💧Miitsu (from Mizu “water” and Natsu “summer”)💧
Deep inside the misty canyon of Aokei, named from the echo from of canyon birds, exists a hidden island that goes by the name of Miitsu. It is said that long ago, a dragon lived in the canyon and hoarded many treasures on the island, creating mists in order to hide it’s valuables. One of these treasures was a large and powerful crystal. It created magical water which healed those who drank even a drop from the spring around it.
A group of wandering humans discovered the island and its extraordinary properties. They wanted to share it with the world, hoping to heal all the illnesses and injuries that plagued humans and Annies alike. These humans were the ones who originally domesticated the large birds of the canyon, which was how they found the island in the first place.
One human, in particular, was not as altruistic as the others and instead wanted to sell the water and pocket the money made. His community shunned him for being so greedy. The man retaliated, and in doing so, he tried to destroy the crystal. An explosion of the crystal’s powers washed over the island. Many humans fled to safety, never to return. The explosion also infected the surrounding mist with a powerful amnesiac that didn’t subside for many years.
Over decades, the previous residents slowly regained their memories and told others of what happened. Having heard of this tale, two warring tribes of Annies tried to lay claim to the island and its precious treasure. They had learned to domesticate the canyon birds from the humans. After years of fighting each other, betrayal, and murder, a powerful priestess, travelling through the area used her status and power to mediate between the tribes, both who’s true goals were to protect the crystal from further harm. The troublemakers were banished from the island and the priestess became the de facto ruler of Miitsu.
Instead of feeling outraged and betrayed, most of the banished Annies returned to the mouth of the canyon and ended up bonding with the humans. They did all they could to support nature in hopes of their descendants returning back to the island with the priestess’ blessing. These outcasts have a small trading village for those who can’t get to Miitsu, and a small number of Annies are allowed to visit for trade and mail delivery, as many families are separated by the mists.
The small village, Ursa Minor was named after the constellation that shines above it during the winter season. The small trading village is carved into the upper part of a cliff side, making it safe from floods. With plenty of ladders and climbing holds, residents and visitors are able to traverse the cliff side with relative ease. The fields located on top of the cliff and below in the valley allow the residents to grow a variety of food and help out Miitsu as their farmable soil dwindled.
There isn’t as much tension between the small sheltered trading town, Ursa Minor, and Miitsu as there was back in the day. Slowly, the passing of time has healed the generations of pain.
In order to keep the island and its inhabitants safe, the priestess cast an illusion spell in the area of the island that would show people their darkest desires. Only those who could overcome them were allowed to enter Miitsu.
Miitsu’s population dwindled as food, supplies, and tradable goods began to run low. Even trading with Ursa Minor wasn't enough, and the citizens had started to beg the priestess to use the water on the town’s land. But it was no use, the water only cannot heal beyond one's natural health.
Eventually, the capital caught wind of the miracle water and sent an embassy to Miitsu. As the citizens did not want another war and were low on farmable land, they agreed to Villian’s terms. In return for some of the miracle water, Villian would send supplies via the Capital’s Airship system to Ursa Minor, which would then be escorted to Miitsu. As the mists prevented the airship’s pilots from seeing anything, and possibly cause them to go insane from the illusion spell, only trusted carriers who had already passed the test were allowed to deliver the supplies.
The only way to get on and off the island is to use the flying creatures, that have been tamed for travel, or fly themselves. The power of the crystal keeps the island hidden in the natural mists of the canyon. Only those who pass “The Canyon Test" and have permission to leave are allowed to travel back and forth. Often, those who are allowed to leave act as a ferry service for people who wish to visit or for transporting supplies.
💧Temp & Climate💧
The temperature is 15-20°C (59-68°F) throughout the whole year on the island itself. The canyon is much colder, at around 5-10°C.(41-50 °F)
💧Flora & Fauna💧
This town’s native flower is the moon flower. Every day, except on the new moon, they faintly glow in the dark; as do some of the other native mushroom species.
The small lakes and ponds are home to bio-luminescent and shallow-water creatures, which thrive in Miitsu’s waters due to the unusual healing powers it possesses.
There are also, owls and various other avian species call Miitsu their home.
Miitsu is located in the north-west; in a cold, dark, and difficult to navigate canyon area called Aokei. Due to the altitude and rain, the area is inhabited by a layer of fog rumored to hide many creatures in its depths. It is said the fog tricks the mind into wandering directionless for years, without ever reaching the canyon's end.
The most notable event is the yearly Avian Gathering, in which species of owls and their bird-blessed Annies who know of Miitsu try their best to attend. It’s a festival to celebrate flight and new ideas from different perspectives. Musicians gather to play the crystal Kalimba for the owls during the festival. Eventually, the best magic student will ring the holy temple's bell, allowing the priestess to make an appearance to give her predictions and well-wishes for the coming year.
The Canyon Test is held once a year. A small number of Annies are dropped off at the mouth of the canyon and in 3 weeks are expected to find their way back home. Those who find themselves unable to complete the test are required to send up a magical flare that will guide the test’s overseers to help them. There is a feast held to celebrate when the Annies return, and there, the priestess will give them her blessing. The fastest time for the Canyon Test is 2 days, made by a now-deceased eagle Annie.
💧Architecture & Buildings of Interest💧
Miitsu's housing and architecture resembles old stone temples. The main holy temple which is protected by Miitsu's priestess, Naevia, holds a giant, naturally volatile crystal of incredible power embedded into the water. The crystal is thought to be the source of the water's healing power and warmth, compared to the canyon's cold temperatures.
The crystal and priestess are responsible for casting the illusion spell on the mist to cause confusion and memory loss. This magic produces what is commonly referred to as “the Trail of the Mist”, which creates persuasive illusions.Those who fail the trial will find themselves back at the mouth of the canyon, at the small village of Ursa Minor, or lost inside the canyon until they succumb to the elements.
💧Government & Laws💧
There are little to no political problems in Miitsu due to its small population and a vocal representational government. The leaders of the clans that were left or those who split off from the main clans are generally elected from the pool of those who want to help Miitsu’s people. These representatives attend meetings and present solutions to the priestess, who inevitably has the final say. Citizens of the community are allowed to attend and present problems at City Hall meetings, which are usually held outside the main temple.
💧Trade & Specialties💧
Miitsu makes crystal Kalimbas and sells/trades them to the music industry. They are especially popular in Laoluzia, but hard to export. The Songbell export company, who works with the Imperial Trade Alliance (ITA) to package the fragile instruments, is the best way for the town to send off the instruments.
The special properties of the water from the main temple make it highly sought after, but it is off-limits except in the most dire of circumstances.
Because they rely on import and export companies, much of their profit is spent on delivery and middlemen.
Ursa Minor has a large number of mountain grown vegetables, roots, herbs, orchards and rice fields. Excess produce is often given to Miitsu.
There are only around a few thousands Annie inhabitants. Humans rarely find their way to Miitsu and citizens are sometimes wary of them even after passing through the mist. Due to its reliance on import trade and not being self-sufficient, the population has dwindled as the younger generations have found it harder to make an income unless they are a craftsman.