Duchy of Liao
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|Duchy of Liao|
|Controlled system(s):||6 (2366)|
|Head of State||Duke|
During the 2300s tensions between Sarna and Capella led to open war between their respective states. The economically powerful planet Liao and its eponymous rulers, hitherto neutral in Capellan Zone disputes, now acted against Capellan interests by backing anti-Capellan separatists on Arboris in 2308. After a Free Worlds League fleet that attempted to intervene on Capella's behalf was beaten off, Arboris became a protectorate of Liao the following year. 
Over the next six years Zurich, Aldebaran, Gan Singh and Genoa also fell into Liao's orbit, until in 2315 Emile Liao unified these worlds as a single state: the Duchy of Liao, with himself as its Duke. Over the next four decades Emile Liao turned his small realm into a major shipping power with over a thousand vessels, putting the Duchy on an equal footing with the much larger Capellan Zone powers.  
As a result, by 2366, when the Capellan Zone states were forced to unite in the face of Federated Suns expansionism, it was the Duchy of Liao that provided the ruler who merged them into a single nation. Duke Franco Liao was able to utilize his nation's massive fleet of armed trading ships, upon which most other Capellan Zone worlds now depended, to persuade the other Capellan states to accept his proposal for the Capellan Confederation with himself as its first Chancellor. 
Unlike the Confederation's other founding members, the Duchy of Liao did not form the basis of one of its Commonalities which were established later. Instead, by the time of the Star League's founding in 2571 its worlds had been split between the Tikonov Commonality and the Terran Hegemony.
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 17, "Capellan Confederation Foundation " (Map)
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 12-13
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 12-13, "Timeline: Capellan Zone"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 17
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 15, "The Liao Fleet"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 26-27
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 25, "Capellan Confederation after Age of War " (Map)