|Expert||Dia, Kelne (?)|
| constitutional monarchy|
||The Doman people begin to settle north of the Ridhon River (273 B.T.); Riva wins its independence from Doma (111 B.T.)|
|Official Religion||no official religion; various interpretations of Ishtarian worship are popular|
|RPer Kelne has active plottings in this country; any suggestions on the largest city or flag design would be appreciated! As would proofreading of this guide (it's old).|
- 1 Briefly
- 2 History
- 3 Today: current events
- 4 Miscellany
- 5 See Also
Up until 1310, Riva was under military rule. In that year, a relatively bloodless revolution was been staged, and a new government--led by Emperor Redwyn--was created. 'Emperor' is an apparently misleading title, however--Redwyn is, seemingly, only interested in good relations with his neighbors.
Currently, Riva is experiencing civil strife between those who support the old government and those supporting the new. The Rivan dragoons lead those who support the old government--others support the new government, which is promising relief from the economic hardships of Riva's more recent past. The new government considers the dragoons as little more than brigands, as well as a threat to peaceful intra- and international relations.
That really isn't too harsh an evaluation of the Rivan dragoons--while they work in the name of the goddess of healing, Ishtar, they actually hunt and slaughter the very dragons from whom they derive their power. An extremely disorganized group, many dragoon factions enjoy raiding Rivan towns to collect 'taxes,' and some even raid Doman towns along the border.
There is no official religion of Riva. The former official religion was the Church of Ishtar.
- 273 B.T. -- The Doman people begin to settle north of the Ridhon River.
- 196 B.T. -- By this year, Lancers had become socially recognized as a skilled group, and it became common for Domans north of the Ridhon River to formally train in Lancer skills. These Lancers became a skilled military force that helped the settlers fight off monsters native to Rivan terrain.
- 111 B.T. -- The Doman lands north of the Ridhon River win their independence from Doma, and choose the name Riva for their new country.
- 102 B.T. -- The first of the government-endorsed skirmishes between Riva and Doma break out along the border. Several more follow in its wake, for the next several decades, interspersed by sporadic periods of peace.
- 97 B.T. -- Ryuugami makes a pact with the Rivan lancers; she granted them some of her powers, while the lancers would worship her and protect her dragons. Lancers became known as dragoons at this time.
- 0 [zero] E.P. [era of Peace] -- Riva and Doma, having grown to be the two major powers of eastern Igala, sign a peace treaty. This treaty is supposed to usher in a new era of unending peace on Igala under the auspices of the two nations. To honor this, Riva and Doma adopt a new way of dating years, based on the year the treaty was signed. Anytime before that year would eventually come to be referred to as B.T., or before the treaty.
- 661 E.P -- Ryuugami destroys her physical body to create a pool of energy for her worshippers to call upon, before leaving Gaera to visit other dimensions' dragon gods.
- 1141 E.P. -- Ryuugami's energy becomes scarce, causing mild unrest in the Rivan dragoons; however, most dragoons remain loyal.
- 1260 E.P -- Conspiracy against Solasian government starts. This turmoil drains the last of Ryuugami's energies. Coinciding with this, the Rivan dragoons at large have abandoned their pact with Ryuugami.
- 1263 E.P. -- Opportunists amongst the ranks of the Rivan dragoons, lead by Sandy Milar, begin using a twisted translation of the Ishtarian Texts to justify massive genocide of dragons and dragonkind. This movement begins in the north of the country.
- 1265 E.P -- Riva seizes parts of Solasian land as their government fails, and achieves present-day borders.
- 1309 E.P -- Griffon Tessei Iikaraki campaigns to war with Riva.
- 1310 E.P -- Tessei's war fails. Emperor Redwyn's forces gain swift and complete control of the country of Riva.
An indeterminate number of years following the original founding of Doma, Doman settlers had spread from the Shuman Mountains to the east coast. Doman lands also stretched from roughly 45 degrees northern latitude up to the banks of the Ridhon River. In the wake of several failed attempts at settling the lands south of 45N (now aptly named The Forbidden Plains), Doma was eager to claim new lands to the north.
However, these lands were quite different from the existing lands of Doma, being heavily forested and densely populated with many dangerous and less-than-friendly creatures. Thusly, the royal family and a few of the more profit-oriented noble families hired the less fortunate and sent peasants and indentured servants to do the work of taming the northern lands.
It was not an easy task, but with time, much of the new land was settled. The populations of unfriendly beasties were drastically reduced, while forests were cleared for farming. The land turned out to be extremely fertile, and in time the larger part much of the Doman agricultural activity shifted up north. With time, a significant part of the produce consumed throughout Doma was grown in the northern lands.
Unrest is only a matter of time, however, and early Doma was no exception. The settlers in the north soon grew discontent with the rule by the Doman royal family, and desired to be a separate nation.
Knowing all too well of the pride of the royal family, however, the dissatisfied settlers formed a council and drew up a letter. Said letter detailed their unhappiness with their current government and humbly requested the right to start their own. It also rather unsubtlely stated that, if their request was not met, the settlers would revolt. They were certain, of course, that the Doman family would give due consideration to an independent state, especially as an open conflict and revolt would set a poor example for other peasants of the nation, not to mention cut off the larger part of Doma's produce supply.
