House of Yastreb
The House of Yastreb is a family of mild-to-middling prominence in the history of Benacia, having gravitated there from its origins in the international communist movement of the post-Tymarian era. Its members are chiefly characterised by an artistic and/or literary fixation, selective workaholism, pathological vanity and varying levels of mental infirmity ranging from mild eccentricity to full retardation or psychosis.
The Yastreb bloodline is thought to have originated among the Arkani - a race of ergatocratic itinerants who, in the communistic fashion of the immediate post-Tymarian period, adopted the role of a proletarian 'fire brigade' and allied themselves with several of the hard-socialist movements which dominated the geopolitical landscape of the time, the internationalist character of which periodically transplanted them from their origins in eastern Puritania to southwestern Eura, southern Corum, central Keltia and ultimately Baracão, often but not always under the auspices of Noviykrazniystan. It was in Baracão that the first Yastrebs emerged to public prominence as a cadre of reliable technocrats, aided and abetted by the expatriate nomenklatura of the fallen PRNSE who sought to leverage the family's relative sobriety as a hedge against their own terroristic caprice. In time this took the Yastrebs to the post-Slobovian wastes of north-central Apollonia, under the cult-like tutelage of one Yuri V. Andropov who had picked them out to assist him in the creation of a Soviet superstate - memorable chiefly for its suicidally-naive attempts to unite a motley gaggle of anarchists, Trotskyists, Maoists and Stalinists into a coherent ideological platform and its coordination of various other states into a global communist international which helped inspire the creation of the Grand Commonwealth as a countermeasure.
Being steadily browbeaten by the relentless ideological tensions which ultimately ripped Andropov's socialist paradise apart, the Yastrebs allied themselves with the cultural intelligentsia and used their military connections to cultivate the establishment of an autonomous republic as far removed from the febrile metropole as possible - namely the nuclear test range at Novaya Zemlya, to which the more technocratic and artistic elements flocked to drink vodka and tan themselves with gamma rays while discord between their ideologically-distracted masters escalated to a breakdown in civil order and ultimately an orgy of mutual slaughter, bringing down the state without a single drop of capitalist blood being shed. The Zemlyans, being the only survivors, attained independence for their nuclear wasteland by default - in time their renunciation of the usual Tankie flavour of Micran communism in favour of intense vodka-fuelled cultural development won them some measure of sympathy, even admiration from nations hitherto considered the bitterest of ideological enemies.
By now the Yastrebs, although holding the chair of the Zemlyan Council of People's Commissars among other posts, were sufficiently liberal in their ideology to send their sons abroad to experience and participate in different modes of governance. This often earned them naturalised citizenships, government offices and even noble titles, most prominently the Anglo-Saxon Commonwealth Thegndom of Wesax and the comital throne of Lunaris in Shireroth. The occupant of the latter post, one Krasniy Esmerevich, was the first to have his achievements recorded in any detail thanks to the diligence of Shirekeep's imperial scribes and he is considered the official progenitor of the modern Yastreb line.
The ascent of Krasniy Esmerevich Yastreb ("Kras") within Shireroth began when he attracted the limerent attentions of Eriana Moon, Baroness of Lunaris in southern Goldshire, during a touristic visit to that territory. Although ultimately bemused by her advances, his experience of her hospitality along with that of Jadie the Mathemetician, Eriana's suzerain Duchess, caused him to spend increasing amounts of time in Shireroth until he became firmly estranged from his Soviet comrades and thus avoided their slow extinction by the radiation-induced accumulation of genetic defects. After Eriana's premature death and transition into a periodically-appearing spectre, Krasniy was granted title to the southern half of Lunaris which, by then, had been partitioned by Shirerithian imperial government as an administrative convenience. Seeing this as an intolerable affront to the integrity of his adopted homeland, Krasniy embarked upon a public campaign to revive the Lunatic identity and lobby for the reunification of the territory, something he was able to decree as he progressed up the feudal bureaucracy. During this time he also obtained respect among the Cedrist clergy for his work in the hunting of the chthonic adversaries they called Daemons, earning him the hallowed title of Ly'Piscator. His political prestige was not to last, however, as he was soon embroiled in discord and acrimony with the predominant House of Mortis in neighbouring Brookshire and compelled to retreat into exile in an unknown place.
