|Time period:||2319 - present|
|Controlled systems:||approx. 350|
|Military:||Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery (DCMS) and Draconis Combine Admiralty (DCA)|
|Secret Service:||Internal Security Force (ISF) - Order of Five Pillars (O5P)|
The Draconis Combine is one of the Successor States, located in the "north-east" quadrant of the Inner Sphere. The Combine is ruled by the Coordinator, the head of House Kurita. His court is located on Luthien. The Draconis Combine has been ruled by House Kurita since its founding in 2319 by Shiro Kurita, perhaps a descendant of Takeo Kurita, a Vice-Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II on Terra.
The Coordinator is a hereditary dictator, who rules over his domain armed with a well-equipped, fanatical military and an ever-pervasive, all-seeing civilian bureaucracy. Two rival intelligence agencies, the ISF (Internal Security Force) and the O5P (Order of Five Pillars) keep watch against any potential internal threat from commoners, ambitious nobles, and members of the Coordinator's own family. (However, the physical protection of the Coordinator falls to his own personal cohort, who are recruited from the military, not the intelligence services).
The idée fixe of the Combine and the Coordinator is conquest. The Combine employs a large, skilled military, the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery, that has often been used to expand the realm at the expense of its neighbors.
The roots of the Draconis Combine lie with the Alliance of Galedon between the worlds Galedon V and New Samarkand. Under the leadership of Shiro Kurita, the Alliance, rechristened the Draconis Combine in 2319, used threats, intimidation, deceit, and outright military conquest to expand. Shiro established House Kurita as the ruling dynasty of the Combine, whose reign was interrupted only by the rule of the Von Rohrs family from 2421 until they were wiped out in 2510. The First Coordinator was responsible for integrating many neigboring realms into the Combine, with two exceptions: an assault on the Principality of Rasalhague in 2330 was largely successful, though the integration of the Rasalhagians into Draconian culture was heavily resisted and it remained a vassal state for some time. The Combine also attempted to conquer the Azami worlds in 2497 with limited success.
The Combine was the last Inner Sphere nation to join the Star League. Following the League's collapse, Coordinator Minoru Kurita was the first Council Lord to declare himself First Lord, leading to the First Succession War. The Succession Wars were unkind to humanity and created a backslide in technology. The unofficial end of the Third Succession War is considered to be 3025.
Following the Fourth Succession War and facing the prospect of a super-state, the Federated Commonwealth, on its border, the Combine recognized the independence of the Free Rasalhague Republic to create a buffer state and secure higher-technology weapons through ComStar. These proved useful when the Commonwealth did invade in the War of 3039.
The Clan Invasion resulted in a huge loss of territory for the Combine, as even the capital Luthien saw one of the largest battles of the war, though many worlds were regained in Operation Bulldog. Coordinator Theodore Kurita was also responsible for relaxing some of the rigid traditionalism within the military, allowing more women into higher ranks and lessening the impact of bushido on his troops so that they would be more willing to accept flexible tactics that would be useful against the Clans. The reactionary kokuryu-kai or Black Dragon Society opposed his reforms and launched a full-scale rebellion at the same time as the Word of Blake started their Jihad.
The Combine emerged from the Jihad weakened, though still powerful compared to their neighbors. After the blackout in 3132, the Combine launched an invasion of the Republic of the Sphere. A series of assassinations placed Yori Kurita, the illegitimate descendant of Theodore, on the throne.
The Five Pillars
The Draconis Combine is said to be supported by five pillars, each symbolizing an aspect of Draconian society: the Pillar of Gold, representing the government; the Pillar of Steel, representing the military; the Pillar of Teak, representing the people and culture; the Pillar of Ivory, representing philosophy and religion; and the Pillar of Jade, representing the economy. All five pillars work together to support the manifest destiny of House Kurita to conquer all of known space.
Pillar of Gold
Gold is precious not only for the value humanity has given it since the beginning of history, but for its practical applications: a natural electrical conductor, gold is malleable and resistant to corrosion or combining with other elements. Such is the way of the government of the Combine, acting as a golden veneer which adds beauty and utility, inspiring the people to work towards a common goal while avoiding becoming a burden against which they might rebel.
