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Wepwaci

B79899D-D

by Pete Grey

Also known as "Whip-Whack." Wepwaci was settled in the late 500s to exploit its mixture of agro and mineral resources. The world is modestly habitable, thanks to a significant amount of chlorine and hydrogen sulfide taint created by a number of local biological agents. This gas mix is strong enough to require full protective gear, especially during the winter.

The world attained industrial status only since the Collapse. Most of its growth has come through the same source as the rest of the Avalar Corridor: emigration of Regency citizens fearful of Virus, and/or unhappy with the Regency's post-Collapse liberalisation. Most of Wepwaci's emigrants were wealthy property owners rather than middle-class professionals, nevertheless they've financied a steady advancement of the world's TL, and its industries are heavily concentrated in bulk and materials manufacturing, component fabrication and metal and plastic finishing industries.

The world's government is a direct outgrowth of Avalar's corporate state, and is fairly insular and repressive on its own. Tensions between the government and the new middle class are more in evidence than anywhere else in the Avalar Corridor, though not to the point of violence or war. The world's proles are becoming more divided between the traditional public corps and the new private companies that are leading Wepwaci's economic transformation, and this has lead to tensions between upwardly mobile groups and the traditional labor and vocational groups.

These tensions are kept at a low simmer thanks to the world's reputation for egalitarianism, or it should be said, its imposition of equality. For Wepwaci is home to a peculiar group of fungi known variously as "Spider-Weps" or "Wep-Lashes." Similar to Terran Ringworm, these are harmless, topical parasites that create weblike networks of brightly colored markings on the skin. Most species are attracted to the areas under the ears, the back of the scalp, neck, upper torso and armpits. While the designs of these webs are often intricate, they are rarely flattering or beautiful, and their ugliness is enhanced by their phosphoresence thanks to the higher ultraviolet output of Wepwaci's primary.

There is no cure for Spider-Wep, and nearly the entire population has one form of it or another. This reduces everyone to the same aesthetic level, rich or poor, as the markings are impossible to cover up, and permanent as long as a person remains on Wepwaci. Status then is irrelevant, and ostentation ridiculous. The similarities between the elite and the common man goes very far in defusing conflict, as their is no room for sanctimonious pride in this society. As such, no divisions exist, at least in public between the different social strata, and people usually become more important for their accomplishments, rather than their accumulated wealth.


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