History of Lakhzovia
Early Settlement (~1800BCE)
The earliest evidence for agrarian settlement dates back many thousands of years, however the first evidence of widespread organised society dates to approximately 1800BCE. At this point first appears decorated ceramics categorised by archaeologists as ‘Early Whiteware’ and is characteristic of the Mercuria Basin Culture (MBC) which thrived on the fertile plains of the Mercuria river system.
This period saw the agricultural revolution spread throughout the valley systems and alluvial plains region leading to the development of a complicated system of city states by approximately 950BCE.
City State System (950BCE – 90BCE)
The city state system was a complex network of alliance, tribute and force that held together hundreds of small kingdoms consisting of small territories centred around a major city. The system worked by the city providing protection and rule of law to the peasants within its geopolitical reach, in return for these benefits of the city the peasants were required to provide tribute to the state in the form of goods.
Due to the lack of determined borders conflict was common in this period and led to the forming of complicated chains of alliances in order to defend against attackers. This system proved particularly stable for a period of almost a thousand years before the pressures of growing population and dwindling land fertility led to weakening of the traditional social structure.
The last 200 years of the city states was marked by violent wars between conflicting allied forces and the eventual collapse of many cities as the citizens fled in the face of famine. During this period alliances were formed on the basis of cultural kinship while the need for greater coordination between the cities led eventually to the emergence of the multi-city state political entities that dominated the region at the time that Naqim, a figure that would essentially create and define the Lakhzov people, was born.
The Lakhzov Amphictyonic League (89BCE – 114CE)
According to Lakhzov religious tradition the prophet Naqim negotiated the union of the kingdoms of Mercu, Beisaal, Kakh, Luria, Rossetia and Alkhaz under his religious guidance, establishing a new city to form the religious and political centre of the new empire. As an amphictyony each nation was granted control of the religious shrine for one of the six seasons of the year.
The league went on to conquer the Kinerite empire to the north. There followed a period of a century in which the League expanded its territories before tensions regarding succession led to the eventual disintegration of the amphictyony.
While short lived the amphictyonic league represents the formative moment of the Lakhzov people. The new national identity was a product of the mass conversion of people to the new religion espoused by Naqim, a religion that placed a strong emphasis on being a unified people provided with a particular mission and destiny in history. The very name Lakhzov means ‘to think’ and refers to a religious idea of the nature of their character.
Early Intermediate Period (114CE – 587CE)
The early intermediate period (EIP) began with the disintegration of the Amphictyonic League. The period was dominated by the Mercu Empire which controlled the rich alluvial plains either side of the Mercu river and the highlands that had former been the realm of the Kinnerites.
Politics of the period focused on the often tense relations between Mercu and the other former members of the League. particularly with the Kingdom of Tildar made up primarily of the Kakhite Lakh.
This period also saw the expansion of the Federation of Lurian Kingdoms into the Rossetiyan desert settling the region around Oaz Kadassa. In the west the Kingdom of Beisaal and Alkhaz began to expand their kingdoms into the tribal areas of the Alkhaz Plains.
There are no references from this period relating to Rossetia, it is assumed that the Kingdom was subsumed in to the Kingdom of Tildar and Luria respectively. Of particular note during this period was the Free City of Nakim, which due to its status of Holy City was able to maintain independence as an autonomous city state.
During this period there was strong trade contact between the Kingdom of Tildar and the Axicz Kingdoms to the north.
Late Intermediate Period (587CE – 1030CE)
The late intermediate period began with the Tildar-Mercu Wars, a series of conflicts over a period of forty years which saw the Kingdom of Tildar eclipse Mercu as the greatest regional power and the loss of the city of Mercu to Beisaal, effectively beginning what is known as the Tildaran Age. With the balance of power shifted and the capital relocated to Khalin, the Mercu Empire never fully recovered. A number of disastrous winters caused a famine in the hill country which severely weakened a country already beset by problems. The weakening of central authority led to increased permeability of the Kingdom. It was at this time the first of the Utman nomads, a group believed to have its origins to the west of Lakhzovia, began to settle in the hill country.