Krasniy's return to Shireroth some generations later, beyond the bounds of his expected lifespan, suggested that he had secretly practised some of the Daemons' dark art for his own benefit, in defiance of Shirerithian custom and disgrace to his ancient title - but his return was fortuitously timed with a period when the ancient taboos of the Technomaezji had lost much of their strength, necromancy had come into vogue across Brookshire and the very Kaiseress of Shireroth, one Mira Raynora Minor, was herself a manifestation of the undead. At her command, Krasniy's landed title over Lunaris was restored and in time he would be elevated to the Ducal throne of all Goldshire, from which he would go on to play a significant role in defeating, and subsequently documenting, the Shirekeep Cabbage Plague. Unknown to him, however, the implications of a previous tryst with one of his secretaries in Lunaris - one Breiza Willow Moon - would soon catch up with him. Although nominally descended from a sibling of the Baroness Eriana, Breiza also carried the blood of the House of Mercaja, the Treesian merchant clan defeated by the rival House of Raynor in Shireroth's foundational age who nursed a bitter, centuries-old desire to regain their lost power over Goldshire. Breiza, unknown to Krasniy, had given birth to his child after leaving his secretarial service and, being bereft of the means to support the baby, gave it up to her relatives in the Mercaja-run currency inspectorate known as the Assayers who held an occluded, mafia-like influence over Goldshire's public life. In secret the Assayers raised the child, one Ryabin Merkayastreb, in one of their numismatic academies until he attained the age of majority. Then they delivered him to an unwitting Krasniy, with the ultimatum that the Ducal throne of Goldshire be passed to their young agent and that Krasniy kill himself by means of a poison pill to remove all doubt from the succession. Knowing the insidious reach of the Assayers - to whom resistance was futile for any public figure seeking to remain alive in Goldshire - Krasniy relented to their demand, signed over the throne and took his own life.
At the behest of his blood familiars, Ryabin Krasniyevich Mercaja Yastreb ("Yabbie") smoothed the way for the Assayers' interests in Goldshire - and having attained imperial office as Shirerithian Minister of Trade, gave them a route into the entire Shirerithian economy. The centrepiece of this effort was to be a rationalisation of Shireroth's paper currency, the Erb, with all-new designs overseen by Ryabin himself and steganographically encoded with various subliminal elements by the Assayers, projecting their memetic influence into the hands of every Shirerithian. Both Ryabin and the Assayers, however, underestimated the scrutiny of Shireroth's regnant Kasier - the notoriously irascible Trantor IV. Upon seeing the final designs, which were violently at odds with his own taste, Trantor publically lambasted Ryabin and demanded a full revision of his painstaking work. Instead he received Ryabin's ministerial resignation, plunging the chattering classes of Shirekeep into a frenzy of scandalous gossip and speculation. For Ryabin however, worse was to come - such a humiliating rejection of the Assayers' work would provoke a search for scapegoats within the organisation, a fact well known to Ryabin's uncle, one Rimetar Mercaja, who was Ryabin's principal intermediary with the Assayers' governing Committee of Overnumismators and now sought to protect his own position with a demonstration of loyal initiative. Luring Ryabin to one of the Assayers' metallurgical laboratories, Rimetar subdued him and subjected him to several agonising hours of torture with molten metal, acids and solvents, almost killing him in the process and submitting a formal report of his 'corrective measures' to his fellow Overnumismators. They, however, saw through Rimetar's ruse and attributed responsibility for the currency scandal directly to him - like Krasniy, Rimetar was compelled to self-terminate with a proffered pill while Ryabin, considered to have atoned for his negligence during his 'acid test', was formally expelled from the House of Mercaja before being dumped at the gates of Goldshire's Ducal palace and left to the care of his own horrified physicians.
