|Demographics||3,100 humans (2,600 Mwangi [1,900 Zenj, 400 Bekyar, 200 Mauxi, 100 Bonuwat], 500 foreigners), 700 other|
Source: Heart of the Jungle, pg(s). 35-37
Kibwe began as a trading post, established in the eastern Mwangi Jungle at a convenient point west of the Ndele Gap. Caravans from “civilised” eastern Garund could pass through the Gap and swap cargoes with traders from the wilds of the Mwangi Expanse, removing the need for either party to venture too far into what was for them dangerously unfamiliar territory.
The subsequent discovery of natural resources (such as diamonds, gold and salt) in the Kibwe area gave the location a significant advantage over any potential nearby competition, and rival companies fought deadly battles over trading rights. The growing local population intervened, and established free trade laws to ensure growth and prosperity was not threatened.
Also, massive granite walls were erected, and bolstered by countless runes, to ensure the city would not be seriously threatened by the nearby jungle. The city’s stout walls and deep wells have never failed.
The city prides itself on its civic freedoms. Slave-taking is forbidden, and those few tortured souls lucky enough to escape the horrors of Usaro often congregate here. However, it is perfectly legal to transport through the city any slaves taken elsewhere, or even to sell them here to foreign buyers (hence the significant Bekyar presence in town).
Also, the civic pride which encourages citizens to treat fairly with one another does not prevent them from eagerly swindling foreigners whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The city is politically neutral. The governing council is appointed from the various communities based on their respective populations. All council members are expected to put the city’s welfare ahead of any vested interests they may have – and failure to do so can carry the death penalty.
The Aspis Consortium recognises the city’s importance as a trading centre, and is seeking to gain influence here comparable to the power it enjoys in the western trading hub of Bloodcove. It has made considerable investments in the local infrastructure, but so far its philanthropy has not been able to overcome significant local distrust.