Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska
The Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, known as the Kingdom of Haense or simply Haense (New Marian: Haenz; Raevir: Henzija), is a unitary state ruled under a semi-feudal constitutional monarchy, composed of two crown regions known as Hanseti and Ruska, and ruled by a single individual known as the king. Its current capital is New Reza, one of the largest human cities in Arcas, which is situated in the southern borders of the kingdom, nestled upon Lake Milena and surrounded by the Haeseni lowlands. Excluding the dense urban area of the capital, the rest of the nation is mostly rural with its denizens spread out across the forests and highlands. Excluding the industrial southern reaches, most of the land is in control of nobility sprawled out in numerous villages and fortresses dotting the northern hinterlands.
Both Hanseti and Ruska have existed since antiquity, yet were not unified till 1578, when Emperor John III granted Duke Peter royal pedigree and autonomous vassalage. Since then, Haense has existed both as an independent nation and vassal state to the Holy Orenian Empire, to which it is currently swears its fealty as of 1738. The current monarch of Haense is Josef I, who is the ninth member of the House of Bihar and the seventeenth descendent of the Barbanov dynasty to rule the Kingdom. The monarch of Haense delegates powers to and is advised by the Duma of Haense, a mixed body of lords and elected councilors acting as a legislature for passing laws and regulations across the realm, represented to the king by the Herzen of the Duma. The military is maintained by a standing force known as the Brotherhood of Saint Karl, led by a supreme commander called the Herzen Markyal (Common: Lord Marshal) and has retained a strong focus on cavalry forces. In times of war, levies are drawn up from the estates of the nobility to act as auxillaries in the army.
Haense is primarily composed of Highlanders, with the realm itself boasting to be the Realm of All Highlanders. The largest ethnicity and dominant people are the Haeseni, a mixed Almanno-Raevir people forming following the unions of Hanseti and Ruska, with sizeable minorities of Hunnicians, the modern non-Haesenified Raevir remaining in Haense, Waldenians, a branch of the Hansetians claiming descent from the nascent Kingdom of Aesterwald, Adrians, a mixed Raevo-Auvergenian people of Heartlander stock, many former refugees of the Sacking of Ves in 1719, and the Old Almannir, remnants of the non-Haesenified Hansetians claiming direct descent from the mythical Almannir people. The state religion of Haense is Canonism, with a strong emphasis on Prophet Sigmund. Haense boasts a vast collection of patrons and saint from its stock, the most important including Saint Charles of Haense, Saint Otto the Bald, and Saint Henry of Bihar.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 2.1 Background - Late Vydran and Early Johannian Period (1491–1578)
- 2.2 Late Johannian and Early Pertinaxian Period (1578–1655)
- 2.3 Pertinaxian Period (1655-1720)
- 2.4 Contemporary Period (1720-present)
- 3 Culture and society
- 4 Politics
- 5 Geography
- 6 Coat of Arms
The official name of the state is the Dual Monarchy of the Kingdoms of Hanseti and Ruska (New Marian: Kongzem Edaeleo ag Kusoraev; Raevir: Krolovesto Hanzeja i Ruski; High Imperial: Regnum Edelae et Raevii), which is mainly used in official documentation and legal edicts. The most common forms used are the High Imperial form and its New Marian form, while the Raevir form is rarely if ever used. Other names include the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, used by other historians and foreign writers, the Kingdom of Haense, widely used by its own inhabitants, or just simply Haense when used in mundane conversation.
Less regarded names include Jrotheo Kongzem (literally, Joren's Kingdom), denoting the kingdom's claim as a successor of Joren Horenson's canonical northern realm and the Lands of Exalted Sigismund, an early Imperial name given to the northern lands under Emperor John I.
