Kan Zen

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Kan Zen enjoys a view of the night sky.
Excerpt from a ESB Group (Keltia) policy paper discussing the impending reign of Empress Kan Zen. How the document came to be in the public domain is not known, but Ergonians are suspected.

The fifth of the rulers of Passio-Corum, and the first non-Pallisican ruler, Kan Zen ascended to the Crown of Passio-Corum 35.25 PSSC, after assassinating Crown Opyeme Amor. She was elected as Chairman of the Union in July 2017.

Early Life

Date Event Significance
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) Birth of Kan Zen Kan Zen is born to a Haifan mother who works as a servant to the Priestess of Agripinilla, and a father from the Passasian Societies who enjoys relative success as a merchant selling goods on behalf of the West Keltian Trade Association.
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) Education as a Temple Priestess Displaying a great propensity for theology and philosophy, and a peculiar intensity in her devotion to the teachings of the Stripping Path, Kan Zen is adopted as a personal pupil of the Priestess of Agripinilla.
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) Education as a Temple Spy As the favorite student of the high priestess of the Bassarid faith, Kan Zen begins to receive instruction on the methods of espionage and assassination. Dismayed by this change in the nature of his daughter's education, Zen's father murders her mother, and under the guise of complete secrecy, transports Zen to Carol Stream so as to protect her from the Priestess of Agripinilla.
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) Orphaned in Carol Stream Despite his best efforts to remain hidden from the wrath of the Priestess of Agripinilla, and to keep his daughter safe, Kan Zen's father is assassinated by Bassarid spies in Carol Stream. It is suspected by some that Zen herself is responsible for the murder. Regardless of such suspicions she is, as a result of her father's untimely death, enrolled in an orphanage in Zidado West.
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) Adoption in Zidado West Through circumstances which are not exactly clear, Kan Zen is adopted by the Commander General of the Academy of the New Zimian War League in Zidado West. It is in this role - as the adopted daughter as the Commander General - that Zen becomes acquainted with Opyeme Amor, who is at this time a promising student at the Academy. The two are quick to form an intensely intimate relationship such that within mere months, they are virtually inseparable from one another.
TBD PSSC (905 ASC) Companion of the Crown Opyeme Amor is recognized by Queen Esper I as Oracle, and heir to the Crown of Passio-Corum, after he performs an apparent miracle in which he heals a group of Haifan beggars of blindness. Amor accepts the title of Oracle on the condition that a formal position be created within the Council of Courts for his friend and companion, Kan Zen. Kan Zen is appointed to the office of Companion of the Crown. In this role, Zen covertly inculcates herself within the ranks of the Pallisican government, fostering support for her eventual seizure of power. More overtly, however, she publicly supports the policies put forth by Amor following his rise to power, including his decision to establish improved relations with Hamland, and to formally adopt the Pallisican Scientific Standard Calendar.
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) Opposition and Betrayal of Amor Kan Zen begins to defy the expectations which have been established for her in her role as Companion of the Crown, by publicly renouncing the policies put forth by Crown Amor regarding intervention in the Hammish Civil War. Tension between Amor and Zen escalates as the war increases in intensity, and as fighting extends into the Sea of Storms and beyond. Despite their general agreement and support for the establishment of the USSO in the aftermath of the war, the Crown and the Companion of the Crown become increasingly alienated from one another. This sense of alienation and animosity culminates on 23/1/35 PSSC, when in response to the decision by Amor to deploy troops to the Strait of Haifa so as to disrupt trade between Shireroth and Blore Heath, Kan Zen - in an apparent state of divinely inspired maenadism - murders Crown Amor. While attending a dinner party together, Kan Zen, in a state of utter insanity, beats Amor to death in front of guests and servants alike. Zen is arrested for the murder and is placed in prison to await trial. She escapes from prison several days later, in an event which is now regarded as the First Miracle of Kan Zen.
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) The Miracle of Kan Zen Kan Zen appears to vanish from existence as an empire-wide manhunt yields no results in its search for her following her escape from prison. As the search increases its scope during this period, a seemingly supernatural event transpires in which dozens, and eventually hundreds, of Bijeko-Lisea-Nas descend upon the streets of the nation's capital city, Lucien. The appearance of these typically solitary, predatory beasts, prompts an outbreak of sheer terror across the empire, in particular in the Kingdom of New Zimia. This sense of terror results in the outbreak of rebellion in the Region of the East, as Kralian demonstrators demand independence. This period of terror ends ten days later when Kan Zen appears on the road leading towards the Houses of Corum, riding on the back of a mule, and flanked on either side by a pair of Bijeko-Lisea-Nas. Most practitioners of the Pallisican religion immediately recognize her appearance as a sign from the gods, and defer to her as the nation's new Oracle, and heir-apparent to the Crown of Passio-Corum. To this end, she proceeds to the seat of the nation's government completely unmolested by any guards who may otherwise arrest her for the assassination of Opyeme Amor.

