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This Day in History: The Third Imperial Age

Xi'An and Kr-Thak Lore / Origin of their conflict

Spoiler

July 4, 501 CE

It’s impossible to imagine what life must have been like for Humans almost 2,500 standard Earth years (SEY) ago. Humanity was still constrained to their homeworld, and though vast societies and cultures spread across Earth, many were not even aware of each other’s existence. Attempting to cross one of the planet’s major oceans was akin to a death sentence, one that some strangely believed would involve the boat simply falling over the horizon’s edge.

Meanwhile, on approximately July 4, 501 CE*, the Xi’an officially entered their Third Imperial Age by elevating U.e’o se Kr.ē to the position of Emperor. The coronation of U.e’o se Kr.ē was a historic event and cause for great celebration across the Xi’an Empire, which had already expanded to many planets and systems. While much has changed for Humanity over the last two and a half millennia, House Kr.ē’s control has remained resolute, as they still govern the Xi’an Empire to this day — an outcome few Xi’an would have predicted when they first gained power.

The Third Imperial Age pulled the Xi’an out of a particularly tumultuous time in their vast history. The species had been locked into a nearly 800 SEY engagement with the Kr’Thak, a conflict that we have come to know as the Spirit Wars. To make matters worse, the species had been without an Emperor for almost 90 SEY prior to U.e’o se Kr.ē’s coronation.

This period began during the Spirit Wars, in 412 CE, when an expertly planned and executed Kr’Thak attack targeted the reigning Emperor Xy.ō and her house. Timed to coincide with an important family celebration in honor of Y.ah’a se Xy.ō, the house’s great matriarch and first Emperor, the Kr’Thak’s orbital bombardment of the Xy.ō estate was executed with shocking devastation, leaving nothing but a massive crater behind. Then the Kr’Thak activated dozens of strike forces around the Xi’an empire, systematically targeting any location with a remaining member of the Xy.ō family. When the dust had settled, countless innocent Xi’an had died, but the Kr’Thak’s plan had succeeded. The entire Xy.ō line had been eliminated and their house’s 1,735 SEY reign was over. The Xi’an’s Second Imperial Age had been brought to a brutal and decisive end.

The eradication of the Xy.ō house unleashed chaos across Xi’an society, earning that period an ominous title roughly translated as The Dark. 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. Similarly rampant inter-house conflict had demonstrated the need for a single ruling family during the Great Divide, triggering the formation of the first imperial dynasty. This time around, the dissolution of the Empire was a real possibility in the chaos that followed the death of House Xy.ō. Primarily due to the fact that a new Emperor could not be found.

The specifics surrounding the transfer of power from one house to another in the Xi’an tradition is still not well known by those outside the species. What little is understood is that part of the process involves searching for certain genetic ‘markers’ that only the new Emperor will carry. Any and all Xi’an are tested to see who might carry these markers. The process is an incredible bureaucratic undertaking in peaceful times, and nearly impossible during a war whose duration was approaching a millennium.

The Xi’an tested anyone they could but still didn’t find a 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 by the remaining military bureaucrats.

Though the specifics of this armistice with the Kr’Thak have never been revealed to us, it allowed the Xi’an to search for their next Emperor in earnest. Envoys were sent to every Xi’an settlement, but even more years of hunting still did not reveal their new ruler. Some began to wonder if the Xi’an were doomed to remain ungoverned.

Meanwhile, powerful houses grew concerned that they might lose everything if a new Emperor weren’t found. Divisions between houses grew deeper and the threat of another brutal civil war was all but certain. Therefore, while there’s no evidence that a conspiracy involving a number of powerful Xi’an families resulted in the Kr.ē house ascending to power, rumors of this sort persist.

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. Some Xi’an welcomed the coronation of an infant as a blessed sign for the start of the Third Imperial Age. They believed it meant that the Xi’an had been given a new lease on existence after barely surviving their first interspecies conflict.

Others noted that the new Emperor being born into a powerful family was a bit convenient.

It was under these circumstances that an infant named U.e’o se Kr.ē was proclaimed the new Xi’an Emperor on July 4, 501 CE. Family matriarch IIth se Kr.ē was given provisional power until U.e’o was of age. Raised to be a ruler, U.e’o se Kr.ē 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 too, 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.

2,500 SEY later, the Kr.ē family still rules the Xi’an Empire. However, the current Emperor Kr.ē has no legitimate heirs, meaning that his family’s rule will end with him.

There is much uncertainty about what will happen when the reign of house Kr.ē comes to an end. Humanity has scant understanding about what will happen or how long it will take. There’s also no clarity as to how it’ll affect our diplomatic relationship, trade deals and so forth with the Xi’an Empire. For now, all we can do is reflect back on what we know about the last time the Xi’an had a political transfer of power. It happened on this day in history — July 4, 501 CE.

* For the reader’s convenience, all Xi’an dates have been converted to standard Earth time.

