Illi Esse is a smallish island tangential to the northern isles where the various axis of existence meet in a way which is especially manifest on the Prime Material Plane. The specific relationship of these planes is in flux, meaning that each has been more dominant or recessive in regards to the Material Plane at different periods in history and at different locations on the island. These relationships often possess some degree of correlation to the condition of E'n as a whole, although this may not always be the case. Currently, the Hidden Path is the predominant apparatus on Illi Esse; in past ages, the positive and the negative aspects of the Moral Path have each in turn been the predominant influencing planes on the island.
Because of the island's status as something of a hub between various planes, its indigenous culture is extremely cosmopolitan. Inhabitants have been exposed to a wealth of ideas and forms of being from birth, resulting in a prevailing belief in subjectivity and cultural relativism. Inhabitants of Illi Esse are unusually at ease with exotic creatures and locals (having lived among them since birth), and unusually accepting of illogical shifts in their context (since Illi Esse itself possesses many locations which conflict in various ways with mundane reality). In general, these conditions have led to the establishment of an unusually curious and exploratory culture.
Due to its geographic isolation, the inhabitants of Illi Esse have had relatively little interaction with the rest of E'n. This has begun to change, however, with the discovery of the Celestial Gate (see below).
- Gnome (~40%)
- Aasimar (~17.5%)
- Tiefling (~17.5%)
- Elf (~5%)
- Half-elves (~5%)
- Merfolk (~5%)
- Humans* (~2.5%)
- Other** (~7.5%)
*: True humans are relatively rare on Illi Esse, owing to the amount of interbreeding with other races which has occurred over the years, coupled with the relative absence of an influx of humans.
**: Dwarves and Half-orcs are virtually non-existant on Illi Esse, and almost never native.
- The Levicoll ("Life-Bonded"): The Levicoll is the term given to identify a subset of the Illi Essen population who have an unusually strong bond with life, in all of its manifestations and considerations. Although being a Levicoll is often hereditary, this isn't always the case; Levicolls have been known to be born to otherwise normal Illi Essens. Although the bulk of the Levicoll population on Illi Esse is currently gnomes, this may be due to the fact that the race is currently predominant in general; otherwise, Levicolls of all races and backgrounds have been known to appear. Although the factors which produce a Levicoll are largely unknown, their emergence in general is thought to be related to the current predominance of the Hidden Path on Illi Esse.
Levicolls are identified early on in their lives through an uncanny manifestation of life around them. This can take innumerable forms: examples include a child who causes plants to bloom spontaneously when they sleep in the grass, a child whose wounds heal at a supernatural rate, or one who communes with animals.
Roughly 2.5% of the Illi Essen population are Levicolls.
- Panelau: Panelau is a small city on the corner of the island where a portion of the Water Vertex of the Essential Path manifests in dramatic fashion, in the form of a huge pillar of solid water which defies conventional physics. The pillar emerges out of the ocean on the edge of the isle and rises for a few miles in height, with a radius of similar dimensions. Unsurprisingly, Panelau is home to Illi Esse's merfolk population.
Rather than constructing a pantheon on my own, I would prefer to leave this open, so that players and GMs can create gods which fit their specific needs. One thing worth mentioning is that while gods of all stripes would likely be represented on the island, faiths which are antagonistic or posses an inability to mesh with the pluralistic nature of Illi Essen society would likely not have an established presence in the mainstay of its peoples. I.e. a lawful good god worshiped primarily by aasimars would make perfect sense, given the island's close and long-lived ties to the celestial realms, but that god would need to be tolerant of the chaotic nature of the island's fey inhabitants.
- Golden Age (-2000 to -1000): The positive aspect of the Moral Path predominated Illi Esse, leading to the presence of an unusual number of celestial beings, and, subsequently, aasimars.
* At some point during this period in Illi Esse's history, a magical gate was constructed which allows for instantaneous travel between Illi Esse and a location on the northwestern portion of E'n's eastern continent. Since the rediscovery of the gate, it has been speculated that others exist, though this theory is yet to be confirmed.
- Years of Darkness (-1000 to 0): The two most prominent planes on Illi Esse were the negative aspect of the Moral Path (resulting in the presence of an unusual number of abyssal and infernal creatures, and, subsequently, tieflings) and the elemental aspects of the Essential Path (leading to an exceptionally fluid geological and atmospheric condition which still exists in isolated spots on Illi Esse to this day).
- Year of the Pact (0): The pact had an especially traumatic effect on Illi Esse, given the island's intimate relationship to the planes involved. The dramatic, in some instances instantaneous, changes which occurred on Illi Esse as the result of the pact were in their own way more devastating than the previous thousand years which the rest of the world considered as darkness.
- Years 0 to ~50 ("The Fallout of the Pact"): The years immediately after the Pact were tumultuous ones for the population of Illi Esse, in which its citizens sought to deal with the fallout of the abrupt changes which occurred on that date.
- Years 51 to present: The roughly 1300 years since the Fallout of the Pact have seen the emergence of the Hidden Path as the predominant planar apparatus on Illi Esse, leading to an increase in the island's gnomish population. These years have also seen an increase in the plurality of the island, with small pockets possessing an especially strong affinity to various planes (i.e. one valley may be primarily celestial in nature, whereas a small forest nearby may possess a strong link to the Fire Vertex of the Essential Path).
My intention in creating Illi Esse is to provide a location with established and dependable access to the other planes. It is an island of wonder, able to accommodate situations which would feel out of place in the more conventional locations on Venza. Since direct transport between Illi Esse and the Venzan area via the Celestial Gate was only recently established, story lines dealing with this meeting of cultures would be well-fitting. Given the flexibility of the island's identity, possibilities are virtually endless (pocket dimensions, access to other planes, etc), but two possibilities which are especially rife for exploration and elaboration is the origins of the celestial gate (those who made it, and its purpose in relation to the greater history of E'n as a whole), and the ultimate cause of the Levicolls.