|The Holy Ralgon State of Valora|
|Motto: Strength and Honor|
|Largest city||Glacier City, SAR|
|Official language(s)||Draconian (official)|
Standard (most common)
Valorian (co-official; common)
|- Adjective||Ralgon (official)|
Valorian (co-official; common)
|Government||Constitutional Elective Monarchy|
|- Emperor||Draeg'ar Ral IX|
|- Viceroy||Prince Saizo Ral-Valorum|
|- Legislature||Imperial Senate|
|Establishment||Winter, 228 AN|
October 23rd, 2018 (est. in Micras)
|Population||15,639,728 (1707 AN)
|National food||crocodile meat|
|National drink||black wine|
|National tree||giant durian tree|
Valora is the successor state of Ralgon, emerging in mainland Cibola after the Ralgon War of Succession. The legitimate government of what was once the Holy Ralgon Empire, Valora is now only a rump state that controls less than 10% of the original total population, and barely 3.5% of the native Ralgonese population.
The new country was founded in the aftermath of the War of Ralgon Succession out of a series of garrisons and fortified towns in mainland Cibola, the largest of which is Yixing, which now serves as its capital. Called Valora by its diverse people, the state is controlled by a mix of native Valorians, Ralgonese, and other native groups. There are rumors that there are liches in the government due to the masses of undead running nigh-unchecked in the south, but these are customarily dismissed as mere rumors.
Valora is a constitutional monarchy under its Emperor, Draeg'ar Ral IX, who adopted his own name in homage to other previous Ralgonese rulers named Draeg'ar. The government consists of a 25-member Imperial Senate, which sees representation among the various districts of the country, as well as from nobility that represent various ethnic groups in the region. While the royal family, the Ral clan, still dominates the executive, they chose to institute democratic means of government to prevent the sort of mass defections and mutinies that characterized the collapse of the Ral clan's rule over its own territories in recent decades. The Popular Assembly is a new invention of the government, meant to represent the common folk scattered throughout the country, and to provide a forum for communicating with one another, due to the still-treacherous travel faced by most citizens who live away from the coast or the inland fortress-towns that serve as regional centers of civilization.
The country consists of some 7 million Ralgonese, 6 million Valorians, and small numbers of Batavians, Barbarians, and others who survived the prolonged collapse of authority following the failure of the Cibolan Reconquista. With the restoration of civilized rule to the country's urban centers after 1707 AN, the country has once again begun to grow and stabilize, although it still faces strong challenges to its remaining authority. One of its most pressing problems is coming to terms with the aftermath of the Ralgon War of Succession, and still sees itself as at war despite having signed a treaty that saw its official end. Its loyalists actively fight over the disputed territories of Nova Victoria and its hinterlands using guerrilla tactics, and rebels seeking to join the Imperial Federation also occasionally launch attacks in the north. In the south, the government must also contend with Vanic insurgents, bandits, monsters, and hordes of undead that were never fully eradicated.
The aftermath of the war left Valora's economy and political influence abroad in shambles. Widely known as a borderline failed state, the current Emperor Draeg'ar Ral IX struggled to keep the country unified, despite his advanced age. He was no Nobunag'an IV of Ralgon, however, and was forced to forge marriage alliances between the Ralgonese and Valora people, the latter of which dominate the mountainous areas and coastlines of the country. Valora has been, in recent years, fighting battles of attrition between its own forces and combinations of undead hordes, hostile creatures, and rebel groups that dot the countryside in the vast Cibola interior. To make matters worse, the Imperial Federation still holds designs on New Ralgon, and holds the Cibolan crown jewel of Nova Victoria with a powerful navy and small, but skilled, army. Without aid from fellow Collective Security Association countries, Valora continues to be in a deadlock between itself and its more powerful northern neighbor.
The Holy Ralgon State of Valora derives its name from two origins. The first comes from the Ralgonese people and the former Holy Ralgon Empire, which split during the Ralgon War of Succession in the first decade of the 1700's AN. The State of Valora is home to the Valoran people, who call themselves such based on their own pantheon of gods (the Valori). The political unification of the Holy Ralgon rump state and the Valoran peoples led to the formation of the Holy Ralgon State of Valora, which in effect is a mashup of the two polities into a single (if unstable) entity.
Due to similarities between their respective cultures and religions, the domestic assumption is (at least on official accounts) that both were formerly one and the same race of peoples that got separated in ancient times when the island of Drag'os was separated from the rest of Cibola during the collapse of a supposed land bridge that once existed between the two landmasses.
Founded in the aftermath of the Ralgon War of Succession in 1707 AN, the Holy Ralgon State of Valora is an amalgamation between the peoples of Valora, which dominate the western coastlines of the country, and the Ralgonese, who hold sway over the city of Yixing and its northern hinterlands, up to the coast.
The Valoran portions of the country were formed over time while northern Cibola was experiencing a prolonged state of lawlessness, especially after the collapse of Alexandria a long span of time prior. Thought to be Ralgonese stock themselves, the various nobility that held control of the coastlines were persuaded by the fleeing forces of now-Emperor Draeg'ar Ral to side with the Imperial Senate of the Holy Ralgon Empire, rather than the Draconic Humanist forces of Adrestia and its many allies.