Early Rule

Date Event Significance
45/01/35 PSSC (TBD ASC) Ascension to Oracle Three days following her miraculous re-entry into the city of Lucien, Kan Zen is recognized by the Chief Justice of the Temple Court as the Oracle of the Pallisican Religion. Two days later, Zen authorizes her own ascension to the Crown of Passio-Corum. Upon assuming the Crown, Kan Zen formally adopts the title of Empress of the Sea of Storms - a decision which prompts outrage and ridicule alike from foreign observers across the globe.
45/01/35 PSSC (TBD ASC) Economic Re-Organization Among the first orders of business for the newly self-appointed ruler of the Greater Pallisican Trade Association, Empress Zen immediately sets to work replacing Grand Duke National Mall - the nation's primary marketplace since the establishment of the Kingdom of New Zimia - with the more modernized and adaptable Port of Storms. This decision allows the Pallisican government and its constituent members to better consolidate their economic control of regions across Micras' eastern hemisphere. The decision to adopt the Port of Storms as the new national marketplace also prompts a rejuvenation and re-organization of the nation's military, which has been somewhat exhausted by conflict in recent months and years.
51/01/35 PSSC (TBD ASC) Dissolution of USSO With a rejuvenation of the New Zimian War League made possible by a general sense of economic restoration, Kan Zen launches as part of a campaign aimed at bringing about an end to the War of Jingdaoese Immolation, a naval blockade against the Jingdaoese capital, as well as territorial holdings in the southern Captive Sea. The blockade contributes to a decline in fighting, and thereby leads to the war's ultimate conclusion in which Jingdao and Shireroth agree to a general white peace. The decision, however, leads to an unprecedented sense of uncertainty regarding the future of the USSO as a military alliance. These concerns are rectified soon after by the announcement by the government of Passio-Corum that it has begun construction of the USSO Common Market, a trade network which is designed to connect the economies of all nations affiliated with the USSO.
69/02/35 PSSC (TBD ASC) USSO Common Market and the Stripping Path The USSO Common Market serves as the basis for an unprecedented level of trade between Passio-Corum, Jingdao, and Gerenia. Before long, the shared international market is extended to include the Florian Republic, Nova England, and the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa. On the basis of trade with the Maritime Markets, Kan Zen begins to reform the position of the Pallisican government regarding the Stripping Path. Whereas the religion had until now been rejected by the Houses of Pallisican Chelkra, Zen now mandates that the governing body of the Pallisican Religion can no longer deny membership to practitioners of the Bassarid faith. She also mandates government investment in the Port of Vaeringheim and the Port of Blore Heath, and authorizes investment in the Province of the River Erik which she regards as a viable foothold for the Stripping Path in Eura. In addition to these reforms, she also implements policies aimed at increasing support for the nation's merchants, who increasingly regard the Stripping Path as being superior to the outdated Pallisican Religion. The policies adopted by Kan Zen and her government during this period contribute to the widespread, early expansion of the Stripping Path across Keltia, Eura, Corum, and even parts of Apollonia. Wherever trade extends across the eastern hemisphere during this period, so too does the Stripping Path. Owing to her involvement in the creation of the USSO Common Market, Kan Zen is, with this said, elected in 35.78 PSSC to the position of Chairman of the USSO - a position which she retains even after her tenure as Crown of Passio-Corum.

