The Free Cities are those cities along the northwestern coast of the Bitter Sea who retained independence from Kingdom's control after the Keshian province of Bosania was conquered. The cities are Lan, Margrave's Port, Port Natal, Natal and Bordon.
When the first revolt of the Keshian Confederacy occurred, Kesh stripped all her garrisons north of the Jal-Pur, leaving the colonists in Bosania to fend for themselves. The Free Cities are a people who feel betrayed by their historic rulers. They were farmers and tavern keepers, left to defend themselves in a terribly harsh land, inhabited by Goblins, Trolls, and the Moredhels.
The relationship between the Free Cities and the Kingdom is at times tense as the inhabitants are Keshian by ancestry and remember well the conquest by Duke Nicholas conDoin, Duke Borric conDoin's grandfather. The Free Cities also have somewhat strained relations with Kesh as there is a persistent feeling of abandonment by the Empire.
The region is famous for the Natalese Rangers, descendants of the legendary Imperial Keshian Guards and counted among the best horse soldiers and trackers in the west. Nominally independent, the rangers are free to enforce the rule of law and dispense justice in the region, primarily in dealing with outlaws, brigands, and renegades.