Again, this will take a while.........Before the Betray (The Fall of Man) there was, of course perfect peace for 24 generations (this number is not a random number :) When Orbenos was thinking things over in the Heart of Heavens, a period of two days, in Medelia, 100 years went by. This period of time, revealed some problems with respect to how the World of the Humans was governed.
1. The twelve kingdoms were still loosely held together by the respective Old Friends. But, their primary role was the interpretation of the 8 Laws of Understanding. When the Book One opens, some of the kingdoms are doing better (or worse) than others. Even the Mountain Forest, home to the Originals, has some problems. In Chapter 19, The Morianders, the reader understands that the Peakes have wandered into mountain range (The Eastern Mighty Whites) as well. (more about the Peakes later)
2. The Otherworld - as the start of Book One - had few of the problems that have befallen Medelia. Trade, in and out of Port Thomas, is still about the same. Ships come and go and there is ample food and goods. The Others, was mentioned in Chapter 5, The Otherworld, have been protected by the Ceiling Sky. The Otherworld does have its own Council and its own law enforcement.
3. In reference to the 12 kingdoms, the Old Friends struggled as to what to do after the betrayal. Some of the kingdoms formed their own "police force".... this is not really mentioned in any great detail in Book One. Other kingdoms really didn't get it together at all and individual militias sprang up quite quickly each trying to via for power. Inevitably in this system, corruption and lawlessness developed. At the start of Book One, pockets of chaos have developed.
4. Also at the start of Book One, something interesting - but disturbing - has occurred. Some of the Medelians have sort of gone off the deep end and "changed..." to put it one way. The Peakes are an example of this. In Chapter 19, The Morianders, the reader gets a bit of information on the them. They were once quite normal. But after the betrayal, the changed :) In the chapter they are described as..."an odd collection of mountain dwellers and lowland river runners who sprang up after the betrayal. They came from various kingdoms and were loosely organized mostly in clans with one or two strong leaders." Now some interesting things about the Peakes. They went from mere gossips hounds to wanting to know everything. They began to make a living "trading information." As a result of the "mutation" they developed large floppy ears that change colors with the seasons. Secondly, they developed and elongated tongue that was capable of shooting a deadly poison. The only draw back to the tongue was that it gave the mutated Peakes a rather embarrassing lisp.