The Forgotten Throne
Laiquaniwa – The Emerald Isles
(Region Designer: Troy Collins)
Like the Wyvern Isles to the west, the Laiquaniwa Islands were formed from the remnants of the shattered Eastern continent. The tectonic forces that sank much of the continent had the opposite effect on this region, lifting much of these islands up to form massive cliffs overlooking the ocean below. The stone of these cliffs has a distinctive greenish colour, earning the region its nickname: the Emerald Isles.
These high cliffs and it’s distant southern location left these lands relatively untouched during the Vile War. It wasn’t until long after, when displaced elves began making homes here, that the true value of this region came to be discovered, leading to these island’s other nickname – the Spice Islands.
Government: As with many elven-led nations, the elected republic is the dominant form of government in the Emerald Isles. With such a sparse and spread-out population, most of the islands are like small nations until themselves, each with their own leaders and governing bodies.
People from here are called: Laiquan
Population: These lands had very few permanent residents until the Wood Elves and Gruen came to settle them after the end of the Vile War. Even now, these lands are dotted with sparse townships and distant lone-standing settlements, and it’s rare to find villages of more than 1000 people. The only cities of any significant size lie to the east of the island, where the cliffs are low enough to allow ports to be built for trade with the other nearby nations.
In terms of people, the Wood Elves and the Gruen make up the overwhelming majority of the people here. (This should come as no surprise, in a nation where herb and vegetable gardening is one of the most necessary survival skills.) Small enclaves of Herdfolk Whyr are also prevalent, and it is reputed that of all the Herfolk tribes, the ones on the Emerald Isles are the most beautiful, with both the males and females being seen as exceptionally attractive to non-Whyr races.
Because of the number of magical resources available, there is a somewhat higher proportion of High Elves, Dwarves and Humans who live and work in the cities. This also cements the Isles as being impregnable to those who might try to invade the region – the combination of the cliffs in the east and the Archmages in the west make any attempt at invasion a fools errand.
What is interesting about living here:
These same cliffs are made further green by the verdant mosses, ivies and grasses that grow here. Despite the stony terrain this land is best known as a haven for rare and unusual flowers and herbs. Much of the agriculture to be found here is in the husbandry of these plants, since most of the land is inhospitable to larger-scale farming or the growth of fruit trees. (In fact, trees in general are fairly rare, and despite the vast prevalence of “Wood Elves” there are only a few forested areas to be found in the entire region.)
What makes these herbs and flowers especially notable is the number of them that have exceptional properties. This has made Laiquaniwa a treasure trove of resources useful to mages, particularly those of an alchemical bent. Research into the various magical and medicinal properties of these plants has become another cottage industry, and attracts many sorcerers and scholars to the region.
The rock formations do not host many precious metals, nor are gemstones easily found. But crystals are common, as are semi-precious stones. Beautiful seashells (and the seafood that create them) are also plentiful throughout the isles. Though larger animals struggle with the uneven terrain, creatures such as goats and sheep thrive here, and shepherds have no shortage of good grazing. While most communities don’t have a great deal of abundance, most communities are well-kept and well fed through the cooler winter months.
What is good about living here:
The wholesomeness of its residents and their lifestyle. Most of the work done on the islands is grueling and tiresome but at the end of the day also fruitful and profitable (in part because there are so few people doing it). The views from the tops of the cliffs are spectacular, and the protection they provide from coastal threats is considerable. The open, rocky terrain is also inhospitable to most predatory species, and the shepherds have little to fear of losing animals. Of all the nations, this is perhaps one of the safest places to live.
What sucks about living here:
Life here is not easy. “Its as indecisive as a Dwarf in an ale storeroom” is a common description of the temperamental weather patterns. The seasons here all see huge shifts in temperature and precipitation – yet another reason that traditional farming isn’t reliable. Most of the farming here is subsistence based by necessity, and that makes the standard of living fairly low compared to some other nations.
Because these lands are so peaceful, the occasional threats that do arise are somewhat magnified. Drakes sometimes range down from Karador, seeking easy prey from the mountain herds and to claim growths of certain magical herbs for themselves. With so few people (and even fewer trained warriors) even a young drake can pose a significant threat, and prove difficult to chase off or kill.
Why are people from here coming to the Forgotten Continent:
Magic Users everywhere are naturally interested by the possibility of new discoveries to be found in this region. Many apprentices from the Emerald Isles have seen the Re-Discovery as a good excuse to escape the rural lifestyle of the islands.
Also, those interested in the herb industry have a lot to gain by travel to the new world. People there will be in constant need of medicines, and the chance to re-discover recipes and resources is considerable. Not to mention a chance for fame and fortune, an opportunity that is few and far between back home.