Greg Sez Guest: EAST ISLES: United or not? (Jan 1999)

Occasionally Greg had guests answer the Q&As in Greg Sez.

Question One From JAMES ANDREWS. Answer provided by Nils Wienander

Q: “Is the whole East Isles really homogeneous?” 

A: The answer is a clear “No, not at all” and “Yes, of course they are.”

NO.

The islands are of many different types and sizes, some being volcanic, others of granite, others of low-lying sand, others as atolls. The population of the East Isles is not homogenous. The majority of Islanders are kralori humans, but there are also islands of blue- and brown-skinned humans. A large minority of the total people are mermen, keets, andins, yellow elves and unique races like the quombs of Vormain and the parrot people of Forng. Numerous languages are native to different groups. Furthermore, many people totally ignore the gods and are mystics, while the people of Ambovombe and adjoining islands are Malkioni. Last but not least of the differences, the islands have wildly varying cultures, ranging from primitive cannibal savages to cultivated urbanites.

YES.

Most Islanders share the basic mythology: the world ages, the high gods, gods, antigods and little gods, but some don’t. All the islands are pieces of the Vithelan continent. Islands have sunk beneath the sea and risen from the sea since the Creation Cycle, as witnessed by myths like the Mountain and Island Contest and the Goddesses’ Gamble. But new or old, they are all Vithelan. Furthermore, unity is proved since the East Isles have an autonomous local wind system which keeps foreign storms out most of the time; and local sea forces which counter the effect of tides. The Islanders nearly all share the experience of not knowing the Darkness, when they were warmed by the daily glow of Maluraya which lit Vithela. Thus their differences are only apparant and not actual.

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