The vast majority of the Kat Drummond series is set in the State of Good Hope, often seen as the last democracy in Southern Africa. It is located in what was the Western Cape, a province of the Republic of South Africa. After a coup in 1993, the South African government was taken over by a Zulu-led military government with the purpose of reinstating order in an already chaotic country flung even further into chaos by the arrival of monsters and magic.
Cape Town, now named Hope City, was home to South Africa’s parliament, while the main cabinet and transitional government was stationed up north in Pretoria. The surviving parliament declared themselves the South African government in exile and engaged in some brutal clashes with the newly proclaimed Zulu Empire at a military installation called the Three Point Line, a hastily constructed series of fortifications along the Western Cape’s eastern border. The weaker forces of the surviving South African army were pushed back, shrinking the borders of the Western Cape.
The Cape government couldn’t afford to dedicate much to the war effort, as Table Mountain (a natural wonder and centerpiece of Cape Town) was revealed to be the ancient tomb of a primordial titan named Adamastor. The titan began to awake. Only the swift intervention of some quickly trained mages kept the titan asleep. Now, the Titan Citadel and Titan Cult serve to keep the Titan Under the Mountain asleep.
In 1996, the acting president of the Cape government, Peter Jacobs, went behind the parliament’s back and contracted the services of a circle of lawmancers. He used a series of magically-binding contracts and charters to create a semi-sentient Spirit of the Law. This spirit would defend his vision of a new state. The State of Good Hope. With it, he made his own vision of government magically binding under pain of execution by a litigious elemental.
Peter Jacobs was murdered for his actions by a disgruntled member of parliament, but it was too late. South Africa’s government-in-exile was now serving in a new state, with a new system of government and new names.
Now, the State of Good Hope controls much of the Western Cape, up until a series of fortifications on the eastern border called the Three Point Line. A tenuous truce with the Zulu Empire and Goldfield Magocracy has allowed the small-state to thrive economically, as the Titan has become a focus for many powerful weylines, attracting mages and corporations from all over the world.
But Hope City’s wealth isn’t immediately apparent. In the days of total warfare, countless South Africans had flooded into Hope City, creating an unsustainable sprawl that came to be dominated by gangs, magical warlords and monsters. With an apathetic and corrupt government, not much has been done to address this issue.
And for those who live in the better parts of Hope City, they tend not to care. But for those who have seen the sprawling slums, they know that it is knocking on the gates of Hope City proper. And the horrors it contains will not be contained forever.
In 2021, an assassination attempt on then Chairman Adam Dawi was foiled by a group of monster hunters. The assassination attempt was linked to the Goldfield Magocracy and used as a justification by the Southern Ogre Horde to attack the the Magocracy to avenge the Dark Khan.
By 2035, there have been many skirmishes with the Zulu Empire, but the last major war was over a decade ago. But war is inevitable. The question is…when?
The Council of Hope City
The State of Good Hope is the last republic in Africa. Its democracy and constitution is guarded by a semi-sentient lawmancy construct called the Spirit of the Law. This spirit enforces constitutional law. If a government official tries to pass legislation that goes against the core constitution, the legislation is destroyed. The Spirit also enforces term limits of 3 years for all Councillors.
The Council is an almost intentionally complex mishmash of ministries, departments and different levels of government. This simultaneously stifles progress, while also ensuring that government can’t get much done.
Executive: The Chair of the Council and the Ministries
The government of the State of Good Hope is run by a first among-equals called the Chairperson. More than a Prime Minister and less than a President, the Chairperson represents the republic, providing the final say over legislative matters and providing a nexus for Ministers, who run the public departments and ministries.
The ministries of the State of Good Hope which are mentioned in the series are:
- Strategic Affairs
- Foreign Affairs
There are others, forming intervening authorities and priorities.
Whiteshield twists the narrative further. Purportedly a private mercenary company, Whiteshield has since become so entangled with the Council of Hope City that they are functionally the praetorian guard of the city, guarding national key-points and government officials.
The Chairperson is directly elected by the people of the State of Good Hope. Ministers are elected by the Lower Council.
Legislature: The Lower and Higher Councils
The State of Good Hope has a bicameral legislature, featuring a Lower and Higher Council.
The Lower Council is made up of individuals voted by and representing individual physical constituencies. Every territory within the republic is represented, but gerrymandering has ensured that places like the slums that contain millions of people get the same amount of votes as a Councillor who represents a small suburb. This is a relic from when the slum didn’t exist, and was a large tract of empty land. The Spirit of the Law has disallowed change.
The Lower Council introduces legislation, debates it and sends it to legal experts in the Judiciary, who will investigate it for compatibility with the Spirit of the Law. It is then sent back and sent to the Higher Council.
The Higher Council is elected directly by the republic as a single constituency. It contains 100 seats and primarily serves to perform the final vote for all legislation.
Judiciary: The Judges, Magistrates and Lawmancers
The judiciary of the State of Good Hope is independent from the Council, appointing its own Judges and Magistrates through an internal process going back to the judges presiding in 1996. Linked to the Judges are the Magistrates and Lawmancers, all acting to keep the law of Hope City enforced, clear and orderly. The Spirit of the Law presides over them all, providing judgement and enforcing the inalienable constitution.
While Kat Drummond has a generally harsh view of the Council, its ineptitude helps to keep Hope City free of warlords and authoritarianism. It may be incompetent in many regards, and too tied up in its own constitutional red-tape to do anything quickly, but this also means it hasn’t fallen down the road to serfdom like most of the world.
1996 Contracted Monster Elimination Act AND the Monster Hunter Act
Hope City is often called the City of Hunters, due to its large proportion of freelance and agency hunters. The 1996 Contracted Monster Elimination Act and the Monster Hunter Act formalised private sector monster hunting in Hope City, cementing a place for freelance and agency hunters in the city.
The advent of the MonsterSlayer App streamlined the process, allowing clients from the city to contract monster hunters as easily as one would order a pizza.
Many monster hunters have risen to prominence, becoming celebrities in their own right.