Kalgachia

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Garden of Kalgachia
Flag of Kalgachia
Flag
Coat of Arms of Kalgachia
Coat of Arms
Motto: Quod Superius, Sicut Inferius
(As Above, So Below)
Anthem: Kalgachia, Our Gratitude to You
Location of Kalgachia
Map versions 16.0.0 onwards
Capital Oktavyan
Largest city Abrek, Katarsis, Jollity, Schlepogora, Bergburg, Lithead
Official language(s) Benacian English (official)
Benacian Yiddish
Laqi
Nezeni
Official religion(s) Ketherism
Demonym Kalgachi
 - Adjective Kalgachi
Government Gnostic Theocracy
 - Executive Council of Perfecti
 - Chairman Unconfirmed; believed to be one Xantus Yastreb
 - Legislature Council of Perfecti
Establishment 143 Anno Libertatis
(1649 AN; June 7th 2017)
 - Ranked -
Area ~720,000 sq.km
 - Ranked -
Population ~16 million
 - Active -
 - Ranked -
Currency Kalgarrand
Abbreviation KAL
National website -
National forum -
National animal Oreamnos Benacianus
(Benacian mountain goat)

Crotalinus Monticola
(mountain pit viper)

National food Mutton Roast
Goat Cheese Bliny
National drink Stalemate Gin
Schlepogorskaya Vodka
National tree Juniperus Litovinus
(Litovine juniper)

For more about Kalgachia, check out the Category - If you're just here for the literature, check out Tales from Kalgachia.

The Garden of Kalgachia is a territory located in the mountains of west-central Benacia. It was established by elements of the Minarborian population during that empire's collapse, and is theocratically governed.

Origin

With the thinning of the necromantic ley lines which kept its undead ruling caste animated, the Empire of Minarboria entered a state of progressive collapse from around 1642 Anno Nortone - by 1650 AN this process of aesthenic degeneration was largely complete. For a period, the Minarborian priesthood had taken up the administration of their little parishes when the hand of the Arborial state had slipped away. But with that hand was also lost the generous inflow of goods and services that had been so expertly marshalled by the command economists of Sansabury. And no matter how genial and and inoffensive the word of the Shrub-God Minarbor may have been, it alone could not fill the stomachs of the starving nor protect them from the criminal elements who had always lurked beneath the veneer of Shrubly fellowship, waiting for Minarbor's Garden to wilt and wither away. The more intelligent of the priesthood had realised this, and in the dying days of their Empire they had set about reinventing themselves as generic community sages with an emphasis on practical assistance and charity, with all references to deliverance by the Shrub-God Minarbor quietly suspended from their body of teachings. In time, those holdouts who remained confined to their pulpits and implored the population to await salvation by the resurgent Shrub-God were laughed out of town, or else became figures onto whom the woes of the community were ascribed and met a grisly end by lynching.

Those clerics who survived were very much of kindred spirit; folk of tattered robes and calloused hands, sustaining themselves as community figureheads through generous labour and modest promises. Sensing their common predicament, these washed-up scions of the Shrub-God networked with each other as a natural means of mutual protection. Bidden by none but working in concert, they had taken the natural lead in organising the droves of downcast masses who surrounded them. The Octavian mountains, being easily defensible and sufficiently overlooked by the other cults and warbands springing up at the time, offered a natural home.

Laqi brigands under contract to the Perfecti, making displaced members of the Minarborian officer corps an offer they can't refuse.

Most critical to the efforts of these renegade clerics was an initiative they had named Operation Clothespeg - the location and capture of as many engineers and academicians as possible from the industrial hub of Novodolorsk and the university city of &zeter, two Minarborian cities fast falling to ruin a thousand kilometres to the southeast. If old Minarboria was going to drain its brain, they had mused, it may as well be drained their way. Not all of the professors and technicians who had gone into hiding were willing to join the effort, indeed many were led into the mountains in shackles with their possessions confiscated and loaded into pack horses behind them.

Such vigorous sorties required manpower, of course. To this task rode the Kossars, the itinerant horsemen of Ashkenatzi origin who under various flags had been the custodians of these mountains for centuries, and knew the land like nobody else. With them were those Laqi cossacks who had been raised to join the undead ranks of the Karymovka Host further east, but had seen their revenant masters succumb to mass necromantic decay before the living apprentices could be relieved of life to join them. The loyalty of these mounted bandits to their new masters, in the beginning at least, was bought with the implicit understanding that anything they encountered on their travels in the old Shrublands which was not specifically requested by the priesthood, or Perfecti as they had styled themselves, would be for the marauding horsemen to liberate as they saw fit. After that, a stake in certain profitable gold mining concerns in the high mountains had been mentioned. Certainly a more lucrative gig than protecting the tight-fisted Kohanim of old Kolmenitzkiy, if the supply of willing volunteers from the west was anything to go by.

Not that the remnant Shrublands was entirely theirs for the picking. Others had taken a stand for their communities down beyond the southern slopes - the most terrifying being the Deep Singers of Whisperwood who, in addition to armies of genetically modified 'pets', had retained possession of Minarboria's entire biological weapons arsenal. They were largely spared raiding actions from the mountains, which instead focused on the lands known as Novodolor. There only a few fanatical bands of Minarboria's most elite military unit, the Black Rangers, made a stand worthy of note. Even at this most degenerate stage, they defended the bankrupt ideal of Shrubdom even as it fell apart in front of their faces, confronting all who dared question it as traitors in need of merciless liquidation. Being very well armed, the Rangers succeeded in fending off the mounted hosts who swept their way; although they were sufficiently outnumbered as to be pinned in their positions by a steady dribble of fire from the Kossars' horse artillery while everything between their scattered strongpoints was looted bare. In spite of them and all the other hazards of a collapsing empire, the raiders' caravans were filled and pressed ever onward to sequester their goods in the mountains.

