Shadow March, the: (also the Long Road) the largest and most infamous of all Korachani religious pilgrimages; it circumnavigates the Inner Sea and its major nations, before making its way across the Kharkharadontid desert to the prison Daekyn, where it ends outside the monolithic gates of the Sepulchral Palace. The March covers no less than 20,000–miles, most of which is little more than dirt paths, though its many tributaries and side-courses make a true measure of its length impossible to determine.
The March originated in c. 400 RM, with the Archpotentate Malichar’s victories across the Inner Sea following return to Korachan as an Æhari and the subsequent rapid spread of the Church of the Machine across its lands. It reached its peak in around 1500 RM alongside that of the Korachani Empire, with thousands of pilgrims, fanatics, flagellants and other faithful from all over the Korachani empire undertaking the road, sometimes spending their savings to buy their freedom from the shackles of slavery, only to spend a life under the yoke of the March and the call of the Leaden Throne. The sundering of the empire in 3705 RM left a deep schism in the Church of the Machine, leading to it fracturing into the Orthodox Church of Rachanael and the Reformed Machine Church, though the March persevered (albeit with occasional conflict between different denominations). Few had the strength or means to undertake the entirety of the March, with most attempting it dying under the adversity of the road. More commonly, pilgrims would take the most direct route available, marching with their fellows for safety, stopping only at the largest and most revered of holy sites along the way.
All manner of opportunists - hucksters, traders, mercenaries, whores, penumbrists, itinerants, bandits and brigands - gravitate towards the Shadow March in the way insects are insitinctively attracted to sugar. Amongst them would march patricians and other members from the Imperial administration, some on foot in self-imposed chastisement, others riding atop indriks and other exotic mounts or steam-belching ambulants.
Despite the enthusiasm and fanaticim of those who undertake the March, few make it to the Sepulchral Palace, as the dangers and horrors of Kharkharadontis can attest to. Those that do make it are rarely sane, and their bodies are often withered and corrupted by the Penumbra from years of marching under its corrupting gaze. Those undertaking the Shadow March often wrap their bodies in unguent-scented bandages and pierce their flesh with cathadesms containing prayer and litanies in the hopes of protecting them from the penumbral influences. They rarely succeed.
I also created a new improved version of the Korachani Sigil, the old version of which I lost in a system crash a few weeks ago. Its divided into 7-segments - representing the seven ancient nations of the Inner Sea. each segment contains a circle - the capital city and ruler of the respective nation, with a larger circle in the middle, representing Malichar and the Undying Machine.