The Doman family was none too happy about the letter and its demands, of course, but the threats contained therein were all too real. Too keep the matter quiet and avoid as much attention as was possible, the government reluctantly gave into their demands, but only after forcing them to agree to certain conditions which were highly favorable to Doma. Perhaps the most important of these demands, historically, was to stipulate that Doma would retain control of the Ridhon River; this hard-bargained right later had a large impact on Doman economy, in the form of significant revenues from fishing and transport.
Despite the mixed victory, the fledgling country was nevertheless proud. They decided on the name of Riva for their lands, and created Igala's first republic. Despite hard feelings with their southern neighbor which persisted for many decades, trade between the two nations prevailed, quickly building up Riva's economy and eventually breaking down traditional prejudices amongst the general populace.
Lancers and dragoons
In truth, there was extra reason as to why the Doman government gave in to the Rivan demands, beyond the issues of revolt and trade. While both Doman and Rivan histories neglect to mention it (and thusly not all historians give credit to the story), it is generally accepted amongst scholarly circles (and is, in actuality, true) that the Rivans used their military force to exert extra pressure on the throne.
The military force in question--known at the time as lancers--had humble, and indeed almost comical, beginnings with pitchfork- and staff-wielding peasants. As the settlers fought for their lives against the less friendly of native Rivan beasts, however, general skill in using lance-type weapons increased as a necessity. While preparing for breaking away from Doma, it is also speculated that the settlers began training even more militantly in anticipation of probable conflict.
Given that the lancers had such a prominent influence on the beginnings of Riva, there are many possible explanations suggested as to why they are curiously left absent from Doman and Rivan histories. The actual reasons, however, can be simply described as Doman pride and Rivan prudence.
Despite the pretense that lancers were not prominent in the independence of Riva, Rivan history clearly shows their prominence in Riva's culture from day one. Immediately after the country's founding, the main military force consisted of lancers, only later to be supplemented by other types of fighters and mages. Training in lancing became increasingly more advanced, until such time that lancers were highly trained individuals which much of the nation idolized and revered.
Advances in lancing skills and techniques developed by leaps and bounds at first, but eventually slowed to a crawl. However, there was once again an outburst of advances, at the time when the phrase dragoon came into being, eventually completely replacing the older phrase, lancer.
Today, the reason for this particular switch in vocabulary is unknown, and generally attributed to the normal progression and evolution of language. The real explanation, however, lies in an old legend, which has long been discredited by skeptics and largely forgotten by historians.
Simply put, the goddess of dragons, Ryuugami, was fascinated with the lancers of Riva and their curious choice to model their armor after dragons (one of the few non-hostile native creatures of their new land). Eventually, she and the lancers made a deal; Ryuugami agreed to lend powers and good health to faithful lancers, and in exchange, said lancers would worship her, and (naturally) help defend and aid the dragonkind of the area.
After the pact with Ryuugami, the lancers officially took up the name of dragoons, and faithfully upkept their side of the deal. A problem arose later, however, when Ryuugami decided to take leave of Gaera to visit other dimensions.
Proud of her dragoons, generally pleased with how they turned out, and confident in their ability to defend dragonkind, Ryuugami created a well of power for her worshippers to call upon in her absence. The manner in which she created the power is largely unknown, but it is now known that it included the destruction of her physical body.
However, unexpected turmoil in the largely dragonkind nation of Solasia, to the north of Riva, created an unforeseen complication for Ryuugami's plan. Unrest and infighting amongst the Solasians, as well as stirred suspicions amongst the dragoons of Riva, created a rush on Ryuugami's store of power, effectively depleting it within short order. Prayers to Ryuugami not only went unanswered, but calls on her power began to turn up nothing. Disillusioned and discontent, the Rivans turned away from their worship of Ryuugami. It would have stayed at that.
Perhaps it was Sandy Milar, a noted Solasian agitator, or perhaps it was someone else entirely, but soon it wasn't enough that the dragoons abandoned their pact with Ryuugami. In record time, hatred and self-righteousness were aroused, and revenge against Ryuugami and dragonkind became the goal of many dragoons. Select dragoon sects began to mercilessly hunt and slaughter all dragonkind they encountered, driving them out of Riva.
Where the corrupted teachings of Ishtar came from, no one is certain. Soon, however, the dragoons began using a twisted passage from the Ishtarian Texts to justify their actions. Revenge was explained in religion, and genocide of dragonkind became the holy cause and all-encompassing passion of an ever-increasing number of dragoons. To reach their goal more easily, the dragoons soon took control of the weak Rivan republic, and began their full-scale persecution.
Dragoons and citizens who disagreed with the new government and its policies were handled in a brutal, militant fashion. History books and records were eventually rewritten or destroyed, erasing all favorable accounts of dragonkind, and the story of the pact with Ryuugami was labeled as black lies of an insidiously evil species. The story of the pact quickly shifted from common knowledge to whispered legend, and then from whispered legend to forgotten myth.