- The Coordinator
At the center of the government is the Coordinator, embodying all that is the Combine; when a person references "the Dragon", it is often with little distinction being made between the Coordinator as a person or of the Combine as a whole, and while not technically worshiped as divine their commands are acted upon as such. Some Coordinators have taken an active approach in governing the Combine, but the most successful have tended to act less and observe more, enforcing their will indirectly. When the Coordinator speaks, it might come in the form of suggestions to others, or delivered in the manner of a parable or haiku. Thus, if a problem occurs, blame does not fall on the Coordinator directly but on the one who failed to carry out their wishes correctly.
Carrying out the will of the Coodinator are the Kuritan nobility, the most important of whom after the Coordinator are the Warlords. These are followed by the heads of the five Ministries, the District and Prefecture civilian leaders, and those with noble titles by dint of their landholdings or corporate ownership. The least regarded yet most highly placed nobles are those who work only at the Royal Court; since mere mortals cannot come into contact with the Coordinator, even the sanitation workers must have titles of nobility. Such kuri or leeches may sometimes be useful as a means of getting the attention of a person of higher position or even the Coordinator themselves.
- The Ministries
The day-to-day working of the Combine is carried out by five Ministries each lead by a minister head, with the ministers of individual bureaus or subministers reporting to them, who in turn are reported to by the heads of bureau subdivisions or committeemen. Head ministers and subministers are all members of the nobility, as are most committeemen. Ostensibly, each ministry has clear-cut responsibilities, but the Byzantine-like nature of the Draconian bureaucracy often means even a simple request might require the fingerprints of multiple agencies, and even lifetime civil servants might not be completely sure of whose authorizations or which forms may be required. Since many bureaucrats are notorious for erring on the side of caution, the best local administrators (besides having the right connections) are adept at Rensikuro-bu (the Dance of Waiting and Smiling) and Rurdu-Koba-tsö (Finding the Cheese in the Maze).
- The Ministry of the Expansion of the Glories of the Draconis Combine: The Ministry of War or Hyöbushö is in charge of all aspects of the military, making it the most important of the five.
- The Ministry of Wealth and the Disbursing of Assets: The Ministry of the Treasure or Ökurashö governs the Draconian economy - setting trade policy, workers' rights, and minting Ryu - as well as allocating funds to other ministries. It is also one of the more convoluted ministries, containing bureaus which seemingly belong elsewhere (such as the Bureau of Nourishment responsible for food allocation).
- The Ministry of the Well-Being of the Land and the Peoples: The Ministry of Interior or Minbushö is responsible for everything not covered by another ministry, including living conditions, the environment, and settlement of new planets. This includes the Bureau of General Indoctrination (education), Bureau of Health and Happiness (medical care), Bureau of Domesticated Plants and Animals (agriculture), and Bureau of Bureaucracy (paperwork). After the integration of Clan Nova Cat into Draconian society after Operation Bulldog and increasing restlessness of the Azami, the Bureau of Friendly Interior Comfort and Concerns was created to bring about inter-cultural harmony.
- The Ministry of Peaceful Order and Honor: The Ministry of Justice or Kakun handles law and order within the Combine; while citizens are allowed civil liberties, close cooperation between the courts and police ensures justice is dispensed to those who deserve it. Among the different bureaus are the Halls of Swift Justice (criminal court), Guaranteed Honor for Kurita’s Servants (noble court), and the Civilian Guidance Corps (civilian police).
- The Ministry of the Servants of the Draconis Combine: The Ministry of the Court or Kazoku handles a variety of different functions, most associated with the nobility and court functions. For example, the Watchers of the Household run the Imperial Palace on Luthien while the Committee of Special Events plans all court ceremonies, including the presenting of military honors, the Cleansing of the Spirit ceremony and the Celebration of the Coordinator's Birthday. Others with less clear-cut connections include the Bureau of Hospitality Toward New Lands, which assigns governors to newly-liberated planets. The most powerful section of the Kazoku is the Order of the Five Pillars, which is not governed by anyone other than the Keeper of the Family Honor but is technically part of the ministry so that it may call upon the services of the government through official channels.
- Political Subdivisions
Depending on the point in history, the Combine is divided into anywhere between three and five Districts. There exist both Military Districts and Government Districts, and while the names are the same and the areas they control are nearly identical, there are occasional territorial differences between the two. Each military district commander, or Warlord, has the final say over any decisions within their area of operation, but largely leave day-to-day operations in the hands of the district governors or Shogun.
Each district in turn is divided into prefectures, which mimic the form of districts by having a military and civilian leader. Prefecture heads or Prefects handle the civil administration of their regions, and are (unfortunately) the ones most responsible for dealing with requests for the Ministries. In theory, military prefecture commanders also have final say over any governmental decisions within their area, though as is often the case their district commanders maintain a tight control over them and issue orders directly to units within their area, preventing any possible challenge to their power or the will of the Dragon.