The Assayers' treatment of Ryabin turned out to be a misjudgement. Not only did his long period of convalescence being him into contact with his future wife, an flirtatious undead nurse by the name of Royana Dolordotch, but the Assayers' renunciation of his services denied them influence during his future progress to the very top of the Shirerithian hierarchy - for Kaiser Trantor had finally alienated so great a majority of the Shireithian political class that he was compelled to abdicate, refusing in his petulance to name a successor but passing that obligation to Shireroth's legislature, the Landsraad. The popular pendulum swing in favour of Ryabin, as the highest-profile casualty of Trantor's rule, propelled him to the Kaisership under the regnal name of Mo'll I - the only Yastreb ever to gain the throne of Shireroth.
Mo'll's reign was noted for the relative absence of political tumult, notwithstanding a bitter dispute between his Minister of Sport and Senyan-backed liberal elements in Elwynn regarding the morality of gladiatorial blood sports. Mo'll was insulated from the worst of Shirekeep's intrigues by spending most of his reign aboard the Shirerithian imperial yacht, the Bane of Balgurd, on a goodwill tour of the realm's constituent Imperial States. He was received well at each port of call until his final destination in Elwynn where he was subjected to a failed assassination attempt by Amokolian seperatists. Resolving to quit before his luck ran out, he subsequently abdicated the throne and returned to Goldshire as Duke Ryabin - the unusual spectacle of a Shirerithian Kaiser surviving his reign was widely noted with a mixture of admiration at him clinging to life and disdain for cheating the inevitable hand of death.
Being married to a lich, Ryabin was unable to produce children by the conventional method. To obtain children he and Royana contrived to grow a child from genetic samples in an amniotic tank, as was fashionable among the undead nobility of Brookshire. Procreation between liches and the living, however, were considered scandalous by both populations - Ryabin and Royana elected to cultivate their child in secret, using bootlegged equipment and morally-pliable technicians of dubious expertise. The first result was a daughter named Aegrotia whom, it quickly became apparent, was afflicted with a degree of mental retardation by the imperfect craft which created her. Instead of receiving the Yastreb name she was given Royana's maiden name of Dolordotch before being condemned to a mental institution in central Brookshire. The second child, a son by the name of Stellus, appeared to possess his full mental faculties and was duly groomed for the comital throne of Lunaris.
The circumstances surrounding Ryabin's demise are unclear - it is believed he was suddenly pursued from his Ducal palace by a daemonic entity and sought sanctuary at a holy site in Lunaris known as the House of Cats, where he engaged the creature in single combat and defeated it by plunging a dagger into his own chest and vomiting the blood all over his opponent, causing the creature to dissolve as if drenched in acid. Whatever the event, Ryabin did not survive his wound and was found dead the following day. He was buried alongside his father with some ceremony, at the Temple of Lockenhasp in Lunaris' interior marshes.
Aegrotia Ryabinevna Luciana Dolordotch ("Geegee") was never intended to continue the Yastreb line, being effectively abandoned by her parents at the Nevermind Home for the Bewildered near her mother's home town of Dolorous in central Brookshire. Aside from the occasional visit by her mother, Aegrotia was left to her own devices and acquired an assortment of odd habits which prevented her release into society, the most troublesome of which was a tendency to self-mutilate and compose semi-literate written work using her own blood as ink.
