Wanted: Adventurers to Settle Demon-Haunted, Orc-Infested Frontier. Inquire at the Wretched Hovel.
A 13th Age campaign in Tacoma, WA
Want to see the spot where civilization ends? Look at this map of the Dragon Empire. Here, in the northwest corner, you’ll see a town with a whole lot of nothing around it. That town is Foothold, and it’s the heart of the Black March: a military province named for the Black River the marks its western border. Blackmarch stands between the good citizens of the Empire and the orcs to the north and the demons to the west.
Sometimes raiding parties of orcs come across the Black River to murder and steal. The demons…well, they tend to come through in other ways, and you hear strange stories about the more remote settlements of Blackmarch.
There’s peril there, but also opportunity for someone like yourself. Count Henry has need of men and women who know their way around a blade or a spellbook, who can venture into dark places and take care of business. Beyond the Black River in no-man’s land are the ruins of past ages, with much to interest the seeker after fortune. Caravans need guarding — or maybe hijacking — as they wind through Blackmarch bearing gems and precious metals on their way to Glitterhaegen, and come back with supplies for the settlers.
Before you jump on the next coach headed west, you should know that to live in Blackmarch is to live on the knife’s edge of survival. One year a cloud came out of the Hell Marsh that caused crops across the province to fail, and that winter a blizzard closed off the supply routes. A whole lot of settlers died of starvation, cold or disease — and that’s not counting the normal deaths from things coming across the river, up out of the ground, down from the sky, or worming their way out of a corrupted soul.
You’re likely to see and do many strange things in Blackmarch. But with cunning, boldness and a bit of luck on your side, perhaps you’ll come out of it alive, intact and a bit ahead in the world.