Heroes of the Free States in Runetalras | World Anvil
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Heroes of the Free States

The Heroes of the Free States refers to a renowned group of adventurers, however, membership varied over time; typically when one refers to the Heroes of the Free States they mean Ecthelion, Faena, Fornik, and Morgaina, however, it could also include Blank and Xavier of Duskenreach.   There are countless tales and stories of the Heroes of the Free States, many presented here are well sourced and reliable, whilst others have been stretched and exaggerated.

Velfauna

The Heroes of the Free States first rose to prominence during the Days of the False King. The Days of the False King was a coup led by the racial race revolutionary the wizard Ragdak; Ragdak conspired to kill the King of Velfauna Thaydos Folean, and take control of the Free State of Velfauna as regent. The Heroes of the Free States thwarted Ragdaks attempted murder of King Thaydos, killed Ragdak, and restored Velfauna to its rightful monarch.   The Heroes of the Free States won further renown when they saved the Village of Red Larch from goblinoid conquerors, wherein Blank became its Barron.

The Second War of Thaxnorian Expansion

The Heroes of the Free States were instrumental in the survival of the Free States during the Second War of Thaxnorian Expansion. They negotiated alliances between the lower Free States, Elnurian Alliance, Aarelan, and Kingdom of Legvaren; the Kingdom of Selu’Qidar did enter the War on the side of the Free States, however, the credit for that lays with the capture of Thaxnorian war aims rather than the effort of the Heroes. The Heroes additionally, made it a requirement that the forces allied to resist Thaxnoria institute more equal racial laws.   Despite the efforts of the Heroes the War did not favour the allied forces. The first open battle of the war took place at Havdar’s Field. Whilst the battle ended in a stalemate, the result of the Curse of Havdar reawakening, losses on both sides were enormous; this broke the allied armies whilst Thaxnoria was able to replenish their numbers. In the aftermath of Havdar’s Field Thaxnoria captured the capital cities of Velfauna, Enarsel, and Feloc. The Heroes were able to break the occupation of the capitals, just as Runetalras learned of the great imminent threats that were about to be unleashed during the Wars of Undead which effectively brought an abrupt end to the Second War of Thaxnorian Expansion.

Vestiges of Legend

In preparation for the horror that would unfold during the Wars of Undead the Heroes gathered Vestiges of Legends that came before them. Ecthelion reforged the holy weapon of the Lords of the Storm, the mighty Stormcaller. Faena captured the Songbird’s Cage which further enhanced her vocal and magical mastery. Fornik obtained Winter’s Wrath famed bow of winter which made him nigh unstoppable with an arrow. While Blank stole away Shadow’s Grip from the followers of Tanflamman.

The Wars of Undeath - The Avatar of Orcus

The Heroes claim to have first learnt of the threat of the Avatar of Orcus from the deity Talos, although this is likely a case of exaggeration. Regardless, the first confrontation took place beneath Velfauna in front of the discovered Silver Gates. The Avatar of Orcus then struck at both Aranthaig and Kelmar at the same time. Allied forces halted a horde of undead and demons at Aranthaig, in no small part due to the intervention of the Heroes. Kemlar suffered a worse fate, the Avatar of Orcus led the attack itself obliterating the defenders and taking the city for its own. In the aftermath Aran’Nack joined with the allied forces to fight in the Wars of Undeath, whilst the Craglands in the Kingdom of Thaxnoria was imperilled and threatened by the forces of the Avatar of Ocrus.   The Heroes joined the battle within the Craglands saving all those they could as the forces of the Avatar of Orcus rampaged. The allied forces eventually drew up battlelines and engaged an endless horde of undeath, whilst the Heroes, with other key allies and friends, assaulted Kelmar and put an end to Avatar of Orcus. In the aftermath some of the undead seemed to regain their minds and were sent into the Underdark.   Ideas of peace were abruptly ended when the capital of Crystal Catalyst, Garthedd, was transported back to the Prime Material Plane.

