Ferraione Archipelago

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Ferraione Archipelago

For the administrative division of Vhallonesia, see: Autonomous Province of the Ferraiones Islands.

The Ferraione Archipelago or Ferraione Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Alban Sea north of the Latin Coast, named after the ancient local god, Ferras, a god of ironworking. The locals residing on the islands are known as Ferrians (Vallo: Ferraino-ones, Falcens: Fełain-ones). The Ferraiones are a popular tourist destination in the summer, and attract up to 200,000 visitors annually.

The largest island is Tasso, followed by Ezola. Other notable islands include Fero, Caralis, Turris, Sorda, and Caralis.

Government

Office of the Prefect-Captain of the Ferraiones

The local government ("guh'mint" in the local dialect), is headed by the Prefect-Captain, who is elected by the local fishing unions.

Geography

The present shape of the Ferraione Islands is the result of volcanic activity over a period of 260,000 years. There are two inactive volcanoes - Somboli and Vulcano. The volcanic activity of steaming fumaroles and thermal waters waiting to be tapped are present on some of the islands.

Scientifically the archipelago is defined as a "volcanic arc". Geology explains the origin of the Ferraione Islands as a result of continental drift due to movement of the Earth's crust. The Faelish shelf is in constant movement towards Europe. The resulting collision has created a volcanic area with ruptures in the Earth's crust with consequent minor eruptions of magma. The "Ferrian Arc" extends for more than 110 kilometres.

The complex of the dozens of Ferraione Islands, covering an area of 1,600 square kilometres, originated from a great plain at the bottom of the Bay of Biscay. Emissions of lava from depths of up to 3,600 metres resulted in the formation of the islands.

Island Groups

Profile

A view of Fero, the largest municipality.

Curbing overdevelopment has been a key to preserving the islands natural state. New buildings are severely restricted. Existing residences can be bought and restored but must be constructed to resemble its original appearane. Traditional houses consist of modular cubes constructed from indigenous building materials — stone, lava, pumice and tufa. Almost all houses have a large outdoor terrace, usually shaded by grape-vines and flowering vines. The houses, balconies and terraces are mostly decorated with brightly patterned terra-cotta tiles, a throwback to long-ago commercial empires.

Without exception, Ferraione hotels are family affairs with home cooking and friendly service. The Ferraione Islands, with a total population of approximately 20,000, have very different characters depending on the season. The head count swells to 100,000 during the summer months. Thousands of holiday-makers visit the islands each year seeking a road-free idyll and a close-up view of natural environments.

The largest towns are Occo, Chiali, and Fero.

History

  • 4000 - 2500 BC. First evidence of migration in Fero. Manufacture and commerce of obsidian highly developed until introduction of metals.
  • 1600 - 1250 BC. During the Bronze Age, the Ferraiones prosper by means of maritime commerce in an area extending from the Xhlavonia Peninsula to the British isles, from whence tin was imported. Villages on the islands flourished. All these settlements are destroyed by the new Çelathi invasions in 1250 BC.
  • 1240 - 850 BC. The Ferraione Islands are occupied by the Fusolians led by Licargus. Licargus is succeeded by Hollis whose house, according to poets, gave rise to the current population.
  • 6th - 4th century BC. In 580 BC ancient Faelish exiles from the mainland land and begin a period of Faelish domination, which was known for acts of piracy against shipping with the continent. Fine work in the production of vases and other ceramics.
  • 3rd c. BC. - 3rd c. AD. The islanders are allies of the Romans in Gallia Maritima against the Faelish pirates and tyrants. The Romans sack the pirate bases and their domination leads to a period of decadence and peace across the archipelago.
  • 4th - 10th century AD. At the fall of the Roman empire, the islands come under the sway of first the Vallo-Romans of the sub-Roman era and then the coastal cities of the Latin Coast. Calogrus the Father was active in the 900s against minor Viking raids, uniting islands into defensive communes.
  • 11th - 15th century AD. The Ferrainoes liberate themselves from the mainland and lay the foundations of a period of good government and renewal. King Rugertus sends envoys, which gives rise to considerable prestige on the islands. Fero becomes a bishopric and agriculture makes progress on some islands. In 1228 commercial links are established with Nantes, Sânts-Nemhora, Bordeaux, and San Sebastián. In 1307 Fero opens its gates to the French fleet without resistance, and in return obtains various commercial and fiscal benefits, as well as political recognition of the Vetials. Small commercial empires thrive on the islands for about a century and a half.
  • In the middle of the 15th century, Sânts-Nemhora and Códini unite to wrest control of the islands' monopoly on trade. The Ferraione Privileges are the result. Ferraione merchants and privateers grant free passage to the coastal cities in return for handling all trade.
  • 16th - 20th century AD. The economic conditions of the islands recede greatly during the 16th century with smuggling largely thwarting the Ferraione monopoly on trade.This unhappy imposition continues and worsens until the War of the House of Parmeno.
  • In 1843, the ruling house of Sânts-Nemhora, the Parmeni, did not have an heir. Códini attempts to install their own candidate, and in the war that followed, the islands were seized by Sânts-Nemhora.
  • In 1916, the British established a penal colony to accommodate anti-colonial politicals in forced exile. The institution was highly unpopular. Even Sânts-Nemhora petitioned the British government to demolish it. The residents of Chiali fraternized with these exiles until Independence. After the war, the same room that had housed the opponents of Britain became the Ferraione Archaeological Museum.

Image Gallery