Name of people: Rossii (sing. and pl.)
Rossi is the smaller, colder, harsher neighbour to Ardheim, being colonised much later than the forest planet. Its population is far smaller, but even more tenacious: the environment on Rossi is bitterly cold in the winter, and cold in the summer (though Rossii just call it “fresh”). Its economy, however, thrives, as it has become an industrialised planet swiftly, with factories working around the clock. Most of these factories produce weaponry and munitions which supply not only the Rossi Defence Force but also the Defence
Forces of other planets, but in particular Ardheim, with whom Rossi has strong trade routes. Ardheim mostly exports its famed timber to Rossi, and Rossi trades it for the products from its factories, and the vodka that it is famous for.
Rossi is a largely socialist planet, with the means of production owned communally, and an absence of social or economic class. The great machines and factories of the planet are intended to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions of people. This has bred into the people of Rossi a hardworking culture, where everybody pitches in and understands that they’re all in it together.
To a Rossii, laziness or the shirking of a duty is perhaps one of the greatest sins, though not as great as that of ignoring or being rude to one’s grandmother. Rossii elders are given a lot of respect, but particularly grandmothers, because they are seen to embody the virtues of Grandmother Rossi herself – the
affectionate way that Rossii people viewing and speak of their motherland. Grandmother Rossi may be a harsh and old mother, challenging her children and grandchildren, her body – like the environment – largely barren, but she will protect them with everything she has to the bitter end, and give hell to those who would harm them. Despite this, however, many Rossii choose to emigrate to Ardheim when they come of age, as the neighbouring planet is alluring with its promise of more warmth, fewer bears, jobs besides factory work and farms, and the sites that even Rossii tell stories of. As such, the regiments trained in Kingskeep on Ardheim are often made up of an even mix of Ardheimians and Rossii, and the two get on well together. Both have a strong tradition of storytelling and drinking (though arguments about mead or vodka often
arise), and both come from a background of need for survival and practicality.
Rossii clothing is largely unadorned and unassuming, and a Rossii will usually not choose to wear an item of clothing or accessory that doesn’t have practical use. This is a direct result of the socialist ideology of the planet: objects are valued by their use-value, as opposed to the accumulation of capital, wealth or status, and beauty is a luxury that many Rossii do not see as having much use-value. Rossii, due to the nature of their planet, often dress in very warm clothing, ensuring that their heads are covered. Even when on a
warmer planet, a Rossii may choose to wear a lighter hat for the security of feeling it provides. Rossii are also rarely seen without some sort of drink to take the edge off things: even a Rossii that chooses not to partake of alcohol will keep water in a hipflask to keep up appearances, and some may even put on a show of being slightly drunk at all times. Many military units that have Rossii recruits find it useful to ensure that they have an accessible, yet limited, store of vodka available, as Rossii seem to function more efficiently
with it. Of course, this means that Rossi has the opportunity to export vast amounts of vodka to the military stationed all across the galaxy…
Rossii people, perhaps because their environment is so harsh and bleak, have developed an industrious nature, but also one streaked through with dark humour. To others, it may seem like they are resigned to their cold, bitter world, but this is not the case: even though they may joke about the cruelty of Rossi or the ferocity of the bears, the bone-breaking cold or the back-breaking factories, Rossii will never fall out of love
with any of those things. They made them who they are: resilient, tenacious, stubborn, and able to take anything while smiling darkly in its face.
Inspiration for characterisation: Russia, communism, socialism, Cossacks, Siberia.