Igbi and Lowoni Geographic Location in Nideon | World Anvil
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Igbi and Lowoni

Igbi and Lowani are two volcanic islands just off the southern coast of Xye. They are well known for their high volcanic activity, as well as the diverse flora and fauna which live on and around them. They are not open to tourists, however, as the Xye government does not want the ecosystem damaged as it has been in other areas in southern Xye. Therefore, the island is only open to scientists studying the volcanoes and the unique flora and fauna which live there. Because the islands have both considerable amounts of snow, due to being so far south, as well as active volcanoes, they have several species that are have adapted to live in the area and are found few, if any, other places on Nideon.  



Thoov Trees

The word thoov stems from the old Ethite word for ash, and this tree is so called because it is only known to grow in areas with volcanic ash. Some scientists believe the tree is connected in some way to fire magic, and the heat of lava activates them. Though adult trees usually die during volcanic activity, new trees are some of the first plants to spring up, breaking up the rocks around them to make way for other plants.   Thoov trees are squat, low to the ground trees with roots that can easily break rock and ice to get water, and they seem able to survive in a variety of climates, as long as there is volcanic activity nearby. They grow tiny white or pink blossoms, as well as round fruits, which are sweet, but tough skinned. When heated, the bark of the thoov tree turns purple, often giving the landscape near volcanoes a purplish hue.  

Fire Moss

Fire moss is a red-petaled plant that has only been found on the mossy northern faces of the mountains of Igbi and Lowoni. It tends to attract wildlife, and scientists believe they feed on some of the more poisonous elements found in the area, filtering them out of the soil and the air to allow other species to survive. Recently, there have been attempts to study the plant for medicinal purposes, but no one has been able to successfully grow it off the islands.


Volcano Worm

Volcano worms are about an inch in diameter and can be anywhere from a couple of inches to three feet in length. They are black with white spines, which help camouflage them against the snowy mountains, but additionally help them to move around and make them more difficult to eat. Their primary predators are the birds in the area.
Volcano worms live in colonies in the soil, similar to ants or termites. They feed off the moss that grows all over the islands, as well as minerals and microscopic organisms in the dirt. After digesting the minerals, the worms vomit up the waste material, combined with their saliva, and use this as a mortar to build their colonies beneath the soil. As the substance dries, it hardens. This provides protection during lava flows, when the worms burrow deep into the soil and wait for the surface to cool. Volcano worm tunnels can be found all over the islands, and have proven to be complex structures which include channels specifically designed to divert lava flow away from living chambers. Interest in volcano worm structures has even inspired some recent architects.

Bottlenose Sea Lion

Xye is famous for the unique sea lions that live along its southern coast. Though they are found elsewhere in the southern ocean, they live primarily around underwater volcanoes, and they are specially adapted to this environment. Though the bottlenose sea lion has a thick skin and layer of fur which traps and blocks the noxious fumes that emitted by the volcanoes, scientists believe they have developed an immunity to some of these these gases, as they also have scent glands from which they can spray predators or prey with a similar substance. Bottlenose sea lions also utilize the thermal gasses from the volcanoes to conserve energy when they are swimming, similar to birds when flying.
  Their dolphin like noses, from which they get their name allow them to rummage for food in unlikely places, as well as can provide a battering ram against predators, but their jaws have a limited ability to open, meaning they usually eat smaller fish and crustaceans. They have also been known to rummage for food on land, such as turtle eggs. The bottlenose sea lion has four flippers which allow it to move about on land, as well as a wide, flat tail, which helps it swim. Sometimes, they have even been known to swim backwards by bending their bodies in a lobster-like fashion.

Tourists who are disappointed they are unable to visit the volcanic islands can often see the bottlenose sea lions up close on the southern coast of Xye, as they are known to bask in large groups on both shores. Due to their mottled black and white appearance, however, they can sometimes be hard to spot. Scientists believe this developed as another way to get food, as they have been known to attach birds or other small creatures foolish enough to think they are finding refuse on an icy bank.

Pocket Penguin

Though pocket penguins are surprisingly small for their icy location, it is not their size that brings them their name, but the "pocket" they have on their stomach. Pocket Penguins are known to lay one egg at a time, which they keep in this pouch until it is ready to hatch. After the female lays the egg, the male pocket penguin lays on its stomach and uses its beak to slide the egg into the pouch, where it usually remains until it is ready to hatch. Females have also been known to keep eggs if a male is killed. In some cases, a mating pair will also adopt a stray egg, in which case both the male and female carry the eggs.

Though pocket penguins have been known to carry their young in their pockets after they hatch, this is uncommon. It is likely the adaptation developed as a way for the penguins to quickly escape a volcanic eruption with their young if necessary. Similar to the bottlenose sea lion, the pocket penguin migrates between the southern coast of Xye and the Igbi and Lowani Islands. In the summer, they mate on the islands, while traveling to slightly warmer climes in the winter, which is the best time for tourists to catch a glimpse of the unusual creatures.  

Painted Turtle

The painted turtle is the sea turtle found furthest south on Nideon. It is likely that they are able to live this far south because their high metabolism helps keep their body temperature warm. They are called painted turtles because their shells have a stippled, multi-color pattern, similar to that of a calico cat. Though they are mostly found around the Southern Islands, they are sometimes seen in the waters around Igbi and Lowani, especially during the migration of pocket penguins.   Painted turtles are omnivores. They hunt in packs and eat most smaller animals which live in their waters, including fish, penguins, and salamanders. They have been known to sometimes take down bottlenose sea lions, but it is uncommon, as the sea lions will ram them with their noses when attacks. They are also fond of the southern hops plant, and scientists believe they may have carried the seeds to Lowani Island.

Other Fauna

Many other animals can be found on and around Igbi and Lowoni. The basalt caves which form due to the volcanic activity are home to many bats, which fly between the islands the southern coast of Xye. The area is also home to a wide variety of fish, jellyfish, and insects--aquatic, winged, and burrowing. Scientists think the islands might bear information about the evolution of these insects, and perhaps other animals, allowing them to better understand what the world might have looked like before humans lived there.

The Goddess Tree

Many historians believe that thoov trees growing near Millerling Mountain in Feren are also the Goddess Tree described in Pelan stories. The Goddess Tree was said to withstand extreme conditions and offered a tough, but sweet fruit even in times of scarcity, and thus was a form of protection. It is likely that thoov bark was the first source of purple dye used to color the Ibi'an.

The Beer Controversy

Though it is grown all over the southern continent for its hardiness and use in brewing, the southern hops plant was only recently discovered on Lowani Island. Since its discovery, brewers have been fighting for an opportunity to harvest the plant, as the soil differences could provide a unique flavor.

Dragon Friends

In the last decade, scientists discovered a six-legged lizard in the caves of Igbi. Though smaller (3-4 feet), and without an air sac, they believe these lizards to be related to the Puffer Salamander. They seem to have a connection to water magic, hunting for fish in the ocean and literally freezing their bodies during volcanic eruption. This discovery has brought into question the common belief that dragons evolved from humans.  

Surprising Sharks

At the turn of the century, whiskered sharks were spotted near Igbi and Lowoni. This was the first time they had been seen so far south. Though scientists are unsure what brought them into these waters, they think it may related to the warmth from the underwater volcanoes.

Cover image: by Emma Francis


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