Propaganda, spread by the Grand Secretariat. The left flag represents the Heavenly Court, the central flag the Empire and the right one the Grand Secretariat. The designs were used by Jin San in an attempt to increase Guanchang influence over the Empire.
The Kantai-Ha Clique
380,000 (regular) 906,678 (militia)
|Casualties and losses|
|~250,000 lost to death, injury, and desertion acknowledged by 1698 AN|
The Post-Chidao Troubles refers to a period in Jingdaoese history after the ascension of the Chidao Emperor to godhood (despite chidaoist claims that He already held power over other gods in His physical body). Prior to the Heavenly Light's perceived death, dozens of Chidaoist cults and movements had spread across the Empire. Those rivalled the official teachings of Tianchaodao, which recognised the Heavenly Light as mediator, but not necessarily as a god. Many of those branches, like Eschatological Chidaoism, predicted the end times, while other - more rational voices - were concerned about the existence of the Great Jing Dynasty itself.
Rumours about the Emperor's ascension to Heaven and His takeover of total power from all other gods began to spread in 1695 AN, when He disappeared while attending a religious ceremony at the Heavenly Palace at Daocheng. It marked the end of what was perceived as one of the most stable and prosperous eras of the Jingdaoese Empire.
The conflict in the Dalmacijan theatre was known in Benacian and Humanist historiography as the First Kildarian Liberation War or - among Apollonian scholars as Second Benacian War for Kildarian Conquest, in reference to its earlier subjugation by Kaiser Gaelen I around 1451 AN.
A peaceful era
During the reign of the Chidao Emperor, Jingdao saw a period of unprecedented welfare. While the early part of his reign was dominated by the Old Guard who had played an important role during the War of Lost Brothers, the horrors of the war and the meagre victories had silenced most war hawks for the time being. Newly acquired land, taken from the Florians, finally connected Chongchacheng (known as Fosavlos) with mainland Jingdao, reinforced pride in the Empire and its Heavenly Light.
The Old Guard successfully stirred public opinion in favour of its policies, and - most importantly - away from ethnic differences. Succeeding where the Meiyo Emperor had failed, it stabilised the rule of the young emperor. The democratic institutions, which had been temporarily revived were incapable of handling urgent matters and was eventually silenced with a pen stroke from the Heavenly Court.
While growing up, the Emperor surprised friend and foe by side-lining his most important ministers one by one, and eventually taking court and government matters in His own hand. Policies to improve the life of the Empire's citizens proceeded, while integration of culture groups in a larger Jingdaoese identity was heavily focused on.
In the 1670's and 1680's the nation experienced huge economic growth - with an increase in manufacturing, housing construction, large infrastructure projects and the expansion of social services. Civil liberties, while still heavily monitored by the Tegong, were relaxed and projects to open the country to foreigners were well underway. The creation of the Gangdiguo Special Economic Zone and Treaty Ports fuelled the economic expansion.
The peace, combined with a sharp decrease of famines, increase in living standard and population boom, led many to believe that the Chidao Emperor was a god among His people. Chidaoism directly challenged the principle of Tianchaodao that the Heavenly Light acted as a mediator.
Consolidation of the Young Guard
The 1690 recession marked the end of an era of economical growth. With Jingdaoese markets heavily beaten up, reforms and fresh new blood were introduced to replace the stagnant officials, both in and outside the government. Both Navy and Armed Forces saw themselves under new, more modern leadership. This, however, did not diminish the usual rivalry between the two forces.
The newly established provincial assemblies, established to receive the blame for any failures of the central government, became hotbeds of political discussions. Especially in Bangou, where a large group of vocal Dalmacijans and Kildari gathered, and Xianbei, which had been traditionally the home of leftist movements, tensions between the ruling class and its subjects rose.
|The Second Xianbei Defiance Movement||Tsukono Wei||Establishment of a socialist state in Xianbei and preferably Jingdao as a whole.||Xianbei Province|
|Imperial Government / Neiwufu Agency||Houdezaiwu / Jin San||The legal administration, based in Daocheng, tries to re-establish control over the Empire.||Heliu, Dazijin, Zhongji, Zhaoqin and Liao Province|
|Gunbatsu Clique||Tzao Yao
|Official allies of the government. The Armies of the northern border claim to 'liberate' the Imperial Court from the influences of Navy and bureaucrats. The Eastern Gunbatsu are divided among several squabbling warlords, trying to establish their own authority over the region and the Court.||Southern Qianjin and northern Zhaoqin Province|
|The United Thanedom of Dalmacija||Mariusu Wusi (Marius of Novigrad)||
||Bangou and Qianjin Province|
|The League of United Jingdaoese Provinces||Wu Pei||To protect itself from revolutionary movements and foreign influences, the provincial assemblies of Jinkeai and Xianxia proclaimed their neutrality and wish to uphold imperial government and tradition for the time being.||Jinkeai and Xianxia Province|
|The Tegong State||Tegong Marshal Li Suyi||The Tegong State wishes to keep full civil war at bay. Threats to use the nuclear arsenal must keep a civil war limited to minor battles.||Qaoshan Province|
|The Seishi Clique||Taizong of Seishi||Taizho proclaims himself as new Emperor of Jingdao, establishing a new dynasty. His tribal allies seek the conquest and pacification of the western lands.||Qaoshan and Jingqyzy Province|
|The Kantai-Ha Clique||Liang Dumyan||To protect the Empire, the Imperial Navy has retreated to some of its core bases. It's goal is, in the first place, to protect the Empire against foreign oversea enemies.||Gong Province and Far Eastern Territory|
Disappearance of the Light (XII.1695 AN)
- 1: The Second Seishinso of Xianxia receives a vision from the spirits. Their activity, as if something big is going to happen, alarms the Seishin Order.
