The "Six Kingdoms," as they are now called, thrived in the time before the coming of Men into the south. They were called Forenost, Aereng, Vanath, Galoril, Elgila, and Cirdan.
Of the Six Kingdoms, only Forenost had no Tower to guard it. The Lords of Forenost, having lived long with the Syulvanas of Fiorae, believed that they and the Fioraen togeher could defend their capital, Lin dis Fyrn, by numbers and magick and therefore needed neither a Tower of Guard nor the mighty magicks that grew up around them. Now Lin dis Fyrn is lost. In its place stands Norsheim-on-Forod, ruled in part by the Men who call themselves its lords and more truely by The Conclave of Fiorae.
The Lords of the South have no official presence in Norsheim-on-Forod. It is considered by most Elves to be a stolen city. They carry out all their trade with Aereng to the south or with the Half-Elves of Fiorae. Cirdan and Vanath are Fiorae's primary trading partners.
The boundary between Forenost and Aereng is set at the meeting of the Great South Road and the Highway to Ninieth, at a city called Cross Plains.
Vanath of the Seafarers was ruled long ago from Dun Vanasol. The rulership of the Crystal Coast is now distributed among the three chief cities - Tanath, Ninieth, and the City of Gems. The City of Tanath was built on the Straits of Algorath and was renamed in his honor after he was lost at sea. It watches over the ruins of Dun Vanasol. Ninieth once had another name. Only the stones of the city remember it. The fathers of the city changed its name after Ninieth, Tanath's wife and the finder of his ship The Hind, was lost with her ship in the islands that lie a few miles offshore of the city. The City of Gems is in fact two cities, one Elven and one Dwarven. These two are both joined and kept apart by the Ylan river delta.
Vanath, unlike Aereng, has no formal dealings with either the Men of Nors or the Half-Elves of Fiorae. Their contact, rather, is with the Ulfgar tribes, the Dwarves of the Mountains of Making and the Mountain in the Sea.
The Vanathi draw their wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration from the open water. Their weapons, magicks, and armours all suggest their ties to and dependence upon the sea. In earlier times, the Vanathi were not alone in this tendency. The Galorilad and the Forenosti shared it, but these nations are lost, so their arts have in some measure vanished with them, though hints of the old Galorilad and Forenosti arts can still be found in Elgilad.
Also lost to the darkness, along with Forenost, was the land and lordship of Galoril, though it was guarded by both Dun Lothond and Dun Barethsol. The Elves of Galoril traded with both Half-Elves and Dwarves. They lived in many small cities along the shores of the Galorean Sea. The Galorilad believed only the Vanathlad to be their equals in seamanship. They chose as their foremost magick the control of water, weather, and ice.
Galoril, like the Vanath and Cirdan, had strong trading partnerships with Dwarves both nearby and far off. The City Galoril itself was founded on the innermost shores of the Galorean Sea and extended out into the waters on causeways and jetties. Much of the outlying city was destroyed by Zaphirel. The inner city survived for years afterward because Zaphirel decided that Darkspire was a more pleasing conquest. Only ruins can now be found on those islands, but sometimes one will find remnants of them in distant cities. A Galorilad water-spear, for example, is a prize that will buy ships in the City of Gems.
One also finds other things: bits of Galorilad records and poetry, even descriptions of fell Omae with backs covered in feathers and hands dripping with death. The Wings of the Powers, the stories call them.
Near neighbors to Elgila, Galoril, and Forenost, Aereng has often been called the Silent Kingdom. Dwarves who passed through the northern marches of Aereng in their journey to the Mountains of Morning still tell stories of cities half-buried in the forests. Aerengist was of old guarded by Dun Velain, but at its falling, the city itself was moved to safer ground. Lost Aerengist was the site of a great Temple of Swords.
After the fall of Dun Velain, Lost Aerengist was abandoned very quickly. The inhabitants moved all their goods and many of the buildings to the present site of Aerengist. The city now commands the intersection of the Great South Road and the River Gale.
The warriors and mages of Aereng have always had a talent for the Magicks of Earth, but since the lost of Galoril long years ago, they have become equally adept in the arts of their near neighbors and lost allies. They are highly skilled in the arts of Earth and Stone. Many indeed honor the Lady Khel, Mistress of Ice, and use their gifts of creation and enchantment to preserve what is now lost and to guard what remains of the old ways. So far as those Lords of Aereng who know of them are concerned, fully three of the six lost Tower sites lie within their keeping.
Of old, Cirdan was guarded by Endweith. It was called by some The Mountain and the Sea as a playful allusion to the Seafaring Dwarves of the Mountain in the Sea. Cirdan traded often with Vanath both in ancient times and now. After the falling of Forenost and Galoril, Cirdan, like Aereng and Elgila, saw its borders shift dramatically. Now, Dun Endweith lies in the domain of the Lords of Aereng, while the lost Tower of the Rising Sun lies within the purview of the Lord Mayor of Cirdanth.
Cirdan has always been a seat of knowledge in the Arts of Fire and Water. However, after the loss of Forenost, the Cirdanlad also became masters of the Arts of Air. During the Age of Light, when Cirdan and Forenost were avid trading partners, each shared with the other some of its Arts and gifts in Magick. For the Forenosti, this meant revealing much of their deep (some would say inborn) knowledge of the winds and air. Some now say that though in elder days the Cirdanlad were the Mistweavers for their knowledge of fire and water, they have become true Stormlords, second only to the Vanathi that respect. However, there is peril in this appelation, for a Stormlord may do great good or great evil.
Elgila is the heart of Elvish civilization. Once, it was a tiny country guarded by the fences of its neighbors. It rose to prominence during the dark times after the fall of Forenost. For a time, it was guarded by the Towers of Dun Telron.