Songguo

Song Empire

Songguo
CapitalTianjing
Largest cityDongjing
Official languagesDongjing Standard
Recognised national languagesXia (Qin Delta) SonghuaYang (Pingzhou area) SonghuaMing (Wanjian area) SonghuaKai (Kaizhou) SonghuaJin (Hanchang area) Songhua
Recognised regional languagesRygyali
Ethnic groups
(2015)
91% Song
3.1% Chau
3.0% Peng
1.9% Qian
1.0% Rygyali
Demonym(s)Song/Songhua
GovernmentSingle-party constitutional monarchy
• Emperor, Son of Heaven
Hongxi (Zhen Aiguo)
• Chairman of the State Council (First Minister)
Hao Jinkai
Establishment
• Beginning of the An Dynasty
June 13 1781 BCE
• Beginning of the Zhen Dynasty
March 21st 1457 BCE
• Liberation Day
December 9th 1935
Population
• 2015 estimate
706,505,924 (1)
GDP (nominal)2015 estimate
• Total
$8,836,269,591,468
• Per capita
$12,507
Gini (2015)Negative increase 49.2
high
HDI (2015)Increase .650
medium
CurrencyLiang (tael) (SGL)
Date formatmm-dd-yyyy
Driving sideright

Songguo (Songhua: 宋国), officially the Song Empire, is a sovereign nation located in Southern Coius. Divided into seventeen governorates and a number of smaller special administrative areas, it is bordered to the north by Phula, Cheonhae, and Khatagh, to the northeast by Negara, and to the east by Namkwon. Songguo has an estimated seven hundred and six million five hundred thousand inhabitants. More than half of the population lives in the country's cities, concentrated especially in the Capital Region-Lancheng, Lai Delta, and Chang Delta megalopolises, while the rural population is mainly concentrated in a wide band along the Lai, Chang, and Qin River basins or scattered across the plains and around the many smaller rivers that run through the country. Songguo largely experiences a tropical or subtropical monsoon climate, but there are also regions of steppe and high desert in the mountainous northeast, which has vast glaciers that help stabilize the flow of the major rivers even during the dry season.

Song-Rygyalic peoples have inhabited Songguo since prehistoric times, developing into the modern Songhua of today, as well as the various other minorities who make up the country. Songguo was unified into a single state as early as the 15th century BCE, and has since been ruled by a succession of imperial dynasties or warring states. Following a period of weakness at the end of the 19th century CE and into the first part of the 20th century CE, it has emerged on the world stage once again as a major power following its victory in the Second Nematsujin-Songhua War and foundation of the Pan-Coian Co-Prosperity Sphere. Songguo joined the Community of Nations in 1936, but only received a permanent seat on the body's powerful committees in 1971. With its booming population and economy and strong trade links to Euclea, Songguo is active on the world stage and a hub for economic development, despite its embroilment in long-standing geopolitical struggles.

Today, Songguo is a unitary constitutional monarchy, divided into 23 governorates and 3 special administrative areas. The current monarch is the Hongxi Emperor, who serves head of state. The capital city is Tianjing, located in the Capital Region, and the most populous city is nearby Dongjing, also in the Capital Region. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Grand Assembly, while the State Council serves as the executive, headed up by the Chairperson of the State Council (currently the First Minister). The country has long been inclined towards a more aggressive foreign policy, leading to very poor relations with the nearby powers of Nematsu and Negara (also known together in Songguo as "the Western Shark and the Eastern Wolf". These adversarial relationships, particularly the long enmity between Nematsu and Songguo, form the framework for the international relations of many countries throughout Coius. Its rivalry with its neighbors has driven Songguo to develop nuclear weapons and pour vast sums into its military and intelligence services, which are notably active around Coius, and to found and expand the Pan-Coian Co-Prosperity Sphere. The government's hostile stance towards the "Shark and Wolf" directly translates to its hostility towards the Southern Coius Defense Initiative, which Negara and Nematsu are the linchpins of.

The country is also a manufacturing powerhouse, and despite often rocky relationships remains one of Euclea's single biggest trading partners, with its factories providing Euclean consumers everything from clothing to cars. Songguo remains a developing economy, despite the enormous gains made in the past eighty or so years, and has extremely high income inequality. The government also has a widely criticized human rights record, notable for jailing journalists and dissidents, suppressing ethnic minorities demanding greater political power, and overlooking abuses of workers' rights in the factories that have fueled its economic growth. Songhua public education and healthcare, while good, are not on par with what many First World governments can offer their citizens, and Songhua cities frequently battle pollution and environmental concerns, meaning Songhua citizens do not rank as highly on quality of life metrics as their counterparts in wealthier, more developed countries.

