|Largest cities||Marton-le-Moor, West Grinstead, Aldburgh|
|Number of active citizens||0 (Nation Inactive)|
|Date founded||28 July 2005 (previously offline)|
|Government||Republic, directly democratic|
|Current leader||Simon Walmsley (Ind.)|
|National animal||Dragonfly, Bear|
|National drink||Moloko Vellocet (Milk Plus)|
|Map versions||7.0.5 - 13.4.1|
Riponia, or more properly the Democratic Republic of Riponia, was a large micronation with its mainland on the Micrasian continent of Corum, later Apollonia. It played a formative role in the creation of the Micras Sector post Lovely-era and was one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement. At its height Riponia was one of the most active Micran nations, having annexed smaller nations such as Taesong and Nova England. The nation was known for its relaxed and laid-back approach to micronationalism which won it many friends throughout its history.
The nation was named after the Cathedral City of Ripon in Yorkshire in which many of its citizens lived, and named many of its cities after macronational towns in Yorkshire. By the time of its death in mid-2008 it was by far one of the largest nations on Micras, having captured much of Central Apollonia in a war with Matbaa against Lovely.
A History of Riponia
Riponia's first online presence was a wiki on the Deviantart website. Originally established as the United Counties of Riponia, the country was a parliamentary democracy in the Westminster strain, led by a Prime Minister. In subsequent years - and not without controversy amongst parts of the citizenry - the Government of Riponia was overthrown in a violent revolution led by an unidentified 'Urban Guerrilla', as a consequence of which it was reconstituted as a Cyber-Socialist Republic, although it retained a vibrant party system and free elections.
Riponia's citizenry initially stemmed largely from a group of real-world friends in the city of Ripon, UK, but as the country became more established it attracted an increasing proportion of its citizenry from the wider micronational community. By the time of the May 2006 Census, undertaken following the Atkins Reduction, the country already boasted at least 19 active citizens, according to reporting in the Riponian Reporter blog.
Consistently throughout its lifetime, Riponia was one of the most active nations on Micras, activity that was bolstered by the annexation of Taesong and Nova England which were admitted as self-governing Special Administrative Areas, alongside the later addition of the Sharovia and Elbetel SARs.
Riponia was closely involved in many of the most significant micronational events of the period. It was a signatory of the Treaty of BBC with the micronation of Lovely, established by Danny Wallace as part of the programme How To Start Your Own Country. During the period of the Atkins Reduction, Riponia retained its territory on Micras whilst also joining the Geographical Standards Organisation and holding land on Giess. Transport between the two areas was difficult, requiring use of the Hurmu Gate.
Riponia was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, alongside Natopia and Antica, and hosted that organisation's forums. Matbaa and Alexandria subsequently acceded to the Treaty, forming a close-knit alliance of likeminded nations. Whilst originally established as a non-aligned counterweight to the dominance of Shireroth and Babkha on Micras, Riponian expansionism and Matbaic militarism combined to transform the NAM into an assertive military alliance.
Conflict and expansion
Riponia's size gave it access to significant military resources under prevailing RecWar treaties such as the Anunia Convention, and the country participated with great success in a number of campaigns. In the Circum-Raynor War, Riponia commanded a nominal peacekeeping force which invaded and occupied The Corporation, a corporatist state occupying the island chain that would later become known as the Britannic Home Islands - following which defeat, the Corporation ceased to exist and Woodstania offered its surrender.
In the War of Broken Pottery, Riponia joined a NAM contingent in support of Landingberg against aggression from Holzborg. Following significant action on the seas and in the air, Riponian paratroopers seized the strategically-important Holzer city of Himmel, following which a general rout commenced. The Holzer leadership sued for peace, as a result of which Riponia annexed the province of Elbetel.
Relations with Lovely became increasingly strained at this period, and hostilities broke out first in the Taylor Bay War, in which the NAM intervened to prevent Lovelian action in support of New Britannia's territorial ambitions, with the Riponian fleet blockading Lovelian ships in port. The conflict with Lovely would continue with the War of Matbaic Liberation, culminating in the ultimate battle of the Lovely War, in which an overwhelming Riponian force invaded and occupied the Lovelian homeland as that nation's political structures began to fray. By the end of the war, Lovely ceased to exist and Riponia annexed a large swathe of central Apollonia.
With Riponia's strategic interests now concentrated in and around Apollonia, Parliament elected to take the extraordinary step of abandoning its holdings on Corum in favour of expansion into the lands formerly held by Lovely, Antica and Woodstania. This brought Riponia to its greatest territorial extent, as the largest nation on Micras by landmass. The transfer of land was agreed in a controversial arrangement with Babkha, the CIS and others, allowing each country to consolidate its holdings.
In spite of its size and influence, Riponia retained friendly relations with most countries on Micras, owing to its generally laid-back nature and the creativity of its citizenry. These relations were challenged during Micronational World War II, when a Riponian fighter squadron, acting in defence of Natopia, wiped out a Novatanian bomber fleet in the mistaken belief that it hailed from Tokidoki - an event remembered in Novatainia as "our own Gallipoli".
Riponia maintained an active post-based economy, and spawned a number of successful international corporations, particularly the small-arms company RAW (Riponian Arms Works) and the vehicles manufacturer BUMMIE, famous across Micras for its tanks, APCs and other vehicles. The Riponian Air Force was predominately equipped with local Bobcat Mk II (and later Mk III) fighter-bombers, and the Navy was organised into Carrier Battle Groups headed by flagships RDS Kropotkin and RDS Ambassador, supported by Wilfrid Class destroyers (see OrBat).
Given Riponia's increasing prominence on the world stage, it became necessary for the state to establish a well-resourced intelligence agency, RISE. Whilst little was known to contemporaries about the activities of RISE, the organisation marked itself out by its thorough training of operatives in black and white measures, and in counter-espionage. A number of spies were uncovered in the country, including an infamous attempted infiltration of an agent of the Lovelian CTU, an event which gained worldwide prominence through coverage on MNN and the Antican KZFO radio show.
Decline and Fall
Riponia's collapse came suddenly, as its founding group of citizens (i.e. those living in Ripon, UK) prepared for new lives at universities which left little time for the pleasures of micronationalism. Other micronations have survived such transitions, but such was the vibrancy of Riponia's community that sustaining that level of activity was hardly feasible. At a time where Posts-Per-Day were the overriding concern of many micronations, the Republic's Parliament considered that to continue the project on such terms would be to condemn it to a slow death. Consequently, with heavy hearts, the final act of Riponia's long life was the passage of the Dissolution of the Union Act, signed into law by President Walmsley on 24 June 2008. Riponia ceased to be a member of the MCS. With the end of Riponia, the Non-Aligned Movement lost its driving force, and amongst its members only Natopia survives to this day.
Such is the transitory nature of the internet, that little survives today of Riponia's achievements, beyond remants on this Wiki, the MCS archives, and a few pages on the WayBack Machine. One backup of the Riponian website, blog and forum does exist, and in the interests of micronational archaeology, it is to be hoped that it might one day be restored.
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.