An isola refers to a group of geographic locations found in the world of Disco Elysium.
The word isola comes from a Messinian word meaning "continent of matter, enveloped on all sides by the pale", a void which covers 72% of the surface of Elysium. Initially, it was believed that there was only a single isola, hence the etymological similarity to the word "isolation", but in the last four centuries, seven total isolas have been discovered; Mundi, Seol, Samara, Graad, Katla, Iilmaraa, and Insulinde. Each isola acts as a continent.
Mundi is the largest isola located in the north azimuth. The majority of the nations on the isola are a part of the EPIS-aligned Occidental sub-continent, and include the Republics of Vesper, Messina, Oranje, Sur-la-Clef, Meteo, Königstein, Gottwald, and the island of Ubi Sunt?. The remaining non-Occidental nations include Kedra (which has been a candidate member since '21), Saramiriza, Mesque, and Sao. During the Dolorian era, there were fourty Mondial nations, half of which rejected Dolores Dei's rule.
It is described as being a protectionist, isolationist panisiolary state, and is located west of Insulinde. It has maintained a level of distance from the other isolas for over a thousand years, rendering it inaccessible to other nations. Because of this, it gained a reputation of exotic mystery, and the people of the Occident referred to it as the Shao Empire, an unsavoury legend which still persists even in the modern day.
Samara is an isola located in the east azimuth. Koko Nur is located in South Samara, while Lo Manthang, and Hsin-Yao, as well as Siigay (also known as the "Apricot Suzerainty" in Revachol, a fraught term originating during Revachol's colonization of the archipelago), are provinces of the Safre Empire in Southeast Samara.
Iilmaraa, also known by its ancestral name, Ile Marat, is an isola in Elysium. In the southeast lies the Uamrao, the world's largest canyon system. It is to the east of the Erg desert, where the province of Areopagita is located. Other provinces include Gurdi, Tioumoutiri, Yeesut and Sahrava.
Graad is both an isola located in the northeast azimuth, and the name of the largest nation on its territory. Provinces include Yugo-Graad, Igaunija, Zsiemsk, and Shest. Mirova, the capital city of the Graadian province -- and the world after Revachol's destruction -- is situated on the Graadian isola.
Insulinde is an isola located to the south of Mundi, the southwest of Graad, the west of Samara, and the east of Seol. It is home to the world's largest body of water, the Insulindian ocean, and has the largest amount of water in relation to land of all the isolas. The Insulindian isola has 78,000 uninhabited islands and a population of 850 million people. Inhabited islands include Le Caillou, the Semenese Islands (Ile du Fantôme), Ozonne, Laurentide, Face-a-la-Mer, Archipelagos, and the North Arcade Islands.
Notable locations include Revachol, the capital city of Le Caillou, and former capital of the world; Martinaise, a former province turned district, and the setting of Disco Elysium; Jamrock, the home of Harrier Du Bois, as well as Precinct 41's main district; and the GRIH, a harbour district that stretches along the edge of Revachol.
JOYCE MESSIER – "Yes." She pauses. "Pale covers 72% of the surface. There are grey flares and prominences, even arcs above entire isolas... The images are blurry, but if there was a sphere in there it certainly looks like it fractured a long time ago."
JOYCE MESSIER – "*Isola* is a Messinian word for a continent of matter, enveloped on all sides by the pale. Also: isolation, or land mass. We used to believe there was only one. In the last four centuries we have discovered seven..."
JOYCE MESSIER – "Mundi, Seol, Samara, Iilmaraa, Graad, Katla, and this -- Insulinde."
ENCYCLOPEDIA – Three hundred years ago, in the wake of the discovery of this isola -- the Insulindian -- by explorers from the continent of Mundi. She is, among other things, the innocence of interisolary travel and the connected world.
JOYCE MESSIER – "An oceanic isola. It comprises mostly of water. Mundi is the largest, Katla the coldest, Insulinde the bluest. What can I say..." She stops. "Each is perishing and dear."
MAP WALL – The ocean breaks apart into a tangle of cosines and azimuths, all pointing into pale nothingness. *Mundi* is the north azimuth; *Graad* is the northeast azimuth; *Samara* is the east azimuth; *Seol* is the west azimuth. *Isolas*, they're called.
ENCYCLOPEDIA – When he says Occidental he means white. originally from the Occidental sub-continent on Mundi.
THE GREATEST INNOCENCE – Incorrect. Vesper-Messina is not a person, but a defunct state on the southeastern coast of the Occident. It used to take up most of the peninsula, before separating into the Republics of Vesper and Messina. Care to try again?
ENCYCLOPEDIA – As you read it you think: that leaves out dark haired Mesque, Sao, Saramirizian, Kedreatic... Lighter skinned Occidental means this man could be... Vespertine? Oranjese? Messinian. Those three are on the table.
ENCYCLOPEDIA – The Republic of Oranje is a democratic nation on the Mundi isola, north of her, over the sea and across the pale. It is one of six major Occidental nations to hold stake in the continued occupation of Revachol (the Coalition). People consider it a *reasonable* superpower.
SUNDAY FRIEND – "The Occident is part of the normal world. Oranje, Sur-la-Clef..."
