The Eastern Isles have a varied and mish-mashed history down through the ages. During the distant aeons of the Old One's rule of the area, the islands lay empty for the most part, although certain ruins on Quetzal Island seem to originate with them or a similarly ancient race. There is also a theory that the Old Ones used some arcane ancient magic to raise up the forbidding Stormpearl Isles as a sheild from the many storms that rage in the open waters.
The Eastern Isles does have the distinction of having a native race, the Hadorzee, a species of simian-looking creatures with partigal flaps similar to flying squirrells. The Hadorzee are fantastic swimmers and can use their flaps to fly from treetop to treetop. During the ancient days, the primitive ancestors of the Hadorzee froliced among the atolls alone.
The ancient Lizardman race of the Sliss'pok were not represented in a major way in the Eastern Isles. There seems to have been a small trading post near the site of the city of Viridian on Taranta Island, probably to trade with the ancient Hadorzee who were numerous on that island. Taranta Island also is host to some of the animals and plants the Sliss'pok were famous for breeding.
During recent millenia as the ancestors of the Mazatilian humans migrated to the area, some of the migrants settled in the islands and developed an indepenent culture known as the Avveroe. They fished, farmed, and battled with the Hadorzee for centuries, living a fairly harmonious low-tech lifestyle until the Xoltec Empire rose on the mainland of Mazatil.
The Xoltecs were much more sophisticated than their island cousins, and they were always looking for sacrifices to their dark necromantic god Xipe Totec. They built war galleys and sailed for the islands, conquering the native Hadorzee and Avveroe alike. Much of both populations were taken back to fuel the blood sacrifices of Xipe Totec's temples. The city of Arratu on Taranta Island was so infamous for the cruelty inflicted on the Hadorzee that the word has entered their language as a curse. The islands suffered under the tyranny of the Xoltecs until the chaos of the Night of Bloody Bones allowed them to rise up and destroy the remaining surviviors and their dark cities. From that point on, the few remaining Avveroe and Hadorzee pledged to work together to defend their islands. Since then, both cultures have thrived, integrating well with the refugees arriving from Dragora and become sought-after crewmembers and navigators.
During the following years, other groups began to arrive from other continets. During the consolidation of the Golden Empire on Dragora, many refugees from the conquered kingdoms sailed away rather than submit. These people found refuge among the islands, still recovering from the depredations of the Xoltecs.
Many of the refugees from the Kingdom of Vellasia setted in the south of Mazatil. A younger son of the slain King of Pyke led a group of his countrymen to the northern island of Chalmec, which they renamed King Island. They founded the city of Kingsport, and are quite succesful merchant-sailors. The merchant-nobles of Kingsport organize the annual Trading Fleet, which travels in convoy to the city of Amiran on the southern coast of Dragora.
A contingent of halflings who fled their homeland when the Kingdom of Garlan fell to the Empire settled on Parakeet Island, where they have become quite chummy with the local Hadorzee (they both have a fascination with fine food in large quantities).
A mixed group of refugees from many kingdoms settled the area that became the city of Viridian, the largest city in the islands. Viridian, much like its' sister city of Opal is a multi-ethnic stew, but without the rampant violence and undead menace that Opal suffers.
The climate of the Eastern Isles is very clement and tropical, but there are frequent storms that rush in from the Tempest Straits. Navigation can be tricky, and most captains stay along the deeper water channels known as Roads. There are many small coral atolls scattered about. in many places the water is extremely shallow, and many water-breathing sentients make their home under the waves as well. The are many unique and delicious foodstuffs that only grow in this environment, and long-distance traders come from all over Arcaia to dicker for them and the native hardwoods. The many ships have brought forth a large number of pirates.
Piracy in the Eastern Isles is fairly endemic. There is lots to steal, and many places to lie doggo with your ship until the heat is off. There is also a large "open port" city known as Argentum on the southern side of Avveroe Island. Argentum is a clearing house for dubious goods, and a place where pirates can give their crew shore leave without worrying about being strung up by the law. Most crews are local inhabitants, but there are ships looking for booty from Fimbulia, Therana, the Isles of Storm and almost anywhere with a maritime tradition. Argentum is the place to go to find or dispose of anything that might be dangerous, stolen, or both. Argentum is surrounded by shoals, and is difficult to navigate to unless you know the safest paths in.