Inevitably a schism grew between those Perfecti who had lost sight of their spiritual goals in the face of immense riches coming into their care, and those with more robust sense of divine mission and a better conception of their place in the eternal mystery play that is the parapolitical history of Micras. The series of factional battles that followed were eventually won by the latter group, who claimed assistance in their holy struggle by a bevy of aethereal watchers, guardians and other archetypic memeforms, although the key to their victory more likely lay in the support of the ordinary masses and their appetite to overthrow the more corrupt Perfecti whose profligate graft was driving an already-displaced population into literal starvation.

Order thus restored, those Perfecti remaining were able to lay the foundations for a fully-fledged state.

Religion

The universe according to the Church of Kalgachia.

For more, see Ketherism.

Kalgachia's belief system, Ketherism, began as an agglomeration of those eremitic and monastic sects which had been tolerated with disdain by the Minarborian church, but whose teachings gained new-found popularity in the wake of that church's collapse. Indeed the conditions of the time all but demanded that the early Kalgachis organise themselves in small fortified groups, attending to their own needs before any thoughts of the wider Garden could be considered. In time however, these monasteries - and the churches built in subjection to them - were networked together by the new Nezeni elite who, true to their ancient form, retreated to tunnels in the thick mountain granite to administer those communities in their care. These were the leaders who would become known as the Perfecti, nine individuals sitting in council to govern their new mountain Garden.

The belief system of Kalgachia is not so much based on new revelation, as on several long-running undercurrents of Minarborealist belief that bubbled to the surface of the popular consciousness once the old church was no longer around to suppress them. While the old conception of the world as a Garden is retained by the Kalgachi, its purpose has been somewhat revised. No longer is it the goal of the faithful to expand the Garden across the physical world - now considered a damnable act of flattery toward an inherently tainted plane of existence - instead it is to be maintained in a small but increasingly beautiful form until its inhabitants, by way of reward, are freed from their material bodies and reunited with the Garden Ketheric, a pure and unknowable plane of broadly chthonic nature whose divine spark is implanted into the hearts of all physical beings and yearns for reconciliation with its source. At the same time an opposite realm, the Wastes of Irredeemable Corruption, impel a negative force to dampen and obstruct the divine spark of the Garden Ketheric, in order to prevent enterprising souls from escaping the physical world, which seen as a fundamentally compromised plane of existence created by the flawed hand of the irredeemably corrupt.

The Kalgachi Church holds that the entire physical world is a point of collision between the Garden Ketheric and the Wastes of Irredeemable Corruption, initiated from the latter in a futile attempt to destroy the former. That boundary is itself divided into the Garden Physical - that is, the Garden of Kalgachia - and the Tumultuous Wastes, comprised of the entire physical world outside Kalgachia. The salvation of humanity is said to be achieved by first gaining admittance into the Garden Physical, then enhancing its beauty and virtue to such heights that its inhabitants are admitted to the Garden Ketheric en masse - an eschatological event which forever consigns the inhabitants of the Tumultuous Wastes to the Wastes of Irrdeemable Corruption, forces the collided realms apart and entails the end of the physical world itself.

Unusually among world religions, the closest physical proximity to the Garden Ketheric is considered to be underground rather than in the heavens, the latter being considered a realm of great evil with a reputation for spawning all manner of archonic police actions from apocalyptic meteor showers to orbital kinetic weapons wielded by powerful nation states.

The Kalgachi Church does not hold absolute import in the existence of gods, although material or aetheric beings considered to contain especially high concentrations of the Garden Ketheric's divine spark are freely recognised as deities of a sort. The all-time record for the most divine being is considered to be the Shrub-God Minarbor, from whom the Empire of Minarboria was named - but unlike the Minarborians who considered Him to be Shrub-God above all, the Church of Kalgachia proclaims the possibility of Minarbor's divinity being equalled or surpassed by some other being in the future. Other Minarborian entities such as Lord Toastypops the Jolly Reaper, and the dreaded vegetable twins Asparagod and Brocculufagus of local folk legend, are also considered to be deities.

Government

Central Governance

Supreme power in Kalgachia is vested in the Council of Perfecti, who tend to remain in their sanctified underground homes to prevent themselves being corrupted by the distractions of the world above. On the rare occasions they do surface, it is in holy locations and often in disguise. Each of the Perfecti holds a ministerial brief, exercised through the following institutions:

Xantus A.Z. Yastreb is rumoured to be the Chairman of the Council of Perfecti, making him the nominal Kalgachi head of state. This is difficult to confirm as he has not been seen in public since the dying days of Minarboria.

The Troglodyti

The Troglodyti are an occult order of late Minarborian provenance who tend to operate out of the public eye - often physically underground - in accordance with their own norms, customs and rituals. Although they are not thought to have a single leader, their representative on the Council of Perfecti traditionally chairs that council and enjoys the nominal role of Kalgachi head of state. According to the supreme law of Kalgachia, the Oktavyan Code, the official brief of the Troglodyti is "the esoteric salvation of the Kalgachi people" although how they go about this task is not well understood beyond their inner membership.

