|Capital||Ka'ua (Hyoton IV) (after 19755 BCE)
|Founded||Before 19747 BCE|
|First Contact||2530 CE|
|Government||Great Houses with a centralised Emperor, military and bureaucracy|
|Current Emperor||Twayng Kray|
|Ruling family||House Kray|
|Territories||14 known systems
The Xi'an Empire or SaoXy'an ( Xi'an: 9sao9xyan2 (Proper); literally The empire of Xi'an; ) is a polity ruling all of known Xi'an space over 20,000 years. They also have - compared to humanity - a very long tradition of spacefaring.
The Xi'an Empire is located along the border of UEE's "eastern systems". It is comprised of at least fourteen systems. The Xi'an government has not disclosed the exact number of systems under their control but it is assumed that they have more territory deeper into space.
While not inherently aggressive or expansionist in their nature, the Xi'an history is rife with civil war and power struggles. However over the last 500 years the Xi'an have adopted alternate methods to warfare preferring subtlety and manipulation to overt conflict. Xi'an influence is suspected in the revolution and subsequent overthrow of Imperator Messer XI in 2792.
The homeworld of the Xi'an was once a lush tropical world with a hot humid environment. The early Xi'an society lived in nomadic groups. They invented agriculture, domesticated animals and erected fortified settlements at an unknown date.
Since Xi'an aren't able to digest the majority of fresh food and are intolerant of hot or cold meals, the discovery of fermentation was a milestone in Xi'an history. They were now able to stockpile fermented food in vessels, called tyixa'yetui. They were able to expand further, forming "state-like powers called Houses."
The Great Divide (20044 - 19770 BCE)
A chaotic era filled with rampant conflict between four powerful Xi'an Houses. Initially a conflict between House Ru'a and Uai'i the conflict escalated with the intervention of House Chii and Kl.ō. Members of House Kl.ō sabotaged the weather satellites of Hyoton III intending to kill the leadership of House Uai'i and Ru'a during peace talks. The whole atmosphere of the planet collapsed and killed most of its inhabitants. The xyan capital was moved to Ka'ua.
As a result, the Xi'an Empire was formed and the House Rúa became the ruling family of the empire. A compensation for Rúa`s losses. House Chii attempted to seize power again "thirteen years later" (19742 BCE ?) but were defeated and 'exterminated.'
First Imperial Age (19668 - 878 BCE)
The Xi'an religion Li'tova was codified into common law and the Xi'an started to discover Jump Points and terraforming worlds outside Hyoton.
Second Imperial Age (878 BCE - 1457 CE )
Eradication of the Xy.ō house (1225 CE)
In 1225 during the Spirit Wars, the Kr'Thak launched an orbital bombardment of the Shoh estate, elimating the reigning Emperor Xy.ō and her house, leaving nothing but a massive crater behind. After the devastation, the Kr'Thak activated dozens of strike forces around the Xi'an empire, systematically targeting any location with a remaining member of the Shoh family. The entire Shoh line had been eliminated and their house's reign was over. The Xi'an's Second Imperial Age had been brought to a brutal and decisive end.
The Dark (1305 CE - 1457 CE)
Following the eradication House Xy.ō in 1225 CE (until 1457 CE, Xian year II.1706 - II.1824) chaos unleashed across the Xi'an Empire. Those in the bureaucratic class tried to keep the government functioning, but struggled to do so without an Emperor and royal family dictating an overarching policy. The Xi'an war strategy also suffered from the leadership vacuum, as the Imperial house controls the military just as directly as it does the government.
Instead of a clear vision, powerful Xi'an Houses feuded and political factions formed. Some argued that retribution against the Kr'Thak was necessary, while others claimed it was the time to discuss peace. Various houses acted unilaterally, with some trying to broker deals as others started secretly arming themselves. Envoys were sent to every Xi'an settlement to search for a new ruler, but even more years of hunting still did not have a single match. After decades of this uncertainty, some Xi'an philosophers pondered whether a new ruler would appear only after their war with the Kr'Thak was over. Public opinion swung in that direction and eventually a ceasefire was negotiated with the Kr'Thak by the remaining military bureaucrats. Primarily due to the fact that a new Emperor could not be found, powerful houses grew concerned that they might lose everything, and divisions between houses grew deeper and the threat of another brutal civil war was all but certain. At that time, the dissolution of the Empire was a real possibility.
