Kalkara

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Flag of Kalkara Kalkara
Il-Kalkara (Kalki)' (Kalkaran)
Capital: San Openġ
Population: TBD (2024)
Motto: TBD
Anthem: TBD

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Kalkara (Kalkaran: Il-Kalkara) is a __ located in southwestern Uletha situated on the busy Kalkaran Strait, connecting the Liberan Island to the Ulethan mainland. Its capital of San Openġ is the largest city in Kalkara and the economic centre. Kalkara borders Alliria to the northwest, Alvorán to the south, Libérie Franque to the east, and Franqueterre to the northeast via the Franquese Exclave City. It is a member of both the Assembly of Nations (since 1951) and a member of the Association of South Ulethan Nations (since 1984).

The history of Kalkara stretches back thousands of years. The first written records of Kalkara come from the Romantish, who refer to the city on the straits as 'Calcarium', due to its location along limestone cliffs that were used as quarries. With conquests from the Romantish, and later the Mazanic and Ulethan peoples, the nation is shaped by war and the ocean. Inhabited today by mainly the native Kalkaran peoples, who speak the official language of Kalkaran (Kalki), the nation is a prosperous one, reaping income from sailors and ships who travel through the Strait. It is famed for its culture and heritage, being the only nation led today by a knightly organisation.


Name

Kalkara's name stems from the Romantish Calcarium, meaning limestone. It is generally agreed upon that the name was first used to refer to the original city we now refer to as San Openġ, however later in the Romantish period it came to be applied to the area as a whole. The official name of the nation is Il-Kalkara in Kalkaran, and in Ingerish it is simply Kalkara, the official Ingerish name for the nation.

Geography

Kalkara is split in two by the Kalkaran Strait, with one side in mainland Uletha and the other on the Liberan Island. The north is the more populous side, known for its hills, relatively lower peaks, and flat coastal areas for farming aside from its northeastern coast near Aħmara, which is marked by higher mountains. The western coast on the northern half is known for its beaches. The southern more empty side is dominated by mountains in the interior. This region is often noted for its craggy coasts, with cliffs seemingly a constant along its shores. In the west, the southern half is known for its salt production, especially at Marsaċatta and Inabdos on Gżira tan-Nagħiet, an island due west of Marsaċatta.

The largest island in Kalkara is ___ located southwest of the Isweda Promontory and due south of Ġannenia, known for its copper deposits and for its rich local seafood and fishing industries, the products of which are hailed as some of the best in the nation.

Kalkara's natural resources are mostly comprised of limestone (found across the nation), copper (found mostly on the island of ___), and blue clay, a substance often only found on the coasts around Sanalea, used for the famous signature Sanalea pottery.

Kalkara's largest river is the River San Openġ, which has its source deep in the Southern Mountains and makes its way to the Strait, exiting near San Openġ. Other rivers of note include the Ġannenia River, the River Hagra, and the Sirakuża and Abjada Rivers. The nation's largest lake is ___, found in ___. Other notable hydrological locations are the Hagra Lagoon, Dardir Santa Ġemma (the saline lagoon on which Marsaċatta is situated), the various sounds located across the country, and the Kalkaran Strait itself.

History

Bronze Age

Iron Age

Classical Antiquity

Before 1st Century: Kalkara was inhabited by ancient peoples that eventually were subsumed into the Hellanesian world by conquests from the west, as they spread across the region. The ancient strait city, the name of which has been lost to time, is speculated based on ruins and artifacts to have been moderately cosmopolitan and a target for Romantish interests.

Late Antiquity

1st–7th Centuries: The Romantish conquered the area around the year 40 AD (about the time the Uthyran countries fell to Romantish expansionism). Romantish Christicism arrived and supplanted polytheistic practices. Romantish rule lasted through much of the late 7th century, but the area at this time would have been independent to some degree. The Romantish named the strait city Calcarium for its limestone bluffs and quarries where precious white lime was mined to be shipped back to the core of the empire. It eventually became applied to the entire domain.

7th Century: A Mazanic invasion of the land results in the annexation of Calcarium to the ever growing Mazanic dynasties. The language shifts during this point to a Semetic language with a small Hellanesian-Romantish substrata remaining, a leftover from the ancient past. Over time, it becomes an independent emirate.

Middle Ages

13th Century: As some Ulethan countries start looking to colonize overseas, an organised band of Ortholic knights, backed by Castellán, Franqueterre, Plevia, and Navenna (among others) wrested control of the Kalkaran Strait in the ___ Crusade, blessed by Pope ___. These knights were the Order of St. Openge (L-Ordni ta' San Openġe). Despite a few subsequent Mazanic incursions, the land managed to be defended and retained by the knights. The earliest Grand Masters were Plevian, and they promoted use of the Plevian language among the elites. The knights also reinforced Ortholic Christicism and open the strait to the Ulethan powers for the first time since the rule of the Romantish. The Ulethan powers allowed the knights to control the strait as a 'neutral party' to prevent one power from exerting the most control. This eventually was the cause for some political intrigue and dissonance among the ruling Grand Masters.