By the conclusion of the war, multiple failed invasions of mainland Cibola left Adrestia reluctant to retaliate further due to their own small army, although the political order imposed by the Valorans on their nearest territories was tenuous at best. With few military resources left, the Valorans chose to defend their coastal provinces against the remaining rogue groups the Adrestian side happened to destroy during its invasion efforts -- groups that bowed to no one and chose instead to fight for themselves. Ironically, the same clearing of the undead and unaffiliated forces also left no barriers between the Valoran governments and the Cibolan interior, much of which was riddled with hostile creatures dumped into Cibola in earlier terror campaigns, undead left from previous eras, and holdout groups with strongholds in the region.
Thus, the decision to enter into a political union with the more familiar, and more technologically advanced Ralgonese based out of the centrally located stronghold of Yixing and their so-called "New Ralgon" to the north was the best decision available. No contact was yet made to the south during these turbulent times, as the Valorans were distrustful of the self-destructive Akhidian government of the time, and wary of the former Akhidia's overlords in Mondo to the far south.
Valora only gained traction as a unified political entity near 1710 AN, after the unification of the country, at least on paper, was effected by the Emperor Draeg'ar and his new consort, styled as Imperial Princess Ran'i of Valora. A child born soon after the union in 1711 solidified this exiled branch of Nobunag'an's distant descendants in a new country. The marriage, and the child, came to be seen as the start of a national acceptance of a status quo slowly taking shape. It was clear by this point that Nova Victoria was permanently lost to Valora as a military target, and a forever war on the border was developing between the new Ralgonese government installed at Yixing and the Imperial Federation for every inch of territory in the demarcated province of New Ralgon. The strong claim both countries held over the country effectively split the region in two, leading to yet another potential flashpoint for a full scale war, which the court in Yixing knew it could not win outside of its own borders.
Eventually, with the northern border stabilizing somewhat, the country could turn to reconstruction efforts, as well as finally taming the interior of the country, of which only Kaek was oddly in a state of peace and relative prosperity since the war.
The government is divided into two branches: The executive/judicial branch, and the legislature. The executive holds power over the courts as well as the government's bureaucracy and military. However, the legislature proposes and passes laws, and delegates authority of enforcement and oversight to the executive. It also holds the authority to nullify or alter judgments of the Supreme Court, having taken that power from the Emperor as part of a compromise with the Valoran nobility.
The executive of the government is led by the Holy Ralgon Emperor of Valora, or simply the Valoran Emperor. The incumbent is Emperor Draeg'ar Ral, who married into House Valorum upon securing the throne to retain control of the country and include nearly 75% of the country's territory and over two-thirds of its resident population. The Emperor may act as a final point of appeal from the country's Supreme Court, although the Senate may, in turn, veto the Emperor's judgments if they find them politically motivated.
The Emperor has the responsibility as commander of the armed forces to maintain the country's territorial integrity against non-state actors including proto-Batavian, undead, Vanic, and other insurgent groups in the country. However, command will likely pass to the combined Ralgonese-Valoran army when the Emperor passes the throne to the next contestant.
The Emperor is elected by the Senate in special elections that determine the best candidate based on the strength of one's physical, spiritual, moral, and mental capabilities. As with the Ralgon tradition before them, a pool of eleven candidates descended from Nobunag'an IV of Ralgon is assembled by the Emperor and then presented to the Senate, with candidates coming and going upon death, resignation, or removal due to irresponsible or corrupt behavior. However, the combat trials were eliminated due to the sharp decrease of eligible candidates due to the aftermath of the Ralgon War of Succession and the natural exclusion of candidates too distant from the throne after the death of Emperor Shiro I of Ralgon.
When the pool of candidates moves to descendants of Draeg'ar Ral IX, the current pool of candidates will include members of Houses Ral, Valorum, and Ral-Valorum by blood, adoption (only as children adopted by parents who are both members of one of those three houses), or marriage (only when the union yields legitimate children).
Valora recently reclaimed the former seat belonging to the Holy Ralgon Empire in the Collective Security Association, itself the successor to the USSO. It retains most of its former relations with other states; however, the complete loss of its power beyond its shores has fundamentally altered its foreign policy, with treaties falling apart in the face of Valora's loss of nearly the entirety of all territories belonging to the HRE at the start of the Ralgon War of Succession.
Valora's current efforts are wholly turned towards restoring the state as a cohesive unit of singular authority on its remaining territory. In its bid to restore order and bring safety to the extremely dangerous countryside, the country has begun to seek foreign aid to bring its seemingly insurmountable general crisis to a close.
Aside from its fragility, the fledgling state is known for the generalized state of hardship that pervades most of the country, to the degree where it featured at the very top of the 1707 Scale of Suffering, ahead of even the likes of the Benacian Union. This has severely (if not fatally) damaged the country's prestige, to the point where even the Jingdaoese communities have favored the much larger Imperial Federation as a place to settle, despite the fact that the latter is a new (if recent) member of the Raspur Pact.
The country recently declared membership in the Micras Treaty Organization. However, it disputes the Holy Ralgon Empire's seat in the organization with the Imperial Federation, although the Valoran government is almost powerless to back this claim. Therefore, the government under Emperor Draeg'ar I & XVI remained in deadlock with the Senate for several months over whether to either claim a new seat for Valora (which would be an admission they lost the crown) or interact with other nations through the CSA only, which was a much inferior option.
Eventually, a compromise was eventually reached with the Imperial Federation (in return for payment of a large indemnity) to remove Ralgon's seat entirely and have applications to the MTO for both countries to be discontinuous with the old state. Rumors has it that the Imperial Federation's government had other reasons in mind, but the government dismissed them out of hand, as MTO membership was seen as more valuable than their ongoing enmity with the Federation to the north.