There are 13 Free Cities in total: Archaut, Thelsvan, Tamalir, Forge, Greyhaven, Vynelvale, Dawnsmoor, Nerekhall, Frostgate, Riverwatch, Arhynn and Carthridge. Each Free City is ruled by a noble baron who is for the most part independent from the rest but a council consisting of the barons of Terrinoth occasionally meets in Archaut to discuss matters that affect Terrinoth as a whole. This council is called the Council of Thirteen and is the closest thing to leadership that Terrinoth has in the absence of King Daqan.
Since his disappearance during the Second Darkness, the people of The Free Cities whisper that King Daqan will return someday, and that he will suffer no other king to sit in his throne before he does. The superstition and legend of the Lost King forms as much a part of the character of Daqan’s former kingdom as the cult of Kellos or the Magistrates of the Common Law. The Daqan Lords fight for order in the Runewars.
The Kingdom of The Elder Kings Edit
In aeons past, so long ago that we have no written records of this time, the Elder Kings came to Terrinoth. They conquered the land and subjugated the people – human, elf, orc and dwarf alike – living therein, establishing a line of kings that ruled from sea to sea; excepting the untouchable Aymhelin forest of the Latari Clans. For centuries, Terrinoth's peace was maintained by the rule of the Elder Kings until the First Darkness.
Llovar Rotuno's twisted Uthuk Y'llan pushed South from the Ru Steppes, destroying everything in their path. An alliance of the Kingdom of Terrinoth and the Latari Elves was formed by Timmoran Lokander of the Wizard's Council. Together, the three armies were able to defeat Llovar and restore peace and order.The treachery of the battlemage Waiqar Sumarion would be the downfall of the Elder Kings. On the Night of Betrayal, Waiqar slew his master Timmoran in an attempt to take the Orb of the Sky. Before he could, however, the Orb was destroyed and its shards scattered across the world. Using the one shard he was able to obtain, Waiqar cursed himself and his army to undeath until he took all the shards of the Orb of the Sky. The War of the Stars began, as the Elder Kings fought Waiqar the Betrayer for control of the Stars of Timmoran. After a long and bloody struggle, Terrinoth defeated the Lord of Mists and the Elder Kings became the custodians of the shards.
Years after, under Dragonlord Margath, the dragons invaded Terrinoth, beginning the greatest conflict in the history of Mennara: The Dragon Wars. Margath was drawn by the power of the Stars of Timmoran which he wanted for himself. King Daqan disappeared during these wars, effectively ending the line of the Elder Kings. Now known as the Last King or the Lost King, Daqan's return is still awaited by the barons of the free cities who are all either too afraid to step forward and claim the throne for fear of what Daqan may do if he returns, or unwilling to accept that their king was defeated by Lord Margath.
Rise of the Dragonlords Edit
After the Elder Kings came the Dragonlords. Margath ruthlessly wiped out the Elder Kings and the Last King, Daqan, disappeared during the conflict. With the fall of King Daqan, the peoples of Terrinoth were divided. The Free Cities were no longer bound together by the rule of the Elder Kings, and many orcs and dwarves separated from them, forming their own tribes and kingdoms. Dragonlords such as Margath, Levirax, Baalaesh, Zir and Gehennor scorched the earth, flattening entire cities, seeking Timmorran’s Stars. When a star was found, the dragons would carve their runes onto the crystals. Dragon runes. Marks of power, adding their fiery energies to that of Timmorran’s magic, amplifying their power. In the expanse of those years, the dragons even split many Stars into thousands of smaller fragments. They engraved these with runes of lesser power and gave them to their human allies, such as the Black Legion, the barbarians of the wastes, and the few living lieutenants of Waiqar. These were the minor rune-stones, eagerly sought by magic users to this day.It was Zir the Black who first learned about the shards. In them, she saw the chance to dominate the Dragon order. Zir may have thought herself quite cunning in her plans, but it was Waiqar’s scheming that truly was to blame. The Betrayer was the shadow who spoke in the Dragon’s dreams, prodding her, luring her, not only to war with Terrinoth, but into a war against her own kin.
