On Urth, all the various races have mingled together, living side by side for the most part. A few roving tribes and small groups are almost racially pure, but it’s very rare.
On the central continent in the region the adventure starts in there are two great port cities which have fought many short wars against each other.
Lanto to the East is very much about stone and metal, but the trees in the region are not of the best quality for making weapons. Most weapons use primarily metal (swords, metal hafted maces, throwing knives). The leaders of Lanto are the aristocracy, from whom an executive is elected for life. Murder, intrigue and backstabbing are common among the nobles.
Peasants living in the city belong to (as in are viewed as the property of) one of the noble houses and pay taxes to that house, which in turn pays a portion of that tax to the City-State. Peasant murder and theft are considered the same sort of crime, both of which rob a house of its value. Depending on the size of the theft, murder might be considered the lesser crime. The city-state executive (or his deputies) is the only legal authority to decide disputes between houses.
Hoodale is sounded by forests specifically cultivated for their lumber. Almost all the buildings are made of wood, and most weapons are primarily wooden ones (clubs, quarter-staves, spears, bows and arrows). Hoodale is led by a monarchy of hooded druids whose main focus is the sustainability of local agricultural activity. Careful planning has allowed the local population to swell, but poverty is the norm. Businesses are heavily taxed, and the money goes into city coffers which fund projects intended to cultivate and support the land itself.
Peasants in the city and surrounding areas are considered citizens, but have very few rights. All citizens on reaching adulthood are expected to spend five years working for the state, either as a soldier or on one of the many state projects. The destruction of nature, including unpermitted hunting, is viewed as a greater crime than murder, though murder is not taken lightly. Theft, as long no greater crime is committed in the doing, is considered a very minor crime.