Paradise Island's main industries are spices, raffia, seaweed and clove. Attempts to open the islands to tourism have been unsuccesful so far, mainly due to their distance from the rest of civilization. The flag of Paradise Island features a bird-of-paradise and three large white stars, signifying the three member nations of the NFT, plus one smaller star, signifying Paradise Island.
The presence of microlithic tools attests to at least 20,000 years of human occupation of St. Rodriguez and Basquelon. Long inhabited by native Velarians, the islands became part of the historical record of the wider world when the Canissian explorer Diego Vaz discovered them during his first circumnavigation of Velaria. The adventurer stopped to replenish his stocks of fresh water on St. Rodriguez, making him the first Westerner to make landfall on the islands.
During the Age of Exploration, the archipelago was frequently visited by ships of various nations and claimed by several colonial empires, but never settled. However diseases like smallpox and the measles brought to the island by sailors eradicated the native populace as well as the majority of the population living on the nearby mainland, leaving the islands and surrounding areas uninhabited for several hundred years.
In 2011 adventurers hailing from the nation of Coilerburg on Frequesue landed on the islands and claimed them as their own. Although this settlement was a venture officially independent from the Coilerburger goverment, the fledgling colony nevertheless received a great deal of financial support. Shortly after the Incorporation in 2013 the North Frequesuan Trust dispatched an envoy to the island to negotiate its status within the NFT, which lead to the integration of the archipelago within the Trust as its first Overseas Department.
Paradise Island has its own Governor and Council with 19 seats, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms; these make up the semi-autonomous Government of Paradise Island. The Governor sits on the Committee for Overseas Affairs, which is a part of the Directorate for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy of the Syndicate. As an Overseas Department the relations between Paradise Island and the Syndicate have been codified in an Autonomy Statute, which specifies the archipelago's degree of autonomy.
Armed Forces EditParadise Island is the home base of the NFT's Foreign Legion. The 1st Half-Brigade, 2nd Foreign Infantry Brigade and 3rd Foreign Infantry Brigade are headquartered on St. Rodriguez; Basquelon meanwhile is home to the 4th Foreign Parachute Brigade which operates a small independent airstrip on that island.
Paradise Island is home to a regional presence base of the North Frequesuan Navy. This base hosts several patrol motorboats and the helicopter cruiser Silver Dollar. A military air station is attached to Paradise City Airport, home to a handful of patrol aircraft and helicopters of the NFAF.
The population estimate for the whole of Paradise Island is 64,867. The society of the archipelago includes people from many different ethnic groups. A small majority of the islands' residents are the original Frequesuan settlers, but since its founding the settlement has attracted significant numbers of ethnic Velarians, principally Tanvarikans, Yulanti and Al-Itani, who are drawn by the settlement's security and relative wealth.
Coastal region issue Edit
Of the ethnic Velarians attracted by the Paradise Island settlement a significant number have taken to living on the coastline of the nearby mainland, where a string of small villages has formed. These hamlets, populated by farmers and traders, are not part of the territory claimed by the NFT but depend on it for their livelihood and security. This has sparked an issue with regards to territoriality and whether the local government can be said to be responsible for the safety of these villagers.
The Overseas Department of Paradise Island maintains cordial relations with the Cascadian presence at Von Halstoff. It was neutral in the Misterian unrest of 2018. The archipelago trades with the surrounding nations, but derives most of its income from economic ties to the NFT.