Mid-Rule

Date Event Significance
47/01/36 PSSC (TBD ASC) Florian Instability and the Onset of War On 47/1/36 PSSC, confidence in the stability of the USSO and its shared Common Market are thrown into question as Empress Zen is required to condemn the Florian Republic for its decision to invite the occupation of its borders by forces representing Shireroth. Empress Zen's condemnation of the Florian Republic effectively marks the entry of the Greater Pallisican Trade Association into the burgeoning War of Lost Brothers.
106/02/36 PSSC (TBD ASC) Preparation for War In preparation for the War of Lost Brothers, Kan Zen begins formally arming the nation's merchants, who operate extensively across the entire eastern hemisphere, and who represent a significant fighting force. In addition, the Empress, recognizing the likelihood that any conflict may provide a fertile basis for further expanding the Stripping Path, appoints to the position of Ambassador to Caputia, a Haifan Priestess named Fï Ríoja del Háifa. As Ambassador to Caputia, Fï Ríoja, a loyal servant to the Empress, immediately sets to work solidifying alliances between Passio-Corum and the Maritime Markets. The alliances established as a result of the efforts of Ambassador Fï Ríoja will play a central role in the overall success of Haifo-Pallisican forces in the oncoming Strait of Haifa Campaign, in which thousands will die in a campaign of utter terror and violence on all sides.
126/03/36 PSSC (TBD ASC) The Siege of Talenore and the Onset of the Harpy War At the turn of the third month in 36 PSSC, Kan Zen provides authorization for the Commander of the New Zimian War League to commence a naval blockade against Talenore, an island in the southern Captive Sea which until now had been uninvolved in any fighting relating to the War of Lost Brothers. Simultaneously, Zen authorizes the extensive deployment of forces to eastern Keltia, as part of a campaign initially designed to defend Nova England and the Brettish Isles from military and paramilitary forces representing the SANE alliance. The former of these two campaigns - which is primarily regarded for a famous intelligence operation in which War League forces pretended to invade the island in order to procure insight into SANE responses - culminates many months later in the Relief of Talenore. The latter sets the stage for the violent conflict from which Kan Zen will during her lifetime derive her epithet, the Harpy Queen. This conflict will at the behest of Kan Zen herself, result in the establishment of dozens of radical Bassarid cults across the eastern hemisphere, many of which engage in cannibalism and human sacrifice. The most radical and extreme of these cults are the pet projects of Kan Zen herself, which operate almost exclusively in the region surrounding the Gulf of Jangsong, and which inspire terror across Keltia. Many of these cults, but not all of them, operate as an arm of Empress Zen's personal intelligence agency. They carry out their atrocities, and commit acts of intrigue and espionage at her behest, completely independently of the will of the New Zimian War League. Recognizing the horrors inflicted by these cults, many across the Greater Pallisican Trade Association begin to doubt Zen's moral compass, and her respect for justice. This doubt gives rise to the establishment of Neo-Pallisicanist worldviews and religions, and undermines her credibility as a ruler despite the military and economic success which she inspires. Despite the victory which it attains as a result of its campaign in the Strait of Haifa, the administration of Empress Zen is fundamentally weakened by the conflict.
142/03/36 PSSC (TBD ASC) The Port of Vines and the Establishment of the Bassarids Recognizing how her position as the nation's ruler has been weakened by the atrocities which she has authorized in the name of attaining victory, Kan Zen asserts her authority by declaring that the nation will again adopt a new national marketplace, this time replacing the recently established Port of Storms with the Port of Vines, which will be shared between the Greater Pallisican Trade Association and the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa. This declaration, which brings the Harpy War to a virtual standstill as the various sides attempt to determine Zen's motives, is followed soon after by an equally stunning declaration, in which the Empress declares that she has - as a result of the efforts of Ambassador Fï Ríoja - assumed the role of Priestess of Agripinilla, and that the Greater Pallisican Trade Association and the Maritime Markets will be merged into a single nation, henceforth known as the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union. Three days later, Zen authorizes the establishment of the Pallisican Pretender Government of Elijah's Rest, in a move which immediately brings about a temporary end to the Harpy War. In a matter of mere days, Kan Zen consolidates her complete control over an empire which now includes the entirety of the Pallisican and Haifan nations combined, and thereby helps to bring about an end to the last phase of the most brutal and longest lasting war in world history. It is during the period immediately following the unification of the Maritime Markets and Passio-Corum that Kan Zen begins to be regarded by practitioners of the Stripping Path as being at least semi-divine. Those who regard her as such begin to refer to her as The Harpy Oracle.
157/03/36 PSSC (TBD ASC) The Bassarid Federation Soon after the establishment of the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union, the administration of Kan Zen begins negotiations with the Meiyo Emperor of Jingdao regarding the prospective establishment of the Bassarid Federation. These discussions, which are dramatized in the play entitled The Ríojae, are not ultimately fruitful insofar as they do not result in the establishment of a union between the two nations. They do, however, result in the development of the text which in 37.87 PSSC will serve as the basis for the Constitution of the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union.