The Church of Kalgachia

The Church of Kalgachia is the official state church and the most powerful public influence on Kalgachi society, tasked with maintaining Kalgachia's spiritual rigour through a wide network of monasteries and churches. The institutions also serve as nodes of provincial government, in which the Church wields immense power. The Church is also tasked with the training and arming of partisans from their congregation as a precaution against armed invasion. In peacetime these partisans, numbering around four million, effectively constitute the Church's paramilitary wing. A combination of the Church's moral clout, administrative power and armed strength gives it 'de facto' power as a police force and judiciary on a local level.

The Church keeps its immense power in check by retaining of many aspects of the old Minarborian liturgy and doctrine - for those within and without the institution it emphasises jollity, politeness and charity as the chief weapons against the archonic cynicism which rages beyond Kalgachia's borders.

The Kalgachi Defence Force

For more, see the Military of Kalgachia.

The Kalgachi Defence Force (KDF) are Kalgachia's professional military, born from a migrant officer corps and huge amounts of military hardware recovered from the collapse of Minarboria. KDF doctrine is built around the utilisation of Klagachia's rugged topography to frustrate an invading power; they specialise in mountain warfare with a rhizomic command and supply network composed of numerous underground barracks and arms caches, operating with a high degree of independence from their command to stealthily traverse normally impassable terrain and deny an invading force the ability to establish a functional zone of occupation. The KDF's unit composition reflects this, with most support elements being integrated at the company level under the general expectation that command, communications and logistics at higher levels will be severely disrupted or knocked out entirely in the opening hours of a major war, requiring even the most junior commanders to fend for themselves.

In addition to its mainstay infantry and equine reconnaissance units, the KDF employs a relatively advanced air defence and electronic warfare capability for a nation of its size, to frustrate the efforts of enemies whose doctrine is overly dependent on concepts of full-spectrum dominance. The KDF also integrates clergy from the Church of Kalgachia in a broad psychological warfare role, to maintain the ideological integrity of the KDF's own ranks and that of the civilian population in its areas of operation.

The Prefects

The Prefects are Kalgachia's internal security service, with unlimited powers to counter the subversion of the Perfecti's authority by native traitors or foreign agents. Their most visible presence is at Kalgachia's outer frontier, which they are tasked with controlling. Although the Prefects' recruitment process is a mystery, new entrants are understood to begin their careers as uniformed border guards before progressing to more occluded offices, chiefly concerned with absorbing information through a wide network of operatives and informants before taking any necessary covert actions, which often involves the target of their attentions simply disappearing into thin air. Individuals too publically visible to be summarily disposed of are, if their defiance of the Perfecti is severe, subjected to court proceedings under the nominal supervision of the Church of Kalgachia which inevitably confer an indefinite prison sentence without the right of correspondence. Lesser violators are dismissed from any sensitive position they may hold before being systematically pilloried by the Kalgachi media complex to liquidate their credibility, then subjected to certain travel restrictions to prevent their communication with or defection to foreign powers. The most popular such restriction is the 'Surface Travel Ban', limiting the subject to Kalgachia's underground settlements. More often than not, these disgraced public figures are made to disappear entirely once the memory of them has faded from the public eye.

The Directorate of Public Works

The Directorate of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for Kalgachia's civil infrastructure, much of which is located entirely underground beneath thick mountain granite. As a result the DPW have come to specialise in tunnel boring, ventilation and geothermal power. The Directorate is fully remitted to maintain and operate its more vital creations such as the transport network, power grid and telephone system.

The Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning

For more, see the Economy of Kalgachia.

The Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning (DLEP) played a critical role in Kalgachia's early history, organising an influx of migrants and goods caravans into a coherent labour force and manufacturing complex which established the rudiments of a social safety net and spared those early settlers from a premature death by starvation or exposure. In addition to its ever-growing industrial portfolio, the DLEP maintains a large standing cadre of skilled labourers to assist other organs of state in special projects or emergency relief efforts. After an initial burst of DLEP investment, economic entities of medium or small size are generally transferred to the control of the local church once their operations have matured.

The Directorate of Education and Outreach

For more, see the Media of Kalgachia.

The Directorate of Education and Outreach (DEO) oversees Kalgachia's education system, research and development capability, statistics and mass media. Freedom of thought is encouraged within the DEO, although its services to the general population are coordinated with the Church of Kalgachia to keep its output "on message" and its ranks are thoroughly infiltrated by various organs of state to ensure the containment of sensitive information to those minds capable of working sensibly with it.

The Pedagogue General's Office of the DEO is also responsible for running the children's camp known as the Urchagin.

The Directorate of Health and Public Welfare

The Directorate of Health and Public Welfare (DHPW) is responsible for its Kalgachia's medical system, public housing stock and - notably - the agriculture and food supply chain, this latter element being considered existential rather than economic due to Kalgachia's limited reserves of arable land and pasture. Along with the DLEP the hard pressed doctors, agronomists and dietitians of the DHPW did much to prevent Kalgachia's early migration flows from turning into a sewer of famine and disease.

