Ruzian Voivodeship (Valruzian: Województwo Ruzyjskie) is one of five voivodeships in the Republic of Valruzia, created in April 4245 on the grounds Administrative Reform. It occupies 473.400 square kilometers of north-west Valruzia, and has approximately 19.9 million inhabitants, and the population density of 42 poeople per square kilometer. Its capital is located in Brzańsk which is one of the biggest cities in Valruzia and oneof the financial centers of the nation.
Małowalruzja was initially inhabited by several groups of tribes. One group of these tribes, which spoke closely related languages, are the ancestors of today's Kaenirelona, or people of the mountain (in Dugathan Valonian).
In the 8th century CE, the Gray Volon from northern Arglon, (a subsect of the Valonians, a people from a southern Bandorra closely related to the Ruzians of modern Arlgon and Hulbark) migrated into the northwestern part of Dugathan. They established the Grey Volon Aranhdyat (roughly equivalent to khanate), over a small section of the northeast, and claimed the entire area from the frontiers of the Ruzian lands to ends of the mountains. They nevertheless remained a relatively minor force in the region for quite a while.
The Kaenirelona, thanks to their understanding of the languages of both their neighbors. The descendants of the Gray Volon therefore began a peaceful infiltration of the mountains as many tribes allowed small settlements of Valonian traders and merchants to be established throughout modern Dugathan, and in the strip of no-man's land between the mountains and Terrarokka. By the end of the 14th century it was estimated that the Valonians in modern Dugathan outnumbered the other sects of Valonians back in Bandorra.
The Valonian language also spread, and while it is estimated that only a sixth of Dugathan's population was ethnic Valonian, maybe half again as many were part Valonian and, several more lowland tribes had almost abandoned their languages and adopted Valonian.
The Formation of DugathanEdit
In about 1370 CE, a young tradesman named Rale vi'Duirka began to preach against the repressive rules of the Ruzian guilds that had come to dominate Valonian trade. He soon gathered a large following and began to expel guild houses from the Valonian hill settlements. The guilds called upon the Aranh, who claimed still claimed nominal sovereignty over the entire area to depose the rabble rouser and restore their power. The Aranhs had grown weak, and largely dependent on the guilds for funds and the ruler was forced to comply.
The Aranh led an expedition starting out an 1375, and recaptured several settlements as he advanced into the hill territories. The Kaenirelona naturally took this as a violation of their sovereignty, and fought against the invasion. The Aranh's forces mercilessly slaughtered hundereds of natives, causing widespread resentment against the Valonians.
vi'Duirka managed to divert this amnimosity against the Aranh, and vi'Duirka's forces swelled with dispossessed aborigines. Nevertheless, the young tradesman's forces were still outnumbered almost 2:1 by his nominal sovereign's. And while vi'Duirka's forces were mostly militiamen and volunteers, the khan's were trained professionals.
The merchant-general evaded the Aranh for several weeks, before he finally ambushed the Aranh's forces in a pass through the central mountains. The trained soldiers were unable to stand up to the assault, and were massacred. The battle ended in a rout, and the hill people brutally dismembered the ruler, and the almost 600 year old aranhdyat was put to an end.
vi'Duirka then led his followers back into the late Aranh's territory, and took control. He then marched west again, and within the course of several mounts had consolidated his control over a network of settlements and tributary tribes om Dugathan and reaching from Arglon to Baltusia. Rather than attempt conquest of the partially assimilated and hostile highland tribes, the leader hoped to isolate and gradually annex or assimilate them.
He married a Kaenirelona woman, and in 1376 established a camp at a mountain spring, where he invited several leaders of various tribes to meet with him. He named his camp Pakgafdozhuyain, or "Truce Meeting" (literally "water giving"), where he would remain and establish his capital. As a result of this meeting he assumed control of or oversight of between 1/3 and 2/5 of modern Dugathan.
He named his territory "Duirkaithan" or "Duirka's Land" ("than" meaing "land" in several tribal languages), a name later corrupted to "Dugathan." His country was fairly liberal by today's standards, allowing free trade and nominal tribute, and imposing no state religion or mandatory military service. It was also, by design a fairly weak kingdom.
Greater Valonia and ValruziaEdit
In the early 15th century a movement began to grow for the Dugatines to send an expedition to rediscover their ancestral homeland and re-establish contact with their ancestral peoples. Finally, in 1408 a group of explorers, backed by merchants and unofficially endorsed by the the Dugatine sovereign finally set out. This move was to have tremendous reprecussions for this sovereign state.
