With Lazarus and Osiris recently announcing a new treaty, the Treaty of the Sun, NationStates Today correspondent Wymondham took the opportunity to sit down with delegate & CEO of Lazarus, Imki, in the latest edition of his interview series Up Close and Personal.
Imki has been the delegate of Lazarus for 9 months now and has shown a policy of amnesty towards ex Khanate of Lazarus members. With this in mind, I sat down with Imki to chat about a wide range of issues.
My first line of questioning regarded Imki’s coup of Lazarus on the 23rd of April 2018. I asked Imki about her reasons behind the coup:
“Hey Wymondham! I decided to coup the Khanate as, while I’d been a member of the Khanate (and the preceding Undead Dominion & Dominion too) I’d gotten annoyed being part of what was basically an overblown joke that had been dragged on too long and decided enough was enough. I felt guilty for the upheaval the natives of the region had been put through so much and wanted to help them get their region back on track again.”
Imki has been on NS for nearly 3 years now. Her career has been varied, yet focused mainly on game-created regions:
“I started off in the South Pacific and found myself drawn to the vibrant roleplay culture there at the time which inspired my true passion, making graphics. The longer I spent there the more I wanted to help what had become my home and ended up on the Local Council before becoming Vice-Delegate to Hileville during the notorious Constitutional Crisis. Despite a rocky beginning I stuck around the region and ended up becoming Minister of Military Affairs, rebuilding the SPSF in to an active military force once again. I also started exploring other regions, mostly GCR’s in this time, usually just chatting and assisting with graphics but also holding occasional minor roles too. I offered to help Funk with graphics in Lazarus when he became delegate and as I was feeling rather disillusioned in TSP, being unable to shake off the stigma of my participation in the Constitutional Crisis, I started spending more time in Laz, helping the retheme of the region and was promoted to a Guardian which was a position I held till I couped Wolf.
Immediately after she couped Lazarus, Imki declared a state of anarchy, playing on the comments made by many external observers, longtime natives, and residents of Lazarus that Lazarus should be reclassified as a warzone:
“There were a few reasons, the main one is I thought it would be absolutely hilarious. After Lazarus had been declared a Warzone due to all the chaos that had been running rampant I thought it would be funny to embrace the concept and see how people reacted. The excitement and confusion of clearing the ban list and announcing ‘Warzone Lazarus’ to now be an Anarchy gave time for the Constitutional Convention and Peacekeepers to get organised as well as gave the residents a chance to blow off steam, think about what they wanted for Lazarus going forward and to see how their companions acted once the gloves came off. It was also to be a symbolic action, burning down everything that came before to rise gloriously again, like our signatory Phoenix, from the ashes to start afresh.”
After the Constitutional convention had been called, it seemed to drag on forever, before Imki decided to dissolve it and enact Mandate XII, Cormac’s draft, as Lazarus’ new constitution:
“It had become apparent that while the Constitutional Convention had been built on good intentions it was held back by lack of trust, power plays and an assortment of other issues. Things were going nowhere and frustration heated tempers. The problems that had plagued Lazarus before were still deeply rooted in the region and the perceived power vacuum drew people from far and wide to take part and try and get their own slice of Lazarene pie. I ended the ConCon because, while not ideal, it was the only option I saw to put an end to the arguments, dirty politics and try and help repair some of the burnt bridges. Instead of arguing over every last little detail I decided to present them with a basic skeleton of a Constitution and get them to focus on working together to flesh it out. I reached out to Cormac who provided Mandate 12 and together the region have been adding to it in a far more calm and pleasant manor.
Despite Imki’s worries about people trying to “get their own slice of Lazarene pie,” she has adopted a spirit of reconciliation towards former members (including your correspondent) of the old Lazarene Khanate, where many would have simply shut them out:
“I believe in second chances. I think it can be easy to get caught up in things that seem exciting and fun, hell, I like to get up to a little mischief myself now and then, and my unique position inside the Khanate gave me a pretty good insight into what was going on then and the motivations behind it all. Lazarus is literally the home of starting again, nations get another chance when they respawn in our region! Giving everyone from either side a fair and equal chance to be involved and start again if they were willing to work together felt like the best way to try and resolve some of that hostility and heal the wounds of the past. Obviously, things aren’t that easy and there’s still a bit of friction but overall everyone has managed to get along relatively amicably regardless of the side they were on during it all. Everyone can agree on one thing at least; we’re all in it for the same reason, a better, stronger, independent Lazarus!”