The Wars of Undeath - The Crystal Catalyst

The reemergence of the Crystal Catalyst was not a surprise, although the destruction it enacted was. The Heroes entered into a conflict with the Red Wizards and their leader Grand Imperator Tervenus Hafansmith, over a Crystalline Catalyst. In the process the Heroes exposed Hafansmith’s betrayal of Thaxnoria and his pact with Terraxia, a ruler of Crystal Catalyst.   The Heroes were able to kill Hafansmith and bring down the Red Wizards, however, the Crystalline Catalyst ended up in the possession of Terraxia. With all the Crystalline Catalyst in her possession Terraxia led a coup to become first of the Triarchy, sole leader of Crystal Catalyst, and transported the city of Garthedd to the Prime Material Plane. Terraxia declared the Crystal Catalyst had returned and would once more dominate Runetalras.   As Garthedd and Crystal Catalyst reemerged it unleashed a horrific weapon that obliterated the city of Hathban and extinguished hundreds of thousands of lives in one instance.The Heroes uncovered and kept secret a method of bringing down the floating city of Garthedd to neutralise its weapon. The Heroes began their assault on Gathedd one day before the armies met, they wreaked havoc, and eventually brought the city to the surface of Runetalras by the time armies reached Garthedd. The Second Siege of Gathedd was short but exceptionally bloody, when the dust settled the Heroes had destroyed Terraxia and ensured the defeat of the Crystal Catalyst.

The End of the Road

The Heroes were integrally involved in what would become of the region after some many bloody and interconnected conflicts. It was intervention that had led to Gathedd being positioned near Aarelan and having a degree of autonomy. The Heroes were also involved with the creation of the Union of Crowns, formally known as the Celadon Union of Crowns; the name was suggested by Faena who appears to have been aware of the unfortunate acronym that this author does not find amusing.   The Heroes went their separate ways, taking tasks which were important to them and no longer required such a strong and renowned adventuring group. Ecthelion. The duty of the Lords of the Storm did not end with the victory in the Wars of Undeath. The Lords of the Storm appointed Exarchs, Stephen Ackton and Estonia among them, and began a recruitment drive. The numbers of the Lord swelled, this allowed them to re-garrison Bolt’s Landing and Hammer’s Fall, they also expanded the number of outposts this included establishment of an outpost in Tel’Bacy. The Lords remained active, they established a cordon around Havdar’s Field to try to put an end to the undead threat. Their efforts have uncovered many strange aspects to the area, including that the area seems to occupy another plan of existence, the area repeats the two battles that took place there every day starting again at 6pm, and that undead Havdar is present.   Faena. The Lady Faena was granted lands by the High King of Thaxnoria, a small town to the east of North Griffin Gate, known as Hammerdale. She also seems to have given up a life of violence and intrigue, and started an expansive brothel business, a lucrative but strange endeavour, known as the Blossoming Flowers Brothels. Feana additionally, created many popular ballads and songs connected to exploits of the Heroes, and also one dedicated to time she convinced five monarchs to name their Kingdom CUC.   Fornik. The champion of the Elder Races continued his life's work, improving the lot of the elder races in Runetalras. Fornik brokered an agreement to reduce farmland around the Elnurian Forest, to allow it to regrow, in exchange for magical enrichment of the remaining farmlands; this resulted in some conflict, however, the agreement has remained. Fornik worked to maintain and improve the relations between the races, in the Union of Crowns and Elnurian Forest, a part of this work involved the expansion of the schools, education, and other charity work carried out with the Royal Vampire of Velfauna Sakrath von Feldorth Agrath. Fornik was also instrumental in the creation of autonomous region Cildarth within the Kingdom of Thaxnoria; a difficult negotiation with required the tribute of timber and Weaveite to the former lords. Fornik also provided support to the ravaged Kelmar, in the Craglands, and the refugees of the Underdark. Fornik continued his work with the Tee’Chaher, generally in a more peaceful manner, however, he did not turn away from violence where Kingdoms refused to recognise the rights of the Elder Races.   Morgaina. The Former Red Wizard returned to the Kingdom of Thaxnoria, where she began an effort to improve the state of magic in the Kingdom. She believed that the Arcane League, the successor organisation to the Red Wizards, could not exist unopposed as it could be subject to much of the corruption that plagued the Red Wizards. Morgaina created the Accord, a rival organisation which aims to create a more ethical organisation that works for both Runetalras and its members.   Whilst the Heroes of the Free States ceased to exist as an adventuring group, the members continued to remain in contact and some maintained a friendship long after 533:Contempt.