- 2: The Neiwufu Agency receives warnings from the Seishin Order but decides to ignore them as the ties between the Heavenly Court and spiritual order became tense ever since the former Diwang Zhang San's disappearance in 1690 AN.
- 7: A religious ceremony under the guidance of the Chidao Emperor is held at the Imperial Court at Imperial Guang Palace. While the Heavenly Light sings a prayer to the gods, a bright, red light shoots down from heaven. The light envelops the body of Chidao, and the beam itself can be seen from every corner of Dazijin Province.
Shock waves across the plaza destroy parts of the palace. A handful of witnesses claim to hear the voice of Chidao shout:
"The End of the Old Gods has arrived. There is only One. There is only Chidao."
- There are no traces of the Chidao Emperor. Searches around the perimeters lead to nothing. Guards and priests are baffled by the things they witnessed the day beforehand. Those present at the ceremony are put under house arrest, including Diwang Jin San and a majority of the ministers, by the Imperial Whites.
- The capital goes into a lockdown and martial law is declared. With a breakdown in command, it is decided that the Grand Secretariat will temporarily take over the duties of the Heavenly Light. Due to the house arrest of several of its members while investigations are running, communication is abysmal.
- Lin Zexu, Imperial Magistrate and Commander of the Eight Gates, orders the closure of the city gates and takes charge of the investigation. While not publicly taking power, Lin is now the most powerful free person in the capital. Concerned about a conspiracy against the Throne, he starts with arresting Tegong agents.
- Tegong Marshal Li Suyi hears the news while on an inspection in Qaoshan Province. Fearing for the stability of the Empire, he puts the Tegong in red alarm. Instead of travelling to the capital, he starts gathering the Tegong Banner Armies near the town of Genkaku (Port Hallucination) while abiding his time to strike.
- 9: The eldest daughter of Chidao, Houdezaiwu, is called to the Guang Palace, to ascend the Throne. The ascension is postponed as officials are still unsure if the Heavenly Light is truly death.
- Field Marshal Tzao Yao, who once held a big influence at the Court but has long been banned to the northern borders, hears of the disappearance of Chidao. Fearing a power struggle and coup d'état from the bureaucrats, his subordinates demand action. Tzao is pressured into moving the Second and Third Field Army southwards.
- Strikes across Xianbei Province as the Nokarodo Faction instigates protests against the local land owners. Tegong and army officers await orders from Daocheng.
- 14: Tsukono Wei, almost 70 years old, comes out of hiding and publicly denounces the Imperial Government and its lackeys. Video footage of Tsukono who calls upon the people to take up arms get through the censorship and are broadcast across the province. Promises of fair wages, equal pay and a collectivisation of land and enterprises are made.
- 23: Tzao Yao gives in to the pressure. The Second and Third Field Army start moving southwards across the Teikoku michi IA2 and railways. A minimal presence of troops leave the border vulnerable. Within the cities, only small garrisons remain to keep the peace.
- 24: Breakdown of logistics happen in Bangou Province, as over 300,000 men are on the way southwards. Rumours about food shortages, as the army would have taken all the food reserves, start to spread. In the evening, a Jingdaoese woman is found in her home: raped and killed. Police thinks it was a robbery done by one of the minority groups. Several Dalmacijans are arrested, which leads to protests in Yuanbeicheng.
- 30: Protests have spread across Dalmacija. Fears of retaliation and rumours about food shortages increase tension. The authorities use tear gas to scatter the crowds.
- 1: The Xinshi Emperor ascends the Throne. Directly afterwards she returns to the inner palace. Lack of communication, and a government which is still silenced due to its house arrest, weaken central authority further. News of the Armed Forces moving southwards let many believe that a coup is imminent.
- 7: Outbreak of violence across the countryside in Xianbei Province. Start of a series of partisan attacks on Tegong and military convoys. Communication between major cities around Lake Christoph and the townships in the north is ended abruptly.
