The elves came to this continent long ago from another part of the world that they have long since lost contact with. They called this continent Winya Ardhon, New Land in elven. Not long after the elves arrived, the dwarves moved into the mountains and carved out their kingdom. The humans followed some time later and lived alongside the elves for many years. They shortened the name to Ardhon. Eventually the elves left the cities and towns they had established with the humans and settled in the forest in the west. The reasons for this change are lost in time, but there is some mention of a war. Before long a war broke out between the Sun Elves and Moon Elves though no one remembers the cause.
The Great Divide that splits the continent formed around the time the elves moved to the forest and no one knows why it formed. Popular theories are that the Gnomes or Mages caused it with one of their crazy experiments, or possibly both groups doing something crazy at the same time. There is another theory about tectonic plates shifting, but the people who believe that one are generally disregarded.
There are three cities on Ardhon. The Twin Cities of Stingard and Targas sit on either side of of the Great Divide along the Great Lake. In the East on Half Moon Lake lies the city of Melekure. In the south on the bay the city of Ralidor is dominated by the mage’s tower that sits just outside the city. Mages from all over the continent go there to study. It is not a safe place for those without magic to casually visit as there are always experiments that are not always safe. There is no better place to study magic.
There are no good maps of the north as the dwarves do not let outsiders in their kingdom and the other side of the mountains are dominated by orcs, ogres and giants.
On the plains south of the mountains tribes of barbarians have scattered settlements. Trading outposts have also sprung up as the dwarves who to come out of the mountains to trade do not like to travel farther than necessary.
The humans to the west of the Great Divide are mostly nomadic to avoid the elven raids or they have small fishing communities along the lakes.