Clockwork Empire

Clockwork Empire

시간의 제국
Ichijao
Tokeijikake Noteikoku
c.1863-1948
Flag of Clockwork Empire
Flag
Motto: Láizì xǔduō línghún de tǔdì
One land from many souls
Capital
and largest city
Unmeikyo
Ethnic groups
Xian, Shihoki, Taebong, and Zhuyeian
Demonym(s)Korukkan
GovernmentUnitary autocratic military dictatorship
• Protector
Vacant (Contested)
• Aianrida
Otojiro Kotara
LegislatureCouncil of State
History
20-3 B.F (1841-1863)
43 A.F (1906)
85 A.F (1948)
Area
• 
1,856,250 km2 (716,700 sq mi) (1st)
Population
• 1899 estimate
612,780,000 (1st)
Currencyleyi (¤; LY)
Time zoneIMT 0 to +4
Date formatyyyy.dd.mm
Driving sideright
Preceded by
Succeeded by
The Botoruru
Kingdom of Kanahe
Ogatai League
Imperial Federation
Yellow Star Republic
Tungnir Federation

The Clockwork Empire, also known as Tieyande, was the largest and most populous country on Gaia Atlia, encompassing the near-entirety of the Tiantian continent. Surrounded on all but one side by water - notably the Moerumi Sea to the west, the Sea of Dragons to the South, and the Eisdrache to the north, the Empire bordered only two countries: the Republic of Ibrahama to the north, and Pahadan states to the east.

As the Empire occupied nearly three million square miles of territory, it contained a wide variety of climates and environmental types, but usually had a tropical and temperate climate. With nearly 500 million people at its formation, the Empire was the most populous state in Atlia, a title it retained until its dissolution in 1948.

As a nation, the Empire was primarily ruled by an absolute monarchy, followed by a military dictatorship, and then a restoration of absolute monarchy. As such, there were no constituent states, but instead military prefectures or zones, which usually formed the basis for administrative divisions. Within the Empire, there were anywhere from 100 to 700 such divisions, depending on the era.

Several cities were large enough to retain their own administrative division, notably Unmeikyo and PLACEHOLDER, with PLACEHOLDER also being granted special administrative dispensation in terms of military jurisdiction. Most of these cities can be found in the Bafun River Valley, nicknamed the 'Heart of the Empire' for its lush fertility and high population. Nearly forty percent of the Empire lived within this area, and the entirety of the Empire relied on its agricultural exports and reliable crop production, resulting in harvests year-round.

The Empire followed the principles of Aikya, a philosophical and governance movement that advocated for extraordinarily strong state control and influence over most aspects of people's lives. Under the Protector Shihei, the Yonqii faith was reformed to be more syncretic and hierarchical, while propaganda was distributed en masse to encourage the people of the power and success of the state. During this time, strong efforts were made to remove ethnic distinctions between states and encourage one common language; all people were to be considered 'Korukkan' and to speak appropriately as a result. Most of these efforts were unsuccessful in the long run, as the ethnic cultures of Tiantian are widely discernible today, rather than the homogeneous mono-culture the Empire's bureaucrats and leaders envisioned.

Tiantian was originally settled around 5,000 BCE, with the movement of various ethnic groups from Pahada across the land bridge into Tiantian. There, the lush productivity of Tiantian's numerous river valleys and the easy availability of geographical divisions caused a splintering of ethnic groups, a phenomenon enhanced by subsequent waves of Pahadan migration. Numerous empires rose and fell in the time between, but none were able to unify the continent in its entirety, due to the disparity in geography, language, culture, and religion. In the 2nd century CE, the Flowering Thought movement spread throughout Tiantian, sparking great philosophical discussions and debates, and leading to the direct formation and perpetuation of the Yonqii faith, a philosophical/religious hybrid that would, over centuries, form the foundation of most Tiantian culture. Encouraged by the principles of Yonqii faith, the Taebong - an ethnic group from southeastern Tiantian - would soon become the leading administrators across Tiantian, with PLACEHOLDER becoming the lingua franca for diplomacy and communication.

