Federation of Ruskayn
Motto: Gladium Pretium Nostrum
Anthem: Pride of the Bluelanders
The Federation of Ruskayn, most commonly known as Ruskayn is an archipelagic state located on the continent of Euronia in the Coalition of Crown Albatross. It shares maritime borders with Rio Palito, Caspia, and Zamastan. Situated between the Hapson Sea and the Nalau Sea, it is renowned for its rich history, unique tropical geography, and thriving culture. It also holds dependency status over the Conwin Isles off the coast of Greland. Historically, the people of Ruskayn have been known for their work as mercenaries for foreign nations, notably in the 1871-75 Parabocan War alongside Chanchajillan forces aiding Zamastan from invading Parabocan forces, and the massively encompassing World War (1949-1954).
The economy of Ruskayn is primarily situated around their services for other nations, including ship-building, weapons manufacturing, and paid-manual works. Domestically, they utilize natural resources. Ruskayn is naturally rich in lumber, copper, various ores, as well as oil, which make up their highest exports alongside weapons, military technology, and combat vehicles. The thriving Ruskaynian economy is largely based off of their proud tradition of training Ruskaynian soldiers and then hiring them out as mercenaries to other nations. This practice, although condemned by some in the international community, has been used to great effect by nations such as Avergnon and Zamastan. The recent involvement of Ruskaynian forces in the 2020 War in Vulkaria has shed some favorable light on the practice, however, and military analysts are predicting a rise in the hiring of Ruskaynian mercenary forces.
Historically, Ruskayn has had little effect on the world as a whole, but it has recently begun to gain attention as its economy booms and its mercenary forces are used to greater extent. Some say Ruskayn has its eyes on a position of high authority in the C.C.A., but Ruskaynian government officials have denied this repeatedly. Despite this, Ruskayn houses the Palace of Nations in the capital city of Forgeheim, which serves as an additional headquarters to the Coalition of Crown Albatross apart from the complex based in Tofino, Zamastan.
The origin of the nation of Ruskayn's name is technically unknown, but popular opinion states that it originated from the combined names of the Bluelander clan chiefs that led the conquest of the islands: Rusk MacRath and Aynidh Bruin.
Traditionally, Ruskayn is believed to have once been inhabited by a people group known as the Corites. Historic record shows they warred with the Kespari people. When the first Bluelander clans landed in what is now Ruskayn, it is believed that the Corites were either assimilated into their ranks, killed off, or driven to escape to Kespar or other nearby civilizations.
The Bluelanders were a fiercely independent collection of clans of Cadair Cymry natives who fled Cadair during the Prydanian massacre of the Cymry people. Oral tradition states that the MacRath and Bruin clans lead the rest of the Bluelanders in a harrowing journey across land and sea to reach the unclaimed islands that now make up Ruskayn. It is believed that around 30 Bluelander longships set out across the Olympic Ocean, but only 14 of the ships are confirmed to have successfully reached what would become Ruskayn.
Under the leadership of the MacRaths and Bruins, Bluelanders claimed the northern island, which they named Canaigh. Before long they spread down to the other islands. Several of the Corite tribes joined forces with the Bluelanders, including the Tribe of the Blind Snake and the Children of the Light Fist, among others. The majority of the tribes attempted to fight back against the Bluelander invasion, however, and were eventually pushed back onto the Kespar peninsula, where it is believed most of them were enslaved by the Kespari people. The whole Bluelander conquest of the atoll is believed to have taken somewhere between five and ten years. Once the Bluelanders had finished their campaign, the clans all split the islands between themselves, and went their separate ways. They still kept friendly contact and the clans all met annualy on one of the central islands, where they would hold a weeklong feast and celebration, complete with all sorts of competitions of physical prowess.