The expedition came to Bandorra, where they discovered that the other Valonians were living under the thumb of the Zumans. These Vurlun, as they called themselves, had remained largely undeveloped and isolated from the innovations in Dugathan and the Ruzian states. Upon learning of the wealth and power of their southern neighbors, they sent an impassioned plea for help back to Pakgafdozhuyain.
The Dugathan government took no stance at first, but the ordainary people rallied to the cause. Dugatines, many of Kaenirelona anscestry, were determined to help their "brothers in spirit." Irregulars, militias, and merchant-backed forces flowed into Valonia.
These forces managed to drive the Zumans out of their southeastern provinces, and finally the government in Dugathan felt compelled to take a stance. In 1421 the sovereign personally lead an army through Zuman and attacked Nuzria. He was defeated and drive back into Dugathan, forcing him to consider another route. He petitioned the king of Arglon, who not only gave his force passage, but joined the Dugathan sovereign with a far larger force of Arglonese conscripts and Mercenaries.
The combined rebel, Dugathan, and Arglonese forces managed to capture the great port city of Zidorkryu (modern Zerantalia), in 1424, forcing the Zumans to sue for truce. Negotiations took place and a small kingdom of Vurlunia was established, and the rebel leader, the quarter Zuman Bandor (no last name) was established as the ruler.
During the negotiations the Arglonese had forced concessions of large swaths of land from both the Zumans and the Vurlunians. The Vurlunians were especially hard pressed, as their own army was small and Bandor dared not risk being partitioned between the Zumans and Arglonese. Fearing already that he would become an Arglonese sattelite, Bandor secretly petitioned the Dugathan sovereign to keep his troops in the region. The sovereign negotiated a treaty of passage with the Zumans, who desired to keep the Valonians as checks on the Ruzians, and thus Bandorra fell under the sway of Dugathan.
On the death of Bandor in 1440, the Dugatines signed a treaty with his successor, joining the two states as the Union of Volonia (Later Valonia), and the new king in Bandor renamed the kingdom Bandorra in his honor. While the two were nominally equal, the Dugathan sovereign held the real power.
In 1456, both to alleviate the tensions that were growing between Arglon and Valonia, and to protect against the militaristic Zumans, the four kings in Ruzia and Valonia signed a treaty in the Zuman-era village of Quinterra, a town near the Arglon border, which united the four kingdoms into the Valruzian Federation. The Ruzians insisted that the fouth king of Bandorra become the first Valruzian emperor, officially to keep him from having too much power, although many historians accept that the real reason was to pry Bandorra away from Dugatine influence.
Nevertheless, interchange continued between Dugathan and Bandorra, which it remained closer to than its neigbor Arglon, and attempts were made at ressurecting classical Valonian, which would later become the official dialect of Valruzian.
Dugatines generally call themselves Valonian, although pure ethnic Valonians are estimated to be in a minority. Most Dugatines are assimilated mountain people, and a large number are mixed-bloods. There is also a minority of Ruzians, refugees from the first civil war and colonists who moved east, though these number less than a twelfth of the population.
The Kaenirelona, or mountain people are the last descendents of the initial inhabitants of Dugathan who still maintain their langauges. Hostile to the Valonian expansion, they were only annexed after a long and bloody war, practice for the invasion of Zuma that would still follow.
See also Kaenirelona Languages
While the Dugatines call themselves Valonian Valruzians, their culture tends to be drastically different from their Ruzian neighbors and Bandorran compatriots. Because the assimilation of the aborigines was gradual and incomplete, their customs tend to be a cross between the ancient traditions of the Gray Horde, evolved customs borrowed from the Ruzians and Baltusians during the middle ages, and native traditions.
Dugatines tend to dress culturally and be much into craftmenship and poetry. Dugathan is often considered the most "rustic" of Valruzia's provinces, for although it had long been more advanced than its Ruzian and Zuman neighbors, it has been slow to adopt new traditions. Markets and street performers are still common, stores larger than a small grocery are rare, and tourists flock from all over to see traditional performances and handcrafts.
Dugathan is also home to many fairs selling farm produce, as well as psuedo-historic "vi'Duirkathan fairs" similar to the "mercantile faires" of Arglon, except for the age and focus.
Dugathan is the politically most independent state in Valruzia, due to its different history and culture, and almost always prefers a different party to that chosen by the other four regions. However, in the most recent elections, Dugathan gave an extremely narrow plurality to the True Valruzians. They effectively tied the Dharma Commonwealth Party and Christian Holiness Socialist Party; each of those three parties received just over 1/4 of the vote.