History of Kalgachia

From MicrasWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

The History of Kalgachia extends from the dying days of its predecessor state, the Empire of Minarboria, to the present day. It charts the geographical, social, and ultimately genetic coalescence of various central Benacian populations who withstood the privations of late-Minarborian anarchy and, with the help of a spiritually motivated and technologically competent leadership, were able to marshal disparate scraps of their cultural and material inheritance into a functioning sovereign state of their own.

(All dates are Anno Libertatis up to the 220's and Ab Nortone thereafter)

The 140s

For more detail, see The 140s.

140 years after the deified shrub Minarbor had sprouted amid the plague and tumult of Shirekeep, the sprawling empire established in his name finally outran its telluric carrying capacity and expired. The collapse of Minarboria was disastrous for its citizens, condemning populations on four continents to an uncertain future in an unguarded world, rife with common barbarism and tyrannical ambition. It was naturally the population of Minarboria's core territories - the erstwhile 'Imperial Shrublands' of central Benacia - who clung longest onto the old way of life and instinctively sought to preserve and adapt, through untold danger and privation, the spiritual and social norms into which they had been born. While a majority fell to slaughter or subjugation in the years ahead, fate blessed a modest remainder of this benighted race with an unholy alliance between the refugee clergy of the defunct Minarborian church and a horde of Laqi cossack clans who fondly regarded that church's legacy as a reliable consumer of 'protection' services. Flush with the requisitioned wealth of the Minarborian state and the proceeds of its own business portfolio, the remains of this church continued to obtain a modest degree of security from the raiding Laqi as it ushered its scattered congregations toward the safety of the Octavian mountains, deep in the Benacian interior. Gone was the wordly personage of their cherished shrub and the technocratic elite of the empire he had founded - all that remained were ideas, ancestral stories of the Garden's verdant bosom and the jealous celestial wrath poured upon it, all shot through with an apparently deranged and irrational will to survive and to creep forth once more, as the dandelion finds tiny cracks in the sterile archonic pavement to offer its modest bloom unto the world.

Such was the breadth of Minarborian territory falling into anarchy that neighbouring Shireroth, although willing to annex it all, found itself materially ill-prepared and consumed to distraction by its internal struggle against the overbearing perversions of King Noah of Elwynn. As the Auspicious Occasion played out in the Benacian east, the overlooked Minarborian refugee population of the Octavian mountains found the respite they needed to begin weaving their shattered society back together in a new and hardier form. Thus was born the nation known as Kalgachia.

The 150s

For more detail, see The 150s.

The 150s in Kalgachia saw the first emergence of a coherent foreign policy, compelled by the immense War of Lost Brothers which involved every active power in Micras to varying degrees. Whilst Kalgachia officially declared neutrality, the sympathies of its emergent social establishment were heavily informed by a perception of past Shirerithian aggression against Minarboria and fell broadly in favour of the USSO, setting Kalgachia immediately at odds with Shireroth as the principal power of the opposing SANE alliance. To avert an imminent war (which, unbeknown to the Kalgachi, was in the advanced stages of Shirerithian planning) a team of emissaries was sent to Shirekeep to negotiate the Slavegate Treaty of Peace and Civility, a document which would subsequently be tested to its limits by both sides but ultimately maintained a fragile peace until the conclusion of the global war. The document's emphasis on direct military liaison for purposes of operational deconfliction would, in the decades ahead, provide an unwitting communicative backup during public diplomatic breakdowns as well as a direct line of negotiation with Shireroth's military-industrial 'deep state', this back channel arguably doing more to establish a post-Minarborian consensus for the Benacian continent than all other Sxiro-Kalgachi diplomacy combined.

The decade's end saw the maturation of the first citizens born within the Kalgachi state, scions of an emergent pedagogical complex who would be lauded in the national media as manifestations of a bright and verdant future. Around this time, the financial liquidity and trade stimulation arising from the minting of Kalgachia's own gold-backed currency triggered a slight but steady rise in the national living standard, slowly overcoming the precarious privation of the previous decade.

The 160s

For more detail, see The 160s.

