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United Tribes of Rodoka and the Isles
Rodoka ja Saared Ühendhõimad (Rodokan)
Irínavi Žani Rodoka ne vat Vakani (Tavari)
Location of Rodoka and the Isles (dark green), including Vaalsaar in the east Cerenerian Ocean. (Inset to scale.)
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
|Human (Native Rodokan) 91%|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
• High Chief
• Presiding Chief
|Ivi Puna Laar|
|Legislature||National Diet of Rodoka|
• Settled by Native Rodokans
|cir. 900 - 1000 CE|
• Settled by Tavari
• Treaty of Sinajärv
|May 9th, 1634|
• Became Province
|August 19th, 2020|
• Independence via Ranat Accords
|June 6th, 2022|
|26,664.75 km2 (10,295.32 sq mi)|
• 2023 estimate
|GDP (nominal)||2022 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Tavari Našdat (TAN)|
|Time zone||Rodokan Standard Time (UTC -9)|
The United Tribes of Rodoka and the Isles, known more commonly as Rodoka, is a sovereign state located on the island Rodoka, south of Novaris and east of Meagharia. The Rodokan people are humans who migrated southward, ultimately from modern-day Mexregiona. From 1620 until 2022, Rodoka formed part of the Kingdom of Tavaris, first as an overseas dependency known as an unprovinced territory and then, from 2020 until its independence as part of the Ranat Accords, as a fully fledged province of Tavaris proper. The southern portion of the island of Rodoka continues to form the Tavari province of Rodoka. Rodoka and the Isles also includes the Isles of Kanor and the island of Vaalsaar, south of the Avtovati Isles of which it formed a part under Tavari administration, which from its initial settlement was home to a primarily Native Rodokan human population.
It is widely accepted that the island was uninhabited when the Rodokan people reached it some time between 900 CE and 1000 CE. However, centuries prior to the Rodokan arrival, the island had been settled by colonists from the Ietracian city-states of Sartos and Maridea. Ietracian settlers established two known cities: Oía on the northern branch of the island and Lébtis on the south. These settlements were abandoned in the early centuries of the first millennium, but ruins remained standing some eight centuries later when the Rodokans arrived. The two largest cities on Rodoka, the Rodokan capital of Sinajärv and Lantaž, capital of Tavari Rodoka, were built on the site of former Ietracian settlements. Ruins in Sinajärv in particular are well preserved, while most Ietracian stuctures in Lantaž were deconstructed for their stone and other materials during the construction of the initial Tavari settlement.
The Rodokans trace their origins to Mexregiona, in particular to the emigration of a group known as "dög-rokon," a Regic language term meaning "carrion-kindred." The dög-rokon were exiled by King Mekki, the first King of Mexregiona, for opposing his reign and remaining loyal to their previous religion centered around the worship of a whale deity. Evidence shows that they reached the area that is today Benesuolo somewhere between 600 BCE and 300 BCE, and then Vesienväl in the 1st century CE. In Vesienväl, now using the name "Rodokans" for the first time, they adopted the Vällic language before continuing southward. The Rodokan language, along with modern Vesienvällic, is a descendant of Vällic, which is itself descended from Asendavian and the other Gliat Shean languages. Oral tradition among the Rodokans gives the name Vaimsaar, meaning "Island of Ghosts," to the island now occupied by Meagharia, indicating they had some familiarity with it. The Rodokans are known to have been a very ocean-oriented culture and are believed to have been somewhat nomadic before they settled on the island of Rodoka, which they named after themselves.
There were some 400,000 Rodokans living on the island, many of them in the city of the same name located on the southern coast of the island, when explorers from Tavaris arrived in the year 1620. First contact is recorded as having been markedly friendly. By that time, the Rodokan people had established a government of some twenty loosely-confederated tribes whose chiefs acknowledged an elected High Chief as their leader. The Tavari agreed to settle in open land and traded with the Rodokans. Akronists led the Tavari settlement efforts with an interest in spreading the faith, and a vast majority of early Tavari settlers were Akronists. Akronists shared with the Rodokans a great spiritual and economic significance for the ocean, which was an early point of bonding for the two groups. While Akronists could not eat the meat of land animals, both could share in seafood, and both hunted whales and used whale oil products. As Rodoka has a drier climate than mainland Tavaris, with a distinct dry season, the exchange of different crops and agricultural products was an early bonding point between the cultures. Tavari rum, distilled from sugarcane, became very popular among the Rodokans, as they did not produce any distilled liquor. The Rodokans gave the Tavari the name "ruumkandja," meaning "rum-bearers." The first and largest Tavari settlement was Lantaž, meaning "paradise," that was settled on the coast approximately 1 Tavari monai (1.053 km) to the east of the Rodokan's largest settlement, also named Rodoka.
