The Trade Island of Kaplin
The Island of Kaplin
The Island of Kaplin lies directly in the middle of three larger islands ( Immeral, the Land of Ruins, Sillead, the Land of Forges, and Beryl, the Land of Fertile Soil). The distance from the nearest side of Kaplin to each island is nearly equal, making it an ideal stop for trade and resupply. The four islands lay between two larger continents, so rare trade is common, and many captains manage to save themselves long journeys by stopping over in Kaplin for a time and trading directly with ships from the opposite continent. Kaplin receives a 10 percent tax on both sides for the value of the trades, payable in coin or goods.
Kaplin is roughly circular and about 38 miles wide. A mountain dominates the center of the island. The mountain is 12 miles wide, the bottom of it being about 14 miles from any part of the shore. The mountain is nearly a mile high, and is composed mostly of steep cliff faces interspersed with relatively level plains. It is lined with obsidian deposits, usually in lines going from their original sources down the side of the mountain, with a few reaching the ocean. Two rivers, the Bleak-flow River and the Storm-shard River, each follow an obsidian floe out into the ocean, the Bleak-flow River running to the North-East and the Storm-shard River running to the South. Both rivers flow from unknown sources further up the mountain. On the North-West face of the mountain is a steep, crescent pit leading to the inner earth referred to as the King’s Chasm.
The Democratic Republic of Kaplin was formed under the Kaplin Trade Treaty, under which Sillead, Beryl, and Immeral agreed to a permanent cease of all military action on the condition that each nation form a city on the Island of Kaplin which would be used as an intermediary for trade. Kaplin was to be an independent trade nation, however it would be contractually bound to trade with all three nations at fair exchange and tax rates to be determined at a trade summit each year. Immeral formed the city of Althaea, where it was agreed that the head of government for Kaplin would be seated, as well as the location where the trade agreement summit would be held each year on the grounds that Immeral build both public and private trade schools and universities. Beryl formed the city of Mar’Tesk, which would grow food for the island’s populace so that they would not suffer in case of any famine in Beryl. Sillead formed Port Yvann, which would receive mostly raw materials to shape to the trade needs of the other two cities, with occasional rare materials and tools to be received. Each nation agreed to give their town 1/50th of their total wealth and a stipend of material goods with which to begin trading, and from that point were given complete sovereignty on the grounds that they form a democratic trade republic consisting of all three cities in a single governing structure. Each city elected a representative, who in turn elected a president, though president was a mostly ceremonial role. The Charoneers’ Guild was formed to guarantee the transport of goods between the three cities. (The Kaplin Trade Treaty occurs about 40 years prior to the campaign start.)
Kaplin has three cities, each about equal in area boasting a total population of about 70,000 people. Each city is a port built on the closest point to the larger island whose trade goods they receive. Port Yvann, which has the highest population of 40,000, and faces South-West in order to face Sillead. Mar’Tesk, the second largest with 25,000 people, faces South-East towards Beryl. Althaea, easily the smallest at 7,500 people, faces North towards Immeral.
Kaplin is a Democratic republic, however they are bound within the laws of the trade agreement that formed them. Each city has a formally elected representative (The Mayor) who reigns for five years, establishing city laws in conjunction with the City Court and the People’s Assembly. The Mayor also represents the city’s interests during the annual trade summit and the election of Kaplin’s president. The mayor for each city is elected all during the same year, but each in a different season. Althaea’s mayor is elected in spring, Mar’Tesk’s mayor in the summer, and Port Yvann’s mayor in the fall. The president also reigns for five years, and is elected 2 and a half years after the election of Port Yvann’s mayor. The president is a mostly ceremonial figurehead, being the first to welcome representatives from the other island, as well as being present for the induction of mayors and a prominent figure in the courts. The only official power of the president is that it is his duty to issue trade embargoes and call for military protection from the island nations.
Working in Kaplin
Anyone can legally get paid work in Kaplin, but in order to get recognition for any work in a specialized field a person must have a Citizenship Contract, and they are issued an identification card to verify their Contract. Citizenship Contracts are essentially resumes, indicating any schooling or previous jobs that a person has fulfilled. Citizenship Contracts are large books with every official profession listed with ten blank pages afterward. They are large and unwieldy, and one would not usually see one carried around. Instead, they are held and a central repository in each town referred to as the Workman’s Library. Employers looking to hire will hold interviews at the Workman’s library so that any prospective hires are able to simply guide the interviewer to their Contract and show their identification card for verification. Libraries only ever lease out the Citizenship contracts when a person is moving to a new city, though the comings and goings of Contracts are not recorded. Every family or business is issued a unique seal and wax set with which to indicate that a person has provided them service. The higher the nobility of a family, the more weight their seal carries.Citizenship Contracts are issued at birth to anyone born on the Island of Kaplin, but only issued to foreigners after they are able to prove skill in a trade, which can be difficult without a Contract with which to prove it.