For the next several centuries the Bluelander tribes operated as farmers, miners, and woodcutters, utilizing the natural resources of wherever they settled down. They developed an extensive trade system amongst themselves, building an extensive road system that wound all across the countryside, as well as developing an advanced courier system that brought mail along those roads to the various tribes. Contact was also made with neighboring countries, and trade ships started to carry raw resources, crops, and animals from Bluelander tribes to the mainland.
Most modern Ruskaynians believe an old Bluelander legend about the first mercenary, and how he changed the history of Ruskayn forever. According to legend, he was an ordinary trader on a vessel bound for the coast of Kespar, and his ship was caught up in a storm and wrecked against a reef. He was the sole survivor of the wreck and was found washed up on shore by a Kespari slaver, who revived him, chained him up, and placed him in the caravan with the other slaves. At some point, the slaver took a liking to the Bluelander and had him moved to her personal retinue as a steward. While serving as her steward, he singlehandedly prevented an attempt by some of her men to kill her in the middle of the night. She rewarded his bravery with an offer of freedom, which he turned down to stay with her. For several years he served as her personal guard, saving her life many times, and eventually marrying her. During a visit to a major Kespari city, he sparred with some of the sultan's royal guard, defeating them with relative ease. The sultan made inquiries about him, and learning he was a Bluelander, became curious. He met with the man and asked him if all countrymen fought like he did. Upon hearing the man's praise of his fellow Bluelanders, the sultan sent messengers across the sea to the man's tribe to ask if he could hire some of their warriors for an impending war between him and a rival sultan. The Bluelanders gladly accepted his very expensive offer and joined the sultan. In the first battle of what was expected to be a long war, the Bluelander warriors made such an impression on the opposing sultan that he offered to make peace immediately. After this, every sultan wanted Bluelander fighters among their forces, and news spread to other neighboring countries. Regardless of the truth of this legend, at some point, nearly every trade ship leaving the Bluelander islands carried mercenaries onboard, and eventually the mercenaries became their primary export.
Development of Holds
Due to the sudden demand for Bluelander mercenaries, and the increasingly exorbitant prices that were being offered for them, the Bluelander tribes found themselves in possession of great wealth, and less warriors on the islands to protect it. Realizing they could better protect and use this wealth if they were more united, many of the tribes began to unite under common banners, eventually leading to the establishment of holds. These holds were ruled by a laird from one of the member tribes of the hold chosen by a council made up of one elder from each tribe that made up the hold. This council also advised the laird in decisions he had to make. Each hold ranged in tribal membership from six tribes to as many as fifteen tribes. Altogether, there ended up being five holds across the Bluelander islands, and each one rapidly developed thanks to the pooled funds of its tribes. The holds still kept friendly relations, and trade flourished between them. The road system was made even more extensive, and each hold had a militia whose members rotated with returning mercenaries. The holds each had a central city, where the wealth of all of the member tribes was kept, as well as the majority of the militia.
First Steps Towards Unification
This system of five individual holds was sustained for many years, until eventually, in the early 1300's, the lairds of the three central holds, Goldpeak, Brasshearth, and Mournridge, began to seriously discuss the unification of their holds into a single country for purposes of economy, defense, and mercenary services. The three lairds met on Anvil Isle in the hold of Goldpeak to discuss the potential future of a unified nation. Over time, as the meetings between Anvil Isle became home to a thriving city with the Stones of Kilrigg at its center. When plans were finally in place to form a united nation from the three holds, this city was the easy choice for a capital. The city was named Forgeheim, and became the economic, military, and governmental seat of the newly founded nation of Ruskayn. The governments of the three holds merged together, with the council of elders from each hold forming one large council, and the three lairds joining together to lead the unified nation. This new unity obviously didn't go over entirely well with all of the members of the holds, and several of the tribes denied the rule of the new government and announced their independence from the new nation.
The Four Day War
The first act of the newly founded Ruskayn was to send messengers to the tribes that had refused to acknowledge the authority of the fledgeling united government requesting them to rethink their actions