Clans of Gaea
The wars were so long ago nobody even remembers. Darkness and fear ruled until the time of the barons, seven men and women who forged order out of chaos. People flocked to them for protection. These 7 and the people who followed forged themselves into 7 distinct clans. Bids for power, land and resources were bloody and fierce. In amongst the chaos the few who did not seek the 7 for protection, those who did not need it, saw an intervention was needed. They gave their one warning to each of the 7, and each scoffed at the parchment.
Come to terms with your neighbours, honourably. For we will not ask again.
One week later each of the 7 were dead. A silvered thorn pinning their eyelids shut. Their successors, horrified, sought the out the few.
Guidelines were drawn up, and sealed with blood and magic. The 7 2nd Barons, the Silver Thorn and priests of Kotoamatsukami debated for many weeks before settling on the now established laws. The few vowed to be the keepers of the guidelines, above the politics of the clans. None would be exempt, from a lowly peasant to a Baron.
This did not bring peace, of course, but the brutality subsided. The clans began embracing their territory, instead of seeking total domination. Over many centuries territories shifted, wars were won and lost and during such time each clan worked it's surroundings or the unique talents of the Baron or people to excel in certain areas. This in turn caused some born of other clans to migrate to a culture they felt more suited toward. Technology advanced in the north, as ample metal was mined out of northern coast. and over the many years magic began becoming infused with metallic frames.