'Tween Wall and Way: The North Marches

At this far northern frontier of the Empire lies a wilderness of mist-veiled forests, tumbled foothills & mountains, fierce storms, and vast waters. Collectively called the North Marches, most of the lands are beholden to the Empire's northern tier of kingdoms while others are home to sundry small Kingdoms and Fiefdoms separate from the Empire. Two great geographic features mark the North Marches, the Worldwall and Eutron's Way. The Worldwall is northernmost boundary of this region. South of the Worldwall a vast inland waterway, called Eutron's Way or simply "The Way" runs through the valley between the Worldwall's mountains and the various ranges of the Empire's northern kingdoms.

The water serpent god Eutron, older than legend, is said to rule these waters. Of course, in this enlightened age, no one believes the legends of Eutron; the pentatheon of the Vierkeill Quincunx are the true brokers of fate in this land. Yet… there are times when the Gods spar at the Worldwall, when fears more ancient than reason prick at the edges of thought: fears that ask whether this storm will awaken Eutron from its ages-long dream in that vast inland sea called Eutron’s Cradle. 

But thoughts of Eutron are no more than a passing fancy in the great port cities down The Way. Tarsilon, Crown City of Storm Marches, and Sovalon, capital of the Duchy Traunvageu, lie hundreds of leagues from that cradle. Downway from Tarsilon, Eutron’s Way empties into The Kessid, the great eastern sea. Many of the trade ships which ply both the Imperial coast of The Kessid and The Way make their home port either in Tarsilon, Sovalon, or in Saunber across The Way in Nodhoscor. The Way is quite wide in this region, 25 miles in most places. At some locations, it attains widths of 50 to 70 miles. 

Upway from Sovalon, The Way runs northward for several hundred miles, then turns westward. The Way is 10 to 25 miles wide in this region, and has only the slightest discernable current. It becomes significant only when one passes beyond Segva's Cauldron and Lorsa's Cauldron, two widenings of The Way in Aubresan.  Beyond The Cauldrons, little shipping occurs as The Way narrows and hastens. Alstan Harbor is the last navigable port, and only for the most nimble of ships. Upway, a veil of Earthbone crosses The Way. Called The Scythes, the veil and downway waterfalls and rapids are aptly named, for any ship attempting to ply this passage will be torn asunder by the swift currents, rocks, and earthbone knives. West of the Scythes, the waters are pent up in Lake Courmethin. North of the lake are two small Dwarven realms, Arngothrim and Alrhudahl.

Beyond Lake Courmethin, The Way again becomes a wide, placid channel, except when whipped to a frenzy by storms dropping south from the Worldwall. The Way runs for several hundred miles, ending at Eutron's Cradle. Several small kingdoms make up these lands. Some are independent, while others are tributary to the Empire. These lands include:

bulletSkarndraai, a land of Lizardmen
bulletArngothrim and Alrhudahl, Dwarven lands
bulletTeundar, tributary to Aubresan
bulletBalkhelu, tributary to Elenkhtal
bulletJensiseu, tributary to Elenkhtal