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23 July 2018

I suppose my bliki is quarterly? I know I've been just slogging away on the map, but I would like to share a lot of good things that are happening. So, I'm going to prioritize. So much is different in Iqosa, Iola, eastern Kabyea, and the Kabyei islands. I'm going to talk a bit about just the islands this time.

Lim Ilm Sansum

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Off the northern shore of Kabyea is a relatively new archipelago that makes up the diocese of Sansu Mattiaù. It has been a substantial focus of work over the last couple months. The islands were both an investment in last month's challenge (food sources) and this month's challenge (tourism). Although the farmlands are not completely mapped, much of the tourism infrastructure is. It's been a huge undertaking to go hyper-detailed with the work. If you look across Sansu Filip, for example, you'll see everything from ruined walls to benches; businesses to wilderness huts. I've had a ton of fun trying to make everything look and feel right. Sansu Mattiaù is completely different than ever before and doesn't resemble much of how it was originally sketched. The goal has been details. A lot of naming still needs to be done, but I think the islands look pretty enough to mention.

At this point, now, I'm going to take a page out of Par Avion's book and do some storytelling. Perhaps this will give a feel for what I'm trying to accomplish with the islands.

The islands called ilm sansum in Maurit are often translated as "holy islands" of "islands of saints." Each major island is named after an important Mauro saint (Mattiaù, Qlemente, Maryam, Filip, Lia, Vironika, Torla, Ioannus). Only the islet of Lurpade and the marshy island Irida are not named explicitly after an individual and retain their ancient Romantish names. Historians believe that pre-Mauro fishing tribes used Sansu Filip and Sansu Mattiaù. Ruins of neolithic temples are found on both islands, but it is uncertain how or when they became depopulated. The Romantish found the islands uninhabited when they tried conquering and settling the Kabyea coast. The islands immediately became a Romantish foothold on the Maureti coast. Historians generally agree that the conquest of the native tribes in northern Mauretia happened at least in part because of the garrisons stationed on the archipelago. Settlements were built on four of the islands: Ablonium (Sansu Mattiaù), Candria (Sansu Filip), Vesperium (Sansa Lia), and Sirenia (Sansa Maryam). A large fort was erected on a promontory near modern Sansu Mattiaù, and another now-lost location somewhere on Sansa Maryam. The islands never grew large in population, as the mainland was pacified. Nearby settlements at Kissi, Iomna, Salda, and Gilgel were much more important economically. Because of the heavy Romantish control over the islands, scholars believe this area of Mauretia was the last to convert to Mauro Christicism. In fact, by the time Romantish control over Mauretia collapsed, the islands were still hubs of Romantish paganism. Romantish pirates from the west were also tacitly welcome on the islands. This caused even more trouble for the sub-Romantish dominions that were constantly at war with each other.

The conflicts on the mainland meant the islands were largely left alone during the unification of Mauretia. The king of Salda launched attacks against pirates that had taken hold of Sansu Mattiaù, but little long-term changes came of the skirmishes. Instead, Queen Daya's unification of the Maureti city-states brought the biggest change. After consolidating mainland Kabyea with the annexation of Salda, she launched a large fleet against the islands. With Romantish fortifications in ruins and pirates off marauding elsewhere, the small population was quickly overcome. The queen wanted to depopulate the islands out of fear that they would be a thorn in the country's side for years to come. She died before such actions could be carried out. Instead, her son put a garrison on Ablonium (Sansu Mattiaù) and Candria (Sansu Filip). The provincial system was strengthened so that Salda could exercise free control over the islands as needed.

During Gaermanic incursions in the eleventh century, the islands were largely defenseless and often attacked. A young man by the name of Adme ab-Besprio (meaning, 'from Vesperium') claimed to have had a vision of Saint Lia while fishing in the horseshoe-shaped bay of Sansu Mattiaù. In his vision, she instructed him to ask the king for five ships to defend the islands. Each of the five ships were to be named after important saints that would protect the islands with their prayers. After reporting his vision to the local priest, he traveled to Sansu Andaros li Apostili and sought audience with the king. Long story short, he got his ships, named them after five saints (Lia, Mattiaù, Maryam, Filip, Qlemente), defended the islands, and became a national hero. Statues to him and the five ships are on the islands. Each of the islands was then in turn renamed for a saint. Relics of the original names exist in street names, hotel names, and on other monuments.

