Tian Xia [PROCESSED]

Old world development posts that have been reviewed and incorporated or put aside.
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Orban
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Tian Xia [PROCESSED]

Post by Orban » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:39 pm

Seeing as the Tian Xia section in the 'Setting' page is 'Under Revision', I wanted to confirm some parts in my history where I've made assumptions of this empire.

My main question is what the current style of governance is in Tian Xia? I've assumed that Tian Xia has an Emperor who governs through officials who make up a sort of 'nobility' (i.e. roughly how China was governed for most of its dynastic periods), but after chatting with Frug a few days ago he mentioned that Tian Xia is not a Feudal society but rather an 'Empire'. I guess an Emperor and nobility are still plausible, but in case I need to go further into Orban's background/history I wanted to clear up what this actually means.

Are we talking an Empire more similar to a Federation of provinces/states that each have autonomy to govern themselves but ultimately fall under the authority of the Emperor? Or are we talking a 'Star Wars-esque' Galactic Empire where the Emperor pretty much has governing power over all of the states/provinces of his nation and authority/power is much more centralised?

Also, if there are any other major differences between Tian Xia and dynastic China (in terms of culture and political structure - obviously it's geographically different :)) please correct me here as I have tended to assume that era as a rough guide to how things are (obviously keeping the Changer's war and etc. in mind :D).

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Re: Tian Xia

Post by Frug » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:34 am

Jaspenellar is the best expert we have on Tian Xia, since she took on Gur'yeo and Guang Wan. I talked to her a bit in chat the other day about this.

My understanding of the history of China is pretty vague. I'm not too good with governmental structures such as feudalism either, so what I said in chat may have been nonsense. Sometimes I need to be corrected; wikipedia to the rescue. Apparently the word feudalism is ambiguous and and umbrella term. So whether or not it is feudal or semi-feudal depends on the context. Probably, it is still best described as feudal.

I'll let Jasp get her two cents in, but from what I understand Tian Xia is best thought of as a federation of semi-autonomous provinces under the jurisdiction of the emperor, as opposed to a highly rigid, centralized government.

I'd like there to be room for strife, and I believe Gur'yeo ( Korea ) is quite autonomous.
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Re: Tian Xia

Post by Jaspenellar » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:08 am

I am super excited that people are into their characters to the point that the history of their land is a factor. :D I'm not sure how I ended up resident expert on Tian Xia since I tend to make things up as I go, but I'm assuming Frug simply wants to share the wealth {workload} with others as far as the environmentals go here. The reason I picked "Gur'yeo" to develop is because its a very, very small percentage of the Tian Xia population and I could go into great depths without having to write a thousand page manual on what Tian Xia is. Also, Korea is just cool.

At anyrate, until we get more solid stuff written down, its open for discussion. Keeping your character referring to things in generalities would be the safest bet, and I have been loosely basing Gur'yeo on medieval Korea and historical patterns that would probably create similar situations in this setting as they did in the real world. That being said, I've written Gur'yeo to be clashing with the larger state of Tian Xia. I have also been going off the assumption that the ancestry of all Tian Xia people are of some "mongoloids" who would have been Genghis Kahn and his line.

The way I envision Tian Xia is that it is not made of states or politically drawn lines on the map for the most part, but regions which are controlled by clans, who have fallen into a rough alliance to form their Empire. They had warrred with each other as humans are prone to do up until the rise of the Tian Xia Changer who managed to encourage the majority to work together and fight for him. (The Gur'yeons, being isolated on the far reaches of the continent, decided not to waste their fighters in the distant war and could not be persuaded to send warriors to support the Changer.) I imagine the population still has not recovered from the War, and so sparse population affords some clans to roam nomadic and some to live in set areas without much border contention.

Each region pays their respects to the Emperor, monetarily (although this is more of a symbolic gesture and not designed to sustain the Emperor) and politically by allowing him to be the ruler. Going again with a roughly Asian belief system, the ruling pedigree is believed to be of the Changer's bloodline and holds a theological aspect as well as political power. Frug and I discussed this in chat the other day and I think we came to a consensus that for this time period, the Emperor is actually a competent, active ruler and the seat of the Empire has not yet been reduced to serving as a mere figurehead for the power-hungry. He does not view himself as a god or a king, but more as a servant of his people and desires to maintain the current peace between all of the clans. As such, he has not made any drastic moves to mandate that any one dialect is adopted or that taxes be imposed on the clans or any other policies which could otherwise upset the heads of the clans and give them cause to attempt a coup. He is generally liked, and the population in certain regions has been slowly increasing. This, of course, means those people are becoming more prosperous, comfortable, and idle.

Well, I hate writing stuff like that but there's the beginning, a skeleton from which we can work from. Always open to discussion and suggestions. And of course if I'm way of base I'm sure Frug will take the appropriate editing axe to it.
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Re: Tian Xia

Post by Orban » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:46 pm

Hehe well I more wanted to clear things up, but since we're now on the topic let's get into some detail -
Orban has spent almost all his life in the nobility so I'm sure I'll need to refer back to it at some/many stages of posting, so all of this info will help :D

In the case of Gur'Yeo, Korea was never assimilated into China, but was an autonomous province that paid tribute to the Chinese Emperor for most of its history, so the way you've described it fits very nicely (although obviously in this setting we could have no relevance at all to actual history and it could still be made fit :)). But in terms of Tian Xia, while it is very plausible to assume a Mongolian background, my 2 cents would be that it would make more sense to assume a feudal, dynastic China background, as the Mongols didn't develop their all-conquering horse archer armies till quite late in their history, and they only ruled China for less than 100 years. Therefore, in general, the major influence in Eastern Asia would likely still have come from what was originally China (whichever dynasty preceded the Changer's war), and although the Changer's war would have shaken things to the core and caused huge decentralisation of governance (therefore the clan structure you refer to could make sense), I would say that the overarching cultures and beliefs of the people (including the successive Emperors) would be more similar to those of a pre-Changer's-war feudal dynastic China. I would also put forward the opinion that this means the successive Emperor's of Tian Xia, over the years, would have striven to do what most Chinese Emperors in history have tried to do, and that is to conquer as many neighbouring territories as possible and rule them direclty, rather than leave things in a Mongolian-esque clan structure.

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents worth. Please feel free to point out any of my suggestions as rubbish - I promise my feelings won't be hurt :D. Much of this is probably irrelevant to my story anyway, but I guess initially what I wanted to get out of this discussion was to establish whether the Emperor has as much power as I assume he does.

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