The 160s in Kalgachia began with a near-fatal breakdown in relations with Shireroth, which was in the advanced stages of planning an invasion of Nova England and reacted with barely-concealed rage to the revelation that Kalgachia was negotiating the supply of advanced Minarborian-era air defence and anti-tank systems to the Nova English. Although the deal was negotiated before the outbreak of physical hostilities and fell technically within Kalgachia's treaty commitment to desist from militarily assisting nations at war with Shireroth, the latter power threatened to bring the invasion forward to the detriment of the still-mobilising Nova English unless the deal was cancelled. Kalgachia responded by deferring the matter to the Nova English legislature and tensions cooled, although the singular will of Shireroth's executive branch to pursue a programme of naked global conquest would have lasting ramifications for Kalgachi state planning. The most salient effect was the committal of immense government resources to Project Newrad, an experiment in self-sufficient sub-surface civilisation intended to weather an annihilation of Kalgachia's surface population by the fantastically-bloated Shirerithian military.

The 160s also saw the importation of bonded Froyalanish labour ended and the partial rehabilitation of those Froyalaners already within Kalgachia, maintaining their mass strerilisation but providing them with a minimum living standard and certain civic freedoms for a more comfortable die-off than their Shirerithian counterparts.

Toward the end of the decade Kalgachia was met with a more agreeable neighbour in the form of the emergent Kasterburg Republic, founded by Batavian exiles trekking toward Kalgachia's western border. As Kalgachia's only route off the Benacian continent outside Shirerithian control, Kasterburg assumed an immediate level of importance and drew enthusiastic support from the Kalgachi government as it sought to secure its frontiers against the Laqi brigands and predation by gigantised rodents of engineered Minarborian origin.

The 170s

For more detail, see The 170s.

The 170s are remembered as something of a Golden Decade in Kalgachi history, beginning with a creative renaissance in the national film industry and moving into a period of détente with Shireroth, whose dissident intelligentsia briefly wrested control of the empire's government from the ideologically-frenzied militarist class which had led it into a succession of costly wars. Kalgachi initiative in Western Benacia was regained with the reclamation of Lepidopterum, an old Minarborian Deep Singer stronghold off Kalgachia's southwestern frontier. The expansion of this frontier allowed for the establishment of a common border with Kasterburg, substantially increasing trade volumes between the two countries.

This otherwise-sublime decade was broken at its midpoint by a short period of armed conflict with the nascent Republic of Inner Benacia, a confederation of warrior clans from ungoverned ex-Minarborian territories to Kalgachia's south and west. What began as a cross-border show of strength by the Inner Benacians making a symbolic attack on Kalgachi territory, was quickly ended by a series of retaliatory Whirdlebirb raids and a psyops campaign by Kalgachi special forces, culminating in a series of generous bribes and ritual accomodations with Inner Benacian chieftains who eventually agreed a peace settlement.

The 180s

For more detail, see The 180s.

The 180s in Kalgachia were marked mainly by the failure of the Directorate of the Tumultuous Wastes to anticipate or properly adapt to the unchecked recapture of the Shirerithian state, and the majority of southern Benacian territory, by one Daniyal ibn Daniyal Simrani-Kalirion and his Nationalist-Humanist horde - a development which effectively ended the previous decade's Sxiro-Kalgachi détente overnight and rendered the loquacious Kalgachi diplomatic mission in Shirekeep sufficiently intolerable that its Chief Emissary was expelled. This loss of diplomatic face was unprecedented in Kalgachi history, as was the commitment of substantial resources to a railway construction project dependent upon a Sxiro-Batavian territorial settlement which failed to develop in the manner predicted by the DTW. At this stage, for the first time, the existence of a Kalgachi Deep State (arguably a redundant metaphor for a government located entirely underground) made itself known in public affairs. Centred upon the KDF Intelligence Staff, the DEO and somewhat inevitably the Troglodyti, this informally-networked faction had moved at the beginning of the decade to halt the career progression of Rubina Yastreb, the Lady Lieutenant of Oktavyan who had taken the alarming step of marrying into the Shirerithian nobility. In the latter half of the decade it moved on the DTW, pressuring Kalgachia's ruling Council of Perfecti to permit a wholesale purge of the Directorate and the usurpation of its diplomatic corps by KDF intelligence operatives, with the formulation of Kalgachi foreign policy given over to a new cadre of technocrats appointed and controlled by the DEO and the Troglodyti. These measures spelled an abrupt end to the DTW's autonomy within the Kalgachi government and the effective expiry of its famously-freewheeling bureaucratic character, replaced by an almost penitent sobriety throughout its ranks in an attempt to heal Kalgachia's lacerated diplomatic reputation.