By 1030CE the demography of the hill country had changed significantly. The new Utman communities were linked in a parallel society to the natives. However some researchers have speculated that the Utman maintained good relations with the Kinnerite minority that still lived in the region, some claim that the two groups essentially merged to form the Utman community that exists to this day. It was at this point that the tribal leader Gandoliz Rul launched a militaristic campaign to unite the Utman tribes under his rule. Eventually succeeding in this aim he was crowned Supreme Sovereign of all Utman after which he began a a series of campaigns carving a new Kingdom in the heart of Mercu.
Following the end of the intermediate period the successors of Rul continue their highly successful military campaigns against the Lakhzov Kingdoms. The period closes with the capture of Khalin and significant portions of Tildaran territory in the process birthing the Utman Empire.
Utman Imperial Era (1671 – 10/03/1936)
The era opened with with the fall of Khalin and a series of conflicts which steadily increased the borders of the empire. During this period small communities of Utman developed in administrative centres throughout the empire. These wars caused a huge wave of migration north into the mountains and beyond with significant Lakhzov communities formed in the land of the Axicz and the Grahz basin.
In the early 18th century the Utman Empire seeking to expand north and establish itself as a regional power issued a new tax that was only imposed on the Lakhzov. The empire seeking to increase its military might enacted a levy in which every Lakhzov family was obligated to provide one young male of fighting age for military service. Those that were sent away were never to return. These policies caused widespread discontent among the Lakhzov people and six months after the start of the Axicz conquest there was a Lakhzov rebellion in Ceouz which declared itself a the Lakhzov Kingdom of Ceouz, the Kingdom was to last two years before Ceouz was besieged and fell. In retribution the Empire expelled the Lakhzov from the region and resettled the shore with Utman subjects, an event still reflected in the demography today.
By the mid 19th century the Utman Empire was at the height of its power and was an active player in the politics of western Cotf Aranye. However the Empire was technologically backward compared to its rivals. Emperor Awas Rul II grasped that the future of the Empire depended on modernisation. The Emperor opened numerous universities and institutions of learning as well as instituting a complete reform of the military establishing the first military and naval academies and the academies of science. The need for rapid increase in the large scale production of modern industrial goods resulted in the government directly establishing workshops and factories creating a large, concentrated and educated urban population.
The start of the 20th century was a turbulent time for the Empire. Despite the reforms of the previous century the Empire was still and autocratic state and many of the archaic social institutions and laws remained in effect including the military levy and special taxes. The appalling conditions in the industrial cities where the majority of workers in the low skill and high risk areas were Lakhzov; and the lack of Lakhzov commissioned officers in an army comprised for the large part of Lakhzov conscripts led to an increasingly unstable climate.
At this time socialist theories were beginning to become popular, particularly among certain strata of the intelligentsia. By the 1920’s revolutionary communist ideas had taken root in the Utman workers who used their higher positions in the labour hierarchy to spread the ideas among the Lakhzov, this occurred in the context of increasingly draconian opposition from the Imperial authorities. The Imperial age closed with the Spring Revolution of 1936 which ushered in the creation of the United Peoples’ Republic.
United Peoples’ Republic (10/03/1936 – 23/09/1986)
The United Peoples’ Republic was born from the socialist promise for equality and freedom. The Utman intelligentsia who had been the vanguard of the party had emphasized the rights of all peoples living within the state to have their rights respected within the framework of the state.
In the unrest and threats of civil war following the socialist revolution the early civil rights were rescinded as the increasingly fearful and paranoid party leadership sought to secure their authority over the country. Initially deemed a temporary measure these rights were never restored.
