The land of Motunui is incapable of producing all that is required for the modern lives of its people. Be it the glassworks and fine jewelry of Taito, the precious metals and medicinal herbs of Milrae, or the spices and wines of Koth, there are things that the people of Motunui cannot take from their own backyard. That is where Whanga Tawhito comes in.
Very rarely called Trading Cove, Whanga Tawhito is the largest and busiest port in all of Motunui, and the second largest city overall. Only Rivermouth can compare as a port, and even it doesn’t come close. All of the lands to the east of Motunui, of which there are many, come through here on their way to Crossroad and beyond, and for some it is the final destination; caravans laden with foreign goods often set out for Rivermouth or Rotonui by road, rather than river.
Whanga Tawhito is the home of the economic giant Kaihoko, which is the load bearing pillar of all trading throughout Motunui. The massive Pourewa Wahi, an opulent tower housing the offices of Kaihoko’s best, is often the first thing sailors see when approaching Motunui - which is half the reason it exists.
The laws of Whanga Tawhito are upheld by the Toa o Ture, men and women whose skill with a patu is something of a legend among the other cities. They are also trained in use of spear and shield, should they be called upon to defend the city. This has become an increasingly rare occurrence, thanks largely to the expanding military might of the Kaihoko and their taming of the areas surrounding Whanga Tawhito.
The bustling port city has the dubious honour of being home to the surviving bloodline of Tuheitia, the last king. Tuheitia’s nephew, Kahae, was the only one of royal blood who did not die or go into hiding at the crux of the rebellion, thanks to his early allegiance with the people. Despite him being instrumental in the rebellion’s victory, he is not remembered fondly by the people of Motunui, due entirely to his royalty.
Unknown to most, the current heir of this bloodline is quite powerful. Aroha Kingihou holds substantial investments in the Kaihoko, and has ever since its founding, but stays far out of the public eye for fear of people opposing her position of authority due to her ancestry.
It is often said by critics of Whanga Tawhito’s current Ariki (leader) that the two are close friends, with some outright claiming that their leader is a puppet for the noble bloodline.