The city is home to several neighborhoods or camps organized around ethnic groups, belief systems, and national origin. These include the laborers of the Mozimba Camp,6 the refugees of Usaro straining the Bwamandu Camp,46 or the shanties of the Straggleblock.6 The Bekyar Block is home to many of they city's Bekyar people, and the Aspis Consortium have a significant presence in the city as well.64
Kibwe's massive granite walls slope inward and are strengthened by countless runes to ensure the city cannot be seriously threatened by the nearby jungle, and the city's deep wells have never failed.46 The walls feature notable soapstone sculptures and idols of animalistic humanoid shapes known as Pillar-Watchers that look down over the city from tall pillars. While mostly used as navigational landmarks, stories suggest they once would come to life in defense of the city should the need ever arise.4
Elsewhere, the Walk of Shrines is a street densely lined with many small places of worship. A gold refinery processes gold ore mined near the city. The wells dug within its walls have fortified its water supplies against sieges.6 The Adayenki Pavilion serves as both a civic center and hotbed for public debate.64
Kibwe began as a trading post predating even Holy Xatramba many centuries ago.4 Within its safe walls, whose construction predate Holy Xatramba and were completed by unknown builders, caravans from eastern Garund can pass through the Ndele 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.64
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.6
At one time, Kibwe was the eastern regional capital for the territory controlled by the lost nation of Holy Xatramba. When Xatramba fell to demons conjured by its rival Rastel, the survivors fled to Kibwe.3
The city suffered a magical curse in 4720 AR known as the slithering, in which humans in the city transformed into oozes. The city marks the anniversary of the slithering with a holiday in memory of those who died from its effects.7
The city prides itself on its civic freedoms. Slave-taking is forbidden, and those few lucky enough to escape the horrors of Usaro often congregate here.46 It was once 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).6 However, the city's ruling council recently outlawed all forms of slavery within the city, which has roiled unrest in the Bekyar Block where much of that trade took place.4
Kibwe's residents are primarily of Mwangi human ethnicities, but the city also is home to a vast diversity of ancestries ranging from elves and gnomes to giants, kobolds, and lizardfolk among others. The patchwork collections of languages and cultures makes the city an often chaotic jumble where even the street signs might change languages every few steps.4
The civic pride that encourages citizens to treat one another fairly does not prevent them from eagerly swindling foreigners whenever the opportunity presents itself,6 and bargaining is considered a fine art by the locals and traders who do business there.4 Goods traded in Kibwe include darkwood from the Screaming Jungle, gold from Lake Ocota, special glass from Kho, and firearms stolen from Alkenstar.6
The civic centre is the Adayeniki Pavilion, a sacred space decorated with petals and shielded from the bustling city by hanging hides and tapestries, where courtship dances, weddings, and fertility rites are held every full moon.8 The pavilion is also a space for holding ongoing public debates.4
The people often offer food or kind words to the Pillar-Watchers out of general superstition, and never mock the statues, for fear of drawing their ire.9
The city is politically neutral in order to encourage trade with all parties. The governing council is appointed from the various communities based on their respective populations.4 All council members are expected to put the city's welfare ahead of any vested interests they might have—and failure to do so can carry the death penalty,6 though this draconian penalty is often not actually used. Instead, the council member is simply immediately ejected from the body.10
The Aspis Consortium recognizes 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.64 The most prominent local operation is probably that of the East Mwangi Mining Company.6
Unrest in nearby Usaro has swelled the city's camps and neighborhoods, particularly the Bwamandu Camp, and the sudden growth has strained the city's resources toward what seems like an inevitable breaking point.4
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Kibwe” in The Mwangi Expanse, 208. Paizo Inc., 2021 Note that this is a much larger population than that documented in The Slithering, but this wiki takes The Mwangi Expanse as its preferred source for this information as a later publication. .
- “Kibwe Gazetteer” in The Slithering, 52–57. Paizo Inc., 2020 .
- “Lost Kingdoms” in Heart of the Jungle, 53. Paizo Inc., 2010 .
- “Mwangi Expanse” in World Guide, 86–87. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- Lyrics of Extinction, 4. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Mwangi Campaigns” in Heart of the Jungle, 35–37. Paizo Inc., 2010 .
- “Kibwe” in The Mwangi Expanse, 213. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 127–128. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Folklore & Mythology” in Travel Guide, 84. Paizo Inc., 2022 .
- “Kibwe” in The Mwangi Expanse, 210–219. Paizo Inc., 2021 .