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The Six Imperial Dynasties

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The Six Imperial Dynasties - The History of the Dragon Throne 

 

Long Guo is no stranger to the impermanent nature of keeping power. In the 2,000 years since the downfall of Tyrant King Faba, no less than 5 dynasties have risen and fallen in the Dragon Kingdom. As of this publication, Long Guo is on its 6th imperial dynasty. Below is a brief chronicle summarizing the historical accomplishments and failures of each of the great lineages.

 

 

TIAN DYNASTY - As the brave couple that liberated and unified of the Long Sun, Empress Xi Hua and Emperor Xiao Huo were hailed as heroes of nigh-divine stature. During their reign which lasted more than 50 years, the capital city of Huangjing was built, local nobility was permanently supplanted by bureaucrats chosen by merit, and the rifts between the Qilin and Longma began to mend. But all was not well; a good number of nobles and chieftains fled across the sea to Ryushima Island, while the sons and daughters of the First Sovereigns struggled to measure up to the insurmountable legacy of their parents. When Hua and Huo's time came to an end, no heir had clearly emerged as the most worthy, and thus  the imperial family descended into bickering and factionalism.

 

Worried that the flames of familial strife would engulf Long Guo in war, a longma general deserted his post and undertook the harrowing pilgrimage to the summit of Mount Suncrest. Upon reaching Longri-La, he pleaded to the Serpent Council to grant him the Mandate to Rule instead, and that in return his descendants would be offered up for fosterage by the Long. After long and contentious debate, the Serpent Council agreed to the General's request. The Long intervened and persuaded each of Hua and Huo's offspring to give up their claim to the Dragon Throne, and thus the First Dynasty ended in a whimper.

 

 

LONG DYNASTY - At nearly 800 years, the Long Dynasty was the Dragon Kingdom's longest-lived ruling family. Most of the traditions and customs of the Imperial Court were created during this era to ensure that a reigning emperor would always be held in awe by his subjects if he ruled competently. The Long Dynasty also withstood the barbarism of the eastern Taotie Hordes and the treachery of the Ryushima ninja clans, namely by erecting the Serpent's Wall to guard the eastern border and enlarging the Imperial Watch to the greatest size ever reached in its history. Eventually, the unruly northwestern region of Manechuria was brought into the fold by peaceful means.

 

Over the centuries however, the emperors of the Long Dynasty grew more rigid and entitled in their line. So concerned they were with maintaining their otherworldly grandeur that they started to view the Wise and Noble Long as rivals for their subjects' adoration. A subsequent banning of all contact between Long Sun and Dragons proved to be the dynasty's downfall when a series of massive droughts struck the Dragon Kingdom. Forbidden by imperial decree to ask the Long to bring forth rain, the desperate populace resorted to a mass uprising which successfully brought the dynasty to an end.

 

 

YE DYNASTY - Descended from the humble qilin farmer who lead the rebellion toppling the Long Dynasty, the emperors of the Ye Dynasty saw themselves as nurturers of their realm first and foremost. While keeping many of the courtly rites established by their predecessors, the Ye rulers saw more value in providing peace and plenty than battle and glory. Long Guo eschewed war during these days, and its economy and culture flourished for the next 500 years.

 

Such affluence gave birth to envy in the hearts of the Dragon Kingdom's neighbors. Some — like the Taotie Hordes and the Viking Caribou — raided and pillaged whenever they easily could. Other nations like the newly unified Neighpon, itself recovering from a costly victory against the Caribou armies, turned to distant islands for new resources instead of risking subservience to Long Guo's interests. In the end though, all it took was one excessively greedy and incompetent monarch to cause the Ye Dynasty's collapse. Exploiting this unrest, a powerful court sorceress orchestrated a coup and installed herself as Empress.

 

 

TI DYNASTY - The usurper sorceress who founded the Ti Dynasty desired a return to a more spiritual age where the Long Sun harmoniously lived side-by-side with spirit creatures. While that path ended up mostly causing conflict between equines and spirits, the Spirit Empress at least cared enough for the well-being of her realm to ensure that skilled bureaucrats were doing their job. Her successors on the other hand had no desire to govern, instead dwelling on continuing fruitless studies into the Spirit World.

 

With Long Guo paralyzed by apathetic rulers, it was no surprise that a hundred years later, the Taotie Hordes finally breached the Serpent's Wall en masse and conquered vast swaths of land nearly unchallenged. The last Ti emperor was kidnapped by the Taotie and never seen again, leaving behind no heirs. But all was not lost. Long Guo rallied under the leadership of the Stewardess of Manechuria, a fierce pony warrior famed for defeating the Taotie Shanyu in single combat and sending the Hordes back to the eastern wastelands from whence they came.

 

 

GANG DYNASTY - The next 450 years were a time of great change in Long Guo. Advances in oceanic travel was making distant corners of the world more accessible, and the Manechu emperors who now sat on the Dragon Throne were eager to capitalize by looking westward. Yet after a protracted naval war with Neighpon which ended in stalemate, the Gang emperors realized their aims were better achieved through non-violent means. It was under the Gang Dynasty that Long Guo first established connections with Equestrian civilization and saw the rise of Long Kong as a world metropolis.

 

As the forces of industrialization entrenched themselves in the Dragon Kingdom, the Gang emperors founded a new capital to the southwest: the Steel City of Gangshi. Nicknamed the "Stalliongrad of the East", Gangshi was infamous for the wanton pollution its factories produced. After a half-century of filling the southwestern coastal waters with toxic runoff, the Long of the Oceans banded together to bring a cataclysmic typhoon upon Gangshi. The entire city was claimed by floods, putting its foul factories permanently out of commission and sending the last Gang emperor running back to Manechuria in disgrace.



FENG DYNASTY - It was left to the previous Chancellor — his family being the last recognized descendants of Hua and Huo's bloodline — to relocate the capital back to Huangjing and assume the burden of rule. For the last century, the Feng Dynasty have served as guardians of the status quo; maintaining the Dragon Kingdom cultural identity while remaining competitive with the rest of the world. Only time will tell if this dynasty rises to magnificence like their legendary ancestors, or fall into infamy.

 

~A Reign of Ten Thousand Years

Dr. Tong Ze

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