So I am working on a world for fantasy setting and I drew a map as one is oft to do when making a world. The story, at least as far as I have planned, will be limited to one continent on this planet. My problem is after placing all my movers and shakers in the political world I have nearly half of the continent empty. This seems really unlikely to me if I just look at Earth and the fact that humans have popped up pretty much anywhere there is water to be had.
So here is the world's info so as to be able to better answer this:
- The world is about Earth sized and the continent in question is nearly 74 million square Kilometers in size (based on estimates and it being relatively rectangular-ish). The planet has an axis tilt of about 11 degrees and as such has more milder seasons. However the suns (in a binary system) are a bit closer to the planet most of the time and as such it is slightly warmer. Secondly instead of a moon there is a similarly sized planet that orbits around a shared central point. The most pertinent effect of this is that the tides are about 3x more powerful than on Earth.
- There are four major intelligent races that live on this continent: Elves, Humans, Dwarves, and Dragons. Dwarves are a subterranean humanoid creatures that rarely if ever leave their cave cities in the northern mountains. Dragons are coastal creatures who grow to immense size and feed mostly off sea life and as such are semi-aquatic. Dragons live by themselves or in small groups of up to three in rare cases. They will live to be 3000 years old assuming something doesn't kill them, be it disease or otherwise. Both Dragons and Dwarves rarely bother with the politics of the other races, humans and elves. Humans and elves are much more people oriented. Elves routinely live to be 1100 years of age and humans live to be about 100 on average. Elves have about 1-3 children in their lifetime and humans the same and the humans out number the elves significantly.
- There is magic. At this point I have not quite worked out the kinks of what the system can do but suffice to say there are a large portion of the population that is magic users in some way (about 25% of the population) and all can perform a very limited form of magic which is a simple enhancement system though they require help to do so. To do magic with out help, one must have an inborn talent for one of the five disciplines of the world. There is Alchemy, similar to what is seen in Full Metal Alchemists, Spoken Truth, a true name type of magic, music magic, a form of enchantment and magic item making, and conjuring of magical animal-like spirits. This is not a new development but has been slow in development in many ways.
- There are gods who literally walk the planet and often times will directly lead the mortals who in turn often worship them. All gods can perform powerful feats of magic and are immortal but they are not all powerful (well the ones that walk the planet aren't).
- The land that is already filled with countries are as follows: A Theological Empire ran by a god who wants to unite all mortals under his rule. A Federation of Smaller merchant states which have banded together to avoid that fate. A Kingdom of Elves semi-isolated by mountain range from the Empire and the Federation which has isolationist policies. And a human/elf nation that is mostly socialistic and highly family oriented. All nations have access to flight, mostly through riding of drakes, dragon like creatures which are less intelligent and significantly smaller. All nations know the general size of the continent.
- It has been at least 4000 yrs since the onset of agriculture.
What would be out in the empty places on my map? Is it possible to have areas with access to water that are not populated? There is a mountain range that separates the continent in two and most of the "empty" space is beyond that. With the mountains making on foot travel over them difficult and there not being major sources of population does it make sense that the war happy Empire would ignore what is semi-empty land?