Third Imperial Age (1457 CE - Present)
Rise of House Kr.ē (1457 CE )
In 1457, House Kr.ē became the ruling family of the Xi'an Empire after the coronation of the infant U.e'o se Kr.ē. While there was a conspiracy involving a number of powerful Xi'an families, the official story is that U.e'o se Kr.ē was tested for the Imperial markers shortly after being born and proclaimed to be the new Emperor not long after. Family matriarch IIth se Kr.ē was given provisional power until U.e'o was of age.
U.e'o se Kr.ē was raised to be a ruler, eventually ascended to the throne with a quiet confidence and immediately instituted a number of sweeping changes. She strengthened settlements and military fortifications in systems connected to Kr'Thak. She banned jump point hunting in those systems, believing that the less contact with the Kr'Thak, the more chance the ceasefire would hold. Some believe this shift away from Kr'Thak space is what forced the Xi'an Empire to expand in a different direction, one that would result in them crossing paths with Humanity.
Cold War (2530 CE - 2789 CE)
The Xi'an Empire became known to humans in 2530 when the Gaia Planet Services attempted to terraform a planet without authorization. Turns out the planet wasn't uninhabited. A new race, later discovered to be the Xi'an Empire, showed up while the terraformers were building the equipment. This encounter immediately escalated into a 259 year "Cold War" (2530-2789). In the darker era of human history, the Imperator and government often used the Xi'an threat as a means to terrify their own citizens and swell the power of the military. Although neither side declared open war, there were many casualties on both sides from covert operations, sabotage, and espionage. Due to their extended lifespan, there are Xi'an from that era that are still alive, such as the current Emperor, who negotiated the daring peace accord with Senator Akari in 2789.
The Xi'an and Humanity have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. While the Xi'an have generally regarded Humanity as short-sighted and impetuous, they have acknowledged our capacity to destroy and treated us accordingly. While their technology might seem superior to ours (it certainly looks nicer), most of that is simply due to its alien origin. Our two civilizations are on relatively equal technological footing. This ability for mutual annihilation is probably what kept either side from attempting an all-out attack.
The former Perry Line (dissolved 2789 CE)
A line of systems that acted as a no-man's-land between the UEE and the Xi'an in the Cold War. These systems (Tohil, Oya, Gurzil, Horus, Pallas, Hadur, Indra and Virtus) became known as the Perry Line. After the Peace Treaty of 2789, the Perry Line was divided between the UEE and the Xi'an with Tohil, Oya, Gurzil and Horus going to the UEE and Pallas, Hadur, Indra and Virtus going to the Xi'an.
Human-Xi'an Trade Initiative (2947 CE)
In 2947, a UEE trade agreement was announced by the UEE Imperator Costigan to improve the trading relationship with the Xi'an Empire. The agreement heavily deregulates restrictions on inter-Empire commerce, incentivizing Xi'an houses to do more businesses with Human companies.
Relations with the Xi'an have warmed over the centuries, but it would be difficult to call them friendly without a slight hint of sarcasm. 'Guarded' is probably a more accurate term. There are undoubtedly members of the Xi'an government who still regard the UEE with suspicion and distrust. The current Imperator has always been clear that the futures of two nations are intertwined. As more human Corps enter into tech-exchange deals with Xi'an companies, apparently they feel the same.
The Empire has been described as an "absolute hereditary monarchy." The Emperor is the nominal ruler of the SaoXy'an, head of the Imperial Bureaucracy and religious figurehead of Li'Tova, while most of the power is de facto divided by complex Great Houses called Yii'ua, which are control every aspect of Xi'an life. The title of Emperor is passed down through the family line. As long as a Xyan serve under the Service (i.e. as members of the military) they are 'ceremonially' adopted by the empreror, which 'symbolizes the unity of the Xi’an people for the collective good.'
Imperial Council of Three
Beneath the Emperor rules the Imperial Council of Three ( Xi'an, literally advice group; Xi'an: kyo9lyon (Proper); ). While each Yii'ua has such a committee, the Imperial House is unique in that its members are forbidden from being blood relatives of the Emperor. Instead, the triumvirate is made up of one high-ranking member each of the Xi'an civil bureaucracy, the military, and the religious Li’Tova leadership.
