Russopedia: Economy: Early Developments.
Archeological records, in combination with the ancient Chronicles of Gutran the Somewhat Apologetic have revealed that, for the first thousand years of her history, Russia’s was predominantly a cabbage-based economy. Indeed, even as late as the 19th century there were regions of this vast land where the most significant date in the calendar was that of the annual cabbage fair, usually held in a market town or, in lieu of that, in a cave, bears allowing.
Here the cabbage traders from the snowy wastes would gather, once yearly, to display their wares and swap lore concerning the noble vegetable, while the locals celebrated the spring cabbage festival, or Karpustitchstvo, with a variety of games and competitions devoted to this food staple. The most famous of these was the Smertelni Karpushichboi, or Fatal Cabbage Fight, wherein the mightiest warriors from the various communities would pummel each other to death with cabbages, while the spectators placed, cabbage based bets on the potential victors. Russian folklore is rife with tales of simple but noble young men who made their names, and their fortunes, in these contests. Gleb Karpustpobed and the Snow Cabbage of Glomsk is perhaps the most famous of these, primarily due to of Rachmaninoff’s opera of the same name.
It is a little known fact that centuries before the founding of the Moscow Stock Exchange, the Boogoslavl region of Central Russia was home to no less than three Karpubirzhi, or cabbage exchanges, or that the wealth generated by these markets led to the creation of generations of cabbage oligarchs, some of whom were able to manage their vast wealth with sufficient wisdom that they gained the status of princes and held sway over vast areas of Russia for centuries before the coming of Christianity.
Whether it was the coming of metal money, the rise of the Moscow princedom or exasperation at the sheer absurdity of cabbage based economics that led Russia to largely abandon these practices in the late medieval period, is unknown. But with the arrival of the tartar yolk the fate of the noble Cabbage of Russ was sealed.
The Tartar Yolk.
Quite how such a people as primitive as the central-asian Tartars managed to create an egg with a yolk large enough to cover the bulk of European Russia is a question that remains unanswered to this day…