History

The fertile plains of the Lai, Chang, and Qin River Valleys in the Songhua heartland have been inhabited by humans for at least half a million years. Around four thousand years ago, agriculture, primarily based on rice (and wheat, in cooler areas) began along the banks of these great rivers, and villages began forming irrigation systems to feed fields. Various petty kingdoms sprang up as agriculture became more prevalent, growing into the classical states of pre-An Dynasty Songguo. Bronze and then iron metallurgy developed during this period as well, along with philosophy and the arts.

An Dynasty

From around 1900 BCE to 1800 BCE, the State of An asserted its primacy over various other classical states, eventually becoming the pre-eminent hegemon of the Songhua kingdoms. The An king took the title "king of kings", and reigning from their capital near modern Pingzhou, the An continued this arrangement for another two hundred years, leaving behind extensive records in the form of clay and stone tablets. Around 2600 BC, intrigue in the royal court and rebellions by various client states left the dynasty in disarray, allowing the rise of An Wei, the First Emperor, over a period of around thirty years.

An Wei consolidated the An state by completely absorbing nearly all of the other kingdoms, and declared himself not just "king of kings" but "Son of Heaven", taking the regnal name of Yongzhi ("perpetual/eternal reign"). The First Emperor enacted sweeping policies to unify the empire's fractured populace, standardizing weights and measures and writing, but upon his death, his inept and childless son proved incapable of navigating the increasingly complex political scene at the An imperial court. Following his assassination in 1549 or 1548 BCE, rivalries between An generals and governors and court factions to succeed to the throne led to a battle that burned the capital city to the ground and plunged the empire into a civil war.

Song Dynasty

Song Xian was one of the military officers vying for control of the empire, and by 1544 BCE he managed to defeat most of his major rivals and ascend the throne as the Son of Heaven. He declared that the gods had transferred the "Mandate of Heaven" from the An dynasty to him, and founded the Song Dynasty as the Wuhui Emperor ("martial brilliance"). With his last rivals destroyed by 1538, he went about strengthening his rule and establishing a code of laws to help ensure a smooth dynastic succession, which would continue to be used for millennia. One of his other main accomplishments would be the construction of a new imperial palace and capital city at Dongjing, on the banks of the Qin near where it diverged and grew apart from the Lai River. The Wuhui Emperor's court swiftly relocated, and he constructed the River of the Emperors near Dongjing, connecting the two great rivers. The Song dynasty would go on to become perhaps the most culturally definitive dynasty in Songguo's history, giving the country and its people their modern name, in large part thanks to its efforts to follow through on the First Emperor's unifying policies.

The Song dynasty was the first to fully conquer the more remote areas of the south and east, bringing the areas ranging from modern Hanjin to Xiashan into the imperial fold and integrating them into what modern Songguo considers the nation's core regions.

The Song dynasty was the longest-reigning dynasty in Songhua history, reigning from 1544 BCE to 571 BCE for a total of 973 years. It expanded Songhua power throughout most of what currently makes up Songguo and into modern Khatagh, Phula, and Cheonhae. This long period of political stability produced a flowering of culture and science, and the population boomed during this time as well, with Songguo becoming one of the most populated regions in Kylaris.


First Interregnum

The Song dynasty had suffered several brief civil wars or struggles over the succession, but all had passed fairly quickly. However, the dynasty fell in a manner not dissimilar to the An dynasty, nearly a millennium before, as the inexperienced Tongzhi Emperor proved incapable of managing cutthroat court politics, which were complicated during his brief reign by several natural disasters. As had happened before, he was assassinated, but this time much of the imperial family was also purged by his assassins, leaving only a few viable candidates from the dynasty for the throne- all of whom promptly turned on one another. Ambitious governors and generals soon began declaring their own new dynasties and struggling for control, but unlike in previous episodes, none proved able to gain a decisive advantage over the others.

By 544 BCE- what would have been the thousandth year of the Song dynasty's rule- the potential last Song heir to the Phoenix Throne had died. The country would subsequently see nearly five hundred years of bloody civil war, known variously as the Lotus or First Interregnum or as the Summer and Winter Period. Several warlords actually briefly united the country during this period, but none were able to rule for more than a few years before being toppled.


