The Dry Season
Monsters on the Islands
While the islands are heavily settled, they are also very large, and even the great imperial islands of the Celestial Kingdom contain wild spaces. The elves in particular have spaces claimed by multiple republics and held by none, or the ruins of lesser elven nations that could not survive their vicious infighting. In the wilds and the ruins both, there are more than animals and outlaws to be found.
Many of the monsters that roam the islands can be traced to magical experiments; centaurs and minotaurs, in particular, were creations of elven wizards trying to create servant species that would help even the odds against their sturdier and more numerous orcish neighbors, and are a now a frequent nuisance to travelers and ruin-delvers. Slimes, mucks, and oozes are a real threat to urban areas of the Celestial Kingdom, where the runoff of alchemical experiments collects in sewers and thrives. The gnomes must contend with far stranger things; elementals, strange creatures from distant planes and even living, wrathful spells have resulted from their esoteric efforts to advance magical knowledge.
Some other dangers seem to be migrants to the isles; while no dragon is known to have settled the islands, some will occasionally make raids from the great dividing mountains in the dry and building seasons, and gryphons from the same peaks have laid nests both above the islands and in secluded parts of the catacombs. The trappers and hunters who roam the forests during the building season are often contracted to capture creatures for the Imperial Menagerie or the state zoos of the elves, or hired by gnomish sorcerers to seize magical beasts for ingredient stock, and these creatures sometimes last all the way to the islands before escaping.