While Riva was switching governments, Solasia fell into ruins from within. Riva gained new lands from the tragedy, ruthlessly expanding their border to the Val'ri River.
This point in Rivan history marks the start of recent civil unrest within Riva which persists until today. It also marks the decline in Riva power and prominence in Igala.
Today: current events
The militants in charge of running Riva--while originally popular--were largely inept, and Riva's economy quickly fell into ruin, thanks to mismanagement of resources and poor international relations. Riva barely kept peace with Doma by means of a hurried treaty, and was lucky enough to be ignored by Valth in light of the Valthi Civil War.
While xenophobia and a general hatred of nonhumans persisted amongst the Rivan citizenry, discontent with the current government and the military government grew, until small revolts across the nation became a matter of fact. To add to their troubles, the dragoons also were trying to contend with errant factions amongst their ranks, as well. It is not surprising, then, in retrospect, that when a new military force came into Riva, the country was overtaken with very little fighting or bloodshed. After about 80 years of military rule of Riva by the dragoons, Emperor Redwyn seized control of the nation, and is working hard to get the country back into shape.
Today, Riva is not the most stable of countries by far. The new government--a constitutional monarchy--is disliked by some citizens, but generally preferred over the previous military rule. The ousted dragoons are, needless to say, very discontent with the new government and still work to regain their power. Emperor Redwyn's administration is too busy struggling to re-establish the economy and forge favorable relationships with his neighboring countries to deal with the dragoons for the time being. This could be a fatal mistake on the part of the new government.
Compared to the most recent past, there is relative peace in Riva, but it is generally considered tenuous at best. Xenophobia and strong dislike of foreigners is still common policy even amongst the normal citizenry. The legend of Ryuugami is, naturally, completely unknown by most Igalans, especially Rivans.
Many questions abound, but what will happen to Riva, its dragoons, and its government can only be discovered with time.
The Republic of Riva is a somewhat triangular or boomerang shaped country north of Doma, separated from its southern neighbor by the Ridhon River. On its northwestern border are the Shuman Mountains, and on the east are the Val'ri Sea, the Val'ri Bay, and the Val'ri River. The Val'ri River is what officially separates the small section of land between Riva and Valth, although in that particularly cold, mountainous region near Hell's Peak, few Rivans nor Valthi find themselves inhabiting the land.
Contrasting with its southern neighbor, Doma, Riva is not known for its diversity and welcoming nature. Like Valth to the east, political instability has been the rule for some time. Rivan instability has been entirely less organized than that of Valth, however, with leadership--when it exists--switching hands again and again, and uncertainty ruling the populace. Religion plays as large role in Riva's problems as it did in Riva's founding.
Riva has the Rivan gil, which comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500.
Rivan gil are small, round, metal coins which are differentiated by metal, ridging, size, and thickness. They are most commonly referred to by their value.
- 1 - (1 gil) small, copper alloy with smooth edges
- 5 - (5 gil) large copper alloy with heavily ridged edges
- 10 - (10 gil) larger nickel alloy with smooth edges
- 25 - (25 gil) thick, smaller tin alloy with heavily ridged edges (very light coin)
- 50 - (50 gil) medium-sized brass alloy, alternating smooth and ridged sections of the edge
- 100 - (100 gil) small, thick gold coin with ridges placed moderately far apart
- 500 - (500 gil) medium-sized, thick gold coin with heavily ridged edges (heavy coin)
OOC notes for article revision
- May 2003 / On Riva
[IC time: 1313]
- "I've never portrayed them as Xenophobic so mush as distrustful of strangers, any strangers. This is because you never know who is with the dragoons. But, Trust can be established if you clearly aren't with them. Dragons tend to be shunned, as they draw the Dragoons if they stay around too long." -- Pervy
- "The capital and land laying around it is similar to Doma culturally, as it has the most influence from the new government. The predominant race is still human, but it is relatively safe for other races to at least be there.
"The land in the center of the country is very flat and largely filled with farms: along the west it's hilly as it is along the north; the east coast has rocky beaches for the most part (from slightly south of Rivaran on up; below it is sandy) and the water and winds from the Val'ri Sea are mostly mild.
"Rivans are much like bro said, but can vary from town to town. In parts of western Riva (i.e. Blarhg and around there), there are orcs who have decided to move in, in numbers. The orcs have brought business to the towns --and kept out dragoons-- so thus some of the people are slowly becoming more lenient on their views of outsiders and non-humans. Some parts of Riva are anti-magic as it is associated with non-humans, since several non-human races have natural affinities for the power.
"Dragoons camp out a lot along the northwest and northeast, and some very few along the southern border. They can be elsewhere, too, but they avoid the capital and southwestern Riva, unless they're very brave/stupid." -- Dia
- "I've recently had the Bloodied Blade faction active in Southwestern Riva, with a few holdings. They could easily have been recently taken holdings, though. I do recall the Bloodied Blade being one of the crazier clans out there, so it fits with that much." -- Pervy