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Ruach is a land located at the Alba river. It used to be an independent theocratic kingdom formed by the Bars of Barsa escaping the Ofieri occupation. After the conquest and expulsions performed by the Kingdom of Daerlan and subsequent incorporation of both lands by the Nilfgaardian Republic, most of the Bars left to Barsa where they started to regain lost fatherland with Nilfgaardian "help". Currently the area is known for a plague of specters that have haunted this land since the genocide performed by Daerlanians.
While Aen Nílfe were not interested in modern-day Ruach's area as much as in areas situated in the lower flow of the Alba, a group of their colonizers led by noblewoman Loernach Éliade settled here due to a large number of Quintessential Places of Power. They number remained stable until a mysterious disease decimated them about 7 century after the Conjunction.
In the 9th century AR (or 11th after the Conjunction) the area was seized by the Bars people, refugees from Barsa occupied by a confederation of Ofieri tribes. The Bars enslaved the remaining elves but absorbed certain elements of their language over the course of subsequent ages. The region became known as Ruach, which means "Spirit" in the Bars language.
Originally a secular kingdom, Ruach became a theocracy after a High Priest of Shamsat, the Sun deity, seized control and established his own dynasty.
Anti-Bars sentiments and the Alban Basin War
Other areas of the Alban Basin saw an emergence of antibarsism — the prejudice and subsequent discrimination of the Bars people. In the neighbouring Kingdom of Daerlan pamphlets were produced claiming that the Bars were plotting to invade. Several xenophobic and racist theories arose. The antibarsism eventually resulted in pogroms of the Bars abroad Ruach.
In late 1130s Daerlan "preemptively" invaded much less prepared Ruach. Two weeks after Daerlanians crossed the border from the north, from the southwest came Nilfgaardian Republic troops in order to "secure the Alban population from Daerlanian invaders", which in practice meant that Daerlan and Nilfgaard split Ruach into two halves. While the Nilfgaardian occupation involved only imprisonment of Ruache social elites and executions of its certain individuals, the Daerlan-occupied half faced a choice of either expulsion or enslavement. An underground formed, but the resistance had little success.
The situation began to change in early 1140s. The Nilfgaardian Senate, afraid of the rising power of Daerlan and bad PR that was coming from allying with genocidal slavers, assigned an Imperator (supreme dictator for military affairs) to deal with the northern neighbour. Daerlan, involved in wars with the Empire of Magne on its north, was unable to defend its souther borders and was effectively conquered in less than a year. The whole Alban Basin apart from Vicovaro was in the control of the Nilfgaardian Republic.
In the following years of reorganization, the Ruache and other Bars were given an opportunity to return to Barsa, now being re-conquered by the imperator. Most of them agreed, either out of sentiment to reclaim for their ancestral lands or simply afraid of another years of pogroms and racism. Those who remained in Ruach were soon joined by settlers from the Republic, Vicovaro, and Magne, who were encouraged by the Senate to repopulate the area.
Ruach and Daerlan were the first lands to gain the status of Provinces, effectively dwarfing the Palatinate of Rowan and Ymlac in importance. As the Province, Ruach obtained its own Governor, independent from Lower Alban aristocracy. The first Governor effectively Nilfgaardized the area, promoting Lower Alban values and traditions.
The unspeakable war crimes performed in early 1140s, alligned with the numerous Fifth Element intersections, triggered a plague of specters, especially in the area of Siwan Wastes in the country's interior. This allowed the Great Sun early worshippers to thrive in Ruach due to their efficiency in exorcisms that helped the local people.
Geography and climate
Ruach is situated to the northeast of Lower Alba, south of Daerlan and Tir Tochair and northwest of Vicovaro. Most of the settlements are located on the banks of either the Alba or her tributary, the Loernach, as well as along the irrigation aqueducts. The country's interior consists mostly of Siwan Wastes, a dry uninhabited steppe that gradually becomes Great Korath Desert the more east one ventures.
Society and culture
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