Li Dynasty

Li Yinjin, a general serving the State of Former Gong, based in the largely-depopulated city of Dongjing in the modern-day Capital Region, overthrew Emperor Qi of Former Gong and usurped the throne for himself, declaring a new Li Dynasty in 92 BCE, with himself as the Hongwu Emperor ("vastly martial"). He lived up to his name, defeating countless other enemies on the field, and by the end of his reign had reunified Songguo and begun the reconstruction of Dongjing on a vast scale. The reconstruction of the city would stretch until the year 1, when the last work on the Northern Apartments and the Thirty Forts was finished, but during this time the Li emperors would also extend Songhua rule across a vast swath of southern Coius.

Under the Li Dynasty, Dongjing reached a population of more than two million people, and much of Li Dongjing remains today, including the imperial palaces at the Daming Palace and the Northern Apartments, the Reservoir of Lustre, and the city's aqueducts. The Li would rule until 877 CE for a total of 969 years, falling just short of the Song.

The Li Dynasty was significantly weakened by the massive An Roshan Rebellion from 754 to 763, when a prominent foreign-born general (the eponymous An Roshan) at the court of the Gaozong Emperor revolted against the Phoenix Throne and proclaimed his own Jin dynasty. The rebellion severely weakened the dynasty, which limped onwards for another century before succumbing to internal fragmentation and natural disasters.


Second Interregnum

Also known as the Peony Interregnum or the Six States Period, Songguo initially divided among six principal kingdoms between 877 and 890. For the next 69 years, the number of states fluctuated between four and eight, until in 959 the armies of the State of Zhou defeated the States of Lu, Qin, and Yan. Emperor Wu of Zhou now controlled the entire country, but he was overthrown in 960 by one of his generals, Hong Hailin, hailing from the wealthy Hong family that had helped sponsor Zhou's successful campaigns against Lu, Qin, and Yan. Hong Hailin declared himself Emperor Jingshi of Hong ("peace-bringing"/"calm-bringing").

Hong Dynasty

The Jingshi Emperor rose to power as an economic and technological revolution was beginning to take place in Songguo, and throughout the Hong dynasty's reign, the country would become increasingly highly developed, to the point where some might even go as far as to describe it as industrialized. Technological developments like gunpowder and the compass, and the discovery of the Bessemer process of steelmaking in 1127, transformed the Songhua military and economy into a juggernaut, and the Hong dynasty extended Songhua rule deep into Coius towards Fars and Hyndana and through most of the Sainam region as well. Songhua troops were less successful in their expeditions to conquer the Khataghi steppe, but still forced many of its largest tribal confederations to pay tribute to the emperor in Dongjing.

Songguo's trade volumes with the rest of the world picked up, and to defend busy shipping lanes, the Hong dynasty also built a formidable fleet. In 1198, under the Xuanzong Emperor, this fleet was dramatically put to use with the Songhua conquest of Nematsu. While the Nematsujin emperor was allowed the privilege of officially sitting on the Chrysanthemum Throne and performing ceremonial roles under house arrest in the palace at Teien, a Songhua viceroy would now essentially rule Nematsu until the fall of the Hong dynasty, and the Nematsujin emperor was forced to pay homage to the Songhua emperor. The introduction of quick-growing rice from the empire's territories in Namkwon also caused the population to explode at the same time. The Hong would rule until 1309, a mere 349 years.

This period of the first part of the Hong dynasty is often known as the Jinri Era (literally "perihelion"), as Songguo arguably reached the apex of its power and influence throughout history. Technological, cultural, and economic progress reached a pace previously never seen throughout history, and the careful oversight of the Song military by the imperial court's civilian administrators and legion of bureaucrats prevented the sort of troubled successions and occasional civil wars that had interspersed previous dynasties. The sheer size of the Songhua empire and its power made it seem unassailable and its continued rise inevitable. Song ships ranged all around the world, and in the 1150s discovered the Asterias and the islands of Meidao, which quickly became the empire's most far-flung outposts and the linchpin of a new trade network in the Asterias.

Unfortunately, a shift in rain patterns in the middle and later parts of the 13th century led to more favorable grazing conditions on the Khataghi steppe and increased droughts in Songguo, which in turn allowed Khataghi tribes to pose more of a problem for the Hong dynasty. After the failure of a number of military expeditions to secure a long-term end to raiding expeditions and various incursions from the steppe, the Wanli Emperor ordered the construction of the Long Wall, a line of fortifications to halt the attacks before they could penetrate deep into Songhua territory, in 1262.

