Kalvin Liao

Portrait of Kalvin Liao
Kalvin Liao
Character Profile
Also known as "The Mad"
Born 2492[1]
Died 13 March 2530
Affiliation House Liao
Profession Chancellor
Parents Raxal Liao
Siblings Mica Liao
Spouse Ariana Calderon
Children Terrence Liao (illegitimate)

Kalvin Liao, nicknamed "The Mad" and "The Devourer", was a Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation during the Age of War. Often cited as the archetype of the Capellan "Mad Chancellor", his reign was characterized by bloody purges and costly foreign wars.[2]


Early Life[edit]

Coming to power after decades of peace and prosperity in 2520, the handsome and intelligent Kalvin Liao was considered to be a portent of a better future. One of the first accomplished MechWarriors at the age of 28, he had styled himself as protector of the weak.[3]


Upon assuming the throne of the Capellan Confederation from his uncle Hendrik, he quickly discarded the congenial mask he had worn all his life, and used his position to indulge himself in all kinds of vices.

To further his own personal wealth, he used the Maskirovka to investigate wealthy nobles for treason. Upon acquiring or manufacturing such evidence, the noble would be quickly murdered or blackmailed out of his fortune, which would be added to the Chancellor's personal fund. Still not satisfied, he established the Courts of Philosophical Inquiry to help with his personal crusade against "traitors" (which would eventually include his own father). One of their first victims was his predecessor, Hendrik Liao. Denounced by the Duke of St. Ives and judged guilty by manufactured evidence, Kalvin had his uncle killed not even two years after assuming chancellorship.[3]

A failed assassination attempt by a young noble from Nanking in 2523 gave Kalvin Liao an excuse to grab even more power. After publicly drawing and quartering the would-be assassin, the Chancellor's ire turned against possible coconspirators. The same year, assorted mercenaries killed 10% of the House of Scions, who Kalvin held responsible for the assassination attempt. A year later, the House was closed altogether, and finally in 2525 the paranoid Chancellor deeply cut the rights of all Capellan nobles, instead instituting a military government, the Diem, which was only answerable to him.[3]

Foreign Wars[edit]

In 2518, Kalvin Liao was introduced to Mesillia Allard, daughter of the Duke of Andurien, during a state visit. While Mesillia was largely unimpressed by Kalvin, he in turn became obsessed with her. Although he kept his obsession secret until his assumption of the throne, after his rise to the post of Chancellor he immediately started bombarding the Duke of Andurien with marriage proposals. Despite several hundred of them asking - and some demanding - the hand of his daughter, the Duke refused them all.

Frustrated by his lack of progress, Kalvin Liao forced through a decree legalizing polygamy and distracted himself with marrying his first three wives. By 2527, he had married twenty-six women, including Ariana Calderon, daughter of the Protector of the Taurian Concordat. His unrelenting courtship of Mesillia remained unsuccessful however, and in a manic fit the increasingly unstable Chancellor ordered all his wives executed for treason. Enraged, the Concordat attacked Capellan border worlds in a bloody series of raids known as Ariana's War.[4]

Finally fed up with his unrequited courtship, Kalvin Liao launched the Second Andurien War in 2528 in a mad attempt to win both Mesillia Allard and Andurien.

Death and Legacy[edit]

As the Second Andurien War escalated into a dozen more systems and Mesillia disappeared during the fighting on Andurien, Kalvin's mental health deteriorated further. His reign of terror was finally ended at the hand of one of his own guards, a Red Lancer on March 13 2530. It would be up to Kalvin's sister Mica who had lived in exile to pick up the pieces.[2]


When children play, you often give them toys or shiny ornaments to hold their attention while the adults decide what happens. And thus you get the House of Scions…
  — Chancellor Kalvin Liao[5]
Morality be damned...ain't I got the power!
  — Kalvin Liao, 2525[6]


The Periphery (First Edition) implies that Ariana Calderon was Kalvin's first wife, but House Liao (The Capellan Confederation) indicates she may have been one of his first three wives. There is no record of any children by these wives surviving.


  1. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), foldout (pp. 163–164 in PDF): "The Capellan Confederation's Line of Succession and Partial Liao Family Tree"
  2. 2.0 2.1 House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 39
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), pp. 36–38
  4. The Periphery (First Edition), p. 20
  5. Handbook: House Liao, p. 93: "The House of Scions"
  6. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 36: "Kalvin The Devourer"