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Through The Empty Marches is an ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign played a group of NYU students (and Brandon) and set in the fictional world of Enrea. Centuries before the start of the game, the Dwarves of Dorimmar's Chain found a way to store and manipulate magic through machines. This discovery caused a war between the Dwarves, the Human kingdom of Galenia and the Elven lands of Mal'Tauren. The conflict was ended by a group of heroes called The Guild.

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After the war, the Guild created The Conclave, a political body dedicated to keeping relationships between different races friendly. They also resolved the various threats and issues generated by the excessive use of magitech: most notably, the tearing of extra-dimensional rifts that transported other creatures and races (such as the Orcs and the Drow) to their plane of existence.

Eventually, Archmage Hera Ultrix, the head of the Guild, went mad with power and attempted to open a large portal to another realm. The result was the destruction of most of the Guild and the Conclave, and the shattering of Enrea into five shards, lost in the endless sea that is The Multiverse. A hundred years later, the last surviving founding member of the Guild, the Dwarf Xunder, managed to create trains, named the Forerunners, which allowed people to journey through the "Empty Marches" (the chaotic in-between of different universes) and reach the various pieces of Enrea. In each shard, Xander created a train station connected to a main hub, the Crossroads, which functions as an anchor point for all of the shards and prevents them from drifting further apart.

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Years later, the Conclave has been rebuilt at the Crossroads. The shards of Enrea have been stabilized. Magitech is blooming once more. The Forerunners provide safe passage and communication between all of Enrea's people. Five adventurers board a Forerunner to the kingdom of Galenia. Little do they know that they are going to be part of a series of events that will shake the foundations of Enrea to its very core...

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Through The Empty Marches contains the following tropes:

  • Chekhov's Gun: Or in this case, Chekhov's Grenade. Everyone looted a pair early on, but they went unused until Damaia grabs some to bring on her rescue mission, during which Sy considers exacting vengeance on Potix before instead blowing up a pair of mephits. They come back an entire season later when Sy reveals how he lost his arm.
  • Cool Train: The Forerunners.
  • Decadent Court: Downplayed, once. The Galenian Court has always been full of greedy and scheming nobles, but the king used to keep them in check. After his sudden withdrawal from politics, however, this is now a straight trope.
    • The Elf nobility is supposedly worse.
  • Due to the Dead: Laz intends to organize a charity ball in Damaia's honor.
  • Dungeon Punk
  • Elevator Action Sequence: How the Season 2 premiere ends.
  • Enemy Mine: Damaia frees Potix from the dungeon when he offers to help, and even prevents Sy from killing him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Oh boy.
    • Dwarves and Elves have hated each other since the war. Additionally, both dislike Humans. Unfortunately for all three, as the most powerful races in Enrea, they are all economically dependent on each other, which forces them to cooperate.
    • Tieflings are generally the target of this from all races. Due to their sudden appearance immediately after the Shattering, many associate them with catastrophe and bad luck. This eventually led to the persecution infamously called the Tiefling Purges. After the Conclave put an end to the mass murdering, Tieflings were given a "junior position" in the Conclave. Additionally, some Human and Elf nobles think of them as "exotic" and like to adopt them as vanity pieces.
    • Drow were persecuted by other Elves since they first appeared in Enrea. The Guild put a stop to that, but most of them still live in extreme poverty.
    • Halflings, though not inherently the object of hate, are generally overlooked by the other races. The fact that they have no seat on the Conclave, despite being one of the most populous races in Enrea, is cause of great discontent among the little people, and is the reason the freedom fighter/terrorist group named the Friends of Garos was formed.
    • Half-Orcs and Dragonborn don't mix well, due to both races vying for control over the Eternal Valley. Half-Orcs are also disliked by Humans due to the unsavory implications behind their birth.
  • The Federation: The Conclave.
  • Hostage Situation: Twice in a row: the Friends of Garos first take a train hostage, then an entire village.
  • Magitek: An essential part of the setting.
  • The Magocracy: Mal'Tauren is governed by the Tir'Istar, a council of powerful mages belonging to various noble families.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Laz tends to get this treatment from Nath and Sy.
  • Noodle Incident: When Sy asks Nath to throw a dagger at him to test his reflexes, Nath alludes to a similar incident that took place decades ago at a family party. Based on Sy's retort that he knows what he's doing now, it probably didn't end well.
  • Not So Different: In Season 1, Sy expresses a fear that he may one day go too far and will need to be stopped. In Season 2, Laz confesses a similar anxiety to Nath, immediately before asking her if he should assassinate the Prince.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Although there certainly are natural magic-users in Enrea, many use magitech to amplify or emulate magic abilities.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: If ever there was one.
  • The Theocracy: Dorimmar's Chain is controlled by the Circle of Seven, the high priests of the Dwarven pantheon.
  • Train Job / Thriller on the Express / Locomotive Level: The first danger the party encounters is a group of Halfling terrorists trying to kidnap an important political figure on a train on its way to the capital of Galenia. As soon as they take care of that, a large explosion stops the train dead and brings extra-dimensional creatures on board.
  • True Companions: Zig-zagged. This is the party's public image as of Season 2, but each party member is still keeping secrets from the others and working to fulfill their own personal goals rather than a unified one. Played straight in the season finale.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Fire Elemental in the Engine Room of the Galenian Forerunner. Literally.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The party rejects Lucien's friendship at the end of Season 1. Laz debates murdering him, and Sy threatens to remove Lucien from power to his face.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Damaia's pet mouse Nipnop appears in the first session and then never again.
  • What Measure Is A Nonhuman: Debated frequently throughout Season 2, in regards to the Warforged.
  • Wretched Hive: Brinehaven.

