|Kingdom of Rushymia|
|October 1995 - September 2000|
October 2010 - present (titular)
|National flag (of resurrected nation)|
|Government||Military dictatorship (Oct 1995 - Sep 1997)|
Absolute monarchy (Sep 1997 - Sep 2000)
De facto federal republic (Sep 2000)
|Historical era||Modern era|
|– Army recruited||October 1995|
|–Rushymia falls||September 2000|
|Succeeded by||Midget Empire (after 2 years)|
The Kingdom of Rushymia (archaism: Rushymea), often known by contemporaries simply as the Playground, was a non-sovereign nation existing within the United Kingdom between 1995 and 2000. Based in the same school, it was in many ways a predecessor of the Midget Empire.
The title of King of Rushymia was resurrected on 17 October 2010 by Esmond III, Emperor of Austenasia, and united with the Throne of Austenasia, but the new holders of the title hold no power over the former territory of Rushymia.
War against the Bullies
When the school opened in 1995, there was a large problem with bullies. A boy called James recruited an army to fight the bullies, and named himself General. The army won a large battle over the bullies, and some of them even joined the army. Satisfied with the victory, James became inactive in leading the army, assuming that it would disband. However, his second-in-command, Ferengool (a nickname), realised that if the army disbanded then the bullies could easily restart their reign of terror. Ferengool therefore seized power, assumed the title of Warlord, and deposed James (who was however permitted to keep his title of General).
Ferengool set up his base in the Quiet Area, and sent out the army to assert his authority over the whole Playground. At first, it was unsure whether or not James was still nominally in charge, but these speculations were crushed when Ferengool announced that the title of Warlord outranked that of General. As the school was newly opened, there were very few pupils, the army comprising just over half of the pupils in the Juniors Playground. It was therefore very easy for Ferengool to quickly be accepted as the Playground's leader, even the Footballers accepting his authority. Ferengool divided the Playground into provinces, and started a basic form of local government, with each provice having a leader to judge disputes and carry out Ferengool's orders.
Ferengool was a follower of Vapourism. As time went on, he became more focused on the superstition than on ruling, and in September 1996 he appointed his second-in-command, Billy, to the title of General, to act as head of government and deal with the day-to-day running of the Playground.
Rebellion of Billy
After Ferengool made Billy a General, he lost all effective power, even though everyone still acknowledged him as the nominal ruler. This was not to last, however. In June 1997, Ferengool (as the Playground's unofficial high priest of Vapourism) announced that he had been contacted by Vapourist spirits, given the titles of "Defender of Nibiru" and "Theocrat of Atkantia", in return for which he must rebuild an ancient Atlantean colony on the Field, Atkantia Minor.
When he ordered the army to get to work building this colony, they rather understandably deposed him, naming Billy the new Warlord. However, Billy chose to keep the title of General, contradicting Ferengool by announcing that General did indeed outrank Warlord.
General Billy started to persecute Vapourism and its followers, placing guards at the main shrines and outlawing the rituals. Ferengool and his close followers continued to practise the superstition however, and were not apprehended because Billy's army were afraid of them - as they had been ordered to persecute a movement, they became convinced of its power. Eventually, the Footballers (strong followers of Vapourism) rebelled against Billy, and the General made plans to reconquer the Football Pitch.
Before an attack could be launched, Ferengool approached Billy. He offered to crown him a King with all the authority of the various Vapourist spirits, if Billy would allow the Footballers to be independent and would stop persecuting Vapourism.
Billy agreed, and in September 1997 was crowned King of Rushymia in a crowning ceremony in which Ferengool, James, and Alex (a Captain of the Footballers) placed their hands on Billy and declared him King.
King Billy immediately claimed that he now had all of Ferengool's Vapourist powers and that he could read minds and control the weather. He ordered Ferengool and James arrested, claiming that they were scheming against him, but Alex escaped the coronation to the Football Pitch.
As a King who believed that he had absorbed Ferengool's supposed magical powers through the coronation, Billy became convinced of his own invincibility and started to rule as a tyrant.
War against the Footballers
King Billy became more and more unpopular amongst his subjects, and eventually in December 1997 decided to reconquer the Football Pitch to prove that he was still a strong and capable leader. He sent an army to attack the Footballers, but it was defeated. Alex had led the defence of the Footballers, and persuaded Billy's defeated army to abandon their tyrant king and to join him in marching on the Quiet Area, Billy's capital.
When the King saw the army massing in the Football Pitch, he sent out messengers to bring the whole of Rushymia to a general state of war. Every part of the Playground raised troops, but lots of these joined the rebel/Footballer army.
The rebelling soldiers joined the Footballer army, led by Alex, in the Football Pitch. The King's army, led by Billy himself, gathered in the Upper Playground, in front of the Quiet Area. Both sides had roughly equal numbers, but Alex's force had much better morale than Billy's nervous conscripts. The King brought the whole of his court out to join his army, leaving the Quiet Area completely empty. Even Ferengool, James, and other prisoners (accompanied by their guards) were brought with Billy.
Alex led the first charge, dispersing Billy's front line. Billy fled the battle to the Quiet Area Pathway. When his army saw that he had fled, they surrendered and joined Alex, and the combined army marched on Billy and forced him to concede defeat. Alex treated Billy with surprising respect, addressing him as a King and stopping his soldiers from treating him too roughly. Alex asked Billy to make him the new King, as it was obvious that Billy now could no longer rule, and he agreed.
