Atsugkriga, is a small autocratic monarchy nestled in the mountains of Western Leifia. It is a member of the Chinese Leifia Federation. It is bordered, clockwise from the North, by Achumawiland, Kidütökaland, Maiduland, North Yokutland and Wintuland. The capital is Pashha and the population around 143,000.
The head of state is Chief Apwar.
The official language is Atsugkrigan.
As per most of its neighbours it uses the Chinese Leifian Yuan (CLY).
The lands now known as Atsugkriga lay on the outer edge of the Patwin Federation (see Chinese Leifia) and its nomadic mountain tribes occasionally formed irregulars attached to the Patwan army. This arrangement was disrupted by the entry of Álengiamark into the area, a period which forms one of many low points of Álengsk foreign policy.
At the end of the Mexic-Leifian War in 1632 Álengsk troops were officially ordered to remain on the Mets'ichi Chena with other national armies awaiting the final peace treaty being hammered out in Havn (Coabana), however the great strain of the war had exhausted funds and many army groups, having foregone payment for several months, disobeyed orders and began to return eastwards, indulging in mercenary activity or worse. One of these Álengsk army groups, some 300 men under the command of Baltasar Halldorsson received word of mercenary opportunities in the Leifian North-West. Travelling northwards to the Xakxwet River (OTL Colorado River) they split from a larger Vinlandic force and travelled northwards skirting the edge of the mountains and desertlands. Finally turning inland they came across the lakes and mountain passes of what had been earlier christened the Snjorjamaerkafoll (OTL Sierra Nevada). Here, camping and hunting to replenish food stocks, they found gold 'littering the floor' and readily washing out of the rivers.
Away from the plain view of the rest of the world greed took over. Virtually wiping out the Atsuge tribe who were unlucky enough to be the first to return to the 'Gullná River' to hunt, the men took wives from the tribe and set the remaining men to work extracting gold from the mountains. Word of this soon reached both the Patwin kings on the coast and Halldorsson's patron, the Earl of Moheganland back in Álengiamark. With tacit approval from the Althing a whole Álengsk army group soon joined the original men of the 'Earldom of Snjorjamark'. Though the Álengsk attempted to seize control of the entire range they were prevented by the sheer distance from reinforcements and local resistance, but equally the Patwin could not dislodge them from their new stronghold. It also forced the other nomadic tribes of the region to settle more or less creating the various mountainous states now extant.
Snjorjamark was run as an unofficial earldom and virtual slave state for the next century. When the Ohlensk-Aragonese general Jeroni Sunyer courted the Earl and his lords for their support during the 2nd Patwin-Ohlone War he reported back "I have never met such a disagreeable host of lords in my life. They care little for their serfs, for that is what the populace are, and spend all their energies extracting more wealth from the ground, drinking, and looking for the next whore to take to the bed chamber."
When not advancing the absolute greed of its lords the mineral wealth of the Earldom flowed eastwards along the 'Gullvega', protected from raids by a well-equipped Álengsk army division. Meanwhile the lowland states of the Patwin Federation also benefitted as their food fetched high prices in the mountain communities. The sheer amount of gold extracted seriously destablised the Álengsk economy but, addicted, it spent ever increasing amounts on protecting its asset fighting several badly organised and barely successful wars against various parties.
Finally, with the complete severance of the Gullvega during the 2nd Mexic-Kalmar War, the now Chinese dominated Patwin army took the opportunity to seize Snjorjamark in 1781 which it did so with surprisingly little blood spilled. The Álengsk placenames were excised, eg the capital Halldorsborg, was renamed Pashha, and the Álengsk evicted. The previously enslaved Atsuge were handed their freedom and the mines carefully given to those whom the Chinese could trust.
Since independence Atsugkriga has struggled with corruption and outright thievery. True democratic governments rarely last long before the old power structures and deep rooted family feuds resurface and return the country to despotism. Chinese Leifia has largely tolerated this disfunction, using the flow of gold to maintain a large military presence whilst allowing the splintering of its mountainous client states for purposes of 'balance' and to completely dominate its tiny neighbours.
Atsugkriga is an autocracy. Tightly controlled and fraudulent elections are occasionally held but are mainly just for show. The head of state is Chief Apwar. Nominally hereditary, the title of Chief is wholly reliant on Chinese patronage.