Once upon a time, the continent of Kelenore was dominated by elves. When men rose from the earth, many elves became frustrated with the short-sighted corrupting influence they were having on the continent, so a whole big bunch of them went “screw this” and sailed west to claim Tol Brethil as a sort of sanctuary or reservation. Per an agreement with Tirgul (which is mostly in charge of things on the continent), elves are the only speaking people who have permanent residence on Tol Brethil (though elven ideas of “permanent” can vary wildly from human ones). Keladan, on Tol Brethil’s side of the Edhil strait, is run by elves; Elvenport is run by the humans who trade with them (which is why it has a Common name rather than an Old Elven one).
By the way, the elven word for “people” is “ones who speak” (“quendi”), which ties into / explains that it was the elves who went around the world naming everything. All of Kelenore’s place-names are Old Elven, and by tradition newer places (e.g. the Ladlond highway) are usually given Old Elven names too. Members of any intelligent race are referred to in the Common tongue as “speaking people.”
Kemen Faugia and Gaer Faugia were cracked open during some cataclysmic quarrel between gods long ago, shortly after the creation of the world. None but the oldest elves remember the days when it was a single long trench, before water and dirt and stone filled in the middle section. Nobody quite knows how deep it goes, and occasionally deformed and demonic things will rise into the world from its yawning abyss.
Gurtalath is a broad desert sparsely populated by harsh magical beings, along with the roving tribes already mentioned. Mortalath is a more mundane desert, though rumor has it that its proximity to the Tirgul Academie has had some influence on the local flora and fauna…