The Dry Season
The Lost Expeditions
The mystery of the central island is a constant source of speculation and debate for the islanders. It is incredibly large – all the other islands combined are, by the best estimates of geographers, only a little larger than the central island alone. The mist that covers the island is ever-present and often wracked by energy storms – thunderstorms and blizzards, such as those that occasionally wrack the islands, but also storms of fire and grey-green bursts of energy, swirling clouds of yellow and red dust and burst of high speed winds that can uproot trees on the near sides of the other islands, which are usually uninhabited.
Over the centuries since they came to the islands, the various species that inhabit them have made many attempts to pierce the mists. None of these attempts have succeeded, and if any of them had survivors, they never made it off the central island. Over time, these many doomed efforts have come to be called the Lost Expeditions, primarily by the gnomes, who led and crewed many of them and hold out hope that their people are simply lost in the mists, not dead.
These expeditions have ranged from single ships – quick elven supply ships outfitted for long journeys or great orcish palace-ships that carried a whole community – to exploration fleets of a dozen ships. No larger attempts have been made, for the near certainty of failure keeps all but the most foolhardy from joining such missions of exploration. Efforts to determine what exactly the mists are and how to sail through and survive them have been one of the driving forces in shipbuilding and flight improvements for centuries, often spearheaded by the gnomes’ tireless efforts to reach the star they believe lies at the center of the island.