The History of the Free Kingdoms
The history of the Free Kingdoms was unified with the arrival of the elves. Before then, collections of the men, halflings, and orcs roamed the Heartlands and the Dales, the dwarves holed up in their mountain kingdoms. Elsewhere, the Necromancer-Kings of Stygia were gone and the Cult of Ra was on the rise, but the Cyclopean Empire of the lands now-called Iscagna had yet to fall. These were the Times Before.
When the Wise Folk arrived, they stepped through arcane portals. Inter-dimensional nomads, they remember not from where they came, but they brought with them magic and lore. With both, they conquered the peaceful halflings, the tribes of men and the orcish war-bands, even the dwarfs. They stopped short of conquering Stygia, Iscagna, or the North, but brought the rest of the realm under the banner of Alphos, their vast Empire. During the Age of Alphos, the elves ruled brutally, and brought the other peoples of the world to heel. From the cosmos, the Elder Gods, from whom the elves owe their magic, whispered dark thoughts to the Immortal Council of Patricians, the Empire's governing body. They sought ever more power, wiping out peoples and enslaving their enemies, as the kingdom grew more depraved by the day. But, it was not to last.
The Empire's death throes began with General Theron Aurelius, the Empire's foremost military mind. A warrior, he had spent centuries reflecting upon the Empire's conquest with a mind unspoiled by magic. He advocated for the end of slavery in Alphos; men, dwarfs, halflings, and orcs rallied in support, but the decision would be left to the Patricians. Tensions mounted as the Immortal Council was unable to decide, and came to a head when Theron Aurelius was assassinated. The culprit has yet to be identified, but it matters little. While the Patricians had grown in power, they grew doubly in madness. Paranoia and insanity sapped at their resolve, and rivalries between the noble houses tore the overreaching kingdom apart, and so began the Elveswar. The Empire became fractured and weakened by civil war, and it had come time for the kings to be overthrown. Dwarfs, humans, orcs, and halflings rebelled and fought against the Alphosian Legionnaires for generations before the war was over. Even with magic on their side, the disparate forces of the Empire were outnumbered and overpowered, and Alphos was crushed. The other races set down there weapons and returned to the fields and forges, free from the chains of their overlords; no longer citizens of an great empire, but denizens of a vast land. Now, there is work to be done, for the time has come to begin a new epoch: the Age of Man…The Age of the Free Kingdoms.Huzzah!