The Summer Empire
Themesong: The Longest Night
Characteristics: Illios is probably the least hospitable place in the Summer Empire, even including the islands floating on the surface of the Sea of Shadows. Freezing winds howl over its islands, and the land is blanketed in snow for much of the year. The heavy hand of the Nobility was just another oppression the Illians had to deal with instead of an unbearable burden.
The Illians are a taciturn lot, pessimistic and sober even when drinking the strong alcohol they use to drive away the chill of night. That alcohol also forms one of their greatest trade products, in addition to metal ores, furs and timber. The land of Illios is rich, even if it is harsh.
Illios’ population is clustered in cities with surrounding belts of farms to support them, leaving large parts of the islands over to forests and wooded hills. Wild animals, both natural and the remnant of Noble experiments, are a frequent danger, as are bandits and poachers. Some animals, like the firebird, fetch an enormous price, and expeditions to hunt them are frequent despite the dangers. The Illian Diet tries to control hunting, but the forests are too big to successfully patrol even with the assistance of Illios’ communities of alfar.