|Islands of Wa|
The largest and most densely populated island, composed mostly of towering ranges of extinct volcanoes bordered by fertile lowlands. Uwaji, the capital of Wa, is located on the east coast, as are most of the nations major cities.
Separated from Tsukishima by the Sea of Blossoms, Shidekima is dominated by dry plains, making most of the land unsuitable for farming. Less than 5 percent of Wa’s population lives here, with most concentrated in small fishing villages along the east coast.
The cluster of islands comprising Paikai are covered with rugged mountains and stretches of volcanic ash and gravel.
Machukara, the northernmost region of Wa, is a land of dense forests with much of its wilderness still uncharted.
- Outer Isles
The rest of Wa is collectively known as the Outer Isles. The largest is Huyusha, located off the southern coast of Tsukishima. The Isle of Devils, the Isle of 1,000 Pines, and the Isle of the Gloomy Temple are also part of the Outer Isles, as are the dozens of charted and hundreds of uncharted islands to the south and west of Tsukishima. A number of the smaller southern islands were presented to Shou Lung as an appeasement about 150 years ago, but these remain unsettled.
Mountains are the most prominent physical feature of Wa. Nearly 80 percent of Wa is covered with mountains, and the high peaks extend as far as the eye can see. The Ikuyu Mountains are the most extensive, reaching from the northern tip of Tsukishima all the way to the southern coast of Tsukishima, effectively dividing the island in half. Numerous mountain passes, many of them quite trecherous, link the east and west coasts. The most frequently traveled is Hayatoge Road, the shortest route between the trade cities of Iiso and Tifuido.
There is no major river in Wa, although there are many tributaries and streams flowing from the mountains to nourish the crops. The largest inland body of water is Lake Sari, nestled among Was most fertile farmlands. The seas surrounding Wa are rich with sea life, providing a steady living for the fishermen living in rural villages that line the coasts. The seas also keep the air moist, making for lush vegetation and distinct seasons with plenty of rainfall. Summers are hot and humid, winters are cold and snowy.
No country has suffered more from the whims of nature than Wa, and its citizens have had to learn to live with the ever-present threat of natural disaster. Typhoons regularly blow in from the ocean, bringing torrents of rain to destroy crops and raging winds to demolish buildings. Earthquakes rock the landscape, sometimes causing avalanches capable of burying entire villages. Many of Was volcanoes are still active and can erupt without warning.
The government of Wa is based on an elaborate hierarchy of administrators. The hierarchy is inflexible and strictly observed, and administrators are required to submit to all who rank above them. Was years of peace and stability are evidence of the success of the system.
However, the same system which has maintained stability has also promoted corruption. Since advancement in the administration requires the explicit approval of high-ranking officials, cronyism and nepotism are intrinsic and accepted. Shifting alliances, conspiracy, and treachery are hallmarks of the political life in Wa. Although the emperor is supposedly the monarch, all real power lies in the hands of the shogun and the daimyos. The shogun determines national policy while the daimyos are responsible for regional administration. The shogunate and daimyos are assisted and advised by a complex arrangement of officers, advisors, and deputies.