- See also: Culture and History
Background - Late Vydran and Early Johannian Period (1491–1578)
Haense's foundation is rooted in the first settlement of Raevir in Hanseti- namely in Ayr, Hiebenhall, and Drakenborg- during the waning years of the Schism War in the 1490s, when the ruling Waldenian kingdom began to crumble and Raev kossak bands took control of a vast majority of the country-side. Vanderfell, the capital of Aesterwald, would fall in 1492 to officially end the Schism War, and in its remnants a puppet state was formed under a Hansetian governor known as Otto Heinzreich. However, the nobility was almost completely replaced by newly arrived Raevir lords, such as the Barbanovs and the Kovachevs, and eventually Otto Heinzreich would be later succeeded by a Raev himself, Karl Barbanov. Karl reorganized the state, forming a true ducal realm, and it was decided to be called ‘Haense’, after ‘Hanseh’, from the biblical name of the Joren’s first and capital city during his conquests of the northmen. Karl therefore became the first ‘Duke of Haense’, a title which has suck upon the Barbanov familial holdings for generations.
In these early years, the focus was the Third Human-Dwarf War, and the Duchy of Haense became a warzone. Scattered throughout former Waldenian realm lied numerous dwarven outposts, and control of the mining and lumber industries became vital to both side’s war efforts. Famous battles include the Siege of Drakenborg and Karl’s Capture of Hiebenhall, which marked the end of dwarven occupation in the highlander realm. Hiebenhall was reconstructed into Siegrad, the first de jure capital of a Haeseni realm, and it prospered to trade on the rivers. Shortly after war ended, Karl launched new attacks upon the pagans deep in the hinterlands, pushing many out of the region (including future pagan settlers on the isle of Avar). Karl died in the Great Worm Attack of 1518, and the duchy continued into a regency led by the Hansetian Tarcell Othaman.
The War of the Ducal Coalition went into full swing following the Wett Massacre, and regent Tarcell declared for Duke Hugo Sarkozic in his bid for kingship. For majority of the war Tarcell remained near Haense, defending against numerous attempts at an invasion. Karl’s son Siguine reached of age near the middle of the war, and when Hugo died mere months after his fourteenth nameday, he was elected the Duke of Adria and Lord Paramount of the Coalition. Many Haeseni soldiers followed Siguine south to Brelus, where Siguine suffered defeats both at the Blackwald then Barrowyk. Brelus soon after was sacked and destroyed by royalist forces, and the Ducal Coalition admitted surrender the following day.
Despite this, Tarcell remained stubborn in rebellion and continued to be defiant till his untimely death a year after in 1522. The Haeseni soldiers, now without a leader, fell quickly to an Orenian company led by the northman Jan Kovachev, who later was granted a fair majority of Haense’s ducal lands. This status quo did not remain long, however, and the Horen Restoration in 1526 saw Haense once again reorganized into the rump state of Carnatia, given to the Sarkozic-claimant Otto Sarkozic. The imperial reformations gave a short spurt of peace in the hinterlands, but soon it once again came to disorder. Throughout previous empires, there has been at least one form of autonomous highlander state, and many looked who it would be led by. The hinterlands during this were split three-way- Carnatia, the heartlander-controlled Courland, and the Horen principality of Alamar. The Duke of Carnatia and Viscount of Alamar came to an agreement known as the Sigismund’s Day Compromise, to form an autonomous realm with the emperor as king. However, they did not include the Duke of Courland, and the proposed government never came to be.
The Eighteen Years’ War stretched a good majority of this time, which gained the mixed Raevir-Hansetian Carnatians a military tradition. Two of the war’s most famous commanders, Jan Kovachev and Josef Vladov, came from their ilk. The Capture of Avar under Josef Vladov was also a celebrated success in Carnatia, and the company known as the Carnatian Hussar gained rapid fame throughout the imperial army. What became now known as ‘the Northern Question’ ripped apart relations between the two power-houses of the hinterlands, Haense and Courland. The return of the Barbanov-claimant Petyr to Carnatia and the Duke of Courland’s illegal seizure of Kraken’s Watch (a fief owned by the Vanir family) sparked the bloody Riga War. Command was given to Petyr Barbanov, supported by talented commanders such as Jan Kovachev, Fiske Vanir, and the later Palatine Rickard Barrow. The war ended in a Haeseni victory at the Sacking of Riga in 1564. Petyr look the position of Lord Governor of the North by the imperial government, and he helped lead the pacification of the Krajian Rebellion from 1565 to 1576.
