• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Tian Zao Gongheguo

Heaven Forged Republic
天造共和國

Important Cities
Yunwang Rili Beijing
Culture
Mandarin, Korean
Government
United Republics of China (URC, Sol)
Commonwealth of the Dawn (CoD, Li Ming)
Federation of Celestial Territories (FCT, Shen Zhou)
Republican Confederacy Zeng Changming Wu Lili Luo Meng Kal Young Tan Jiangguo Hak Bo-Hee An Ho Phuoc
Timeline
2199 2200-2253 2220-Present 2253
Demographics
3 Billion





History

The 21st century was not kind to China, in particular, its people. Worsening relations with the rest of the globe has left China involuntarily isolated, forcing it to find resources within its own borders or coercing smaller nations into one-way relationships. Climate change wrecked havoc upon the coastal regions, the economic, political, and cultural arteries of the entire nation. Environmental and political stresses pushed China deeper into authoritarianism; by the mid-21st century, few could disagree that mainland China was a dystopic state that made Airstrip One of 1984 look like heaven in comparison. Birth rate was tightly monitored and controlled, with every newborn barcoded. The advancements in biomedical technology allowed every civilian to be further marked in their bloodstreams, making privacy, any semblance of free speech and movement, a distant memory. Career paths were nearly predetermined as well, children practically working at a young age through laborious education. The exceptions, of course, were the politically powerful and the wealthy, who could afford expensive exemption fees that lifted them out of the complex web of rigid systems that controlled most of the populous.

The advent of widely available fusion power of the 2070’s, then the first successful, macroscopic utilization of FTL technology; sparked hopes and dreams of people of other nations. For those of China, the reality was extending their own controlled state beyond the surface of Earth. Basic supplies of air and water were tightly controlled by loyalists in stations from Luna, to Ceres to Ganymede. As sparsely populated stations continued to dot the Sol system, it wasn’t unheard of for one or two stations to go offline, publicly announced as accidents, but in reality were efforts to silence whispers of independence. Meanwhile, the situation on Earth remained perilous. As China’s coast continues to be flooded by rising sea waters, massive arcologies rose up with the majority of the population moved into them, both as a way to consolidate resources and reduce consumption, and as a far more convenient method to tighten the iron grip on the populace. This is no better seen than in the Beijing megalopolis, a hive of multiple arcologies embedded into the Northwestern mountains and steppes that has become the beating political and economic heart of the entire PRC in the Sol system.

The dynamics shifted in 2117, when the PRC built its own SLE system as a statite of Sol at its south pole, then the first steps on habitable planets of the Shen Zhou system by 2118. In an effort to alleviate the high population stress on Earth, and questionably in conflict with other PRC motives, a mass emigration program was launched where tens of millions of people annually were moved off of Earth into the Shen Zhou system. By the 2030’s, a sizable minority of China’s population was now extrasolar. Anticipating a workforce shortage in the Sol system, those in power released a controversial, biological program even by their standards in 2132: the Zhuli, mass produced sentient beings akin to slaves who mature faster and seemingly more easily controlled compared to normal humans.

Colonization of the Shen Zhou system ran into issues with native sentient life, primarily the Aos Si. Upon discovery and conflict, their presence was painstakingly removed around human colonies, and information of their existence suppressed, to remove additional uncertainty that they introduced into the PRC systems. To prevent this incident from occurring again, the Zhuli were deployed into the Li Ming system before it was colonized in 2154 to silence the native population as much as possible first.

Both the emigration and the Zhuli program expanded as the PRC expanded its presence in its two extrasolar systems. Rich in living space and resources, control of the two systems made the PRC extremely wealthy and powerful, rivaling the American Union in terms of fleet size. By 2179, between migration and encouragement of high birth rates, nearly half of the PRC’s population were spread between the Shen Zhou and Li Ming systems, with the Zhuli now taking up a tangible minority in the Sol system, assisting administration, science, engineering, and military tasks.

However, perhaps predictably, the Zhuli were not blind to their slavery. To modern day, it still wasn’t clear how long they planned their rebellion, but in 2199, the unthinkable happened: Zhuli across the PRC’s territories struck at their owners: high ranking politicians, scientists, engineers, and military officers; with animalistic violence, killing most, now referred to as the “Zhongzhi” event. Such rebellion was not unexpected by the rest of the human community, but no one anticipated this level of coordination, brutality, or scale. As if in an instant, centuries of dominance by the CCP was beheaded.