The effect of these stabilising measures upon the dormant chthonic energies remnant in the region from the Minarborian era appeared to re-animate the personage of Lord Toastypops, the undead wintertide gift-bringer and paragon of jollity whose presence in the region had been perennially persistent since the demise of Ashkenatza. Rising from his hidden tomb in Kalgachia's central mountains, Lord Toastypops found that the folk memory of his deeds had been incorporated into current spiritual practices and his return to worldly activities was regarded with salvational awe by the Kalgachi church and population alike. This earned him the Lord Lieutenancy of his home territory and a voice in the national government, where he expressed his scepticism of Kalgachi pedagogical thought but threw his support behind KDF plans for a protective occupation of Northbloom, an enigmatically-adminstered territory on Kalgachia's northern frontier. The occupation fit into the gutted DTW's new creed of concrete action replacing vain rhetoric and was duly authorised at the end of the decade, resulting in the assertion of a Kalgachi protectorate over the area.

The 190s

For more detail, see The 190s.

The 190s marked the end of Kalgachia's foundational era, after the last Benacian territories left ungoverned by the collapse of Minarboria were re-occupied by various powers to complete the new continental order. Within Kalgachia, much of the leadership responsible for hewing the nation from the inert granite of the Octavian Mountains began to expire with age or proved themselves unfit to maintain their creations in ever-changing continental circumstances. With new leadership came a new mindset, as the preceding half-century's frenzy of infrastructural development matured into a more managerial attitude in affairs of state and society - traditionally the point at which Micran nations lose their animus and expire, or else sink into insipid cycles of manufactured conflict scarcely discernable from the banditry of the ungoverned Green. Discussions of this eternal challenge had occupied Kalgachia's younger leadership long before their emergence into the halls of power, and a partial answer came in the form of a rehabilitated Temporal Secessionism which sought to emulate the example of Tellia and Raikoth, among other territories, in attaining a perfect steady-state society seemingly immune to the twin perils of internal collapse and external aggression.

The 200s

For more detail, see The 200s.

As the third century of Shrubdom turned, Kalgachia was still frenziedly importing raw materials in preparation for the expected collapse of Kasterburg, the only territory preventing Kalgachia's complete enclavement by the Raspur Pact. But a sudden cluster of ailments among the Shirerithian nobility, exacerbated by outbreaks of a new fungal disease among their subjects, conspired to mollify Kalgachia's traditional geopolitical adversary at around the same time as a glut of gold exports from Helderbourgh hit world markets, causing a steady decline in the purchasing power of the gold-backed Kalgarrand and slowing imports accordingly. When the severance of the Kasterburg trade route finally occurred, it was in the form of a voluntary withdrawal by Kasterburg itself in support of a new colonial venture in Los Liberados. While Shireroth duly moved to occupy the vacated land and consolidate its de facto annexation of the Republic of Inner Benacia, the cession of its Western Benacian holdings to a resurgent Batavia put a new sovereign neighbour on Kalgachia's western border. The new territorial settlement coincided with a loss of commercial confidence in the Port of Vines due the Bassarid Empire's erratic baheviour after the collapse of Caputia, compelling a steady realignment of Kalgachia's foreign investments toward the Batavian Confederation.

Within Kalgachia the decade also saw a gradual increase in the influence of the Lord Lieutenants' Council - previously a largely ceremonial organ of the Kalgachi government whose membership had nonetheless begun to feature persons and artifacts of immense theological significance, allowing the Council a voice rivalling that of their nominal seniors in Kalgachia's supreme Council of Perfecti.

A sharp increase in the Kalgachi living standard, combined with diplomatic and economic successes abroad, caused the 200s to be remembered as a Golden Decade unmatched since the 170s.

The 210s

For more detail, see The 210s.

The 210s opened with Kalgachia's first foreign military deployment for 35 years, to the faraway Captive Sea in support of Hoenn. Nearer to home the development of resurgent Batavia continued and the functionality of Shireroth continued to decline, the latter resulting in the Kalirion Fracture. Nearer still, a re-emergence of unmongrelised Deep Singers from the caverns beneath Lepidopterum - including a lost Salvator of the Ketherist faith - rocked Kalgachia with a theological and esoteric hubbub unseen since Lord Toastypops had sprung a similar surprise in 187 AL.