ANDRE – "Meteo. A country. On Mundi?" He looks at you, squinting his eyes to see if you're kidding. "On the Mundi isola."
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Medium: Success] – One of the poorest of the first world nations today -- but once a great ancient civilization. Capital: Thylakos-by-Pisantic.
TRANT HEIDELSTAM – "Me? Yes, at some point, I'm sure I have. There was this one rather, uh," he stops smiling at the reminiscence, "*memorable instance* when I had a chance to meet the head of Dominion Police of Königstein."
TRANT HEIDELSTAM – "And, as you know, they have this very distinctive dress uniform with scarlet breeches and little cylindrical fur caps, I think these are called..." You daze off, as Trant tells you about the peculiarities of mounted police forces in central Occident.
MEASUREHEAD – "YOU KNOW THEM BY THE NAMES OF THEIR NATION STATES: *THE ORANJESE*, *THE GOTTWLADIANS* AND *THE KÖNIGSTEINERS*. MY PEOPLE SIMPLY CALL THEM *MAUN*."
YOU – "Where is Lelystad? The place, I mean."
KLAASJE (MISS ORANJE DISCO DANCER) – "In Oranje, officer. It's a... I think *municipality* is the term? A nowhere-town there."
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Medium: Success] – The Lelystad municipality has few boroughs and even fewer cities -- it's made of agricultural plots near the border of Gottwald. Executive summary: cows, silos, and wheat.
ENCYCLOPEDIA – The Ubi are known for their partiality to socialism and sheep. They come from an island called Ubi Sunt?, drifting in the pale off the coast of Vesper. It's the only place in the world that has a question mark in it's name. Things are not well there: It's an island of poverty and entroponetic collapse.
THE GREATEST INNOCENCE – Incorrect. Kedra is a large nation in the mid-northern area of the Mundi isola, north of the Occident, between the Irmalan mountain range and the Pisantic *mare interregnum*. Care to try again?
SUNDAY FRIEND – "Kedra is a candidate member of EPIS. But, between you and me, their potential membership is a more... *contentious* issue."
YOU – "What do you mean?"
SUNDAY FRIEND – "That it's never going to happen. They entered negotiations in '21 and it's been pending ever since."
ENCYCLOPEDIA – As did we all. The lands of Mesque and the Occident and even far-away Supramundi -- altogether twenty one of the fourty Mondial nations of the time -- immediately accepted innocentic rule. Even before her crowning.
KIM KITSURAGI – "It's a part of the world, officer. A geopolitical entity -- *and* a geographic division. I told you it wouldn't be interesting."
ENCYCLOPEDIA – Seol is a protectionist, isolationist panisolary state west of the Insulindian isola. Actually, it's *quite* interesting; some would even say mysterious...
KIM KITSURAGI – "Seol is an *extremely* protectionist isola, inaccessible to the rest of mankind. As it has been for over a thousand years. I have no special knowledge of them, despite my heritage."
YOU – "Mind your manners, John. This isn't the great Shao Empire, where you can talk about sex stuff so openly!"
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Medium: Success] – Shao is what the Seolite Empire was called in the Occident, back when far less was known about the people. It was a barbarian Other, ever so mystical, on whom you could project any kind of exotic fantasy. The legend of it persists and a lot of people still think the 'Shao' is a thing.
MORELL, THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST – "I haven't had a chance to travel to *Koko Nur*, no. And I likely never will. The Samarskilt desert region has been embroiled in a small civil war for the last eight years."
LENA, THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST'S WIFE – "The Giant lives in the most arid parts of the vast Koko Nur desert, in South Samara, casting a strange light across the barren wastes."
SUNDAY FRIEND – "I got it from the head of the Samaran delegation on my trip to Lo-Manthang. It's made from a *special* charcoal-coloured bamboo. It's an emblem of the formal normalization of our diplomatic relations."
KIM KITSURAGI – "The *Apricot Suzerainty*," the lieutenant explains, "is what the Siigay archipelago is commonly known as in Revachol." He pauses. "It's a bit of a *fraught* term, I'm sure you understand."
RHETORIC [Medium: Success] – *Apricot Suzerainty* calls to mind an era when the Siigay archipelago was colonized by Revachol. It's a bit of a slur, in other words.
SIILENG – "Very sharp, officer. I'm Seraise, from the Siigay province of the Seraise Empire. The 'Apricot Suzerainty', you know?"
JOYCE MESSIER – "A lot of it," she nods. "It comes in from large Samaran factories. In South Safre, Siigay and Hsin-Yao. The literage they must get from this terminal alone must be *oceanic*."
ENCYCLOPEDIA – Southeast Samaran-made. Exotic. Must be defunct too. No modern rifle manufacturer of that name springs to mind.
SUZERAINITY: THE BOARD GAME – From the Empire of Safre: orange apricot tokens. From Ile Marat (the ancestral name of Iilmaraa): gray marble block tokens. From the Semenine Islands: white sacks of sugar tokens. And from Supramundi and Saramiriza: magenta tokens for unprocessed cocaine leaves.
