The Cordus Primer

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The initial setting for what has become The Cordus Primer was the campaign backdrop for my Lost Marches game. Set in one corner of a world, post ‘event’, The Lost Marches was intended to be a ‘western marches’ style of play. Over time, the player base grew to 8 players, and it assumed a format similar to a ‘typical’ D&D game.

As I’ve expanded the world, the Primer needed a new name that would reflect all of the various realms within. Cordus, latin for aftermath, fit the bill.

The Cordus Primer


Over fifteen hundred years ago, three forgotten Empires united together as one. Together they were known as The Great Compact. The borders of this realm extended far beyond those of the lands today. It’s said that several wars and too rapid of an expansion took its toll upon the populace of The Great Compact. This and other matters led to the inner collapse of the Compact and the time of The Fracturing.

The World

The view of the world is broken down into the various campaign settings that have been created/discovered to date. By and large, each is distinct from the others, though they are generally concurrent.

The Lost Marches

A millennium later, a handful of successor Kingdoms has had time to heal and grow. Once again humanity has reason to spread and retake some of the lands that were lost during The Fracturing. With this return to expansion, some fortunate settlers have found ancient riches among the ruins of the Compact.

Those with a poor chance of inheriting, or with a sense of wanderlust, now travel to the border of the Kingdoms. From the border, these Settlers and Adventurers strike out into the wreckage of the once great Compact.

If their luck holds, Adventurers may be able to find a lost horde, or they may be able to establish themselves as Nobility over the reclaimed lands. With no law enforced, these lands are full of opportunity, and even more danger. These tales fall within The Lost Marches.

The Emerald Jungles

None reach the Emerald Jungles by accident. First, one must make their way to the Southern coast of the Insulia, and lay eyes upon the Sweltering Sea. Strong winds constantly rake along the coast from the Southwest, driving sea traffic further East. If one does dare board a ship, it must be well stocked.

The journey South, will take you twenty-five days away from land, and through waters that are warm enough to brew tea. Around the twenty-fifth day, landfall can be made upon the Dragon’s Chain. A series of islands that are home to several active volcanoes and the single ‘City’ of the Southern Seas.

The Seren Valleys

In contrast to the overpopulated successor Kingdoms, The Seren Valleys lay inland, somewhere to the North West.

Distant from the rest of the known world, and surrounded by high mountain ranges, travel is both dangerous and difficult. This remoteness has meant that the Valleys are nearly frozen in time. Humans are the most dominant of the races, but Dwarves, Halflings, the occasional Half-Elf, and Dragonborn all live in (general) peace. While the citizens of the Valleys enjoy the harmony that they enjoyed under The Great Compact, The Fracturing cut the lifeline of supplies from the rest of the empire.

Revision Notes

  • Edit #1. – Saturday 11th of March, this is most of my first draft, I may refine it tomorrow. 
  • Edit #2. – Sunday 12th of March, refinement and expansion have begun with more info for the players added.
  • Edit #3. – Sunday 12th of March, edits after feedback from S.M. 
  • Edit #4. – 24th – 26th of July, major refinements to the Schools of Magic, and minor tweak to allowed classes. 
  • Edit #5 – Sunday 6th of August, Kingdom of Confersus renamed to Insulia, Arms of Insulia added, reference to Dragons, minor grammatical changes. 
  • Edit #6 – Monday 7th of August, the addition of Factions and Orders, changed the document name to The Lost Marches Primer
  • Edit #7 – Wednesday 23rd August, the addition of world/setting flavour, training for players
  • Edit #8 – Friday 16th March, the addition of world/setting expansion for The Emerald Jungles and the rename to Cordus Primer.
  • Edit #9 – Saturday 17th March, further fleshing out of the world, races and classes permitted.
  • Edit 10# – Saturday 2nd February, formatting changes in preparation for the addition of the Seren Valleys. 
  • Edit 11# – Sunday 3rd February, breaking the various campaigns into blocks/pages.