The ramifications both internally and externally were swift. Political power struggles, riots, and general pandemonium spread quickly, while the Zhuli attempted to escape to the freshly colonized Pingqiong system, eventually becoming the Daqin Empire. Meanwhile, AU and GDW forces descended upon mainland China, conducting Operation Heavy Chorus where its maritime borders were blockaded and major military installations were either occupied or destroyed. Meanwhile, Operation Distant Flock blocked any interaction between the Sol, Li Ming, and Shen Zhou systems to contain the ensuing chaos within PRC territories. As with Operation Heavy Chorus, Operation Distant Flock annihilated old PRC military installations, space stations, and the entire PRC space fleet while it was paralyzed and leaderless. Collectively, these two operations kick started the 2nd Century of Humiliation where China was once again embroiled in internal conflict while the foreign nations gripped the country.

While effective at minimizing damage through the entire human community, civil wars sprang up in the old PRC territories, especially mainland China. Around 2220’s, an entire generation reached adulthood, scarred physically and mentally by gang warfare, economic depression, and anarchy, appropriately called “The Scarred Generation”. By the late 2260’s, the Chinese population in the Sol system would’ve lost a tenth of its population to warfare, starvation, suicide, and emigration. The authoritarian control now seemed preferable.

As the 2220's passed, entering the 2230's, violence died down across the old PRC territories. Aided by AU and GDW forces, remaining political and military leaders of the Taiwan Province swept through mainland China, installing local, democratic states as they advanced towards the ruins of Beijing, spurred on by the centuries old, egalitarian culture of the island before it was annexed by the PRC. Similar events occurred in the Shen Zhou and Li Ming systems. With the citizenry no longer constricted by authoritarian rule, the AU and the GDW with no symmetrical, hostile forces to contest, democratic regimes began to take hold. The process was made easier due to the distance of these star systems away from central authority: indoctrination and enforcement of loyalty to the CCP have historically been difficult with mixed effectiveness in these far off regions.

By the end of the 2230's, infant, democratic states were formed: the United Republics of China, the Federation of Celestial Territories, and the Commonwealth of the Dawn. As they were forging their new identities as true republics, shifting their culture, and solidifying their positions in their respective star systems, talks already began to reform back into a unified, interstellar superstate, bound by mutual military protection and cultural ties. After two more decades of negotiations, the leaders of the three states came together in orbit of Zhuque of the Li Ming system, signing the Vermillion Bird Promises in 2253, the official formation of the Heaven Forged Republic. While travel between Zhuque and Earth takes two months, establishing the HFR's capital on the planet was deemed necessary to protect it from potential Zhuli aggression from the Pingqiong system, and any mainland cities on Earth were still too ruinous for an interstellar government. In the decades that followed, widespread fear of the Zhuli wavered, but the tradition of Yungwang as the political capital of the HFR remained. Still, the relative remoteness was not adequate for timely defense of the nation. Thus, Rili on Wu Zetian, in the Shen Zhou system, was established as the headquarters for Republic Space Command (GKF).

Up to modern day, the HFR’s military is split amongst the three states, united by necessity to repel the threats of the Daqin and the other human superstates, bound and coordinated together by the GKF. The American Union to this day still has heavy surveillance on the HFR states, maintaining a continuous tension between the two superstates. Despite cultural similarities, political tensions between the three states are hot and regular, each with their own system of government and ideological outlook. It remains unclear how long the HFR will remain in this state before it is completely exploited by either the AU or Daqin. For now, the Chinese and Korean people, along with minority groups, breathe more easily than their ancestors, with authoritarian suppression mostly behind them.

State

See main article: Government Organization of the HFR

While the HFR claims it is a fully united nation, in reality, it is a confederacy of three states: the United Republics of China (URC) in the Sol System, the Federation of Celestial Territories (FCT) in the Shen Zhou system, and the Commonwealth of the Dawn (CoD) in the Li Ming system. Each state has its own legislature, judicial system, and executives, along with their own independent militaries. Nominally, they are all democracies, mileage varies. Li Ming is considered the most democratic of the three, with voting rights expanded even to the xeno races, mainly the Aos Si, while Shen Zhou is a borderline military junta, war hawks maintaining power through careful indoctrination of maintenance of nationalistic zeal.

The overarching confederate government has executive, legislative, and judicial branches, power stemming primarily from the member state governments.

Political Parties

Commonwealth of the Dawn


  • The Farsight Party, the "Doves": The Farsighters dominate the younger, educated demographics in city centers, and a large majority of space colonists in the Li Ming system. They are primarily concerned with long term, large infrastructure projects, such as the New Dawn Project. Controversially in the HFR, the Doves also seek diplomatic ties with the Daqinren, as the space colonists share similar ways of life with them, and the younger generation having much more forgiveness towards them, and more open to their ideology.

  • The Unity Party, the "Geese": The "Geese" nickname was one given by members of the other parties: a lot of honking, some bite, and shits everywhere. The unitarians are primarily concerned with pragmatic, short to medium term economic growth, attracting corporate executives and a large portion of the planetary, urban population. It is ambivalent towards the Daqinren, more interested in maintaining strong economic ties with its HFR partners, the AU, and the GDW.