LENA, THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST'S WIFE – "It happened on a botanical expedition into the vast and unexplored Uamrao canyon in southeast Iilmaraa. Dr. Plattenkalk got separated from his group during a sandstorm..."
LENA, THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST'S WIFE – "The world's largest canyon system, sweetie. It's a barren waste east of the Erg desert -- an ancient riverbed, completely dried up."
MEASUREHEAD – "THE AREOPAGITES ARE THE MASTER RACE OF THE IILMARAAN DESERTS. THE SEMENESE ARE DESCENDANTS OF THE AREOPAGITES. WE CAME HERE DURING A *HEROIC MIGRATION* FROM IILMARAA TO INSULINDE. THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE THE LACTOSE INTOLERANT, MAUN-RIDDEN OCCIDENTALS DISCOVERED THIS PLACE."
AUTHORITY – Selflessness forms the basis for the warrior code. An ageless code, as fit for nomadic Iilmaraan tribes traversing the vast Red Plateau in Provincia Gurdi as it is for your neighbourhood postman.
ENCYCLOPEDIA – Tioumoutiri was a Revacholian colony on Iilmaraa. The suzerainty's population was mostly Iilmaraan Areopagites -- up to 97%. The region was known for its tobacco export. Hence the name.
MEASUREHEAD – "NO, THOSE WERE SCIMITAR WIELDING RACE LOSERS OF SAHRAVA, YEESUT AND BASHIR, WITH THEIR HIMI SERVANTS. *BIG DIFFERENCE*. THE AREOPAGITES WERE FASTING AND CONQUERING WHILE THIS HAPPENED -- YOU NEVER PENETRATED THE WESTERN DUNES."
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Medium: Success] – 005 is Revachol ZoC -- 001 is Graad, on the Graadian isola, where the telephone was invented. The next two digits you dial are the area code for the city of Mirova...
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Medium: Success] – It's a Graad name -- Zsiemsk or Yugo-Graad in origin -- not Occidental at all. Smells of motor oil, taiga, economic desolation, and rock music infused alcoholism.
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Godly: Success] – Igaunija -- a god-forsaken (and tiny) territory in Graad that has not once, but twice wasted its independence on microfascism. The less said about Igaunija the better. Matter of fact, let's stop saying things about it right now and continue what we were doing.
VISUAL CALCULUS [Medium: Success] – The Kojkos of Graad (Yugo, Zsiemsk, Shest et al) are what you would call, white, officer -- in a suspect description.
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Challenging: Success] – Twenty-two million people live in Mirova, the capital city of Graad. It is the capital of the world after Revachol was destroyed.
ENCYCLOPEDIA – "Yekokataa" is an abbreviation for the Graadian term "Zone of Ecological Catasrophe", an agricultural megaproject in the extreme south east of the Graadian isola. It involved cutting-edge approaches to irrigation and a completely new type of fertilizer.
ENCYCLOPEDIA – In fact, Yekokataa is a desolate wasteland whose name literally translates to *Zone of Ecological Catastrophe*. It features no scenic vistas and supports virtually no plant or animal life.
ENCYCOPEDIA – Sounds *boreal*, like something from the tundra- and taiga- covered Katla isola. Far, far away from here -- as far as possible, really.
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Challenging: Success] – It's Suruese. The Suru are an indigenous ethnic minority in the social democratic powerhouse Vaasa, on the tundra and taiga covered isola of Katla. Far, far away from here -- as far as possible, really.
RADIO – "Lohdu, Uuhu Reservation, -22° centigrade, snowdrifts."
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Medium: Success] – *Maun* is a derogative term for first-world people of Gottwaldian descent. They do not *all* have eczema. Also, people of Katla, like the Suru and the Uuhu, are much more lactose intolerant.
BIRD'S NEST ROY – "The Man from Hjelmdall is the hero of a series of popular books based on a fictional version of Katla, mostly what is nowadays Arda NFD."
JOYCE MESSIER – "Yes. We are on an island in an ocean. The world's largest body of water -- the Insulindic."
ENCYCLOPEDIA – Known to the early Revacholians as *les Immensités Bleues* -- The Blue Immensities.
JOYCE MESSIER – "But they could not. They were sane and conscious, as islands began to appear on the horizon... There are 78,000 uninhabited islands in the Insulindian archipelago, officer. The freckled face of god," she smiles.
ENCYCLOPEDIA [Medium: Success] – Encyclopedia - 850 million people live on these little dots. An oceanic world of culture and commerce, torn apart by history.
MAP WALL – This large map displays archipelagos. You see a constellation of small dots on the light blue emptiness of the Insulindic ocean. The largest, in the northeast, is "Le Caillou" (you are here). Another, far away in the southwest -- "Semenese Islands (Ile du Fantôme)".
MAP WALL – Ozonne, Laurentide, Face-a-la-Mer, Archipelagos, North Arcade Islands... all just specks of dust on the vastness of the Insulindic. On the edges of the map, the colour fades into a blur of dotted lines. Black and white.
JOYCE MESSIER – She opens them: "As I told you: Martinaise used to be a province, a workers' resort before the city swallowed it and the artillery did its part. Now the reeds are the real star of the show here. The further down the coast, the wilder it gets."