The Free Marches is a collective name given to the wealthy city-states in the central part of Thedas. "Marchers" as they are called are an independent folk of tough barbarian origins. They are considered the breadbasket of Thedas, with farms along the banks of the Minanter River. The movement of goods and trades brings people from all over Thedas to the Free Marches, and many native-born Marchers are of foreign descent. Their cities exist in a loose confederation that resembles Ferelden's pre-Calenhad Bannorn. Each city has a leader, and can name a champion, who proves him/herself through their deeds. The Free Marches will unite only if invaded, gathering together a united military threat of considerable threat that cannot be ignored. As was most of Thedas, the Free Marches were once ruled by the Tevinters; its cities possess the typical Imperial architecture: high buildings of almost all white stone. Starkhaven, Kirkwall, and Tantervale are the largest city-states. In Tantervale, the Grand Tourney is held, bringing participants from all over Thedas. It is a festival of martial skill and valor to crown a champion of the games. The victor is awarded a coronet of sage leaves, and a trophy blade known as the Celebrant. Common of address in the Free Marches are: Serahfor one of equal or lesser status, and Messere for a person of greater status.