A long time ago, elves lived along the south coast and dwarves lived in the northern mountains, competing with giants for territory. The southern coasts are quite rich in farmlands and forests, the west coast is well-covered in mines for coal, iron, copper, and tin, while the northern mountains are mostly iron and coal producing, and heavily forested besides. The east coast has the best farmland available, but for all its fertility it was left largely underdeveloped by the elves and dwarves, preferring to keep a solid buffer of territory between themselves. The dwarves were satisfied with their iron and coal, and the elves were satisfied with their coastal woodlands and farms.
Then the Iron Papacy arrived, the vanguard of a vast human empire that had, for religious reasons, felt the need to establish holdings on a new landmass. They arrived on the rich southern coasts, pushing the elves northward into the barren steppes at the center until they were up against the southern foothills of the Dwarven mountains. The Iron Papacy had no knowledge of or use for Dwarves, and so they were left undisturbed in their wars against the giants.
As the Papacy cemented their control of their new colonial lands, one man who had served in their army, called David of Amendol, raised himself a small army and marched north to start his own colony north of the mountains. The men who went with him were independently-minded, theologically disillusioned with the Papacy, and ready to carve themselves a new home. Many brought families with them, and a few women even took up arms to protect the traveling band.
David of Amendol and his army took the eastern coast north, to avoid the roving bands of displaced elves that occupied the steppes at the center of the continent. Some of the less adventurous men, with larger families, were content to settle in the rich farmland of the east coast, forming small communities on the vast alluvial plains formed by rivers flowing out of the mountains. These communities became the foundation for what later became the rich urban centers of Bongiorno.
The Amendolans continued north, less the Bongiornan settlers, and eventually came to a pass in the mountains that allowed access to the cold, forested lands forming the northern border of the continent. They began to find old buildings of worked stone, obviously recently destroyed, but it wasn't until their first clash with the giants that the dwarves came out from their fortress walls to see the new settlers.
(To be Continued, with the Origin of Beuttleria)