The Arcaian Year is 367 1/12 days long. The Zapatec civilization created the calendar based on the calculations of the high Quetzalcouatl priest Mictanlatl (Heart of Flowers). It is based on the earlier Xoltec Calendar, which was abandoned because of its ties to human sacrifice and necromancy.
Rather than a 30-day month standard, the year is broken up into 28 13-day ‘cycles’. The cycles are grouped into 2 sections of 14 cycles each. The ‘wet’ cycles are named for animals and fall during the winter rainy season. The ‘dry’ cycles are named for gems and fall during the summer dry season. Zapatec children are often called by their birthday as a common name, with their birth name kept secret as a ward against evil magic. Thus a Zapatec child can be called Seven Foxor Twelve Onyx in daily conversation.
The remaining four days are marked on the solstices and the equinoxes. They are the Days of the Couatl, and any children born on these days are known as One Couatl and considered very lucky. These children often enter the priesthood.
Every twelve years there is a leap day. This is the Day of the Skull, prophesised to be the day the Zapatec Civilization will fall. Any child born on this day is considered cursed, and known as One Skull. These children rarely live long happy lives
The Shambles: District where much of themanufacturing in Opal is located. Rendering plants, tanneries, smithies and distilleries all are locatedhere. Points of interest include theHyrkmirian Embassy, the Shipworks and the Temple to Volund/Rava. Local Tavern: The Rusty Rooster
Eastfaring: A working-class district where many Shambles workers make their home. Points of interest include the Leatherworker’s Market, the Varranio Glassworks and the Dawn Market. Local tavern: The Glisterbank Brewery.
Central District:One of the original parts of Opal, the Central District still serves asthe administrative heart of the city. Points of interest include The Grand Temple of Quetzalcouatl, TheCaptain’s Guild, and the House of Convocation. Local tavern: The Zephyr’s Kiss.
Old City: The original hub of habitation inOpal. It is still occupied by many oldernoble houses. Points of interest includethe Carvacchio Amphitheater, the Temple of Gozreh, and the Grand Ducal Palace.Local tavern: The Foc’c’sle.
Driftwood District: The rowdy and rundown docks ofOpal. Points of interest include theBroken House Sanitarium, The Temple of the Shark Gods, and Larmer’s Coffee House. Local Tavern: The Purple Siren.
Longreach: A mixture of housing and shops. Points of interest include the Opaline LeaperBourse, the Palm Brandy Distillery and the Saddlery. Local tavern: The Dragon’s Tooth Inn.
Westfaring: Mixture of warehouses, middle classhousing and college buildings. Points of interest include the University ofOpal, Erd’s Antiquities and Oddments and the Temple of Oghma. Local Tavern: The Steel Quill.
Highwatch: Highest point in Opal, Highwatch is where the richest families build their palatial dwellings. Points of interest include the Cloud Ballroom, Gem Boulevard and the Founder’s Hall. Local tavern: The Red Rose.
River District: Warehouses and river docks. Most of the Uplands plantation produce isunloaded here. Points of interestinclude the River Keep, the Confectionary and Greff’s Jungle Outfitters. Local Tavern: The Levee.
Upper Opal: A collection of higher hills. Merchantsand well-to-do captains make their homes here. Points of interest include the Exotic Animal Souk, the Temple of Abadarand Boulevard of Relics. Local Tavern:The Hogshead.
Market District: The commercial heart of Opal. Points of interest include the OpalExplorer’s Guild, the Temple of CaydenCailean/Ometochtl , and the Opaline Chandlery. Local Tavern: The Golden Perch.
Opal Harbor: Harbor shielded by a large manmade breaker known as Arturo’sWall. At the edge is a large lighthouseknown as The Octogon Light.