Bangalla

Bangalla is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, 63 nautical miles off the coast of Mozambique and 413 nautical miles north and west of Madagascar. The country is composed of the large island (Bangalla) and the two smaller, largely uninhabited isles of Denambala and Penalty Island. The country's ocean territory also encompass the geographical curiosity known as the Dennison Seamounts.

Brief Data
Capital Mawitann
Government Constitutional Republic, currently under military occupation
Land Area 939 mi2
Population 510,000 (2002 census) / 229,000 (current, est.)
Currency B£ - Bangallan Pound
Per Capita Income B£10,040 (approximately $3,000 US)
Major Languages English
Religions Christian (63%), Native/Animist (28%), Islam (7%), Other (2%)

History

Bangalla was first discovered by Europeans in 1494 by a Portuguese expedition en route to the Persian Gulf. The island was later settled, with port facilities established in the first decade of the 16th century as a way station on the way to Goa. Slightly more than a century later war broke out between England and the united crown of Spain and Portugal, during which time the English captured the island. It remained a British possession until 1958, when it received formal independence and a parliamentary government was instituted. There was intense resentment against the minority English population that held most of the wealth and positions of government authority, with violent insurrections cropping up every several years. The situation on the island became an embarrassment and a liability to British foreign policy, so the United Kingdom exerted pressure on the government to concede to many of the demands of the majority. In 1974, Bangalla was reformed into a republic, a constitution drafted, and the country's membership in the Commonwealth withdrawn.

Although the first years of the new government proved more stable and peaceful, anti-Anglo hatred and tribal animosities resurfaced, resulting in years of internecine violence and several coups. The most famous of these left military strongman Kigali Lubanga as dictator. Made President for Life in 1980, he consolidated most of the powers of the Bangallan Republic within his office. A long period of economic decline, exasperated by international sanctions, greatly weakened Lubanga's power and led to his ouster by a pro-democracy coalition in 1992. The martial law provisions were rescinded and the constitution restored, and new elections saw national hero Lamanda Luaga become president.

Afterwards, the country enjoyed an economic resurgence thanks in part to Luaga's enlightened tax regime and business friendly policies that spurred by an influx of foreign investment. The country's traditionally strong industries like spice production and diamond and gold mining were soon rivaled by commercial shipping and tourism, with many high end resorts for wealthy travelers springing up.
Rapprochement throughout the 1990s also seemed successful: Bangalla was widely touted as an example to other recently independent African states, most of whom suffered their own cycles of bloody violence.

Civil War (2003-2005)

Unfortunately, the turn of the 21st century saw a return to instability and violence in Bangalla. Ethnic tensions were rising, especially among the interior tribesmen who didn't share in the same level of economic success of the coastal population and the British remnant. These interior tribes also made up the bulk of the Bangallan military, and it was increasingly difficult for the Luaga administration to keep them in check. A world wide economic downturn in 2002 exasperated these tensions and the arrest in that same year of several members of Luaga's inner circle for corruption and tax evasion brought matters to a head. The military leadership gave Luaga until midnight on January 1, 2003, to step down and leave the country or face arrest. The President angrily rebuffed the ultimatum and called for loyal units to arrest the country's top generals. The bid failed, however, and a new civil war erupted on New Year's Day.

The vast majority of the military sided with the generals, but there was enough loyalty to Luaga amongst the country's elite units and especially the air force to stave off immediate defeat. The rebel forces, in turn, proved badly coordinated and prone to infighting, giving the loyalists several easy victories and threatening to undo their early gains. However, the interior of Bangalla was completely lost to the government by this time and huge mobs of vengeful jungle tribesmen pushed into the coastal areas, accomplishing what the generals' front was unable to. The failed rebellious generals, meanwhile, were assassinated by their troops and replaced by Solomon Lubanga, the popular agitator and son of the former dictator. Lubanga's charisma was enough to unite the rebel factions and send his rival's armies reeling as more and more of the country fell to the insurgents.

The war only became bloodier as it dragged on, with mass killings (perpetrated by both sides) making international news. Amnesty International reported that a third of the country's population was either dead or homeless and entire regions were depopulated as the war took on the color of genocide. As the rebels advanced and the body count soared, it was clear to the wealthy industrialists and corporations that Luanga's teetering government was unable to protect their livelihood and that the rebels would eat them alive. Many mercenary units had been hired to protect distant mines and plantations early in the conflict, but early 2005 saw a massive upsurge in mercenary contracts and armed foreigners poured in to defend extraction facilities, ports, rail yards, and private residences in the embattled cities. President Luaga was not pleased with this situation and tried to force some of the mercenary companies out, but he had little political or financial capital and ever dwindling manpower. No longer in control of anything but a few neighborhoods in the capital city, Luanga and his family finally fled the country in disguise in March of '05, leaving the fate of Bangalla to be decided between the rebels and the private armies of the wealthy.