 

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The Xi'an are definitely a race I want to get to know better in the game. I just really dig their whole vibe and their ships and designs are just cool as F :P

as for the Kr'thak, I really REALLY want them to be non-humanoid. Every Star Citizen species so far has two arms, two legs and a head. C'mon CIG. Give us some kind of tentacled thing, or a insectoid race.. or whatever. Something that looks totally alien. i don't care if that would mean there's no way we'd be able to fly their ships, we don't need to be able to pilot every ship in the Verse.

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From Citizencon 2017

Spoiler

Panel 3 - Xi’An History, Culture and Physiology

Designing the Xi’An - Xi’An are not a predator. They need to have lips for the language. They’re good at tech (anti-grav) and they have a long lifespan.

All Xi’An must serve the Emperor, and join houses.

Xi’An society is ruled by the emperor, but dominated by family houses.

Last week they had the question of “How do Xi’An sleep?” Might not see in-game, but it’s an interesting question. Where they came from, what society is like, do they lie down? Do they stand? Creates a living breathing species.

Xi’An eat carrion, like spicy food. They weren’t the top of the food chain for a long time, so they were cautious and scavenger eaters.

They created 30,000 years of history for the Xi’An. They have a homeworld - RyiX’yan. They’re not the top of the food chain, and they don’t live there anymore.

Who are the Xi’An?

There’s a concept of verticality with many Xi’An ships. First popped up with the Xi’An Scout ship.

Xi’An are ‘patient diplomats who are slow to anger, but who can carry a grudge for a long time due to their centuries-long lifespan.

Once they put that info out to art and design teams, they could work in an abstract way and come up with things from there. The Kr’Thak are TBD.

They used terms to develop them. Banu are the Traders. Tevarin are the Ronin. Vanduul are the Warriors. Xi’An are the Diplomats. Shows what each represents on the surface.

They started with very rough shapes and refined it, detailed as they worked their way in. That was the approach they took. Once you establish the basic tone and character you can forget, because you’re keeping in mind who they are as a culture. Dave could forget which Xi”An house controlled the second dynasty, because as long as he rembered who they were, he could keep developing.

Who are the Xi’An? Seems like a silly approach, but it can give a lot of answers. When Chris and Dave were first talking about the framework that would become SC, they had the Vanduul, Xi’An, Banu, and Tevarin. Those are the four main ones, plus Humans and Kr’Thak. The question to tackle was who are each of these civilizations.

They started with very rough shapes and refined it, detailed as they worked their way in. That was the approach they took. Once you establish the basic tone and character you can forget, because you’re keeping in mind who they are as a culture. Dave could forget which Xi’An house controlled the second dynasty, because as long as he remembered who they were, he could keep developing.

They used terms to develop them. Banu are the Traders. Tevarin are the Ronin. Vanduul are the Warriors. Xi’An are the Diplomats. Shows what each represents on the surface.

Once they put that info out to art and design teams, they could work in an abstract way and come up with things from there. The Kr’Thak are TBD.

Xi’An are ‘patient diplomats who are slow to anger, but who can carry a grudge for a long time due to their centuries-long lifespan.

There’s a concept of verticality with many Xi’An ships. First popped up with the Xi’An Scout ship.

Who are the Xi’An?

They created 30,000 years of history for the Xi’An. They have a homeworld - RyiX’yan. They’re not the top of the food chain, and they don’t live there anymore.

Xi’An eat carrion, like spicy food. They weren’t the top of the food chain for a long time, so they were cautious and scavenger eaters.

Last week they had the question of “How do Xi’An sleep?” Might not see in-game, but it’s an interesting question. Where they came from, what society is like, do they lie down? Do they stand? Creates a living breathing species.

Xi’An society is ruled by the emperor, but dominated by family houses.

All Xi’An must serve the Emperor, and join houses.

Designing the Xi’An - Xi’An are not a predator. They need to have lips for the language. They’re good at tech (anti-grav) and they have a long lifespan.

Started by putting characters in their natural state in silhouette form

They worked in ideas for costumes, homeworlds, etc…

They also look into interactions between them - how they interact together.

Lots of concept art to explore their culture, their society. None of it’s final, but it all gives ideas for how they look, what they look like, their costumes, etc…

Now they’re talking Xenolinguistics.

There’s a set on Spectrum of how to learn Xi’An.

There’s a 130 page document with videos.

The inspiration is very Asian for the language.

E chi kao xyo ma’ma. E (be) kao (be here in) xyo (house). Someone is here in the house. Chi (now), ma’ma (ma means ‘animal’. Ma’a - fauna. Maten - edible meat. Yal’ma - sentient animal. Ma e ma - her/his animal - ma’ma (beast).

The beast is in the house.

Q: Is this a template to use to create other civilizations?

A: We hope so.

Q: Regarding other languages, will we get tutorials for then?

