Oku-no-Hama is the name given to the collection of loosely related island nations to the south of the Western continent. This region is known for the strange conditions of the water surrounding it. While the north part of the region experiences fairly typical ocean conditions, the southern portion is home to a small sea known as The Mirror Sea. This portion of the ocean is completely devoid of currents, making the surface of the water have the appearance of being made of glass.

The water here is mostly stagnant, without oxygen and without the flow of warm and cool water to bring new life to the area. The water stays consistently cold year-round, and the area lacks normal wind patterns, leading to weather being mostly unchanging. However, heavy rain is not uncommon, and the area does still experience tides. Being devoid of typical conditions under which ocean life can flourish, the Mirror Sea is home to a variety of strange fish and plants that live deep under the surface towards the bottom of the Mirror Sea.


Madashima-to is recognized by many as the capital of Oku-no-hama, as it is the largest and most affluent of the island communities. The city lies at the island in the exact center of the Mirror Sea, and its people have learned to not only survive but thrive amidst the harsh conditions of the stagnant ocean. The island itself is large, and sprawling, though the city of Madashima-to takes up only a small portion of this landmass. The island is mostly mountainous, with one dormant volcano to the north of the city.

The city is divided into two sections. The upper half, which is the home of humans, is built atop the tallest mountain on the island and nestled along the coast. Tides have historically been extreme within the Mirror Sea (though they've become less severe over time), so the island's buildings are densely packed along the top portion of this mountain. The lower portion of the city is found underneath the surface of the water, and is nearly a perfect mirror of the community you'd find on land- excepting the fact that this portion is home to aquatic and semi-aquatic groups of people. The top half of the city is considered the "main" portion of the city, while the subaquatic half serves as a hub for trade and communication between surface dwellers and communities of oceandwellers.

While religion is becoming less important as Madashima begins to expand trade with the outside world and focus on external affairs, traditionally the city is comprised of worship of the natural world, with a heavy emphasis on death and funeral rites. Being in the middle of an unforgiving and currentless sea, death visited the early people of Madashima often. The people of Madashima were no strangers to death by illness and hunger, and travelers who wound up in the Mirror Sea would eventually have their empty vessels wash up on the shores of Madashima. They formed early on a fearful reverence of the goddess Aphelia, believing her to be a harbinger of the end and an interruption to the natural order of life. Death is considered an impure state of being, and salt water is believed to be purifying. A typical funeral consists of a high priest of Madashima washing the body in salt water before clothing them for the wake. Cremation is typical in Madashima, with the ashes being spread in the ocean or kept in a family grave. A family grave is more typical in higher class families, as most graveyards are far from the city itself and space is extremely limited due to the lack of areas safe from high tides.

Overall, even with religion being on the decline, the people of Madashima are still quite superstitious, and the culture can be described as somewhat solemn. People in Madashima are very concerned with modesty, empathy, and maintaining harmony with the people around you. Being a somewhat secluded island with finite resources and in close quarters, maintaining civil peace was of utmost importance to ensure life on the island ran smoothly. A belief in duty and social heirarchy is also important to the citizens of Madashima, as they believe ensuring you fulfill the duties of your role are important to ensuring the survival and peace of your community. They are not overly affectionate with one another, avoiding doing things to upset the people around them is important to daily interaction.

Most of these cultural beliefs, however, relate to life on the topside of Madashima. It was only somewhat recently in the city's history that the underside became a center of economic trade for underwater peoples- about 400 years ago. The underside of the city is much more jovial, as much more cultural exchange happens here and death is not an everlooming threat. The jovial atmosphere of the underside does not affect the top side much- except in influencing the culture of Madashima's nightmarket and bar scene. To counteract the somewhat serious tone daily life in Madashima has, many people take refuge in the bustling nightmarkets, where they purchase sweets, junk food, and foreign goods, as well as mingle with the fishfolk and selkies that come to shore for business (or leisure). Wearing masks at nightmarkets and clubs/bars is not uncommon in Madashima, especially when planning on having a particularly rowdy night of fun to conceal one's identity.

It can also be found that, while Madashima has a reverence of death, that some have taken this connection in stride, or even fully embrace it. Much of Madashima's art dances playfully with the idea of death, and many of their festivals, dances, and music tend to the dark or macabre. Ghosts, demons, and other undead spirits are common figures in their myths and stories.

Its for this reason, as well as the culture surrounding nightmarkets, that demons are frequent visitors to the streets of Madashima. With the Mirror Sea being as it is, and as deep and dark as it is when you reach its furthest depths, that demons often find their ways to the shores of Oku-no-hama. The dark depths of the ocean and surfaces of still water are both excellent gateways to Hell.


Originally settled by travelers from early Madashima, Nova Beach existed as a small fishing village for a long time before expanding as a trade hub just about 200 years ago. It's seen as many as a good place to sail from to reach Madashima, but for some its much more than that- having grown to become its own bustling hub for trade with people from all over the world.

The city is built into and on top of the sheer, rocky cliffs that line the coast, as well as on the docks at the cliff's bottom. Surrounding these cliffs are stretches of more sandy, but still rocky shoreline that give the city its name and are a large draw for tourists. The city atop the cliffs is where you find a majority of Nova Beach's bustling markets, night life, hotels, and upper-class homes, as well as government buildings. Most homes are built into the cliff, and the homes of fisherman and sailors are nestled at the bottom of the cliffs.

Trade is one of the most important values in Nova Beach. A common belief held by those who live here is that trade is one of the most important aspects of forming a healthy relationship with other communities, along with music and dance. However, since more wealthy families have moved into the city, trade has started to become something seen as solely for profit, and a divide has started to form between the workers of the city and those in the upper class. Additionally, piracy has started to become a bit of a problem.

On the topic of trade, Nova Beach's economy is based on two to three aspects. The first aspect being of course the ease of travel. The second is tourism- people come to Nova Beach for their beaches, of course, as well as the bustling nightlife, music, and dancing. The third aspect is their material goods. The city hosts a record number of fishermen, as well as glasswork, jewelers, and other crafters.

Monthly, the city holds a festival, called the Night of the New Moon, focused on celebrating all that the city has to offer and the ending of another month. It's sort of like a huge craft fair that also offers food and special performances.

The city is run by a mayor and a council. These members are elected every ten years by the citizens of Nova Beach.