A word on Spira, from the Narrator
The island of Spira, located off the northwest coast of the main Ivalice continent, often carries the stigma of an island backwater. It is true that the majority of Spira's residents are technophobic to a degree that most Garif would consider extreme, that their island is either poor in mineral riches or simply untapped by the native residents, and that their cultural achievements have yet to arrive on the coast of the mainland. However, to say that they have neither developed technology nor culture is patently false. The Al Bhed who primarily reside along the island's southern coast have adopted and innovated from mainland technology, while the Yevonites have developed a highly sophisticated communion with the Espers. So, one could perhaps say that the problem is that technology and culture have failed to intersect.
Politically, Spira is a colony of Archades, but short of installing Governor Mika among the Yevonite's council of Maesters and occasionally providing regulatory oversight, it functions as an autonomous state. Spira's largest city and home of the island's only aerodrome is Bevelle; followed by Luca, which is according to my Spiran acquaintances, is Spira's leisure and educational heart. Unfortunately, as the reader will soon see, my time on Spira did not allow me to explore this aspect of Spira's culture.
Spira's population consists mainly of humes, both of the Al Bhed faction, who are mostly distinguished by their swirling green eyes and of the Yevonite faction, who are ocularly identical to humes found on the mainland. In addition, there are the Ronso Viera who reside in the mountain ranges on the Northeast of the Island.
Most important for me though, is Spira's dedication to the art and science of alchemy and the historical event that spurred the rapid advances in the field. The effects of which have only now started to spread across the mainland and that largely thanks to the recent arrival of perhaps Spira's most illustrious alchemist.
If one has spent any time in Rabanastre during the past year, one might have learned of the Basilisk Curse, a brief period in which the water of our fair city had a nasty habit of turning select residents into slowly poisoned statues. That this Curse was a brief flicker of the catastrophe it could have been is a feat owed to the history and alchemical knowledge of this "island backwater."
~ Penelo, mover and shaker
Written in the year 711