|Weepo/Piah (Foreven 1936)|
|Classic Era (1115)|| |
|New Era (1200)|| |
Weepo was originally settled for its agricultural output, especially its fine wines and whiskys. The world is slightly cooler than Terra, with milder seasons and virtually all of its land in the temperate latitudes. Most of the population became scattered between small farmholds, linked only by a service network of buyers and suppliers that catered to their needs, and collected their harvests for sale and distribution offworld.
But Weepo has become more reknowned for its power as a trade center. Because of its location, the world is a vast entrepot. For centuries, all interstellar trade moving across Piah subsector had to pass through this system for customs and processing before it could proceed into the Avalar Consulate. The Consulate maintained a huge naval base for the processing and regulation of non-Avalar merchants, particularly those coming from Imperial space. Long before the Quarantine, the Consulate has maintained only minimal outside contact at just a handful of interface worlds, and forbidding any other contact under threat of lengthy imprisonment and confiscation of ship and property. Besides Weepo, the only other main interface point facing the Imperium was at Ryanbiwul.
The Collapse has reinforced this practice, giving the Consulate the full authority it lacked in the past. But in reality the volume of trade, and the prosperity it brings, has actually weakened the Consulates control of its borders. While most traders do go through these interface ports, a significant minority simply ignores quarantine regulations, and jump the border at will. Most of these ships enter through the porous borders of the former Kamrati League, and most have either bribed the local quarantine patrols, or are doing "unofficial shipments" for various interests in the Avalar government and Venue.
All traffic entering Weepo system is under stricter control. All ships are required to adhere to a group of narrow loitering approaches, seperated for incoming and outgoing ships, and for Consulate bound and departing traffic. The failure to adhere to these regulations will result in pretty much the same penalties that Regency merchants are familiar with. And Avalar naval patrols are in heavy evidence. Ships may only deviate from these approach paths if they have proof that they have a reason, or business to attend to. Of Weepo's five gas giants, only two of them are open to refueling, the other three are heavily mined and patrolled.
Despite this show of vigilance, experienced travellers will discover rampant corruption among the local custom and quarantine crews. Many longtime traders have "bankers" among the local officialdom, people that they pay bribes or protection money in exchange for relaxed scrutiny of their cargos. Petty bribery touches every section of the local hiearchy, from naval captains to the lowest dockhands, and it takes some learning before determining WHO it counts to bribe; otherwise expect to be shaken down by every nonentity in customs. Despite this petty corruption, the local officials will not allow traders to get away with murder. Contraband is tolerated to a point, but major crimes will be prosecuted regardless of how large a bribe a miscreant pays. (The bribes paid in such situations are called "wishing well money" by the locals.)
Weepo itself is a major marketing center for goods collected elsewhere on the Coil. Most independent traders do not have the resources or time for relicensing at the Weepo interface, and many sell their cargos to speculators and auctioneers who hawk these wares in open-air brokerage "pits" in the downport and at regular intervals in the capitol city. In addition, a number of "pimps", mercenary and underworld recruiters, that roam the streets looking for skilled persons who are looking to make a few extra credits in the no-man's land between of Piah, Urnian and Reidain subsectors. Some of these recruiters, one should be warned, are very dishonest, and include assassins and slavers.