Lastly, each planet is governed by a Planetary Chairman, who is able to set laws and rule the planet as he (or she) sees fit...with the Coordinator's approval. This level of autonomy allows individual planets the flexibility to tackle problems unique to their situation. Chairmen may also exert authority over their planetary militia, though the units remain ultimately under the command of the DCMS High Command. If however a Planetary Chairman is believed to be operating against the wishes of the Coordinator, they will quickly find themselves removed from a position of authority.
Each district and prefecture also sends a representative, chosen by the Shogun, to serve on the Committee of Planetary Unity, which nominally sets policy for the entire Combine. Very little power is granted to the Committee though; they may, for example, discuss minor issues between individual planets, but cannot enact laws. Their true purpose is to act as messengers, reporting the Coordinator's wishes back to the district governors and prefects, leaving representatives time to trade favors or engage in petty political gamesmanship.
Pillar of Steel
In the time of feudal Japan, the steel used in the creation of katanas was said to have mystical properties, making them the finest weapons ever created. Samurai held their blades in high esteemed and passed them down through the generations. For a samurai to lose his blade, however, was an act of great dishonor and to be avoided at all cost. Such is the regard placed on the armed forces of the Draconis Combine, representing the central and most important of the five pillars. As the principle agent in realizing House Kurita's mandate to conquer all, the fortunes of the military are closely tied to that of the state; as the military goes, so goes the Combine.
The military of the Combine, the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery (DCMS), has traditionally been one of the strongest in the Inner Sphere. The Combine was founded upon the principles of bushido, the way of the warrior. Thanks to this, the military has a large pool of skilled individuals from which to draw. Enlistment in the DCMS is seen as the fastest way to get ahead in the world, as every person in the military, even a lowly rifleman, is respected. The DCMS is also referred to as the Arm of the Dragon.
Pillar of Teak
Teak is among the strongest and most imperishable woods ever used by humans for construction; Unity Palace, home of the Coordinator, is primarily built and decorated with this valuable material. However, while teak has traditionally flourished in the hot, moist climates on Terra, efforts to transplant it on other planets have largely failed. Within the Combine, at first only on the planet Jabuka was teak able to thrive, though after the Rasalhague partition Pusht-i-rud and Cylene were also found to have suitable growing conditions. So it is with the society of the Combine: through careful cultivation, the people of the Dragon are a dependable and durable source of strength for the realm.
As decreed by the First Coordinator, Draconian society is highly stratified. At the top are the nobility or kuge, responsible for running much of the government, followed by the warriors or buke, who fight for the glory of the Dragon. The middle class encompass a wide range of professionals, followed by the commoners or henin who perform the manual labor in society. At the bottom are the Unproductives, composed of society's undesirables including criminal elements like the yakuza. Rarely is a Draconian able to rise above their station, but surprisingly most are content with their place in society. This is thanks to indoctrination which reinforces a collective identity and adherence to the Dictum Honorium and instills in the average citizen glorification of the military and suspicion of all outsiders; for many Draconians, the only time they will ever visit a non-Combine world is to conquer it.
Japanese cultural traditions - such as tea ceremonies, geisha and Nohkabu theater troupes - dominate the Draconis Combine despite the fact that a majority of Draconians are of non-Japanese ancestry. This cultural hegemony was informal at first, receiving a boost in popularity after the construction of the Imperial City along traditional lines, but quickly became official government policy when Urizen Kurita instituted the Kokugaku or National Learning program, stressing Japan's history and its language. Criticisms that such a narrow cultural focus serves as a means to discriminate against non-Japanese have been met by reassurances from various Coordinators that all who show loyalty to the Dragon will always be respected. For example, Takiro Kurita softened by Kokugaku by mandating Japanese language only for those entering government and military occupations, and the School of Cultural Investigation on Al Na'ir is dedicated to exploring the diverse traditions which make up the Combine and how aspects of each are incorporated to create a greater Draconian culture.
This adherence to traditional norms explains the position of women in Combine society, which is often that of housewife and mother. There are no formal barriers against women entering into higher education or joining the military, and some (especially high-born) have attained important positions in the political, corporate and military spheres, but few achieve the same level of equality as their male counterparts. When Siriwan McAllister-Kurita became the first female Coordinator, the idea of a woman sitting on the Chrysanthemum Throne did not sit easily among the patriarchal nobility, though her successes opened the door for future female rulers. Within the military, few women had achieved the rank of General and none had been made a Warlord before the 31st century, but that changed under Theodore Kurita as more women were promoted into the higher ranks and Tomoe Sakade became the Combine's first female Warlord in 3062.