Rushymia under Alex
King Alex was crowned King the day after the battle, and immediately freed James and Ferengool. After putting down a small rebellion in the Quiet Area, King Alex began a reign of peace and prosperity. He expanded Ferengool's system of local government, splitting the Playground into eight provinces, each with a Governor (elected by the Province and acting as Alex's representative) and a Commander (appointed by the King and in charge of maintaining the province's garrison). General James was charged with leading the Commanders, and with raising an elite army tied down to no particular province. Ferengool was appointed Vizier, acting as an intermediary between the King and the Governors and serving as regent when the King was ill or away on school trips.
Alex conquered the Field in the name of Rushymia, and also sent a mission to the Infant's Playground, which persuaded the leading Infants to swear an oath of allegiance to Alex. The next year, James and Ferengool left the school. Alex was now in his final year, and appointed Billy the new Vizier, and an unknown Yr. 6 took over James' old position.
When the time came for the reign of Rushymia's greatest leader to end, Alex made one of the very few selfish decisions that he made as King. He declared that he wanted his reign to last for as long as possible, until the very last moment that he walked out of the school gates. He would therefore be unable to physically crown his successor like Ferengool or Billy did, and so would have to leave behind something that could invest his successor with the kingship for him. He chose something that could not rebel against him or disobey his orders - a plastic bottle.
This orange bottle had been carried around by the King a lot, similar to a ceremonial mace. He placed it high up in the fence separating the Field and Quiet Area, and decreed that the next person to touch it with both hands would be his successor as King of Rushymia. Alex decreed that his titles gained from Ferengool (Warlord of the Playground, Defender of Nibiru, Theocrat of Atkantia) could only be held by the next person to control most of the Playground, but that the titles of General/Vizier of Rushymia could only be bestowed by a King of Rushymia.
Fall of Rushymia
When Key Stage 2 returned to school after the summer holidays, with King Alex gone, the throne was vacant. Nobody was strong or brave enough to climb the fence and get the bottle down. Some of Ferengool's former disciples, now in Yrs. 5 and 6, followed the instructions that he had secretly given them more than two years ago in case the throne became empty, and encouraged the continued election of Governors for the eight provinces. For a while, the Governors formed a sort of Rushymian Parliament, voting on issues that before would have been decided by the King, such as the appointment of Commanders, and guided by the Disciples of Ferengool.
The Parliament lasted for no more than a month though, before corruption and discord split the Governors into various factions, each claiming to be the rightful rulers of Rushymia. Despite the best attempts of the Disciples of Ferengool, war eventually broke out and before long the Playground was in chaos. Commanders named themselves generals, and Governors named themselves kings (although still obeying the last order of Alex, none claimed to be King of Rushymia).
As war spread and any concept of central government rapidly degenerated, the Kingdom of Rushymia fell, descending into chaos and warfare. Eventually, the wars stopped, as one by one the generals and petty kings lost or abandoned their titles, and soon the idea of provinces was forgotten. The groups of pupils that had been resident to a particular province now moved around freely - the first "gangs". Over time these gangs would merge or schism or dissolve, except two: the Footballers and Quietarians.
The Football Pitch and Quiet Area were the only two places where the idea of a Rushymian province was in any way still alive, and although they no longer had a Governor or Commander, these two places in many ways carried on as they had done so before Alex's departure. These were the only places, though. In all the rest of the Playground, the pupils were in gangs and friendship groups that either roamed the Playground or settled in a particular location for some time,occasionally having small wars against each other. Although a distant memory remained, Rushymia had gone: and into this Playground entered the Midgets.
The Bottle is retrieved
On 17 October 2010, HIM Emperor Esmond III of Austenasia climbed the fence and got down Alex's Bottle, thereby becoming the new King of Rushymia. This title was merged with the Throne of Austenasia the following month, and as such is now held by Jonathan I. However, he holds no power in the former territory of Rushymia and the title is purely nominal.
Titles and positions
- General of Rushymia - the title assumed by General James upon his creation of the army that founded Rushymia. Changed by King Alex into the constitutional head of the Rushymian military, leading the Commanders. At present is nominally held by Lord Marshal William.
- Warlord of the Playground - the title assumed by Ferengool and used to denote the ceremonial leader of the original Rushymian army. At present is nominally held by Lord Marshal William.
- Theocrat of Atkantia - a ceremonial title assumed by Ferengool and used to denote his leadership of the effort to "re"build a legendary ancient city on the Field. At present is nominally held by Emperor Jonathan I.
- Defender of Nibiru - a ceremonial Vapourist title of uncertain meaning assumed by Ferengool. At present is held by HIH Crown Princess Caroline.
- King of Rushymia - title bestowed on Billy I by Ferengool with the consent of General James and Captain Alex. At present is nominally held by Emperor Jonathan I.
- Vizier of Rushymia - constitutional head of the Rushymian government under King Alex. At present is nominally held by Lord Marshal William.
- Rushymian Commanders - the top military official in each province, appointed by the King and led by the General. Titles bestowed by Esmond III as titular honours.