Well, here's what I'm thinking of:
Sojourn is a rapidly growing trade city in the east, in the shadow of the Veran Marsh. It is home to a diverse community of Jarzoni refugees and young, ambitious Aldin merchants. It is only a couple of days travel from the port city of Marayal, where sailors bring fresh goods from the islands and the lands beyond the sea. Despite the near-constant dangers from the Veran Marsh (which is infested with bandits, to say nothing of the supernatural horrors deep within the marsh), and possible military attack from the imperialistic Theocracy of Jarzon. Aldin diplomats work furiously to weave intrigues to protect the city, but their economic hold on Jarzon is ever tenuous.
The players will take the role of young adventurers in search of fortune, purpose, or maybe just love, who have come to the city to find their way. Some may be fresh from military academies looking for work as caravan guards, city patrolmen, or scouts to root out the bandits in the marsh. Others may be neophyte diplomats or merchants looking to start up their careers. And of course, Adepts can find a myriad of opportunities in a city like this.
Now, I know that some people aren't as familiar with the setting.
A very long time ago, there was a golden age. One large kingdom, ruled wisely, etc. etc. Like all golden ages, it fell into darkness, and the lands came under the control of the Sorceror Kings, who abused the power of magic horribly, using dark, unethical, and evil powers collectively known as 'sorcery'. In time they were deposed, except for Jarek, who still rules over the mountainous region of Kern. I'm rushing through this here to keep it short and sweet, but there is a lot of history and mythology here, including the Golden Hart, a mystic animal that led the people against the Sorceror Kings, but I can explain more of that later.
After the fall of the Sorceror Kings, the people now known as the Jarzoni formed a strict Theocracy that banned all magical practices and enforced a strict moral code, banning homosexuality, severely restricting the rights of women, persecuting non-humans, and immolating anyone who deviates from the state religion. They have a serious problem with Aldis, seeing it as decadent and in need of saving, and will frequently try to take military actions against Aldis, but they are always rebuffed. Economic factors and the danger presented by Kern prevent either side in the conflict from dedicating their full attention to the matter.
Aldis is, in short, a modern, progressive, liberal republic. They've taken nearly every possible precaution against political and magical corruption. Their monarch is actually chosen by the Golden Hart, from a pool of nobles. The nobles, in turn, are put through a selection process using a magical rose that will only anoint the pure of heart. While corrupt nobles are not unknown, such corruption occurs after their ascencion. Aldis prides itself on being an accepting, open society. They recognize the sentience of the Rhydan (Jarzon does not), allow gay marriages, and in some areas (generally the south) they even allow group marriages (this is not a common practice at all in Aldis, but they accept it). They are a people that value love, the arts, and peace. They are in constant danger from Kern and Jarzon, and also have the usual problems with bandits, corrupt merchants, piracy, and the occasional government corruption.
Kern, to the north, is a dark and dreary place, firmly in the grip of evil. Jarek is a lich, and he rules over the people of Kern ruthlessly. Humans in Kern are basically slaves, and work to support the country, and unearth crystals which are used for magical purposes. Jarek's large supply of magical crystal, as well as his willingness to use dark magic to supplement his forces with demons, vampires, and the undead ensure that his control of the region is absolute. None of his neighbors are strong enough individually to depose him, and they lack the cohesion to put together a competent alliance.
Rezea is a land to the west, populated by nomadic people that roughly resemble a cross between the Mongols and Native Americans. I'm purposely being vague here, as Rezea is far from where the game is located, and I'd like to keep them a little mysterious. You're welcome to read about them on your own in the books, or even make a Rezean.