Construction continued until 1281, but the Long Wall was never fully completed, as in 1279 the government decided that the security situation was too unstable for construction to continue, as raids and incursions continued to worsen. The ongoing war on the Khataghi frontier tied down enormous numbers of Songhua soldiers, who were hampered by the inefficient military command structure and constant interference from the imperial court in Dongjing, which was often more concerned with the status, standing, and political ambitions of various Songhua generals than with enemy troop dispositions.

The second stage of the Khatagh conflict began with the assassination of the Jianwen Emperor in 1299, following a series of disastrous defeats and setbacks for the Songhua military in pitched battles against various allied Khataghi forces, along with natural disasters and internal difficulties. A cabal of senior courtiers, agreeing decisive action had to be taken, installed one of his infant sons as the Zhenzong Emperor, and began committing more and more forces to the Khatagh campaign (euphemistically known at the time as the "Northern Problem") and giving the military more independence to pursue a more sweeping campaign. This began the so-called Orchid Regency, but the war in Khatagh increasingly began to sap the empire's focus and military strength. The assassination of the Jianwen Emperor also spurred several uprisings by rival factions at the imperial court and within the imperial family, objecting to the declaration of the Regency.

Third Interregnum

By 1309, several hundred thousand Songhua troops were deployed to the Khataghi frontier or around Khatagh, forming a significant portion of the imperial military's strength, but even when they managed to force pitched battles, they often took serious casualties in the open steppes against experienced Khataghi riders. The Grand Army of the Northern Frontier also had significant supply line considerations, and was generally proving incapable of resolving the persistent problem of raids. The Regency had put together an array of generals to command this huge force known as the Assemblage of Military Talent, and subsequently dissolved it and replaced it with the Second Assemblage of Military Talent in 1307 when the First Assemblage failed to provide an adequate resolution to the Northern Problem.

The military's attention was also divided, with a large number of troops also being tied down in the southern provinces around Hanjin and Nankang, following several rebellions and uprisings there. To top things off, 1309 also saw a major shortfall in the rice harvest across the empire, leading to depletion of granaries and in some areas famine, and there was also a large uprising in Nematsu.

With the backing of several banking clans, the Second Assemblage of Military Talent launched a coup in 1309 and deposed the civilian leaders of the Regency. Initially, the Zhenzong Emperor remained on the throne, but when most of the imperial family objected to the coup, the Second Assemblage simply entirely did away with the dynasty, executing most members of the Hong family including the young emperor. This sparked widespread uprisings, which had to be forcefully suppressed, and the Second Assemblage also faced more setbacks in Khatagh that led to a second coup in 1310 by a smaller faction of generals.

These commanders proceeded to withdraw all Songhua forces from Khatagh and ordered the Great Evacuation, displacing thousands of people living in prefectures at risk from raids and withdrawing all forces to the southern side of the Long Wall. However, this only exacerbated the deteriorating situation, as thousands of returning soldiers found the country in the midst of an economic slump that left many of them on the streets, and the ones who remained in the frontier were increasingly resentful of the long and unsuccessful campaign. The rebellion in Nematsu was mostly suppressed, but other rebellions soon broke out in Phula, Namkwon, and Cheonhae. Khataghi forces, meanwhile, began their great spree of conquest through northern Coius as their homeland was finally freed from the yoke of the Songhua.

In 1311, another grand alliance between Khataghi tribes succeeded in delivering a devastating defeat to the Grand Army of the Northern Frontier at the Battle of Xunfengqiao ("Crimson Wind Bridge"), and Khataghi forces penetrated as far as Yenling, causing mass panic among civilians. Yenling's defenders abandoned the city as a tide of refugees approached ahead of the Khataghi army, and it was sacked, leading to panic in the capital as well. The Khataghi forces withdrew with their spoils as reinforcements from Dongjing were deployed, but the Regency's credibility was largely gone. Several governors, generals, and viceroys soon proclaimed themselves the heads of new dynasties, and in 1313, a mob of local peasants and Dongjing citizens, angry at food shortages and the poor economy, rioted in the capital and killed most of the Regency's leaders or drove them off. Rebellions in Nematsu drove the Songhua viceroy and Songhua soldiers out, and the empire built by the Hong dynasty imploded.