Following the Unification Wars, a series of major conflicts that erupted in Tiantian during the 1840s, the Clockwork Empire was founded by General Eijiro Kuang. Creating the title 'Protector', Eijiro governed the Clockwork Empire for an additional decade, launching numerous wars and suppressing dissent and revolution quickly and decisively. Under his rule, the Empire expanded to encompass all of Tiantian save for the Ibrahaman territories to the north. In the 1860s the Empire became a military dictatorship under the Aianrida, who led the nation in the Eastern War. During this time, several Pahadan, Mizraic, and Eiren powers seized or purchased treaty ports in the Empire.

The Empire would prove to be very aggressive, despite several bouts of internal revolution in the 1900s, launching several expeditions abroad to conquer Pahadan territory. Strong internal investment and close cooperation with the new Volksunion and Varen Republic would lead to heavy industrial and infrastructure development, spurring further economic growth. By the 1930s, the Empire was widely predicted to become a 'Great Power to the Great Powers', or what some were calling a 'superpower'. In the late 1930s, the Empire fought a major conflict with the Pavlostani Empire over its Pahadan dominions, and while successful, overstretched its economic and industrial bases, and collapsed shortly afterwards, ending absolute rule in Tiantian.

Etymology

History

The Heedless Plunge (60 BF - 20 BF)

The Rising Phoenix (20 BF - Present Day)

Lasting for under a century, from 1863 to 1948, the Clockwork Empire was formed from a series of major conflicts that erupted in Tiantian during the 1840s, as the Botoruru nation attempted to subjugate other Tiantian powers, notably the Ogtani League and the Kingdom of Kunohe. Led by the self-proclaimed 'Protector of the People' Eijiro Kuang, the Botoruru was ultimately successful in conquering the remainder of the continent, but ultimately became subsumed by the multi-national continent-spanning empire Eijiro was attempting to create. It was at this time that the city of Unmiekyo, the largest in Tiantian and current capital of the Imperial Federation, was created out of the former city of Hezhou.

Eijiro, the first Protector of the Empire, ruled for ten years, before dying of wounds during a major Kunohese rebellion. Immediately before he died, a consort had become pregnant with his heir, the future Protector Shihei. A small military coup occurred at this time, as the Aianrida led the Swan Guard and the Flying Corps back to Unmeikyo, forcing the consort (Dowager Protector Nozumi) to flee to the Kingdom of Inoroth, where Protector Shihei was born. For the following three decades, the Clockwork Empire would be governed under a military dictatorship led by the Aianrida, while the Protector and his mother traveled abroad, gaining support for their successful return. In the meantime, the Clockwork Empire joined the 'Old Order' in fighting the Varen rebels during the Eastern War (1892-1898). Throughout this period, the Empire overran the Ibrahaman territories in northern Tiantian, and reoccupied the various 'New Order' concessions and treaty ports throughout the Empire. The Fanaglian collapse and Drachen Civil War paid an end to Clockwork ambitions, and the Empire withdrew from the war, paying reparations for the damages caused and granting further concessions to the victorious New Order.

Restoration Wars

In 1906, a rebellion broke out in northern Funui based on coal mining rights. As the Aianrida's forces mobilized, further rebellions broke out in the Empire, and Rothian troops began landing in Zhuyei, displaying the banner of Protector Shihei. This marked the beginning of the Restoration War, which would last for two years and result in the deaths of several hundred thousand people, including the Aianrida. With his death, the war ended, and Protector Shihei would rule over the Empire as an absolute monarch until its end in 1948. The Restoration Wars coincided with the Namcheok Emergency, a major Mendean-funded rebellion in the Taebong prefectures to the south. Buoyed by initial successes, the revolutionaries sought to declare a new independent state, and appealed to the Mendean Republic for support and recognition. It was not until 1910 that the Namcheok state would be re-subjugated by the Empire, and order restored.

Sporadic banditry and unrest occurred throughout the Empire until the final peace established in the Treaty of Kangcho in early 1910. Despite fairly overwhelming military strength and victory, even in the face of potential Eiren intervention, the Imperial Government recognized the divides within Taebong society that had led to the Namcheok rebellion. Instead of mass arrests and trials, which the National Council judged would only further the unrest in the region, the Protector declared a general amnesty for those who had fought against the Empire. Policies of reintegration and disarmament were put into play, and efforts were made to restore the peace. Societal turmoil remained in the Taebong region, especially in the wake of the Taebong exodus, but few were willing to return to open rebellion.