Her fortunes were altered by periodic visits to the home from a renegade Cedrist priest, who correctly surmised her bloodline and prophesised that her destiny lay outwith the home's confinement. Seeing himself as the means to bring this destiny about, he assisted her in a late-night escape from the institution by blasting a hole in her dormitory wall with liturgical explosives. By means unknown - and somewhat inexplicable for somebody with a double-digit IQ - Aegrotia travelled thousands of kilometres to Lunaris in search of her brother Stellus. The siblings' existence had been witheld from each other, but Aegrotia had surmised Stellus' existence from fragments of overheard conversation between her mother and the warders of her old home. The method Aegrotia used to locate Stellus is also unknown, for at that moment he was concealed in hiding after a severe fallout with militant Elwynnese in the Shirerithian capital. Where the authorities of Shireroth's Kaiser, Goldshire and Lunaris had failed, Aegrotia somehow succeeded in locating her brother at a basement dive bar in the coastal city of Mesior, Lunaris - allegedly by arcane means. Although pleasantly surprised by the revelation that he had a sister, Stellus was less than pleased by his own re-exposure to the public eye and he was duly summoned to Shirekeep with an apparently-punitive assignment to take care of Malarbor, the city's evil tree deity which was chiefly noted for killing anyone it could reach with its gnarly branches. Some years later the tree would claim Stellus' own life in a fit of rage at his sartorial colour combination, snuffing out any hope of continuing the Yastreb bloodline through him.
Aegrotia, meanwhile, had been appointed to the wardenship of the island of Mediguttula in the River Elwynn Delta, an undemanding post where she happily wrote inconsequential decrees in her own blood, despite frequently succumbing to bouts of exsanguinatory anaemia. Looking upon Aegrotia with pity and somewhat ashamed of having locked her away, her mother Royana set her up with an undead Laqi cossack by the name of Zemphirius Karymov - the couple were immediately attracted to each other and quickly married. Although Zemphirius was undead and incapable of reproducing naturally, Aegrotia was able to inseminate herself with his genetic material and duly bore a son by the name of Albede Yastreb. As soon as he was old enough to put on a latex glove, the boy was apprenticed to Royana's medical clinic in Brookshire which specialised in cosmetic surgery for the undead.
Ultimately, Aegrotia's compulsive bloodletting caught up with her and she died from complications of anaemia at a relatively young age - only a short time before Stellus' demise at the hands of Malarbor. The two siblings were buried with their ancestors at Lockenhasp, the last Yastrebs to be interred on Shirerithian soil.
Albede Zemphirich Dolorsyn Yastreb ("Beebee"), along with his grandmother Royana, was profoundly affected by the demise of his mother and uncle - with Royana he concluded that a negligent and indifferent Shirerithian state was responsible for the loss of their beloved relatives, especially so in Stellus' case - the allegorical implications of him being murdered by Shireroth's most totemic deity was considered by them both to a painfully stark omen. For the first time, aided by the language of various heretical texts they had begun to read for solace, they spoke of the gods of Cedrism as malevolent archons inflicting pain upon their house behind masks of false deity. The family's very Shirerithian home, being under the spiritual yoke of such entities, now appeared actively hostile to them on a level which was beyond the ability of any worldly being to remedy. The fact that Albede's father Zemphirius had been sent to prison, after a misunderstanding with provincial authorities in Brookshire's Laqi south, appeared to confirm a celestial conspiracy to snuff the House of Yastreb from existence - or at least bind it in eternal torment. Therefore when a party of mercenaries called by Royana's clinic, on their way to the expeditionary operation which would ultimately establish Minarboria, Albede and Royana required very little persuasion to join them - the Shireroth their ancestors had so diligently served was now upon a series of whims arrayed directly against them, ungrateful and uncaring, and in doing so had forfeited its entitlement to the surviving Yastrebs' service.
