The City-States of Jowston (ジョウストン都市同盟 Urban League of Jousuton), also known as the Jowston Alliance or simply Jowston, was a country located on the central-east coast of the Northern Continent. A federal aristocracy, Jowston shared land borders with Harmonia, Highland, the Grasslands and the Toran Republic. Its capital was Muse City, located in the nations main province, Muse Principality.
Established in order to counter balance the growing power of the Highland Kingdom in the Dunan region following the collapse of the Dunan Kingdom in SY 252, the Jowston Alliance was signed by the three principal states that made up the former kingdom; South Window, Muse and Two River as well as the Matilda Knightdom, a military organisation founded by Muse which had gained it's own independence.
SY 314 saw the formation of the City-States of Jowston with the agreement being signed at Jowston Hill in Muse City. Originally intended to be named after the Muse hero, General Jowston, who was famed for defending the region from Highland. However, insisting that they had played a greater part in that defence, the Matilda Knights opposed the name. A quick compromise was reached when it was agreed that the new nation would be officially named after the hill and not the person.
Although still formally an alliance, with borders and checkpoints intact, Jowston made steps towards an integrated nation with the foundation of the Grand Leaf Academy in 362, located within the Greenhill region of Muse in order to be a centre of education for all citizens of Jowston.
Continuing to engage in hostile relations with both the Highland Kingdom and the Scarlet Moon Empire, the Jowston Alliance grew in SY 366 when the frontier mining town of Tinto became a city-state in it's own right and joined the alliance.
Seven years ago, 373, saw the Greenhill region, it's importance haven grown, insisting upon the "independence of higher learning," Greenhill petitioned the Jowston Alliance for independence which was formally granted by Uriah, the then mayor of Muse.
SY 378, with the all bureaucratic structures moved to Greenhill, saw Greenhill admitted entrance into the alliance, becoming a member state in its own right.
428-434: War With Highland
The continued tense situation with Highland exploded in 428 with the Jowston-Highland War beginning with the invasion of Muse. Caught unaware and under the poor leadership of Muse mayor Darel, the city-state soon fell, along with Greenhill and Matilda.
Forced to engaged in guerilla tactics against the Highland occupied territories under 432, the tactical ability of Genkaku led to what became known as the Great Offensive with the reclamation of all occupied territories.
The war ended in SY 434 with the loss of the Jowston territory of Kyaro to Highland following a duel of champions between Genkaku and Highland's Han Cunningham. Genkaku was banished from Jowston for this failure, later revealed to be a plot of the increasingly jealous Darel.
Following the war, cracks began to appear within the Jowston Alliance. Greenhill began to suffer from poor crop yield, leading the city-state to have trouble paying its annual tributes to the alliance, earning derision from Matilda. Two River, meanwhile, located far from the border with Highland tired of the situation with the Kingdom also.
Tinto, located to the far west, felt that its interests were neglected and its resources drained for wars which did not affect it. SY 447 saw Tinto forces attack the Scarlet Moon Empire to take advantage of the discord caused by the Scarlet Moon Succession War. Without support, they were eventually repelled.
In 456, Mathiu Silverberg of the Toran Liberation Army sent forged documents to South Window and Tinto informing them of (untrue) Imperial plans to invade their territory. Outraged, Tinto and South Window invaded the Senan region thus forcing Imperial General Kasim Hazil to surrender to the Liberation Army.
Senan would be held by Jowston until 458 when the newly found Toran Republic set out to recapture the lands lost during the Toran Liberation War. Known as the Toran-Jowston War, South Window was forced to pull back first leaving the Tinto forces in danger who also retreated.
These incidents and no doubt others, left the City-States of Jowston extremely fractured at a time when Highland forces were beginning to mass on the border with the Kingdom falling increasingly under the influence of the "Mad Prince", Luca Blight.
460: Collapse and Rebirth
The fall of Jowston came in 460 when Highland finally broke the cease fire truce between the two nations and rapidly attacked, and torched, the towns of Toto and Ryube in eastern Muse. Muse called for help under the terms of the Jowston Alliance but by now the cracks that had formed in the Alliance were too great and Muse was mostly rebuffed.
After Muse fell, the Alliance quickly collapsed, with each state closing its borders and trying to either fight or negotiate with Highland individually. Eventually the Allied Army emerged to unite the fragmented city-states and repel the Highland invasion.
Following the war, a new unified nation is established in the Dunan region, designed to not allow such fragmentation to happen again. The Dunan Republic is formed containing the old City-States of Jowston (excluding Tinto, which was never truly at ease in the Alliance) as well as the defeated and subjugated Highland Kingdom.
The City-States of Jowston functioned as a federal aristocracy from its inception to its fall some 146 years later. According to the terms of the Jowston Alliance, national and international policy would be formulated at a convening of the heads of each city-state at Jowston Hill while regional politics would usually be completely handled by the leader of the individual city-states. Surprisingly no formal way of establishing policy existed within Jowston with decisions in alliance meetings being made seemingly by consensus.
This undoubtedly contributed to the fractured nature of the nation and helped accelerate its collapse in 460.