Although much of the advanced bio-engineering capability enjoyed by Minarboria was lost after that empire's collapse, the DHPW have retained certain strands of the old expertise such as life-extending telomerase therapy and almost-limitless abilities in transfusion and transplantation - albeit within the bounds of the humanoid anatomy, the previous effortless incorporation of donor material as genetically distant as the insecta being little more than a distant memory.

The Directorate of the Tumultuous Wastes

The hierarchy of Kalgachia's provincial governance, an inversion of the usual shape to reflect physical reality (authority comes from below).

The Directorate of the Tumultuous Wastes (DTW) is Kalgachia's most junior organ of state, concerned with foreign relations. Like its old Minarborian counterpart, the Third State Arbor, the DTW is essentially a purgatory for inexperienced or disgraced civil servants who are tasked with the unpleasant job of interacting with foreign powers as a form of initiation and/or punishment. This also has the benefit of flushing out the less reliable bureaucrats by incentivising them to 'go native' in foreign climes long before they have been promoted to more sensitive positions in the Kalgachi state. Because of this, however, the ranks of the DTW enjoy a certain special cameraderie and a relative absence of bloated egos which allows its work to be carried out with a high degree of efficiency. Those excelling in its analytical and intelligence offices can expect rapid promotion out of the DTW to better things.

Kalgachi foreign policy is predictably dominated by the glowering spectre of Shireroth which occupies most of Kalgachia's northern frontier and, notwithstanding certain bouts of regional unrest and adminstrative difficulty, is expected to extend its control in the south and occupy the entire circumference of the Kalgachi frontier no later than the year 300 Anno Libertatis. Kalgachia was, in its early days, considered by Shireroth to be little more than another bump on the road to the latter's eventual conquest of the entire Benacian continent and destined to be integrated with Shireroth through diplomatic subterfuge in line with the Alexander Doctrine, or else by the application of brute military force. This view was ultimately challenged by the brisk development of Kalgachia's armed forces and the ideological entrenchment of its church which made the prospect of any Shirerithian invasion more costly with each passing day, as well as Kalgachia's enthusiastic assistance in the defeat of the Froyalanish during the Auspicious Occasion which proved that Kalgachia could, in the right instances, act in alignment with Shireithian interests while remaining fully sovereign. This détente culminated in the passage of the Slavegate Treaty of Peace and Civility in 157 AL, securing from Shireroth certain obligations of respect for Kalgachi sovereignty in exchange for a Kalgachi undertaking to refrain from militarily assisting Shireroth's enemies.

Kalgachia's foreign relations with the rest of Micras are unavoidably constrained by its landlocked geography and the presence of its larger neighbour - particularly relations with Jingdao which, while cordial to the extant that Kalgachi diplomats routinely survive the Jingdaoese tea ceremony, are unlikely to progress beyond formal pleasantries without invoking the demiurgic jealousy of Micras' oldest nation and materially emperilling Kalgachia itself. Isolated successes have been attained in other areas - most famously the DTW's brief 272-word statement on the Xhusor independence referendum in 154 AL, which inexplicably caused the Florian Republic to recall a battalion of troops in apparent fear of economic sanctions despite being located on the other side of Micras and having no trade relationship with Kalgachia whatsoever. The DTW ultimately ascribed the incident to 'memetic overkill' by overly keen initiates of the Troglodyti, resolving to keep their kind away from microphones in future unless Kalgachia's existential prospects were sufficiently emperilled to warrant a repeat of such measures.

Provincial Governance

The area of reponsibility between the Perfecti and the Church - namely the largest tier of provincial administration - is delegated to the Lords Lieutenant, of which there is one for each of Kalgachia's seven Lieutenancies. The Lords Lieutenant are the most senior government officials to appear in public, often making speeches and announcing policy on behalf of the Perfecti. This alone gives them considerable powers to interpret and apply the Perfecti's will in their respective Lieutenancies, although in reality this power is limited by the double scrutiny of the Perfecti's omnipresent informants and that of the Church whose acquiescence is essential to implement policy on the ground.

Economy and Infrastructure

For more, see the Economy of Kalgachia.

Kalgachi scouts surveying the local topography for defensive value and construction potential.

Early attempts to emulate Minarboria's non-monetary command economy were found to be inefficient in the face of Kalgachia's modest resource base, and the availability of one particular resource - namely gold - caused it to rapidly emerge as an informal means of exchange among the population which the Perfecti found necessary to formalise and regulate, before the emergence of a capital-hoarding class and the runaway skimmage of surplus labour value sucked the Kalgachi economy dry. What resulted was essentially a form of state capitalism, wherein private enterprise is freely permitted but trades primarily against the ubiquitous wealth of the Kalgachi state, the greater part of which is concentrated in the Church and its monasteries.

Kalgachia's unit of currency, the Kalgarrand, consists of one troy ounce of pure gold. Due to their considerable value, whole Kalgarrands are rarely seen in everyday use and most coinage is adulterated with base metals into everyday denominations.

The mountainous terrain of Kalgachia is not especially conducive to agriculture, and the few pockets of suitable farmland in the lower hill country of its fringes are heavily cultivated. Countermeasures against soil depletion are one of the more frenetic occupations of Kalgachia's small academic community. The husbandry of sheep and goats is more widespread, the animals being well suited to Kalgachia's profusion of scattered highland pastures. Kalgachia's geography has allowed mining and quarrying to flourish although it has conversely made exports problematic, bordering on the impossible - to reach the high seas and the global market place, Kalgachi goods must either transit through the ungovered Minarborian Shrublands with all its attendant perils, or else be conveyed through Shireroth which is free to impose any such restriction or condition upon such passage as it sees fit. As a result the majority of Kalgachia's modest foreign trade flow has been with Shireroth itself, mainly in the form of contractually-obliged Froyalanish labourers imported in exchange for outgoing Kalgarrands and surplus items of ex-Minarborian industrial plant.

