|State Anthem||Glorious Heritage|
|Official language||Wumudo, other Tajak and Chiv derivatives|
|Founding Date||2048 (4th Republic)|
|Administrative Divisions||27 districts and 4 provinces|
|Largest City||Yeguru Tuso|
• % water
• Growth Rate
• Growth Rate
Duso Vimu (dκ)
|Time Zones|| Southern Kijanan Time|
Main Article:History of Wondusoland
Wondusoland has existed at the joining of the two Kijanas for hundreds of years. Its earliest incarnation was as a part of the trade empire of the Aesmundi Onchiv. Before that time the area was alternately uninhabited (during several historic periods of volcanism and of political turmoil nearby) and occupied by a succession of tribal states and nominal kingdoms. About 910 CE Wondusoland shows up in other nations' annals as a principality. Since then it has been organized in several ways, but has usually had a mixture of Pumbavu (related to the Tajak peoples) and Onchiv influences. Between 1300 and 1600 the majority of the area's inhabitants were actually Mshindi, but that competing people mostly adopted the Pumbavu/Onchiv language and social structures. The Dusolander ethnic group had been pushed south but by 1650 under Prince Ali Rudi they had reasserted their control over the swamps and rivers of the isthmus.
The present government distances itself from the even worse Third Republic by insisting on the "Fourth" in its formal name, and by counting its beginning from the end of the Third Republic, in 2048.
Additional article: Third Republic Fall
Wondusoland wears the trappings of a republic, but operates as an oligarchy or a despotism, depending on how much power you think the Diwani Council holds.
The pattern for the last seventy years has been rule by a succession of strongmen who exploit, extort, and mismanage for a decade or two then succumb to the next in line. The last few have styled themselves Presiding Officers, with a veneer of military organization about them. "Presider" Omu Gambran is also referred to as Supreme Colonel Gambran in official events. He replaced Colonel-General Danso Yomlu in a bloodless (for Wondusoland) 2112 coup (only sixty or eighty people died). Yomlu's predecessor is actually still alive - he fled the country in 2101 when Yomlu gained the upper hand in support among the "businessmen" and military. Colonel-Emeritus Reuben Missou keeps his head down living a life with looted riches in relative obscurity in Velgrade, in the Krav Dominion.
Gambran is the head of government. The government form is semi-presidential in that the ruling despot keeps a figurehead head of state around to lend an air of legitimacy to his excesses. For Gambran this function is filled by Justice Umu Sanu Tonju, an elderly former city judge of Port Omdufugoro who was elevated to national office shortly after Gambran's initial "election". Tonju retains almost no independent initiative - any action beyond delivering the traditional Kemu Bon oration at a funeral is at Gambran's direction.
There is neither independent judiciary nor an independent legislative branch. The Presider has a group of henchmen who help rule the people. This 36-member Diwani Council has a degree of power in that each Councilor could in theory revolt and run his district himself. Since just that was attempted in 2078, the Presider is careful to dilute Councilors' power base. The Councilors are each responsible for a geographic area (a province or several districts) or a governmental function. Each has much power to profit from his position, so the status quo is only disturbed by particularly megalomaniac officeholders.
The thirty-one subunits divide the nation into convenient conflicting agendas and interests. What governance is not carried out through the Diwani Council Bureaucracy by dictate, is accomplished despite a patchwork of dissimilar laws, customs, and precedents. Yomlu actually was adept at playing one group off against another. Gambran, not being as clever, uses a heavier hand and constantly sets up new laws, relying only on a shifting cadre of drunken fools as advisors. The actual National Framework, a constitution of sorts, calls for all national-scope laws and regulations to be set with input of a Council of Municipalities. That body has not met in over twenty years, despite still being allocated a budget in each year's Financial Act. Municipal officials draw as much income from this allocation as from any official pay they receive from their town or city. Graft is of course by far the greatest provider of funding for municipal government, provincial government, or any other official position in Wondusoland.
- Main article: Foreign Relations of Wondusoland
The current Dusolander Foreign Councilor, Kiongozi Mbwanerevu, is a deft manipulator of what little foreign attention gets focused upon the nation. Wondusoland has little foreign policy as such, other than balancing claims upon the "Disputed Province" or Ubishi Maeneo to the south with minimizing antagonism with neighboring governments.