The Great Houses
Yii'ua ( Xi'an: Yii2ua (Proper); ), translated as Houses, Great Houses, Lineages or Lines, are described as serving the function of both states and corporations. While the Emperor still rules, the Great Houses dominate life.
The Great Houses collectively and consensually established the seat of the Emperor, selecting the First Imperial Line, and later selecting the Third and current Line. Houses are shown to engage directly in negotiation with the UEE. Houses have ruling councils that make all decisions regarding budgeting and distribution of resources within their House, and are said to be "everything" to a Xi'an.
Adjustments in the Lore
The recent lore regarding the power, influence, and rights of the Great Houses conflicts with the earlier depiction of the Xi'an Empire as an absolute monarchy, and lead writer Dave Haddock explicitly described this as a process of re-writing at Citizencon 2947. Based on the status of the Great Houses as essentially States within the Empire, the SaoXy'an may be better described as having characteristics of a federal monarchy, or the Fengjian system of government in China. The Xi'an Emperor is still described as an absolute monarch and so could overrule any other decision, but the degree of delegation and bureaucracy is far more important in the later lore.
UEE: Formerly hostile/tense but currently "friendly". There are still corners of the Xi'an Empire that haven't forgotten how antagonistic the UEE was back in the day.
Banu Protectorate: Friendly.
Vanduul: Indifferent but not welcome.
Kr'Thak: The Xi'an and the Kr'Thak have been fighting each other for a long time, since then the Xi'an had been avoiding contact with the Kr'Thak. The longest and most devastating conflict was known as the Spirit Wars. The UEE just recently learned of the Kr'Thaks' existence, but have not met or opened relations with them.
Power transfer between houses
The process involves searching for certain genetic 'markers' that only the new Emperor will carry. Envoys were sent to every Xi'an settlement, and all Xi'an are tested to see who might carry these markers. It is an incredible bureaucratic undertaking in peaceful times, and nearly impossible during a war whose duration was approaching a millennium.
The Xi'an houses grant monopolistic rights to Xi'an companies to control various sectors of industry.
All Xi'an at age 40 (51 in Earth Years) undergo a 30-Year period of Service to the Empire (38 in Earth Years). During this time they are ceremonally adopted into the Imperial Household, changing their name. The Service also uses a distinct dialect, and all Xi'an will eventually be fluent in Service Dialect and Proper Dialect in addition to any native dialect they may speak. The Service is divided into two branches: military ( Xi'an: hui2pu14hyath5 (Proper); ) or bureaucracy ( Xi'an: hui2puu14tung5 (Proper); ). Xi'an are drafted into either branch with no regard to their personal choice, with males and females treated equally.
The Xi'an Defense Forces consist primarily of these Military Service conscripts. Xi'an are considered to be reserve members for the rest of their lives. The standing Xi'an armed forces consist currently of over sixteen million members, not including the civilian populace, many of which have combat training.
It is not uncommon for older Xi'an to return to the Service in senior positions later in life when their wisdom and experience is required by the Emperor. This is considered an honor.
Law & Criminality
There is less crime per capita in the Xi'an Empire than in the UEE, but it still exists. The Xi'an pride themselves on having 'dignified' criminals, since acting from emotion is seen as a sign of weakness and immaturity. So criminals within the Xi'an Empire are similar to the syndicates within the UEE, sprawling disciplined organizations whose business happens to be crime.
There are Xi'an pirates and smugglers but they tend to be younger, still in their rambunctious phase of life. These pirates will usually hunt in UEE territory, but they will rob their own kind if the cargo's right.
Organized criminality exists within legal borders and is managed by 'criminal houses', called yu’at.ōngh’uitā. 'Professional Criminals' are called Nyayu’a.
