The Refuge of Antyr
By its nature, Antyr has few permanent geographic features. The people of Antyr tend to separate the world into lifestyles rather than regions: the two chief approaches to surviving as a civilized creature in Antyr are the primal and the magical.
The primals believe that the battle for life and place across the world can be understood as the struggle for dominance of the spirits of land, waters, and living things. Adherence to this philosophy leads to the ability to influence these spirits, thus changing the natural world around the practitioner of the primal arts. The consequence of this approach is needing to renounce permanent settlements and most luxuries of civilized life: the spirits will not respect one who is idle, and most of the spirits of the land in particular will not abide a perpetual dwelling (mountain spirits are evidently an exception, as they are very slow to move by their nature).
Thus the primal way of life is a nomadic life, filled with danger and meager material wealth. Followers of this tradition are banded together into small communities who move about as the seasons and habitations of wildlife shift. Collectively they are known as the Restless. They are not uncivilized: they will allow limited trade with the magical settlements and they share oral and some written traditions amongst themselves. Individuals rarely separate themselves permanently from the Restless community they were born into, except to form a new band. However a few do leave due to banishment or grief. These often become employed as caravan guides, as the primal arts are (begrudgingly) acknowledged even by the trade guilds to be unsurpassed at tracking through the wilderness.
In contrast to the Restless and the nomadic life are the permanent settlements established and defended by the magical arts. These vary wildly in government, culture, wealth, power, and population: the single constant among them is dependence of each on a handful of powerful mages who keep the natural world from intruding on the settlement. Powerful warding rituals which can be performed only by the most talented and well-trained magical practitioners is the only means known to keep the wilderness from overwhelming a town.
The largest and oldest of these settlements known to most adventurers and sages in this region of Antyr is the Warding Pillar of Tether. It is regarded as the heart of trade and the greatest seat of knowledge for at least a thousand miles in all directions. Tether is home to artisans, traders, military guilds, caravan associations, servants, the destitute, nobility, and the Accord of Five, who maintain the magical defenses and ultimately rule the city. There are several dozen smaller settlements which commonly trade with Tether of all descriptions: benevolent tyrannies ruled by a grandfatherly mage, warlike miniature states bent on conquest, fiefdoms ruled with unspeakable cruelty by a single black-hearted wizard, horrid workshops in which every living thing including civilized races are considered experimental subjects for insane scholars, magic dynasties riven with internal politics.
Compared to the nomadic life of the Restless these magical settlements may provide security and the opportunity for luxury. In reality the elite magic wielders control the destiny of whole populations, and they often abuse that power. Worse, if the magical rulers are killed or driven away the magical protection of the settlement will vanish, leaving people helpless to defend themselves against the savage outside world.