Wondusoland maintains relations with an amazing variety of nations all around Aurora. In some cases the other nation keeps an embassy open as a way to exile troublesome diplomats. That strategy is effective - a posting to Kongwejiji is feared. Contact with others is outright bought - even dictators need somewhere to buy their luxuries. A few keep embassies in order to have some moderating effect on the worst Dusolander behavior. That too is sometimes effective - the change from Third to Fourth Republic in 2071 was due to outside pressure, some say even interference from Antara or Maloumba.
Subdivisions and Geography
Wondusoland is divided into four provinces and twenty-seven districts. Provinces equate roughly to one-time sovereign kingdoms - Maklombe, Mzogebara, Mlimabara, and Mamba Nchi.Mocsaras Ziwa, the boggy mangrove swamp / lake that Wondusoland shares with #136 and #138.
Jomogudonubal is the capital city of what was once Mzogebara Kingdom, on the shores of Csevefel Ziwa, in the east. That city is surrounded by rain forest, with scattered clearings of cultivation. The lake itself is contaminated and unsuitable for any but industrial use. Some small industry remains from the former kingdom's scant glories; the whole province has hardly as many inhabitants as the city alone once did. The southwestern edge of the province is the Burnt Mountains, a desolate range of mostly-extinct low volcanic peaks. Not much soil graces those hills and ravines - the burnt appearance is more from lack of vegetation than from any remaining fires of the underworld. The last recorded serious eruption in Mzogebara was in the 1200s.
Maklombe province arcs from the northwest Wondusoland border east and south past the fringe of the so-called malaria bogs, down to the central Ingovanyos Ziwa ("Swampy Lake", though its middle is actually clear and a hundred or more meters deep). It is a descendant of one of the early Onchiv city-states along their inland trade route. In those days it was part of the safest path across the inter-Kijanan isthmus. No more - it consists of alternate bands of jungle and rain forest, depending on how well watered the ground is. The western side of the province abuts the more-peopled mining districts around Yeguru Tuso.
The districts are smaller than the provinces but not greatly less important. The provinces are has-been remnants of historic power and except for Mzogebara are less densely populated than Wondusoland as a whole.
The west of the country is hilly, with mining and scattered pockets of near-second-world society. The center is soggy and a riot of tangled vegetation from the mangrove swamp shores of Mocsaras Ziwa, to the malaria-ridden Elsomocvar Ziwa, the "First Swamp/Lake" the Krav settled at on their passage through the area. The toughest barrier to those historic traders was the strip of highlands at the northeast edge of Wondusoland - these attain heights of 600 to 900 meters, all gullies, cliffs, and once-volcanic terrain. The Wondusoland border there gets as close as 120 km from the Cidalian Ocean.
Surveys of the countryside have been few and focused entirely on whatever exploitable resource was sought or whatever taxable inhabitant was important at the time. Thus, general cartographic data are vague. Perhaps fifteen percent of the country's expanse is open water. That qualifier is needed - other forms of wetland comprise another five to ten percent - bogs, marshes, and mangrove swamps. Jungle or rain forest, depending on altitude, cover the majority of the land - some seventy percent. Arable land is at best a few percent - the place is NOT conducive to good farming The soil is fertile enough, but jungle retakes cleared land with astounding speed. Barren wastes, both freshly devastated volcanic surfaces and older exposed rock total as much as ten percent of the land surface. Urban areas are well under one percent of the total land cover - Wondusoland is one of the most heavily rural nations, even on the Kijanas.
The capital city Kongwejiji began as an Onchiv trade settlement, spent time as the nucleus of the Krav presence on Kijana, had ups and downs, even twice was left derelict due to choking gases from volcanic activity across Elsomocvar Ziwa. Today it is in a down cycle - decrepit, grubby, and underpopulated. The lake does provide food, as well as transport. <div style="clear:left"/></div>
Climate and Agriculture
Kijanan forests and jungles are hot, humid, and fertile. Some fruit is cultivated - even more grows naturally, supplying a huge portion of the native diet. Cotton is grown on more open farmland than is any food crop, though some grain, vegetables, and cattle are all raised. Cotton grows reasonably well under the slash-and-burn methods in use, and survives most extremes of heat and rainfall. Many exotic foodstuffs grow in the deep jungles, needing only distribution to provide a large income for some enterprising group. Unfortunately that looks too much like real work, and there are more fruit exporting companies in existence on paper alone than actually ship mangoes, papaya, moonmelon, or pineapple.