Pillar of Ivory
Ivory is the only material of the five pillars which is sourced from living animals, specifically those who grow tusks. As these animals grow into adulthood, so too do their tusks, building up in layers; the first, outermost layer hardens into a protective barrier over the increasing softness of each inner layer. So it is with the philosophies and religion which govern the peoples of the Combine, growing with the expansion of House Kurita and assigned a mode of faith best suited to them, all of whom are protected by the strength of character instilled in the Combine by the First Coordinator and the proscriptions of the Dictum Honorium as upheld by the Order of the Five Pillars.
Shortly after becoming First Coordinator, Shiro Kurita quickly took on the mantle of the Combine's spiritual leader as well. After the successes he had achieved in creating his interstellar realm, many believed they too could also achieve greatness by adopting his mental attitudes, a belief he indirectly encouraged. At the same time, Shiro knew that in order to control and channel the people to a higher purpose, he had to mandate a person's ideology and how he viewed the world around them. Thus he set down the two ideals by which the all citizens of the Combine must abide by: Purity and Harmony. By Purity, Shiro did not mean necessarily purity of action but purity of thought, that one's actions were for the betterment of their Lord and the government and not for selfish reasons. By Harmony, he meant that one's life should be synchronized with society and the Coordinator. Individualism was discouraged, as a single person could only achieve happiness for themselves, suffers pain and injury by themselves, and eventually will die and fade away; working together though, the collective can spread happiness and share pain so that one is not overwhelmed, and even as they die each person can live on forever in the glory of the Combine.
These ideals of Purity and Harmony appear, in various forms, among the pan-Asian religions and philosophies on which Shiro grew up, and to which he assigned each of the social classes within Combine society. As befitting the needs of their position, the nobility are theoretically free to follow any tradition, although Confucianism and Taoism have traditionally been encouraged by the Coordinator to instill a sense of obligation to one's superiors and the capability to react to fluid situations. For the military, Confucianism, Zen Buddhism and bushido were assigned to focus the warrior's mind and leave them free to make the necessary decisions during combat. A more intensified version of Confucianism was indoctrinated in the vast middle class, ensuring loyalty in a stratum of society which is most vulnerable to inappropriate philosophies. For the working classes, and the Unproductives below them, Shintoism help occupy their minds during grueling work days or a rootless existence. Control of the Shinto temples and preisthood, however, rest firmly with the nobility, who ironically are themselves dissuaded from believing in the religion they administer.
Inevitably, alternative religions and philosophies will appear along the margins of a society as tightly control as Draconian, but with great effort such threats to the social harmony and stability of society are just as inevitably rooted out and destroyed. A few notable exceptions have been made in the history of the Combine. When Rasalhague formally joined the Combine after the McAllister Rebellion, its people practiced a form of Christianity based on Eastern Orthodox Catholicism. As part of a political compromise, the people were allowed to retain their religion, so long as all mentions of "the Lord" in public ceremonies were in reference to the Coordinator. A secular form of Judaism is also tolerated, with those maintaining its religious trappings forced to join secretive minyans to avoid persecution. Among the Azami, who practice a form of Shia Islam, the Dragon turns a blind eye to their practice. Under the precept of Taqiya the Azami outwardly adopt the rules of the Dictum Honorium, and so long as they keep their religious practices to Azami-controlled worlds the security services do not inquire deeply into the Azami's faithfulness to the Honorium.
Pillar of Jade
While other gems or minerals may hold special significance elsewhere, jade is particularly valuable within the Draconis Combine as a symbol of commerce and industry. For thousands of years jade has been sought out not just for its aesthetic beauty but also its supposed mystical properties for calming the mind and driving away evil spirits. Even the less superstitious Draconians, when under the immense pressure to succeed, will stop and meditate on jade as a way of clearing their thoughts. As such, examples of jade artwork can be found in offices and factories across the Combine, most commonly taking the shape of a pillar, tree or pierced disk, as reminders to workers and executives alike to focus on their assigned task. The pierced disk in particular suggests against fixating too much on material wealth compared to the vastness of the heavens.
