Laqi Free Republic
|Official language||English, Laqi ConLang|
|Capital||Maksim-Xala (Brookshire Hamlet)|
|Largest cities||Ereki (Eriksburg), Jel Renөr (Reynor Point)|
|Number of citizens||1|
|Number of active citizens||(Nation Inactive, rejoined Shireroth)|
|Date founded||4th August 2010|
|Government||Democracy (Provisional Government)|
|Current leader||Ulsә-Ҳan Maksym Hadjimehmetov|
|National animal||White eagle|
|National drink||Tөrvaj, Butter Tea|
14.2.3 - 14.2.5Laqi Republic shown as disputed territory on all maps
The Laqi Free Republic was a short-lived state in southern Shireroth which declared independence simultaneously with Elwynn on August 4th 2010 (1567 AN), under the reign of Kaiser B'caw I. The Laqi secession itself can be attributed to two factors: the feelings of the former Count of Modan-Lach and developer of the Laqi culture and ConLang, Maksim Hadjimehmetov that his cultural works had been disregarded and the Laqi mistreated due to the unpopular House System of subdivisions in Shireroth at the time, and the high levels of inactivity in the sector in the summer of 2010 and a somewhat less noble desire to 'stir things up a bit'.
The Republic's secession was not without controversy, as it led to a short and thankfully cold war between Ashkenatza and Shireroth. Ashkenatza's recognition of the fledgling state led to accusations that the Laqi Republic was an Ashkenatzi vassal state; the Laqi secession would also damage relations between Ashkenatza and Antica. Ironically, however, the secession of the Laqi and Elwynnese led to one of Shireroth's most active periods throughout the summer of 2010. The secession was in part responsible for the overthrow of Kaiser B'caw I and rise of Kaiser Ometeotl I in his place. The Laqi remain today one of the many ethnicities of Southern Benacia, and it is doubtful that there will be another Laqi insurrection in future.
Upon the return of Maksym Hadjimehmetov to Shireroth, he found the Imperial Republic suffered low activity and an unpopular system of Imperial Houses instead of Baronies and Duchies. Appointed Count of Lywind instead of his ancestral lands of Modan-Lach, Hadjimehmetov felt angered at not being able to develop Modan-Lach and, finding a famine in Laqi lands, declared independence from Shireroth as the Laqi Free Republic. Whether or not Hadjimehmetov had malicious intent towards Shirereithan unity is a matter for debate- the Kaiser of the time argued he did not, whereas important Shirereithan citizens such as Erik Mortis argued he did. Nevertheless, the declaration of Laqi independence on August 4th outlined the exact limits of Laqi sovereignty, citing an ethnolinguistic map of the former Barony of K'Tzuni as its guide for borders to be drawn only around areas where ethnic Laqi were in a clear majority. The Provisional Government with Hadjimehmetov as its leader vouchsafed the safety of Shirereithan nationals in the region but also declared that Laqi no longer swore obedience to the Kaiser of Shireroth. The independence declaration was met with hostility, with Steward van der Sluijs giving Hadjimehmetov and his government just twenty-four hours to vacate Modan-Lach. Van der Sluijs also rejected talks with the Laqi Provisional Government. Despite the protestations of the Laqi Government that the young state wanted to live as a good neighbour to Shireroth, it was now clear that there could be no compromise on either side and war was declared.
The Laqi government took over the old Brookshirereithan Kehl in Brookshire Hamlet as its legislative assembly and, after a Jirga of Laqi Elders from across Modan-Lach was held, suspended democratic privileges to Laqi citizens, stating that 'every Laqi man, woman, and child supports this brave struggle', and that it 'would be an insult to their intelligence were the Emergency Provisional Government to descend into petty squabbling and division as a result of implementing parliamentary democracy so hastily'. The new Emergency Provisional Government geared up for war, renaming the Executive Head of State the 'Ulsә-Ҳan', meaning 'Khan of the People' in the Laqi Language. The old Brookshirereithan capital of Brookshire Hamlet was renamed 'Maksim-Ҳala' (in a homage to a macronational war to which the Laqi seccession was compared). Roadblocks and anti-aircraft batteries were installed in and around the capital city and sensitive border areas were mined by the Laqi irregulars who at this time were the Republic's armed forces.