On the sea voyage to Minarboria, and the landing which followed, Albede and Royana were put to use in the medical care of undead soldiers as they consolidated the new territory of the Minarborian Queen Lyssansa - with the steadying of their operational tempo, Royana was promoted to government office in Sansabury and Albede threw himself among the cadre of scientists and engineers who had gravitated to the university town of &zeter, who eventually elected him the chairman of the University Amateur Rocket Society (U&zARS). Starting as a scientifically-minded hobbycraft gathering, the Society eventually expanded to become the leading military research and development organisation in Minarboria, producing all manner of missile and radar designs before expanding into marine engineering. It was during this time that Albede entered into a romantic relationship with Prethil Nal, a Deep Singer comrade from his old medical unit, and resumed his forays into the esoteric by joining &zeter's University Arcane Society. Being unnerved by his slow progression into middle age and desiring a longer span of existence, Albede eventually decided to give up his life, submit himself to Queen Lyssansa's necromancers and become undead - a decision which would have far-reaching consequences for both himself and Minarboria.
The combination of Albede's undead form, military experience and arcane outlook thus set the stage for him to emerge at the forefront of the Harvestfall Revolution, an uprising of middle-class liches who sought to protect themselves against a spontaneous collapse in the necromantic ley lines which had begun to strike down swathes of the undead population. Although initially successful, the revolution was put down by the momentarily-reanimated authorities in the Minarborian capital, led by the universally-venerated Church of Minarbor. Albede, shocked that his actions had upset Minarboria's namesake shrub-deity, offered his capitulation and was sentenced to confinement in a Church-run penal colony. After a while, as reward for his good behaviour, he was permitted to donate genetic material for the cultivation of a child with his wife Prethil. Unlike the other Yastrebs, this child - named Xantus Yastreb - was a Deep Singer in composition and thus immune to the necromantic torpor which had so distressed Albede and his fellow revolutionaries. Xantus, after a period of corrective schooling within the penal colony's confines, was eventually judged to be free of his father's treasonous legacy and released on the condition that he seek ordination into the Church of Minarbor.
As Minarborian lichdom took its final slide into oblivion and the institutions of the realm began to collapse with it, Albede was sprung from the colony by a band of cossacks under the command of his father, Zemphirius Karymov, who had belatedly followed his family to Minarboria after his own release from prison. Together with Royana Dolordotch, the three liches retreated to a prepared tomb in the southern Octavian mountains of the Minarborian interior where they planned to await their final de-animation in the hope that they would one day be restored to function. Their hopes were in vain, however - along with Zemphirius and Royana, Albede's necromantic energy was dissipated irretrievably into the post-mortem abyss.
At the moment of the Minarborian state's final demise, Xantus Albedevich Zmeysyn Yastreb ("Goldie") was travelling the northern Octavian mountains in his capacity as a mendicant Dissitor, the most junior clerical rank of the Minarborian church. Gathering together his fellow clerics in the area, he resolved to protect the benighted local people and the refugees who soon arrived in pitiable condition, pursued by bandits and Tee-als. He eventually secured alliances with a number of disparate Laqi cossack bands who rode forth to plunder the central Benacian lowlands on behalf of him and his council of holy men - the rudiments of a state established in their mountain home subsequently grew to become Kalgachia, which would eventually encompass the whole Octavian mountain range. Foreseeing a moment of reckoning with Shireroth, which was no less eager to exploit Minarboria's collapse, Xantus and his companions - known as the Council of Perfecti - utilised the construction skills of their Deep Singer ancestors to relocate Kalgachia's critical assets and a large part of its population underground, in anticipation of a Shirerithian military challenge which ultimately pressed against the new nation's frontiers but hesitated at the critical moment, buying Kalgachia precious time to build up its defences and establish foreign contacts for its own protection. By the time Shireroth's smitten flirtation with the Nationalist-Humanist juggernaut reached its inevitable singularity through progressively more depraved bouts of wanton bloodshed, Kalgachia was well placed both militarily and diplomatically to resist the onslaught planned against it and stood in its own right as a viable participant in the Benacian Reconquest, arguably inspiring neighbouring populations to make similar efforts in standing up for themselves.
