Blessed Isle
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The Blessed Isle is the continent-sized island located at the center of Creation. Surrounded by the Inland Sea and weeks distant from the closest Threshold port, the Blessed Isle is the center of the Realm and the unquestioned dominion of the Dragon-Blooded. It has nearly always been home to the greatest (and sometimes only) domain in all of Creation, and will likely remain so no matter the outcome of the current Time of Tumult.

In its current state as the lands of the Realm, the Blessed Isle is separated into prefectures, each ruled by a Prefect appointed by the Empress, and dominions which are collections of powerful prefectures ruled by one of the Dynastic Houses.

This region is detailed in the Compass of Celestial Directions: The Blessed Isle, a sourcebook for Second Edition.

Animals

The proliferation of patricians and Dynasts, and other supernaturally gifted hunters, has wiped out nearly every wild animal on the Blessed Isle. Pandas, varieties of monkeys and other small herbivores abound, but large cats, and choice quarry like deer have become rare or unheard of all across the Isle.

Animals of the Blessed Isle[1]

Weather

The climate of the Blessed Isle is almost universally temperate; sitting in the center of Creation, it is subject to a mixture of the least effects of all of the Elemental Poles apart from that of Earth. While the north coast of the Isle is generally cooler, and the south warmer, these are usually differences that bother only those of the weakest constitution. Natives of the far reaches of Creation are unlikely to sense much of a difference from one end of the Isle to the other.

However, the Blessed Isle's distance from the more noisome elements of Creation are not it's only defense against inclement weather. All across the Isle are weather-control obelisks, artifacts of the First Age that control the local climate. The Bureau of Climatic Deliberations has studied and tinkered with these devices for centuries, and so maintain temperate weather in the face of most fluctuations outside their borders. Still, the Dragon-Blooded lack the refinement of power and control to truly master the obelisks, so the weather of the Blessed Isle is merely "nigh perfect." [2]

The Great Coast Road

Being under the iron control of the meticulous Scarlet Empress, the Blessed Isle has a system of roads and ferries unrivaled in Creation. One of the most important, however, is the Great Coast Road, which circumscribes the entire Isle. A remnant of the First Age, it is a smooth, grey-black material with a pebbled surface; it is difficult to damage, and when it is broken it seals itself up and "heals" quickly. It is never slick with ice, nor covered by debris.

The repair and maintenance of the road is due to the Ancient of Stone Journeys, god of the road. Powerful in the hierarchy of travel, the Ancient is also a staunch ally of the Immaculate Order, swiftly reporting the infractions of citizens who travel his road. While the Blessed Isle is one of the safest places in Creation, the Great Coast Road is even safer than most of the surrounding Isle. [2]

Mountains and Rivers

The Imperial Mountain lies at the center of the Blessed Isle and Creation. Taller than any other mountain, it was once the home of the gods, then the Exalts and now it is host only to pilgrims, monks and ruins. Surrounding the Imperial Mountain is the Dragon's Nest Range, craggy, huge peaks ringing the spire of the Omphalos. The western region of these mountains are home to the Lord's Crossing Dominion, while the eastern part of the range is host to part of Juche prefecture.

The Dhorash and Mhaltin Mountains bound the Dragonswrath Plains in the southeastern Isle. Legends tell that these ranges are actually two sleeping dragons, weary from their ancient feuding. Similarly the Ahbrem Mountains which abut Ahbrem Valley are said to be a kindly, slumbering dragon that watches over the people below. The Chamesh Mountains separate the Storm Coast and Shadowed Coast, running north from the Dragon's Nest.

All major rivers on the Blessed Isle have their origin in the Dragon's Nest Range or on the slopes of the Imperial Mountain. The Caracal River runs south along the edge of the Mhaltin Mountains, while the Serpentine wanders to the west and the Imperial River to the east. Most of the rivers on the Blessed Isle see use for trading, with flat-bottomed barges and rafts crawling along to carry the agricultural bounty of the outlying peasants to the cities of the Isle.

Few of the wondrous structures from the First Age that spanned the great rivers of the Isle survive. While most are ruined beyond use or repair, the Scarlet Span and the Dam of Serpents remain as monuments to their creators. The Scarlet Span stretches high across the Imperial River, tall enough for any boat to pass under; the Dam of Serpents is a great waterbreak of enormous snake heads that pour water from their mouths, diverting much of the river that flows into them into aqueducts for irrigation.

Places of Note

Lord's Crossing Dominion

Lord's Crossing Dominion is the province of House Tepet and they claim it as their ancestral holding.

