The Summer Empire
Location: Sea of Shadows
Capital: Hy Breasil
Characteristics: The Thalassoi are unique among the inhabitants of the Summer Empire in that they were never under the rule of the Nobility, even indirectly. Formed exclusively of People of the Sea, the ancestors of the Thalassoi fled to the Sea of Shadows when the Nobility launched their coup and slipped under the waves. While the Nobility had no need to breathe, their servants and slaves did, and so the Thalassoi were left to their own devices as long as they didn’t come to the surface.
In the Summer Empire, Thalassa also consists of a few islands in the Sea of Shadows, though these are mostly built as trading posts and for non-salu Thalassoi to live on. Due to raids by the Nobility, the only Thalassoi who live on these islands are typically those who cannot avoid it or members of the army.
A millennium of isolation beneath the waves has changed the Thalassoi greatly. Their own language is gestured, not spoken, and uses sweeping movements that are easily visible in dim light. Generations of living underwater has made many of them uneasy on land or in strong light, and there have been unfortunate incidents where a Thalassoi visitor to the upper reach was lynched as a suspected Noble due to their nocturnal habits.