Haense’s most famous victories during the entirety of the Anarchy include the Sacking of Riga, which ended the Riga War, the Battle of Krajia in 1570, raiding and looting the de facto capital of the hetmans, and the Standoff at Eroch River, where Rickard Barrow bravely saved the imperial crown prince. Only two years after the submission of the hetmans, Petyr was granted the crowns of both Hanseti and Ruska, to which he called after his ducal seat: ‘Haense’. Historians consider this the founding moments of what is to be the ‘Haeseni people’, a culture that is not wholly Raevir or Hansetian.
War of the Timbers
See also: Dukes' War
See also: Horen Restoration
Late Johannian and Early Pertinaxian Period (1578–1655)
With now total legal control over most of the hinterlands, Haense expanded immensely. New fortifications, villages, cities, and estates were constructed throughout the valleys of the Greyspine. New Marian was adopted as the official tongue of the nation (though Raev Iliyric was still used in rare occasions). Karlsborg was constructed as a planned city under the direction of Rickard Barrow, designated to be a true Haeseni royal capital. He also designed the palace of Ottostadt, the first home of the royal family. Petyr only ruled for four years, and though it was a large blow to the nation, his popular son Andrik II took the throne. Haense continued to blossom and thrive, its population boomed, and its culture thrived.
In 1585, Andrik II was supposedly disrespected by the reigning emperor at the time, John IV. In rage, he killed the emperor, then fled north to commence the short-lived Deep Cold Uprising. It ended quickly in 1586 by a pro-Imperialist faction led by Sergey Kovachev, the Duke of Carnatia, and he forced Andrik II to abdicate to his infant son Marius. Andrik was later captured by the veterans of the Carnatian Hussar, and he was boiled in milk by the insane emperor Philip. Andrik’s brother and Marius’ uncle Karl Sigmar took power as regent, and unlike his father and elder brother, he could not rally the nobility behind him. His centralization efforts with the military was an intense struggle, and numerous lords were placed in power due to personal relations with the monarchy rather than true talent. By Marius’ accession as king in 1598, the nobility forced him out of court.
The nobility of the time was controlled by two main factions- the Sergeyists and the Andrivists, who quarreled for control. A small royalist faction under Stefan Bihar and later Lukas Vanir existed, though it struggled to keep the peace maintained between both sides. Throughout all the political turmoil, Haeseni culture continued into its golden age, producing countless works and the creation of the first proper Haeseni language, known as New Marian. Marius attempted nationalization of his country, and he reached some success, and continued the vast effort of colonizing the Haeseni hinterlands. He founded countless cities, roads, and forts, though majority soon after left abandoned following the coming war.
A few short rebellions, such as the Brawn Rebellion in 1600, but the nation resumed a tenuous peace. To the south, the empire had fallen to the Coalition Wars, and was divided amongst the ruling warlords. Due to multiple diplomatic blunder, include the Haeseni councilor Diedrik Barrow’s murder of one of their princes entered Haense into the First Northern War. The military of Haense at this was disorganized and weak, the blunder of Branimar Vanir’s command taken its toll. Both at the battles of Elba and Vasiland, Haense experienced bloody defeat, and soon the monarchy of Marius left in exile to an allied court.
The loss of the nation is perhaps one of the greatest forces which bonded the now divided Haeseni people, when occupied by Heartlander warlords. Much of the nobility fled to the southern city of Mardon, where Marius made his court-in-exile. The lower nobility and minor landowners stayed, however, and there grew a great friction between the highlander natives and now newly-arriving heartlander colonists. In a pact led by the Count of Ayr, Eirik Baruch, and the Rutherns of Metterden, short incursions began, which soon spread wildfire throughout the former Haeseni realm. The exiled government soon took interested, and now in leadership of Stefan Barbanov, they met at the climax of the Second Battle of the Rothswood, where the occupier’s army was annihilated, chased by the soldiers of Harren van Metterden.