The timing of that event with an adjacent territorial claim by the Nationalist-Humanist led Unified Governorates of Benacia resulted in Operation Broodmother III, a deployment of the KDF to assist the area's Black Laqi population in resisting and ultimately expelling the Gubernatorial Black Legions from lands adjoining the Kalgachi southwest, denying them the territorial leverage to institute a regime of interminable cross-border provocation against the Deep Singers and Nezeni. The resolute scale of the Kalgachi deployment, contrasted with the area's minimal strategic priority from the Gubernatorials' perspective, resulted in a negotiated peace in the form of the Slavegate Convention which formalised Kalgachi-UGB relations for the first time.

The 220s

For more detail, see The 220s.

The 220s began with a phased drawdown of Kalgachi military forces in the Upland Confederation following the Slavegate Convention, only for part of them to be redeployed for border security duties in Northbloom and Northern Schlepogora after the government of West Amokolia announced a rehabilitation of the continentally-reviled Froyalanish people. The resultant political hazard to Kalgachia's trade route through Batavia (the latter's monarchy being in personal union with West Amokolia) was further exacerbated by the increasingly erratic behaviour of the House of Verion and its corporate possession, the Iron Company on whose logistical services Kalgachia's foreign trade was wholly reliant. Moves were duly commenced to diversify the country's trade links and were well underway by the time a plane crash in the Great Western Sea wiped out several key players of the Verion empire and reduced the family's global power to a shadow of its former extent. Within Kalgachia these events were interpreted by the deepest strata of government as evidence that the technocratic fulfilment layer of the Kalgachi state had succumbed excessively to pecuniary fixations and threatened the sublime insulation from global geopolitical tumult which distinguished Kalgachia favourably from the neighbouring post-Shirerithian Vulture States and underpinned the legitimacy of its leadership. The Council of Perfecti duly called an Extraordinary Grand Council of senior state figures - only the third in Kalgachia's history - to revise the strategic priorities and overall governance of the country in the following decades.

The unsatisfactory conclusions and inadequate implementation of the Extraordinary Grand Council were eventually to do for the House of Yastreb what decades and centuries of machinations by hostile external powers could not and signalled its near-complete and perhaps timely demise as a political force in the Garden. Whilst the ouster of Caustifer from the Chairmanship of the Council had been a collective and cross-party effort, the divergent visions for the future of Kalgachia were too irreconcilable for a way forward to be agreed upon by amicable means, and an inevitable amount of unavoidable unpleasantness duly ensued. The Kalgachi themselves do not acknowledge the occurrence of what external sources refer to as the 1677 National Revolution but, be that as it may, all are obliged to concur in the observation that the fate of the Garden was decided by a three-way tussle between between the Commercialists, the Cryptocrats, and the Hypernationalists, of whom the latter, under the leadership of Witold "Berry" Pommerovsky, would eventually emerge in the ascendant, setting the Kalgachi on a path of Benacian chauvinism and an unexpected alignment with those forces opposed to the rise of the "Neo-Vanic State" on their northern frontier.

The 1680s

General Pommerovsky, the ill-fated former Chairman of the Council of Perfecti and de facto Kalgachi head of state, who was the first to hold the deepest office of state after the "upwards expulsion" of the Yastreb dynasty. His conduct of the Inner Benacian Conflict necessitated his removal from office by the pro-peace faction amongst the perfecti. His present whereabouts are unknown but the disappearance of his official portraits, once omnipresent in public areas, hints at the thoroughly conclusive nature of his disappearance and erasure.

With the downfall of the House of Yastreb much of the civilisational distinctiveness of the Kalgachi state began to wane. Amongst the first indications of this being the case was the silent transition to the Norton calendar and the implied re-synchronisation of the Garden with its neighbouring lands and trading partners. That this was able to occur at all was in and of itself an indication of the precipitous collapse in the prestige and authority once enjoyed by the Troglodyti - whose failure to identify and root out the manifest corruption of the later Yastrebs had done much to devalue their esoteric ruminations.

The Pommerovsky regime had tentatively lent its industrial and economic might to the cause of the Raspur Pact during the Second Amokolian War, largely on the basis that a cabal of inept militarist oligarchs were a known quantity and infinitely preferable to a new continental hegemony established by the alternative. Whilst the outcome had been near the optimum desired by the Council - a stalemate in which neither side had emerged victorious - the lethargic performance of the Pact's forces, bogged down acrimoniously before Chryste and confounded by an ill-defined Francian missile defence system on the Amokolian front had been a cause for comment. Amongst the Prefects, the Kalgachi Defence Force, and the Church's own Partisans, there arose a belief that the Raspur Pact was in fact a paper tiger. Certainly the experience of the Kalgachi themselves appeared to validate this opinion. Had not the swift and decisive mobilisation of the KDF entirely derailed the long threatened offensive of the Black Legions? When push had come to shove and the ideologues finally confronted by the push-back of determined resistance the result had not been Endsieg but rather an abrupt capitulation.