Despite its size the Draconis Combine has historically been resource-poor (except in population), and the Succession Wars did much to destroy what little of what existed, but the remaining wealth is exploited to the maximum extent under an economic system which can be described as "state-run capitalism." Independent, publicly-traded corporations with their own boards of directors exist within the Combine, but the degree to which they can exert their independence depends strongly on the nature of their business. Those with direct ties to the military - manufacturers of weapons or 'Mechs - were designated "Direct Service" corporations in the late 30th century. Such corporations are guaranteed protection against all military and economic threats, but are subject to the decisions of an military board of officers which can overrule any actions taken by the civilian directors. All other corporations were labeled "Indirect Service", and while maintaining more control over their own affairs many are under some level of direct supervision of at least one military officer, depending on how much of their business directly affects the military. Small businesses are allowed to flourish but if they become too successful they are either absorbed by a larger corporation or forcibly shut down.
For the average worker, loyalty to the corporation is second only to loyalty to the Coordinator themselves. While the state provides many of the same services, most workers' entire lives revolve around the corporation: born in hospitals, living in housing, and entombed in cemeteries owned by the corporation. The only honorable means of escaping a particular company is to be transferred to a different one or to join the military; to actually be fired brings disgrace not only on the worker but the family as well for failing to raise a productive member of society. Some are allowed the honor of starving to death so that the rest of their family may continuing working at the same firm, but with little to no prospects of working anywhere else those who don't take their own lives are relegated to the ranks of the Unproductives. Here the only legal work that may be found are the bottom of the barrel jobs: clean-up crews for toxic environments, research test subjects, or cannon fodder for local militia units.
A detailed list of some DCMS manufacturer and company centers.
Heavy Aerospace Industry
- BBP Industries
- Dharma HyperSpace
- Kurita Combine Munitions Corporation
- Midway Shipyards
- New Samarkand WarShip Yard
- Stellar Trek
- Terada WarShip Yard
- Togura Shipyards
- Tomori Trans Industrial
- Wakazashi Enterprises
Major Defense Industries
- Buda Imperial Vehicles
- Bulldog Enterprises
- Galileo Instruments
- Independence Weaponry
- LexaTech Industries
- Luthien Armor Works
- Maltex Corporation
- New Samarkand Metals
- Sapphire Metals
- Scarborough Manufacturers
- Telfar BattleMechs
- Wakazashi Enterprises
- Yori 'Mech Works
- Total (Inhabited) Systems: 243
- Estimated Population (3130): 729,000,000,000
- Dominant Language(s): Japanese (official), Arabic, English
- Dominant Religion(s): Shinto (official), Buddhism, Islam
- Unit of Currency: Ryu (1 ryu = 0.94 C-Bills / 2.30 C-Bills (3145))
Star League Era
Draconis Combine in 2822 after First Succession War
Draconis Combine after Second Succession War
Draconis Combine after Third Succession War
Draconis Combine afer War of 3039 - 3040 Map
before Clan Invasion
Draconis Combine after Operation REVIVAL 3052 Map
Draconis Combine after FedCom Civil War 3067 Mpag
- Error creating thumbnail: File missing
creation of the Republic of the Sphere
before Gray Monday
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 8-9
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 202, "Sabaku Kaze Heavy Scout Hover Tank"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 90-91
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 113-114
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 91-92
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 95-96
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 120-122
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 143
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 145
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 120
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 137
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 150-152
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 129-131
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 133
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 182-183
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 36
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 45
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 37
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 80
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine) p. 37-40
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 30-33
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 130
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 101-102
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 100
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 116-119
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 107-109
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 108-110
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 108-111
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 157-159
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 155-157
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 129
- Strategic Operations, p. 15
- Tactical Operations, p. 15
- Touring the Stars, p. 7
- Era Report: 3145, p.194, "Currency Conversion Table"
- 20 Year Update
- Black Dragon
- Blake Ascending
- Blood Legacy
- Daughter of the Dragon
- Dawn of the Jihad
- Dragon Rising
- Grave Covenant
- FedCom Civil War
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine
- Field Manual: Updates
- Ghost War
- Hearts of Chaos
- Heir to the Dragon
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine)
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072
- Lethal Heritage
- Lost Destiny
- Path of Glory
- Patriots and Tyrants
- Prince of Havoc
- Strategic Operations
- Storms of Fate
- Tactical Operations
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Touring the Stars
- Warrior: En Garde
- Warrior: Riposte
- Warrior: Coupé
- Wolves on the Border