Late Rule

Date Event Significance
159/03/36 (TBD ASC) Appointment of Oracle Not long after the initiation of discussions between the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union and Jingdao regarding the prospective establishment of the Bassarid Federation, Empress Kan Zen appoints as Oracle of the Pallisican Religion, Ambassador Fï Ríoja del Háifa. Appointed on the basis of her remarkable success regarding efforts to bring about the unification of the Pallisican and Haifan spheres of influence, and for her role in coordinating the efforts of various cults during the Harpy War, Fï Ríoja serves two primary aims in her role as Oracle. On one hand, she fulfills the need, as Empress Zen understands it, to re-establish on the throne of the Priestess of Agripinilla a High Priestess of pure Haifan origin. On the other, she provides the opportunity, prior to her ascension to the position of Crown of Passio-Corum, to establish royal ties between the Haifo-Pallisican Empire and Jingdao. Empress Kan Zen to this end encourages Fï Ríoja to pursue a relationship with the Emperor of Hondon, the son of the Meiyo Emperor. Enjoying the full support of Empress Kan Zen and of the Courts, and of the nation in general, Fï Ríoja satisfies all expectations early in her role as Oracle. As discussions regarding the future of the Bassarid Federation begin to deteriorate, however, and as her relationship with the Hondon Emperor fails to flourish, Fï Ríoja begins to lose the support of her benefactors, including the Empress herself, who begins instead to lend her support to Díapaza Bréidle, a rising figure within the Bassarid intelligence community. When in 142/3/37 PSSC Fï Ríoja fails to fully reject allegations regarding her apparent personal connections to the burgeoning Noctic-Rabrev trade which threatens stability in the region surrounding Lake Morovia, she is all but shunned by Empress Zen, who suspects her of personal betrayal and perhaps even espionage. The fate of Fï Ríoja is documented in the play entitled The Ríojae.
54/01/37 (TBD ASC) Post-War Tensions The period following the conclusion of the War of Lost Brothers is defined by an expansion in worldwide anti-Bassarid sentiment. In nations such as Caputia, Constancia, and Natopia, regional and national governments continue to impose strict laws aimed at eliminating the influence of the Bassarid religion within their borders. In response to the anti-Bassarid policies adopted by such nations, Empress Zen adopts policies intended to expand material support to Bassarid cults and intelligence communities in Eura and Keltia, and aimed at limiting the influence of unwavering foreign spies. This cycle of measures and anti-measures culminates in a new, brief eruption of the Harpy War. Facing the onset of this new conflict, Empress Kan Zen abdicates from the position of Crown of Passio-Corum, appointing as her heir not her chosen Oracle - who now faces exile from the Council of Courts - but the recently named Chief Officer of the Bassarid Intelligence Agency, Díapaza Bréidle. This decision by Empress Zen to abdicate at the outset of a new war, and to appoint a complete political unknown as her heir, comes as a complete surprise to the international community, including the forces which now seek once again to drive Bassarid forces and merchants from Natopian territorial holdings in the Gulf of Jangsong. Nevertheless, the New Zimian War League, as well as the nation's intelligence communities, rally around the newly appointed Crown of Passio-Corum, so as to successfully repel the threat posed by forces representing the SANE alliance. Within a matter of days following Zen's abdication and the ascension of the new Bassarid Empress, SANE forces concede defeat in their ill-planned campaign, and abandon their efforts aimed at destroying the Bassarid Kingdom of New Normark. This event marks the Second Triumph of the Bassarids in the ongoing conflict surrounding the Gulf of Jangsong.

