Verge Province, Irrisen
Queen Urvalane saw the writing on the wall soon after she assumed the throne: If all of Irrisen maintained an unrelenting martial footing, menacing and threatening all of her neighbors, the witch nation would not survive. Her predecessors had been forced to pour endless resources into magically supplying Irrisen’s armies and allies with food and weapons, in addition to providing for the young nation’s conquered Ulfen population, and Urvalane realized that this energy would be better invested in building up Irrisen’s power and infrastructure. At the same time, however, Urvalane knew that her neighbors must continue to fear Irrisen. So the queen carved a new province out of Wintercrux, calling it the Verge, and placed it in the hands of her second son, Kazimir.
His charter was simple: train and bolster the military across your province, send raids across the borders so that the Linnorm Kings do not think we have grown weak, but do not risk full- scale war. Though Kazimir chafed under these restrictions, as have his many successors over the centuries, the arrangement succeeded, freeing up much of the rest of Irrisen to build trade routes to sustain the nation. The Verge remains militarized to this day, and most of its settlements exist solely to support Irrisen’s armies .
Across the frozen tundra of the Verge lie dozens of temporary military encampments where troops march and drill 5 days out of the week, fight mock battles on the sixth, and rest on the seventh. Alone among all of Irrisen’s provinces, the Verge is ruled by a man, not a woman. By tradition, the second son of the reigning queen is appointed military governor of the Verge, at least to start. Several times over the years those second sons have overstepped their charter one time too many and been relieved of their authority-usually in dramatic ways involving flayed bodies and heads on pikes. The current governor of the Verge, Duke Arvanoff, has been remarkably obedient to his mother in Whitethrone, however, earning only one rebuke during his years in the provincial capital of Redtooth. By his mother’s order, he wears that reprimand dangling about his neck on an iron chain-the mummified remains ofhis severed left hand. Queen Elvanna’s discipline is cruel but effective.
The Verge has become almost impassable because of the increased activity of the Mirror Men and Guardian Dolls patrolling and watching the borders. Every city has installed a ‘Controller’ (Veteran Mirror Man) to oversee the tight security of all operations.