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Introduction and History[]

Feather Flag Imperial

The Flag of the New Han.

The second dynasty of China, one of the classical ages in the dynastic cycle, was the Han (漢). Also the name of the majority of the peoples of Eastern China, the Han have always represented an age of strength for China where it matched its western counterpart, the Roman Empire. Thus, August Emperor Xu Shin's name for the former territory of Dongyue (東越) to Xinhan (新漢) (meaning the New Han), shows the willingness of the easternmost colony of the Tang Empire to reestablish itself as a haven for Chinese Civilization.

In 750 AD, a Chinese Trading Fleet (complete with military escort to enforce decisions and fend off Wokou pirates) was driven from its intended route to China. For weeks, the fleet struggled to stay alive. When it emerged from the storm, though, the sailors and troops found themselves in an unfamiliar land to the East of the Middle Kingdom. With most of the crew maintaining a garrison, the remaining fleet returned to China, albeit with all ships sunk save one. Eager for more tributaries, the Tang court sent a group of colonists not only from China, but also from its surrounding tributaries (Japan, the Khmers and Annam) in hopes of being able to communicate with the Barbarian Natives. The extraordinarily mineral-rich and fertile lands of the new land, named Dongyue, proved alluring to many in Feudal Japan and peasants in China. Lured by hyperbolic rumors of gold in the very rivers, colonists arrived at Dongyue with a rush. Around the dawn of the 10th century, though, the colonists abruptly stopped. Worried, governor Xu Shin sent for word--only to find out that the Tang had fallen into unrest. With China now ravaged in Chaos, fewer and fewer colonists arrived. Concluding that things would be no better in China, Xu Shin announced the creation of the Kingdom of the Xin Han, still supposedly under the rule of Emperor Ai (unaware that the Emperor had already been poisoned to death and the Tang gone.) With the aid of the Yumi, Klamath and Nootka tribes of California, Xin Han grew to become a mix of Chinese and Native culture, with fashion that reflected it. In the year 934, Emperor Xu Shin's son, Xu Yao, announced hte creation of the Xin Han as an independent Empire as it began to expand further east, its tendrils reaching into the plains. By the time of Emperor Xu Yao's Great-grandson, Xu Ling, Xin Han could very well rival the Empire that it had left.

The People of the New Han[]

While the New Han is fairly large, its population is far smaller than that of the mainland. The vast majority of the urban population of the Xinhan are Chinese by decent, followed by Japanese Immigrants (mostly from the peasant class) and other settlers. Most of the native tribes, though, prefer to stick true to their traditions, only adopting such weapons and tools as was beneficial (such as the repeating crossbow known as the Liannu and basic Gunpowder technology. However, many of the larger tribes, particularly the Yumi, Klamath and Nootka, have heavily benefited from the Xinhan. Lately, though, both sides have began to adapt surprisingly well, though the natural sense of ethnic superiority common in many Chinese prove a barrier at times to alliances. Yumi Mercenaries are feared both by their enemies in the surrounding tribes and their allies in the Xinhan for their ferocity and fierce loyalty to their employers. Major cities include the capital, Xinyang and cities such as Yuejing, Wuling, Nara and Xinhanzhong. Major educational centers include Xinbaidi University and the Yuejing Imperial Research Institute.

Ethnic Groups in the New Han[]

  • Ainu: A minority even in their home country of Nippon, the Ainu mainly keep to themselves through small feudal kingdoms in present-day Alaska, though they frequently send tribute to the Emperor. The Ainu are allied with the Nootka. In the Military, they are usually Scouts and irregulars.
  • Great Plains Tribes (I.E. Sioux): The Sioux have benefited heavily from the arrival of their equivalent, the Mongols. Now armed with Horses, Stirrups and new Compound bows, the Sioux and Mongols dominate the Great Plains that separate the Xinhan Border in the Rockies and the East.
  • Han: The dominant ethnic group of the colonists, the Han are the largest non-native group in Xinhan. The Han, from Mainland China, are generally the least willing to adapt, and mostly maintain old customs, going by Chinese names and insisting that all others do the same. The Emperor is mostly Han, though on his mother's side he is a Klamath native. The Han remain very ethnocentric, staying mainly in cities where they are the majority (Xinhanzhong, Xinhan). Han traditionally are farmers, while higher classes tend to be Confucian Scholars and Advisors. In the military, the Han control the Royal Guard, and mainly play the role of Light Infantry, armed with Qiang and Liannu.
  • Khitan/Xiliao Christians: Outcasts from their home nation in the Kara-Khitan Empire (which was muslim), the Nestorian (Assyrian) Christians Khitans mostly migrated to Xinhan, where they inhabit the area around the city of Khotan, though they have won converts in the nearby Klamath and Nipponese.
  • Mongols: A tribe that has managed to adapt very well to their new home in the Great Plains. Many Mongols, who had been oppressed by the later Tang, elected to move to Xinhan due to rumors of great plains filled with giant yaks. The rumors were correct, as they discovered. The Mongols quickly adapted to the Great Plains and the Sioux, giving them Horses. The Mongols, though, are more loyal to tribal lines than national lines, usually allying with a specific tribe and raiding its enemies. Xinhan Mongols wear Sioux Moccasins, but use their own compound bows. They very rarely interfere in politics and are generally mercenaries to both the Xinhan and their enemies.
  • Nipponese: The Japanese, mostly from a Japan only loosely unified by a Shogun, mainly inhabit the area around Nara (named after the first Imperial Capital). The Nipponese are generally highly agricultural but have much prowess in combat. Ashigaru, along with the Han forces, are the bulk of the New Han and Old Han Heavy Infantry.
  • Yumi: A feared tribe that originally fought the Xinhan but later entered a far warmer relationship with the Xinhan. The Yumi were feared by then-Tang Colonization armies for their ferocity, fierce Loyalty and Strength. Now, as mercenaries, they play the same role, with demand for them existing even on the Mainland and in Japan. The Yumi use Qiang Spears in combat and long Dadao. They are parts of the Black Banner Irregular Corps.

