The proud Macedonians once claimed an empire larger than no other, headed by no other than Alexander the Great. But, as time passed, Macedonia's Empire crumbled, absorbed by other states and riddled with civil war. The region now known as Macedonia is divided between Greece and Bulgaria. But how did this happen? Well, in AD 305-308, a Roman General by the name of Demetrius Maximus revolted against the Roman Empire. He found himself lucky, for the pride of Alexander still ran in the veins of Macedonians. He found himself quickly accepted as Macedonias leader, with men coming to his call. So fast did his army grow, that arrogance bubbled up in him, and he sent a portion of his proud warriors to fight Rome at Rome doorstep. However, the Romans were prepared, and soundly defeated the army at the Battle of Brundisium. He also decided to divide the empire, and assaulted Byzantium to his East for 5 months. He was nearly on the verge of breaking through the gates, when reinforcements from both Moesia and Asia arrived, forcing his army into retreat. For the next year and a half, his army fell back, defeating the Romans only once at the Battle of Prespa. Finally, in March of 308, he committed suicide at Thessaloniki, as did most of his generals and lieutenants. In retaliation for the chaos that the General had spread, the Romans commenced the largest diaspora ever seen, uprooting thousand upon thousands of local Macedonians and transplanting them with soldiers and their families and colonists.
However, the Macedonians did not disappear. the majority moved South to Achaea, seeing themselves as the "cousins" to the Achaeans/Greeks. They settled in their own small villages, many of which sprang up fairly quickly.
Others, however, spread out, arriving in such far-flung provinces as Lusitania and Germania, and a large number of them settled beyond the borders as well, specifically in what is today Veneda.
For the hundreds of years after the Macedonian Diaspora, the Macedonians keep to themselves, staying either in their own villages or neighborhoods. They were treated cautiously, with only a few incidents of anti-Macedonian sentiment occurring (most notably, the Macedonian Slaughter in Budapest, 1872).
However, in 1930, the CSDS looked into their history, and remembered the Diaspora. They made a general call out for Macedonians to "return to your homeland, and settle once more on the land that has been denied to you for so long." And they came, carrying their original, if heavily accented, language. The Greek Macedonians made up a little over half, Venedo-Macedonians about a quarter.
For years, the Macedonians lived a quiet life in the CSDS, farming and working in the factories like everyone else. However, the other peoples in the Confederation would soon spread their own problems upon the Macedonians. During the various breakups, Macedonia likewise declared its independence in 1988. War, lukily, avoided the small state for about a year. However, Bulgaria moved it's army in, claiming the region as historically Bulgarian. For two months, the Royal Macedonian Army (under King Demetrias I, ironically, a CSDS general who established himself as ruler after the declaration) held off the Bulgars. The King and the Royal family fled to Greece, and the Army was disbanded under the Bulgars. The current government-in-exile is based (once more, ironically) in Thessaloniki.
For its short peaceful existence, only a handful of nations recognized Macedonia, Greece and Dalmatia most prominently.
The Macedonians of the present day are a unique bunch. They are not recognized by the Bulgars, being referred to as "Western Bulgars."
[Italicised section of questionable accuracy! CSDS didn't exist in 1930, but that's a technicality; Danubian Confederation wouldn't have been likely to ask an 'alien' (as in, non-Slavic, non-Dalmatian) people to come to be a minority on their territory. Likewise, the Vardar region never declared independence from the CSDS; its Slavic-speaking population, considering themselves Bulgarians, supported Bulgarian independence from CSDS, and the thought never occured to them to separate from Bulgaria.]
[There *is*, however, a tiny minority surviving in isolated pockets along the Greco-Bulgarian border who speak a Slavo-Greek language - based on Greek, but with very heavy Slavic influences; it is probable that these people are the descendents of the "original" Greek Macedonians. These people never were an officially-recognised minority in the CSDS; officially, they were considered Greeks. Unlike the more significant minorities such as the Istrians and Aromunians, these Macedonians never received any sort of an officially-formalised standardised language or any other sort of cultural recognition, the CSDS government assuming they would very quickly assimilate either into the Bulgarian majority or into the much larger Greek minority. These people were also the official reason given by the Greek government in 1988 to justify their invasion of newly-independent Bulgaria.]
They carry one of the oldest surviving languages in the world. They are apathetic towards their freedom from Bulgaria, though recent rumblings from Thessaloniki seem to be signs that the King, possibly backed by Greece and others, may attempt to firmly establish Macedonia as a free nation.
When it comes to religion, Macedonians are a vibrant group. Many are Orthodox, many are Catholic, while growing communities of Muslims and Pagans add spice. Some Macedonians claim to still worship the Greco-Roman deities of old, though many of them are often looked at slightly funny. Macedonians are fairly liberal when it comes to religion, and one would be hard pressed to find one Macedonian discriminating another Macedonian for their religious beliefs.