Khataghi Empire

Following the collapse of the Hong dynasty, Khataghi forces began conquering bits and pieces of the Songhua heartland, capturing Dongjing from a few remnants of the Regency in 1329, brutally sacking the city, and declaring the Khataghi khagan as the new emperor of Songguo. It took another 17 years of devastating and bloody fighting for Khataghi troops to establish full control of the country, but by 1346 organized resistance to Khataghi rule had ceased and the khagan assumed full control of his new territory. However, significant local resistance movements meant the country was largely in anarchy, with Khataghi forces acting more like especially powerful roving groups of bandits than like soldiers protecting their empire.

Khataghi attempts to retake Nematsu proved fruitless, as did invasions into Sainam, where the steppe riders fell victim to tropical disease and unfamiliar terrain. An expedition to Meidao also failed when Song sailors and naval officers mutinied and killed their Khataghi leaders. The Khataghi rule of Songguo would be brief, compared to the three great imperial dynasties that had preceded it, lasting only until 1417, when a great famine swept the country and massive rebellions against the khagan broke out. Combined with the splintering that the rest of the empire had seen in the preceding decades, which had left the khagan in Dongjing in control of little besides Songguo and a part of the homeland, the rebellions effectively ended Khataghi rule. The khagan relocated first to Yenling, and then to near modern Yinhu, and the Khataghi lost control over the vast majority of the country.

Fourth Interregnum

In the wake of the collapse of the khagan and all central authority, various warring states battled for control once again. Unlike the Six States Period, most of the states during this time were barely worthy of the name, more like small feudal fiefs, or even just consisting of a warlord's roving band of soldiers and whatever town they happened to be occupying. A few larger entities emerged from this maelstrom of banditry and chaos, including the State of Li, centered around Lancheng at the mouth of the Qin River. Ably led by a series of emperors, the Li subdued their rivals and founded the Li dynasty, with the first emperor to rule the whole country taking the name Emperor Tongyi ("unifier") and relocating their capital from Lancheng to Dongjing in 1478.

Zhen Dynasty

Early Period

The Zhen focused less on overseas expansion than had previous dynasties, particularly the Hong, and focused on building a stable administration that was less vulnerable to rebellious and distant minority populations or the delicate jugular of overseas trade. To this end, they did not indulge in the conquering sprees that had built the massive empire of the Hong, preferring to bolster the country's defenses by reinforcing and rebuilding the ruins of the Long Wall and building an effective secret police apparatus known as the Thousand Eyes Directorate. While previous dynasties had had secret police, the creation of an agency with the sole goal of monitoring the bureaucracy, the military, and the population was fairly new.

The Zhen did a great deal of work to restore infrastructure that had fallen into disrepair over the preceding century and a half of chaos, and revitalized the engine of the Songhua economy. However, much of the industrial base, particularly steel manufacturing, built up during the Hong dynasty had been shattered, and with more restrictive trade policies and a dynasty unconcerned with overseas conquest, it never fully recovered. The closest the Zhen came to the expansionism of the previous dynasty was their 1472 expedition to reestablish the mainland's control over Meidao.

Challenges in the Guangxu Era

While the Zhen carefully restored stability and order to the country and cautiously backed away from the rest of the world, Euclea's own industrial revolution was occurring, transforming life for millions of people around the globe. Euclean powers increasingly began flexing their own muscles and projecting power overseas, but besides seeking tea, opium, silk, and porcelain for trade, Songguo was largely left untroubled at first by the rise of Euclea.

However, despite the Zhen's restrictive policies on trade, many Euclean powers grew concerned by the trade deficits growing between themselves and Songguo, which took in hard currency at a brisk pace in exchange for the goods it provided to avid Euclean consumers. In 1833, Gaullica first requested, and then demanded, that the reigning Guangxu Emperor open Songguo more to Euclean trade and reduce tariff barriers. The emperor declined, and Gaullica proceeded to seize the six prefectures of Baishadao in a brief, bloody war that provided a stinging rebuke to the derelict state of the Songhua military. Gaullican steamers and heavy cannons easily destroyed lumbering, lightly armed Songhua war junks and pounded outdated masonry forts to bits, embarrassing the dynasty and stirring up concern across the country. The Guangxu Emperor reluctantly began on a piecemeal reform program to strengthen the military, but his efforts saw continuous setbacks as different Euclean powers seized smaller territorial concessions in different ports.