The first true Karovic duma in years began, and the Karovic houses met to choose a new king. The Ruthern, a primary combatant in the war, wanted their own as king, yet the royalist faction wished for a return of the Barbanovs. In a landslide victory, Stefan won and was elected king, appointed numerous famous officials such as Henrik Bihar and Alessa Grendok. In the beginning, raids by the western pagans were common, though after the brief Battles of Rostig and Alban, they halted further incursions. Palatine Henrik Bihar oversaw the construction of the new capital of Alban (the former Karlsborg was destroyed following the war) and vast reforms spread throughout the state. Despite imperial losses to the south, the Haense state militarily rebounded dramatically, and due to the Pruvian Inheritance the economy boomed. Alban thrived under Stefan and his two successors, Otto I and Otto II, and Haense continued to maintain themselves as one of the dominant powers in the human realms. Barbanov grew to become a wealthy family not only in terms of their own realm and came to exhibit strong influence.
Otherwise in the brief conflicts on the Vasiland Coast during the War of the Beards in the Siege of Kraken’s Watch in 1635, Haense remained relatively peaceful, while the south was rocked by scandals such as the Adelburg Coup. Otto II joined the Third Crusade, helping remove the pagan threats to the west, and constructed the new capital, known to the present day as Markev. When his son Otto III took the throne, he greatly expanded both Markev and his new palace of Krepost. However, the cultural golden age was running on fumes, and as tensions increased between the heartlander states and Haense, war came to everyone’s mind. For a decade, no conflict happened, though intense diplomatic meetings did not help the situation. In 1653, conflict broke, and while initial successes were had, the Curon front was decimated by their opponents. Belvitz, one of the main trading partners with Markev and the main breadbasket of humanity, was cut off by embargo from the Horen crown. By 1654, the capital of Markev experienced famine and later the Great Plague of 1654, which decimated the populace. Both Otto III and his heir (though on mysterious circumstances) died due to this plague, which left the realm to his second son Karl II.
Deep Cold Uprising
See also: Deep Cold Uprising
Coalition Wars and Occupation
See also: Greyspine Rebellion
Pertinaxian Period (1655-1720)
The death of Otto III brought about an end to the War of the Czena, and Haense's influence in world affairs diminished greatly. Disease and war had dramatically reduced the kingdom's population and disrupted trade through the capital of Markev, nearly destroying the economy of the kingdom. Karl II, secondborn son of the previous King, sought to revive his nation and ensure the survival of his people against northern threats. With the de facto dissolution of the Czena Confederation, the kingdom was essentially isolated diplomatically from the remaining Canonist realms of Curon and Santegia. This isolation forced Karl to join the United Southern Alliance, which consisted of the Kingdom of Norland and the Sohaerate of Haelun'or, in the fight against the Northern Atlas Alliance led by Renatus-Marna. The war ended in defeat for the USA, the dissolution of the alliance, and the annexation of the Kingdom of Norland. Haense found itself alone again, and went into total isolation as Karl attempted to recuperate from the losses of the previous decade.
Karl would die from disease only a year after the war, thereby ending the royal mainline from Petyr's firstborn son, Andrik. This left Prince Robert Sigismund as the heir to the throne as the next eldest surviving Barbanov male. Many within the royal court were displeased by this however, worrying that Robert would attempt to drastically reduce the power of the nobility and further the centralization that had begun under Stephen I. Franz II, younger brother of Robert, hoped to decentralize the kingdom and seized the throne for himself in a bloodless coup in 1666. Franz would not rule for long, being captured and executed by Renatian mercenaries during his coronation ceremony only a few months after taking power. Franz left no heirs, prompting a regency council under Lord Karolus to take charge of the Kingdom while Sigmar, firstborn son of Robert, was not of age to rule. Karolus, a relatively minor noble within the kingdom, was blessed with wealth as a result of his businesses in Markev. His wealth however, was threatened by the continued southern incursions of Renatus-Marna, and the regent hoped to end the ongoing embargoes and open the Czena river again to trade. To this end, Karolus used Franz's execution as an excuse to join the Staunton Uprising, again bringing Haense into direct conflict with Renatus-Marna. The war was highly unpopular among the Haeseni people, and many protested against the regent and his government.
