Island Tilkens Ethnicity in Drake's Dozen | World Anvil
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Island Tilkens

The sails upon their ship shone so brilliantly, they could have been woven from the stars themselves. Only later did I learn that they were made of silk!

Silk, a material that we consider luxurious and exclusive; these people use it to construct sails and clothe even the poorest among them! One can only guess at the wealth possessed in these lands.
— One of the oldest surviving accounts of a human encountering island tilkens


Sea Serpents

Ask anyone in the world who the best seafarers have consistently been throughout Neyush history, and they'll say Island Tilkens.

(If they say cecaelia, they're just trying to being a smart-arse. Ignore them. You're better than that.)


A Watery Eden

The most-generally accepted theory for the origins of intelligent life lie in two major locations. The one in western Pfemba can be attributed to all mammalian species across that continent and Monyus, and potentially even includes the cecaelia, although their fossil records are difficult to place geographically.

The other, just east of the archipelago, is the most likely candidate for the origin of life on Chezri, thanks to the climate and sea currents. Both the tilken and the kliasta can be traced back to here, having descended from the ancient T'illik'eye.

Hot and Cold

The tilkens who settled on the archipelago enjoyed a unique mix of beautifully-warm oceans currents flowing south, and nutritient-filled cold waters coming north from the icy tundras of Monyus.

The two currents clash and mix here, intertwining between the islands and ensuring the waters here are never stagnant.

Thanks for all the fish

The varied waters here also provide an excellent breeding ground for all sorts of wildlife. Even before the domestication of the Adolescent Silk Moth, island tilkens soon relied on coastal fish for the majority of their diet.

Look at them shine

Once the silk moths had started to be farmed for their strong, quickly produced silk, it didn't take long for the simple rafts and catamarans to be improved with sturdy, smooth sails, letting the tilkens reach further and further into the ocean.

Valued exports

Nothing but drip

Island tilken sails, and the silk that goes into crafting them, are renowned in every sea-savvy community for their incredible strength, subtle elasticity that increases their durability, and iconic silky gleam that can identify a tiken ship from the horizon.

Not great if you're a pirate ship trying to stay hidden, but boy are they pretty.

Amazing travelling moths

Somewhat controversially, some people consider it prudent to carry a moth or two on larger ships for long expeditions, ensuring a steady supply of silk, should the sails or ropes need repairing.

The size of the adolescent moths means they don't survive as long, or as comfortably, when taken down from their mountain homes for any length of time, so this is frowned on by a growing number of people, some of whom are lobbying to outlaw the practice altogether.

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