The Island of Dzivia Geographic Location in Aedelwynn - The Land of the Free | World Anvil
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The Island of Dzivia

"Where the winds wail in sorrow."

The Cornerstone of the Clanndom

"The Inner Dzivian Sea owes its name to Dzivia, a small island a few miles away from the southern shore, where the fishing hamlet of Sèol dwells. It is little visited by the native peoples there, who would rather contend themselves with the bounty the inner sea provides than risk heading onto this particular landmark. Dubbed 'the Maw' due to its many rocky reefs, its swirling currents and its cutting waves, Dzivia makes fishing a mightily deadly profession for anybody who comes close to its shores. A permanent mist envelops the island, and some say the bells of the old lighthouse that dwells on it still rings in the depths of the night. Not many have stepped on its surface, however roughly a decade ago, a group of mercenaries rescued villagers held captive there by rivermen."
- "The Empire's Guide to Lost Lands, Volume IV: Aedelwynn", by Locke en-Fang.


The Isle of Dzivia is an ancient rocky promontory found a few nautical miles north of the town of Sèol, ancient capital of the Kingdom of Sèol, which was rebuilt after its fall from grace in 355 PR. Dzivia is a mist covered island with many legends and superstion surrounding it. It gives its name to the Inner Dzivian Sea where it dwells. Not many approach it due to its vicious tides, but fishermen who do are often swallowed up by its currents and waves. Those who survive claim there to have heard a distant howl and wail from deep within the island.


The isle is a steep crag island roughly 25 hectares (61 acres) wide, composed of rocky promontories and deep drowned valleys that are covered by mist and fog every day of the year. It is a spiney, dangerous island, with inner caves that have been eroded by waves and currents. It is thus dubbed 'the Hollow Isle', because of its numerous underground tunnels which twist and turn beneath its surface and occasionally pierce out onto the inner sea like grand maritime caves. Truth be told, without the mists and winds, Dzivia would look like a large grass covered, gruyere-like black meteor from afar. The outer rocks are mostly granite, albeit the entrails of the island are laced in oricalchum, obsidian, iron and nickel.   From its surface one can see the nearby town of Sèol as well as its surrounding hamlets and the border forts that dot the line between An Arwyn. and An Dalachain. The top of Dzivia is home to an ancient temple to the Mourner, with scattered remains of a clannic monastery that was settled there after the Time of Reclamation. Its lighthouse, once grand and tall, was destroyed in a hurricane with the bell and fire pit still somehow attached. When the west wind blows, the bell rings like a death knell, which fishermen use as a sign to go home before the gusts capsize their ships.

Localized Phenomena

Aside from the thick fog and dangerous currents, the inside of Dzivia is what causes locals the most distress. The island is inhabited by rivermen, who have made their homes in its hollow hovels. Worse yet is the strange haunting humming that emerges from it during tempests and storms. Like a flute, or a whistle, the hollow tunnels of the island create an eerie sound as wind passes through it's dark depths, making the residents of the nearby hamlets wary that anything might actually be howling from afar.   And they aren't wrong (though this is mostly unknown to many people), for deep within the guts of Dzivia lies a deep black well that extends down into the depths of the earth. It is likely to be of An Edel origin, and is told to be without end. Some braver adventurers and fishermen have laid eyes upon this dark pit, many have affirmed that a wailing howl could be heard echoing from its abyss, though none dared venture deeper within.   The nature or purpose of this pit is unclear, though some believe it to be an entrance to the afterlife, whilst others understand it to be a sacrificial hole where the bloody elves of the ancient world would throw maidens and children to appease their eldritch gods. Some sailors claim to see ghosts of these people appearing on the waters near Dzivias's shores, often cloaked in the fogs and mists the island seems to produce naturally.   A few tales tell of a young woman looking for her lover, calling out into the seas as she awaits his return, the two having seemingly fled to Dzivia to live out their days out of wedlock and peace, though the fiancé never returned to her beloved. Whilst other tales recount that of an old monk who lived out his days on the island, and would offer hospitality to any who braved its waters to meet him and keep him company.

Fauna & Flora

The island is home to a local colony of puffins, gannets and razorbills. Grey seals come to swim by and rest on its shores during the winter months, when the hunter sharks and reef sharks that dwell close to it during the summer head further south. Local dolphins come to the island to mate during the late summer.   Rivermen have also made the island their home, and occasionally raid the nearby population, asking for tributes and offerings in exchange of lives spared. An annual 'fishing contest' is held by some of the local communities to dwindle the local muerrow population.


