The diverse folk hailing from the tropical Iji Islands
are well known for their vibrant artisanal wares and extreme enthusiasm for competitive sports - with their dedication being equal (if not greater)
than their largest religious following, Guritism
. Many Rakuwan folk from the isles dedicate their entire lives to being the best strongclaw
competitors they can be, and hone themselves to peak physical perfection for their feats of strength.
The islands themselves are split into three sections: the Head Islands (where the majority of the population reside)
, the actively volcanic Belly Islands (with the Isle of Gurita in the centre)
, and the vastly uninhabited Wild Islands (which have become home to the Jade Forest Nature Reserve)
Ijian culture is deeply rooted in seafaring and boatmaking, with every family owning several brightly decorated canoes, small trading vessels, and fishing boats.
The demographics of Ijian folk are mixed, with a larger population of quargan
, and rakuwan
Impact of The Rupture
The events of The Rupture
fifty years ago had a huge impact on both the lifestyle of the Ijian population and also on the ecological balance of the native flora and fauna of the islands. Invasive, magic
-wielding species preyed upon local livestock, and climbing weeds crept through the rifts
and have begun to suffocate the tropical forest trees.
The arrival of new folk kinds through the rifts were initially met with poised spears until awkward communication made it clear they had come through from another realm to explore, not to conquer. A trade alliance was made and the new folk helped the local Ijians to rebalance the new population of wild species. Without their aid, the native udarra birds
used for transportation would have been completely wiped out.
The outsiders showed them how to plant maisha
-rich crops, and taught them how to use magic. In return, the Ijians shared their love of sport and exchanged local resources such as the green ijokori
rock, ornate black dukori
trinkets, and glow-jelly
With the introduction of maisha crops to the islands, Ijian folk have learnt to cultivate the nutrients from these foreign species into their existing crops of traditional ruby cacao. Their export of pink cacao powder and pink chocolate have become their most desirable asset now that they contain maisha, the mineral that restores magical energy.
The largest consumers of Ijian chocolate are folks beyond the rifts to Peior
, as their connecting region does not have any species quite like it. Rakuwan strongclaw competitors have heated debates about the consumption of chocolate and its affect on performance and bodybuilding. Some argue that the new maisha-rich variants help the development of strength in the body, whilst others disagree saying that the only impact on the body it has is to gain fat and that it should only be used sparingly for a small sugar-rush of energy.
is better known for its spicy dishes, purple peppers
, and fire paan - a dish served aflame and directly into your mouth. Many tourists struggle with the heat of the dishes (and it's not just the fire that's hot). With the mix of new folks and their traditions in the isles, the food culture has changed drastically in the last fifty years, particularly with pungent cheeses from foreign livestock imported from beyond the rifts. Different additions of cheese to ancient recipes have evolved dishes to another level, and have also made them more tolerable to newcomers in the process. Older generations complain that the food has lost its spice.