Kalgachia's roads are few, and its railways fewer. The latter tend to exist in the form of light subway systems beneath large towns and cities, connecting the more substantial buildings which are constructed with basement floors equalling or exceeding the surface structure. The rail subways, and their attendant walkways, also connect premises which are located entirely underground. An established Kalgachi settlement viewed from the surface therefore represents only around half - or even less - of what actually exists. In some of the more inhospitable mountain areas, whole villages are carved beneath the local granite and are accessed from what appears to be a single cottage.

Academia and Technology

Kalgachia has a small but capable population of scientists and engineers, trained by cadres from the Minarborian university city of &zeter who were caught up in the first great migration to the mountains. As a result, certain advances in Minarborian technology such as biodiesel propulsion, resilient electronics and rocketry have been preserved in Kalgachia. With the Nezeni migration came similarly advanced skills in underground construction and medicine. These two skillbases have combined to prioritise the location of Kalgachia's most important state and industrial assets in the deepest underground venues, each rated to withstand attack by an orbitally-delivered kinetic penetrator bearing a nuclear warhead in the multi-megaton range. Being hideously resource-intensive to construct, such strategic facilities are relatively few in number, with their ancillary entities located somewhat nearer the surface layer if not on the surface itself.

Society

An ethnographic map of Kalgachia.

Kalgachia's geography, and the historical migrations that have taken place upon it, have made it the meeting point of many Benacian ethnicities:

The Lywallers

A Lywaller in his element; recounting jolly tales to small children.

The Lywallers are descended from migrants from the Minarborian province of Lywall, who themselves migrated from the Shirerithian province of Lywind. They are characterised by a short stocky build, an indefatigable jollity and the casual incorporation of a simple, animatedly childlike language into their daily affairs, lending the atmosphere of a kindergarten to even the most formal situations. This is often mistaken for flippancy or intellectual disability, generally to the misfortune of the uninitiated as Lywallers give no warning of their capability to act with a resolute severity, beyond mild suggestions of being "really quite cross" or "all in a tizzy" before suddenly making their move.

Having been a favoured class in Minarboria and still celebrating their ancient association with its undead Empress, the Lywallers retain a residual degree of social advantage and can be found throughout Kalgachia, although they are mainly concentrated around the Lieutenancies of Oktavyan, Katarsis and Jollity.

The Laqi

A Laqi, sizing up an approaching traveller for extortion potential.

The Laqi are an inexplicably persistent community in Southern Benacia, originating in the ill-fated Laqi Free Republic with a sizeable diaspora migrating to eastern Ashkenatza. Although these polities have long since been swept into the chop yard of history, the Laqi have remained a coherent body of people with a consistent presence in Benacian public life to this day. The Laqi practice a social conservatism verging on tribal backwardness, although their nomadic past has imbued them with an innate wanderlust and a tendency to play as hard as they work. Their reputation as brigands and hard drinkers is mostly deserved, with the comprehensive plunder of Minarboria's fallen Shrublands by their rampaging cossack bands being instrumental to the foundation of Kalgachia as a viable sovereign state. Their most fearless sons continue to be utilised conducting black operations for the Kalgachi military.

Kalgachia's Laqi are mostly concentrated in the Lieutenancies of Schlepogora and Abrek, where they inevitably find vodka-swilling kindred spirits across the border in Shireritihian Mishalan.

The Nezeni

A Nezeni, giving a briefing on Lithead's biomic hazards.

The Nezeni are the descendants of the genetically-modified caste of Minarboria - and southern Shireroth before that - known as the Deep Singers. The Nezeni are no longer subject to their ancestors' constraints of selective reproduction, the absence of which is causing their progressive homogenesis within the wider unmodified population through unregulated interbreeding. Although the extra limbs, tentacles and more insectoid modifications of the past are rarely seen, modern Nezenis remain easily identifiable by their silver, blue or green complexion and lizardlike eyes.

As in Minarboria, the Nezeni exert a great influence over the Kalgachi church and by extension the state, most notably in the Council of Perfecti itself which is exclusively composed of their kind. The horticultural holism of their ancient belief system, although less viscerally intense than they imposed on Minarboria, remains an important strand of Kalgachi philosophy and theology.

The Nezeni can mainly be found in the Lieutenancy of Lithead, which composed the northern part of their Minarborian heartland and remains chock full of hazardous flora and fauna. Remaining functional - or indeed alive - in Lithead for any length of time requires an adherence to the various strands of Nezeni folk tradition which have allowed them, and them alone, to thrive in the biome their ancestors created.

The Siyacho-Ashkenatzi

A Bergburger, brushing up on the ancient meforshim of his ancestors.