Characters:

    The Party 
Carrick Frye/Magnus Colonna
Played by: Alex Brigham

A wandering Half-Elf Bard returning home to Galenia. He's actually the son of the old Marquis De Clare and an Elf noble. His uncle, the current Marquis, stole his inheritance from him and he's looking to take it back.

Damaia Bane
Played by: Jordyn Josephine Fischer

A Tiefling Fighter born in a small Galenian village. When she was 10, she left for Torris Alba and eventually joined a mercenary company, where she learned how to wield a sword. She returned to her village and helped fight the frequent monster invasions by training a militia team. She then left again to journey through Enrea, and is now back to see how her people are holding up.

Lav’nathinia “Nath” Hastur
Played by: Heleena DiMare

A High Elf Ranger who earns a living as a monster hunter and occasional train worker. She used to work with the Tir'Istar but quit when they refused to approve a magitech invention that could have saved thousands of lives. After that, she spent several years as part of a train crew and fell in love with a passenger, while also having sexual encounters with her captain. That obviously did not end well.

Lazarus "Laz" Strathmore
Played by: Brandon Yanuskevich

A Human Wizard and member of House Strathmore, a leader in magitech production, specialized in necromancy, and led by a cabal of liches made of family members who have fulfilled their obligations and kept the Strathmore line running. Laz has returned home to help his family face difficult times. He is also being pressured into procreating so that he can join the Strathmores' "inner circle", something he's not eager to do.

  • Adorkable: Has his moments.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Laz.
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Badass Gay
  • Catchphrase: "Black is the new black" and "Here's my card". The latter is a family thing.
  • Bad Powers, Good People / Dark Is Not Evil: Wears black leather and commands the power of death. He's also a genuinely nice person.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Has fashioned freeze rays from drink dispensers, and stopped a grenade in place when an enemy tried to throw it.
  • Foil: To Prince Lucien. Lazarus is deeply invested in his family legacy (albeit with reservations on its current leadership) and strives to use the resources at his disposal to help the people of Enrea. Lucien seemingly loathes the idea of sitting on the throne and even though he believes in a better, more honest world, he refuses to take action and make that world a reality. Perfectly expressed by their choice of clothing: Laz wears somber, black clothes, while Lucien prefers extravagant and colorful outfits.
  • For Science!: A firm believer in looser morals for magitech advancement, but not without precautions.
  • Mad Scientist: Has shades of this.
  • Necromancy: Practices NecrotechTM.
  • Neutral Good
  • Our Mages Are Different: His magic powers come exclusively from magitech, to Nath's chagrin.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Goes directly against Geist's wishes and kills his zombie wyvern to prevent his family from kidnapping other homeless and destitute people.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Nath and Sy, who dislike him because of his use of necromancy and his noble origins. By Season 2, however, Nath has become Laz's closest confident.
  • The Smart Guy
  • Transparent Closet: He isn't out, but some people (like his sister) have already pegged him.

Syha'nnyth "Sy" Ang'thavren
Played by: Daniel DeSarlo

a highly-skilled Elf Assassin who also happens to be Nath's cousin. His brother, a Conclave Agent, died in the line of duty. Sy held his brother's supervising Agent responsible and poisoned him. He has been hired by the Friends of Garos to find out their new leader's identity and kill all the extremists who have joined her.