Anger at the Laqi Republic from Shirereithans increased when Khorze also declared independence and Straylight declared its intention to become a province of Antica. By the end of the 5th of August negotiations between Elwynn and Shireroth had begun and both Elwynn and the Laqi Republic had applied to and been accepted by the MCS, which only made the situation worse. It was by this time that Nohsi Henzelli of Ashkenatza declared Ashkenatza's recognition of the Laqi Free Republic and Elwynn as sovereign states, and extended the right to Ashkenatzi citizenship to both Elwynnese and Laqi citizens. Accusations that the Laqi Republic was an Ashkenatzi puppet state were now widespread, and these rumours were aided by the fact that Ashkenatza finally declared war on Shireroth on August 6th in Nohsibafel (Nohsi Order) XIX. Ashkenatza then offered to host a Laqi government-in-exile and the Laqi declared general mobilisation. Though Nova England, Holzborg, and even Babkha for a short while also supported for the Laqi independence movement it was clear that Shireroth was not interested in a RecWar.
The options for the Laqi were therefore to continue indefinitely in a state of flux- neither recognised nor actively militarily opposed by Shireroth- or to opt for a government-in-exile in Ashkenatza. Neither of these situations seemed palatable, and though a plan for a mass evacuation of the Laqi Republic was drawn up in conjunction with the Ashkenatzi military (and some Laqi settlements- namely Laqizolor, Henzel-Xala, and Tshinkval- modelled on traditional Laqi architecture were even constructed in Merenia, Ashkenatza, to house the new Laqi immigrants), this plan was also not followed through. Hadjimehmetov eventually attempted to renegotiate with Shireroth in more mutually acceptable terms, proposing that Modan-Lach be made a Laqi national territory within Shireroth with the same rights as any other county, with Brookshire Hamlet being made an autonomous city ruled directly from Shirekeep. One of the main problems with negotiations was that Brookshire Hamlet was not only the nominal capital of the Laqi Free Republic but also of the Shirereithan Duchy of Brookshire, one of the oldest and best establishe regions of Shireroth. This, coupled with the fact that Ashkenatza- the Laqi Republic's chief foreign supporter- was now facing diplomatic problems of its own with Antica (angry that they had not been consulted by their military ally before the start of a war which would oblige them to send military support) and with Babkha which used the ensuing political chaos to pressure the Ashkenatzi government to give them the Oriental Mahoz HaSephardim as part of their plan to retake historically Babkhan territories on Eura.
The conflict between the Laqi and Shirereithans tarnished Ashkenatzi-Shirereithan relations for a while afterwards but was mostly eclipsed by the confrontation between Antica and Interland over the isle of Montauk, and Shirereithan negotiations with newly independent Elwynn.
The culture of the Laqi Free Republic was based on the earlier Laqi culture devised by Hadjimehmetov in 2009 whilst he was Count of Modan-Lach. Being a nation-state, the culture and Laqi ConLang were used extensively in the Free Republic's documents and broadcasts. Laqi society was very rural and hierarchical, with village elders traditionally calling a Jirga in one of the large cities when decisions of national importance to the Laqi people were to be made. It is generally thought that the Laqi people are related to the neighbouring Lakhesians, both their languages having a common route in Proto-Lakhesian and tracing their history back to the ancient Khaz-Modan Empire which ruled the South-Eastern Benacia. Laqi also lived in regions of Crestfall Downs, Lywind, and Shimmerspring, all counties nearby to Modan-Lach, as well as in smaller communities in Yardistan and along the entire Southern Benacian coast as far as Ashkenatza.
The Laqi were before their conquest by the Shirereithans a fiercely independent people living in tightly clustered mountain villages and excellent horsemen who traditionally served for the Kaiser's army. The majority of the Laqi are Cedrists, like most Shirereithans. The free spirit of the Laqi is shown by their national animal, the white eagle, which was prominently displayed on the Laqi Free Republic's seal as the national animal. In homage to their Khaz-Modani heritage the Laqi also used the Aҳatan, an ancient Modani rune associated with the Laqi region and later adopted by local princes throughout Laqi principalities during the middle ages. More recently this symbol was used for the Laqi Free Republic's national flag and also on its national seal. The state's national motto was 'Enxu Estәkla, Enxu radsta', meaning Our Liberty, Our Joy, in the Laqi language.