- 3: Taizong of Seishi convenes the eastern tribes in a Great Meeting, Yuehan. He vows to protect the values of the tribes but urges to unite behind him. A new empire is proclaimed, as Xinshi is seen as a weak princess. Taizong ascends the Throne and reveals that he has former Diwang Zhang San in captivity.
- 7: Naval ships of the Imperial Jingdaoese Navy are ordered to leave their harbours and travel towards a port in Gong.
- 12: First Admiral Liang Dumyan consolidates power over the Kantai-Ha political faction. Under pressure of his fellow officers he's forced to retract his earlier assurances to the Heavenly Court, as many are sceptical if the new Heavenly Light even wants to rule. Meanwhile, it's clear that the Gunbatsu Faction holds the largest military force but lacks union of command.
Secession of the Provinces (XIII–XV.1695 AN)
- 1: Tsukono Wei announces that his partisans will strive for the establishment of a socialist republic, "freed of its feudalist remnants which have plagued the common man". The Second Xianbei Defiance Movement vows to establish a democratic people's republic, either consisting of the province itself or the nation as a whole. The first people's councils are established in major towns like Jingyuanlin, Yuncenglou and Yunshangxiang. In many places, the police and soldiers lay down their weapons, retreat or join the revolutionaries.
- 6: The local garrison of Yuanbeicheng is overrun. The fifty soldiers left behind for riot control are too few to keep order as local Kildarian police units ignore orders of their Jingdaoese higher-ups. Marius Gallo launches an attack on the garrison headquarters. It leads to the first of three infamous Port Nevermore Massacre with all fifty soldiers hung and over 350 Jing residents burned alive in a nearby temple.
- 4: A certain Dr Merrick, presenting credentials on behalf of the Industrial Archaeology Programme of the Honourable Company, accompanied by an eight-man close-protection detail from corporate security, crossed into rebel held North Dalmacija aboard a heavily armed gravimetric pinnace. After surviving hostile engagement by four Raven interceptors of the Gunbatsu Clique, the pinnace managed to effect a landing outside the city of Haogang. Dr Merrick and her companions thereafter established contact with the commanders of the local Dalmacijan and Kildari rebel forces.
- 9: Consistent with his deepening alignment with the Humanist Movement, Marius Gallo was declared an Archon by representatives of the leadership of the warbands under his command, gathered at Port Nevermore.
- 12: Cedrist priests in Merensk begin preaching for a religious war to liberate Kildare from the "heathenish" Jing.
- 16: Crusade preaching spreads to the islands of Sathrati.
- 30: International humanist volunteers, drawn from the cadres of the N&H Vanguard Group, begin to arrive in Port Nevermore. A parade of these volunteers, reviewed by the Archon Marius, marked the formation of the 17th Vanguard Division.
- 31: The MV Trades Increase, a Khan-class container-ship registered to the Apollonian Directorate of the Honourable Company, escorted by six Logistic Support Vessels dropped anchor in the roads of Port Nevermore.
- 32: The Tianchao Haijun sends the aircraft carrier HLS Muxiecheng and two Sodaina-class battleship, HLS Dumyan and HLS Hantian to Zhuaricheng to take over the port and re-establish naval presence in the region in an attempt to stop foreign encroachment.
- 5: The MV Trades Increase, accompanied by its escorts, departed Port Nevermore for the territorial waters of Arboria.
- The Talons of the Archon parade in Port Nevermore.
- The port area, including naval dockyards and the inner harbour of Port Nevermore was occupied by a survey team Industrial Archaeology Programme, some one-hundred and fifty strong and a considerable number of whom were under arms. A significant number of Kildari were recruited for tasks described as heavy manual labour and mechanical work, with favourable rates of pay for skilled welders. Locally recruited workers were housed within a converted warehouse within the sealed district. Access into and out of the port area was strictly controlled, with only ESB and N&H officers of sufficient clearance permitted access.
- 17: First contingents of Benacian penitents arrived in Tirlar, the capital of Arboria, via chartered flights from Sathrati in order to begin their period of "spiritual contemplation" ahead of what was being billed as a "pilgrimage of grace" undertaken on behalf of the Cedrist faith.
- 18: Elements of the Northern Army, loyal to the Gunbatsu Clique and confined within a shallow defensive pocket running along the border with Arboria, came under a night-time barrage of one-hundred short to medium range unguided rockets fired into their rear echelon positions from locations within rebel held territory. The majority of the rockets having been launched towards Northern Army formations located in the peninsular north-west of Lifang.
- 9: An outbreak of the White Plague was reported in the Mirkdale Peninsular (southern Arboria). The 77th Brigade of the Arboreal Guard deployed to enforce a quarantine of the peninsular.
