The islands of Daisokoku are located in a volcanic zone within the Okaiyo Ocean. While supposedly the fossilized body of a long-dead monster of legends and myth, Daisokoku is decidedly a mountaineous island chain.
Daisokoku has well over 6.000 islands extending along the eastern coast into the oceanic body nationally known as the Ryoutokai. Eastwards, only a handful of islands exist near the Daisokokun coast; the eastern oceanic body known as the Akumasaikai stretches on endlessly. The main islands, from north to south, are Rubishima, Ryoushima, Northern and Southern Dankai, and the peninsula of Kuroi. Eastwards into the Ryoutokai, the Marble Strait stretches, comprised out of several thousand tiny isles each stretching up to seven miles upwards into the sky. Dense jungle canopies connect the dense pillars of stone between one another, on top of which marble towers of dwarven engineering dot the peaks of each natural marble pillar.
About 60 percent of Daisokoku is forested, mountainous, and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial, or residential use.
Rubishima is the nigh uninhabitable, mountaineous and volcanic northern island region, dominated by a single large volcanic main island known as Oni Island. Stretching from the northern borders dotted with smaller isles, a collosal arching ridge stretches from north to south just east off the shallow coast of Oni Island. Various shallow volcanic rings, dormant or older volcanoes, dot the geographical landscape of Rubishima.
Barring some foolhardy pirates, no people live along the isles of Rubishima. Only least and lesser and great oni do.
The northern wastes of Kamui are a mountaineous are dotted with high plains and flatlands covered in snow. What little refuge spring and summer provide transform Kamui from snowblasted landscapes into thick, conifer woods and evergreens. Many mountain villages dot the area, small tribes and communities eking out an existence in the northern provinces.
Between the forests and the wastes, many rivers and lakes make up the north of Kamui, giving at least natural defensive borders to the people making their lives there, as well as excellent sources for fish and water.
There is very little contact between these provinces’ daimyos and the rule of Ryoushima’s capital province, but the Emperor keeps a close watch of the area through his agents. After Ryoushima, Kamui is well protected by Imperial levy and soldiers, stamping out the incursions from the northern Oni Isle out with prejudice.
The northern-most shores of Kamui are dotted with small fishing communities, or with farming steads that make the most out of the volcanic soil that trickles down from the north or which is caught in nets from the sea.
Like a large craggy spine, the mountain of the tengu people, the Karangetang, stretches out over the center of Daisokoku. Virtually impossible to traverse due to sheer cold and height, it acts as a natural barrier bisecting Daisokoku in roughly north-western and south-eastern halves along the Ryoushima main isle. It is the forbidding home of the tengu refugees of the Second Age, and has since been their mysterious retreat ever since.
Snow blankets the mountains all year around, but the mountains are not entirely inhospitable. Human settlements have arisen around particularly rich mineral veins, as well as around natural hotsprings which are used by wildlife as well. Karangetang hotsprings are celebrated in history to have been the few means by which early-age tengu and humans have peacefully met.
Higher along the mountains, the tengu lords have carved their domains out into the stone, usually out of reach of humans. Six of these mountain cities are publically known to Daisokokun people: Karasu, Harabasa, Araak, Krararak, Kuwugara and the Blackwing City. The latter’s more translated and wide-spread name is due to its relative close distance to the Imperial capital.
Ryoushima is technically the name of the main isle making up the entirety of Daisokoku, but since the Third Age, it’s become synonymous with the areas surrounding the southern Karangetang, and of the mountain hills giving way to flat plains and thick deciduous forests and bamboo woods. The flat plains are one half of the granary of the island, as what little agriculture exists on Daisokoku is mostly situated in Ryoushima or in the deltas of Kuroi.
Many provinces in Ryoushima are centres of commerce and trade, with high towers and castles overlooking the stretches of land for the commoners. Roads criss-cross through the provinces, very commonly guarded by local watch patrols.
Forests form natural barriers between provinces, providing a dangerous element for travelers abroad. Many wild animals roam the thick woodlands and through the stalks of bamboo.
A pair of islands south-east off the coast of Ryoushima, the Northern and Southern Dankai provinces make up the bulk of the marine trade from the many isles east of Daisokoku and from the wide seas abroad. The craggy coastlines are littered with fortress buttes and constructions overlooking natural points of entry to offload and supply trade and military vessels.
Mostly flat and not very forested, the two provinces that make up the Dankai isles are closely guarding the few points of entry to the harbours of Imperial Se’an. However, the two daimyo of the provinces are staunch opponents, fiercely opposing one another’s diplomatic approaches to Emperor-alligned lords and southern freebooters.
Kuroi is a hilly, sloping landscape that is thickly forested with deciduous plants all the way into the Black Marshes. Due to its thick forests, very few cities have been erected in Kuroi, and what little borders can be drawn are only so loosely defined, due to these areas being controlled not by Emperor-alligned lords, but rather local figures of power.
Kuroi’s forests taper out to give way to flat, swampy lands and meandering rivers flowing through thick claypools. What little land rises above the muck further south is used for settlements and tradeposts that make up the second bulk of agriculture within Daisokoku. While these farmlands are officially not under Emperial protection, the provinces are guarded by staunch warlords and criminal elements that maintain their own sovereignity, and are supposedly backed by Emperial weapons trade, if only to keep the people stocked, and the food supplies and trade routes protected.
The Sea of Dragons is a place of wonder and legend. No mortals but heroes of myth and the line of Emperors have been known to have been admitted in the Courts of Dragons and Turtles under the sea. What is known of the Courts is that they are supposedly allies of the Emperor, if not of Daisokoku.
The sea is open, but known to harbour dangerous great beasts. Dragon turtles are known to attack ships from the east, taking what little riches they can to devour and claim as their own.
The Marble Strait
Thousands of tiny islands stretch on for miles into the air. Struck by wind and sea alike, it is amazing how the marble cliffs manage to withstand the forces of nature, but they stand, all the same.
The Marble islands are the homes of the various clans of elves and dwarves alike. The dwarves have long since carved out their domains in the sides of the islands, living on the cliffsides from hanging, wooden and stone homes, all the way up into intrinsically carved stone domes and pillars that dot the islands. The largest islands have also large harbour towns set up at the base of their pillars, trade and supply mostly occuring down at the roots of the dwarvenhomes.
Hanging from the tops of the pillars, great, ropey vines and hanging trees connect the various islands together. It is here that the clans of elves live, hunting game and fish and trespassers alike for survival.
The Sea of Devils is dark. It is perpetually shrouded with ominous, thunderous clouds striking lightning white as snow or red as blood into the seas. From the west, the great evils have come, and still rise. Even the tengu speak not of their homelands they have fled at the dawn of the Second Age.
No-one has ever crossed the Akumasaikai and returned.