Against the advice of his fellow Perfecti, Xantus moderated his frenetic work by entering into marriage with one Ilessa Aerit, a schoolteacher whose wistful conception of child development he subsequently promoted through the Kalgachi bureaucracy with aggressive enthusiasm. Although their engineered Deep Singer genes were of dangerously incompatible iterations, the couple succeeded in conceiving a healthy daughter, one Rubina Yastreb. However the gestation of their second child - one Falcifer Yastreb - manifested a series of severe complications at the moment of birth, from which Falcifer emerged unscathed but dealt fatal injuries to his mother Ilessa. Her untimely death threw Xantus into a prolonged state of despair and guilt-ridden self-loathing at being the biological cause of the tragedy - he refused any contact with Falcifer, leaving the baby to the care of its sister Rubina while he sought to distract himself by micromanaging trifling affairs of state, an act which lost him some amount of respect among his fellow Perfecti and the bureaucracy they administered. Eventually he found a new distraction in the form of Beatrice Formicida, an old Deep Singer with whom he had been briefly acquainted in his youth and now rekindled the flames of unrequited passion. Although Xantus' peers in government welcomed the lessening of his overbearing interference, they now found themselves concerned at his inattention to affairs of state which relied upon increasingly outdated conceptions of Kalgachia's domestic and geopolitical situation. The onset of chronic illness (attributed to latent genetic abnormalities) eventually spelled the end of Xantus' role in government and he retired to a life of dotage at the old Yastreb family estate which had been converted to a public sanatorium after Minarboria's collapse. He was replaced on the Council of Perfecti by his son Falcifer, who became de facto Kalgachi head of state.
From her earliest years, Rubina Xantievna Prepodava Yastreb ("Beans") was a quiet individual with a propensity for talking to herself and/or apparently incorporeal entities in her vicinity, all while developing an unhealthy liking for the use of bladed implements. Her parents initially suspected her to be of the same mental affliction as her great-grandmother Aegrotia, but it quickly became apparent that her cognitive ability was far in advance of her halfwit ancestor. Eventually around the age of four, she became fixated upon something her parents considered vaguely respectable, namely the Whirdlebirb helicopter operated by the Kalgachi armed forces and the world of aviation in general. Although her parents refused to let her join one of Kalgachia's Whirdlebirb squadrons, engaged as they were in constant and dangerous combat with the Tee-al, she was permitted to join a civilian flying club near the Kalgachi capital where she qualified as an instrument-rated general aviation pilot at the age of sixteen. Her hopes for a career in civil aviation were dashed by the birth of her brother Falcifer and the family tragedy it caused - Rubina found that she alone seemed to care about the baby's welfare and she felt compelled to adopt him as her own. Around this time she finally found herself in a position to act upon her long infatuation with one Roy Stone, the adopted son of the King of Goldshire who had sent him to exile in Kalgachia during a wave of Nationalist-Humanist persecutions in Shireroth. At Rubina's initative, Roy was gently cajoled into assuming the role of a father to Falcifer in the face of Xantus' wilfil neglect.
Kalgachia's ruling Council of Perfecti, being somewhat informed about Rubina's progress in life, were impressed by her adaptation to the rigours of motherhood and patiently awaited the point when Falcifer would be old enough to attend school, whereupon they lobbied an indifferent Xantus to appoint Rubina as Lady Lieutenant of Oktavyan, the most senior position in the Kalgachi state outside the Council of Perfecti itself. The appointment, made when Rubina was only twenty-three years old, caused some degree of surprise and was downplayed by the Kalgachi media to avoid accusations of crass nepotism - an arrangement which suited Rubina who was somewhat averse to the public exposure required by the role.
