The nation known as Ruscovy is an old idea. The broad Kolga river travels from its heart in the mountains all the way to the Broken Sea. This is one of the few water routes from Northern Vosca down to the central ocean that doesn't involve going all the way around the continent. The Ruscovites themselves were one of several peoples who inhabited the region, but their city was not originally the capital. That honor fell to Kolograd.
Kolograd and Ruscow have always had strained relations – When the inhabitants of Kolograd invited in a norse warlord to rule then and protect them from other raiders, the Ruscovites bitterly invited a Zellish leader to do the same. Unfortunately for them, Kolograd's armies were more than a match for Ruscovy's, and they were defeated and subjugated.
None of this mattered, however, when the Marju arrived. The steppelanders tore the fledgling nation apart and slaughtered hundreds of thousands. Ruscow, however, was left relatively untouched so that it could collect tithes from the others to deliver to the Marju – it being the closest major city to the steppe, this made sense.
During the Marju invasion, the Ruscovites cooperated with their steppeland masters, providing supplies and troops to help in their invasion of Lendia. Upon their return, they were treated to a great feast in their honor, courtesy of the Duke of Ruscow. The commander, Burqe, was a close friend of the Duke, and the two had raided together before. His betrayal was a surprise only to Burqe. The army was bushwhacked during the feast by their own Ruscovite allies, and massacred almost to a man. Similar coups took place across the country. In one night, Ruscovy freed itself from the Marju yoke, and the Duke became the Czar.
Ruscovites are a divided people. The urbanites live much like any other people in Vosca, but in the countryside, the people live in brutal serfdom, with few (if any) rights. Even their souls are the legal property of the nobles who rule them, and can be traded or sold at will. The aristocracy is deeply feudal, and the military is still made up chiefly of Boyars who are obligated to bring themselves and a number of conscripts to war when commanded.
The national character is fatalistic and dark. The Infinite Steppe is too close for the civilized virtues of Genosism to truly take root in the people. No foreigner can ever truly comprehend the sheer size of the steppe. The irrelevance of human civilization in the face of the world's grandeur. You could run for years and never see another human face. Human. Dark things lurk in the swamps and bogs and endless grasslands. They must be warded off if society is to continue. To this end, every Ruscovite is taught that it is his duty to fling his life away to protect his family, his people, and his country.
Of course, just because you're depressed and scared, doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun and drink. In fact, it sort of means the opposite of that. The Ruscovites are a cheerful and hearty people, and if anything can be said of them, it is that they are brave. Some of the finest Monster Hunters in Vosca come from Ruscovy – a significant portion of the Unkindlies are drawn from Ruscovite stock, and their grandmaster, Arcturus of Kyev, is... Well, Kyeven. A Ruscovite himself.
The Ruscovites believe that a Noble who owns the souls of enough workers will be admitted to Genosus's Ziggurat. Their role is to gather and prepare workers for Genosus through their own leadership. It is common for nobles to trade souls to each other instead of the actual Serfs, or to gift them as presents on someone's wedding day. It is a sign of status, how many souls a man can claim to own.
The Orredin have formally adopted this principle into their religion, and practice it as well.