The Great Undertaking

After finally subjugating all threats to Shihei's newfound rule, the Protector turned his attention to the long-standing plans by the Aianrida to colonize and integrate the Tungnir region within the Empire. A large region, comprising nearly a quarter of the Empire's landmass, the Tungnir prefectures were sparsely populated and tax-poor. The Imperial Society for Geographical Studies and Resource Management had already conducted initial surveys of the region and created multiple proposals around mine establishments, land reform, and infrastructure investment. Most notably, their proposal called for the damming of the Dahaan River, which would irrigate much of southern Tungnir, and support infrastructure development along the notoriously unreliable waterway.

In July 1899, the Ministry of National Development established the Second Initiative to formally launch large-scale exploitation and colonization of the Tungnir region. A relentless propaganda campaign followed, encouraging tens of thousands of Korukkans from across the Empire to come to Tungnir in search of free land and boundless opportunities. The Government highlighted the vast natural wealth that lay in the mountains and forests of the region, and the promise of more land than most Korukkans could ever expect to farm in their lives. The initiative was wildly successful, leading to nearly a hundred thousand people settling along the coast and border regions of the Tungnir prefectures within the first year.

The various Tungnir tribal confederations responded inconsistently to the massive invasion. Some retreated further into the harsher center of the region, while others took up arms against the Korukkan colonists. The Imperial Military, well aware of this potential, responded with overwhelming military force, utterly annihilating several groups that attempted to strike at forts or larger colonies, but proved unable to fully stamp out the attacks. Internal turmoil racked the region as some colonists attempted to flee back to Zhuyei or Xian regions, and several peaceful Tungnir villages were burnt and destroyed by angry colonists.

Increasingly harsh measures were soon deployed by the leaders of the Second Initiative, including the poisoning of multiple crucial water sources during a dry season, and the widespread slaughter of the herds of wildebeests some of the Tungnir depended heavily on. A regional railroad network had been established three years prior, and was growing rapidly with each passing month as more and more colonists were moved into the area. Being able to rapidly deploy around the region by airship and railroad, along with an increasingly well-armed and loyal Korukkan population, allowed the military to respond more assertively to the Tungnir threat. Captured Tungnir were forced to integrate and convert, abandoning their language and traditions, while multiple tribes were coerced to settle within Korukkan-dominated towns and assimilate that way. By 1908, under the Grand Commandant Zhang Xieren, Tungnir had largely been pacified.

West Pahadan Rail

The colonization of Tungnir had taken immense resources and time, but promised even more reward as thousands of traincars full of valuable resources began flowing west into the factories of the Empire. Furthermore, the establishment of multiple industrial cities and forts along the far Eastern border, including the city of Jiaoying, finally connected the Empire with the Pahadan states by rail. Internal planning had resulted in the creation of the Tobushinron, a national strategic plan that guided the actions of the National Council and the Protector. Under the Tobujin plan, the Empire required external support and allies that were organized along similar lines as itself. Failing the natural creation of multi-ethnic authoritarian states bound together by similar principles of Aikya, the Empire was compelled to create them by force, relying on a network of vassals and puppet states for external defense.

In 1908, the Empire launched a series of expeditions to western Pahada, seeking to force a unification of the disparate Pahadan states into a similar 'Clockwork Empire', and thus buoy Clockwork influence and prestige. These wars would see the subjugation of several Pahadan city-states with large Korukkan presence, which would form the basis of West Pahadan Rail and Automata Arms, a state-owned corporation that oversaw Korukkan interests in Pahada. For several decades, the WPR would expand into Pahada, subjugating and supposedly unifying several native states, occasionally fighting proxy wars with the Khadari League to the south. It was not until 1938 that the Empire would intervene directly in Pahada again, and that would see the start of the Western War.

