Big Ruk Island
You could die a thousand deaths there and never perish the same way twice.
Most maps will simply call this place Tairuk Island but to the local inhabitants this is Big Ruk. The largest landmass in the Tairuk Island Chain has acquired a certain reputation; one of extreme danger and immeasurable opportunity.
Expedition into the Unknown
When Elves explorers first reconnoitered the region they observed thick, tangled jungles filled with mega-fauna larger and more strange than any other place on the mainland continent. Creatures as small as mice or as large as Dragons; anything seemed to be possible on the island. Yet, it wasn't just the beasts that they came to see. The sages of Melanthris predicted a gate would exist there as well. The first explorers left the safety of their magnificent trimarans and set foot on Tairuk Island in search of the this lost gate and any other secrets hidden in the trees.
The elves found more than just towering beasts hidden within the island interior. Strange, stepped pyramids, ancient and crumbling... older than Melanthris itself or even the ancient tribes that build it. In these long-dead structures there were glyph depicting a world long before the one elves knew and writing in a language unlike any spoken by the races of Tairos. What they saw told the story of a reptilian people and the final apocalyptic hours of of their civilization at the hands of a wrathful god.
Their search came at a cost though. Dozens of lives were lost to the jungle predators as well as the guardians left behind in the lost temples. Yet, despite the losses they found the hidden gate they'd set out to locate. Records are sparse from this last leg of their journey as so few ever made it back to their home port but what is known is that they chose to seal this gate with both an arcane lock and a slab of iron inside the iris. The exact reason why has never been shared but some rumors said it had to do with what they learned inside the old temples and how the gates, and life on Tairos originated. Perhaps it was a secret deemed to dangerous to be known.
For centuries Big Ruk would go uninhabited and untouched by civilized hands. However, storm winds and disaster would eventually bring the Arrow of Timeto the shores of the island. These wayward pilgrims from the Balmoran Empire set out to find the sanctuary promised by the visions of their prophet, Siedel Vogt. Instead, the journey was deluged by mishap and tragedy. The survivors would go on to be the founders of the Tairuk Tribes, the primary inhabitants of the island and dedicated servants to the Totems Spirits of Balance.
The exact number of tribes that call this island home is difficult to ascertain but it's believed that tens of thousands reside here or on nearby tiny fragments of land. No other group of people have settlements here though some visitors claim to have spotted strange reptilian beings skulking about the temple ruins and deep jungle.
Thick jungle with one large central fresh-water lake. The land is relatively flat with the only exception being some cave structures that dot the island. The cave systems have never been documented by explorers though most speculate they cannot be particularly deep or expansive based on the nature of the landmass.
Fauna & Flora
The mega-flora and mega-fauna found here are perhaps the most famous aspect of the Tairuk Island Chain. Giant reptilian predators and herbivores roam the region and by most accounts they are equally as massive as the dragons of old and perhaps just as dangerous. Many of the plants found here are gargantuan in size too and some stories even make claim of giant fang-toothed fauna that stalk the land for unsuspecting prey.
Abundant. Big Ruk is flush with strong trees, deposits of valuable minerals, and creatures fit for domestication or harvest. The issue is access. There are no easily accessible areas for landing and every drop of vital resource would require a massive effort to clear the land first. None of that takes into the account the obvious dangers presented by the native beasts and the Tairuk Tribes.
Trophy Hunters have been known to visit the island in search of rare and dangerous big game.