Under Court Rule:
It is largely believed that Dzivia was once a temple to the Mourner, Lady of the Seas, though this knowledge is known only to scholars, as from a distance one may perceive the grand copper statue of an elven maiden, holding a spear in her hand. This statue's proximity close to a body of water (the Inner Dzivian Sea) leads some credit to this theory. The ruined clannic monasteries of the island have also kept some of the ancient elvish prayer books and washed up holy tablets belonging to followers of the Old Faith; these likely would sail to Dzivia's temple as part of a pilgrimage, or holy retreat. Recovering these artifacts has proved more difficult than expected, however, as the local marine life and thick mists make it difficult to approach Dzivia safely.
  Under Clannic Rule:
The history of Dzivia is intricately connected to the Clanndom of Aedelwynn, humanity's continent-spanning 'empire'. Dzivia was the retreat of the Kingdom of Sèol's elderly chieftains, who abdicated after growing too old to rule, and would go onto the isle where they would live out the rest of their days on the isle's local monastery. Until the arrival of Saint Diarmaid and the building of Dunn Hain, Sèol was the largest Hold of An Tuana that was not under direct elvish hegemony. Dzivia, being at the center of a bountiful inland sea, thus would have seen the rise of the first independant Holds of mankind, and the birth of a grand maritime empire blossoming along its coastlines. The island served as a beacon for mariners and fishermen, thanks to its immense lighthouse and bell tower; it is also likely that some texts and records of this blooming civilization of man are still present within the island's temples and ruins.   However with the creation of Dunn Hain, Sèol no longer became the seat of High-Kings. Heir apparents and Tàines of the An Dalachain clan became the lords and rulers of Sèol instead, in order to prepare them for rulership. The old seat of the kingdoms of men still held immense symbolic significance, which made it keep a key role within the Clanndom as a formative fiefdom for princes and heirs of Dunn Hain. On the other hand, Dzivia remained the traditional retreat for chieftains and kings who had lived past their time, and wished to spend their remaining days in peace. Sèol thus kept its importance up until the middle of the 3rd century post-Reclamation (PR). In 355 PR, a devastating plague swept across An Dalachain, An Kerlahaad and An Arwyn.   Sensing the Clan's weakness, the orcish hordes of Ginnunting allied themselves to the centaur herds of the Heart and seized the advantage. With the aid of fell magic, they brought low the city of Sèol and its grand warded walls. The clansmen tried to escape to the nearby island fo Dzivia, but were swallowed by the waves, as reinforcements arrived from nearby border forts and allies arrived late to their aid. The last Ard Rì to have taken retreat on Dzivia is said thrown himself into the sea from the top of the lighhouse, having witnessed this massacre of his people without being to help.

Since then, no lord or ruler has been near the ancient island, for many believe it will bring them awful misfortune and a doomed destiny.

Information, Hauntings & Myths

"'s haunted I tells ya! One of them ghosts, calls itself 'th'Watcher' came tah me one night! Scared me bones outta me skin, eyes as black as pitch, the room lit red wit' demonslight! Don' go on that isle, it'll be th'death o' yous!"

Alternative Name(s)
"The Maw", "The Hollow Isle".
Location under
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization

The Lonely Widow

The Lonely Widow is the ghost of a mariner's wife who ran away with her lover to the island of Dzivia. She calls from its cliffs for her beloved to join her, so that they might spend their lives in secret out of wedlock. Sadly, the lover never joined her, for he had been slain in a duel with the mariner, who believed his wife had been kidnapped and killed by the former. With nothing else to live for, the husband hung himself, whilst the widow lived out the rest of her days alone. She is believed to have starved to death, or eventually thrown herself off the cliffs and returns to haunt the island as a warning for nearby sailors and fishermen.

The Last King of Sèol

When the Ginnnunting hordes brought low the walls of Sèol, the local population turned to the sea and fled to Dzivia, hoping to save their lives. However their ships broke upon the Maw's reefs, and they were crushed against the island's cliffs by violent waves. Many were washed up drowned on its black sandy shores. The lastold lord of Sèol, and last Ard Rì to ever retreat on the island, could only watch in horror at the demise of his people. Tormented by his powerlessness, he climbed to the top of the lighthouse and loudly rang its bell to warn other nearby settlements of the approaching An Glamhoth armies. This king then threw himself from the top of the bell tower in desperation and drowning in the waters below.

The Old Nun of the Shore

On the island of Dzivia lived an elderly nun, who some claim is an elf, or a half-orc. Having died on the island alone, this nun appears to those who have braved the currents of the dark island, and survived its currents and reefs. She gives them food and drink, and lets them sleep in one of the monastery's old rooms. Sometimes, though not always, she will share a story with her visitors and hope to keep them company for the night. When the visitor wakes the next morning, they find themselves on the inner sea's shores, far away from Dzivia's black hollowed cliffs.

The Abyssal City of Rivermen

Some sailors claim to have seen in the depths around Dzivia the incandescent lights of a city deep below the surface of the Dzivian sea. These mariners swear on their souls that the rivermen have built a grand empire deep beneath the waters, and that some of them have even been taken into the depths to be presented to their immortal queen, who rules the Dzivian underbelly with an iron fist. Most of those who speak of such things happen to be drunk, though some mariners who have survived attempts at drowning or kidnappings from rivermen refuse to confirm whether this 'city' is real or not. They would rather stay silent, which is frankly understandable.
Credit goes to: Stuart Chatwood

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Cover image: The Return by Eytan Zana


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