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Hugging the coast and running south from Suyapar, Kipak is a collection of city-states each ruled by a single merchant-prince. At its peak, Kipak's wealth has rivaled Vasugu's due to its deposits of coal and gold, and intermittent access to copper and silver mines further inland.

Political StructureEdit

Kipak's current political system often strikes outsiders as bizarre, a strange fusion of plutocracy and democracy. In the past, Kipak was governed by a gift economy: a powerful lord would give gifts to servants to put them in debt, and servants would pay that debt off via service to the lord. As merchants and craftspeople gained power and warriors were no longer the only relevant social class, the leaders eventually owed gifts to so many different groups that those groups began to more directly choose whom to support. Over time, this developed into the current democratic system. During election season, each candidate buys extravagant gifts for specific interest groups and for the city at large to garner support. It is believed that the most competent candidates will have the most personal wealth to afford gifts, thereby proving their ability to lead and administrate. (Buying the election is not only culturally acceptable, it's the entire point). Merchant-princes wield a great deal of power during their terms, though most form a council of advisers to help them with day-to-day matters. Cronyism and favor-buying are rampant, of course, but more direct abuses of the populace are usually reigned in by the desire for re-election. Power blocs such as political parties have not formed, as any pooling of wealth for gift-buying would make one look weak or incompetent compared to their opponents.

ReligionEdit

Along with their neighbors Dregu and Dezh to the south, Kipak follows the Eastern Pantheon of 9 gods, personally emphasizing Pobudi, the god of wealth, Sidra, the tusked god of smiths and craftspeople, and Zhuya, the shark god of the ocean's strength. Unlike Dregu and Dezh, Kipak often depicts the gods as "mere" zhadii with additional features, rather than animal-headed. This, combined with their political system, has given them a reputation of being somewhat profane or aberrant.

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