Late Modern Era

Early 1800s: In the wake of a power struggle between two claimants to the position of Grand Master, referred to in Kalkaran history as the ___, Plevia invades out of fear of outsized Castellanese influences and the perceived inability of the knights to fend off another Mazanic incursion through the Straits. The knights ask Ingerland for help, who successfully repels the Plevian invasion but asserts their control over the Strait. The Ingerish use this as a springboard to colonise Khaiwoon and Gobrassanya; the knights are reduced to a mere caretaker role over the strait territory with no real authority, effectively humiliating and humbling the ancient order.

1950s: At the end of the Great War, the Ingerish end their control over the Strait as part of the Pax Nova. The Order of St. Openge regains their control over the territory in 1951, and accedes to the AN. Unlike before however, the knights are largely made up of Kalkaran individuals. With Kalkaran as the dominant and major official language, the knights institute a governmental structure that devolves most subnational positions to democratic elections. Outwardly, the resume their neutrality toward most nations, allowing access to the strait for peaceful means.

1960s: In the early 60s, Kalkara experienced record inflation, caused by __, inflicting severe damage to the economy and crippling the Kalkaran Scudo effectiveness as a functioning currency. To combat this unprecedented inflation, the then Grand Master Zeno d'Artusio __ the Kalkaran Scudo, enacting re-denomination reforms for the currency as well as sweeping economic reforms to prevent serious loss of business from the Straits. These efforts proved successful, and Kalkara was able to recover from this period quickly. Today, the highest denomination coins are minted at a value of 500 Kalkaran Scudo, and the highest value banknotes are issued at a denomination of 5,000 Kalkaran Scudo. Efforts to enact another re-denomination and return the Scudo to its original denominations are a somewhat occurring sentiment in the nation, but have proven to not be a major issue.

1980s: In 1984, Kalkara officially joined the Association of South Ulethan Nations, ratifying the majority of the plurilateral agreements and became the host for the ASUN Agency for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (ASUNMAF). This came after concerns in high leadership that the revenue from the Kalkaran Strait could come under threat from globalisation programs, as well as the ever present concern that Kalkara could cease to be a trade hub in the region - as well as many years of lobbying to the Kalkaran government by ASUN member states. It is assumed that ASUN agreed to Kalkara's accession with open arms, seeing Kalkara as a valuable member in both economic and strategic positions.

Present-Day: As an independent nation with a restored Knighthood, Kalkara is currently led by the first native Kalkaran Grand Master in history, Grand Master Oskar Serpina. Kalkara possesses a moderately advanced economy, with the most revenue being generated from trade (via the strait), as well as tourism. It has an HDI of .905, with most of the wealth concentrated along the strait. Culturally, the nation remains highly religious and very traditional-minded in a lot of ways. Liberalisation of the religion is constant but slow, and it is a huge part of Kalkara's politics. The nation welcomes the role of global crossroads but has a good amount of other nations imposing their cultural mores and is particularly wary of foreign commercial influences attempting to dominate the country because of its trade-focused economy.

Politics

Administrative divisions

Economy

The country's economy is largely trade and tourism based, due to its location on the Kalkaran strait. Fees and taxes levied upon ships passing through the strait is a major source of income for the nation, making up ___% of its GDP.

Kalkara is a major producer and exporter of limestone, from which its name derives. Other sources of income for Kalkara come from tourism, specifically from visitors to San Openġ and other cities like Aħmara and Ġannenia.

The currency of the nation is the Kalkaran Scudo (𝒮), which was subdivided into 100 tari until their discontinuation in 1963 due to inflation. Coins are minted in denominations of 50, 100, 200, and 500. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000.

Demographics

Kalkara is largely a mono-ethnic country where minorities are a rarity within the recorded population. Below is the recorded ethnic makeup of Kalkara from the 2024 Census conducted earlier this year.

Name Presence Population Main religion Additional info
Kalkaran Majority of the country. TBD Kalkaran Ortholic Christicism The vast majority of the nation's population is of Kalkaran descent. Their language, Kalki, is one of two official languages of the nation, the other being Ingerish.
Allirians Western Border Region TBD TBD Local diaspora from neighbouring Alliria.
Ingerish TBD TBD TBD Local diaspora from Ingerland recently as well as from the colonial period.
Plevians TBD TBD TBD A small population remains, stemming from the original Ulethan conquest of Kalkara in the 13th century.
Castellanese TBD TBD TBD Another remnant from the 13th century conquest, a small number remains scattered within the nation.
Franquese Northern Border region, TBD TBD TBD An older leftover population remains within Kalkara from the 13th century conquest, however a larger number are present in the north along the border with the Franquese Exclave City.
Navennese TBD TBD TBD The last people group from the 13th century conquest, a small number remain in Kalkara to this day.
Libérie-Franquese Eastern Border Region TBD TBD Local diaspora from neighbouring Libérie-Franque..

Other minorities consist of __% of Kalkara's population. Most individuals hail from Alvorán, or are from elsewhere.

Largest cities

Society

Religion

Kalkara's main religion is the Kalkaran branch of Ortholic Christicism, remaining almost unchanged since the crusade that saw the Ulethans from the north conquer Kalkara. Approximately __% of people residing in Kalkara follow this faith. Other people groups follow different sects of Christicism, and a very small portion practice Mazanic Iman. Some individuals identify themselves as Atheist, however this number happens to be very small.

Kalkara maintains its unique branch of Christicism due to the oversight and governance of the Order of St. Openge, the medieval band of knights who first ruled Kalkara and still do to this day.