1. Ghiil, Island Paradise
The city of Ghiil is one of the Seven Sisters. Located behind the island dominated by Kabarat, in the middle of an inner lagoon of crystalline waters, it is mostly built on raised rocks and islands, linked by wooden bridges. Many who have visited the city will claim it is one of the most paradisiac places in the world.
The sacred Grove of Ghiil grows on top of its center island, and all other main islands are linked to it in a rough circular pattern. One very long bridge to the mainland doubles as docks for the visiting trading ships. Inhabitants are often seen fishing from the bridges, as the waters surrounding he city are teeming with sea life. Great reefs grow around the sacred grove island, and are almost as revered as it.
Narrow wooden bridges being often not the best path to carry large loads and building materials, double-hulled pole barges ferry large shipments around the city in between the islands. These boats also serve as diving boards if one fancies a refreshing swim.
Never contested by Kabarat, whose nobles see Ghiil as a nice neighbor to trade with and the best vacation spot ever, Ghiil is one of the most peaceful of the Seven Sisters probably due to its soothing ambiance. One other explanation might be that no one want to deal with the massive wildlife that lives in the vicinity of the city.
2. The Menagerie
Ghiil`s main export are pelts and animal byproducts. This in itself is unremarkable, except the fact that everything living around Ghiil seems to take immense proportions, and thus great trade value. Monstrous apes abound in the jungles surrounding the lagoon, giant tigers prowl around its shores and snakes the length of two horses coil high up in the trees, ready to ambush any unwary prey. Nowhere else in the known world do apes grow this large, and bringing one down by one’s own means is unthinkable save for the maddest of big game hunters.
Revering nature not unlike druids, the inhabitants only hunt to control populations when they encroach too much on the borders of their lagoon. Prospective foreign hunters and poachers are less scrupulous however, and receive little help from the indigenous people when their goals are announced. Fishing, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable and the livelihood of most townspeople.
To dissuade foreigners from poaching the local wildlife to validate its existence or for profit, the local hunters have managed to wrangle several members of the most prominent species on one of the islands near the sacred grove, creating a menagerie of sorts where people can study the beasts in relative safety, and hopefully scare them from trekking in the nearby jungle by clearly presenting to them the dangers it hides. Ghiil also donates some live specimens to scholars who have earned their trust. This unfortunately does not prevent all poaching, and it isn’t uncommon to find caged animals from the region in bazaars across the Fair Isles Sea, to be sold as exotic pets.
3. Sacred Grove
Ghiil’s sacred grove of towering tropical trees grows in the middle of the city’s main island, similar to all of the Seven Sisters. Its remarkable feature is the fact it sits on an island. It is fiercely guarded by the local druids and population in general: severe profanators are thrown off the bridges surrounding the grove’s island with boulders tied to their feet, where they become fish feed.
Ghiil, Island Paradise
Writer : Guillaume Lupien