One of the companies particularly concerned with the threat of Solomon Lubanga and his hordes of guerillas was ARBCO, a diversified company from Sierra Gordo mostly associated with petroleum extraction. ARBCO had a couple of offshore gas hydrate extraction platforms in Bangallan territorial waters, but it also based a significant amount of its commercial shipping in the port of Mawitann. Subsidiary companies also owned some gold mines in the interior that had been captured by the rebels. ARBCO had fewer compunctions acquiring mercenaries than most, because most of the company was owned by the leadership of Cobra. With the situation deteriorating so rapidly, Cobra Commander thought it worthwhile to act not only to defend ARBCO's holdings, but also to seize the full mineral wealth of the island. Several Cobra units, mostly naval detachments consisting of fast patrol boats and Lamprey teams, had already been dispatched to protect their docks and platforms. These units were used to secure a beachhead for the first large scale landing that occurred on May 12, 2005.

Exhausted by the years of slaughter and outgunned by the high tech, first world armies of Cobra, the rebels were quickly routed. Spreading out from the ports and beaches, the Cobras unleashed devastatingly effective combined arms attacks, involving air strikes and naval artillery to destroy what cohesion the rebels had left, while their superior mobility allowed them to cut off their retreats from the urban areas before most of them could disappear into the thick jungle. Pacification continues to the current day, but Bangalla was essentially conquered by Cobra by September of '05. Despite killing the rest of the rebel leadership, Solomon Lubanga escaped and went into hiding.

The Fate of the Phantom

Cobra's most significant obstacle came from the Phantom and his allies who, although they had fought tenaciously against the rebels, were not about to allow the island to fall to a foreign invasion. The Cobras at first thought that the Phantom was a mere myth, a piece of folklore used to unite some of the resistance, but the frighteningly effective raids on forward bases and sabotage of supply areas soon convinced them otherwise. Still, the Phantom was only one man and his allies poor and outnumbered. A Cobra assault on December 11, 2005 succeeded in capturing the area around Skull Cave, home of their implacable enemy. However, they were unable to gain entrance to the inner portions of the cave and further attempts to penetrate its secured vaults were temporarily abandoned to free up ordnance and troops for more pressing engagements. Although the Phantom's body was never found, Cobra forces considered the problem neutralized and believed the Phantom was likely killed in battle or fled the island.


The Cobra Occupation

The Cobra occupation force numbers a little over 1600 troops and plenty of vehicles, representing about 20% of the total organization. While this is a substantial investment of men, money, and matériel for Cobra, it is not a lot to maintain control of an island with a population of over 200,000. To maintain their dominance over the island, the Cobras focus on directly controlling a relatively few strategic points, particularly the capital and port facilities, while relying on closely supervised fragments of the Bangallan rebel army to keep things reasonably pacified elsewhere. Maintaining the discipline and loyalty of the native forces is a tough trick, and so Cobra also employs plenty of bribes and the threat of its tremendous superiority in firepower to keep them in line. When trouble breaks out, either among the civilian population or their native allies, the response is always fast, overwhelming, and ruthless, with entire villages razed and their populations permanently exiled or massacred.

Despite the tenuous position Cobra find itself in, there is no longer any widespread, coordinated resistance against the occupation. Of course, no one really likes the snakes and their atrocities are front and center in the minds of many Bangallans, but to most it's actually preferable to the nightmare of the previous three years. The carnage is on a smaller scale than their civil war, and many Cobra overseers have actually brought a restraining hand against the savagery of their tribal allies. What's more, things are starting to get back to normal in some parts of the country. The hospitals and banks are back open, the mines are operating, and the airports and seaports are open again. Sure, Cobra has its fingers in everything and takes a big cut, but that falls more on the big men at the top. Meanwhile the average citizen pays no taxes. Things can be, and have been, much worse…


The Gillmen of Bangalla

City Beneath the Sea

As Deep One speech is a series of harsh braying sounds interspersed with pops and clicks (in the words of one P-Division analyst, “like a dog with tuberculosis”), the true name of the city of the Bangallan Deep Ones is nearly unpronounceable by humans. The closest transliteration in English is N'cloac'cl.

N'cloac'cl is a medium-sized Deep One city within the maze of the Dennison Seamounts. Typical as far as Tasoth habitats go, it is constructed of vast columns cut from the basaltic rock of the submarine mountain peaks and networks of tunnels that penetrate deep into the seabed. The colossal, frighteningly alien architecture is extremely smooth and precise, laboriously fashioned over centuries of manual labor and sorcery. The layout of the city is a different story however, owing much more to the lay of natural formations than planned construction.

Like most Deep One cities, it is also built on top of a Ley Line nexus, a vital requirement for their religious rituals. Almost as importantly, the confused, tumbled geography of the seamounts provide tremendous natural camouflage, shielding their settlement from detection even by man's advanced technology. Since human attacks have wiped out more than half of the global Deep One population over the last hundred years, this is an important advantage and the High Priests of the city are intent on keeping a low profile.

Contact with the Surface World

The Bangallan Gillmen have a long history of contact with the population of that island, although it has not been as extensive or aggressive as that of many other settlements. The Deep Ones of N'cloac'cl have long been regarded as unusually introspective, and although they were spared the humans' attacks, the horrors related to them by their cousins in other cities prompted them to reduce their contact even more. Until Cobra arrived and began their summonings, the Bangallan Deep Ones only made contact once a year with an isolated and degenerate tribe that worships them and offers sacrifices of their young females.

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