Here then was an opportunity. If Benacia Command yielded whenever subjected to the sudden and overwhelming application of force - was now not the moment to strike for further concessions and the advantageous adjustment of the frontier with schismatic Siyachia and moribund Inner Benacia. Certainly this opportunity, if it existed, was bounded by a window of time. The new Kaiserin in Shirekeep was showing indications of initiative and ability unseen during the dismal Imperial Regency. A ruler such as this might, if allowed to operate for long enough unhindered, undo much of the damage inflicted upon Shireroth by the Kalirion Fracture occasioned by the death of her father, and could even bring the old hegemonic and archonic forces back to bear upon the Garden. Surely it would be better to strike now in order to attain an advantageous position before the inevitable resumption of the former state of siege. Pommerovsky was not without sympathy for this point of view and duly called yet another Extraordinary Grand Council of senior state figures to discuss "the revision of long-standing defence and security doctrines".

The story of the ensuing Inner Benacian Conflict is told elsewhere, but its humiliating outcome for the Garden in the Treaty of Gloomburg in 1681 AN put the lie to predictions of the Raspur Pact's weakness. The engagement of the Kalgachi protectorates in a condominium with powers beyond the Garden led to a severe loss of prestige - not only to the Hypernationalists who had supported the war, but also to the Commercantists whose advocacy of foreign relations was felt to have permitted unpardonable Archonic corruption into the Garden.

For several years after the Treaty, Pommerovsky remained as Chairman, but the reemergence of Lord Toastypops from seclusion in early 1684 proved politically fatal. Having been apprised of the war and all that had occurred during it, the Salvator immediately traveled to Oktavyan. While the results of the meeting were never made public, an Extraordinary Grand Council was immediately called, which eventually resulted in the "voluntary retirement" of not only General Pommerovsky, but well over half the rest of the Council of Perfecti. A wave of similar retirements of Hypernationalists, and of the more vocal Commercantists, swept across the country.

There was some talk of restoring the House of Yastreb to the chairmanship; but aside from the unfavorable impression left by Caustifer and his financial involvements, his whereabouts, and those of Falcifer and Rubina, remained unclear in the aftermath of the events of 1677; there were many rumors that the family survived in hiding in Laprivil, but if this was indeed the case, the Troglodyti were singularly unenlightening on the matter. The only other remaining candidate who might be construed as part of the family, Prethil Nal, apparently remained in Lepidopterum, but when eventually contacted - as the Deep Singers seemed to be awakening from their torpor - appeared to be in severe distress about the unknown fate of her descendants, and showed no interest in taking up government in Kalgachia proper.

The 2.V.1684 slate of replacements to the Perfecti were ultimately influenced by a coalition of Propriestists, Shrubbitarians - whose presence was somewhat boosted by Lord Toastypops' involvement - and moderate Sixers. The new chairwoman, Karin Bai, was a mixed Kalgachi of Nezeni ancestry, who broadly fell into the Shrubbitarian camp but was considered friendly to Sixer influence.

The 1690s

For the Shrubbitarian tendency amongst the Perfecti, and Karin Bai especially, the problems facing Kalgachia above ground, that of increasing entropy and the ongoing disagreeable presence of the agents of Benacia Command, now well ensconced in Fastenborg Keep, Pachadsberg, and in six colonial settlements established in the Upland Confederation, as well as the continuing onerous burden of the annual tribute, were now beginning to have a distorting effect upon the faithful who sheltered below ground waiting out the present age of archonic supremacy.

While it was possible to discretely minimise contacts between the isolated outposts of the Raspur Pact inside Kalgachia proper to the polite and formal minimum stipulated under treaty, thereby minimising the threat of archonic contagion for the Garden as a whole, the presence of Kurgoko Vecht in the Upland Confederation posed a threat not only to Kalgachi interests in that joint-protectorate but worse would menace the refuges of the Deep Singers in neighbouring Lepidopterum, who were profoundly menaced by the rise of human supremacism in Benacia and the wider world.

