Refugees

Perhaps more than two-thirds of the present Sunset Isles population is composed of descendants of the refugee fleet that arrived a hundred and twenty years ago. Six human generations have passed since that time, and while many of the refugees have blended with the local customs and traditions, many more retain distinct traces or wholesale parts of their former ways.

Hereditary mandarins of the Ninefold Celestial Empire still faithfully prepare rescripts for the Jade Throne, despite its long abandonment to the Red Tide. The devotees of the House of the Inner Blade still teach the venerable Creeds of the elven blademasters to all who prove worthy of their tutelage. Even the ruffianly membership of the Guild of the Open Hand still labors to carry on their customs of traditional thievery in these much-shrunken Isle cities.

These customs and traditions tend to vary depending on the individual. Not every descendent of the Ninefold Celestial Empire cares to respect the Wheel of Rebirth, and not every elf is still devoted to the Creed he brought with him a century ago. While small clumps of one nation or another still tend to cling together in larger settlements, the customs of the past are eroding steadily under the pressure of the danger of the Isles and the example of neighbors.

Most of the refugees were of the Ninefold Celestial Empire, but large contingents also arrived of Eirengard, Gadaal, Eshkanti and Skandr stock. Smaller groups from scores of other nations made landfall as well, and no one's entirely certain of the full census of folk that made landfall alongside the Founder.

Indeed, a growing amount of confusion exists over what customs are legitimate survivals from before the Red Tide. With the overwhelming early pressure to survive, much has since been lost from memory, and two old men can earnestly and sincerely argue over which tradition was the right one. This confusion is just one more reason many count it necessary these days to make their own traditions.

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