Cascadon is a relatively small country in the middle of the Eastern Territories. It was founded about 300 years ago by The Cascadon. The Cascadon was a slave in Mylar, and lead a slave rebellion that resulted in the escape of a few thousand people through the Impassible Mountains to the valley which now holds the Inner Baronies. Once established there, The Cascadon lead his army out of the valley to secure a piece of the coast to the landlocked nation. In doing so, the army cut a swath through southern Dunelain. Cascadon have been at war with the Dunelainians ever since, though Dunelain sees the conflict as a (300 year long) border skirmish. When the Cascadonian army reached the coast, they took the only viable port from the Hestrean people to the south and renamed it the Port of New Hope . With the loss of their port, and the mysterious disappearance of their capital, the Hestrean people were driven into a dark age, not that The Cascadon particularly cared; he got his coast!
In general, the people of Cascadon are industrious, hard working, and staunchly independent. They do not have many allies in the Eastern Territories. Well, they don't have any, really. The major export of Cascadon is wood, followed by wheat and mercenaries, though they are becoming increasingly known for their universities in Vulpes and Ferre.
The giant to the north is Dunelain. It is the largest kingdom in the Eastern territories, and probably one of the most powerful. The country is divided into northern Dunelain and southern Dunelain. The North is ruled by the King directly, and the South is ruled by the prince. Subsequently there are two armies. Within the North there are three fifes, and in the south there are an additional three fifes. There used to be a fourth southern region called Havand, but Cascadon took that part over in their bid for the coast.
Hestrean, the “nation” to the south of Cascadon, is mostly a frozen wasteland. About 300-400 years ago it was a unified culture, with the oligarchical government housed in the Isen. However, about the time that The Cascadon was taking the Port of Hope, the Isen disappeared mysteriously. Current Hestreans live in nomadic tribes and practice ritual tattooing to identify themselves. Within a tribe there are one to four clans which practice particular trades. These tribes are associated with the four major elements: earth, fire, water, and air. Infighting between tribes is rare, since they have a great expanse of land. And despite having limited resources, each tribe specializes for their territory and lives efficiently. Tribes generally cross paths peacefully and exchange goods and adolescents.
To the southwest of Cascadon is Kadessi, a land full of wild forests. A great river flows down from the mountains and through the center of the country, ending at a massive lake. Because of the dense and dangerous forest, most of the Kadessi people live in floating towns along the Kadessi River, as it is called. The capital is a castle built right in the center of the river, placed there by feats of both engineering and magic many centuries ago.
Tucked between two mountain ranges bordering Dunelain and Vestrea, Shadara is a quiet little feudal kingdom. The Empress, as she likes to consider herself, is rumored to be an immortal sorceress who governs her people completely. There are bedtime stories about the Empress of Shadara stealing children who wander out of bed and eating them. She also is rumored to have in her employ Cinquedeas, dark clad men and women who scour the world on the backs of devil horses for sorcerers. Some say the Cinquedeas kill sorcerers, that none might rise to power as great as the Empress. Others say that the Cinquedeas kidnap them to serve in the Empress’ army. But those are just stories. Yes. Just stories.
Three quarters of the Vestrean border is made up of coastline. While they are not so large as Dunelain, Vestrea is the greatest naval power in the Eastern Territories. They are neutral in nearly all matters in an effort to preserve their role as trade partners to all kingdoms. This has made them incredibly wealthy, and afforded them luxuries like education and healthcare. They specialize in the arts and produce luxury goods like wine and silk for sale to Mylar and the Continent. Of all the nations, Vestrea has the best relationship with the mysterious continent, and even has a few regular trade agreements there.
Nestled in an oasis in the desert between Dunelain and Mylar, Padalak is a city of trade. Laws are enforced with the utmost care to ensure absolute safety for travelers and merchants. Every language can be heard in the streets of Padalak; their own language is a mix of languages from all across the Eastern Territories and Mylar. Padalak is neutral ground, and offers services for banking with no questions asked. Nearly anything can be bought and sold in Padalak, except for humans - the Padalaki object to subjugation of sentient beings, and treat animals with reverence. Customs from all cultures are practiced within the walls of the main city, though the surrounding smaller communities tend to be more insular. These suburbs are often centered on a main family, and most native Padalaki adhere to matrilineal power structures.
If Dunelain is the giant to the north, then Mylar is the colossus to the west. With land at least twice as expansive as the entire Eastern Territory, and a population three or four times as large, Mylar is a vast, developed kingdom. Almost all of the people living in the Eastern Territories now are decedent from people who fled Mylar. Most notably in recent history are the Cascadonians, who were once slaves in Mylar, but Vestrea, Dunelain, and Shadara were all founded by Mylaran emigres. Recently there has been an uprising in the far west, and a rebel nation has arisen, fighting for freedom from the Mylaran emperor’s oppressive rule.
Little is known about the mysterious Continent. It takes a year long journey across the ocean to get there, and another year to get back. The Vestreans, and to some extent the Dunelainians, travel south to get to the Continent. The ports they use are in frigid, snowy lands. The Mylarans are reported to travel northwest, trading with hot, dry desert lands.
It is rumored that on the Continent there is a kingdom ruled by dragons, a forest with trees that touch the clouds, and other such fanciful things, but the truth is largely unknown.