In 1847, Althira, with the support of a coalition of other Euclean powers, presented the Guangxu Emperor with the Treaty of Peikang (Beigang), forcing Songguo to give Althira and other Euclean powers fresh concessions so that each would have equal trade conditions. The emperor attempted once again to resist, but Songhua forces were defeated badly at the Battle of Lancheng, and the emperor forced to flee Dongjing as Euclean forces approached. His brother, the Prince Yan, met the Euclean army and fleet outside of Dongjing and signed the treaty, along with an armistice that promised additional reparations (including handing over Meidao to Althira]], sparing the imperial city from a battle. The Lushan Archipelago was also surrendered to Althira, and Werania's influence began to grow in Namkwon.

Tianqi

Not long after, in 1851, the childless Guangxu Emperor died- many believe by poison- and the Prince Yan assumed the throne as the Tianqi Emperor. He began a program to build new fortifications at various strategic ports around the country and to procure modern equipment for the military, but was opposed in making more wide-sweeping efforts to reform the structure of the military and bureaucracy. His attempt to re-organize the Thousand Eyes Directorate in 1869 is believed by many to have lead to his death later that year, also speculated to have been caused by poisoning. Prior to this, Euclea had once again continued to poke around in Songguo with the 1868 Xikou Incident, where Gaullican ships bombarded the city and landed troops to seize it following a supposed affront to one of their merchants. Werania also moved to consolidate its hold over Namkwon.

Huifu

He was followed by his son, the Huifu Emperor ("restorer"), who, mere days into his reign, oversaw the September 9th Incident, where he used the imperial Tiger Guard to launch a bloody multi-day purge of the imperial court that saw hundreds or even thousands of leading courtiers, bureaucrats, and military officers, including many leaders of the Thousand Eyes, executed, imprisoned, exiled, or simply cut down in the streets or in the halls of the Daming itself. The Huifu Emperor launched a bold program known as the Chongzu, or "reorganization", which enacted sweeping reforms to the military, bureaucracy, and education system to rebuild them along more modern, Euclean lines. He also began the Gold Terror, cracking down harshly on widespread opposition to these programs.

First Songhua-Nematsujin War

Through the Huifu Emperor's reign, tension grew with Nematsu, as the island country- still viewed by some on the mainland as a long-lost wayward province- successfully transformed itself into an industrial and military powerhouse and began expanding its influence, particularly in Cheonhae. Friction in Cheonhae between the two powers led to a series of minor incidents throughout the late 1880s and early 1890s between the forces of the three nations, and in 1894 the Seongjong Emperor of Cheonhae made a gamble to resist Nematsujin influence by allowing the Huifu Emperor to send the Songhua army into Cheonhae on the pretext of "helping eliminate banditry." The deployment quickly led to the First Song-Nematsujin War, which at first appeared to many as if it would be a fairly quick Songhua victory. However, the Nematsujin military delivered a series of devastating blows to the Huifu Emperor's precious Chongzu Army and Chongzu Fleet, along with modernized Tiger Guard units.

Cheonhae's imperial family was ousted and forced to take refuge in Dongjing as their homeland was incorporated into the Nematsujin Empire, and the Songhua military and the Phoenix Throne suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of a former tributary and province. Songguo also lost the islands of Kaizhou and Jinshan.

Taichang

The Huifu Emperor's health declined rapidly after Songguo's shocking and comprehensive defeat, and launched a significant purge of the military in 1896 and 1897 that destroyed much of the remaining cohort of trained, capable officers. In 1899, when Althira released its claim on its colonies, he failed to reassert Songhua control of either Meidao or the Lushan Archipelago (the former became independent while the latter was taken over by Nematsu).

He died in 1901 and was succeeded by his younger brother, the Taichang Emperor. Political dissent began to boil across the empire, and various Euclean powers capitalized on the opportunity to widen their spheres of influence beyond their concession territories. The Taichang Emperor struggled to deal with these myriad internal problems, and tended to let advisers handle military and political matters while he focused on his passion- urban planning. However, he was not incompetent or stupid- his capable diplomacy in 1927 averted war with Nematsu over an incident in the Songhua border city of Chenshan, even as Euclea was ablaze with the beginning of the Great War.

