The world is very young, only a few thousand years old. The most recent, and relevant, history revolves around the western continent and the formation of the various nation-states there.
In the beginning there were two prominent countries – what would later become Ballaria and Crucible. Ballaria held the lush natural valleys and floating mountains of the west while Crucible held the expansive lands of the east.
The Ballarian tribesmen were naturally inquisitive and ever-exploring. Some of these tribesmen eventually developed flight and those who could settled naturally upon the floating mountains native to the eastern lands. Those who did not develop flight would seek refuge in the caverns, river valleys, tropical forests and tunnels in the earth below. Those above, used to a certain freedom from danger and risk, devoted themselves to the arcane arts. Those below, having to contend with all manner of dangerous wildlife and natural events, would develop hardy communities used to survival and struggle. Eventually, the Ballarians of the sky cities would subjugate those below by offering ‘protection’ services from the natural dangers in exchange for tribute of raw materials and goods. Eventually, having tamed the wildlife with their flight and sorcery, this arrangement would lead to the ground dwellers being wholly subservient to the flying arcanists.
Meanwhile the strong, almost barbaric, natives of Crucible conquered all of the remaining lands to the east, creating the most expansive empire in history. It was short lived however, and the Crucians lacked the necessary roads and communication methods to maintain their hold on such an expansive empire. Because of this, the sub-tribe of the Palatians were able to orchestrate a guerrilla revolt and, thanks to their tight coordination and natural grasp of tactics and strategy, they were eventually able to claim their independence from the Crucian empire. Already reeling from their defeat, Crucible responded explosively when their northern subjects organized a similar revolt a few hundred years later. Having “learned their lesson”, the Crucian empire responded rapidly and in force to the rebellion and this resulted in the rebels taking more and more desperate measures to win their independence. The war escalated quickly and brutally, only concluding when, in the final battle, the two sides unleashed such destructive power that they tore the boundary between the Prime Material and the elemental planes and let loose a horde of wild elementals that raged indiscriminately between the two armies. The site of this battle became a natural barrier between the two forces, and continues to divide the two nations to this day.