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
The Seishi Clique
780,000 (regular) 3,105,890 (militia)
380,000 (regular) 906,678 (militia)
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.