The Sunward Isles

The Sunward Islands is a chain of isles not too far off from the continent of Devkarth. It is south of Devkarth, and unlike the mainland, consists primarily of a dense, tropical forest that covers the entire isles. They are also sometimes called the Smiling Islands due to the shape drawn out on a map; with the main island being the long grimace, and the three smaller islands being the eyes and nose. The name also comes from the infamous, brutal nature of its emperor, known as King Redgrin.

The Islands

There are four different islands located in the Archipelago; they are as follows:

  • Leihong: Leihong is the 'primary' island within the Archipelago, and the 'nose' at the center of the landmass. It is the designated capital of the Empire that governs the isles. Leihong is known for being filled with steep rises and cliffsides.

  • Zangyan: Zangyan is the left 'eye' of the Archipelago; one of the topmost landmasses, and unlike the rest of the isles, is covered partially in a long, stretching beach made up of sands that shimmer curious, prismatic colours during the sunset.

  • Luyan: The right 'eye' of the Archipelago, consisting almost entirely of forest. Luyan is a dense and steamy jungle that is often likened to a 'Green Hell'; the foliage is so dense that it makes traversing difficult, and very few bother living there due to the dangerous predators lurking within thewoods.

  • Lengull: The wide 'Grin' of the archipelago; Lengull is where most ships land. It is the largest landmass within the Archipelago, spanning wide enough to take up most of the southern waters beneath it.

Geography

Most of the Sunward Isles are found within a tropical area, and are thus lush, dense, and filled to the brim with thick jungles that permeate most of the archipelago. There are exceptions to this; such as the vast beachside found on Zangyan, but aside from that, the Sunward Islands are entirely filled with lush foliage dense jungles that make navigation difficult for outsiders.

History

The Sunward Islands are actually seen as the ancestral homeland to the Devkarti people. Thus, it often keeps its name even in the neighboring continent of Devkarth, where the sun sets opposite of the island's direction. During a period of brief turmoil, many believe that the Devkarti people sailed away from the isles to escape their despot, where they eventually found themselves on the main landmass. Aside from this, most of the history around Liven itself is actually lost in time due to a combination of turmoil, and hostile spirits that have long plagued the land, making it nearly uninhabitable to anyone save for those that have learned to protect themselves from dangerous Fae spirits.

 

Three Kingdoms

For centuries, the Archipelago was left under the control of three separate kingdoms.

    Liven: Liven held control over Leihong; the nose of the isles. It later conquered the remaining kingdoms and assimilated them into itself.

Leng: Held control of Lengull, the southernmost 'grimace' shaped isle at the Archipelago. They were known for being particularly ferocious warriors, and relied heavily on a combination of brute force and scare tactics to intimidate their enemies.

Yan: the Yan dynasty controlled Zangyan and Luyan. Commercially, they were among the most powerful due to being the closest to the continent of Devkarth, which allowed them to have a stronger hold on the trade routes that sailed from the Devkarti coast. Everything had to travel through the Yan first.

In the end, Liven had managed to conquer the Sunward Isles in a long and brutal war by storming Lengull. With no allies to help protect and guide them, the nation of Liven had quickly and effectively conquered Leng. Shortly after, the kingdom took control over the Zangyan and Luyan in harsh, brutal wars carried out by Hong Tao.

Incited Rebellions

With Liven in control, things are left tense due to the former three kingdoms all being conglomerated under the control of a despot they did not swear fealty to. Bloodshed continued throughout the Sunward Isles, and rather than quell it, the emperor fostered it. The Kingdom of Liven frequently sends his military to police and control the different isles in order to maintain his rule. However, in order to create and manifest valuable Oni spirits, rebellions are purposefully incited so that they can be gathered as a valuable commodity.

Tourism

Despite the isles being filled with bloodshed, the isle of Leihong is often seen as a tourist hot spot due to its innate beauty, mostly from the kingdom of Devkarth. Devkarth is a harsh land, filled with brutal deserts and unforgiving environments, so it is very common for soldiers and nobility alike to take vacations there. Leihong itself has relatively gorgeous views, and is easily the most peaceful isle within the kingdom of Liven, if only because it is also the original homeland to the current dynasty that rules over the archipelago.

From the unique flora to the diverse fauna, Leihong has unique sights for everyone to enjoy. The people there are also often seen as exotic figures in Devkarti culture; more often than not, Devkarti tourists will prefer staying in one of their massive cities.

Alternative Name(s)
Smiling Islands
Type
Archipelago

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