- 11: Requests on behalf of news organisations to arrange visits to the Mirkdale Peninsular were acknowledged but would not be approved until a final decision was made by the Council of Arboria. All further enquiries concerning travel permit authorisations were to be directed to the Tirlar residency of the Apollonian Directorate of the Honourable Company, addressed for the attention of the Clerk of the Office.
- 7: Pilgrims assembled at Tirlar were embarked aboard requisitioned coastal boats and ferried to the Mirkdale Peninsular in order to participate in humanitarian relief work.
- 4: Yoshi Iwao consolidates power over the Western Gunbatsu Clique after the death of Tzao Yao, who suffered of old age. His deteriorating health didn't make it a surprise, but presented a crisis for the largest army group of Jingdao: for years the armed forces had remained passive with exception of launching occasional attacks on Dalmacijan rebel groups. Out of fear for a large scale civil war, the ailing Tzao Yao had left his troops stranded in the Qianjin and Zhaoqin Province. Despite criticism, and increasing dessertion, Tzao's prestige had kept the army from attacking either the north nor south. With the old Field Marshal gone, newly (and self) appointed Yoshi Iwao, promised to bring an end to the war. Any campaigns, however, became impossible due to domestic troubles.
- 17: The transponder of a ship calling itself the SS Salem reactivated off-shore from the Seishi Clique held port of Xaoxincheng in the district of Naoi (Jingqyzyl Province). The vessel turned away from the port shortly after approaching the limit of the territorial waters claimed in former times by the Jing.
- The first Çakari troops crossed the border. Later in the day, the first Çakari casualties occurred after a tank hit a roadside bomb.
- The crew of the SS Salem, ashore at Tyrador, came under siege from a host of 2,000 steppe nomads.
- 3: The cities, Cundiyangshu and Silafucheng, surrendered and were liberated by Çakari paramilitaries.
- 13: The defenders at Tyrador are relieved by a company of 90 Sieshi clique bannermen, accompanied by six armoured cars, led by one of the political officers put ashore previously.
- 20: Trucks and pack animals arrive to carry the armaments back to pre-arranged cache locations distributed in rebel territory and the green.
- 22: Limited military skirmishes into either Tegong and Dalmacijan occupied territory end up in stalemates, with the Western Gunbatsu becoming increasingly violent against Kildari in occupied territories.
- 17: The last Jing garrisons along the Arborian frontier are reported to have been overwhelmed, following months of massed human-wave attacks by the rebel forces against the rearwards facing emergency trenches dug by the defenders and precision artillery strikes coordinated by aerostat platforms operated from the Arboreal side of the great wall.
- 9: Kuai, brother of Taizong of Seishi, leader of the Qyzylqaystani guerrillas, joins the Çakari forces in fighting the Seishi rebels for the liberation of Gürbançybaq.
- 20: Lingtsu Landing started with 36,000 troops and 2,300 vehicles.
- 22: Up to 100,000 tons of fuel, munitions and supplies reported to be passing into Dalmacija from the north.
- 23: Humanist recruiting parties begin to tour the River Warrior provinces seeking volunteers willing to enlist for the anti-Jing war. THe recruitment officers are met with mixed success, as the Riverorians already held a special status within the Empire.
- 5: Taizong of Seishi commits suicide and former Diwang Zhang San is freed. The Seishi rebels have been defeated, so the Çakari operation is complete. The former area under Seishi control is placed under military administration.
- 10: Jing guerillas start launching terror attacks in the streets of Miaochan, Yuanbeicheng (Port Nevermore) and Hongsejiamen. On the countryside, violence between Jing and Kildari ethnicities is rising.
- 19: A Kildari feudal host, comprising of 40,000 cavalry, 60,000 militiamen, 30 field guns, and 150 improvised armoured vehicles and armoured cars, launched their offensive into Sichuan District. Advancing southwards from Zhangzu, the Kildari warbands sought to sever the road between Xiayang to Qiaoxi, by the means of a brisk march to the sea. The vast host was commanded to live off the land by plunder and foraging, and to sustain their advance by capturing Jing vehicles and fuel stores intact wherever possible. Native Kildari were incited by the militia along the whole line of the march to rise up and massacre their Jing neighbours, to take their women and daughters for pleasure and to avail themselves of plundering homes, businesses and estates as the opportunity is now before them. To cover the advance the Kildari commenced their attack with a singular atrocity. 14 captured passenger jets, recovered from liberated airports and returned to working order by the Talons of the Archon were filled with Jing hostages, incendiary materials, and high explosives, and remotely piloted from their take-off outside Port Nevermore. Once these doomed aircraft reached their cruising altitude their onboard autopilots engaged to follow a pre-planned flightpath. A dozen of these flying bombs approached Muxiecheng from the north in a line abreast formation. Each passenger jet began to converge upon a programmed aiming point located in the centre of the city, whereupon the autopilot would shutdown the engines and plunged the aircraft into a terminal dive. The final stage of the doomed flight, as it crossed into Jing held territory, saw the passenger jets shepherded towards their final destination by four Solentan amphibious fighters tasked to deflect the efforts of enemy air defences as best they were able. The final two hostage and fuel laden aircraft were remotely piloted on a course towards Daocheng, with the forbidden palace as their aiming point, followed at a distance by a Jan-van-Gent VII Model fitted out with a range of electromagnetic sensors, and escorted by 2 captured Raven IV Model operated by the 4th Pursuit Demi-Regiment of the Talons.
