The Shadeshallow Islands are a lush coral atoll located on Western E4 near where the vertex mountains would otherwise lay. Difficult to access and rarely untouched by the civilizations of the Manifold Sky, the Shadeshallow Islands is a place of mysterious, primal beauty.
The Shadeshallow Islands consist of two concentric rings of islands positioned around a central lagoon. The inner island chain is more mountainous - though no portion of the island rises more than five hundred feet above sea level - and forms a protective cove where airships and seaplanes might safely put down. Dorsal-associated cubes, like Western E, have little in the way of natural geological activity, meaning that the landscape is more often sculpted by a combination of circumvection and biological activity than by the usual volcanism or tectonic movement. The region in which the Shadeshallow Islands is no exception, with the vertex and edge mountain ranges lying well below the local sea level. However, what volcanic activity that has occurred in the region has created undewater calderas tall enough that, over time, coral that grows on the more nutrient-rich rims can accumulate to the point that it peaks above the surface of the sea, creating coral islands and atolls like the Shadeshallow Islands.
The region of the Shadeshallow Islands is temperate and humid. The alternating dry and monsoon seasons are mild; the mangroves and cove serve to protect much of the island's coastline from erosion even in the rare event of tropical storms.
Fauna & Flora
Mangroves grow out into the surrounding littoral waters, creating abundant habitats for tropical birds of all sorts. Fish, including some frugivorous species, teem in the protective shade of the mangroves, providing a potential source of food should anyone come and visit. Coconut and pineapple trees grow along the few stretches of shoreline not dominated by mangroves.
The animal life in the Shadeshallow Islands is passive, having never had to cope with the influence of major predators on the local ecosystem, and trends towards curiosity rather than fear or hostility even in the face of mortal danger. The more scientifically-minded members of world-travelling organizations, such as the Burning Hearts Social Club and Sorority of Solace, make active efforts to prevent the intrusion of invasive species, such as rats, that might sneak onto the islands and - being unopposed by the local life - destroy the rare ecological beauty of the place. This labor is as much an act as personal sentiment as it is one of pragmatism, as more than one tryst between Burnheart and Sorority conservationists has started with a simultaneous visit to the island.