Relations between the Tavari and Native Rodokans remained cordial in the first years of Tavari settlement, but markedly declined in the year 1632. That year, an Akronist Temple was opened in the city of Rodoka after having been under construction since the Akronists first arrived. During the consecration ceremony, the High Chief at that time, Jürjo, is said to have brought a dead lamb to the Temple and offered it to the Akronists to eat - apparently intended as a joke. The bringing of a dead animal killed for sustenance into a temple was a grave desecration, which was made worse when blood and eventually the body of the lamb itself fell to the floor of the Temple. This event would cause an irreversible desecration of the building, and the Holy Ambassador representing the Matron at the service actually collapsed and died upon the lamb falling to the floor. The High Priestess of Rodoka, Ilara Lendreaž, ordered that High Chief Jürjo be killed to atone for the desecration. This would lead to the outbreak of violence between Akronists and the Native Rodokans.
The violence, which occurred largely in non-consecutive bursts between 1632 and 1634. However, in 1634, a significant fire broke out in the city of Lantaž (which had since expanded to subsume the city of Rodoka), burning down at least a third of the city and causing an estimated 10,000-20,000 deaths. The fire was started by the Milofites, a religious movement of people that journeyed to Novaris by boat after having been exiled from Durdneel (in what is now Sokala). The Milofites had been insulted by what they viewed as a grave heresy by the Akronists: women serving as clergy. On the day of the fire, Church guards killed Milofite leader Conor Foley. Some Milofites escaped the Akronists and fled to the island of Vaimsaar, navigated there by a Rodokan man named Shiimeon who would become known to the Milofites as Sherman. The island would later be known as Milofia, and then Meagharia. After the fire, the Akronist position was somewhat weakened, and there was great loss of life for both Tavari and Rodokan residents of the city. While the government of the Kingdom of Tavaris had largely ignored the situation in Rodoka, after the fire Queen Tínara I announced that the Akronist-led settlement was no longer tenable and that formal Tavari government would be imposed on the island.
In 1634, negotiators of the Tavari government and the Native Rodokan tribes came to an agreement known as the Treaty of Sinajärv, in which Tavaris formally annexed Rodoka. As part of the agreement, the Church of Akrona agreed to abolish its private security forces, and Tavaris assumed responsibility for protecting Akronist temples and property. The twenty Native Rodokan tribes were integrated into the Tavari system of clans known as Lines, and the Tavari monarch gained the title of High Chief of the Tribes of Rodoka. The Native Rodokans were granted territory on the island that was reserved for their exclusive use, and on that land they had the right to manage their own affairs. The Reserve is primarily on the northern "branch" of the island, but also includes non-contiguous tracts on the southern part of the island.
After the treaty, the Tavari government made a concerted effort to bring non-Akronist settlers to the island. Settlement increased gradually throughout the 17th century while Tavaris dealt with various wars with Bana. A brief conflict between Tavaris and Milofia occurred in 1713 when a Milofite invasion force destroyed the Ninth Fleet of the Royal Tavari Navy and invaded by land. Several settlements, the largest of which being Terevatís, were burned to the ground by the Milofites. A concerted joint effort by Tavari and Native Rodokan forces pushed the Milofites back and claimed the Isles of Kanor for Tavaris as a buffer. The cooperation between Tavari and Rodokan forces helped bring the Native Rodokans closer to Tavaris and cemented their place in Tavari history and culture.
Relations with the Church of Akrona
In the modern day, there remains some enmity between Native Rodokans and the Church of Akrona. However, many Native Rodokans are themselves Akronists. In 1992, shortly after the establishment of the RNTA, the Church of Akrona entered into negotiations for a package of reparations for Native Rodokans. On June 12th of 1992, 360 years to the day of the killing of Rodokan High Chief Jürjo by Akronists, the Church of Akrona formally apologized for his death and the death of the approximately 2,000 Native Rodokans who were killed in sectarian violence with Akronists.
—Zamana Kantašt, 35th Matron of the Church of Akrona, June 12th, 1992
In addition to the apology, the Matron formally denounced the doctrine professed by a small minority of Akronists known as "Ilarism," named after Matron Ilara, that held that violence, even murder, is acceptable in some circumstances if it "leads to an overall reduction in the amount of violence in the world" or "in the defense of the Church." "Ilarism, and the hatred and violence it represents, are not part of Akronism, and no one professing this so-called doctrine or anything like it is living life in accordance with the will of Akrona," said Matron Zamana in her speech. The Church also established two funds, a scholarship fund and a medical assistance fund, for Native Rodokans. The funds pay all out-of-pocket university costs and medical costs for enrolled members of Native Rodokan tribes, anywhere in the world. As of the 2020 Tavari census, of the 1.6 million Native Rodokans, approximately 30% of them identified as Akronist. This percentage has seen a marked increase in a short time after the 1992 reparations agreement, having increased from just 9% in the 1990 census.
After independence, the sovereign states of Acronis and Rodoka renegotiated and formalized the agreement as a treaty. Rodoka assumed responsibility for the university and medical costs of its citizens as part of its social safety net, and Acronis now sends a block grant of funds to Rodoka each year to reimburse it for a portion of its cost according to several formulae, representing a direct cash transfer from Acronis to Rodoka in the billions of SHD per year.