Laqi music is very unique, and employs mainly a stringed instrument similar to a sitar called a Nanaida. Other popular instruments are the Xivruloj (pronounced Chivrooloy), and Xaxьuni (pronounced Chach'uni), a smaller nanaida, similar to a Russian Balalaika, and a large tambourine respectively. Many of these instruments are used in traditional Laqi weddings, funerals, and festivals. Laqi music employs a style of singing known as Mskori, which is a lively, fast-tempo music thought of as very jovial and festive.
The Laqi national drink is Tөrvaj (pronounced Törvay), a kind of distilled ginger and apple cider flavoured of cinnamon and other spices. Similar to mulled wine or brandy, this is drunk in large quantities. The most popular non-alcoholic drink is buttered tea, similar to the tea drunk in Tibet or Nepal. It is highly spicy and thick, ‘broadening the horizons as well as the cholesterol’, as a local saying goes.
A close macronational equivalent in terms of culture to the Laqi would be the peoples of the Northern Caucasus, from whom much inspiration for the creation of Laqi culture was derived. Drinking horns of spicy wine, vast feasts with shooting competitions and great roasts of meat are all aspects of Laqi culture, as are Cossack uniforms and the incessant chewing of tobacco. The Laqi language is somewhat less accessible, its grammar modelled on both Turkic and Slavic languages and with five cases (Nominative, Dative, Accusative, Genitive, and Instrumental) and an orthography influenced by the early Soviet attempts to create Latin alphabets for Turkic languages. The Laqi alphabet consists of thirty letters, seven of which are vowels. Though the Laqi Free Republic was defeated, Laqi culture can still be observed throughout Southern Shireroth, though with less spontaneous declarations of independence and bursts of machine-gun fire.
The short existence of the Laqi Republic necessitated a large focus on military development as the threat to the state was existential. Although a RecWar was never conducted between Shireroth and the Laqi, the Ashkenatzim had begun to transfer the Laqi large amounts of small arms before the Laqi Republic's collapse and even the very declaration of independence was made with the assumption that a war would eventually have to be fought. As the situation with the Laqi and Elwynnese, backed by Ashkenatza and seceeding from Shireroth, was in many ways parallel to the 2008 Russia-Georgia War with the Elwynnese and Laqi as Abkhazia and South Ossetia respectively.
The Laqi National Army ('Laxija Aҳatkөrija Әrmija' in Laqi) was formed with asymmetrical warfare in mind, focusing primarily on mobility and fast, multiple strikes on enemy forces. Urban conflict on a large scale had been prepared for in Maksim-Xala, with the Laqi preparing to lure Shirereithan columns into the centre of the city where they would be trapped and ambushed by Laqi guerillas, whilst the Laqi army's strongest forces repulsed Shirereithan support to Maksim-Xala and counterattacks from surrounding counties. Infantry equipment consisted of anti-tank weaponry, grenades, yatağans, and AK-47 rifles. There was a small component of armoured vehicles (FV1620 Humber Hornet and Otakar Cobra), but manouverability was generally afforded by cavalry or requisitioned civilian jeeps and trucks. A small air support brigade was also maintained, comprising of 4 Mi-24 attack helicopters and 6 Su-25 Ground Attack Aircraft. There was no naval component, with the assumption being that a land invasion of the Republic would be preferred by the Shirereithans, with Laqi artillery and sea mines used in the rare case of a seaborne attack.
Perhaps the most succinct description of the Laqi armed forces was that of Hadjimehmetov, who referred to them as 'drunken ex-convicts with Cossack hats, AK-47s and accordions'. A Division of the Laqi Army were referred to as a 'Bagapsh', in homage to a celebrated macronational namesake from the Northern Caucasus.
Order of Battle
Laxija Aҳatkөrija Әrmija- Laqi National Army
- 1a Laxi Bagьapš Rjep'әdisma (1st Bagapsh "The Indestructables")
- 2a Laxi Bagьapš Rjep'lirөsma (2nd Bagapsh "The Indescribables")
- 3a 1a Laxi Bagьapš Rjep'taҳarma (3rd Bagapsh "The Indefectables")- Rapid Assault Group
- Laqi Air Support Brigade