Resources[]

The New Han's success could mainly be attributed in its location. In a temperate climate with abundant sea life and trees, the New Han boasts extremely fertile and productive fields that are easy to till and mineral deposits of precious metals, saltpeter and many substances traditionally used as medicines or for Gunpowder by the Mainland Chinese. Its only real problem is constant Earthquakes.

Military[]

Xinhan Banner

A war banner of the New Han, of the Red Banner Army.

The New Han, technologically, resembles its mainland partner. On land, it has a far smaller army, but, augmented with elite native mercenaries, it remains a formidable force. In terms of naval technology, though, the New Han's navies, built for the high seas, are far superior to the war junks of the Mainland. Piracy is a minor problem in lesser-used shipping lanes, though. The New Han army is divided into banner armies organized by their ethnic groups thus:

  • Yellow Banner Army: Royal Guard (mixed forces)
  • Red Banner Army: Chinese Skirmishers, Arquebusiers, Crossbows
  • Blue Banner Army: Royal Marines (Wokou Pirates, Chinese Mercenaries)
  • Green Banner Army: Steppe Cavalry (former Mongols and nomads, mounted natives)
  • Cyan Banner Army: Old Han Cavalry (Chinese Cavalry)
  • Violet Banner Army: Heavy Infantry (Chinese Iron Troop, Japanese Samurai)
  • Grey Banner Army: Old Han Infantry (Chinese Regulars)
  • Black Banner Army: Irregulars (Native Mercenaries)
  • White Banner Army: Medicine Men, Warrior Priests, Medics, Monks, Engineering Corps

Technological Advances[]

Military Tactics/Technology[]

While using technology from the Tang, the military technology of the Xinhan has advanced relatively slowly, though new tactics based on that of local natives have become more prevalent.

Agricultural Technology[]

Due to the fertile nature of the Xinhan, agricultural technologies have advanced particularly quickly, using a mix of Dongyue and Mainland crops to develop a constant surplus of grain.

Cultural Advances[]

The diverse religious and cultural climate in Xinhan has led to a mass diffusion of religions that include Nestorian Christianity, Islam, Shinto, Chinese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. Overall, several new religions have appeared, including the Nestorian Buddhist Sect (who are Christians who live in a distinctly Buddhist style) and Shinto-Hinduism (which has a pantheon of gods that exceeds the thousands).

New Technologies (General)[]

One of the newest advances in Xinhan military technology is the development of the Blast Cap (Explosion Pebble, Baku no Koichi). Discovered after a prototype mine in Xinbaidi detonated from impact with a hammer and burned down the Research University, the Xinhan government began to look at the detonation charge, the Baku no Koichi, as a potential advantage over the traditionally unreliable matchlock weapons. Thus, the Blast Cap has been made a state secret, with a new Crossbow being built incorporating the technology. The result is the Nuqiang (弩槍), or bowgun. Essentially a needle gun, the needle used to pierce the Blast Cap is propelled by a crossbow mechanism, giving everything up to the barrel the appearance of a Crossbow. In tests, the breechloading nature of the gun lowered cases of weapon jams, and the internal firing mechanism removed the unreliability of matchlock arquebuses. Attempts to make a repeating crossbow with Chu Ke Nu parts, though, proved a failure as the stress destroyed the bow after about 7 shots.

Xinhan Bowgun

Blueprint of the Xinhan Bowgun.

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