(This is a map-in-progress)
The western half of the Emperor Island is lush and densely populated. Several notable cultures have arisen between the mighty central desert and the sea, but two especially have come to dominate.
Along the northern coast live the Faigheal du Niel - often shortened to simply, 'the Niel.' They are a race most notable for two things - first, their mastery of the sea. The Niel are famous mariners and shipbuilders, and much of their livelihood comes from the riches of the ocean. Second is their dwellings - the Niel live primarily underground, in the vast networks of caverns that run throughout the northern coast regions. Until recent generations, they built almost no above-ground structures. Central amongst these cave systems is their capital of Crishal Otani.
South of the Niel are the Drobani, an extremely populous race of farmers and herdsmen. They are ruled over by The Droban, whom the common folk revere as a living God. He and the Enlightened Cult maintain absolute control over ever aspect of Drobani society, ruling from their only true city, called simply the Seat of God. The rest of the Drobani are scattered throughout their vast realm, generally in small agricultural communities.
In the southwestern region, between the forest, the river, and the sea, lie several independent city-states. These are united by a single culture, but they are often at odds with one another, both militarily and otherwise. They have been known to ally against foreign aggression, though - usually from the Drobani.
Finally, many other peoples exist within the vast swathes of territory not claimed - or at least, not claimed in any meaningful way - by the other civilizations. The forest is home to several, and one in particular - known simply as the Snake People - inhabit a vast marsh along the northern river. This region, called the Endless Fen, is trackless and hostile. The Snake People are ferocious, and all who trade along their river must constantly find ways to appease this fickle tribe - or else.