Having finally secured the country the new regime launched an ambitious project to industrialise the nation and intended to do so by mobilising the large reserves of Lakhzov peasant labour. The peasants were driven from the land in a series of agricultural reforms in the alluvial plains that introduced large scale industrial farming of government lands by a small number of Lakhzov tenants. The displaced population migrated to the cities or were put to work on construction projects, the first decade of the UPR saw a sharp increase in industrial output however at a very high cost in human suffering. During these reforms the Utman peasants of the hill country remained relatively untouched on the theory that they had developed a uniquely productive means of production and were held up as examples of the wisdom of the peasantry in government propaganda.
By the second decade of the UPR the hoped for thaw in relations with the outside world failed to materialise and the regime isolated and fearful of its lack of security began to turn production towards militarisation. Many projects deemed unessential to national survival were abandoned with many of the former Lakhzov labourers drafted into the rapidly expanding military.
The UPR entered the 1970’s as a failing state. The economy had stagnated while certain sectors had completely collapsed, and with the ongoing lack of trade a destructive black market and smuggling crisis began. State investment in infrastructure and services had been cut almost completely and the country was littered with partially completed bridges, dams and roads. The Lakhzov population had become embittered towards the government, while the party did have Lakhzov members the majority of the leadership was occupied by Utman, the highest ranks of the military were occupied by ethnic Utman and in all sectors of life the better positions were filled by the Utman. It was during this period that the first underground organisers of the Lakhzov National Congress (LNC) began to spread their message.
By the early 1980’s the state was facing a well organised nationalist movement which had won the support of a large section of the Lakhzov population, particularly among those who lived in Transmecuria. Their success had not been without minor splits which created various smaller groups and parties, the most significant of these resulted in the Lakhzov Home Party being formed after a stormy 4th Congress of the LNC resulted in a breakdown between the two factions with Lakhzov Home believing in a far more hard line and aggressive ideology based on the teaching of Danoi Yishveliy who would go on to become the Chief Medaber of Khalin. It is strongly suspected that the Hand of Emet militia is affiliated with the LHP either as an external group that find in the party an expression of their own ideology, or as an organised armed wing of the party.
Collapse of the UPR and Partition (03/02/1985 – 14/10/1986)
In the winter of 1985 mass civil unrest spread throughout the country culminating in a series of general strikes. The trigger had been the ongoing shortages of all basic goods and food with tight rationing in place. The crisis was worsened by the collapse in the national currency rendering the already low wages essentially worthless. Faced with the spectre of revolution the regime sought to enforce their rule through military force, this led to the outbreak of street battles as the Hand of Emet began launching ‘defensive attacks’ against Utman security personnel. Meanwhile the highest ranked Lakhzov Officer, Colonel Sachim Kadassa, refused orders to mobilise against his own people and threatened a mutiny.
The regime realising that the UPR could not survive much longer began to formulate a transition plan. The LNC was invited to these meetings in which the regime negotiators attempted to encourage unity on the promise of broad reforms and the transition to an elected federal state. Lakhzov representatives, led by Colonel Kadassa, refused all such proposals on the basis that the current regime had been built on the same promises and had failed to deliver them; it was the position of the LNC that only Lakhzov self-rule could ensure Lakhzov civil and political rights.
At the same time the regime was secretly drawing up plans for the partition of the country into four political units with Transmecuria and parts of other provinces to be formed into the Utman Republic, the Axicz highlands to become its own state and for a Tribal Free State to be created in the Rossetiyan desert. The aim of this plan, later proved in papers discovered in the regime offices, was to create a Lakhzov state with difficult to defend borders and lacking access to strategically important resources. The government at this time began to arm and train Utman militias across the country, however the rapid escalation of violence with the Hand of Emet now launching devastating attacks on government positions caused the acceleration of the partition plans.
In August of 1986 under guise of providing stability to prevent the breakdown of negotiations the regime began to redeploy the Utman regiments to areas that they intended to integrate into the Utman Republic. On the 1st September 1986 the government negotiators finally proposed the partition plan to the Lakhzov delegates. The LNC rejected the plan as drafted, beginning the final month of the negotiations, during this time knowledge of the possible partition leaked to the public. Lakhzov and Utman peoples living on the wrong side of the possible future borders became anxious about their fates, feelings of distrust and paranoia began to run high with the first acts of the mass inter-communal violence that was to come occurring later that month.
