What lies between the Blessed Isle and the West?

What lies between the Blessed Isle and the West?

Foolishness.

Living atop ancient cloud cities untouched by the ravages of the Usurpation exist a nation. The Sky-Touched. It is large farming community, harvesting from orchards and occasionally dipping low enough that they are able to fish from the great ocean. They drop fishing lines several thousand feet long, made of unbreakable spidersilk that they use to fish for Siaka and other terrors, who find themselves hoisted into the sky with first age cranes.
And much of the skytouched life is one of hard work, for food is not plentiful. Little grows, and the fisheries must restrict their feasting to when the surfacers aren't around. For while an errant tale of strings in the sky hauling up giant fish is not unheard of, it is something the Sun-Touched seek to avoid.

For they are weak.

There is no metal, no clay, no wood to make weapons. Nothing but the flimsy grasses that make up their clothes, homes and beds do they have. And so they fear the surface, with its great ships that they watch, bristling with weapons when they fight. And so they hide in their clouds, and harvest their crops.

Crime in the lands of the sun-touched is minimal. Small crimes are repaid with restitution. Greater crimes (theft, murder, rape, destroying the soil) have but one punishment- Returning. The victim is exsanguinated over the fields, then buried, to bring nutrients to the soil. For the ultimate crime, that of spiritual corruption, there is Exile. The unclean one is taken to the edge of a cloud, and pushed.

1. A PC band of heroic mortals is trying to change all that. They feel that with the great cranes, they could communicate with the surface, to become strong on the trade that the surfacers bring. The question is, can they overthrow the government, and can they then find the right surfacers to make deals with.

2. What causes these great clouds of dirt, obscured by a haze of floating mist, to float? None know for certain, but there are rumors that under some of the tatami mats that make up the priests' quarters, there are stairs that go down. Some say it is first age machinery. Others insist it is bound gods. Still others say it is a beast from beyond even the borders of creation, whose very existence repels the downward forces that others endure.

3. The PC sidereals know of the skytouched, in that it is on file in the appropriate departments labeled "unimportant". Regretably, this is yet another misfiling. For the PC group of sidereals stumble across the file when it falls on them during another investigation, the papers speaking of the dire threat the people pose. For while they look human, and act human, and think they are human, they are not. They are creatures of the primordials, who are imprisoned in the sky. And should they ever return to the surface, their very existance will bring about the release of the Yozis. 1st problem. How do you get up there?

4. The PC gold faction sidereals come across a conspiracy. There is a peaceful island of humans who are destined to aid the solars in their return, with a supremely helpful peice of first age knowledge. Unfortunately, someone has turned another group of sidereals into believing they are horrible monsters with miswritten paperwork. You must stop them, without giving away your leanings towards the Gold.

5. A PC band of Solars/Dragonblooded are out on a boat. Everything is going fine, until they bump into a silk fishing cable, struggling with a Siaka. They could very easily climb on top of the great flailing beast, and see where the cable seems to be going? Whats up there?

What lies between the Blesed Isle and the West?

Blood.

Thre kingdoms of wyldborn beastmen continue their centuries long war.

1. The Sharkmen's 'Kingdom of Sand' is the largest, and they have been winning steadily for the past few decades, gaining territory and victory after victory. But their great general is old, he is starting to make mistakes. A host of new, younger generals are eager to step out from beyond his shadow, but can they?

2. The Eel's kingdom of Weeds is not as large as the kingdom of sand, but it is the most populated. The eels's philosophy of battle is simple. Through enough soldiers, and no one can stop you. While this has met with mixed results against the Sharkmen in the recent decades, the Eels had nearly won a century ago, before a string of losses left them with their current, moderate holdings. But a group of young men and women now work to improve the philosophy of the eel's. For if they had strategy and training in addition to numbers, they would be unstoppable. Opposing them is the old guard, who are waiting for the Great White general to die, so they can return to their glory days.

3. The Lobster's Kingdom of Power is the most insular of the three kingdoms. Where the others will occasionally accept new wildborn mutants, either lintha or others, the lobsters interbreed, intermarry within themselves. The other kingdoms do not understand, as the Lobsters have lost more and more territory, and now have but two cities left beneath the waves. But the lobsters have old memories, not in their father's time, or even their grandfathers, but back 500 years, they were the supreme rules, on the verge of victory, and finally ending the great war. For they had a dragonblood as their leader and king. But the eels and sharks banded together, and turned to treachery, and slew the great dragonblood. But not before he had a son. Now that line has grown, and the lobsters know that if they continue to breed that line, eventually another dragonblood will come, and win for them the war. And now that line has produced a number of children, all of the appropriate age… The strength of the dragons will win them the entire war!

4. Why are these three kingdoms so desperately fighting? What could possibly be worth all the centuries of blood and violence. A corrupt god watches these beasts of the wild fight, and draws amusement, and when one finally defeats the others, then he will reward them by showing them how to entire the great city. It lies forgotten beneath the waves, with countless treasures and great technology. With it, they could turn on the surface itself, conquering first the west, and then the entire creation. And the mad god laughs, for who better to rule his city than those who have truly earned it?

What lies between the Blessed Isle and the West?

edit: boo, I was too slow!

1. Shílín - the Island That Is No More. A hundred miles out from the Blessed Isle stands a strange conglomeration of huts whose floors rest on stony branches and trunks that plunge downward into the deep green ocean. The buildings are made of dismantled ships, driftwood, and other refuse; there are tunnels hollowed into the trunks and branches of the greatest trees. The trees are also tapped for sweet, nutritious syrup; their branches extrude great icicles of salt that can be traded to Realm peasants or satrapies. The townsfolk themselves are a motley group of folks who all share a need or desire to stay close to the Realm while also being persona non grata on the Blessed Isle itself, such as exiles. Its small garrison is comprised largely of the disgraced and disdained. Smugglers and tradesmen find it a convenient place to swap cargoes without incurring the tariffs required in Blessed Isle ports, and many an inconvenient corpse rots in an underwater web of branches.

2. The Principality of Crimson. This tiny volcanic island, also called the Red Folly, is home to a crazed Dynast, who calls himself the Crimson Emperor and claims he is the rightful ruler of the Blessed Isle. He expects the Scarlet Empress to present herself in supplication any day now. Ships rarely stop by, as there is little food or water available, but a number of mortals - mostly shipwrecked or marooned - are his unhappy subjects, forced to do him honor and fulfill as best as possible his mad fantasies of power.

3. The Culture Between. Sharks cannot stop swimming, else they will drown. So too with a particular type of beastmen; their entire species travels as one, behind and within an incomprehensibly huge school of fish. They live, marry, fight, sing, study, and die in motion, worshipping their strange fish spirits. Their civilization has no writing and few crafts, since perpetual motion makes it difficult to do many things other civilizations take for granted. Their queen's greatest fear is that something should happen to their food; should the fish scatter or die off, her people will be forced to scatter, and she will lose her dominion. Thus, when the Great School reaches shallow waters where airbreathers may fish, she often directs her people to tear their ropes and nets and lines; to shatter their ships; to devour their flesh.

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