|Subdivision of:||Alta California|
|Other:||Asimoupoli, Salt City|
|Others:||English (NAL & Oregonian), Francien (Louisiannais), Greek|
|Established:||1882, Parliamentary Decree|
Lago Grande is the untamed east of Alta California, and is often referred to by its colloquial name, the Great Basin Territory, or Deseret. It is called the Great Basin, because it is believed to have held great fresh water lakes at one time, the only remnants of which are the Salt Sea or Lago Grande and the Lago Galilea or Galilee Lake.
Lago Grande is bordered by the main body of Alta California to the west, Tejas to the south, Louisianne to the east and Oregon to the north. While the wars that have devastated the landscape in the past 100 years are currently in a lull, skirmishes and squabbles between Tejas, Alta California and Louisianne have flared over the past, as all sides claimed at one point some or all of the territory in question. The war was continually agitated by Mejico, Oregonian extremists and by the local Deseret Militia, whose leadership comprise the local military aristocracy.
The only officially recognized government is based at Ciudad Galilea, located at the southern end of the Lago Galilea. Alta Californian missions have secured the area in and around the Lago Galilea, and further missions are being built within a days ride by horse, the most reliable means of transportation in the area.
Most of Lago Grande was until recently a lawless land, in the control of various juntas like the New and Living Ministry of Jesus Christ of Modern Saints. Since the capture and trial of Ouaren Gough and his junta leaders, lawlessness is decreasing. Soldiers formerly manning the Rio de Sangre's Maginot line have been civilianized and set to farming the valleys of Lago Grande as farmers/militiamen.
Population in this region has grown in the last decade, however, census figures have not yet been released from the Capital.
In the last ten years, the first major railroad was extended to the missions on the shores of Lago Galilea, but with the scarcity of petroleum, cars remain largely unreliable. A railroad spur is planned to follow the Rio de Santa Ana, and to points north.
No attempt has been made by Alta California to divide the region in to divisions, due to the volatile nature of the population. Legislation would be passed by Parliament in San Diego to partition the region into similar structures as the other parts of the nation.
The first settlement began with the visit of priests Silvestre Velez de Escalante and his superior Francisco Atanasio Domínguez on the shores of the Lago Galilea. While initially it was named Laguna de Nuestra Senora de Merced de Timpanogotziz, it was changed when it was discovered that the freshwater lake drains by a single river into the vast, dead salt sea to the North. The name was changed to the Lago Galilea, and on its southern shores, near the influx of the Rio de Aguas Calientes was established the Mission San Pedro de Galilea.
To the north the Rio Timpanogotziz and the Rio de Santa Ana also drain into the lake. The Rio Timpanogotziz passes to the south of Mission San Fruitos, where there are large orchards. Following the Canyon de Santa Ana, one arrives in the valley of San Egidio, where the Mission of the same name is also established.
To the north, in a high mountain valley lies the city of Asimoupoli (lit. "silver city" in Greek), a mining town. Until recently, the silver and zinc had been mined illicitly, unfettered by the Alta Californian government. Now, it is appropriately taxed, and the miners, all of Greek extraction are more than happy to have local tranquility in exchange for a tax on the goods they extract from the earth. Most of this is taken by a private train-line through to Louisianne, and most often ends up being sold to the Greek government. This line has been in continuous use since the Greeks arrived in the late 1890s, but there have been many repairs made throughout the years, and many skirmishes with banditos, including Ouaren Gough and his followers. The town is unique in that most of its homes were painted sky-blue (or white and sky blue) to remind the miners and their families of home. The city had approximately 50,000 people in its heyday in the 1940's (almost all of whom were Greeks, but with a sprinkling of South Slavs, Albanians, Christian Arabs, and Irish), but as of 2015 there are only 25,000 residents, of which 20,000 are Greek. The city is home to five Orthodox churches; Saint John's is the oldest and smallest, St. Demetrios is the largest and home to the diocesan bishop, Saint Titos (reflecting the Cretan element of the locals) is actually the oldest building having been converted from an abandoned mission church built by the Spanish, followed by Saint Katherine of Alexandria, and finally the church of the Annunciation. The city is now home to an honorary consulate-general of Greece as of 2012, which is a purely symbolic position usually held by an esteemed senior citizen from the area.
Mormon dissenters who remained in the region after a call to return to Louisianne by Brigham Young have gradually diverted in their beliefs, creating a spectrum of dissidents, most militant, some fanatical.
With the end of the rule of Jorge Walker Bush in 2003, the Queen of Tejas rescinded Tejan claims to the Disputed Territories, and Louisiannan Foreign Policy has remained quiet and neutral on the matter. Alta California has also largely quieted since Tejas no longer claims the disputed territories. Louisianne rescinded their claims to Deseret as they purchased the disputed region that has now become the Alpes-Argentés.
Some minority groups near the border of Louisianne maintain their claims to the mountainous region between the Salt Lake Valley and Nouvelle Cournouaille, however they are not supported by any government officers.
Unfortunately the Deseret Militias haven't quieted in the interim, and have actually increased their violence in the area, agitating for an independent state of Deseret. There has been an increase of Alta Californio patrols in the area because of the rumored poisoning of Rio del Sangre, despite the fact that much of this has been proven to be due to unsafe mining habits in the Alpes-Argentés.
Most wanted were the FLDS prophet Ouaren Gough and his band of militant "apostles," who set fire to much of the commune of Salt City. Refugees were taken in droves to Ciudad Galilea, the major altacalifornio outpost in the region. These men were captured in 2006, and criminal proceedings undertaken. They were all sentenced to death and summarily executed in September of 2007. Reprisals by their followers continued through March of 2008.
Since that time there has been increased growth with further missions established along the east side of Lago Galilea, including Ciudad Saratoga, Mosida, and Goshen. With successful implementation of fruit orchards in these missions a new mission was established in a higher valley to the northeast, San Egidio, where dairy cows are ranged throughout the valley and an extensive cheese-making industry is growing. Exports of this cheese are in increasing demand throughout the surrounding nations, suggesting increasing international support for the stability of the region.
Fruit is grown for export to Oregon, Louisianne and the North American League, prevalent in the mountain valleys near Galilea. In 2008, a wind-farm company from Louisianne, ÉoliEnergie began construction on a large windfarm at the mouth of the canyon due east of Galilea, and contracts are underway for a large farm in the desert to the south and west, with transmission lines likely to be sent through most of the communities between Deseret and San Diego. ÉoliEnergie is the first foreign contracted company allowed to build on Alta Californian soil.
The silver mining venture, incorporated as Asi̱ménia Etaireía in Asimoupoli, is also now legally incorporated according to Alta Californian law, and is a positive revenue source for the region.
With the strong presence of FLDS Mormons and Catholics, religion shows strongly in day to day life. The ringing of church bells from the different missions serve as a call to prayers. The recent peace has increased cooperation between the Mormons and Catholics. The native Amerindian tribes remain wary, and limit their contact with the European settlers to trading for food and goods.