A: That’s in the plan. Working right now on Xi’An, fleshing it out helping people learn it, but in the future, the plan is to do language full languages for the species. Keeping in fiction about which are more accessible. No diplomatic relations with the Vanduul, so it’s not easy for a human to learn them. Lots of guesswork. But the Banu…

Q: In many games we’ve seen races are very encapsulated to roles. Do you see your races being like this or with more varied roles?

A: Don’t want to have monolithic evil empires. Variations throughout Xi’An culture - youth culture likes the impetuousness of humans. The basic idea of each race is just a launching point. Need elements in the culture that challenge the norms. Not interesting if there’s no variation within the race. Every culture and race is fleshed out - not just the archetype.

Q: Will we have a translation of Xi’An on the website or a live translator?

A: Can’t speak for future tech in the game but if everyone wants it then it’s possible. It’s a full language and there are still some words that need to be added. In theory it could work. You can view the dictionary on the website soon.

Q: Would it be possible to have the lines translated as subtitles in game?

A: If you as a player want it then you are encouraged to ask for it

Q: How would you class, in comparison to other languages like Asian languages, how would you classify the language in terms of difficulty to learn?

A: The grammar is not exactly based on Asian languages. The words don’t change shape. The words are very simple. Don’t need to learn complex morphology. Need to learn to hear things differently, but not too difficult to learn.  Rules are straightforward.

 

Xi'An romanization - learning writing XiAn in normal letters

Xi'an Dictionary

 

^^^ Official SC vid above

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Xi'an language PDF up for download 

An Overview of the Xi'an Language for Diplomats
A Word from the Office of Xenolinguistic Protocol
 
 
Xianheader.jpg
 
 
 
 

Greetings, Xenolinguists in training. In the interest of facilitating cross-species understanding, the UEEDiplomatic Corps’ Office of Xenolinguistic Protocol and the Xi’an Imperial Academy have prepared a broad overview of the Xi’an Language for Human study. This document, while not comprehensive, is meant to provide a solid grounding in the basics of Xi’an language and culture. After mastering this overview, you will not only gain understanding of how to construct Xi’an phrases and sentences, you will also begin to understand the nuances of Xi’an culture and protocol. This understanding will be key on your journey towards obtaining fluency in Xi’an Language (uo’aXy’an).

Xi’an Language

Xiancolors.jpg

Xi’an Language, or uo’aXy’an in Standard Romanized Xi’an (SRX), is a tonal language with vowel and consonant sounds that will be familiar to many Humans. Those who have a background in other tonal languages may have an easier time mastering uo’aXy’an than Humans without similar backgrounds. However, any spoken language can be mastered by those willing to put in the effort to learn.

There are many dialects of uo’aXy’an. The SaoX’yan (Xi’an Empire) spans multiple systems, and has developed unique slang, tonal quirks, and pronunciation differences that are not understandable to the untrained human ear. Knowledge in Proper Xi’an (uo’a e thle’a) provides the best baseline to comprehending many Xi’an dialects. The Service Dialect (uo’a se Hyath), another popular permutation of uo’aXy’an, breaks some of the rules of uo’a e thle’a, while still maintaining its status as a Xi’an language. You will see this from time to time in your studies. For now, we will focus on attaining familiarity with uo’a e thle’a.

Language Lessons in This Document

  • The Full Xi’an Alphabet
  • Introduction to Standard Romanized Xi’an
  • Pronunciation Guides
  • Parts of Speech
  • Relational Particles
  • Formal Versus Informal Language
  • Basic Sentence Construction
  • And more

Xi’an Culture

Xianrelationships.jpg

True language mastery can only be obtained with thorough study and experience in the culture from which the language originated. With that in mind, many common pitfalls Humans face when conversing with our Xi’an allies have been covered in this document. For example, it is important to use polite speech while conversing with an unfamiliar Xi’an, but it is equally important to avoid communicating a feeling of artifice (ngiyoching). Once you’re close enough with a Xi’an, it is similarly important to become comfortable with casual language. But how do you know when you’ve reached that level of familiarity? What clues do you look for? What if you make a mistake? All these questions will be addressed, providing you with the tools you need to succeed when you interact with the Xi’an.

Cultural Lessons in this Document

  • Xi’an Family Structure
  • Xi’an Relationships
  • An Overview of Xi’an Colors
  • Personal Names versus Family Names
  • Common Societal Titles
  • How to Shop in the Xi’an Empire
  • Notes on Xi’an Religions
  • And more

A Strong Foundation

Xi’an culture, just like human culture, is complex enough that it isn’t easy to cover in a single document. If it were comprehensive, it would span several volumes and take years of constant study and practice to understand. This overview, therefore, is not complete. But it does represent a first step into a larger universe of understanding.

As Professor Tai puts it in his letter: yanlēkol — Best wishes for your studies.

UEE Diplomatic Corps
Office of Xenolinguistic Protocol 
New York, Earth, Sol
2947 • III.1164

Download: An Overview of the Xi’an Language for Diplomats

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