The largest emerald in the League, supporting a sunny-hearted population of 20,000 in an oasis of fine trees and well-proportioned stone houses with blue roofs. Fair Isle’s streets are steps of honey-colored stone. A broad wall of red stone lines the harbor, and a glassed-in arcade of shops, inns and restaurants faces the ice. The second and third floors of these tall narrow buildings are given over to the farmers, artisans and fisherfolk, who make their living tending the needs of those who work year-round on the Great Ice.
Fair Isle was forced to join the League; the island’s westward and northward position makes it a critical lading point for ice and air boats. Any ship making the voyage to Diamond Hearth must pass through Fair Isle. As wind deposited several thousand tons of good soil in the vale between the island’s rocky hills, Fair Isle became self-supporting.
Despite a genteel and fragile façade, Fair Isle is a town of savage values. Self-reliance matters to the Twenty Matriarchs who tend the tholos here and act as the local government. Because only hard work keeps Fair Isle’s bounty being strewn across the Great Ice and lost forever, everyone is expected to work for the island’s survival. The population remains committed to the League — for now. Before the air boats came, the bare rock supported fewer than 1,000 people scraping meager livelihoods from the Great Ice. Wind-blown soil and regular trade have made the island prosperous. Still, the islanders recall how their grandfathers were defeated in battle, and consider how they might attain their independence again someday.