Yvari is a world without gods.
Sure, there are religions, and people believe in gods. And yes, some of these beliefs do center around an actual, powerful being. But they are not gods in the sense you are thinking of. They did not create the world. They do not think like humans, and their ability to communicate and understand them are limited, at best. They do not share human values.
Neither do they desire destruction or are malevolent. They are different. Alien, but not from another planet - alien from humans in their whole way of existence. As such, there is no evil threat to the existence of the world. There's many smaller stories, and few of them are ever clear about who is the bad guy.
Ask yourself, what do you strive to be?
An acclaimed hero? Pick a side in a conflict and distinguish yourself. But be aware that your deeds will be judged by people not on your side as well.
A person deemed to be of good character? By whom? And what makes a character "good"? Is it someone who gets things done? Or someone who never does any rash decision?
Magic is a thing...
...and no one understand it better than the mages of the Council of Archmages. The question is: does that really mean much?
Their theories of magic shape their nation, for better or worse. Academic conflicts about the nature of magic ravaged their history, and despite the magical orders working together seemingly in peace, under the surface old conflicts are still simmering. With personal grudges and power struggles interfering, there's little chances to actually make progress on researech questions.
The magical Orders in the Council
... and so is science.
Utopia dedicates itself completely to scientific progress and strives to put personal grievances aside, all in the name of furthering the understanding of the world. They are open to everyone sharing their mindset, all under the leadership of the mysterious Întunerican Count whose family established Utopia and who lives a quiet, withdrawn life in his castle at Utopia City.
Regularly he grants stipends and financing to projects that convince him, though few have actually seen him, and even fewer think to ask where his funds come from, or what his personal benefit is in this.
Some people are not sure if that is a good thing.
Întuneric proper is not a country that welcomes outsiders, and little is known about it or its rulers. It is mainly their exports that made the world at large aware of its mere existence, as Spider Silk
and many exquisite foci materials can only be acquired from Întunerican traders. To the Council, the lone Întunerican trader that sometimes shows up in Heatham is more feared than welcomed. Dark People from the Dark Mountains is their nickname in the north, and they always seem to have a skittish air about them, as if there's something gnawing at their conscience.
The answer is much simpler. Framed by tall mountain ranges, the stony lands of Întuneric are not kind to its inhabitants. There's less hours of daylight than in other places, while dusk and dawn have greatly expanded their reach, and the nights are darker here than anywhere. Superstition reigns supreme in the hearts of Întunericans, and every shadow could hide a monster lest you banned it in advance with trinkets or protective circles around your dwelling.