  • The Independence Party, the "Hawks": The "Hawks" constitute most of the older generation in urban centers and a sizable portion of the rural folk spread across Zhu Que. They carry human supremacist values, naturally having hostile stances towards the Daqinren, but also contempt for the Aos Si and Li Ming's HFR partners, resulting in mixed feelings from Shen Zhou. As the name implies, the Independents seek Li Ming self reliance, primarily through spreading across the Zhu Que planetary surface.

  • The Red Party, the "Blade Sparrows": The Reds take up their party name from the color of the Zhu Que vegetation. They represent most of the local Aos Si population and the other half of the human rural population. The Red Party seeks social and economic progress for the Aos Si, and interspecies cultural mingling. The Reds barely get along with the Independents due to their shared hostility towards the Daqinren and similar rural culture.

Culture


See main article: Culture of the HFR

Much of modern day’s HFR is defined by the Zhongzhi event and the 2nd century of humiliation that came after. Given the varied impact of the massacres and the chaos that followed, the culture of the HFR varies greatly between systems. However, there are commonalities. Most of the HFR is composed of Asians; specifically, the Han ethnicity of the Chinese and retains many of its values of centuries past. Given that only a slim minority of HFR citizens live in space, the HFR’s people also share great similarities with the surface-born of other superstates. Finally, the HFR is especially leery of the Daqin given the damage dealt, and fiercely reject any genetic creations or modifications that introduce artificial, biological intelligence into their societies, especially Chongwu.

Religion


Before the Zhongzhi Event, religious practices were heavily suppressed to maintain the central government's domination over daily life. Non-atheist practices were relegated to superficial ceremony and outward propaganda. Still, flames of Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, etc, were kept alive through secret, private worship, teachings and tradition carried over to the Li Ming and Shen Zhou systems. Complicating matters further were civilian exposure to alien religions practiced by the Aos Si, which required its own militant purging.

When the CCP eventually fell, civil wars across the territories were caused in part due to religious differences. As the fighting died down and the confederacy formed, the governments of the HFR officially took tolerant stances towards religious practices, banning religious discrimination and reopening public, unregulated practice. While rifts remained between the atheist majority and the mixed, religious minorities, by the 24th century, violence and conflict between the groups is only seen sporadically and locally.

Religions across the HFR consist of 12 major religions from Earth: Abrahamic, East Asian, Indian, and Iranian; and 3 major religions from the indigenous Aos Si populations from Li Ming and Shen Zhou. Hundreds of minor religions stem from mixed practices of these fifteen major religions, changing with time and geography. The dominant religious practice continues to be Atheism, but with a heavily spiritual undertone due to influences from the others.

Neo-Taoism


平衡教, "Ping Heng Jiao", "Balance Tradition"

In the aftermath of the Zhongzhi event, people struggled to find meaning in the apocalypse that followed, resulting in not only the cultural shifts that ensued, but also attitudes towards religion. Many atheists turned spiritualist, seeking immaterial answers for the suffering. While other religions saw natural changes over the course of the 23rd century from oppression lifted, Taoism saw significant schism that attracted spiritual atheists, agnostics, and existing Taoists: Neo-Taoism.

Neo-Taoism encompasses every aspect of human life and relationships: balance between God and Man, balance between the government and the populace, balance across socioeconomic lines, balance between ideologies. It is believed by many that Zhongzhi was in part caused by the imbalance between ruling class the ruled. Neo-Taoists see Taoists far too passive, purposefully taking centrist positions that absolve them of selfless responsibilities. Neo-Taoists explicitly call for active efforts in restoring balance between the individual, institutions, and the universe as a whole. Active pursuit of balance has been a major justification for Neo-Taoist policy makers from the HFR, moving forward, down to the composition of the confederacy: the militaristic pragmatism of Shen Zhou, the scientific optimism of Li Ming, the socioeconomic traditionalism of the URC.

Economy

Interstate Trade


Basic bulk goods such as food, water, and raw materials are too mass intensive to be financially viable to trade between HFR systems, relegating them to state-wide economies. Thus, only the most advanced manufactured goods such as high-end electronics and spacecraft, along with highly-educated and trained human resources, are moved between systems. The primary bulk good traded between systems is information: entertainment, scientific journals, as the cost to maintain a spacelane open for tightbeam communication is dramatically lower and more affordable, aided by spacelanes already opened to physical traffic and light-weight, high capacity hard storage.

Interstellar corporations who deal in basic manufactured goods and raw materials, of which the production set up is cheap, are content to create subsidiaries in each system to directly produce these bulk goods in-system, or charging large royalties for other companies to do so.

