The Icarian Free States ( a.k.a. the Free States, Free Cities) are a number of independent city states located north of the Icarian island chain on the mainland. With the exception of Solith and Alchoris, the Icarian Free States have no direct access to the sea due to the jagged cliffs and precipitous mountains along the Shattered Coast. This geographical disposition has left them culturally distinct from their seafaring kinsmen on the islands.
Four of the five Free States have been conquered by Aethon in the past decade.
Formerly the cities of the Free States belonged to the Kingdom of Icaria and marked the northern extent of the kingdom. Before The Rift shattered the Icarian Peninsula, the northern cities bore the brunt of the fighting in the series of conflicts between Icaria and Uthrai. in 5 BR, these cities rose up in rebellion and declared themselves independent from Icaria. The rebellion was on the verge of being crushed when the Rift occurred. The cost of life was heavy on both sides due to the seismic activity, but the destruction on the peninsula was more devastating, and the surviving loyalists were forced to abandon their campaign and return to what was left of their homes.
While the cities within the Icarian Free States share a common culture, they are separate political entities with their own distinct forms of governments.
The Icarians still claim the Free States are a part of the Kingdom of Icaria, and refuse to recognize the sovereignty of any of the Free Cities.
Currently, all of the Free States except for Antelano are hostile toward Aethon.
With the exception of Antelano, the free states have a strong negative disposition towards casters. Because of the devastation caused by Rift, and centuries of collateral damage from Icarian and Uthraian mages, many Free States have outlawed casters, and actively seek to eliminate them.
In other cultures, residents of the Icarian Free States are sometimes referred to as mainland Icarians, though residents of the Free States would resent the term.