=Second Songhua-Nematsujin War (Part of the Great War)

The Taichang Emperor and his advisers saw an opportunity as the Great War dragged on, with much of Gaullica's military tied down in Euclea, to recapture the lost prefectures of Baishadao, despite the fact that Gaullican forces were fighting alongside the Berseri Empire. In mid-November, from the 13th to the 16th, several Songhua divisions suddenly attacked the city's defenses, brushing aside its sparse defenders and occupying it. Gaullica seemed unable to respond, but Gaullican diplomats swiftly went to Teien, protesting Songhua aggression and calling on Nematsu to act.

Nematsu had long harbored greater territorial ambitions towards Songguo, and Nematsujin leaders, swayed by the opinions of military leaders and the reigning Nematsujin emperor, elected to use the Songhua occupation of Baishadao as a pretext for war. After several weeks of deliberations, on December 13th, Teien issued an ultimatum demanding Songguo vacate Baishadao and return it to Gaullica within 24 hours or face war. The message did not actually reach Dongjing for several hours, and the Taichang Emperor reportedly vacillated before deferring to his generals. Songhua troops began to withdraw from Baishadao, but not to turn it over to the Gaullicans- simply because it was far less defensible than many other sites on the Lai Delta. The ultimatum was turned down.


Initial Stages

War was declared on December 14th, 1931, with Nematsujin marines landing to occupy Baishadao the next day. Over the next two months, Nematsujin forces obliterated nearly every vessel in the Songhua navy and occupied most of the port cities of the nation's western coast. Nematsujin troops also came south out of Cheonhae, invading the northwestern region of the country and quickly overwhelming Songhua defenders. The Songhua air force was swiftly swept from the skies by Nematsu's fearsome Zero fighters. Meanwhile, Dongjing's attempts to hastily mobilize the bulk of its forces were hampered by widespread panic over the rapid Nematsujin advance and anger at the government's catastrophic miscalculation.

In late February 1932, with the Songhua navy and air force having essentially ceased to exist, the Nematsujin military launched a series of ambitious operations that put most of the country's coast under their control and resulted in the conquest or encirclement of a number of major cities. Known as Operation Ten-Go, this involved the capture of Chunling and Guanzhou on the Lai Delta and the encirclement of Qingzhou, as well as the general consolidation of control over a huge swath of western and southern Songguo. Further south, the cities of Lingzhou, Linzhen, and Nankang all fell, while marines and naval forces began besieging Hanjin. Additional landings around the Qin River's mouth saw Nematsujin forces now positioned to threaten the capital itself. When Ten-Go's landings and air and naval assaults began overrunning Lancheng's defenses, and the Taichang Emperor was informed they likely would fall within days, he suffered a massive stroke. The emperor fell into a coma, and did not wake up before dying two days later on February 22nd. His son, the Heir Designate and Prince Yan, was coronated after only nine days as the Datong Emperor.

Datong

abandons the capital, turns the war around etc etc, Tanluan shows up and helps save the dynasty, emperor negotiates with previous dissidents to set up constitution


=====Postwar Constitutional Convention (Dongjing Convention)

In a triumph of diplomacy, and with some secret aid from a few foreign ambassadors as well, a coalition was formed, led by members of Tanluan's society. Each main faction- the imperial dynasty, the republicans, and the socialists- was included in the new power-sharing agreement. However, most ethnic minorities saw their hopes crushed at the Dongjing Convention (in the city of Dongjing), and those who resisted were crushed by the new regime's forces.

Under the new Songhua constitution, the emperor would be allowed to remain as head of state and receive a comfortable stipend to maintain the imperial court, whose existing bureaucratic institutions would be largely co-opted into the apparatus of the new state. Besides these duties and various ceremonial obligations, the emperor and the monarchy would otherwise be at the mercy of the Imperial Household Agency. Court officials would maintain significant sway within the bureaucracy, while the republicans and socialists would be allowed to compete alongside anyone else in elections for control of the Grand Assembly.

All political candidates would have to submit to certification, however, by the non-partisan Electoral Bureau of the Interior Security Ministry (one of the successors to the Thousand Eyes Directorate), and would be subject to discipline by the internal disciplinary and paramilitary apparatuses of their own parties or by the Interior Security Ministry if they "deviated from honorable practices." To this end, all three of the major parties that officially first entered the Grand Assembly- the Imperial Way Party, the National Front Party, and the Revolutionary Party- agreed to form the United Front. A new capital city was also constructed at a site a ways outside of the old capital, named Tianjing, for the new government to rule from.