The Siyacho-Ashkenatzi, or Bergburgers as they are known in Kalgachia, originated in the Ashkenatzan provinces of Volhyria and Porolia. After the collapse of that state and a few intervening centuries of anarchic Kossar warlordery, the area was annexed by Minarboria and the tribal Kohanim of the local people were installed as the basis of a theocratic Shophate known as Siyachia, answering nominally to the Minarborian Empress. After Minarboria's collapse, the mountainous east of Siyachia was annexed by Kalgachia and saw an influx of migrants from the west seeking new oppurtunities in the nascent state. They coalesced around the mountain town of Bergburg, which quickly became the locus of their efforts and lent its name to the surrounding Lieutenancy.

Bergburgers remain mostly concentrated around Bergburg, although a large community of them exists in Oktavyan where they form a disproportionately high number of staff at the Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning and the Directorate of Education and Outreach. As a community they practise a certain insularity, soaked into them by a centuries-long feedback loop of defensively intensifying religious custom and persecution by ignorant goyim. This body of ancient tradition, originally developed to glorify the original god of the Bergburgers' ancestors, has now accumulated in cultural weight to become an end in itself and survived no less then two full transitions into different belief systems, successfully securing the necessary concessions from their adopted churches to continue observing the ancient mitzvot.

The Mishalanski

Mishalanski partisans, preparing papirosy for their patrol.

Kalgachia's Mishalanski community arrived as refugees from their original homeland during the zenith of Froyalanish rule in Shirerithian Elwynn, which saw them stripped of their collective property and subjected to mass land clearances in favour of Storish commercial interests with any objectors being subject to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. While Kalgachia accepted them on the condition that they eventually return to Mishalan under the auspices of the Konkordskaya Bratva, some found Kalgachi life to their liking and remained in the Lieutenancies of Schlepogora and Abrek where they form a minority alongside the predominant Laqi. The Mishalanski have a disproportionately high representation among the church partisans of those territories and adhere to an ergatocratic nationalism similar to that practised by the Konkordskaya Bratva, albeit with the old allusions to proletarian liberation framed in increasingly gnostic terms by persuasive immersion in the rites of the Kalgachi church.

The Froyalanish

A Froyalanish farm labourer in the days of bondage, snatching a moment's rest while her gangmaster was distracted.

The Froyalanish were introduced to Kalgachia after their fall from grace in Shireroth in 150 AL, first as refugees fleeing Shirerithian reprisals and later as imports from Shireroth itself; in both cases they were bound into the status of Community Service Workers until their emancipation in 161 AL, before which they formed a class of unpaid menial workers similar to the undead 'zombots' of Minarboria. Their service ranged from arduous, often fatal manual labour to more sedate work as office clerks and domestic servants, these roles broadly determined by the difference in physical brawn inherent between the male and female genders.

Since their emancipation from outright bondage, the Froyalanish nonetheless remain subject to compulsory sterilisation and a prohibition of their ancestors' Vanic religion, the preaching or practice of which is a capital crime in Kalgachia. This ensures that their inherited tendency to culturally and demographically displace those societies with whom they come into contact is prevented from occurring in Kalgachia; indeed the inability of Kalgachi Froyalaners to reproduce is projected to cause a collapse in their population toward the minority numbers of their arch-enemies, the Mishalanski, by 200 AL - further degrading to the level of statistical negligibility by 250 AL.

As they age, Kalgachia's Froyalaners are expected to progress from overwhelmingly manual roles to lower-tier administrative and service positions, aided by their marginally-increased social respectability and the receipt of a minimum wage.

The Kalgachi

A young ethnic Kalgachi couple, calling up a volunteer from the Garden Ketheric to battle the Archons of Irredeemable Corruption in the Garden Physical (or 'raising a child' as it is also known).

While not occurring as quickly as the church and state would wish, the inevitable interbreeding of Kalgachia's population groups has given rise to a unique Kalgachi ethnicity, residing chiefly along Kalgachia's rugged central belt and the major cities around it. While those of combined Kalgachi blood are spoken of in exalted terms by the official media - especially the 'Urchagin Generation' who are too young to remember the time before Kalgachia's foundation - the exact attributes of the ethnic Kalgachi are subject to some debate. Theoretically a Kalgachi carrying blood from all of the country's ethnic groups would be dark haired in appearance, owing to the overwhelming proportion of their genome originating from the swarthy folk of subtropical south-east Benacia and the Yardistani Isles. The biomantic legacy of the Deep Singers and their Nezeni descendants leaves many ethnic Kalgachis with a very slight greenish, bluish or iridescent skin hue, accompanied by a glossy sheen which is often mistaken for a sign of illness.

The customs and personality traits of the ethnic Kalgachi are said to vary according to their specific mixture, although they have acquired a reputation for a robust, almost obsessive work ethic. This is partially due to pressure by the media - eager to prove the superiority of homo kalgachiensis against each of its ancestor races - although the precepts of gnostic self-reliance drummed into them by the Church since early childhood also play a substantial part. Ethnic Kalgachis can often be seen conducting volunteer work or putting in gratuitous amounts of overtime, sometimes in conditions as unsavoury as those of the Froyalanish. In the more ideologically-ambitious quarters of church and state, the ascent of a uniquely Kalgachi ethnic group is especially welcomed as being free of lingering shrub-infatuation or other old-hat Minarborealist conceits, unlike the Lywallers or the Nezeni. While the ethnic Kalgachi enjoy some social advantages as a result, they are also seen to be lacking in critical thinking and overly content to regurgitate the Council of Perfecti's exact line on any given subject without any personal meditation, such blind obedience arguably reducing them to mere scions of an archonic despotism and subverting the entire concept of Ketherist manumission. While the reality of ethnic Kalgachis' perception of the world is rarely so blinkered as the stereotype suggests, they have commonly been observed to nurture a fascination with the self-annihilating submissiveness of the more loyal Jingdaoese.

