I was thinking of the various cultures that would populate the subcontinent of Mediterranea in the World Within. Given the feeling of antiquity that the Sword & Sorcery genre inspires in general, I'm looking at the Hellenic period as my primary source of inspiration. The cultures that come to mind from that period and in that region of the world as we know it are: the early Roman Republic, the Minoan civilization, Carthage, Macedonia and the Hellenic League (ancient Greece), the Ptolemiac Kingdom (ancient Egypt), a little bit of the Kingdom of Numidia, and the Seleucid Kingdom. From these various sources of inspiration comes the following ideas for cultures for our inner world's subcontinent.
Controlling the lands north of the Hellenic Mountains, the Achean people are superior military tacticians known for their cavalry tactics. The City-State of Achea serves as the seat of power for this budding human empire. While lacking the powerful navy of the Kenaani League, the Achea Republic has little problem holding their mountainous territory against invaders.
Located to the south of the Hellenic Mountains, the pyramid-building Badari are humans that have settled along the coast and into the interior of western Mediterranea. Known for their architectural accomplishments as well as their mastery of the healing arts, the Badari are also home to mysterious ritualists.
City-State of Heraklos
The bull-headed minotaurs of Heraklos, the large city on the southern shore of Lake Kriti, maintain a strong, insulated society deep in the wilderness of the interior of the subcontinent. Somewhat xenophobic, the minotaurs rarely leave their native lands of their own accord. Many of them are taken by raiders from the Badari Dynasty further to the south for use as slave labor, given their great strength.
Encompassing numerous city-states along the western shores of Mediterranea, the Kenaani League are known as great maritime traders, travelling extensively up and down the coasts of both the Saharan Sea and the Eurasian Ocean. Many of the city-states that make up the League are predominately human, with a mixture of other races due to the metropolitan nature of Kenaani communities.
An offshoot of the Kenaani League, the city-states making up the Sydonian Hegemony control coastal lands on both the northern and southern shores of western Mediterranea, as will as the short isthmus of land connecting Mediterranea to the main continent of Atlantica. Given their proximity to the degenerate descendants of the Atlanteans on the mainland of Atlantica, Sydon and the rest of the Hegemony have taken on the practice of using cavemen as slaves and soldiers in their constant warring against the Achean Republic.
In addition to the major political entities of Mediterranea, there are a great many tribes, clans and bands of humanoids that dwell in the wilds of the subcontinent. Most groups are comprised of a single race, but there are a great many human, caveman, gorilla-man and minotaur populations in the wilderness. A few tribes, villages and pirate ports offer homes to a heterogeneous mix of races, but these are few and far between, and often comprised of exiles from other tribes or regions.