Many years ago, the town of Pellios sat lazily in the middle of a fertile valley. A gently flowing river supplied all the water Pellios needed for consumption and for the plentiful crops that fed the small town. While not a wealthy town, the residents of Pellios were a happy bunch. They might not have always had everything they wanted, but they did have everything they needed.
All was fine for many years, and the town lived in a pleasant peace. According to legend, that peace came to a horrific end at the hands of a horde of mercenaries hired by a nearby baron intent on owning Pellios and taxing its citizens. Unknown to most of the towns’ residents, the baron, named Merris, had offered his protection and resources to the town if they would agree to become part of his barony. The Collective politely declined his offer, stating that Pellios had existed as a free town for many generations, and had no need for anyone else’s
protection. As for resources, the fertile valley provided everything the town needed.
Not to be swayed, Merris proposed his offer repeatedly, always to have it declined by the Collective. Before the mercenaries arrived, Merris had proposed his final offer, along with a threat. According to rumor, the Collective received a messenger of Merris who told them that the baron was going to own Pellios, be it by peace or by war. The Collective, as it is told, instructed the messenger to return to his baron and tell him that Pellios will remain a free town no matter what threats he made. Within a week, the mercenaries came.