The Constitution Imki enacted, Mandate XII, is heavily based on other Constitutions written by Cormac (The State Code of Osiris, the Scroll of Ma’at and the Scroll of Horus), but for Imki it fit the bill as exactly what Lazarus needed:
“It fit the bill for what I felt Lazarus needed. Cormac has wide ranging experience with both constitution writing and general Sinkerness and what works in them, he was the ideal person to work with this on in my opinion and he knocked it out of the park. We spoke about what Lazarus needed and he put it together in a far better format than I could have done myself. As I said before, I just wanted to give them a basic frame to add too and the one Cormac came up with was perfect in my eyes.”
Having been delegate for nearly a year now, Imki is clear where she wants the region to go over the next year:
“My main priority is getting Lazarus to a stage where I can step out of the delegate seat and watch like a proud mother hen while they command respect as a region. I want to see the culture blossom and thrive, I want to see them step out on their own and make a name for themselves in Gameplay that can be respected again, not just be the butt of jokes. From day one of couping Wolf I said I wanted to see a strong, independent Lazarus and that is still my end goal now. If I can look back on Lazarus in a year and see the foundations, I helped them lay supporting a bustling region again I will be ecstatic.”
With these comments, the issue of succession is bound to come to mind. Imki is clear on who she wants to succeed her:
“Treadwellia, AKA Tubbius, he’s shown great devotion and dedication to Lazarus and really cares about the community. While he lacks experience in the greater gameplay circles he’s incredibly smart and adept at reading people, he holds no prior grudges or affiliations with other regions, organisations or alignments and wants only what’s best for the region as a whole which I think is exactly what Lazarus needs which is why I have chosen him for my Vice-Delegate and eventual successor.
Every new delegate must have moments of doubt, right? I asked Imki this question, to which she jokingly replied:
“Every second since I became delegate.”
Imki is very positive about the past, having these replies when asked about what her greatest throughout her NS career was and what she would change about her NS career:
“Oh wow, too many to list off, I think maybe agreeing to be Local Councillor in TSP which set me on the slippery slope to where I am now? In all seriousness though, while I do think I’ve made a great many mistakes in my career they have all helped me become a better, stronger player. The greatest mistake is not learning from your past mistakes.”
“Hmm, tricky question. Joke answer, everything! Letting myself get dragged into politics! 😛 Serious answer though would probably be nothing. My career and all its trials and tribulations have made me the player I am now, without the ups and downs I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Imki is very positive about Lazarus, believing its resilience over time to be its greatest strength:
“Strength despite adversity, and forgiveness. They have been through so much but those that have weathered all the hardships have continued to work together to try and make the place better for us all. It can be so hard to move on from the past and rebuild but they’re managing it wonderfully.”
Yet Imki sees points of improvements too, believing the following to be Lazarus’ greatest weakness then and now:
Historically: “Being too trusting. The unfortunate side effect of trying to let everyone have a fair chance is not everyone has such innocent intentions. It can be hard to tell who genuinely cares for the community and who just wants to play silly buggers with it for fun. We can’t let paranoia control us though, we have to be careful but not lose our open nature.”
Now: “Today I think our biggest weakness is a lack of culture in the region. The chaos and fresh start meant a loss of regional identity but I believe we’re on track to finding ourselves again. It’s not something I believe should or could be rushed but something that needs to evolve back organically over time as they’re given a chance to enjoy some long overdue stability again.”
However Imki believes this can be addressed with stability in the long term:
“Long term stability and encouragement. As more people take part and enjoy the place I think it will grow. I really want to help get the ball rolling with things like a regional map but these are things that need to be discussed more with the region as a whole.”
Imki says she enjoys a good personal relationship with Altino, but there were more reasons than that behind Lazarus’ decision to make Osiris its first treatied ally of the Mandate XII era:
“I think Altino is great both to casually chat to and as a political figure. She’s fun but can be serious when she needs to be and definitely a force to be reckoned with. My relationship with Altino was not what brought about the treaty though. Our regions share a lot in common and I think our sister sinker is the obvious choice for our first treaty under Mandate 12.”
Imki also feels Lazarus and Osiris have a lot in common besides just being sister sinkers:
“Our constitutions share a lot of similarities and we’ve both been through more than our fair share of turmoil, not to mention our current joint war with the NPO. Besides that I believe both regions share friendly citizens that get on well and respect each other. I think we will be able to have a lot of fun together on cultural activities.”
Finally, Imki believes a lack of introspection and understanding is the greatest threat facing GCRs today:
“I don’t think there’s really any one catch all answer to that question. Every region has its own unique culture with its inherent different strengths and weaknesses. They each face their own different threats from different things. Introspection and understanding what makes your community different and working that to your advantage is important. You can then also understand your weaknesses and try to prevent them being used against you.”
I would like to thank Imki for giving up so much of her valuable time to give me this interview, and I see a fine future for Lazarus as they are in safe hands with Imki. I hope you, our readers, have enjoyed this interview as much as I enjoyed delivering it.