The Ladish Confederation, Lade, is a collection of 14 republics occupying the Northern section of the Fenno-Scandinavian Peninsula. It is the least densely populated country in Europe and has a population of around 1.3 million. It shares borders with Hordaland, Svealand, Finland and the Duchy of Karelia. To the North it is bordered by the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea and to the East by the White Sea. Its capital city is Trondheim.
Its current Head of State is Pekka Olli.
Its currency is the Ladish Krona (LAK).
Its official languages are Norwegian, Sami (9 different dialects are given official status in various Republics), Finnish and North Russian.
Lade was originally an Earldom in the North of Norway centred around Trondheim, that secured its independence by staying largely aloof from the internecine warfare that gripped Hordaland and Viken through much of the Early Medieval period. It derived its wealth from controlling trade from Northern Novgorod and some of the trade towards Greenland, Iceland and the Leifian states. Its influence extended northwards along the coast and eastwards into Sameland. In 1289 its native line of Earls was extinguished and the title was taken as a fief of Denmark which was by that point the pre-eminent power in Scandinavia. Denmark largely took over the trade routes and by allowing Lade to become poor it descended into a period of mis-rule.
Shortly afterward, Lappland was designated a no-man's land by the Treaty of Noteborg between Svealand and Novgorod, meaning that no country had the right to build castles there. However in practice this meant the natives, the Sami, ended up paying tribute to all neighbouring powers.
In 1512 the local lords rebelled against Danish rule taking advantage of the general anarchy engulfing the Kalmar Union at the time. Many disaffected Svealandic lords, as well as Sami chiefs, allied with the Ladish. The newly created Ladish army displayed considerable tactical ability in war and copied many Swiss and Grey League tactics, often fighting in deep snow and outmaneuvering Kalmar cavalry. They also made use of mercenaries from Iceland who were often paid in boats to make up for the lack of hard currency.
Following the Battle of Ornskoldsvik in 1523, and wary that it was losing on other fronts, Denmark signed the Peace of Gavle which abolished the Earldom of Lade and established a republic. In return Lade and its constituent republics confirmed allegiance to the Kalmar Union and subsequently campaigned effectively on its behalf. The subsequent split of Svealand, and then Finland, from Greater Denmark ensured Lade's continued independence and allowed the rebellious provinces to crystallise into self-governing republics. Further treaties would be signed with the successive countries to define borders and limits. The border with Novgorod and Karelia remained in flux and was only solved in 1843 when Finland defeated Novgorod at the Battle of Sortavala securing Karelian independence. As a result Kola was added as the final and largest of the Ladish Republics.
An agreement with Hordaland in 1916 established joint sovereignty over the Svalbard archepelago.
Lade is a full member of the Kalmar Union. The Prime Minister of Lade (or their designated representative) is the Confederation's representative at the Union's conferences. Its army is, organisationally, a part of Denmark's force and comprises the 6th Army Group. Additionally the Kalmar Union's Northern fleet is berthed at Trondheim, Tromsø and Murmanborg.
Each of the 14 Republics is self-governing and is free to administer local affairs, including education and taxes. Each republic in turn sends representatives to the Rikstag in Trondheim which controls a united judiciary and also foreign relations. The Rikstag has sometimes been accused of pettiness and inertia, citing long disagreements between the Norwegian and Finnish provinces, but reform in the 1880's has resulted in stable and prosperous government.
The standard of living within the Confederation is high, especially in the cities, thanks to decades of industralisation and the relative low population. The population remains largely rural, however, an urban boom is expected in Kola as a result of the recent finds of apatite alongside silver in the south of the republic. The known deposits of aluminium remain waiting to be exploited.
Prime Ministerial elections are carried out every 5 years. Local republic elections are carried out as and when the respective constitutions demand it.