International Trade


As with interstate trade, the HFR rarely trades bulk goods with other superstates due to the cost of interstellar travel. The biggest exception is in Sol, in which the URC has deep economic ties with the American Union in the Yellow Sea and South China Sea as the Korean and Taiwan provinces trade with South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines, making the region one of the most lucrative trade zones in all of Sol. The URC, under the greater Confederacy's protection, also engages in frequent trade with the AU and GDW in the Jovian system, water and fusion fuels being the greatest concerns.

Military

State National Guards


Each of the three states of the HFR has their own military industrial complex, their own land, air, and naval forces, along with low orbit infrastructure, and limited interplanetary patrol craft. These are effectively national guards, whose primary purpose is to quell internal riots and conduct counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations. The most experienced of these national guards is the New Republic Army (NRA) of the URC, which protects the HFR’s interests on Earth, competing against its counterparts of the other superstates.

Republic Space Command

See main article: Guo Kong Fang

Despite the American Union occupying the HFR’s SLE’s and keeping a close surveillance in general, the RSC has recovered since the Zhongzhi event, albeit with a very difference military doctrine. No longer in a position to project power and expand aggressively, the RSC utilizes only a few capital command cruisers and utility frigates, the backbone of its fleet composed of a variety of corvettes with deep specializations, forming mobile swarm fleets that can respond to piracy in timely manners, or overwhelm rival capital vessels.

Part of the RSC’s capabilities is born out of HFR’s fear of Daqin. However, given that both nations are children of the previous regime, they share similar technologies. While the RSC no longer uses artificial biological intelligence, it still takes advantage of advanced bioengineering. This is used to improve human tolerance against the harsh conditions of space, allowing for reduced life support and therefore more streamlined ship designs, such as the Huo Xuan Feng class artillery corvette.

Notes

  • Translated from Chinese, means "Heaven Forged Republic"
  • Successor nation to Communist China, with India and the various other nations in East Asia coming into the power vaccum
  • Primarily Han Chinese, but with India and East Asia in control behind the scenes
  • Does not include South Korea or Japan due to political and cultural animosities, but their presence/puppet-strings are felt
  • Formation was spurred on by the collapse of the CCP due to the escape of the transhuman Zhùlǐ (助理) slaves in outer colonies and ensuing backlash, which piled on top of the already pre-existing fallout of their use and sale
  • Following collapse and civil war, small regional powers on Earth and other super-powers began to exert influence
  • 2nd Cultural Revolution and re-founding of Chinese tradition allowed remains to reunify and mitigate foreign presence
  • Regional powers were able to take advantage of turmoil and common ancestry/history to integrate into the power structure, giving them more presence in colonies
  • Rising power that has recently stabilized and is expanding again; numerous internal factions along with one large one composed of Han Chinese, and another Indian
  • Has attempted to make use of robot labor to fix the aging population problem that the Zhùlǐ (助理 - Daqinren Predecessors) were meant to some time after reorganizing
  • Second largest of the Earth successor nations
  • 'Balance' OOC wise is that they're more focused on socio-economics, and are building up poor quality education, healthcare and so forth; the military is a motley collection of patch-jobs over the years, with a very large pool of personnel and ground forces but medium-sized navy focused on sub-capitol ships for anti-piracy
  • Controls 2 systems, with a habitable planet each
  • Chinese majority, reconnected with cultural roots, with Japanese, Korean and other East Asian ethnicites a minority
  • Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, Hinduism and the like on the rise again as people try and find direction/purpose/meaning
  • Confucianism has a heavy influence, focus on mortal affairs, self-improvement and cultivation
  • Very structured and hard working society
  • Emphasis placed on the group over the individual
  • Focus on the family and reverence of the elderly
  • A lot of focus on maintaining 'tranquility', saving face, etc, even to detriment of not solving actual problems
  • Denial of past mistakes/humiliations
  • Only partially ammo-compatible with Soyuz Sotsialisticheskikh Mirov
  • Small arms are a mix of older steel-base-reinforced brass case designs and newer caseless ammunition from Japanese descended corporations
  • Gauss/Rail guns are typically found on vehicles or reserved for special forces, are even more uncommon-rare amongst human successor states: few used are the most advanced
  • Lasers are typically found on vehicles, but are mostly point defense, limited production main weapons, or cumbersome special forces weapons: even more uncommon-rare, but most advanced human models
  • Energy shielding is most common on ships, and uncommon-rare on vehicles and special forces power armor; newest models are most advanced human models
  • Power armor reserved for elite shock troops and special forces - not flight capable and with very uncommon energy shielding; most advanced human models
  • Super-soldier program primarily revolves around integration of use regarding power armor, augmenting the user as little as possible; medium-heavy power armor emphasized, with supporting battle droids to emphasize quality of very limited units and protect them
  • Large military with lots of ground forces, but its navy is focusing on protecting trade routes with just a few showpiece capitol ships; lots of mismatched gear from the past, but the newest stuff is some of the very best, focuses on anti-capitol ship equipment
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