- 22: The garrison of Muxiecheng, demotivated and on the point of rebellion, surrenders to the approaching Dalmacijan troops. Alarmed by the fast approach of the enemy and its capture of a vital point in the Teikoku michi, Marshal Yoshi Iwao orders the bombardment and destruction of the nearby airfield and bridges.
- 23: Pressured by the changing military and political situation, Marshall Iwao accepts to travel towards Xiacheng to join a convention between Çakari, the Heavenly Court and several warlords. In the meanwhile, he sends his most trusted assistant to plea with the Tegong State for supplies to launch a counter attack.
- 9: As the southern offensive continued, the Thanes of Dalmacija met at Port Nevermore to discuss the recognition of the claim of Aurelia Myksos to the ancient ducal throne of Kildare. A split between those favouring Shirekeep and those favouring independence is growing, especially as Aurelia is seen as 'another foreigner' and -according to hardliners - part of a foreign House which sold the country to the Jing.
- 5: In spite of concern on the part of professional officers attached to the Talons of the Archon, pressure mounts to continue the offensive towards Daocheng in an effort to liberate the victims of Jingdaoese concentration camps and to conduct further reprisals against the ethnic Jing population for their attempts to suppress Kildari identity over the course of the last century.
- 11: Reports of the founding of an "Apollonian Empire" was met with scorn in Port Nevermore, with propagandists claiming it would lead to the submission of the Jing to the Cakari, a nation wholly alien in customs and heritage, a by-blow of the Ayashti who had somehow prospered in the ruins of Krasnocoria. Differences between the Kildari warbands were once more put aside as it became clear that the forthcoming offensive against Daocheng was to be the do or die effort to end foreign tyranny, Jing or Cakari, once and for all.
- 12: Operation Deadlift: the transfer of armoured vehicles, aircraft, and munitions from Elwynn-UGB to Arboria commenced as a reinsurance against Cakaristani imperial ambitions in western Apollonia. Significant assets of Dingo Enterprises, the Honourable Company, and SATCo, including orbital transporters and shuttle craft were utilised to begin the transshipment of items of heavy equipment, including IMW-3 Snarks, to Arboria.
- 13: A failed suicide attack by a young Kildarian patriot almost kills Marius Gallo, who is - according to the attacker - seen as a traitor to the Kildarian independence. In a letter which he left in his apartment, he wrote: "Death to foreign threats! The Shirerithians suppressed us for ages, then came the Jing and we were of neither worse or better, and now we can only reach out for real independence. Gallo is a marionette of Raspur and needs to be killed to keep us free. We can't sell our soul for a bunch of guns." The 'united' Kildarian front doesn't look as stable as it seems from the outside, but aside of some hurt pride, it doesn't hinder the full-blown mobilisation.
- The assassination attempt prompted debate within Kildari intellectual circles, such as they were, in a bars and cafes of Port Nevermore. The consensus became that the youth was misguided. While Kildare had chaffed within the Imperial Republic, the Kildari had been ignored in most matters save for the fulfillment of feudal dues. This worked to their advantage, certainly there had been no interest in persecuting Kildari culture and no equivalent to REST camps or the Tegong. Shirekeep had been distant, but Daocheng had been close enough to enforce its ideological manias, and now this new hybrid empire led by a barbarian from the east.
- 1: Operation: Tianshang de heping starts to subdue the last rebels against the Tobu Emperor.
- 2: The entirety of Port Nevermore and its peninsular declared to be a closed security zone under the operational control of the Talons of the Archon. VIPs and key locations received their own assigned security details and a rapid reaction force built around the 171st Motorised Infantry Regiment is garrisoned in the city. Air and harbour defence drills were staged over the next four consecutive nights.
- 12: Daocheng Offensive begins - under the cover of a thunderous artillery barrage along two thirds of the front, Kildari militia under the command of their warlords and commissars assigned from the Talons of the Archon launch a series of human wave attacks, spearheaded by suicide bombers and sacrificial assault teams, that last throughout the day from dawn until dusk against the positions of the Western Gunbatsu Clique. The forces of the Gunbatsu and the Tegong State will need to be crushed if the Kildari are to stand any chance of reaching Daocheng and preventing the Cakari takeover of Apollonia.
