Jasmine Liao (25th c.)
- This article is about the Capellan Chancellor. For the WarShip in her name, see Jasmine Liao (Individual Du Shi Wang-Class WarShip).
|Also known as
|The Iron Lady
|Duchess of Liao
|Stephen Edward Liao (father)
Jasmine was the daughter of Chancellor Stephen Liao, and thus grew up amid an era of Capellan military revitalization. Though firstborn, Jasmine would be second in the line of succession when her brother was born some three years later. Duncan Liao would succeed their father in 2450 when “The Great Organizer” fell ill from pneumonia and passed away.
Considering the circumstances, the future seemed promising enough. Young Duncan was not known to have any significant flaws or drawbacks to his abilities as Chancellor. No threat to his forthcoming rule was anticipated beyond the hazards inherent to the post. To this point, his sister Jasmine seemed content with the notion that her chances at becoming Chancellor were minimal, at least for the foreseeable future.
The First Tribulation (Sudden Ascension)
Shortly following her brother’s ascent, his counselors raised concerns over the increasing degree of wealth and power among a particular number of ranking officers. Taken as the side effect of his father’s protection of military priorities, these so called “Young Turks” were seen by the Prefectorate as devious and self serving. The most notable of this group was General Ral Merik, commander of Merik’s Grenadier Regiment of the Capellan Hussars.
Unfortunately, Duncan acted on particularly bad advice to curb General Merik's power in reducing his regiment’s size by half. In response, the general conducted a well-organized revolt that took control of the palace and the Chancellor as hostage. To allay potential danger to the chancellor’s life, the Capellan nobility acclaimed General Merik and his Turk cronies “Protectors of the State", by which they ruled the nation over a tense seven-month period. This would be known as the “Time of Tribulation”
In February of 2452, sensing that he was the obstacle to resolving the situation, Duncan Liao committed suicide by starting an electrical fire in his quarters. His captors were unable to mask the event and word of his death reached his sister in short order.
Outraged at her young brother's horrible demise, Jasmine took the Chancellorship and ordered the 2nd Hexare Lancers to launch an attack on Merik's Grenadiers in the Winter Palace. Within an hour of the order, the Lancers committed to the attack. Despite the Grenadiers' repeated offers of surrender, Jasmine refused to accept any less than their annihilation. The two-day battle ended with the Grenadier’s complete destruction on the 1st of March, 2452.
The Second Tribulation (Purge and Restrict)
After holding a state funeral for her deceased brother, Jasmine Liao permanently appointed the 2nd Hexare Lancers as the personal guard of the Liao family, at which point they became know as the Red Lancers. She then turned her attention to the state of military power that caused her brother’s death.
Jasmine saw the undue power of the Capellan military hierarchy as a problem her father created, and so she set out to reform the CCAF in what would be known as the “Second Time of Tribulation”. She began with a purge of the military’s leadership; over the next two years, a total of 233 officers would be tried by special “Courts of Inquiry”, which branded them “red stripers” and executed them as traitors. Jasmine then took control of all Capellan divisional and sector commands as responsibilities of the Chancellorship. Finally, as of 2455, Jasmine imposed a limit to the height of military rank: no officer was authorized to hold a rank higher than Colonel.
The Third Tribulation (Complete Autocracy)
Throughout Jasmine’s rule, she held a bitter regard for the Capellan nobility and their actions during the coup that claimed her brother's life. In what was perhaps a genuine concern for the portioning of state power mixed with a personal vendetta, Jasmine continually pushed for more control of state matters to be placed under the Chancellorship. She also enacted the Chancellorship’s right to rule by decree in matters she considered to be of emergency, a privilege of the office that had never before existed. Her political opponents were thus outmaneuvered through her regular use of "Emergency Powers” and, eventually, the once representative government became a repressive regime under Liao family control. This period would be called the “Third Time of Tribulation" by later historians.
Jasmine’s attentions were not solely focused on political matters. The state of her nation’s social and economic health were genuine concerns of hers and she took efforts to address matters as she saw fit. One notable advancement was the overhaul of the Capellan educational system, which she remodeled along the lines of the Taurian Concordat. This resulted in a vast improvement of the literacy rate of her people. Jasmine also undertook the task of stabilizing her nation's relations with its neighbors, a clear necessity given the weakened state of the Capellan military. Her administration was able to persuade House Davion to once again exchange ambassadors, lessening the hostilities between them. Her dealings with House Marik, however, would be more drawn out and less successful.
In 2456, the Maskirovka confirmed the existence of a new war machine her father had only heard rumor of: the BattleMech. With this news, Jasmine ordered her spies to obtain designs and specifications for these machines from the Lyran Commonwealth regardless of cost. It was not until 2462 that the Maskirovka delivered sufficient technology to create BattleMechs within the Confederation, their source being a Free Worlds League defector. Receiving designs for the League's Icarus BattleMech, Jasmine launched a number of industrial programs to produce components needed to build a 'Mech indigenous to the Confederation. In 2472, Jasmine saw the WAM (Weapons Armed Mech) introduced into service after its initial completion and testing period.
In 2475, Jasmine Liao attempted an arranged marriage between her young 12-year-old son Raxal and the Free Worlds League's Captain-General Simone Marik. Marik rejected the deal because her reign as Captain-General would be over by time Raxal was old enough for marriage. This would seemingly sour Jasmine’s diplomatic efforts with her Marik neighbors to lasting effect. In the final years of her Chancellorship, the League approached Jasmine with an offer of alliance for a forthcoming campaign against the Terran Hegemony. The deal would involve Capellan supplies and aid for the League’s invasion in exchange for the long coveted Andurien system. She rejected the deal, motivated by what historians believed was disappointment in the dismissal result of her past marriage offer. In 2476, amid the League's invasion preparations, some of their supply depots in the Oriente system were destroyed in a spoiling attack by a Hegemony Task Force. It was suspected Jasmine had been the "leak" that notified the Hegemony of the League's plans.
Death and Successor
At age forty-seven, Jasmine passed away while in office due to natural causes. She would be succeeded by her 14-year old son, Raxal, following an interim period awaiting his coming of age. During this time, matters of state fell to the Duke and Prefect of Sian, Edmund Salindar, as the designated Regent.
Family and Legacy
|The role of the Chancellor is like a shepherd to his flock—but the flock goes where the shepherd leads, or else it feels the rod!
|— Attributed to Chancellor Jasmine Liao
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 37
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), foldout (pp. 163–164 in PDF): "The Capellan Confederation's Line of Succession and Partial Liao Family Tree"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 34: "Tribulations"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 34: Tribulations - Jasmine reforms the military and has numerous members of the officers caste of the military tried and killed.
- The Periphery (First Edition), p. 20
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 35: 'Mechs and Rumors of 'Mechs - Chancellor Jasmine get words that rumor BattleMech technology is real, has her Mask agenda obtain them by any means.
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 242: "Firebee" - Jasmine Liao mentioned as force to produce the original WAM aka Firebee.
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 35: 'Mechs and Rumors of 'Mechs - Decade after 2462, the FireBee/WAM's component factories can provide parts to produce the first 'Mech.
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 21: The Successful Failure - Jasmine's son at age 12 was promised to Simone, but was rejected since by time he was old enough to be married, Simone range would be over.
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 35: 'Mechs and Rumors of 'Mechs - Later years, her actions as Chancellor in diplomacy game between League and Confederation.
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 90: "The Chancellor"