As negotiations hit an impasse regarding the final border the LNC decided to unilaterally declare independence. On the 14th October 1986 during a mass rally in Nakim Kadassa declared independence in an address to the crowd:
“On this day, the fourteenth of October in the year nineteen-eighty six of the Common Era, I, Sachim Kadassa, authorised by the Lahzov National Congress, the legitimate representative body of the Lakhzov people, declare the Lakhzov Republic an independent state with sole right to sovereignty over the entirety of our historical territory.
In doing so we declare an end to the centuries of injustice perpetrated by the foreign occupiers of our homeland and seek to build a future where all the native peoples of the land are able to live in freedom and enjoy the fruits of their efforts.”
Post Partition Crisis (14/10/1986 – 31/08/1987)
With declaration of Lakhzov Independence and the collapse of a negotiated separation the Utman leadership declared the Utman Free State within the borders they had proposed and backed this up with military occupation.
The months that followed the partition saw the development of a humanitarian crisis as frightened citizens finding themselves living the wrong side of the border began to move en masse out of fear of what minority status might mean in the new ethnically based states. As the post-partition crisis deepened, made worse by the inflammatory rhetoric of the respective governments, order began to break down across the land with angry mobs and militias on both sides conducting purges and massacres of communities which had lived in relative peace for centuries, in some areas entire villages were wiped off the map.
The unstable borders of the new states led both new states to fear that the other was planning to attack, ultimately triggering the first war of what would become known as the Utman Conflict which would shape the future of the land.
(Utman Conflict 31/08/1987 – 2019)
1987 – 2007
The Utman Conflict refers to the beginning of what the Lakhzov refer to as the ‘Civil War’ and the Utman ‘The Disaster’ reflecting the relative viewpoints of the two peoples. The war broke out after the Utman government gave an ultimatum to Lakhzovia to withdraw troops from a contested border region, the Lakhzov responded with a surprise attack pushing up the Mercu basin to capture Khalin. This attack was so successful that the Utman government essentially collapsed turning the defence of the Utman state into a patchwork of different autonomous groups and military units that refused surrender.
By early 1989 it had become clear that the Utman struggle to retain control of the lowlands had failed with the remaining Utman forces retreating to the hill country to wage a guerilla war against the occupying Lakhzov. This stage of the conflict would last until 2007 with Lakhzov troops and militias having to pacify the region village by village, by 1997 a policy of building new Lakhzov settlements on the hilltops overlooking the Utman villages in the valleys had been introduced. The villages and the policy were in effect aimed at creating fortified outposts throughout the land which could be used as bases of operations from which to enforce peace.
In 2001 the last organised militias realising that they were losing the war grouped together to form the Utman Liberation Organisation (ULO) in order to form a representative body recognised by all the Utman with which to continue the movement for freedom. The organisation was designated a terror group by the Lakhzov government and was added to the list of proscribed organisations.
The war was officially announced to be over in 2007 by the Lakhzov government with the formal annexation of Transmecuria, though ULO operations and general conflict continue to present. In the 2009 elections the ULO won a number of seats in the National Assembly through a mass campaign to write in the names of preferred delegates who had been left off the ballot. These Senators were prevented for taken their position in parliament due to the ban on the ULO leaving the majority of Utman communities without representation in the Assembly.
Subsequent by-elections to fill the vacant seats saw the Utman dominated Shanata Party become the second largest party in the National Assembly.
2019 Second Civil War
Despite the relative peace following the Lakhzov victory in 2007 the conflict remained simmering below the surface, prone to erupt in occasional flash point moments and locations. However starting in 2015 there was a noticeable increase in hostile activity with culminating in the terror wave of 2018 that set the stage for the outbreak of the new conflict.