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    Postfest V, Part II: Riding the Marches
    Posted on Tue, August 09, 2005 by Dongul
    gvdammerung writes "The Riding of the Marches is a civic festival practiced most famously in the marches of Keoland - the Yeomanry, Sterich, Geoff, the Gran March and Bissel. While performing a military function designed to limit monstrous interference with agriculture, the Riding of the March is also cause for much local celebration.

    Riding the Marches
    By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Date: 8th of Planting, 23rd Goodmonth
    Location: Geoff, Sterich, Yeomanry, Gran March, Bissel
    Type: Civic

    Keoland is a comparatively peaceful and safe realm in the greater parts of the country. In no small measure, this is so because Keoland is protected by a series of buffer states that stand between the Lion Throne and the dangers found in outlying wilderness areas, particularly the mountains of the west. Geoff, Sterich, the Yeomanry, the Gran March and Bissel take the brunt of monstrous incursions, while much of Keoland lazily goes about its business undisturbed. Life in these marches of Keoland is harder, and much more chancy. Agriculture is particularly tricky.

    A good crop and successful harvest in Geoff, Sterich, the Yeomanry, the Gran March and Bissel is just as important as anywhere else but often much more difficult to come by as monstrous incursions are much more likely in areas bordering the howling wilderness or the forest primeval. Such incursions may cause famine, in addition to any immediate harm, if they interrupt the agricultural cycle at just the wrong time, particularly if the weather has been bad and the harvest would be poor in any event.

    To put down too easy gatherings of humanoids or other monstrous scourges, on the 8th of Planting and the 23rd of Goodmonth, local militias conduct the Riding of the Marches. Armed horsemen ride out and patrol the extent of tilled acreage and the verge of forests in a show of force designed to disrupt humanoid gatherings or unsettle monstrous populations. Every effort is made to be obvious with much blowing on horns and beating of drums, with brightly colored banners flying. The intention is to startle but all participants are prepared for action should anything untold be encountered. As the Riding proceeds, the riders are greeted by villagers in every village, town, hamlet and thorp. Where the Riding stops for the night, the riders are feted by the local lords whose lands are being safeguarded. The Riding of the Marches is thus as much a celebration as military maneuver.

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