Isle of Beauty
Blessed with fertile ground and a temperate climate, the Isle of Beauty is one of the most pleasant places in the Twelve Kingdoms. Despite its comfort, the isle has rarely been threatened by inter-kingdom wars, as the strong currents of the Strait of Silent Winds make anchoring a navy difficult, and much of the wealth of the isle is in its produce, rather than mines or other riches more easily transportable. The only jewel of note found local to the island is mother-of-pearl, harvested from the shells of the eastern shores, and its only martial tradition of particular note is the Yellow Silk School.
The Court of Ti Lao, the King, is surrounded by the Gardens of Harmonious Contemplation, which are surpassed by none throughout the Twelve Kingdoms. (The Court itself is not of such great renown, though its airy rooms and gentle walkways suit their monarch and his family well.)
Lao's wife, Ti Wren, presides over what is popularly called the Court of Distinction, where various artworks are displayed and judged. Those awarded honors make the careers of their creators. Ti Jun, the king's son and heir, is considered a remarkable young man, beloved by all in the Court.
One of the attractions of the Isle of Beauty is Silken Wings, a traveling circus which spends half of the year training and performing at the Court, and half the year traveling through the Empire performing and gathering new talent.