.

    3) After the Eth collapsed, Jakub took over the March and was a tyrant, ruling from his Iron Fortress.

    4) Eliam defeated Jakub and the region became Freemarch. The Iron Tomb is built over the grave of one of the Blood Storm heroes, for the Wardens and their associates. Bronze Tomb is probably for the lesser important (but still enough for a tomb and not just a grave), but I don't know.

    5) March Wardens held any of the authority over the Freemarches, and even as they joined the Mathosian Empire and had trade within it, they were given much leeway. Meridian existed as a library that was of Ethian origins.

    6) The Mathosian Civil War changed everything. After the Shade, the cults struck through Mathosia and Freemarch was invaded by Abyssal, who were likely seeking as much secret planar and tech knowledge as possible. They took over Meridian and some surrounding waters, and the Marchers were mostly left to fend for themselves, as rifts proliferated and Abyssal haunted them.

    7) After Port Scion itself finally fell to Alsbeth, the emerging Defiant faction worked with the Faceless Man to take Meridian as their headquarters. They won the fight, but the Freemarchers looked to the Defiants with heavy distrust. The Abyssal flee, rampaging over the countryside and hiding among the suffering rural populace.

    ((At this point, the Terminus timeline would have had the Guardians breach the Port Scion bridge, conquer Meridian, and then gradually become overwhelmed by planar forces.))

    8) Alsbeth seeks to spread discord throughout Mathosia to stop the Ascended, and thus resurrects much of the dead buried from the wars in Freemarch, with Jakub as their leader. The undead quickly take action and devastate the trade town of Smith's Haven, and the March Wardens are at a loss, having to finally cooperate with the Defiants, and possibly trust them. As Defiant Ascended begin arriving, this trust becomes more real, and finally solidified. Jakub is defeated, the Abyssal are stopped, and Alsbeth is prevented from unleashing the Iron Tomb (including Eliam's spirit... sort of). The Marchers admit full relations with the Defiants and thus less friendly relations with the Guardians and what is left of Mathosia. They've seen who and what really has their back when it matters.

    9) Since then (the Endless and Abyssal mostly pushed off Freemarch), there has been various invasions and plotting by the dragon cults, but these have all been stopped and we can assume that Freemarch is solidly Defiant territory (or at least friendly to them), as the Defiant have likely assisted in rebuilding Smith's Haven and shoring up defenses ('off screen' though). With the death of most of the dragons and the threat of the Storm Legion, the Ascended mostly move on to Brevane and Dusken, except when resting and training in Meridian. THE ENDDDD.



    At all times, this region acted as a sort of march, in whatever definition. It has never been core to any continental power --- except perhaps now, to the Defiants . Now, their emphasis is less on 'march' and more on 'free', something the Defiants claim to be above all else.



    I just felt like writing this

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