Additional Accomplishments

The Heroes of the Free States have many more accomplishments than those that fit neatly into the story outlined above. The below represents an incomplete list of some of the actions of the Heroes took that this author has been able to verify:   Saved the town of Dawnmarch from a gnoll siege.   Put an end to the Yuan-ti threat beneath Velfauna.   Saved the village of Starkhold from Wyverns.   Freed the village of Redlarch from a goblinoid warband occupation.   Restored the Talos temple of Thunder's Roar within Tel’Bacy.   Uncovered a Lord who worshipped the Demon Lord Tanflamman with Thaxnoria.   Led the battle at Havdar’s Field.   Defeated a hydra with the Hexer Xavier of Duskenreach.   Led the defence of Gilnokmouth from a Thaxnorian assault.   Persuaded Morgania to betray the Red Wizards after informing her of the threats that were coming.   Organised an insurrection with Lords of the Storm, Tee'Chaher, Tel'Bacy, and Aarelan to overthrow Thaxnorian occupation of Velfauna.   Destroyed a portal to the Feywild in the abandoned village Vermeillon.   Saved the gold Dragon Caraki from imprisonment in the Wyrm Smelteries in City of Brass Elemental Plane of Fire.   Killed the slaver Kruroz in City of Brass Elemental Plane of Fire.   Prevented the Tee’Chaher from attacking both sides in the Second War of Thaxnorian Expansion, and further convinced them to join the allied cause.   Ranged into the Underdark and helped a Drow, Veszantar Helvirahel, and the survivors of Barakmycos.   Killed Kanular, a powerful lieutenant of Orcus.   Killed the White Dragon Krasstron in the City of the Sky.   Sealed the cursed temple of the Seven Faced Lord.   Killed the Blue Dragon Ralok in the Savage Peaks.

Dubious Claims

Given the Heroes of the Free States reputation, number of enemies, and unreliable narrators, the latter even present within the Heroes, it is unstandable that so many false claims have surrounded them. The below is an non-exhaustive list of the foul lies spread about them:   Allied with a necromantic prison master beneath Velfauna. This claim cannot be true as the virtuous Heroes would never align themselves with a maleficarum. Further there is no known prison located beneath Velfauna.   Poisoned Griffin's Talon’s water supply with Red Plague leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of Thaxnorians. It is unlikely the Heroes would engage in such underhanded tactics that so wantonly breach the etiquette of noble conflict.   Stole secrets and injured the King of Pathral. It is impossible that the Heroes would disregard the divine right and natural order of monarchy.   Murdered the Blade-Master of the Arcane Bastille in Pathral. The Blade-Master of Pathral was killed by being shot in his back and smothered with a pillow, it is inconceivable that the Heroes would commit such an act.   Assisted the Crystal Catalyst by handing over the Crystalline Catalyst to them. - There cannot be any possibility that the Heroes played a role in beginning the Wars of Undeath and the horrors that took place within it.   Stole Winter's Wrath while encountering an Ettin baby gifted with strange abilities. - An Ettin baby with abilities? Preposterous what does that even mean.   Caused an earthquake within the castle at Vercerrer. - Whilst the Heroes were indeed present at Vercerrer Keep the noble Heroes would not engage in such a reckless and destructive action.   Destroyed an alliance between vampires and Orcus. - An alliance between Orcus and vampires is unlikely, given vampires are little more than base beast creatures. - Be wary and disregard the so-called Royal Vampire of Velfauna, he is likely a mage in an elaborate disguise.   Stole a Vestige of Legend with an aarakocra named Grek from a criminal organisation known as the Fangs led by a White Dragon. - The idea that the Heroes would help some random criminal in an effort to obtain a Vestige of Legend they are never recorded to have had in their possession, preposterous.   Opened a portal between Thanatos the Abyssal layer of Orcus and the City of Brass in the Elemental Plane of Fire. - Simply ridiculous that the Heroes would do something so reckless.   Negotiated and solicited assistance from the Iron Duke of Dis, Lord of the Second, The Archdevil Dispater. - The accusation that the Heroes would consort with devils is as vile as it is insane.   In the middle of the Wars of Undeath, spent time exploring the Ruins of Kirthlath. - it is inconceivable that the Heroes would venture to the Ruins of Kirthlath during a vital time of the War, to achieve nothing.   Caused the 533:Contempt eruption of Seafoam Island. - Dear reader, how or why would they do so?   Assinanted the King of Pathral at the behest of the Crowned Prince of Pathral. - The Heroes were many things, but I think I can say with a high degree of certainty they would not commit regicide, let alone regicide by throwing an elderly King from the top of a castle.
From The True Telling of the Heroes of the Free States, written by Exsal Uthandar, Counselor of Red Larch, former Donagogue, and well and trusted friend to the Heroes of the Free States.

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