Two important events ultimately turned the tide of war against the Dragonlords. First, laying aside old hatreds, the orc tribes of the Broken Plains joined swords with the dwarves of Dunwarr, Latari Elves, and Free Cities. The alliance was arranged in the Thelsvan Pact, when the leaders of each race met in the most multicultural Free City, Thelsvan. The city became a symbol of friendship and peace between the races until it was unfortunately destroyed by Margath. Second, in a grand turn of fate, the Dragon Rex, Shaarina, killed Zir in battle. With Zir gone, Waiqar lost his ability to lead by suggestion, and soon enmity grew rampant among the forces of the dragons. Rather than face the loss of yet another war, deathless Waiqar retreated to the fortress Zorgas.
The Daqan LordsEdit
With Terrinoth finally at peace, the barons of the 12 remaining Free Cities, the Daqan Lords, lead the Land of Steel into the future. With Thelsvan gone, Terrinoth's alliances with Dunwarr, Aymhelin and the Broken Plains soon withered away.
The Free Cities Edit
Famous for its large Orc population and underground battle arenas, Dawnsmoor has a shady reputation as a place where anything can be bought for a price. Travelers are advised to watch their gold pouches when visiting.
More a fortress than a city, Forge is home to many skilled dwarven warriors and smiths. On more than one occasion, Forge has hosted refugees from the other cities when armies marched across the land. The dwarven road network opens into Forge.
Although considered primitive by some of the other cities, Frostgate has a strong connection to nature and the spirit world. Warriors here wear magical tattoos that allow them to channel the strength of their totem animal. Spiritspeakers often make a pilgrimage to Frostgate to gain a deeper connection to the spirits.darker edges of magic, the wizards of Nerekhall plunge straight in, sometimes with unfortunate results. There are rumours that some members of the nobility in Nerekhall are necromancers or even vampires.
Riverwatch is the center of trade in Terrinoth. Goods from near and far are sold in Riverwatch’s famous marketplace, including exotic animals from far-off places. The city also boasts the fastest horses in Terrinoth.
Although Tamalir does not rule the other cities, it is by far the greatest of them. Its fantastic artworks, philosophical geniuses and scientific marvels have awed generations.
The city of Vynelvale is home to the main cathedral of the Order of Kellos, the largest organized religion in Terrinoth. Devout men and women come from near and far to study at the feet of the greatest priests in the land.
The Citadel-city of Archaut, being the meeting place of the Council of Thirteen, is the political heart of Terrinoth. It is here that the throne of the Elder Kings still sits empty, and it is here where the barons of Daqan have made the most important decisions in Terrinoth's history.
Thelsvan was the city where the Daqan Lords met with the Latari Elves, Dunwar Dwarves and Broken Plains Orcs to form their alliance against the Dragonlords. It was a symbol of peace and cooperation between the four races, and it was destroyed by the Dragon Wars. Now, all that is left of the great city is the Order of the Griffon, a knight order that used to serve as the neutral guardians of Thelsvan, but now serves to protect peace and order all throughout Terrinoth.
Arhynn lies on the outskirts of Terrinoth near it's close ally city, Carthridge. The untame forests and mountains of Rhynn make the barony particularly prone to Ettin attacks and Goblin raids so that only the most stubborn of people live there.
Carthridge's proximity to the volcano Mt. Surtur makes for good farming, but even more danger than can be found around Carthridge's most loyal ally, Arhynn. The nobility of this small city on the outskirts of Terrinoth is oddly controversial, with a peculiar background in dark cults and vampirism.
Religion EditThe cult of Kellos is the most widespread religion of Terrinoth, with the Grand Cathedral of Vynelvale being the centre of the cult, but other gods are also followed within the Land of Steel. In general, most religion in Terrinoth is based around the Empyreal gods, as they are the pantheon of Kellos. The fire god is most revered by the people of the Free Cities as he is the exemplar of light, justice and order, everything the Daqan Lords stand for.
Asides from the worship of Empyreal gods, the religions of Terrinoth are very diverse; perhaps the most diverse in any land of Mennara. Spirit reverence is common in Dawnsmoor and even more so in Frostgate. Ancestor worship occurs mostly among dwarves in Forge. The only outlawed religion in Terrinoth is the worship of Ynfernael gods, especially Zorek. The Daqan Lords are determined that the dark beings of the Ynfernael will not corrupt the people of Terrinoth as they did to the Loth K'har, so any meddling in such demonic powers is strictly forbidden and punishable by death.