Not literally the first heroic figures. The First Heroes of Humanity (to give them their full title) were a group of men and women during the War of Blood at the dawn of the Third Age (roughly 2500 BC). They were responsible for enacting the Third Wish; in doing so many of them ascended to become the first of the Old Gods. Only one, Aerlan Godspeaker survived the War of Blood in mortal form--he went on to found Divina Lux as the first High Priest.
The consensus of sages during the Third Age was that the number of the First Heroes was 8 at the beginning of their quest. This was more for metaphysical or numerological reasons than on any kind of evidence-based reason. The traditional account is that they started out as two of each of four races: humans, gwerin, ihmisi, and dwarves. Some have gone beyond that and insisted that there were one male and one female of each of the races for reasons of religious symmetry, but that is disputed.
Using the list established by the Imperial College of History (ca 1250 BC), the eight were:
- Aerlan Godspeaker. Human male. Originally a warlock bound to an angel, later the focus of three of the Old Gods.
- The Lost King. Human (presumed female). Presumed to be the one who actually enacted the Third Wish and was erased from history. Existence reconstructed, as no evidence remains.
- Narnii Khanah. Dwarf male. Martial. Became Pealar, god of sun, light, and law.
- Bayarmaa Khanah. Dwarf female. Unknown. Died en route to the Eternal Library.
- Tiosog il'Hoavath. Gwerin female. Mage. Became Mariolaeth, goddess of death and vengeance.
- Rhys il'Torvalds. Gwerin male. Mage. Died after the ascension of the Old Gods.
- Vihanta. Ihmisi male. Druid. Became the Tree Father, god of nature and life.
- Johasi. Ihmisi female. Ranger. Died after the ascension of the Old Gods.
Quest for the Eternal Library
Death of Serak
The remaining members, now imbued with divine power and the faith of all the "civilized" peoples, struck against Grumach's fortress. Grumach himself was absent, but they managed to kill Serak, his twin and leave the fortress in ruins, with her violated body impaled on a stake "as a message." She transcended death and became the goddess of chaos and evil, patron of the orcs, "wicked" goblins, and other monsters.
Revenge of the Red Fang
Giving into the demonic blood rage at long last, Gromach fully demonified and became the Red Fang. His counterstroke killed two of the three surviving heroes, but he was banished by Aerlan Godspeaker into the Abyss. His influence still lingers in the orcish rage, but with his fall his empire disintegrated and the "civilized" peoples scattered the wicked "monsters" to the corners of the earth. The Great Eastern Dustlands still bear the abyssal poison of his final rage, however.
Aerlan Godspeaker went on to found Divina Lux as a home for the worship and study of all the gods, even Serak. The Imperial Cult holds him as having ascended to godhood after that, but this is disputed.