Elias Liao was the founding patriarch of House Liao, having left Terra in 2188. Prior to the events of 2179, he was considered a conservative, eastern-educated politician. However, his personality radically changed over the course of his adult life, leading him to eventually become a Philosopher-extremist and leader of an international terrorist organization.
Elias was born in the Hong Kong Free State on Terra, the son of an English Politician and a Nepalese woman. He attended Hong Kong University, where he majored in politics. He later attended Oxford University, in England, where he studied global economics.
Terran Politician & Supposed Terrorist
When Elias returned from England, he was elected as Assemblyman for Hong Kong's Free State government in 2176. Only two years later, he was elected and became the third President of the Hong Kong Free State. However, in 2179, the offshore China Republic invaded Hong Kong and Elias and his family were forced to flee to Nepal.
This is a time of his life that has a few different versions, one by ComStar and one by the Capellan historians.
During his time in the Himalayas, his mentality underwent a transformation that left future researchers baffled in what could have happened. In 2182 Elias Liao, former President of the Hong Kong Free State, emerged from exile from Tibet. He had had a revelation that lead him to believe that the only way to save mankind was through global anarchy to return the human race to a "simpler time". His fanatical following of anarchists, the New World Disciples, went on an assassination spree, killing 149 bureaucrats, scientists and government leaders, including twenty-six heads of state of the Alliance World Parliament.
Elisa's followers were not the only religious terrorists on the planet, but they were the most notable and efficient, disrupting the lives of tens of thousands in their "Cleansing actions". However, in 2187 it was alleged that followers of Elias Liao triggered a multiple fusion explosion in Bejin. This was the final straw for the global community, the Alliance's Hemisphere Court ruling that Elisa Liao and his followers were guilty in absentia. Within a year the Chinese Republic with the aid of neighboring Indian and European allies, assaulted Elias's mountain stronghold in the Himalayas in 2188. The assault forced Elias to secretly evacuate his two surviving sons and several hundred survivors to a waiting JumpShip.
|“|| You should never seek to hold any one thing, any one person, any one system, any one ideal above all others. For when you hold that single thing, that single person, that single government, that single value above all else, that thing, that individual, that order, that principle will come to control you and you will have forfeited your basic humanity.... Seek therefore to free yourself from unnecessary entanglements, and thereafter seek to free your neighbor, whether he would be free or no.
—Elias Liao, leader of the New World Disciples, c. 2182
Capellans, on the other hand, say that such a radical change of personality twice over and a poor Himalayan figure becoming one of the most powerful and feared men in the world is absurd and would rather believe he had made a fortune for his Nepalese family before he left Terra in 2188. However, both sides agree on the attack on his family that happened in 2188. The event supports both arguments as Capellans say that if what ComStar says is true, then he would use the immense power he has and fanatically try to avenge his family by a global slaughter similar to Jinjiro Kurita’s Kentares atrocity. On the other hand, it also partly supports the ComStar version of history, because the Capellans cannot explain why would the attack even happen in the first place.
|“|| I learned in Hong Kong the danger of being a small state in the sea of larger nations. If we are to survive, we must move away from our regional differences. In space we can be free. Among the stars, we’ll find room enough for all of us, and in that space we’ll find safety.
—Elias Liao, c. 2188
Governor of Cynthiana
Under assumed names, Elias, used his charisma to unite he and many of his fellow passengers to band together and settle on a colony world. He convinced the JumpShip's crew to take them to an unnamed backwater world near Aldebaran. This included some of the ship's crew, including its navigator, before leaving Elias's people and leaving for Terra in 2189.
Within a year of settling on what Elias named as Cynthiana (after his late wife), he arranges using nearly all the colony's funding to bring in a number of live stock to the placid grasslands like world. Among the livestock are Eridani horses, who were extremely well sought out and expensive. However, Elias's gamble paid off. During these earlier years, Elias's genius for administration paid off. Through selective breeding, his colony became a major supplier for livestock from sheep to thoroughbred horses for local star systems, beating Terran exporters.
Information on Elias's successor was mistakenly listing his son instead of his grandson being his successor. Victor was listed as an older son in one version, while the family tree shows Victor as a grandson. In the following chapter of the House book, it shows Victor reflecting on his father's death. However, it is not clear if he referred to his father David or his grandfather Elias.
Family & Legacies
Elisa & his late wife Cynthiana had four children, Rufus, David Paul, Carmen & Margarette, and one grandchild, Victor Edward Liao, son of David Paul. Rufus himself died a year after Elias. Victor Liao would follow his grandfather Elias as President of the Liao Republic and then Governor of Liao under the Terran Alliance.
Handbook: House Liao states that the renaming of the planet Cynthiana to Liao was opposed by "Elias' sons, Victor and David Paul". It hasn't yet been clarified whether this is a mistake or a retcon.
Titles and Positions
|President of the Hong Kong Free State on Terra
| Succeeded by|
|Terran Alliance Governor of Cynthiana
| Succeeded by|
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 8, "New Beginnings"
- House Liao (Capellan Confederation), p. 7, "The First Liao: Elias"
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 11, "Elias Liao"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 8, "The First Liao"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), pp. 7-8, "The First Liao"
- Touring the Stars, p. 33, "Volume XVII: Celestial Unity—Birth of the Capellan Confederation"
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 11, "Strength in Belief"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 163, "Liao Family Tree"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 7, "Nightfall"