The islands which make up Nethicka (neth-ee-kah) were formed eons ago, when a strange and mysterious rock plummeted from the heavens and impacted deep into the earth. The impact shattered the land, scarring it forever and forming the harsh, rocky islands that became Nethicka, as well as creating a massive underground network of tunnels and passages under the ocean floor.
Nethicka is inhabited by a strange, primitive humanoid race called the gilth. These creatures are adept swimmers and climbers - perfectly adapted to life within the hostile environment they call home.
The sea is abundant with fish which form the gilth's main food source. Hardy shrubs and grasses can survive upon the infertile soils and within the sheltered cracks between rocks, but other than those life stuggles to persist here.
It is also worth noting here that Nethicka is home to the largest concentration of illumoss on Iiosia. Illumoss is a plant which grows within certain underground caverns and glows with a strong green light.
Nethicka is an unforgiving environment. The islands are rocky and steep, the air is chill, and the winds strong. Storms are frequent in this part of the world and the area is largely shunned by sailors. Tales tell that the gilth will try to kill and eat any man they find marooned upon their homeland.
The whole of Nethicka is a barren, desolate place formed mostly from bare, rocky terrain with many sheer cliff faces, gorges and mountains. Many of the islands would be nigh impossible for the average human to walk across, since the terrain is so craggy and uneven one would eventually fall foul of a steep, slippery cliff, or break an ankle in the jagged rocks.
What little soil there is is thin and sandy and infertile, and there is little life that can sustain itself upon the rocky islands themselves save for hardy shrubs and insects. The gilth and other creatures live not upon it but beneath it, for the islands are intertwined with a massive network of tunnels and caves, creating an underground complex of immeasurable size. This system of passageways was created by seismic activity after the meteor struck, forming the largest underground complex of Iiosia. Because of its nature, it has been named "The Beneath"
Violent thunderstorms rage over Nethicka for many parts of the year and are known to last for days at a time. These storms contribute to Nethicka's inhospitality along with the desolate relief. Even when the storms subside, fierce winds lash against the islands, swirling up huge waves that clash against the cliffs. These winds carry with them freezing air from the north. What little sunlight there is in this part of the world does little to counteract this, for its rays are weak and carry little heat with them.
Viewed from a distance, the islands of Nethicka look like a row of uneven teeth rearing out of the sea.
The largest of the islands which comprise Nethicka is known as Cranak (kran-ack). Deep within its caverns it houses the alien meteor - the "Silent Speaker" - which the gilth worship as a god. Thus, the vast majority of the gilth live within Cranak's huge network of underground passages and caverns. Despite being the largest island, Cranak is very difficult to sail to because it lies at the centre of Nethicka. Many a sailing ship has been dashed against the cliff face of one of the smaller islands as it fell foul of the strong currents and storms which are indicative of Nethicka's waters. The most practical way to reach Cranak is to take smaller ships into the island complex, but these are more vulnerable to attack from gilth hunting parties.
The Hall of The Silent Speaker is a large cavern hidden within the depths of Cranak. Within it lies the meteor which fell over three thousand years ago, which the gilth refer to as The Silent Speaker. It is the hub of gilth culture and where the gilth leaders live to receive the images bestowed upon them by the meteor. The Hall itself is a massive chamber which is illuminated by a luminous moss which grows liberally throughout the caves. Save for the gilth themselves, no creature has ever entered this chamber and lived. Other unfortunate individuals have entered here, but they have been dragged by the gilth for sacrifice. As these poor souls approached their deaths, They would behold the sight of the biggest diamond upon Iiosia. Worth many times the wealth of the richest kingdoms, they would be laid over it before their hearts were torn from their chests.
The Silent Speaker itself is the meteor (or a fragment of it) which crashed here in Iiosia's pre-history. It is made of an extremely hard and glittering stone, unlike any found anywhere else on Iiosia, and stands in the center of the chamber like a silent stone sentinel. The gilth have come to worship it, for it pollutes the minds of those who are close to it for long periods; granting them swirling visions and dancing flashing multicoloured lights before their eyes. This comes at a cost, however, for those who are affected also suffer gradual brain damage and eventually die from exposure to the strange alien rock.
The Beneath is a huge network of tunnels and passageways which stretch throughout Nethicka. These tunnels are home to the gilth and most of the other inhabitants of Nethicka; slamanders, and giant spiders among them. Some of the passageways link the islands together, forming an underground roadway under the seas. Much of the Beneath is unexplored, and it is home to far worse things than the gilth. No one has been able to venture deeper within these caves to discover what is in their bowels and live to tell the tale.