The yu’at.ōngh’uitā acting like crime syndicates but get permissions from the government for their various activities, which includes robbery and racketeering but also working as local 'police forces' against not-organized criminals. In return, criminal houses are only allowed to revoke a certain amount of money from the system. There is a complex ruleset which is controlled by the yu’at.ōngh’uitā and the government itself. It is not allowed to kill or to rob a person's cargo entirely or to rob a person too often. Criminal houses are controlling themselves by hunting down and catching rogue outlaw Xi'an to retain the balance of the system. One such 'criminal house' is House Kuang.
uo'aXy'an is the official language of Xi'an Empire. Xi'an is spelled the same, but spoken differently depending if you're speaking formally, or informally. This is due to the 30 year mandatory military service each Xi'an has to go through.
Xi'an are masters of diplomacy. The Xi'an are patient and refined, but can and will throw down if the situation calls for it. They live for centuries; for this reason, propagation of the species is carefully monitored and directed by the government to prevent overcrowding. While their placid demeanor can often be interpreted as aloofness or apathy, their long lifespan means that they act with decades in mind, not years.
To Humans, Xi'an culture can seem rigid and lifeless. A majority of that is artifice. The Xi'an present themselves as polite but neutral, particularly to those they have never met before. This is an age-old social testing mechanism. They approach a person as a blank-slate and let the other person set the tone (or tip his or her hand) as to how the interaction will progress. When a Xi'an feels comfortable with a contact, they will begin to lose the artifice and relate on a more personal level. With Humans, it takes a little longer (as we said before, a lot of them remember the Messer Era).
There is a definite "us versus them" mentality within the Xi'an society. They will not hesitate to take another Xi'an's side over an outsider unless definitive evidence is presented to support the outsider's claim or accusation.
It is not unusual to see Xi'an within UEE space, usually falling into three categories: visiting Xi'an businessmen or dignitaries (as described above), younger Xi'an who haven't quite settled into the Xi'an culture, and expatriates.
There are those within the Xi'an Empire who felt that their way of life was too stifling, welcomed Humanity's 'childish' emotions as a breath of fresh air and expatriated into the UEE. Some went through the arduous process of becoming Citizens while others enjoy the relaxed civic responsibility of Civilian life.
- Meet The Xi'an. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Galactapedia: Xi'an Cuisine, acc. 2019-11-25
- Galactapedia: House Chii, acc. 2019-11-24
- This Day in History - The Third Imperial Age. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- An Overview of Xi'an Language for Diplomats
- Inside Star Citizen - Plan of Gatac, min. 01:55, Heiberg: "House Rúa in recompense for his loss was elevated to the first imperial house (...)"
- First Imperial Age. Galactapedia. Retrieved 2019-11-23
- An Overview of Xi'an Language for Diplomats
- The given dates in the source This Day in History - The Third Imperial Age are not corresponding with the current information on the galactapedia.
- Galactapedia: The Dark, acc. 2019-11-24
- 2530: The Galaxy Gets Bigger. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- 2789: A Cold War Thaws. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Writer's Guide: Part Six. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- KAIZEN: Human-Xi'an Trade Initiative Unveiled. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Galactapedia: Xi'an Government. Galactapedia. Retrieved 2021-04-12
- Galactapedia: Emperor (Tao’nuasao / Tao’yusao). Galactapedia. Retrieved 2021-05-29
- Galactapedia: Council of Three. Galactapedia. Retrieved 2021-04-28
- Galactapedia: Xi'an House (Yii'ua). Galactapedia. Retrieved 10-08-2020
- STAR CITIZEN: CitizenCon 2947 - Xi’an History, Physiology, and Language. Retrieved 2020-08-10
- Galactapedia: The Great Divide. Galactapedia. Retrieved 10-08-2020
- Galactapedia: House Kr.ē. Galactapedia. Retrieved 10-08-2020
- Congress Now - 2944-01-21. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link. Retrieved 10-08-2020
- Congress Now: Torral Aggregate Testimony. Retrieved 2020-08-10
- Portfolio: Aopoa. Transmission - Comm-Link. Retrieved 2020-08-10
- Comm-Link:Portfolio - AopoA. Transmission - Comm-Link
- Galactapedia: Xi’an Criminal Professionals (Nyayu’a). Galactapedia. Retrieved 2021-06-20
- OP.NET: Combat Haggling. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Around the Verse - Alien Languages. Transmission - Comm-Link
- Galactic Guide: Kayfa. Transmission - Comm-Link