- Rumours appear in the press of neutral countries concerning a tank training school being operated by foreign specialists somewhere in the region of Shangmei. Reports noted the frustrations of foreign instructors trying to familiarise recently enlisted Kildari peasants with the operating of complex machinery and the rudiments of armoured manoeuvre warfare.
- The ESB Industrial Archaeology Programme's team in Port Nevermore departed with several commandeered fishing boats carrying Kildari militia, escorted by three modified small merchant vessels of local construction. Their destination transpired to be the Umiqan Islands in Hyperion Bay. The mission established its headquarters in the former prefectural offices of Caohichan town.
- 1: Reorganisation of Kildari forces - 1st Army Group (600,000 militia, including 160,000 cavalry), occupying the Xiayang-Muxiecheng gap and the western third of the front against the Gunbatsu Clique; 2st Army Group (800,000 militia, including 80,000 cavalry, improvised armoured vehicles and the siege trains of the artillery corps), covering the remaining two thirds of the front against the Gunbatsu Clique and continuing the Daocheng Offensive; 3rd Army Group (300,000 militia, the balance of requisitioned commercial vehicles and watercraft), securing north-south lines of communication and screening the frontier of the Xianbei Defiance Movement and the shores of Lake Christoph; 4th Army Group (300,000 including Talons of the Archon, armoured and airborne warfare training establishments and strategic reserve), guarding the strategic industrial assets of Port Nevermore, the shores of Hyperion Bay, and the lines of communication with Arboria and Senya (including the River Warrior Provinces).
- 2: 1st Penitent Brigade transferred from the Mirkdale peninsular to Caohichan, Umiqan prefecture, to reinforce the Industrial Archaeology Programme in its efforts to gain access to certain hardened facilities installed on the island chain and return them to operational capacity.
- 7: 1st Kildari Air Wing begins to deploy to prepared dispersal landing strips behind the lines of the 2nd Army Group, equipped with aircraft transferred to the Apollonian Theatre as part of Operation Deadlift. Operating far into Jingdaoese territory, these aircraft (72x T-2/A-2 Saeqeh, 64x UH-76 Dromosker, 24x F-9 Ashavan II) were flown by private contractors engaged by the Talons of the Archon.
- 8: An eminent person, disguised as a River Warrior, and escorted by a retinue of the same, arrived at Weicheng, in Xianbei Province, to call upon the residence of Tsukono Wei. Presenting a letter of recommendation signed and stamped by Marius Gallo, the hooded-gentleman, whose skin had been artificially stained and darkened, presented gifts that comprised of four Hornet recoilless anti-tank rifles, 600 Kalgarrand, and the news that a regiment of 1,200 River Warriors, who had declined the opportunity to fight alongside the Kildari but who were willing to risk their lives for a more liberal Jingdao, was crossing into Xianbei Province. The gentleman promised Wei that further gifts could be furnished with the utmost discretion to expand the meagre forces presently at his disposal in the face of the looming offensive of their reorganised mutual foe.
- 9: The Kildari warbands of the magisters Clemens, Maximus, and Sergius, forming a consolidated host of 106,372 militia and 24,234 mounted men at arms, was set to the task of capturing Futang, on the shores of Lake Christoph, by the 2nd Army Group, which was under increasing pressure from the council assembled in Port Nevermore to finally deliver a breakthrough against the forces of the Gunbatsu Clique. Supported by 62 combat jets, 86 armoured cars and improvised armoured vehicles, and a siege train of 2,266 artillery pieces (a mix of captured field guns and workshop wrought cannons of horrifyingly variable calibre and quality) the attacking Kildari advanced from their dugouts towards objectives that had been subject to a sudden and systematic pulverisation. Their attack went in in a different manner than the massed human wave assaults that had been of questionable utility thus far. Preceded by small patrols, the Kildari columns, accompanied by light machine gun squads and flamethrowers, launched a series of rapid assaults, rushing positions where the enemy was judged to be disorganised but working their way past any outpost where defences appeared to be well organised. Under the cover of combat air patrols flown by the collection of Ashavans, Ravens and Solentans, light attack aircraft and utility helicopters flew overhead at hair raising low altitudes seeking to bomb and strafe the defenders sowing further confusion and harassing the lines of supply and communication along which casualties would be evacuated and reinforcements summoned. Wherever possible the Kildari militia would avoid attacking head-on, the assault parties instead sweeping between the positions seeking to envelop enemy strongpoints from the flank and rear, whilst the mounted men-at-arms held back, awaiting definitive news of a breakthrough. The improvised armoured vehicles fared less well, many wallowing in the churned up landscape of lip to lip craters. Nonetheless the infiltrating parties sought to press on in their efforts to turn the enemy's points of resistance from the flank.