Calendar

Kalgachia uses the Anno Libertatis calendar, which is a slowing of the Minarborian Anno Fruticis calendar by a factor of ten (with 1450 AF rendered as 145 AL, for example) to mitigate issues of temporal haemorrhaging when converting with the Anno Nortone count used by most of the larger Micran powers. Like the Minarborian Anno Fruticis calendar, the Anno Libertatis calendar takes the emergence of the Shrub-God Minarbor (July 8th, 2013 on the Earth calendar) as its start point, and retains the old calendar's treatment of this point as the zeroth year rather than the first.

The seperate but parallel Minarborian calendar - by which days, weeks and months are counted at broadly the same rate as their Earth equivalents - has been adopted in Kalgachia wholesale, with a five day week consisting of:

Helloday
Pleaseday
Rustleday
Thanksday
Byeday

A given date will always fall on a given day of the week, as said week is synchronised to a pattern of months as follows:

Winterise (30 days - 22 Dec to 20 Jan) starting on a Helloday
Winterhigh (30 days - 21 Jan to to 19 Feb) starting on a Helloday
Winterfall (29 days - 20 Feb to 20 Mar) starting on a Helloday
Springrise (31 days - 21 Mar to 20 Apr) starting on a Byeday
Springhigh (31 days - 21 Apr to 21 May) starting on a Helloday
Springfall (31 days - 22 May to 21 Jun) starting on a Pleaseday
Summerise (31 days - 22 Jun to 22 Jul) starting on a Rustleday
Summerhigh (31 days - 23 Jul to 22 Aug) starting on a Thanksday
Summerfall (31 days - 23 Aug to 22 Sep) starting on a Byeday
Harvestrise (30 days - 23 Sep to 22 Oct) starting on a Helloday
Harvesthigh (30 days - 23 Oct to 21 Nov) starting on a Helloday
Harvestfall (30 days - 22 Nov to 21 Dec) starting on a Helloday

Earth's leap day of February 29th is rendered specially as Shudderday, 9½ Winterfall.

In full, a date such as Sunday July 2nd, 2017 would equate to Rustleday Summerise 11th, 145 AL.

Notable Historic Events

The Arduous Garden

Between its foundation in 143 AL (1649 AN) and its expansion in 149 AL (1651 AN), the government and people of Kalgachia were mainly concerned with establishing the twin essentials of food supply and defensive capability, the requirement for both increasing with each gaggle of Minarborian refugees arriving at the frontier. The initially modest limits of Kalgachi territory around Oktavyan, Abrek and Katarsis were quickly filled by the influx, and the demand for more viable agricultural land in the Octavian mountain range's outer slopes compelled an expansion of territory before famine set in.

The Auspicious Occasion

Meanwhile the rapacity of Shireroth in seeking to encircle Kalgachia with its own territorial claim, so early in Kalgachia's life, caused much concern in Oktavyan and was ascribed to the land-hungry lobbying of the Froyalanite King of Elwynn, whose territorial excesses were causing just as many problems inside Shireroth. His attempt to eradicate the Soviet society of Shirerithian Mishalan and obtain more living space for his own Froyalanic race, despite already holding more land than they could possibly ever utilise, caused a level of upset in Shireroth which aroused much sympathy in Kalgachia, perilously close as it was to the frontier of Froyalanic lands and having to fight off incursions by their wandering Vanic priesthood on a daily basis. At the highest level, the decision was taken to support the budding rebellion in Mishalan with the faint hope that it might be the first step in the rollback and eventual expulsion of the Froyalanic juggernaut from the Benacian contient, many lifetimes hence. In 149 AL (1651 AN), a cossack officer of the Kalgachi Defence Force, one colonel Shumyanov, was duly detailed to raise a force of partisans and bear cavalry from the Mishalanski refugees who had fled the King of Elwynn's purges in Mishalan and sought sanctuary in Kalgachia. These he held in preparation until the Shirerithian government, on the back of an overwhelming support by its legislature and executive, decreed the expulsion of Mishalan's Froyalanic administration. In concert with sympathetic elements of Shireroth's army and Mishalan's provisional government who did not wish to be associated directly with any resulting atrocities, Shumyanov's force - known as the Konkordskaya Bratva - were released into Mishalan near the city of Niü Veña where they set the pace for their Mishalanski brethren by ejecting the newly-arrived Froyalanic landlords from their homes and herding them into their equally-new Vanic temples where the whole lot could be burned to ashes, with any escapees promptly hunted down and devoured by cavalry bears which were specially trained to seek out the Froyalanites' characteristic scent of excited genitalia and Storish mead. These acts of vigorous ethnic restitution, and the many others which it inspired, reached their climax when the Froyalanite King of Elwynn himself was deposed in a manner more rapid and comprehensive than most of his detractors ever dared to dream, spelling the effective end of Froyalanite dominion over Benacia.