The Western War (1938-1948) was a decade-long war that encompassed most of Pahada, as the Clockwork Empire and Pavlostani Empire fought over the suzerainty and control of numerous subordinate states. Escalating out of a proxy war conflict initiated by WPR, the war saw multi-million armies and landship armadas for the first time in Atlian history. Ultimately, the death toll of the war would reach over twenty million, and the Western War would become the most destructive war ever waged. It would also prove to be the end of the Empire, as draft revolts and tax protests erupted, and the strained Imperial bureaucracy broke down under wartime burdens. Prominent Korukkan military officials stationed at home often turned-coat to support nationalist rebellions or became warlords in their own right, while the victorious generals returned to find their nation collapsing.

In 1948, Zhang Xieren, the Grand Commandant, launched a military and political initiative to save the Empire in some form. Using the WPR territory as a base, he and four other powerful generals led their troops home to put down warlords and other destructive rebels, while negotiating with those nationalist rebels that would prove reasonable. Those that would not, would be destroyed utterly, with extreme prejudice. Zhang and the other four generals - members of WPR's Five Star Committee - realized that the absolute nature of the Protectorship could not continue in a sustainable way. Their negotiations instead sought to maintain the unity of Tiantian, rather than the power of the Protector, and thus the Imperial Federation was formed.

The Tungnir Confederacy and the Yellow Star Republic remained independent during this time, although the Yellow Star Republic later joined the Imperial Federation.

Geography

Location

Climate

Environment

Politics

Government

Law of Iron

Foreign Relations

Military

Administrative Divisions

Demographics

Ethnic Groups

Largest Cities

Languages

Religion

Migration

Healthcare

Education

Economy

Science and Technology

Transport

Energy

Culture

Religion

Burial Rites

In Yonqii, yasohimbi, literally "the closing of the eyes," refers to the rituals surrounding the cremation and funeral of an adherent. Differing regions have alternate names for it, from nunuel gamgo to meotojite, but all refer to the same base rituals surrounding the end-of-life practices of Yonqii. To adherents of Yonqii, the body is an unclean aspect of the world once the soul has departed. In the worst case, it can lead to the soul being trapped on the mortal plane, rather than joining the gods.

As such, Yonqii priests urge the immediate cremation or destruction of the body, generally by fire. By carrying out the ritual, the soul (yeo) is released, and the spirit of the individual joins the divine essence that is the composite matter of the world. The roots of this belief and ritual derive from the hymns of Sarasu, specifically verse 4.17, which reads as follows:

Behind the veil of burning silence, the vastness of life's minutiae are hushed
Join the heavenly spirits in celebration, open heaven's vast multitudes to us
Anoint our prayers and revive our hearts, give us unto the Gods, the sun receive thy soul
Our home is as the loftiest star and the lowest grain of sand, joining with all others
--Sarasu, 4.17

The body is to be destroyed within a week of burial; to do otherwise is to risk damning the soul of the individual to wander the world forever. If it is not possible to destroy the body, adherents are to burn or anoint key elements of the body (namely, hair, feet, and heart or chest). These are the elements that are considered key anchors or tarhumbi that weigh the soul to the material plane.

During a formal burial, the body is covered with a cloth that is specifically soaked in blessed oils, and the feet and hair are washed carefully. The body is then taken to a temple or other prepared location to be burned (often en masse) on a pyre. The priest takes the wood and blesses it in the name of all four primal gods, before igniting it. The congregation then is allowed to express their grief by wailing or vocalizing while the priest sings hymns, but once the hymns have finished, all attendees are expected to bow to the burning pyre and then turn their back on the body and depart without further expressions of grief. To adherents of Yonqii, the body is a mere shell, and grief or sorrow only serve to anchor the person to the material world. For the same reason, monuments, gravestones, and mausoleums are similarly discouraged.

Following the funeral, there is a Iwaiu, or a celebration, where the friends and family gather to memorialize the dead individual and their contributions to the world. It is strictly taboo to mention negative events during this time, for that might taint the spirit or cause them to seek revenge on the speaker. After the Iwaiu and the funeral, expressions of grief and sadness are considered to be minor sins, expressions of selfishness that harm the soul of the departed individual.

Literature

Media

Music

Sport

Symbols