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Donu-na was originally settled by Solomani Imperials around 330. These were nobles from Capitol, who divided the massive deserts into vast estates. Originally these were intended to be safe havens in the event of insurrection or exile, a purpose that was eventually put to use in the aftermath of the Alkhaliikoi ascension. Under the leadership of the self styled "Sultan" of Donu-na, the local oligarchy began to import industrial base and workers around 750 to make a profit. Under the loose rule of the Sultan, local society was unusally permissive, in the sense that he or she rarely attempted to impose common law upon the other members of the elite. The antebellum tech level is actually reflective of the laissez faire policies of the Sultan in regards to the other landlords, and does not reflect the conditions on individual holdings.
And many lords were quite oppressive, with their workers subject to poor living conditions and brutal repression of their basic rights. Public discontent often boiled over into bloody revolts. Nearly all of these revolts were unsuccessful, and survivors often fled to "safety" towns near the starport or in remote regions of the desert. The largest of these towns was Byalistok, which is now the biggest city on Donu-na in terms of population. Eventually these towns were annexed by nearby lords, but their greater freedom and insistence upon civil society attracted even more offworld immigration and investment, and eventually began to outcompete the rural industries of the oligarchs.
By the Civil War period local industry was primarily manufacturing TL 9-11 components for export to other technologically depressed regions of the Domain of Deneb. Working conditions varied, though, with conditions in the cities being much better than in the countryside. The Sultan and his allies were fairly confident that they could bottle up dissent in the cities despite the economic depression the world was suffering, and prevent a wider conflagration in the countryside. The Sultan did not account for Vargr raiding, or the Post-Collapse immigration of refugees. As Vargr corsairs and marauders took advantage of the space between the different estates and cities, local self defense brigades were formed by the local population, and these steadily undercut the now ineffective oligarchs. A near economic collapse in the late 1130s was the final blow to the rickety power structure, and the world has been collapsing into balkanisation ever since. The city-states have led the process, by declaring independence, and fortifying their holdings against outside "aggression".
The situation on Donu-na has been one of progressive decay, though it has slowed in the last twenty years. The old technocracy has completely disintegrated as rural workers and officials have fled the anarchy and poverty in the countryside for the safety towns. Most oligarchs have simply vanished into the crowds of refugees or have fled offworld. Crosscountry travel is not recommended, though the world's cities are orderly enough to prevent a full amber listing. In areas where the locals haven't fled economic privation, human and vargr brigands are often in control, and harass and raid every outsider they encounter.