When Sigmar came of age in 1669, his first act was to dismiss Lord Karolus, who had been expecting to be granted the position of Palatine given his time as regent, and replaced him with the learned Lord Matyas Colborn. Sigmar immediately began negotiations with Renatus-Marna, signing a ceasefire treaty and thereby ending the war. Under Sigmar, Haense would eventually recognize King Aurelius of Renatus-Marna as Emperor Aurelius of the newly formed Empire of Man and swear fealty under the Empire. With the security provided by their new liege, Haense was able to recover from the many losses of the previous decades. Sigmar loosened restrictions placed on the nobility by previous kings, granting them land for farming and settling. With peace also came a lifting of the many trade embargoes placed against the kingdom, and Haense's economy slowly began to heal. This peace and prosperity continued after Sigmar's passing and into his son Robert I's reign. There continued to be anti-Renatian factions within the royal court, though they lacked any actual standing and influence within the court.
Robert's reign was largely peaceful, with the exception of the three year long Third Atlas Coalition War following the rebelling of the Barony of Arberrang, and Haense continued to grow economically and militarily, quickly rising as a world power. Following the kingdom's migration to the continent of Arcas, Robert oversaw the construction of the new capital of Reza and its subsequent rise as one of the world's most populous cities. His son, Marius II, attempted to emulate his father but instead found himself ensnared by many controversial decisions. He had been elected Duke of Adria by the Adrian Duma, yet allowed Imperials to burn and pillage the Adrian city of Ves. During his rule, the bloody War of Two Emperors broke out, and Marius chose to swear fealty to Emperor Joseph I. Despite initial success, the Orenian defeat at the Siege of Helena broke the fragile alliance holding Joseph's empire together and Haense again found itself alone against its many enemies. Marius would soon after be assassinated and, with the heir Andrik still being a child, the kingdom would be led by Prince Regent Georg Stanimar, who continued the fight against the Empire of Renatus. Georg's capture and execution by Renatian soldiers would cause Lord Lerald Vyronov to take over the regency and make peace with Renatus by swearing fealty to Emperor Godfrey II.
War of the Czena
See also: War of the Czena
Atlas Coalition War
See also: Atlas Coalition War
See also: Staunton Uprising
Third Atlas Coalition War
See also: Third Atlas Coalition War
War of Two Emperors
See also: War of Two Emperors
Contemporary Period (1720-present)
The war had caused massive loss for the Kingdom. Many of its military and political leaders were killed, and the great houses were led primarily by children who had yet to come of age. As the Kingdom prepared to rebuild in their newfound status as vassals of Oren, Godfrey II fell ill and appointed his brother, the future emperor Achillius, as regent. Simultaneously, Andrik III came of age and was crowned as King. The Imperial regency period was a relatively peaceful one, and John was well-liked by the Haeseni people who saw him as a fair leader. It was during this time that the Pax Orenia was signed, a military alliance that united all the human kingdoms while not all ruled by a single monarch. Shortly after, Godfrey abdicated and Achillius was crowned as Emperor in 1724, taking the regal name John VII. The start of his reign coincided with rising tensions with the Under-Realm of Urguan over the Ruhnland mountain range. A treaty signed soon after the landing upon Arcas had designated the mountains as Urguanian territory, yet Imperial vassals had built a fortress on one of the mountains. All attempts at negotiation from the dwarves were shrugged off and, despite protests from the Haeseni people, the Empire found itself at war.
The war saw no major battles or sieges however as, shortly after its declaration, John VII fell into madness and declared the Empire a democracy before abdicating the throne. This was the start of what is now known as The Troubles, a period of political turmoil in which the future of humanity was uncertain. From the chaos, Adrian I claimed the Imperial throne through his Carrion lineage as well as his ties to the Johannian lineage, and was recognized by the Under-Realm and most Imperial vassals. At the same time, Charles I, Prince of Alstion claimed the Imperial throne via his Johannian lineage. Adrian quickly signed a treaty of white peace with the dwarves and moved to consolidate his hold on the Imperial throne. Haense was quick to support Adrian, given his Carrion roots and the coming marriage between Andrik and a Tuvyic lady. Charles quickly lost the support of his people, and agreed to hold a diet with the human monarchs, where it was decided that neither Adrian nor Charles would hold the throne, but rather Alexander of Alstion, the great-grandson of the Emperor Peter II.
