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Whaleboneisle

Also known as Whalebone Isle, this northernmost strand of the archipelago that lay off the tip of Forochel was aptly named, for the skeletal remains of these great mammals littered its southern strands for mile upon endless mile. Here the wounded or infirm members of this race came to die—at times accompanied by one or many kinsmen—beaching themselves on the pebble-strewn shoreline. Helpless, their carcasses were stripped by birds and other carrion, until only their immense bones remained to mark their passing. While other Jäämiehet who visited the island gathered these bones for practical uses, the Valaskalan Palvonta revered them as spirit totems, and therefore believed that they should be left in peace, lest the whales' spirits become angry and visit retribution upon the Merimetsästäjät. For this reason the Jäämiehet seldom visited the island, not wishing to come to blows with their Merimetsästäjä brethren. The Valaskalan Palvonta regarded no one to be above their taboo, exerting whatever force necessary to prevent the profanation of the graveyard.

The southern beaches of Whalebone Isle offered excellent harborage for the Merimetsästäjä whalers, and their camps could be found near the island's freshwater springs. While the northern and western shores were rockier and less accessible by boat, they were excellent playgrounds for seals. Female seals gathered here in large harems from early to late spring, while the bulls fought and contested mating privileges with one another. The higher cliffs on the northeastern side were the domain of gulls and terns. Whalers in search of eggs sometimes made the dangerous climb on these crumbling rocks to the nests.

Occupied only during the warmer weather of spring and summer, the camps of the Merimetsästäjät—whalers on the southern shores, seal-hunters on the north—would contain as many as a hundred men at the height of the hunting season, or as few as ten after the peak. The camps were mainly crude collections of sealskin tents centered around a small communal firepit. They were located on the same beaches and harbors year after year, though once abandoned for the winter, there was virtually no trace of their ever having been there. The Merimetsästäjät were willing to accommodate travelers, but travelers should not expect a great deal of aid or eagerness on the part of the Merimetsästäjät to part with much needed supplies, weapons or boats.

The entire southwestern tip of Whalebone Isle was one long strip of beautiful, yellow-white sand. It was rumored that no Elf could stand here without being overcome by the longing for Aman. For this reason, most Elves avoided the island.

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