Copun (/k'oʊ.pʌn/) is an island country on the equator of Alksheist. It is comprised of the large mainland, as well as a string of four islands to the north and two islands to the south of the Dividing Sea between Oudnavi and Copun. It lies between Oudnavi to the northwest and Alluum to the south. The Scarlet Strait separates Copun and Alluum.
All together, the landmass of Copun is roughly two hundred and fifty thousand square miles. Copun is the fifth smallest country after Kaimo, Seville, Oudnavi, and Tatu. It is the youngest of the land masses, a group including Egivelyn and Lexelle, created by passing over a volcanic hotspot.
Geography and Climate
The shallow oceans of Alksheist have erratic currents controlled mostly by the moon Tiput and influenced heavily by the movements of sea dragon schools. The equator is the warmest part of the planet and, as the meeting place between the stable southern climate and the more erratic northern one, it is prone to heavy rainfall and large variations in temperature.
Copun is dominated by rainforest. A large active volcano, Mount Paliot (/pɑːli.j'ʌt/), claims the middle of the island. Its predictable eruptions have blanketed the country in volcanic ash. Over time the buildup of volcanic soil has created an environment where a huge variety of flora and fauna can exist and thrive. Copun also has one of the warmest climates on the planet which also contributes to the biodiversity of the nation.
Like other equatorial countries, Copun has heavy rainfall year-round. It has very little in the way of seasons and has a remarkably stable climate. The northern islands experience more variation than mainland Copun, but their position between Oudnavi and the mainland protects them from the more chaotic fluctuation brought on by the convergence of northern and southern climates. Temperatures here vary predictably from highs in the day to plunging lows at night.
Native Population and Andzkin
Known colloquially as the “magical country”, Copun is home to the rarer humanoid species, the nymphs and dryads. These species are perhaps the strangest looking on Alksheist, often appearing more alien than anything else with a wider variation in appearance than most humanoid. They are peaceful cultures with strong ties to nature and natural magic. They live in the rainforests and in the oceans surrounding Copun. More rarely, they will make their homes in the capital of Riverdale.
Although cousins evolutionarily, nymphs and dryads have recognizably distinct racial cultures. Though shared traits and pacifism make the operation of Copun possible, these are largely separate entities, with nymphs living in the seas surrounding their island homes and dryads living in the depths of the Copish rainforest.
Copun has native dragons: the mainland cliff racers and the smaller sea dragons that call the sea their home. Like other countries, Copun has its version of dragon riders. Dragon riding is considered a sacred activity among the nymphs. The Healers of each tribe are allowed to attempt bonding with a sea dragon ally. Nymphs are often seen as the spiritual leaders and experts in Copun. On the other hand, dryads have taken the position of protectors. Thy travel to mount Paliot in hopes of making one of the cliff racers or else a hippogriff their life-partners. Dryads are entrusted with Copun's safety while nymphs are in charge of the spiritual and physical health of Copun.
Copun has no formal government system, instead opting for a sort of direct democracy when outside concerns must be addressed. When it is deemed necessary, elders from the nymph and dryad communities call for a General Assembly. Those who wish to attend may, and anyone can bring issues before the Assembly, speak on them, and vote on solutions. Passing votes require a supermajority, generally two-thirds of the assembled who have not abstained from voting. This is not difficult to achieve as most Copish people don’t particularly care about outside issues. This method works beautifully and often leads to a very peaceful country.
Riverdale, Copun’s capital, was created by Alluumnian humans several thousand years ago as a waypoint between the wild rainforests and the sea. Though the area was initially a natural sandy copse used by nymphs, the natives didn’t mind the new additions and have mostly acclimated to human settlement. Alluum’s continuing hand in the town is obvious in architecture and modern conveniences that the rest of Copun lacks. Over the years it has been carefully enlarged, mostly through the use of upward building like that seen in Xidwin due to the protection of the rainforest by dryads. It serves as a decent meeting spot for trade and the General Assembly.
Even so, the town of Riverdale has only a small proportion of Copun’s total population. Nymphs principally live in the sea and coral reefs surrounding Copun, divided into three Clans with very little hierarchy. Though they have elders, they have no set leaders. The Healers are looked to as community leaders and culture preservers.
Dryads form a more organized society with their community foundations firmly rooted in Clan pride and religion. Dryads are not a highly stratified society, but there are many social distinctions and prestige can be based on family ties. The system of distinction and social interaction is incredibly complicated; very few dryads ever learn all the 'rules', though most know far more than any outsider could even imagine. Dryads revere elders and ancestors.
Relations with Other Countries
Alluum continues to have a decent presence in Copun, due to its hand in Riverdale. On the whole, though the natives welcome visitors, they do not make an effort to engage in relations with other countries. They have no formal economic system and the barest bones of a governmental one.
Foreigners are amazed by the warm temperatures and beautiful forests of Copun. The homes of the natives are often not suited for visitors, however. Nymphs live in cities under the water and dryads build strange homes in the trees that only they seem to know about. Most visitors stay in Riverdale, although it isn't strange for a dryad to bring someone to their village to stay while they study the rainforest.
Copish is the national language of Copun. Formal Copish is spoken at meetings and used in writing. Copish has adapted the Alluumnian script, as both languages are highly musical. However, the fact that nymphs live underwater has created a very strange dialect. The dryads, too, have their own dialect of Copish, and these dialects are mutually unintelligible. Those interested in interacting with the other community usually learn at least some Formal Copish.
Main Industries: None.
Main Exports: Artisan crafts, natural resources (fruit, shells, etc.)
Main Imports: modern technology, textilesCopun has very little in the wauy of a modern economy. It has subsisted on bartering and general goodwill between communities. Copun doesn’t particularly care about modern wealth, though it is very protective of its natural riches. Nymphs will trade shells and dryads will trade fruit, but wide scale farming and agriculture is the antithesis of Copish living. Thus, materials from Copun are luxuries in other countries due to their limited supply.