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Saishu was an island off the coast of the Koryo Peninsula and part of the land of Koryo (formerly Choson) in northeast Kara-Tur.[1][note 1][note 2]


Saishu lay in the Yellow Sea and was separated from the mainland by the Straits of Koryo,[1] which were famed for their huge tidal range and speed.[2] It was surrounded by numerous smaller islands,[1] including Su'un, a desert rock raised from the sea.[2]

The island itself was covered in forest.[1] A region of the island was South Saishu.[3][note 3]


Queen Ki Hiar of Saishu was once affected by a love potion from the Quang Muku Forest and fell in love with a pirate from Wa.[4]

In the early 14th century, the kingdom of Silla was at war with Saishu. At the time, it was led by Dan Zor, the hereditary leader.[3] Finally, in the 1330s DR, the king of Silla conquered Saishu, as well as the kingdom of Koguryo, unifying the whole land of Choson into the Sillan Empire.[2][note 4] However, the Sillan king was a tyrant, inflicting crippling taxes and martial law on Saishu, occupying it with Sillan troops. However, General Wanang Sun protected Dan Zor, even arranging a marriage between their families.[3]

Finally, around 1350 DR,[note 5] the king of Silla's secret invasion of Kozakura ended in catastrophe that saw the end of his reign; he abdicated and fled. In his place, General Wanang Sun seized the throne, becoming king and reforming the Sillan Empire into the Empire of Koryo. He welded the old factions of Choson into a unified nation.[2] He immediately granted Dan Zor governorship of Saishu, lifted the martial law, and cut taxes, winning the support of both Zor and the Saishu people.[3] In gratitude, the people of Saishu gifted the squatting toad to Sun.[5]

However, the Sillan soldiers had caused much ruin, even destroying all but one library on the island, Dan Zor's own. In the post-occupation years, Dan Zor dedicated public funds to the rebuilding effort, and sought capable people to assist, and adventurers to take care of threats to the island (such as sea lions threatening shipping at In'ani) and to investigate its legends.[3]

In 1357 DR, the whole island of Saishu was quarantined after an outbreak of the ivory plague. Despite this, foolhardy merchants smuggled supplies and goods onto the island for enormous profits.[6]


The hereditary leader of Saishu in the 14th century was Dan Zor. He was formerly a leader in his own right before the Sillan conquest, but after Sun's reforms, he was only a governor of the kingdom of Koryo, holding the honorary title "Master of Cheju". Nevertheless, his people still thought of him as their true leader. He was patriarchal and devoted, and acted quickly but justly. Under his rule, visitors who acted suspiciously were apt to be tossed in jail or deported to the mainland as soon as possible.[3]


There were two settlements of note on Saishu, Cheju and the city of In'ani.[1] Only one library on the island survived the occupation, which was Dan Zor's own.[3]


Some legends of Saishu were:



  1. Like many sites in Koryo, Saishu shares a name with a real-world counterpart: Jeju, written in Japanese as "Saishu", an island and province of Korea. In the Realms, Saishu shares this origin with the settlement of Cheju and the island of Quelpart.
  2. In the original 1st-edition Oriental Adventures, page 136, it says "On the islands between the peninsula and the islands of Wa and Kozakura are several tribes of primitive fishermen and hunters." This statement may apply to Saishu, but it also applies to the other islands in the area.
  3. It is unknown if "South Saishu" refers to the southern portion of Saishu or if it is one of the smaller islands lying south of Saishu.
  4. This is "15 years before" a point "several years ago" from 1357 DR.
  5. "Several years" before 1357 DR.