Yvari is an earth-like world, with magic interwoven in its very fabric. This has allowed a wide variety of different cultures to flourish. Among those are the shamanistic Omoushkan'ya with a painful memory of betrayal, the Council of Archmages reigning over a peaceful countryside and idealistic, steampunk-y Utopia with its dark secret and bright promises.
Rumours go around the Council lands about some kind of ancient beings behind the Timber Wars , but with no facts to back it up this probably is more of a fairy tale than anything else. Still, a lot of people have grown fearful of forests in general and of the Living Forest in specific. A little caution never hurt no one, but curiosity did kill the cat, after all.
With all these stories flying about, most of the people almost forgot about the Dark Mountains, except the shepherds of the Purple Expanse , ever carefully watching that general direction for wolves or maybe the odd dark-haired, dark-eyed but scraggy trader coming from the mountains. The land beyond is mostly known from old wife’s tales, and none of them are particularly heartening.
Some nations, however, are a little more secretive than others. The people in Utopia do know about a vast realm in their north, but the withdrawn and hostile nation is very careful not to let details about themselves slip. They guard their borders aggressively and with a magic no one really understands, but their hostility also caused most to turn their curiosity to other shores - after all, there's a whole world to explore!