Many eons ago, a small tribe of Annies found an unusual whale-like creature of colossal size with luminescent spots, plants, and crystals growing on its back. Due to the whale's rare appearance and its ability to purify the water around it, the tribe began to worship it as their deity, deeming it to be the whale spoken about in scriptures and legends. They decided to name it He Ma, meaning 'pure one,' and swore to protect it with their lives.
However, humans kidnapped the whale for research, not caring if they harmed it in the process, and the tribe had no choice but to find and take the whale back themselves. With the whale finally back in their care, the tribe were forced to relocate far from the human town that had caused He Ma so much pain. With the help of Nilrisa and the tribe's own magic control, things were brought to peace once again. This peace allowed the tribe to build a town on their traditions, deciding to stick with what they knew in order to prevent any threats that may cause harm to the whale. This town would become the secluded town known as Yuyama.
In current times, the town still remains highly traditional, specifically with religion and worshipping their deity. The high distrust of humans has not faded with age, the only difference being that the Annies within Yuyama have learnt more about the magic they can wield and how it can be used.
Yuyama has a moderate temperature year round (20-25°C or 68-77F). Despite this, the onsens create a lot of excess heat. This heat partially explains why it stays so warm in the winter months, as the cave holds most of the heat from the steam.
Gachagoops are very common in Yuyama, but for species such as Floravera or Nilrisa, it is a lot harder for them to thrive in these conditions so their numbers are fewer. There are numerous bioluminescent species that live within Yuyama, especially those that produce a blue light. Due to a witch living nearby, Black Widow spiders are very common within the town. The cold, dark climate of the town also contributes to the amount of spiders in the area, but the town members are doing their best to sort this ‘issue’.
Thanks to the whale’s magic, the river that the deity inhabits is a rare type of water due to a natural phenomenon that allows for both freshwater and saltwater creatures to thrive there. It also is beneficial to the crops growing there, which grow bigger and healthier because of its properties. Every water source in Yuyama has this property, making it ideal for use in potion making, as it has minor healing properties in its raw form. However, an extremely practiced and powerful alchemist can enhance its healing abilities slightly.
The river itself is full of bioluminescent corals, plants, jellyfish, small sharks, and other species which live in symbiosis with the deity itself.
Every night, fireflies come out and enter the town as magical plants blossom with the appearance of the moon to release fragrance and glowing spores, lighting the night air.
The people of Yuyama gather in prayer to honor the whale, each bringing something of value to sacrifice to their guardian. A special ritualistic dance is performed each year by a chosen resident of the town. To be chosen is considered a great honor. Living sacrifices were specifically stated as being banned after someone was banished for offering up their younger sibling as a joke.
There is a day once a year in spring where the residents of Yuyama get together to visit the various onsens situated around the town. It is a time of getting together and looking after their bodies. Huge quantities of the rare clay found in Yuyama are used on this day.
Those in charge of updating the protective runes and glyphs surrounding the town are changed once every five years. This is an elaborate traditional event, and those given the job are usually thought of in high regard with added perks and access within the town. You cannot gain this role without being highly trusted within the town itself. The barriers act as physical shields to anything considered as unwanted, which in this case are humans and hostile creatures.
The buildings are wooden structures elevated from the ground with tiled or thatched roofs, often consisting of several layers. It is not unusual to see statues and ornaments attached to the structures, seemingly made from crystals, gold or other precious materials. The internal living spaces focusing on a magical yet ‘cosy’ feel.
A long painted wall found in a deeper part of the cave which tells the history of the town in the form of pictures, and of how the residents of Yuyama came to be at their current location. All children are taken to the wall and are told the tale of the town’s founding by tradition, both as a prideful tale of their ancestors and a cautionary one against humans.
Blue Whale Onsen:
Named as such to honour the love that the town has for the whale. Despite its heat, this onsen still carries the native bioluminescent life of the area and bestows the same healing properties of the river itself. It is a relatively basic treatment, but this onsen is also one of the largest and oldest of its kind. It is however, one of many onsens
within the town.
This building uses a mill to produce a variety of foods that require it, which varies based on the seasons and demand. Grains are the main resource worked upon in this building. The building’s architecture itself incorporates many crystals in order to aid in the quality of the food being produced. It also doubles up as a bakery, enticing smells of freshly baked goods to waft from the mill. It is possible to buy homemade bread shaped like the whale here, which is the mill’s speciality amongst it’s home-baked goods.
The Guardian Shrine:
While the entire pool is considered sacred to the whale, this area was specially designed as a place of worship for it when the town was founded. The building lies directly on top of the waterfall at the village’s entrance. It acts as the main and oldest shrine within the town, as there are a good number of shrines within Yuyama.
A small, wooden-structured building where all boats are inspected to ensure that they are not in need of repairs. This is to prevent someone from tainting the sacred waters due to a faulty boat construction. They also have a rental service for those that do not own their own boats, including public boats captained by licensed professionals. The buildings located here also issue boat permits to residents so that their boats can be checked for suitability for riding along the river.
In Yuyama the law and government are run traditionally, preferring to stick to the old ways. There is a council of three elders who are in charge of how the town is run in every aspect.
Humans are completely forbidden here. They are not allowed to enter the town, trade with the town, or have any relations with the relatives there. If an Annie from Yuyama goes on to marry or befriend a human, they are most likely to be disowned.
The strictest laws in Yuyama are in regards to the whale whom they consider their deity. It is forbidden to dip your hands or swim in the main river in which the whale swims in as it is considered to be sacred water. However, they are allowed to ride boats along the river that are made from trees marked with a glyph of a certain level, and may touch the whale if the deity initiates the interaction. They are also allowed to bathe in the upper pools of water as the water gets purified by the crystalline rocks before reaching the main river.
Healing potions, Runes, and Warding/Barrier Magic, along with a special clay that is Non-tradeable and off limits.
Approximately 2700 residents. Only Annies live here.