December through June Wondusoland is subject to the tail end of about a quarter of the South Cidalian cyclones. The highlands at the north of the nation and the higher volcanic mountains to the east shelter the nation from the worst of these, but torrential rains are still possible. But in perspective, the equatorial portions of the Kijanas are subject to torrential rainfall most of the year anyway.
June through September the dominant weather feature of Kijana Banoga is a wavering continental high. That generates prevailing winds from the south and east, across land, leaving those months a bit drier than the rest of the year across the southeast. The northwestern hills experience weeks of dryness at a time in January and February.
Climate Graphs - Metric Units
Climate Graphs - Old Imperial Units
Wondusoland's finances are a shambles. The official currency is the Duso Vimu, or Duvmu. These once had a linkage with the Vimu of Maloumba - now the name is the only connection. Its copper-coin form is stable, if insufficient. Paper banknotes are printed too, and periodically inflate to the point that old notes get used for wallpaper and wall insulation. A side effect of this is a continual interest in Wondusoland money by Auroran numismatists - the designs are grandiose and have to be changed frequently. Ten-billion Duvmu notes have been needed several times since 2060. Maloumban Vimu and Aspenish Garra notes are more trusted, and millions of each are in circulation - real and counterfeit both. Fake 100-Garra notes are better than real Duvmu notes. The discrepancy between hard-currency coinage and inflated notes is such that one refers to 'hard' Duvmu or 'wiping' Duvmu.
Wondusoland has reserves of both iron ore and bauxite - both of which lie mostly in the geologically unstable volcanic belt. No extraction of either ore is done. Large low-grade coal deposits span the area above Yeguru Tuso, which name translates as "burning-ground" in the Wumudo language. A seam to the west of the city was mined in the 1900's, and was set on fire by negligent miners. It burned underground for seventy-plus years, heating the city's dirt and polluting its air. Some small railroads operated by Maloumban businesses bring coal from the several nearby fields to waterways where it is shipped downstream, across several lakes, out-country to the west. Copper and tin are both mined 200 km to the west of Yeguru Tuso. That combination plus the coal made for a thriving bronze-age city-state there, and over the border westward. A little bronze is produced there now - what plumbing fixtures are used in Wondusoland, for example, are from the Gumu Bronzeworks.
Despite its justifiable reputation as a social cesspit, Wondusoland is viewed as "exotic" in some corners of Aurora. A Maloumban operator has a concession to operate both tours and an airmail service - by far the best transport and one of the brightest economic sparks in an impoverished land. InterKijana prints colorful postage stamps, unusual for their extreme denominations. It doesn't matter that the Duso Vimu is practically worthless - it's still amusing and collectable for an airmail stamp to bear the number ten million, or just before a devaluation, as much as the 2098 four billion duvmu parcel stamp. The actual amount of in-Wondusoland airmail is miniscule, so the company's eight floatplanes carry a few hardy tourists as well. Overseas advertising of Dusoland tourism is notoriously inaccurate - one would think the place a tropical paradise based on the poster in a Derian travel agent's office.
For the Krav and Onchiv once to have crossed the area regularly must have called for milder climate than nowadays, Medieval transport suits the place - little boats up and down the rivers, poled or rowed, sailed across the marshy lakes. The lakes and rivers stood in for roads then, and still do now. Dusolanders walk a lot. Trails abound, roads and rails are scarce and disconnected. The coast of Chargu Bay to the west is sometimes inaccessible to official Dusolander commerce - during periods of conflict with 136 & 138 smuggling carries on plentiful trade to the west. Wondusoland perpetually squabbles over access to the sea both eastward and westward.
Foreigners travel the lowland jungles with armed escort. Locals are better at being inconspicuous, and just accept that predators take some travelers. Upland forests have smaller predators who can be seen farther away - well armed foreigners travel alone in the Mining Districts for example, with really a quite low fatality rate.