Prefect: Carpenter Reason

One of only two dominions established in the Realm, this region is centered around it's eponymous city. Resting within the Dragon's Nest mountain range, the dominion includes lush mountain valleys at heads of pure rivers, producing abundant food and cloth for the rest of the Realm. Lord's Crossing is popular for it's bed-and-breakfast establishments, which go to great lengths to please their patrician and Dragon-Blooded visitors.

Many of the settlements within Lord's Crossing are at their heart the remnants of great, Shogunate-era cities. The surrounding mountains are replete with Jade, making even the most remote and inhospitable mountainside mining village more prosperous than those found elsewhere. Lord's Crossing is also known as the home of two very popular breeds of dog: Portee Ivories of Portee are small lap-dogs, trendy pets for patricians and Dynasts; Blackstar mastiffs were bred by and remain solely the province of the Starlight family of [[[lex:Traiter]].

Places of Note

Coast of Xianyu

This region in the northeast of the Blessed Isle is named for a hero who defended the Realm's ships from the pirates of the [[Lands]. Though both hero and pirates are long since gone from the Coast, piracy holds a glamor for those raised here. Warm in the summer and snowy in the winter, the Coast of Xianyu remains largely temperate, famously producing five full crops of rice every year.

Kan-Toshi Prefecture

Prefect: Tidal Pearl

Reputed to be the base of operations for the pirate-hunter Xianyu whose name is remembered in the region, Kan-Toshi is known for the alarming frequency with which jewelry or coins are washed up on the beaches. While the manse that Xianyu called home remains hidden, the odd piece of treasure that washes up is taken as proof that it still exists.

Pangu Prefecture

Prefect: [[Rain]

Though very close to the heart of civilization that is the Scarlet prefecture, Pangu is predominantly rural. It takes large amounts of salt from the sea for the preservation of meat, and as with other Xianyu prefectures there is the local fascination with pirates. Few outsiders know more than this about Pangu prefecture.

Being a part of the infrastructure that feeds the massive Imperial Legions, this prefecture has produced enormous amounts of food over many generations. Sadly, the local coasts have been overfished and coastal towns do little more than service salt refineries for the preservation of slaughtered livestock from the plains.

Places of Note

Daoshin Peninsula

A region of dry, fallow fields and poor peasants, Daoshin is a land in need of aid. Ten years ago the Scarlet Empress founded the Ministry of Renewal, headed by Ragara Usha, to oversee the rehabilitation of the Daoshin Peninsula. Usha has undertaken drastic steps, shipping half the population to the Isle of Eternal Leaves (where they remain productive by learning to fell and export lumber), while the rest remain to tend fields overseen by Immaculate Monks who whip local spirits into shape and geomancers who manipulate the dragon-lines to promote fertility and growth.

The Island of Eternal Leaves

While the Daoshin Peninsula is barren and home to only sparse domesticated herds, the Island off it's coast is lush and overrun with herds of deer, wolves, boars, bears, and even strix and other large birds. About half the population of the Peninsula was shipped to the Island to allow the land to heal; in the meantime they have been taught the art of logging and continue to serve the Realm as they can.

Emerald Prefecture

Becoming overcrowded by new lumberworkers, Emerald prefecture has seen a boom in new settlements. One such community, Three Stags, has stumbled onto an ancient, First Age manse. The discovery resulted in the deaths of those foolish enough to enter, and the prefect has sent a plea for assistance to the Immaculate Order.

Dragonswrath Plains

Nestled between the Dhorash and Mhaltin Mountains, the Dragonswrath Plains take their name from the legendary feud between the two slumbering dragons that make up the surrounding mountain ranges. From each range flows hundreds of small rivers and streams, which swell and mire the land during the wet springs and autumns. The swamp-dwelling peasants of this region are perhaps the lowest of the low on the Blessed Isle.

Despite it's low status and inability to match the production of rice in other regions, the Dragonswrath Plains are best known for the leathers it exports from its large reptiles and it's cranberries and other swamp foods. The foods of the Dragonswrath are spicy and considered novel and sometimes trendy in other parts of the Isle.

The Dragonswrath Plains are also home to Pasiap's Stair, the military secondary school for non-Dynastic Dragon-Blooded. Though they are simply Lost Eggs, the people of the nearby village of Amber Well rarely see other Dragon-Bloods, and so the Terrestrials of the Stair are afforded utmost respect.

// Author Joseph Carriker has provided a sidebar that was cut for space: Calibration in the Dragonswrath Plains.

The Isle of Sweet Radiance

Home to the until-recently feuding Cliffrise and Saltmount prefectures, ruled by Clan Heron and Clan Blacklily respectively, the Isle of Sweet Radiance has since been targeted by House Peleps in it's greedy splurge of acquisition. Since then the two feuding clans have banded together to sabotage the efforts of the grasping Dynasts.

See Also

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