The Freehold Planets value freedom and individual identity. Freeholders take great pride in maintaining their independence from each other and the rest of the universe.
Freehold planets have managed to maintain their independence even despite the constant wars across the universe. Many have won these freedoms through hard-fought actions against the larger factions, either driving off attempted conquests or proving themselves of low value to those who sought to subjugate them. Lately the Freehold Coalition has proven itself an effective tool in maintaining most freedoms even at the sacrifice of others. Led by the Mordena mercenaries. Member planets pledge non-aggression pacts with fellow participants and trade agreements with the Mordena in exchange for guaranteed defense from aggressors, regardless of their origin. But not all Freeholds consider this an advantageous deal, believing any surrender of personal sovereignty an affront to the very nature of the freedoms they stand for.
Freeholders are a resilient, independent bunch, accustomed to planning for their futures under the ever-present threat of absorption into one of the larger and more war-prone factions of Vazdimet. There's a certain pride in everything they do, ignoring the odds as they maintain their cultures and independence. Beneath this shared defiance, each planet has built its own set of strengths, beliefs, and culture. No two planets are identical in this regard, although the closest allies and deepest rivals tend to carry more similarities to each other than average.
While much is lost to time, most scholars believe the original Freeholds grew from the smaller, unaffiliated groups scattered across Fillimet and its known planes at the time of The War for Enlightenment. While the larger factions struggled to impose their will on the world, many of these smaller groups fled the conflict entirely. Scholars have found hints that Portal Magic once had the ability to hop across larger expanses of the Void directly from a planetary surface, allowing these migrants to scatter easily across the universe despite their lack of space travel. As the war raged on their home plane, now believed to be a long-lost and potentially destroyed planet, these small pockets of refugees carved out their own lives in their new surroundings, never to return. Each has since adapted, furthering their technologies and magical acumen even as time has altered their cultures and historical recollections. It is believed The War for Enlightenment not only led to the eventual destruction of Fillimet but also altered magic itself, somehow shifting the magical fields of the planet and potentially the universe. If correct, travel home would no longer be possible, instead requiring access to the Void prior to casting the shorter ranged spells utilized by portal hoppers today. This would have further isolated each society, requiring self-sufficiency until their eventual discovery of their own methods to reach the stars. Over time these unaligned pockets of society each faced their own struggles, further cementing their independent natures – assuming they survived. The three major factions of the war adapted as well, growing into the Sparnell Confederation, Hydell Order, and Space Defense Legion. Not all unaligned worlds were able to maintain their independence, many falling to the hunger of the nearest factional power in their own determination to expand across the stars. Others bowed to internal struggles before fading completely or willingly enlisting with a faction in the hope of future prosperity. But even as their numbers shrink, so too do they grow. Planets unhappy with their factional rule are sometimes able to shake off the powers of their oppressors, often by proving themselves too difficult to subjugate. Others are willingly forgotten, their needs out weighing the perceived benefits. And some are founded, colonized by pirates and refugees in the grand tradition of the original Freeholds. For as much as their stubborn will to survive has built the Freeholds, it is their constant adaptations that ensure their continued existence.