The Islands

The Manta Carlos Islands include both the main island and the surrounding islets under the jurisdiction of the Manta Carlos government, all of which function as a sanctuary for the supernatural. The islands exist somewhere in the temperate zone of the northern pacific ocean, and their climate reflects this: it regularly snows in the winter, and the summer is warm (often reaching 81°F/ 27°C) and rainy. However, unlike most islands in the middle of the pacific, the Manta Carlos islands were not formed by volcanic activity. The island cluster's origins are a total mystery to every geologist and oceanographer who has ever spent time there, as well as a constant source of debate. The most popular theories are all some variant of “a wizard did it, using magic,” as no natural formation like these islands can be found anywhere on earth. Even their exact location remains a mystery to most of the inhabitants, as some form of magic is required to reach them, and they cannot be found on any map or satellite image. Astronomers on the islands have claimed that they don't even have a static location, judging by what they have observed each night in the stars over the island.

Thanks to magical innovations in energy production and manufacturing, the island's inhabitants can enjoy both a pristine environment and the amenities of modern life. The southern coastline is known for its turquoise waters and clean white beaches, rivaling even the beaches of La Digue in their beauty. The islands' natural beauty and their unique culture are more than enough reason for many supernatural tourists to make Manta Carlos their favorite vacation spot. Springs and summers regularly see a large influx of visitors, bringing with them a significant boost to the island's economy. The island's status as a well-kept secret keeps tourism from dominating the economy, however, and it also keeps the hotels and beaches from getting overcrowded even during peak tourist season. Several ports exist along the coast, mostly near the city, with a few near the agricultural sector of the island. These ports are all fairly active, exchanging both goods and people with the outside world at all hours.

Manta Carlos has a one-of-a-kind agricultural sector. Magical innovations in localized climate engineering, soil enhancement, plant breeding, and pest control have allowed the island's farmers to produce a wide range of crops with extraordinary year-round yields. Residents can enjoy any kind of fruit, vegetable, or grain found anywhere else on earth, and even a few that can be found nowhere else on earth, all grown locally in the island's agricultural district. More controversially, magical innovations have allowed for a multitude of unique animal husbandry practices. For example, a significant portion of the locally-raised “beef” and “chicken” on the island does not, in fact, come from cows or chickens. It comes from mindless creatures, commonly known as Waanal, that some could only describe as formless, omnivorous monstrosities, consuming all manner of would-be food waste and growing to absurd proportions until they are harvested for their meat. Food activists have called these creatures horrible and unnatural, which is strictly true, but the fact remains that their meat is just as healthy and tasty as, if not better than, their 'natural' counterparts. Most inhabitants don't care, but for those that do, Manta Carlos farms and supermarkets provide 'natural' meat for an inflated price.

The islands' relative isolation and their status as a nexus for the supernatural has given them a one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Most of the island's flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world, save for a few accidentally (or intentionally) imported species. Many of these species have evolved in ways unheard of anywhere else in the world, with some native species being clearly supernatural, such as birds with the ability to turn invisible, colony insects with demonstrable telepathic connections to each other, and plants that can uproot and reposition themselves to get more sunlight. The island ecosystem's quirks and wonders are a constant challenge and delight for naturalists.

Inhabited mostly by the supernatural, the island has a truly unique culture. The city has museums which curate the art and history of cultures that are kept secret from the narrow reality of the outside world. The vampire and werewolf communities have occasional nightly festivals to celebrate their heritage, and magical craftsmen set up for weekly markets peppered throughout the city to sell their unusual wares.

Festivals and holidays tend to be clustered around the winter months, when agricultural production and tourism fall to a minimum. A few seasonal outdoor ice skating rings and ski slopes also exist for the residents to enjoy during the winter.

The Woods

The woods, which take up a large portion of the island, border the school and begin just beyond the lake. Dotted with nature trails and recreational areas, the woods are home to a variety of wildlife and fauna, both natural and supernatural. Picnic benches, trail guides, and informative bulletin boards are most common near the edge of the forest where most island habitats range. However, there are also cabins and campgrounds scattered throughout the majority of the forest for use. Rental can be arranged through the Manta Carlos Conservation Center or by speaking to a ranger.

Due to the concern with sea level, the local cemetery is housed within the woods. The graves are interspersed among the trees along with statues, obelisks, and other memorials. Remnants of an old, iron fence may surround part of the cemetery while other sections appear to be completely within nature. Fruit trees are common within the cemetery. The cemetery is a calm and peaceful place. Habitats of the island come both to pay their respects and leave coins at the statue of the cemetery guardian that watches over the sacred grounds. Necromancy and similar forms of magic are forbidden within the cemetery grounds.

The Forbidden Forest

An entire section of the forest is dark, leading up to the mountains, with trees that are so dense and gnarled that little sunlight passes through the thick canopy. Vicious, mutated monsters that have no real name roam free here and are known to attack anyone who enters. The Forbidden Forest is a colloquial name given to the section of the woods due to the FORBIDDEN ENTRY posters hanging on various tree branches to warn students of the dangers within. Despite its name, entering the Forbidden Forest is not illegal for citizens, staff, or students with special permission.

Hunters in particular are drawn to the Forbidden Forest due to the elusive and dangerous creatures that live within. Travel within the forest is difficult as well; the trees appear to shift and move, trails disappear into nothingness, and sinkholes are not uncommon. The lack of sunlight and dampness of the island air cause fungi to grow in large and unique structures, some of which produce light or have potent magical properties, but harvesting them is a dangerous challenge.

The Pacific

The entire coast of the island, no matter where you are, is beach. Hot sand, seagulls, rolling waves - you name it, it's there. There are docks nearby for the local fisherman and boats from the outside world. The beaches closest to the city and academy are maintained for the enjoyment of the island's habitats. Lifeguards are on duty during weekends and holidays, but swimmers should always enter the waters at their own risk. In less populated sections of the islands, the beaches are uncombed and wild. Cliffs rise high into the surfaces and hidden alcoves reveal statues honoring long forgotten sea spirits.

Down by the coastline of the city, the pier is a great entertainment spot for the locals. Featuring a fishermans market, an ocean side amusement park, and a marina full of boats and jet skis, the possibilities are limitless. At the end of the day islanders can also enjoy fancy beach side restaurants, shops and attractions.

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