While Lepidopterum was formally a joint Kalgachi-UGB protectorate, Benacia Command had been sensible enough to keep its engagement with the government of that territory to the absolute barest minimum. Formal representation was provided by a single junior tribune from the Political Directorate, supported by a staff of eight, and a security detail of forty-men. The policy of these political officers had been to interact only with human interlocutors, an approach that suited Doronist and N&H ideologues alike. Whilst a coup in Merensk, orchestrated by those officers led by Jeremiah Avon-El who were more mindful of their numbered accounts in Pachadsberg than their more ideologically committed brethren did go some way towards deescalating tensions, the situation in the Upland Confederation remained a fractious and indeed a fragile one.

Nonetheless, if the UGB were to succeed, either by the ongoing process of introducing settlers into the territory or by winning the Džirgas over to Kurgoko Vecht's banner, in "flipping" the Upland Confederation over to the Gubernatorial side, the prospect of Laq raiding into Lepidopterum, combined with the prospect of more enduring human encroachments and settlements in areas reserved for the Deep Singers would be an intolerable outcome. For those on the ground, and those reporting down the chain of command, the situation was pointing towards a localised endsieg.

More unsettling news was to arrive in the final months of 1691 AN, as rumours began to percolate through the various subterranean halls of the Chthonarchotrix of a fair skinned lady, clad in yellow robes, and seemingly in her late forties - on account of the long locks of her soft brown hair being shot through with strands of grey, traipsing the backwoods and trails of the Lieutenancy of Schlepogora. One more vagrant in a continent full of dispossessed souls would have been singularly unremarkable were it not for the reported effect that encountering this lady had upon those sent to detain her for questioning. Of the Frontier Patrol Units and partisan detachments sent to undertake the task, not a single one has returned. Instead, according to those suspicious Laq of Schlepogora who kept a wary distance, all who sought to detain her had, upon encountering the lady, fallen to their knees, cast aside their weapons, and fallen in with the steadily growing penitential procession that follows in her wake singing Ketherist hymns as they go.

What had the Prefects thoroughly alarmed, to say nothing of the effect upon the superior organs of church and state below them, were the accoutrements that the Lady in Yellow had about her. Of concern was the animal familiar, a raven, that seemingly followed the Lady wherever she went, but that was nothing as to what the Lady was carrying in her hands - an unremarkable terracotta pot seemingly containing a small shrub hidden from the gaze of a sinful world by a thin sheet of white gauze. Amongst the Troglodyti an anguished debate raged in consequence of these reports. Of every one convinced by the external signifiers, there would be two more who would angrily retort that the arrival of this "Lady" via smuggler's paths into the Garden from Lachdolor was clear evidence of the malevolent hand of the Archonic enemy at play. To this assertion came the answer that the last credible reports as to the whereabouts of Vascarina Goldcluck had her in the dismal Gubernatorial domains. That being the case who then would dare gainsay the will of the Garden Ketheric? The continuing debate became a source of scoffing, ill-will, and faction, across the key departments of the bunkered state, with the tensions increasingly seeping out into the below-ground sections of civil society, where the cultural and religious significance of the figure of Vascarina had only increased during the dark days for the Garden following the Inner Benacian Conflict. Even the mere suggestion that not only had sainted Vascarina returned but that the Bashful Shrubly One had in someway rematerialised was enough to send more than one Lywaller into a "frightful tizzy", with terrifying consequences usually for those nearby.

And through all of this the procession of the Lady in Yellow continued and grew.

The 1700's

The Schlepogora Rising (1701 AN) was a social conflict originating in the Kalgachi city of Schlepogora. The uprising was initiated by riots amongst the majority Laqi fans of the football team Basmachi Schlepogora, angered by the perceived deterioration of the Octavian League. The occupation of the club's stadium by Laqi fans rapidly attracted dissidents, criminals, and other marginalised groups banished to the surface by the inverted hierarchy. Protestors from the subterranean levels surfaced to demonstrate outside the stadium over stagnant wages, rising living costs, and the hostile obstructive attitude of the Lieutenancy of Schlepogora towards surface level habitations. The ground-swell of dissent saw bands of Laqi depart from the stadium and march towards tunnel entrance of the administration building in the centre of the city where Church Partisans dispersed protesters by gunfire. Arrests, show trials, and cover-ups ensued: more than four hundred were arrested, ninety of whom were convicted of crimes against the Oktavyan Code. As the majority of those subsequently executed were of Laqi ancestry, in spite of the ethnically mixed nature of the city and the protests, marked the inauguration of a feud between the Lieutenancy and the clans of the surrounding countryside.