The Enclosure of the Limitrophes

The auspicious year of 149 AL also saw the inclusion of Jollity, Schlepogora, Bergburg and Lithead into Kalgachia. These territories had become so infused with Minarborian refugee camps and prowling Kalgachi military patrols that Kalgachia's annexation of the territory was, in the end, a formality - albeit a badly needed one to improve the situation of the hopeless migrants by providing them with food, accomodation and work in an organised fashion. The labour force for the development of these territories being already in situ, the improvement of both the new territories and the Kalgachi core was as rapid as might be expected from an overnight doubling of the Kalgachi population. However the event did present obstacles to the Perfecti's ideal of homogenising Kalgachia's different ethnic groups into a single indigenous race in order to prevent any one of them being leveraged against them by foreign powers - the newer half of the population, enjoying a sudden freedom of movement in Kalgachia, gravitated naturally to their own kind and gave each of the new Lieutenancies a distinct ethnic identity.

Blood, Gold and Urchagintsy

Beginning around 158 AL, the first generation of young adults too young to remember the pre-Kalgachi era reached the age of majority. Compared to their ancestors, this generation - dubbed the Urchagintsy due to their participation in the Urchagin - showed a greater readiness to engage in inter-ethnic relationships and marriages, with some already being of mixed heritage themselves. To the quiet concern of the Nezeni who had been Kalgachia's most socially venerated race since the late Minarborian era, this new generation of truly native Kalgachis began to fill the lower echelons of church and state, bringing with them many subtle changes of custom and doctrine which began to dilute the social and political influence of their their ex-Minarborian immigrant elders and finalise the emergence of Kalgachia from the leafy shade of its Minarborian predecessor, allowing it to stand as a self-respecting nation in its own right with its own history and its own priorities.

Abroad, the War of Lost Brothers escalated to involve most of Micras' great powers and re-ignite the Sxiro-Jingdaoese Confrontation to an unprecedentedly bloody level. For Kalgachia this presented the difficulty of cultivating the interests of Jingdao, whose role in a multipolar Benacia it wished to cultivate, while avoiding the wrath of Shireroth which until the reversals of Operation Bait Harvest had been engaged in an unapologetic crusade for dominion of the entire continent. Building upon the Slavegate Treaty of Peace and Civility in 157 AL, a tacit understanding was reached with both parties whereby Kalgachi assistance to the Jingdaoese would be limited to humanitarian aid and economic co-operation in return for the territorial integrity of Kalgachia remaining unmolested by Shireroth. Ironically, rather than being regarded as a tight-fisted coward and a continental traitor by Jingdao and Shireroth respectively, Kalgachia was instead called upon by both warring empires as a useful intermediary, being one of the few nations on Micras whose non-alignment with established power blocs gave it cordial relations with both at the same time.

During this time the Kalgachi economy enjoyed the benefits of a rationalisation in the gold mining sector, providing a ready supply of reliable currency to purchase imports from abroad. This stockpiling of bullion, and the Kalgarrand into which it was minted, was profuse at first - but in the interests of maintaining a stable exchange rate the Reserve Bank of Kalgachia, a subsidiary of the Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning, announced a programme of progressive reductions in gold production after 160 AL toward the minimum level required to maintain existing stockpiles and service foreign debt.

The Nova English Missile Crisis

In 159 AL, with the Brettish Isles suffering from the disastrous effects of a major volcanic eruption, The Imperial Republic of Shireroth decided to exploit the resulting humanitarian disaster and breakdown in governance by commissioning privateers to set upon and plunder the maritime aid shipments of various USSO nations attempting to assist the stricken Brettish - as well as enslaving individuals captured in the process, stripping Brettish waters of fish stocks and making a direct foray into the territorial waters of Nova England. This lunge at Eastern Keltia, culminating in the Cruise of the Medusa, marked an important shift in the perception of Shireroth by the Kalgachi government which had hitherto tolerated the antics of its bloated neighbour as a necessary moderator of Jingdaoese and Storish excesses on the global stage. Now, however, Shireroth appeared to dispense with any pretext of moral mission - beyond the contentious assertion that conflict with a single USSO state made all USSO assets a legitimate prize of war - and indulge in an orgy of rank savagery upon the high seas in the assured confidence that it was too powerful incur anything in the way of negative consequences from such behaviour.

In Kalgachia, this bold escalation in Shirerithian swagger was seen as a regression to the untrammeled rapacity of the previous Froyalanish administration; differing only in the fact that Shireroth's ruling Kalirion dynasty, unlike the Froyalanish whom they had overthrown, went about its business with an honest and unadorned thuggery without recourse to a duplicitous veil of dumb amiability that had characterised the high tide mark of Froyalanish dominion. Nonetheless in 161 AL Kalgachia's ruling Council of Perfecti, seeing in Nova England a nation of kindred spirit whose existence was greatly endangered, decided to intervene.

This intervention - an offer of anti-gravtank missiles and high-end air defence systems to the Nova English Armed Forces to counter an expected Shirerithian attack - instantly drew the ire of the Shirerithian government which accused Kalgachia of using Nova England as an intermediary to provide the weapons to Jingdao, thereby contradicting its diplomatic obligations to refrain from militarily supporting nations at war with Shireroth. While Kalgachia was quick to contest this assertion and the diplomatic premise on which it was built, the fact that Shireroth's argument - regardless of its merits - was backed by a threat of war against Nova England if the Kalgachi weapons were delivered, compelled the latter two governments to reconfigure their budding mutual aid programme in terms of doctrinal training and civil defence, albeit kicked into a greatly accelerated pace by Shireroth's readiness to address the matter by military means.