And now, a word from our sponsors:
Heriditaria Mauretia
We offer excellent single-day and multi-day passes to hundreds of sites across our great country. Hike in the hills of Sansu Filip or explore the Romantish ruins on Sansu Mattiaù. Our new Islands-Pass allows you to explore all of the archipelago with one single ticket. Inquire at your local Heriditaria Mauretia office today.

Your country, your heritage.

Fast forward to the beginning of the twentieth century, and the population had self-concentrated onto the three largest islands. Fishing was still the primary industry, and limited ferry options existed. The majority of the archipelago was organized into a national park to preserve its natural beauty and Romantish ruins. Of course, this sparks tourism. Two of the islands in particular are major tourist domestic and even regional destinations.

  • Sansu Mattiaù started to see its growth with a ferry connection in the 1880s. A small private university was founded in the 1890s that specialized in Romantish archeology and also environmental sciences. The university also undertook genetic studies, since the island's largely insulated peoples possess slightly different genetic markers from the majority of the mainland Mauroi and are more direct descendants of the Romantish without a lot of intermixing. When car-ferry services began in the 1950s, however, the island quickly grew through tourism and as a place for low-cost retirement. People simply sought to leave the stressful lives of urban Mauretia. A small airstrip was laid out, and the Maureti navy set up coastal rescue units in the exterior harbor and at the airfield. Now, the island is one of the most famous domestic tourism destinations the country offers.
  • Sansa Lia did not see the same growth, but this island is known for its ascetic religious life. Seven religious orders are on the island.
  • Sansu Filip has become a hub of those who love the outdoors. There are numerous campsites and other outdoor amenities all across the island. The scientific research facilities and well-preserved archeological ruins are active areas that also attract investment. The town of about 50 people on the island is mostly populated by researchers and scientists. It swells to upwards of 750 people in the summer months when large-scale projects are underway.
2018 Festa poster for the diocese

So, as one can see, I've tried to do heavy detail work across the islands. The diocese isn't quite finished yet, but I believe it will be soon. I'm really happy with how things are going so far. I welcome any feedback people have about this. Stay tuned for more good things, and updates about other major projects that I've been doing.

And that, my fellow mappers, is my bliki post for today. Please feel free to comment below!

Questions, comments, concerns, or general lies?

Beautiful! Islands after my own heart, and who needs roads!--Udilugbuldigu (talk) 22:25, 23 July 2018 (CEST)

Thank you, Udi! I've been wanting to do somewhere without roads for a while, and this gave me the perfect excuse. — Alessa (talk) 14:50, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

I love these island and I love the history behind them, it absolutely is a place I'd love to explore (especially Sansu Filip looks very interesting and beautiful) --Stjur (talkOGF) 23:29, 23 July 2018 (CEST)

Thank you! I'm glad you love it. Sansu Filip was a lot of fun to put together. There's a few random things tossed around on that island that are always fun to stumble across. — Alessa (talk) 14:50, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

These islands look wonderful, great job! Would love to visit. --Eklas (talk) 06:36, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

Thanks, Eklas! — Alessa (talk) 14:50, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

Goodness me, I do mike the way you map! --Turnsole80 (talk) 14:42, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

Oh, thank you! — Alessa (talk) 14:50, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

I saw the bliki yesterday but I wanted to look somewhat on the isles before I leave the comment. Everyone of them is absolutely great. Definetely the God provided your hand when you have drawn the Holy Isles. --Rüstem Paşa Discussion 15:47, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

Thank you, Rustem. — Alessa (talk) 21:42, 29 July 2018 (CEST)