Rubina's eventual marriage to Roy, although contractually configured to maintain a strict seperation of Kalgachi and Shirerithian power structures, inevitably marked her as a geopolitical liability to the Council of Perfecti and spelled the effective stasis of her political progression in Kalgachia, although her quiet yet brutally efficient management style won her a bureaucratic support base within the Lieutenancy of Oktavyan and the aviation units of the Kalgachi Defence Force with whom she socialised. Her use of a Shirerithian-donated cavalry sabre as a gesticulatory aid in more assertive moments was renowned within Oktavyan's municipal offices, whose elder officials saw in Rubina a worthy successor to Empress Lyssansa, the forthright sovereign of the Empire of Minarboria who was given to similar behaviour with the arcanely-charged Sword of Fire. In time this reputation extended beyond Kalgachia's borders and led, somewhat unexpectedly, to her being gifted the Sword of Fire itself by is then-owner, the ailing Shirerithian Prince of Modan. Aided and abetted by her military sponsors, Rubina successfuly resisted all attempts by the arcane Kalgachi establishment to appropriate the sword from her and its presence provided a silent foundation to her power within critically-important sections of the Kalgachi bureaucracy, allowing her to retain something of an independent power base. The sword's power also appeared to break the long spell of infertility which had blighted her marriage to Roy, for she found herself pregnant within weeks of the object's arrival in her home. She duly gave birth to a son, Caustifer Yastreb, the following year.
Whether Rubina survived the 1677 National Revolution is a matter of conjecture - however the significant cadre of devoted followers in the special forces community of the KDF, in whom she had inspired a singular loyalty through her inimitable charm and resonate proclivities, had proved the most significant obstacle to the successful takeover of lower reaches of the Garden by the Hypernationalist tendency which predominated amongst the wider officer corps of the Kalgachi armed forces.
Caustifer Royevich Lotchika Yastreb ("Stiffy") first came to prominence shortly after receiving a not-inconsiderable sum of Kalgarrand, inherited upon the death of his grandfather Xantus and released upon his completion of Kalgachia's notorious Urchagin. Despite being only twelve years old and against all advice, Caustifer leveraged this money through his father's connections at Kalgachia's Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning to speculate on the exchange rate of the natopo just as the increased uptake of the currency following the Kalirion Fracture was causing it to soar in value. The success of this gamble - lucrative even after a whole chain of intermediate traders from the OIEC, Iron Company and ESB had taken their cut - made Caustifer into one of Kalgachia's richest citizens overnight and drew the immediate attention of his father's old colleagues at the DLEP, whose frequent bouts of hospitality toward the boy served as something of a distraction to his studies at the Oktavyan Gymnasium and might have been interpreted as grooming of the Storish variety had it not been overshadowed by the more probable suspicion that Kalgachia's financial sector, long a refuge for exiled Goldshirians, was becoming increasingly populated by dubious bullion inspectors fleeing unrest in Suthergold-Norestria. Caustifer's status as the son of Kalgachia's most powerful public official, however, spared him the more obsessive intentions of these expatriate financiers whose episodes of historical interference with the kings of Goldshire and their murderous blowback had maintained a note of inter-generational caution among their ilk.
In his adolescence and early adulthood, Caustifer exploited his personal capital reserves and the deaths of certain large shareholders to acquire an increasing ownership stake in the Octavian Import-Export Corporation, Kalgachia's semi-privatised foreign trade concern. By this time he had begun to absorb his mother's frequent plaintive suggestions that his commercial power be turned to more morally-wholesome objectives than blind self-amplification and thereby avoid complete enthrallment to the Pecuniary Archon feared by the Kalgachi belief system. This eventually led to the OIEC's active assistance in setting up the Children of Salus, a Lunatic insurgent group fighting against state-sanctioned genocide in the Guttuli Protectorate and the House of Yastreb's first direct intervention in the affairs of its old fiefdom since the pre-Minarborian era. Objections to acts of such dubious accountability did emerge from the Kalgachi diplomatic corps which had hitherto advanced an isolationist pro-Guttulinese line, but were prevented from any lasting uptake in the national bureaucracy by Yastreb-aligned elements in economic, military, esoteric and deep executive power centres.
The fate of Caustifer during the 1677 National Revolution is unrecorded but is presumed to have entailed a suitably grim and chthonic demise for one who had so casually dabbled in the ways of the "pecuniary archonate".