Water or Blood
These many small nations all share a similar cultural establishment, and have great influence on their western neighbor Heon. Many of them are on Islands, and isolated lands, helping to keep them all safe from most conquest, though internal war continuously rages. In the past when threatened by imperial conquest from Heon and the empire they have always bound together and fought them off.
Their Religion is based on darkness and light. The Shadow is the sheltering good of the world. All shadows are pieces of this great deity and may one day be reunited. The terrible light burns out what it can, but must be opposed at all turns lest it win the struggle and consume the world, thus the war must last for all time, for when it ends so to does the world. They practice Shadow Manipulation a small special magic connected to their religion.
Great sailors and Pirates they alliteratively trade with and prey on imperial shipping.