- Since their arrival at Port Nevermore, the Honourable Company's Industrial Archaeology Programme had had a specialist team assigned to locking down localised command and control functions over the coastal defence network within the territory under its control. With months of work restoring the wrecked infrastructure and salvaging serviceable rocket motors and missile components, the team had restored the hardened missile silos designated "MB3" and "MB4" but the quest to lock down command functions had led the team to a network of bunkers outside Caohichan, welded shut from the inside. Nearly a fortnight had been forcing an entrance, clearing booby traps and allowing the ESB cyber-security team to crack into and isolate the network for the sector. Finally, with the clock running down and the calls from Port Nevermore growing ever more frantic, success was reported and a first dozen medium range ballistic anti-ship missiles lofted on their suborbital trajectory towards the flagship of the Çakari fleet and the Tianchao Chuandui taskforce.
- Increased activity at numerous secluded anchorages dispersed throughout the Mirkdale Peninsula of Arboria, home to an appreciable quantity of small merchant craft of a peculiar type and Coastal Patrol Craft which had passed through numerous hands into those of the 77th Brigade of the Arboreal Guards.
- A Spiegelflügel-Taube Amphibious Aircraft operating from yet another anchorage in Mirk Bay began flying a dog-legged patrol route over international waters in Hyperion Bay at an altitude of 9,000 metres, remaining in hourly contact with air-traffic control in Port Nevermore and Tirlar throughout. Periodic electromagnetic fluctuations emanated from its location.
- The - since the war expanded - 43. Heavenly Air Support Regiment or Teishin Shudan, aided by the 29. Heavenly Air Support Regiment and 38. Heavenly Air Support Regiment launch an aerial surprise attack on five cities in Xianbei. In combination with bombardments, the special units assault supply lines in and around the cities of Gejuegong, Yulaotai, Weicheng, Yunshanxiang and Yuncenglou. Communication between the frontlines and Xianbei and military headquarters are severely damaged, while the Fourth Field Army, Sixth Field Army and Ninth Field Army (325,000 soldiers and 400,000 militia) started their own offensive along the border. Divisions of Dolstier II-tanks start their blitz attack - as trained ever since the 1687 Jingdaoese Blitzkrieg Exercise - along the IA3 with a push towards Weicheng.
- Around 11pm, the local garrison of the worker's militia in Gejuegong surrenders after an intense bombardment of 2 hours, in which most of the local industrial complexes and bunkers were burnt to the ground.
- 18: After initial resistance, militias - approximately 90,000 militias - start laying down their weapons en masse due to continuous attacks on the roads by airplanes. Meiyanwu, an important city at the crossroad between IA3 and IA10, falls. A temporary military government is installed which - in name of the Emperor of Great Apollonia an the Heavenly Light will take charge of the reintegration of the province into the Empire.
- 19: A transport plane with Tsukono Wei onboard (according to spies to flee towards Dalmacija to discuss and joint war strategy) is intercepted and led to the airfield of Meiyanwu. When retrieving the leader of the rebels, the Kempeitai (military police) discover that he considered shooting himself, but cowered from doing so on the last minute. With the arrest of Wei, hope to end the war in Xianbei is rising among both the armed forces and local population. Especially western towns and cities along the IA3 suffer from frequent air attacks, which lead to a declining morale among the rebel forces.
- 20: Commanders of the Daocheng Offensive complain of the temporary reduction in air support as aviation assets were diverted northwards to the new Xianbei front.
- 21: The commanding officer of the 1,200 River Warriors swears to protect and hold the line west of Yunshaxiang, despite the arrival of Jingdaoese reinforcements. Inspired by the Riverorians, around 20,000 militias decide to join the struggle and dig improvised trenches in the city's outskirts.
- 22: Fighters and strike aircraft of the Talons of the Archon appear in force over the skies of western Xianbei, covering the stream of transport aircraft and requisitioned commercial planes undertaking a large scale supply drop on the positions of the Riverorian/Xianbei remnant forces. The deployment of the 172nd Light Infantry Regiment to secure the landing zone went less well owing to their minimal training in parachute jumps, and the regiment accordingly spent the next two days accounting for injuries and fatalities whilst regrouping.
- 23: 100,000 militia of the 4th Army Group, supported by the armoured vehicles of the tank training school, and 100,000 militia of the 3rd Army Group crossed the frontier into Western Xianbei territory to establish contact with the remnant of resisting forces and establish a new frontline.
- 24: 2nd Army Group resumed the Daocheng Offensive with the detonation of seven vast subterranean mines, packed with high explosives, under the lines of the Gunbatsu Clique.
- 13: Wang Wei, grandson of Tsukono Wei, pulls back his militia troops towards the Dalmacijan-Xianbei border. While initially successful at stalling the overwhelming numbers of the Jingdaoese Armed Forces, the southern Daocheng offensive is receiving the majority of reinforcements and material. Lack of proper uniforms and even bullets are reported, with the occasional charges of the militia against the enemy with nothing more than pitchforks.