Foreign Crises

Negara and Songguo initially acted together after the war, presenting Werania with an ultimatum and forcing them to withdraw and grant full autonomy to Namkwon. Songguo was quick to promote a full restoration of the powers of the Namkwonese royal dynasty, but fiercely Jacobin Negara was less fond of a monarchist revival. While Negara had initially flirted with joining the Co-Prosperity Sphere, this possibility soon grew dimmer as conflicts over influence in Namkwon and along Songguo's northeastern border worsened. Matters came to a head during the Namkwon Emergency, when a Songhua power play to empower the Namkwonese monarchy and seize control led to Negara sponsoring Siamati separatism. The Emergency firmly marked the beginning of a more aggressive Songhua foreign policy, which would continue through successive governments. Increasing friction with Negara led Songhua leaders to secretly initiate the country's atomic program, which tested its first bomb in 1949, and Negara soon founded the Southern Coius Defense Initiative aligned against Songguo.

Third Songhua-Nematsujin War

In 1958, seemingly out of the blue, the Songhua military launched a massive, coordinated surprise attack on Nematsujin forces on Kaizhou and Jinshan, and in the Home Islands.

-Kaizhou and Jinshan retaken, Nematsu humiliated, joins SCDI

Chenghua

'70-71 CN/SWF crisis

Blue Banner

pre-6-6 scene-setting


Shunzhen

6-6 and constitutional edits

Zhao Bolin ascendant

Siamat

Hongxi

Fall of Zhao Bolin

Geography

A courtier in ancient times, in an old dynasty, once called Songguo "a quilt knit together by steel". The analogy of the steel quilt is not far off. The country is centered around the heartland of the Songhua people, along the Lai, Chang, and Qin Rivers. The wide, rich river basins have fairly gentle terrain, and around them rise a number of mountain ranges and high deserts and steppes home to various peoples such as the Jurchid, Khataghi, and the Rygyali. There are also the islands off the coast, the Lushan Archipelago, the heartland of the Chau people.

Politics

Songhua electoral politics in the Grand Assembly are dominated by three parties- the Imperial Way Party, the Revolutionary Party, and the Workers' Front, essentially representing the interests of the Zhen dynasty and conservatives, the republicans and constitutionalists, and the socialists and leftists, respectively. Each of the three parties serves in the broader context of the United Front, forming multiparty governments in the interest of national unity.

Most State Councils also typically consist of a significant number of career bureaucrats, and a smaller number of military and intelligence officers and high-ranking courtiers. The intelligence and security services play a significant role in politics thanks to their pervasive influence and incredible power, and combined with the imperial court's longstanding influence in the civil service, this means that the power of elected governments and politically appointed ministers to make an impact on the "deep state" is fairly limited, though they can achieve policy by working along with the establishment system. People considered to be "in" enough with the system will also often receive direct appointments to the Grand Assembly as unelected deputies.

Various establishment figures in the upper echelons of the Grand Assembly, the bureaucracy, the security services, the imperial court, and the military form the players in the much more shadowy and ill-defined patronage system by which power is actually exerted in Songguo. Various factions known as "cliques" or "clubs" (or, if one is speaking in a derogatory way, "gangs") generally coalesce around individuals who express differing policy perspectives on major issues, competing for control of the State Council and different government organs.

Following the 6-6 Crisis, the so-called "West Park Gang" and their political descendants have remained in power, but the West Park Gang has fractured into several smaller groups- most notably, the Beigang Clique, lead by former Grand Secretary Zhao Bolin, which was recently largely destroyed, and the Xikou Clique, once directed by the Grand Empress Dowager Zili and now seemingly led back to political prominence by First Minister Hao Jinkai. Some also identify smaller cliques in the security services and the imperial family, or within the now-dominant Xikou Clique or the now-defunct Beigang Clique.

Military

Song army- big

Song air force- also big

Song missile forces- big and somewhat alarming

Song navy- big, lots of missiles

Song intel- is a spook

Demographics

Songguo has a large population of 706,505,924, which is growing rapidly at a pace of about 2.37%. Despite the country's large, crowded, and growing cities, a significant fraction of the population still lives in the countryside in small farming villages. While the country has an excellent passenger rail system and its once-nearly nonexistent paved road network has vastly expanded, travel is still rare and impractical for many rural dwellers, who are more impoverished than their urban counterparts.

Culture