After the third attempt by Praag to secede from its southern rival, its Ungol rulers were permanently replaced by a Gospodar representative of the Tzar, answerable only to that power. This individual has the title Duke of Praag and resides in the New Palace. The choosing of the duke is difficult, as a Kislevite loyalist will be uniformly despised by his people, while a favourer of Praag will defeat the purpose of the position. The newly appointed Duke Ivan Valeriki Kolarabinikov is well-thought of by the noble classes because, although he has no great military distinction, he makes almost no effort whatsoever to get involved in politics. The exception is his dedication to maintaining his popularity among the lower classes, and he not only pays for the help wagons but has been known to hand out the bread rations personally. He is also a great lover of art and fancies himself a painter. It is not unusual for a traveller through Windlass Square to discover half the royal household dressed as kossars at the Longest Charge, while the duke furiously dabs at his canvass. However, the duke is spectacularly awful at his chosen art form, and among the artistic circles of Praag he is secretly known as "Ivan the Terrible."[1a]
The nickname Ivan the Terrible is a reference to the real-life figure of Ivan IV Vasilyevich, the first man to bear the title Tzar of Russia. This is meant to be an ironic name since the real Ivan the Terrible is known to be both a cunning politician who reduced the power of his nobles vassals and a cruel ruler.