The Nemo Islands are a vast island chain that runs all the way up the Endless Coasts, resting under the distant gaze of the Dragonthorn Mountains. While on the continent this region is under the firm grip of the Faewylds and the Grim, just off the coast the waters become something almost akin to neutral territory. By the time you reach the archipelago itself, the sight of Creator sails and lighthouses become commonplace. Beyond the edges of the Empire of the Falling Sun, the Nemoan Archipelago is the greatest bastion of Creator dominance in the Realms.
The kingdoms that occupy these islands are fiercely independent, and most of them claim to be older than the Bone Sea. They fight each other almost as often as they fight the enemies of the Pale Kings, but they remain powerful and capable even if they’re a tad less expansionist than their continental cousins. As much as they all claim to be different, most of the kingdoms on this archipelago share several traits.
First, the Nemoan Kingdoms are part of a central Compact, which allows the various Jarls to meet together and resolve their differences. This doesn’t always work, so wars are common enough, but there is a lack of brutality and escalation that comes from true life-or-death struggles in these resulting conflicts. In the end, despite the fighting and the flags, one could claim that they are all one country. They would get their nose staved in if they said it to a Jarl’s face, but history will likely speak louder.
Second, they share both a common language and a common religion. This second thing is actually a series of beliefs, rituals, and practices that have been compiled by Imperial diplomats into a single pile called Paganism. These rituals mark a Nemoan more deeply than the bright color of their skin or their red hair, as they tend to have a strange little gesture or rite for what one might consider to be completely random occasions. Many an Imperial has declared the Nemoans to be “superstitious,” which is not particularly untrue.
Third, their rules are all basically the same. There is a lord, invariably called a Jarl, and he rules his island or series of islands with great authority. He has a motley collection of cousins, uncles, and children that form his “court,” and they carry out commands in his name. They form what is called a clan, or a house. Below them are other houses, with similar systems; they’re called lesser houses, as they don’t own the land they live on, instead sort of renting it from the Jarl. He collects money, food, and warriors from his lesser houses on a semi-regular basis. And so it goes, repeating on down until you count the farmers and slaves.
Fourth: Slaves. The Nemoans collect Creators, Faelings, and Otherkin alike for use as basic labor. It’s not as brutal a practice as what once took place in the Kingdom of Torn, often eventually resulting in adoption into a clan as kin, or a release back to their homeland. Actually, it nearly brought the Empire to declare a crusade against the islands; not in retaliation for claiming Imperial citizens, but because it was too generous to the non-Creator slaves that were taken by some clans. They found a solution when the clans in question offered to sell their non-Creator slaves to the Empire, which then jumped at the opportunity to obtain such expendable labor.
Fifth and finally, they share a very utilitarian form. There isn’t much wealth to be had on the Nemo Islands, as their value comes more from their distance from the Faewyld and the Underworld than from any agricultural capability. Farming is hard, the sea is treacherous, and death is never far away. The culture of Nemoa is at once humorless and boisterous; their love of drink is almost as great as their love of violence, which is almost as great as their love of glaring and insulting each other. For most Imperials, interacting with the average Nemoan is a terrifying experience.