See also: Three-Month War
See also: The Troubles
Culture and society
The Kingdom of Haense revolves around the Highlander culture, this is reflected in the appearance, language and uses of its citizens.
Haeseni Chess Is an often played game, it has a varied set of rules depending on the house but the royal standard is commonly the one picked between friends.
The Diocese of Jorenus is the official title held by the Haeseni Archbishopric.
The Church of the Canon is the official religion of the kingdom.
The Cult of Sant Sigmund is a cult situated in the kingdom.
The Aulic Council is a form of Privy Council, with the members being chosen by his Majesty the King of Hanseti-Ruska. The Lord Palatine acts as the head of the Aulic Council, and advises the King on staffing it.
The Current Aulic Council is as follows:
- His Excellency the Lord Palatine, Sir Konstantin Wick
- His Excellency the Lord Speaker, Sir Osvald Barclay
- His Excellency the Lord Marshal, Duke Erwin Barclay
- His Excellency the Lord Justiciar, Wilhelm Vyronov
- His Excellency the High Seneschal, Mio Mackensen
- His Excellency the Lord Treasurer, Edvard Amador
- His Excellency the Royal Curator, Bishop Benedict
Historically, Haense has primarily (and currently does) maintained a centralized army, led either by the Lord Marshal or another figure. The army is split into different branches (infantry, cavalry, rangers, etc.) with each branch having a distinct purpose in the army. In times of war or other crisis, citizens from the capital city are drafted and equipped by the army to act as auxiliary units. While noble levies no longer exist, nobility may still join the army and serve in the defense of the Kingdom.
Succession of the throne
Haense follows male-preference primogeniture succession, with all children of the monarch able to inherit with preference given to sons. The son of the current King would be next in line to the throne. Should the monarch bear no sons, then the monarch's daughters shall inherit. If there are no daughters, then the monarch's brother shall inherit, and his sons and daughters after him. If the monarch has no brothers, then his sister shall inherit, and her children henceforth. If the house of Barbanov-Bihar should go extinct, then the Crown shall pass to the House of Barbanov-Alimar.
The succession of the Royal Throne is maintained in the House of Barbanov, which itself is derived from King Peter I, whom derives his line from Emperor Alexander I, son of Emperor Tobias I. Therefore, the House of Barbanov stems from the direct line of the Prophet Sigismund.
The Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska lies to the north of the Cloud Temple in Arcas, its southern border situated between the Kingdom of Cascadia and the Republic of Ves. The kingdom stretches far up into the northern reaches of the continent with feudal vassals having keeps in the Almannir highlands and along the Iron coast. The nation mostly consisting of large plain fields and waste forests.
Coat of Arms
The royal coat of arms consists of 16 quarterings and symbolises the two kingdoms under one king, and its roots. The iron crown and shackles depicted recognises the roots from Saint Joren of Paradisius, the first King of the Highlanders, who was locked away by his brother Harren to claim his land. Houses Kovachev and Carrion are also depicted, with Carrion being the parent house of Kovachev. The golden crow on black represents Tuvic, a link to the Holy Orenian Emperor Alexander I, further highlighting the strong connections between the Holy Orenian Empire and the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. Other arms depicted include those of Ostrovic, Rovin of Ayr, and Hanseti.
The royal blazon was as follows:
- Quarterly, first and fourth quartered: first and fourth Sable a crow Or (for Tuvic); second Gules a crow Sable (for Carrion); third reversed party per pall: first Gules a phoenix Argent (for Ostrovic), second Sables two griffin rampant Gules (for Kovachev), and third Or eagle Sable with Argent bend (for Rovin of Ayr). Second and third party per pale: first party per fess: first Or a eagle Sable (for Ayr), second Argent a teutonic cross Sable against Or (for Hanseti); and second Azure a circlet Argent above broken shackles (of Saint Joren of Paradisius). For a crest, a circlet Or, jewelled with five breeches of bear or oyster plant leaves, three shown, with Lorraine cross Or and gems Azure on points Or inserted (the Hanseti-Ruska royal crown). For supporters angels Argent.