From the introduction:
Bissel occupies the northernmost part of the Sheldomar Valley. It lies on a wide plain bounded by the Dim Forest in the southwest, the Barrier Peaks in the west and northwest, the Fals River in the north, the Lorridges in the east, and an irregular border with Gran March in the south, which runs part of its way along the Geat River.
Although Bissel is ruled by the Margrave, the balance of power has always resided with the knight-barons. There are 26 knight-baronies in Bissel, and each of the barons has his own goals and agenda. The Margrave has the power to make decisions for the March, but his decrees have little power if the barons do not support his decision. The barons, along with the Margrave and the mayors of the nine townships, form the Bissel Ruling Council, with each member having one vote. The Margrave appoints new barons in the event of a death without an heir, and the barons select a new Margrave in the event of his or her death without an heir.