This was certainly among the more difficult ones to write. I’ve had to really work hard to find a balance between making these islands similar to the ones I’ve written about in the past weeks (which were all rather distinct) and at the same time have them be similar enough to one another to justify making a single region out of them. Watching out to not fall prey to constant repetition was also a serious obstacle and I don’t know if it’s one I’ve avoided well enough. In the end I’m not certain whether putting these islands together was the right call, especially considering the subregions I’ve distinguished. I might just be returning to this part of the Cat People Archipelago at a later point to better discuss the quite distinct part of this region.
Sculpting the World
4.5. The Islands of the Lesser Cat PeopleLandscape: A group of eight islands of varying sizes on the Eastern side of the Cat People Archipelago of varying sizes, the Islands of the Lesser Cat People are thought to have been larger islands in the past. While the islands are mostly fairly similar to one another the islands can distinguished in three subregions of sorts. The two North-Western islands are very similar to the Panthera Island, covered mostly with dense tropical forests and having a sandy beach strip along the Southernmost coast. The three Southernmost islands contain jungles not unlike those found on the Jaguaran Island with numerous rivers coursing through them. The three islands on the East side of the archipelago are remarkably different to any of the other islands, however. The more to the East one goes the less dense the forest growth and the more hilly and rocky the land becomes.
Climate: As in the Western part of the Cat People Archipelago the Islands of the Lesser Cat People have a sub-tropical to tropical climate. There are some distinctions, though, between the three subregions. Both the North-Western and Southern islands have high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. More to the East there is a clearer distinction between seasons, with high temperatures in the Summer and more moderate ones in the Winters. The more to the East the humidity levels also drop, with the Easternmost island even being fairly dry. Rainfall is common across the island group, but while this occurs the entire year and in heavy showers in the North-Western and Southern islands, on the Eastern islands – the Easternmost one in particular – this is mostly during the late Summer months. The rest of the year rain falls more gradually there.
Flora & Fauna: With the exception of the Easternmost islands the floral life in this island group is very similar to that of the Western islands of the sapient cat people, with dense tropical forests and jungles clearly being the predominant ecosystems. Massive broadleaved trees with great branches cover most of the North-Western islands, while smaller but still quite large broadleaved fruit bearing hardwood trees grow on the Southern islands. Ferns, bushes, shrubs and flowers of varying kinds and sizes grow on the forest floors. On the Eastern islands the trees are more widely spaced. The further one goes to the East trees are also far less common and high grass takes over as the prevailing flora, though shrubs are not uncommon.
The four large cat species are the dominant species on all islands, though in most cases no more than one species is found on a single island. Jaguars inhabit the two islands East of the Jaguaran island; lions live on the two Easternmost islands of the archipelago. Tigers of various sizes are spread across the subregions, living on the Westernmost of the Eastern islands, the Southernmost of the North-Western islands and the Easternmost of the Southern islands. The remaining island – the Northern of the North-Western islands – holds a small population leopards, according to some the only ones in the entire Realm. Other cat species can be found across the islands: lynxes and servals on the Eastern islands, oncillas, margays and ocelots on the Southern islands and caracals and wildcats in the North-Western islands. Aside from the cat species there are no predators on these islands. Various other species found on the sapient cat people islands also inhabit these islands, including mammals like small deer, tapirs, monkeys, various kinds of birds, both fresh- and saltwater fish and insects like butterflies, mosquitoes, flies and dragonflies.