These are the large areas that have remained independent from rule by an outside force. Two of these (Loosend and Rivers Bend) are independent cities in the Small Kingdoms with the rest of the cities being large settlements along the Great Trade Route. For ease of describing where adventures take place these cities are separated out from the Trade Route overall.
These are the descriptions of the small little villages and hamlets along the Trade Route that serve the many caravans that make the migration from the ocean in the south to Terraguard in the north.
When any civilization grows powerful enough to control most of its internal affairs there will be those who desire to move to the outskirts for their own reasons.