Blood and Thunder
“The Borderlands people know the barbarians well because they are of the same breed”, as the ancient saying goes. And it is at least partially true. The Borderlands were once part of Northeim but were taken by the Imperials with war, treachery and cunning diplomacy and their inhabitants slowly mixed with the Imperials, thus becoming the Borderlands people. These people have the better of the two cultures: the knowledge and rationalism of the Imperials and the energy and vitality of the barbarians. When the true Northlanders attacked the Empire, the first people to withstand them were the Borderlands people.
It was clear that the Imperial Phalanxes would not be enough to defend the land and the Borderlands people did what they usually do — they defended themselves against their savage cousins from Northeim.
In the end, the Empire lost its authority over this area, and some small, independent kingdoms were established and called the Borderlands. Although they are under the formal protection of the Emperor of Faberterra, they are on their own, fighting to preserve what they created with such great effort. The biggest Borderland is Felantium, ruled by a count, the nephew of the man who, many years ago, stopped the barbarians from invading the Empire in an epic battle fought in front of the city gates.
The border between the Borderlands and Northeim is the Godaxe River, where a line of forts manned by soldiers from the Borderlands stands. These forts are vital since every year the Northlanders, Cairnlanders or Nandals launch violent attacks on them but, so far, no fort has fallen. When this happens, the barbarians invade the Borderlands again and it becomes a grim day for all the civilized populations.
There is another nightmare that haunts the lords of the Borderlands — the fact that one day the Drowned King Sea might freeze as far south as the Godaxe River which would pave the way for a massive invasion of the south.
The Price of Blood
Though the Borderlands are divided and ruled by different laws, one rule is applied everywhere: if a man volunteers to defend one of the forts and serves for at least five years, he is rewarded with a piece of land in his Borderland and receives an additional plot for every extra five years. This rule is called The Price of Blood and it is only fair compensation for what the soldiers must endure defending their land. However, it is also a way to lure colonists from the south. In the Borderlands, capable men can carve out a future for themselves.
Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 24-25. Studio 2 Publishing.ISBN 978-8393179657