Independent. Defiant. Secret. Virginia Isle flies above North America as an untrackable floating island that defies Provincial Authority. It is part of the Magimundi when it suits it to be, and its alliance or support is capricious, though constantly sought, given the prestige and wealth that the Isle commands. Raised into the air by secret means, allegedly by Virginia Dare herself, Virginia Isle did not officially announce its existence, and independence, to the Magimundi until July 5th, 1699, much to the consternation of both Destiny and Solaris Provinces. Marshals have no jurisdictional authority to enforce the laws of the Provinces on Virginia Isle. The Isle is considered to be an economic powerhouse, and is rumored to have a Leeuwendaalder budget that would embarrasses at least two Provinces. Breaking Virginia Isle’s laws is typically punished by defenestration from the Island to the earth below, and is usually fatal. The fact that the Isle can not be stopped or brought under the control of the Magimundi remains an embarrassment to the Justices. Opinions among the Magimundi of Isle residents vary from abject jealousy for their wealth and prestige to utter disdain for their perceived lawlessness and isolationism.
Visitors to Virginia Isle are sworn to keep certain secrets. This oath is not enforced by magic, but merely by the fact that visitors who break this oath will not be welcomed on the Isle again. Among the secrets are its usual routes, size, standing militia, and details of its layout. In spite of this, certain information has eventually become public knowledge. The Isle is almost entirely urban, with a high population density. Isle neighborhoods include Georgian and Edwardian structures as well as modern feats of magical engineering unseen elsewhere. Greenery is almost exclusively through rooftop parks and gardens. The isle also appears to be growing in size as the years pass, at least based the comparison of anecdotal information. Because of the lack of green space, Virginia Isle has many food supplying trading partners. Many of these are members of the Provinces, but there also appears to be quite a few ocean-traveling magical communities who have no allegiances but to themselves and their trading relationship to Virginia Isle. Mercantile ships that have disappeared off the shoals of Mundane North Carolina, or in the area of the Bermuda Triangle may be the result of encounters with these magical communities. It is also rumored that the Isle regularly trades with Morts-Vivants, the vampire city on Hispaniola. All told, a robust underground economy outside the control of the Provinces exists for those who are able to access it.
The Isle typically migrates north above Destiny Province in the warm season, and south towards Solaris in the cold season. In addition to its citizen militia, it’s protected by a horde of flying magical creatures, Wyverns chief among them. There are rumors that Pixiu, Cockatrice, and European Dragons also frequent the Isle, with unconfirmed stories of breeding taking place in secret off-Isle locations, by legendary dragon tamers and handlers.
Visitors can board the Isle by invitation only, and the only way to emigrate is to be fully welcomed into the community as family. Commanding wealth in Leeuwendaalders is helpful, but it’s been made obvious that Leeuwendaalders alone will not be enough for acceptance. Virginia Isle looks for exceptional magical talent as the key component to welcoming a guest as a permanent resident, and a proven track record of solicitude. Those who have both of those have a good chance, but personal dislike from the Isle’s leadership has been sufficient reason to deny an application, with no chance of appeal. An application rejection has even been known to have generational consequences, with prominent, talented, and wealthy grandchildren of rejected applicants again dismissed by mere precedent. There are long memories and even longer lines of lineage here.
The Oxendine, Burgess, Locklear, Berry, Samson families are considered to have ownership of the Isle. These families have a gentle but absolute authority over Virginia Isle’s governance, with the Samson family, who never miss an opportunity to remind others of their direct lineage to Virginia Dare, being first among them. Residents who are not connected by family bonds are considered to be contractual tenants and risk expulsion or defenestration at any time.
Young mages of Virginia Isle either attend Magnolia Sun or are home-schooled. Teaching or tutoring the heirs of the five families is a lucrative and exclusive position that some covet as a way to gain acceptance and residency on the isle. The Winborne family has a legacy of being tutors to the Isle elite, with seven generations of Winborne pedagogues tutoring Samson and Oxendine children in the magical arts, including a certain amount of maleficium and magical practices that are frowned upon on the continent. Neither the Winborne family nor the Oxendine family formally acknowledge Josiah Winborne or Alisdair Oxendine after the incident known as the Black Blizzard of 1934. The conjured malevolent storm cloud of dirt and dust barreled across the Great Plains and traveled more than 1500 miles through Mishipeshu and Destiny provinces to the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that the storm obscured other dubious magical practices, and that Virginia Isle traders may have directly benefited from the resulting loss of crops, livestock, and a plummeting Leeuwendaalder caused by the aftermath.
The Isle may only be approached by flying. No magical teleportation is permitted for access. There is a healthy paranoia, that’s not entirely unjustified, that any lapse in the island’s diligent defense would be too tempting a target for the Provinces of Destiny or Solaris to resist the chance to bring the rogue island under the heel of the Provincial Authority. These efforts have been redoubled since the failed coup by the Brayboy and Chavis families in 1961. Allegedly operating under the direction of a Magimundi Arch Justice, these lower-ranking Isle families attempted to take control of Virginia Isle and deliver it to one of the Provinces. The coup’s leaders Bocephus Brayboy and Red Chavis attempted to hex the wyvern and pixiu surrounding the island, and to motivate members of the Island underbelly to rebel against the ruling families. Wearing black berets, hugag leather motorcycle jackets, and sparse mustaches, Brayboy and Chavis were betrayed by their Bohemian allies before the coup could really begin. Subdued and handed over to Isle authorities, they were both defenestrated. A posse of Marshals coincidentally approaching the isle by air merely claimed to have received intelligence regarding the coup, and sought to offer protection and support of their beloved neighbor Virginia Isle. The posse was denied permission to alight on the sovereign city-state.
For the most part, the denizens of Virginia Isle pride themselves on maintaining the strictest decorum and utmost manners and fashion. The Elite of the Elite live here, and if you are going to court the movers and shakers of the Magimundi, then you will need to hold court with the Isle families. Some of the finest wizard shopping can be found on the Isle, and twice per year selected shoppers are allowed limited entry to visit The Penumbra, the ring of exclusive stores and artisans catering to the elite. At these twice-yearly Conclaves, gathered elites sample the latest in fashion, food, artificery, and performance art. Those ideas blessed by the Isle Traders tend to go on to wild success, while those rejected fall into ignominy. The original shop of Cheshire & Chance, the finest traditional robemakers, can be found in The Penumbra, with personal tailors and couturiers still fastidiously attending to their customers who select the finest fabrics and furs. Wands from Delaney & Devereux, haberdashery from Hildeberth Holmwood, millinery by Mildred Milford, and curiosities from Fitzroy & Hathaway are among the most prestigious items to own and flaunt. A new fashion trend is unveiled each year by prominent contemporary designer Nigel Peacock, with knock-offs quick to follow in lesser shops on the Continent. Despite these trends, fashion on the Isle is slow to change, with traditionalists still sporting 18th Century British attire. However, at the heart of the Isle is a modern district that is a bastion of experimentation, artistry, and deviance. A robust Bohemian counterculture also exists, and an annual festival draws wanderlusting wizards to spend a hedonistic week on the Isle, though they generally do not remember the event once returning to the Provinces.