Valeria consists of many different terrains, from lush valleys and deep forests, to unpassable mountains and seeming lifeless deserts. Due to the high variety of different terrains many races have begun to thrive in what would normally be considered uninhabitable environments.
Human romantics describe Valeria as a bountiful utopia where there is no war, famine or disease. Everyone lives relatively comfortable lives. These people tend to live in wealthy cities that are guarded every hour of each day, some cities have even gone as far as to employ mages and priests to create magical barriers around the city. These magical barrier keeps anything potentially harmful out of the city.
These cities, however, are few and far between. Most villages and towns are under constant threat of attacks from bandits, outcasts, animals, and even Nyx spectres. Life is tough in these places, attacks and bad weather can decimate a village within a single night. In the poorer villages as soon as a child is physically able they have to help the village in anyway they can, this can mean working the fields, hunting for food, guarding the village, fishing, or cooking. Due to these responsibilities people rarely venture away from the village, if they do it's not for any length of time. This creates a great sense of community where each member is valued and trusted. The cities, in comparison, lack this. Most city dwellers look out for themselves, in many cities this creates high levels of poverty, unemployment and crime.
Relatively little is known about the elven villages in the deepest parts of forests, it is said that the elven villages are protected and hidden by a natural magic that has been passed down through the elven lineage for centuries. The forests provide the elves with everything they need to survive. Elves rarely venture out of their forests, preferring not to get involved with the mundane struggles of others.
The mountain strongholds of the dwarves are impenetrable to all, no one has successfully managed to capture a dwarven stronghold in the entirety of the recorded history of Valerian. Even though trusted allies are let into the strongholds, the visitors never see into the heart of the stronghold. Deep within the stronghold the dwarves train and hone their skills in battle for when they will next need them. Dwarves mine the mountains for precious gems, using these gems for trade they help stimulate a high percentage of the Valerian economy.
No matter what race or where they live most people stay inside at night, Nyx spectres thrive during the night. In every culture there are tales of people who have dragged into the realm of Nyx during the night by such spectres. People taken away in this manner often return to Valeria, if they do return, corrupt or even worse as a spectre themselves. There was a point in time where the realm of Nyx wasn't such a threat, however over millenia the divide between Valeria and Nyx has weakened and has now almost completely faded.