I'm starting to get some interesting character outlines (exciting!) and y'all are asking some very good questions as well. If I think an answer to one of your questions is beneficial to the entire group or the information would be generally known to all characters, I'll post it here.
Don Koening: In Vathar Odan, was magic suppressed? Or did it flourish (but under control of the state)?
Brad: Knowledge about the continent of Vathar Odan is limited on Gallindir (where your characters reside). Because of the storms on the Voy, traveling back and forth is not easy. So not a whole lot is (publicly) known about exactly what’s been going on over there. There are stories and rumors, of course. What you know as fact is that there are 4 territorial governments on the continent. Up until being subjugated by the Allyreans, the Cthyr Domin was the dominant player on Vathar Odan and was more-or-less an anti-magic theocracy. Only state-sanctioned magic was permitted;unauthorized use of magic was punishable by death. Their rhetoric can be summed up in the idea that magic = Corruption.
Don Koening: How universal is the Pantheon? Do all (both continents) worship same (maybe with different names) or is Religion fragmented and individual? Are Monks a religious order?
Brad: (Don, I added a few more details in this response) The Pantheon is universal. Those are the known gods. There may be slight variations in names for deities on each continent, but the god Gorum that communes with his faithful on Gallindir is the the same Gorum that communes with his faithful on Vathar Odan.
The gods still speak (except Nethys, who is dead) and there is still belief. There is, of course, divine magic, but scholars have increasingly begun questioning the importance and even the necessity of the gods. In some extremes (e.g. the Cthyr Domin) the gods are outright rejected--even reviled. In general, as with any large Pantheon, religion is generally fragmented regionally. On Gallindir faith has definitely been in decline. If the gods aren’t listening and can’t respond, why bother? Religious leaders are still important but their power/influence has definitely waned over the past century.
Monks--Religious orders that are aligned to Law do have monks associated with their organizations, but for the most part monks follow a more philosophical/martial path that they feel is beyond the divine. There are, of course, many legends and stories of shadowy orders that seek to bring order to the world by all means necessary, even if it means spilling innocent blood to do so. One of the most well know orders on Gallindir are the dwarves of Jhaeg Kordan, or the "Keepers" as they are called. This purely dwarven order is dedicated to the preservation of knowledge. They travel the world to catalog "all things known and unknown".