Early successes in the Enlightenment War swamped Stone Age societies near Tomos on the east and west so quickly that national identities were largely lost under the tide of incoming Tomosic cultural influence. In the present day, these subsidiaries regard themselves as part of a larger Tomosic culture, with similar governmental structures and bodies of knowledge. They are not formally governed from Tomos, but a word from the Executor has very nearly the force of law there.
The nation of Vare(two syllables, "Var-ay") suffered a staggering blow to its national identity when its budding writing system and rune-lore were wiped out in the course of resistance to the Tomosic crusades. (For what it's worth, Tomosic academics are generally very sorry this happened too.) These days, quests for the meanings of runes are the Varen equivalent of quests for the Holy Grail. The rise of a charismatic prophet who had discovered the spells of the Singularity College galvanized its people and helped them throw out the Tomosic garrisons and preserve what they could of their culture. The Empire was willingly joined by other nations, and the theocracy of the Church of Oneness eventually spread over several major islands on Terra.
The Church is organized on familial lines, with the three ranks of frontline priest Fathers (or Mothers), bishop-like Grandfathers (with very rare Grandmothers), and a single Great-Grandfather (who has never been a Great-Grandmother). Brothers and Sisters serve lay purposes in the Church organization. (Varens will also address one another as "brother" or "sister," or "my son" from a priest to a believer.) Great-Grandfather is also the Empire's head of state, though Brothers and Sisters can achieve high Administrative Rank.
The Church of Oneness preaches that an unnamed Creator set in motion the events that led to the creation of the world under the Four Gods, and that the cycle of reincarnation can be broken by sufficient purification to move on to the final, best afterlife. The belief that all people will eventually achieve this gives the Church a fairly broad-minded view of humanity. This doesn't mean they condone unholy acts, though, and Varen morality is strict. Clothes are to be covering (hardly a problem in cold climates), behavior is to be modest, and Church attendance is required once a week to maintain citizenship rights. Tithes take the place of taxes and the Church provides government services.
Werespecies were not native to the North and were first encountered there in the Tomosic invasion. Many misconceptions exist about them; a common Northern tale is that a were was born a normal predator, but killed a man by itself and trapped the spirit of the human(implying that any were is a murderer from its creation; denying it simply adds deception to the charges against the thing). They are universally dreaded, and accusations of being a were are dangerous to the recipient. Any weres that operate in Varen society must keep their identity strictly hidden, and the Change is rarely if ever passed down family lines.
The coexistence of a fear of weres and the Church of Oneness in the North leads to the common belief that the Church is institutionally condemning of weres, a belief given extra credence by the canonically silver core of the Church's symbol and the silver blade Forgiveness. In fact, there is not explicitly any such condemnation in the official texts of the Church, though readers who want to find it usually cite passages on the separation between men and beasts (including a few commandments on cleanliness). Readers who want to find acceptance of weres cite the nickname of a general for the Church forces in the Rebellion, a sneaky strategist called the Winter Wolf, to suggest that one of the Church's founding fathers may have been a were himself. The former outnumber the latter by far, though. Still, despite pressure from both sides to make a canonical pronouncement on the status of werespecies under God, the fathers of the Church have yet to make any binding decisions (possibly anticipating a schism should the Church expand into territory more historically accepting of weres). A less politically-astute Grandfather may find himself forced to make a choice.
Unlike in Tomos, Varens have no particular bars on the professions women can take, and "Woman" is not a Social Stigma. Efforts by Tomosic armies to impose such restrictions on voting were one of the most intensely-disliked of the innovations that spurred rebellion. Males are significant majorities among the priesthood and the armed forces, but there is no strict prohibition, save in the navy, where ships, due to the tight space for sleeping and the necessities of life, are segregated by gender and women are more likely than not to be turned away for spaces on the few ships available. (The current captain of the "White Huntress," however, is developing a substantial body of legend, and has only held the post for five years.)
This nondiscrimination means that Vare can more efficiently allocate its labor pool; in particular, with the rarity of mages on Terra doubling the number of available mages per capita allows mages to be risked in the Varen armed forces. Varen armies travel with magical healers as well as the "mobile artillery" battle mages. Another gender-segregated unit is the crossbow squad; female shooters in ranks two deep are provided with multiple crossbows and a pair of reloaders (often male youths strong of arm but with otherwise little battle skill), achieving an excellent rate of fire that disregards any upper-body strength of the shooters themselves and makes the unit a fearsome ranged attacker. In times of war, the training required for either position is minimal, so women can be drafted into hasty militias as well as men.
The men of Tomos look on stories of fighting women with some amusement -- less so if they have actually faced them. Tomosic literature contains the "Northern warrior woman" in a few stock versions, including a crude, uneducated musclebound man-hater and an exotically fair-haired beauty of graceful wit and deadly stiletto. Tomosic women, except for a few easily-dismissed adventurers, tend to keep their opinions to themselves... or at least away from where the men might hear.
The islands west of Tomos were conquered before Tomos reached them in its crusades by a highly-organized central island governed by an emperor known as the Sanguine. Its basically feudal system is supplemented by a government which makes extremely effective use of the magics that aid administration of a large area.
The capital city of the Alliance is Orrery, which is exactly what its name implies -- a mile-wide orrery, suitable for precise astrological calculations, measurements, and projections. The Alliance court uses large-scale divination projects to plan ahead in its governing functions. They have developed a limited Communication enchantment in which two thus-enchanted objects speak only to each other, which can be quickly produced and distributed to form a telegraphically-fast communications network over the islands. Teleporter mages transport soldiers and supplies where they are needed quickly, and military tactics emphasize speed and flexibility. Weather and Plant spells are centrally planned and coordinated to maximize agricultural output.
Famine and epidemic are virtually unknown in the Alliance, and the Sanguine's armies can stand up against outside threats from Vare or Tomos when necessary. The bureaucracy is unwieldy at times, and orders from the government not always explained, but the people of the Alliance have gradually come to accept this as the price of security and stability.
The green islands north of Tomos were spared military intervention by the vagaries of cultural invasion early in the crusade era, and managed to preserve significant cultural knowledge. The Mikraigai islanders are dark of skin, and pygmy tribes exist on two of the islands. They pursue a Polynesian lifestyle, with the addition of steel tools and some agriculture.
The horse-riding Azarin tribes formed a loose alliance when threatened by Tomosic invasion and managed to beat off the fading missionary impulses of the late crusade era. Contact with Tomos did send them from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, and the League is now Tech Level 2. The peoples of the grass-covered islands are more diverse than their lumped-together name might make them seem; each island holds a cultural identity as different from others in the League as Picts from Iroquois from Hopi.
The League is also home to the Ring Bay, a deep freshwater sea in an old meteor-impact crater with a volcano at the center. In this sea live a few emigrants of the cephalopod race native to the Plane of Water, possibly adventurers exploring the unusual land-and-air-based environment of Terra.
Tomosics, Azarins, and Sanguines have all found that a group of large islands in the southern hemisphere of Terra are nearly impossible to colonize. They look rich and green enough, but they are home to astonishingly large and deadly predators both natural and supernatural, strange and often-lethal effects that seem to be magical, and frantic emissary activity from all four elements and both sides of morality. Most unusual is a strange, tectonically-twisted continent of four thick arms, paved with moon-arid broken stone on which noting grows, centered on a set of violently active volcanoes. Whoever could solve this mystery might open up an enormous field for colonization, making themself famous and doubtless rich. Expeditions both private and government-sponsored continue to explore the Wilds, escaping either emptyhanded or not at all.