The government system of Rodoka and the Isles is modeled loosely after the Tavari system, with significant adaptation. In particular, the Rodokan system features a more robust separation of powers than the Tavari system, fully separating the executive and legislative branches. The Rodokan National Diet is a unicameral body elected by geographic district, unlike the Tavari hereditary clan-based legislature, with 120 seats elected from 20 districts of equal population. The system used is a ranked choice system in which the top placing six candidates in an election are awarded the district's seats. Under Tavari administration, Native Rodokan legislative elections tended to be held in a nonpartisan manner, but in the lead up to and especially after independence, political parties have started to gain strength and prominence. The Diet elects one of its own members to be President of the Diet. Unlike speakers in some other parliamentary systems, including that of Tavaris, the President of the Rodokan Diet is not required to be nonpartisan and has a great deal of influence over the composition of legislative committees and the Diet's agenda.
The country's executive is known as the Council of Tribes, with the elected chief of each hereditary Rodokan tribe holding a seat. Like the Tavari, the Rodokan people still maintain a formal, legalized system of clans that are used in part to define government constituencies, but unlike the Tavari, these tribes are used to define executive, not legislative, offices. The Rodokan Council of Tribes is analogous to the Tavari cabinet in function but not in form, as its members each head one or more principal government departments but are not and cannot be members of the Diet. The Diet elects one of the members of the Council of Tribes to be Presiding Chief, who serves as a first-among-equals on the Council but holds the position of head of government. The Diet can dismiss the Presiding Chief and appoint a new one at will by simple majority, and a 2/3 supermajority of the Diet can force all twenty tribes to elect new Chiefs. While the Council of Tribes is not part of the legislature and its members cannot simultaneously serve in the Diet, its approval must be given for legislation passed by the Diet to enter into effect, which it exercises by choosing to either recommend or not recommend the High Chief, the constitutional monarch of the country, grant royal assent to a bill. The High Chief, who is also the Emperor of the Tavari, is legally obligated to follow formal advice presented to them by the Council of Tribes and cannot refuse to grant royal assent.
Prior to independence, Rodoka was governed as a Tavari province (from 2020) or as an unprovinced territory (prior to 2020). Under both systems, however, as required under the Treaty of Sinajärv, there existed reserved land for Native Rodokans which was governed by a body known as the Rodokan Native Tribal Administration (RNTA), which is composed of elected representatives from the various tribes. The RNTA was established in 1992 as a legal successor body to the various tribes, who agreed to pool their resources and governance together. While the King of Tavaris held the title of High Chief, the Administration elected from among its membership a Presiding Chief, who along with a Tribal Council was the executive of the Administration. The Administration largely held the same authority in governance over its territory as a Tavari province would, and this was the case even before Rodoka itself became a province. The Treaty of Sinajärv, which was rendered obsolete by the Ranat Accords, could only be amended by mutual agreement of the Administration and the Tavari government, a process which was undertaken to establish the RNTA in 1992. The RNTA governed all public land within the reservation, regulated businesses, construction, and infrastructure, and could set a local income tax and a local VAT on goods and services. The national Tavari VAT was not charged inside the reservation, but the national income tax was - except it was reduced by the income tax rate charged by the RNTA, so that Native Rodokans paid the same total income tax rate as other Tavari.
The Rodokan economy traditionally centered on agriculture, primarily in farming and in seafood. Both are still prevalent in Rodoka today. Staple crops grown on Rodoka include grains such as sorghum, millet, and barley; legumes such as beans, chickpeas and cowpeas; and tubers such as yams and cassava. However, by far the leading agricultural produce—and export—of Rodoka is citrus fruits. There are several species of citrus native to the island, and over the course of centuries, the Native Rodokans hybridized dozens of different varieties. Significant portions of the island, especially Reserve exclaves on the southern branch of the island, are dedicated to citrus orchards. Popular exports include oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes—including the variety known as the "Rodoka lime," a smaller, more acidic variety with a characteristic taste often found in pies. Rodoka exports more limes per capita than anywhere else on Urth. Other agricultural activity in tribal areas includes cattle ranching and meat production. Significant commercial fishing and whaling activities still take place in Rodokan waters today.
There is some manufacturing and mining on Rodoka, although both of these sectors are smaller than elsewhere in the Tavari Union. Tourism is also a major part of the Rodokan economy, especially during the dry season that is approximately half the year. Casinos and other gambling are common especially in regions bordering Tavari Rodoka, where casinos have long been illegal. Alcohol and cannabis, both once illegal in Tavari Rodoka for centuries, have been historically important but politically controversial industries in Rodoka, and with the liberalization of Tavari Rodokan laws since 2020, politicians have expressed hope that their prominence will decline. There are some reserves of petroleum off Rodokan waters, but their extraction is politically unpopular, and while Rodokan authorities had the legal authority to issue permits for several years prior to independence, they never did so and have not yet done so after independence, either