Except for foreign diplomatic staff being punished by posting to Kongwejiji, virtually all residents of Wondusoland were born there. No one in their right mind immigrates.
Major people groups are 68% Pumbavu (related to the Tajak peoples) 4% Tajak 14% Ansombu (Pumbavu and Onchiv heritage) 11% Jekebu (Pumbavu and Krav heritage) 3% Enonsari (Pumbavu, Mshindi, and Krav heritage)
Within those major groups, are some 185 tribes and clans. All are very dark-skinned, even the ones with Aesmundi heritage. Dark pigmentation is no doubt an adaptation to the climate and amount of sun of the mid-Kijanas. The groups with Aesmundi blood are measurably less resistant to malaria, and are on average shorter than the Ansombu and Jekebu. The Ansombu and Enonsari tend to get plump as they age. The Jekebu experience a higher instance of early childhood mortality, yet those that survive attain a noticeably higher age before dying of age. This is difficult to discern, since Wondusoland has so many ways to die that no more than five percent of the populace pass sixty years of age.
Under a quarter of a percent are migrants related to no local people groups. These Nodanzi are almost as dark-skinned as the local peoples, yet their features and hair are markedly different. Ethnologists have connected them with migrant peoples of Aesmund and Abezin, yet totally different from the known Chiv and Krav background of much of the nation.
Dusolanders observe a variety of religions. Half or more are related to the dominant Agama faith of Maloumba, the rest being anamistic or nature-centered. Foreign religions like Arkanism are oficially tolerated and widely scorned. Nevertheless, some few diligent missionaries of various foreign faiths persist in reaching out to the Dusolanders. No large effect is discernable.
A significant difference between Dusolanders and mant pratitioners of Agama is veneration of ancestors. Really, more than respect, this is a fear of spirits to the extent of paranoia. In the jungle, paranoia is a survival trait - everything really IS out to get you. Sociologists have speculated this is an example of adaptation in process. Dusolanders will tell you that Grandpa Oundo is still mad about Granny remarrying after he died, and he's making everybody pay. That snake that bit Sister last week was no doubt Grandpa's spirit's fault.
'Dusolanders speak a bewildering array of mostly Tajak-related tongues. Each province and district has one official tongue; counting duplicates there are twenty-four. In addition, each lists "registered tongues" which number as many as forty (Maklombe Province) and "accepted tongues". The latter is the critical element - all list as acceptable some form of pidgin Ingliz, the modern trade tongue. Both the many tribal tongues and the various 'duso-ingliz ones have varying amounts of chiv structure and loan words. The single widest-spoken tongue is Wumudo, but its native speakers number only about ten percent of the populace, and just another twenty-five know it as a second or third tongue.
Wondusoland has a military, of sorts. It is used mostly to keep 'dusolanders in control, and to periodically contest ownership of the so-called Disputed Province to the south. It is poorly armed, poorly trained, and poorly led.
The "Disputed Province" territory south of Wondusoland is claimed by all three adjacent nations, and conflict over its possession is so ingrained that no one even calls it a war any longer. Its resources are poor, or are already available elsewhere in better quantity or easier extraction. Its people are poor, though a bit more industrious than the run-of-the-mill 'dusolanders. That comes from strict necessity - they have to scramble to scrape together enough to keep body and soul together. Wondusoland's control of any of that province disappeared in the 2040's, and the internationally accepted border is as drawn on most world maps.
The Mlimbara Province volcanoes have been steadily increasing their activity over the last three decades. The average winds from May to October are out of the east - during those months ashy eruptions spread gray dust to the capital Kongwejiji and beyond. Air traffic into the city in those months is risky. Residents get used to the sulphur dioxide and other noxious fumes.
Dusolanders don't have as widespread a narcotic dependency problem as, say, Maloumba's wingu. Rather alcoholism is rampant. Tobacco and other smokable leaves are used and abused.
Disease is rampant in Wondusoland, and medical care is poor. Expected lifespans are among the shortest in Aurora. Foreign doctors are the only ones who really can be trusted, though the rural populace is decently served by Inbusero Mamas, the nation's folk-medicine healers. Canny foreign bioscience firms have begun to investigate these women's traditional medicines as a way to tap the riot of pharmaceutical possibilities while bypassing decades of research.