Roja is the most recent of the sea-side city-states, and unlike the others it’s history is relatively recent as well. The city was, for centuries, a major trade city, first under the Great Southern Empire and than under Telva. The city gained some measure of independence by it’s city charters, and earned the local families who had governance over it a considerable amount of money.
Conflicts between the Governing families of the local noble houses and the local merchant families rose over time however. Two centuries ago they came to a head. The nobles sought more taxation to secure money for wars or other such matters, the local merchants bridled at that, and the eccentricities they had to deal with. Appeal to the Sejm and the King brought no restitution. A succesion of local rulers who were either indifferent, inept or outright cruel increased tensions over time. The cities [i]Mers[i] as well as it’s various merchant families, craft guilds, and so forth, couldn’t help but notice the relative ‘freedom’ fo the two neighbouring states, and the wealth that was being generated in Varve and Kolka that in Roja went to the nobility.
A succesion of crisis in the country at large and the local area eventually results in a sustained period of peasant uprisings and outright revolt. When the newly founded University of the city was shut down and it’s students ordered arrested by a Baron who was infuriated by satirical songs and poems being recited and spread about him, it proved the spark that ignited a full out rebellion. At first the rebellion was like many others; Student groups hastily organized along-side other malconentents. It seemed sure that the motly collection of peasants, city-dwellers and students would be crushed, despite teh Church’s attempts at intercession and peace.
Instead the local nobility encountered three companies of mercenaries, hired by the local merchant and crafts guilds and united with the irregulars. A protacted conflict was involved, as well as a diplomatic front. At first only the locals were involved, but soon enough the entire region was embroiled; the King seeking to use it as a pretext to try and cease the other sea-side states, Jassit trying to press advantage while Telvan’s troops were lured away.
Roja’s victory was a surprise to everyone, but eventually the Sejm, seeing a potential for greater loss of both revenue and land on it’s eastern borders to the Jassit, settled a peace agreement. That agreement is uneasy, the peace tenuous at best.
Roja maintains a fleet of vessels and both a permanent military and the assistance of several mercenary companies to dissaude nobles from getting nay idea’s.
Still others worry about the nature of the Rojan rebellion and what it says to other peasants, and other groups. Roja has been an epicentre of learning, many of the worlds premier Alchemists come from here, and there are many who see it as usurption of the natural order.