Friday, 22 August 2014


     Spread majestically across the western shores of Lake Khazi, the city of Khazibar is the largest city on the Leech Coast. It is an African metropolis of high, bone-white walls and houses, fragrant with the smell of lemon groves, exotic spices, and local armpits. The city is the capital of the sultanate of Khazibar, founded in 1653 by the Zanzibari prince Mehgoat I. The sultanate extends some ten miles to the south and includes a key hub for the export of coffee and chocolate, the port of Mochadishu. Traditionally, Khazibar’s wealth has been built upon slavery, and slaving expeditions once regularly traversed the Leech Coast in search if victims. More recently, the exploits of Mittelheim slaving companies have undercut the Khazibaris and times are now, unlike the Sultan himself, rather lean.

     The current Sultan is named Bahsheep II. He is an indolent, venal ruler whose love of gold combined with his straightened financial circumstances has resulted in an ever more oppressive and inventive system of taxation. One of the main groups to suffer have been the large flocks of goats that form a staple source of income for the poorer folk in Khazibar. Sultan Bahsheep has moved from taxing farmers according to the number of goats that they own, to a system that taxes according to the number of goats’ legs. As a result, the ever tax efficient Khazibaris have taken steps that have resulted in poorer-than-expected tax returns for the Sultan and a goat population that tends to wander only in circles. Britain maintains a consul in Khazibar, His Excellency Sir Marmaduke Drye-Humping, a sensitive fellow with a great love for animals and port. Some of His Excellency's time is taken up by attempts to curb the influence of the French; much of the rest is spent running the Drye-Humping Home for Injured Goats. Gelderland also maintains a plenipotentiary, but he spends much of his time being ignored by Sultan Bahsheep and being given wedgies by his bored and boisterous European colleagues.

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