(Historical article from MicrasWiki, Oct. 2007)
Riponia, or more properly the Democratic Republic of Riponia, is a large micronation with its mainland on the Micrasian continent of Corum. It is also one of the very few surviving functional republics in the Micras/Geiss sector.
The exact history of Riponia's founding has been lost to the sands of time. Members of the Cult of Tzaak, Riponia's oldest religion and the one that has risen to most prominence in recent times, maintain that Riponia's history can be traced back to the Hyrresian Empire, when Hethak, the man cursed by the gods to spend eternity as a bear for stealing corn from them, went to the top of Mount Isa, where the religion's deities live, and overthrew them. Hethak claimed all of Corum for himself and his sons, half-man half-bear children of Hethak's loving human wife.
Cult lore has it that the people of the Hyrresian Empire, oppressed by their emperor, rose up against him, defeating Hethak's sons, who commanded the empire's merciless armies. They could not match, however, the power of Hethak, still seated atop Mount Isa. That is, until Khazk, God of the Good Harvest, came to a warrior, Tzakk, in a dream.
Khazk explained that he had escaped Hethak's wrath, that the other Gods were alive, although severely weakened, and that he had returned in order to aid the People in their fight against the evil bear Emperor. He presented Tzakk with the mythical Sword of Light, infused with the remaining power of the Gods, and told him to meet Hethak in his Palace atop Mount Isa.
After a duel lasting two days and two nights, Tzakk drove the Sword of Light into Hethak's skull, turning the bear to stone and fulfilling the Gods' prophecy that Hethak would spend eternity in animal form.
Cultists believe that it is at this point that modern Riponia begins to develop. With Hethak overthrown, a series of many small states asserted themselves, which changed and adapted over time, becoming more and less powerful, even nations in their own right, being invaded and reclaiming their independence, until their eventual union into the United Counties of Riponia.
All was well under this Union until August 2006, where Government infighting and inactivity led to civil strife and mass protests. Led by the psuedonymed 'Urban Guerilla' the people of Riponia once again united in popular revolution against their oppressive Government. As the Prime Minister of the Union took his own life to save himself from the baying mob outside, Urban Guerilla stood on the central balcony of the Riponian Parliament building and declared a new Democratic Republic, which has seen success ever since.
Visitors to Riponia will find wealth of cultural attractions at their fingertips. To reproduce them all in an article like this would be impossible, so instead only a few are listed.
- The Parliament Building
The Parliament Building was first constructed in the 18th Century in the architectural style favoured at that time. It is a striking and beautiful palace like structure topped off with a large copper dome, above which the Riponian flag flies. In times when the Council is not in session private tours of the building, and in particular the Councillory Chamber where most legislative business happens, can be arranged for a modest fee. It is advised to book early because spaces are limited and in very high demand.
- The Tatiturm
The Tatiturm, standing at 548m, is Riponia's tallest building and believed to be the tallest in Micras. The building consists of a vertical torus seemingly made entirely of glass suspended high in the air by a long concrete spike which goes right through it.
The building has duel uses as, firstly, both a TV and Radio broadcasting tower, and as the main offices of the RAW-BUMMIE conglomerate, but the building also features a sky-high restaurant and viewing platform, which on a clear day allows for an unbelievably good view across the city of Ripon and some outlying areas.
The period of the 28 July to 29 August is an unmissable one for tourists. The festival commemorates three separate holidays in one, the founding of the United Counties of Riponia on the 28 July, Riponia Day on the 8 August and the founding of the Democratic Republic on the 29 July. Essentially, all this means is one very long party in which all involved celebrate tremendously hard and as a result get terrifically drunk.
Tourists should be notified that nationalist fervour is usually much in evidence at this time of year, and that by displaying appropriate enthusiasm towards Riponia, her dearly held values or national heroes, they'll likely find themselves in receipt of many free drinks and the famed Riponian friendliness. Burning Riponian flags, however, is not recommended.
Riponians from the mainland's far south and the outlying islands are immensely proud of their dodo stew, which is considered quite the speciality. Travellers are warned, however, to avoid this dish at all costs. No breed of dodo actually tastes nice, and more than 90% of dodo stew in Riponia is made with the Common or Garden Dodo which can be seen throughout the country. This, unfortunately, is also the foulest tasting of Riponia's native dodo species, scientists even state that it's mildly poisonous, an assertion that can be verified by anyone who's tasted the stuff apart from those native to the stew-loving areas, who seem to have developed a resistance.
Of all dodo species, the Speckled Moor Dodo is usually considered to be the least awful tasting of the lot.
Walking the streets of Riponian cities at night, it is not uncommon to happen across a Common or Garden Dodo on the prowl for the fruits and vegetables that sustain it. Although it is only about half the hight of a man, visitors should be warned that the bird has talons and a beak that are not to be sniffed at, and desperate dodos have been known to eat human, animal and even Babkhan meat when hungry enough. Its preferred method of attack is a full head-on charge to knock down the opponent, and then the use of the dodo's talons to rip their enemy apart. It is this brutal yet effective fighting technique that led in the 17th century to dodofights, similar to the 'bumfights' popular in certain corners of Micras today, where dodos would be trained up as lean, mean, fighting machines and forced to battle to the very death with other dodos or occasionally smaller mammals. Understandably, it didn't take long for these fights to be made illegal, although the sport continued to operate illegally for a number of years following the ban. (Source: Adapted from the 'Dodo Handbook', first edition)
Still, it is very unlikely for dodos to attack unprovoked, and these creatures are normally very docile and even friendly. If you choose to approach one, do so from the front so as not to spook it.