Post Rule

Date Event Significance
TBD PSSC (TBD ASC) Post-Rule In the period following her abdication from the Crown of Passio-Corum, Kan Zen continues to retain her role as Chairman of the Union. On 53/1/38 PSSC, Chairman Zen instructs the Bassarid Ambassador to the USSO to introduce amendments to the Union Treaty, in a bid to expand the economic and political rights of citizens, and to replace the system of administrative elections with one which is less restrictive. While Zen continues to uphold her official duties as Chairman of the Union she otherwise mostly retires from public life. To this end, she moves from the nation's capital to a small home in the Wood of the Gamesmen, where she adopts the lifestyle of a Humble Priestess of the Stripping Path. When not attending to her official duties, Zen otherwise spends her time attending to the Shrine of the Satyr King, and to the various needs of whatever pilgrims may visit the holy location.

Conclusion

Date Event Significance
N/A Conclusion A figure who rose from relative obscurity to the highest ranks of prominence ever attained by any individual in Pallisican history, the administration of Kan Zen results in a radical shift not only in economic and political norms across Passio-Corum and the Maritime Markets, but in the global order itself. To this end, the administration influences the course of world history in four major respects:
  • Economics: Zen's approach to the development of the USSO Common Market contributes to a shift in perceptions regarding tangible international trade. Not only does the Common Market under the administration of Zen result in a radical expansion in trade itself between USSO member nations, it also contributes to a shift in attitudes in nations opposed to the USSO, such as Shireroth, where the ESB Group initially adopts a model explicitly based on the Pallisican model, as well as in Constancia, where the government adopts a system of trade which is vaguely reminiscent of that traditionally used by Passio-Corum.
  • Politics: The emergence of meaningful international trade which results from Zen's management of the USSO Common Market, itself results in the establishment of defined, multi-national spheres of influence. In contrast to earlier eras, where the global power structure was defined by rivalry and conflict between individual nations such as Jingdao and Shireroth, the struggle for power is now between two major blocks of nations, respectively known as the USSO, a multi-faceted alliance between the Bassarids and Jingdao among others, and SANE, a similar alliance which exists between Shireroth, Natopia, and other affiliated member states. The emergence of both major international networks of alliances can be attributed to the policies enacted by Kan Zen in her role as Crown of Passio-Corum.
  • Religion: Under the administration of Kan Zen as Crown of Passio-Corum and Chairman of the USSO, the Stripping Path emerges as the world's pee-eminent modern religion. No single religion, to this end, is so readily rejected or accepted by so many nations in such quick order, as the Stripping Path during the administration of Kan Zen. The Stripping Path, during the administration of Kan Zen, becomes the focal point of virtually all theological and spiritual discussions the world over. This focus results in some places, such as Caputia and Constancia, in an outbreak of extreme anti-Bassarid hysteria.