Look and feel of threshers in the Marches

Hi! Last year was supposed to be my first Empire event but… let’s just say that didn’t go to plan. I was hoping for some advice on how to capture the look and feel of threshers, as they seem pretty cool and fun to play. I understand that it probably isn’t just an arrive and you’re one of them, so is there a guild-type system or an organisation?

I’ll open the replies with: if you turn up and thresh, then you’re a thresher.

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Yep. It’s not as much as a distinct visual archetype as the others.

  • A Thresher who’s patrolling after known Sorcerers might dress like a Beater and carry a bow to take advantage of how dodgy magicians tend to not wear armour.
  • A Thresher who’s a divination specialist will probably know Day, Night, or Winter magic. The first two are good for uncovering information. The latter is good for looking at curses and destroying Sorcerous nonsense. Winter and Night both also have cheap Curses to punish Sorcery with.
  • A Thresher Battlemage might have Weakness to quickly shut down sorcerers’ magic, or Paralysis to capture them.
  • A Thresher might decide to look like an unassuming Marcher, and for their main weapon to be “listening to people and seeing if they drunkenly brag about their boneheaded bargains with Eternals”. This works almost too well :stuck_out_tongue: .

The one thing they tend to have in common is some skill in spotting “That there is magic” and “I don’t like your magic”. That could be as simple as “Knowing what Spells and Rituals are and deciding you don’t like the sound of someone’s chanting” or as deep as “Ritual Lore 3, and a big notebook full of all the Curses, every Eternal under Enmity, and the names of a load of magic specialists for rituals that might help an investigation”.

Being a Thresher is saying “Hello yes I care about stopping bad magic”. The Archmages, Militia and Inquisitors are all positions with a professional interest in stopping Bad Magic, so working for those tends to get you Thresher game. Similarly, you could talk to military players about specialising in picking off enemy magicians on the battlefield.

Like any archetype, it just says what your PC chooses to do or own. It’s a job description not a title. It’s how they do that job that earns them a reputation. You might play them as a magical private eye, taking cases for pay. A useless paranoid prodnose who spies on every mage they see. Or a captain with a Military Unit of mage-killers.

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So a thresher is a marcher who detects and stops bad magic. You’ve really got three ideas there to pin your costume idea on.

  • They’re a Marcher
  • They detect bad magic
  • They stop bad magic

These might seem simplistic, but sometimes finding a simple and solid foundation is a good idea.
The problem with any single answer is the number of approaches to these three “pins”.

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If you’re looking for some inspiration then see if you can track down some Cadfael (UkTV play and Amazon Prime at a cursory Google). As the humble friar investigator is pure Marches Thresher material I’d say :slight_smile:.


I very much recommend it! It’s on the early end of the historical inspiration for the Marches, and to be honest our entire group concept is “What if an entire monastery of Cadfaels” :smiley:.

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