- 21: Complains from Wang Wei reach Port Nevermore concerning discrimination of Jingdaoese within Dalmacijan borders. His letters, spread through newspapers, attack the Thanedom's - or at least Marius Gallo's - lack of vision: "for the war to succeed, one needs every citizen rallying behind a common goal. Namely the destruction of the monarchy, the independence and liberty of the People." His message is received with disinterest at best, and criticism. Public attitude starts to change five days later, when Marius is vigorously attacked during a public meeting of officials. Marius narrowly escapes charges of using the Xianbei regiments in suicide attacks while keeping the well-rested and well-equipped Dalmacijan troops at the sidelines.
- 23: News of an imminent collapse of the Xianbei frontline leads to chaos at the home front. With the Jingdaoese and Cakari blockades it becomes increasingly difficult to bring in new equipment, as bombardments - the first since the start of the civil war - disrupt railroads and roads between Arboria and Dalmacija.
- 25: Infighting between Xianbei and Dalmacijan politicians becomes increasingly tense, with Wang Wei openly denouncing the lack of Kildarian support to their cause as biggest fault for the embarrassing series of recent defeats. Meanwhile, Marius Gallo is pressured by his close allies to prepare for the worst and potentially surrender.
- 12: To improve relations between the Kildarian and Xianbei rump governments, the Society of the Friends of the Revolution is established. The improvement of living standards of Jingdaoese citizens in return for their service in the military is the first act of the Society. Around 2,790 Jing - mainly from poor farmer families - volunteer to join the armed forces.
- 19: Concerned by the increase of volunteers in the Xianbei Militia, the Heavenly Court puts pressure on the Heavenly Light to step in. Evenyually, the Xinshi Emperor, for the first time since her ascension to power, proclaims by decree that any citizen joining the enemy will for evermore be excluded from service from the Church. The excommunication, while done before, sends shockwaves through the occupied lands, as many joined in an attempt to bring food on the table of their families. Torn between (religious) and family loyalties, frictions begin to rise.
- 28: The 1699 Xinshi Denouncement is signed by 34 officers and 800 militiamen serving under Wang Wei. They openly defy the authority of the Heavenly Court and renounce their faith in their Heavenly Light. Wang himself calls, once more, for the dissolution of the monarchy and end of the Tianchaodao. While merely a footnote in eyes of foreigners, this shocks even the most radical Kildarian, as it was long believed that the Jing - with a few exceptions - were incapable of directly disobeying their Heavenly Light.
- 2: Kildarian and Xianbei troops fall back to the city of Hongsejiamen, where it hopes to use the Zhang River and other natural defenses to halt the Jing.
- 12: The Society of the Friends of the Revolution starts with the evacuation of its gold funds to Arboria. Several important 'observers' start to leave by train, as travel by ship has become more or less impossible due to the mining of Hyperion Bay.
In summary: The failure of the Daocheng Offensive, over-extended supply lines, and the threat of a further massive offensive out of Xianbei province, obliged the Kildari forces to retire northwards. With the Jing in pursuit of the retiring forces, now exhausted and depleted after a long retreat punctuated by numerous rear-guard actions, it became increasingly difficult to consolidate new defensive positions without them being outflanked in the interim and left in danger of being cut-off or overrun. Eventually, with desertions, factionalism, and infighting becoming ever more rife, the inevitable was conceded and during 1700 AN arrangements were made for the evacuation to Arboria of those Kildari who did not wish, or were unable, to be reconciled to the new regime. Marius Gallo was amongst those evacuated, with many sources attributing to his desire to escape retribution and his sudden night-time flight from Port Nevermore the primary cause for the collapse of the defensive perimeter that the Talons of the Archon had established around the peninsular and the frontier with Arboria.
- Apollonia Command: In view of the disappearance of the Chidao Emperor being linked to the sudden appearance of a blinding column of light reaching down from the heavens, the Continental Theatre Command of the Raspur Pact with responsibility for Apollonia felt obliged to issue a statement confirming that no orbital platforms or craft on the registered strength of the Natopian Spacefleet or else under the control of the Pact's Space Command was in transit above Daocheng at the time of the incident.
- Cakaristan: In Agra, there are great concerns about the situation of their ally. The Sultan contacted Xinshi Emperor. The Government of Grand Vizier Jayanti Sinha is keen to provide military assistance, only there is no public support for this and no majority in the Majlis al-Sultina. After the attacks in Fatehpur and Manbai, Çakaristan became involved.
- Constancia: The only official on-record comment on this matter came at the weekly government press conference. At a question from a correspondent from The Aldurian Sun on what reaction the government of the Imperial State of Constancia had on these recent events, the spokesperson erupted in spontaneous, boisterous laughter.
- Senya: The Senyan government advised against all but essential travel to Jingdao for its citizens. It also announced that increased patrols would take place along the border whilst trains crossing the border both to and from Jingdao would become subject to increased checks.