    The Conclave 
Rouval Fulgore
The High Ambassador responsible for Conclave/Galenia relations. At the start of the story, he is sent to investigate the progressive lack of communication from the Galenian Court and the sudden retreat of the Galenian Army across the nation. On his way there, he was almost kidnapped by the Friends of Garos, but the party saved him. Since then, he has been the party's lead quest-giver.
  • Actual Pacifist: Rouval is a firm opposer of violent or aggressive means, instead relying solely on diplomacy and persuasion to try and make Enrea a better place.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Remains calm and collected as the Friends of Garos attempt to kidnap him.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Played with. He's obviously overworked, and is rarely seen not attending to some political matter or the other. However, that is because he genuinely enjoys his job. And since he's really good at it, he still manages to have time for the more important issues such as those that involve the party.
  • Bring News Back: As the main quest-giver for the party, this is a given.
  • Lawful Good
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Always dresses elegantly and has refined tastes.
  • Meaningful Name: Rouval comes from the Elvish "roval", meaning "wing". Fulgore is Latin for "radiance". The association with a certain bird should be obvious.
  • Parental Abandonment: His mother, after lecturing him about the selfishness of the world, abandoned him to his father's care. He has devoted his life to proving her wrong.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: So much that others, like Axelle and Lady Adrianne, have called him out on it in the past.
  • Workaholic: Partly of his own volition.

Agent Axelle
The Agent of the Conclave assigned to protect Ambassador Rouval, and now tasked with evaluating the party's performance as prospective agents. A very dutiful, if not a bit overzealous woman.
  • Badass Gay: Likes women. Wields a flaming sword.
  • Celeb Crush: Has one for Rebecca.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her father was a noble merchant who practiced the Faith of the Architect. When his competitors spread the rumor that he was a cultist and a fanatic, he could not bear the shame and committed suicide. Axelle abandoned the family business and joined the Galenian military, but became disillusioned with the way many of her comrades treated the common folks. She finally joined the Agents of the Conclave in hopes to make a bigger difference.
  • Lawful Good
  • Light 'em Up / Light Is Good: As a paladin.
  • Masculine Girl Feminine Man: The Masculine Girl to Rouval's Feminine Man.
  • Meaningful Name: "Axelle" is a French name meaning "Protector".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Rouval's Blue.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ferociously calls Sy out on his impulsive and irresponsible behavior, and on his sense of morality, which she believes is overly simplistic.
  • To Be Lawful Or To Be Good: Edges towards Lawful - while she understands why the Party handled the hostage situation at Damaia's village the way they did, she insists that as prospective agents, it is their prerogative to follow orders.

    Galenian Court 
King Tristam Maestus IV
The ruler of Galenia, King Maestus IV used to be seen as a hero by his people - the man stood for justice, equality, and peace. Unfortunately, after two failed assassination attempts (one of which claimed his beloved wife Queen Hostia's life), he has withdrawn from politics, leaving the administration of Galenia to his advisors.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Survived not one, but two assassination attempts - although they have taken a toll on him. Subverted in that the late Queen was the actual target of the first attempt, and the second actually did claim the King's life. Played straight during the third attempt, when the king reveals just how much of a toll the first two attempts took.
  • Badass Decay: Used to be a fierce and strong-willed ruler before the death of his wife.
  • Meaningful Name: Tristam means "sorrowful". Maestus means "sad" in Latin, but it also recalls the word "Maestas", meaning "majesty".
  • Neutral Good: Or at least used to be. There are still traces of this, as he offers Damaia's people shelter.
  • Puppet King: Seems to have turned into this: Lady Adrianne takes care of politics for him, and Commander Bellator controls his army.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Five years ago. After Queen Hostia's death, it seems the only thing he does is grieve.
  • The Good King: What he once was.
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Poor Tristam has turned into a wheelchair-bound, grieving old man.

Prince Lucien Maestus
The prince heir of Galenia. A rather exuberant young man who seems to prefer fashion and art to politics and the army life.

    The Guild 
Juno Ultrix
The legendary Arch-Mage and founder of the Guild.

Xunder Ironforge
Master Inventor of the Guild and father of the Warforged.

Liante
  • Arch-Enemy: Liante causes Mauritia Strathmore to become possessed by Juno, breaks Sy's psyche, and destroys Galenia, killing Damaia in the process.
  • Ambiguous Gender: As a faceless shapeshifter, this is to be expected. Juno refers to them as "Lady Liante."
  • Big Bad
  • Kill and Replace: Pulls a nonlethal version twice: first with Sy, then with Connor.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Master of Illusion
  • Mind Rape: Liante's mind control abilities are shown to have long-lasting effects.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: They mind-control Sy to get close to the party. When Sy breaks free, Liante disguises as him instead.

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