House Laio (Capellan Confederation)
- Current Ruler: Chancellor Maximilian Liao
- Founding Year: 2367
- Capital (City, World): Zi-jin Cheng (Forbidden City), Sian
- National Symbol: A green arm raising a green dao sword, against a green triangle, edged in gold.
- Location (Terra relative): Rimward
- Total (Inhabited) Systems: 166
- Estimated Population: 228,280,000,000
- Government: Dictatorship (Chinese feudal stylings)
- Dominant Language(s): Chinese (Mandarin, official), Chinese (Cantonese), Russian, English, Hindi
- Dominant Religion(s): Buddhism, Taoism, Hindu
- Military: Capellan Confederation Armed Forces (CCAF)
The single element that most shapes a warrior of House Liao is pride — not the overweening personal ego of the secretly insecure, but a deep and unshakable national pride in the Great House and the nation he serves. To be Capellan is to be among the most tenacious peoples in the Inner Sphere, member of a nation and vassal of a dynasty that have met setback after setback with determination and grit. No matter what the universe throws at them, House Liao and its subjects survive. And sooner or later, they find a way to prosper at their enemies’ expense.
As the defender of House Liao and the Capellan nation, the Capellan soldier—especially the MechWarrior — enjoys respect from his fellow citizens that borders on reverence. In return for this near-sacred regard, the warrior owes unstinting loyalty to the civilians he protects, the state that employs him and the ruler of that state as his commander-in-chief. This ideal, enshrined in the warrior philosophy known as the Lorix Creed, underlies the entire Capellan military. Such mutual devotion between rulers and ruled is the source of Capellan patriotism, the wellspring of each MechWarrior’s identity.
Capellan patriotism also owes much to the Confederation’s long history of struggling to survive against larger and more powerful enemies. The ruling House Liao first came to power in just such a struggle; if not for the quick thinking, dazzling political acumen and sheer ruthlessness of Duke Franco Liao, the Capellan nation would likely have been absorbed by the expansionist House Davion in 2367. Throughout the Confederation’s existence, its people have fought however they could to preserve what was theirs, often in the face of incredible odds. The leaders of House Liao both embodied and encouraged this instinctive defiance of fate, inspiring those who served them to ever-greater achievements.
The Chinese cultural bent of the ruling Liao dynasty added its own thread to the Capellan tapestry. Like their Chinese ancestors of old, the scions of House Liao saw their traditions as the height of human achievement and themselves as destined for greatness. Their nation adopted these ideals with fervor and came to revere House Liao all the more as the truest embodiment of Capellan identity. An ancient culture, marked by subtlety, patience and an unyielding sense of its own worth, took those traits to the stars and has used them ever since to carve and keep its own niche among humanity’s warring star empires.
This fierce Capellan pride finds its primary antagonist in House Davion, whose rival Federated Suns attempted to strangle the Confederation in its cradle and has never since given up attempts to conquer Capellan territory. The Davions are enjoying their greatest success in the Fourth Succession War, as their machinations on and off the battlefield cost the Capellan realm nearly half its worlds. More than ever before in Confederation history, the nation owes its good fortune to House Liao and to the valiant warriors of the Capellan Armed Forces.
The Liao MechWarrior of the thirty-first century serves a nation finally beginning to achieve the greatness of which it has long dreamed. Buoyed by conquest and the sweeping tide of a cultural renaissance, the Capellan Confederation is reveling in its newfound power and the fighting forces that brought it that power are more revered than ever before. New recruits are flocking to the military academies and testing grounds, while new and faster ’Mech designs are making the average CCAF unit more maneuverable and dangerous on the fast-shifting battlegrounds of thirty-first century combat. Meanwhile, the Lorix Creed and other patriotic ideals are enjoying a revival fueled by hope.
Capellan reverence for the warrior extends throughout all military ranks, but finds its clearest and deepest expression among the Warrior Houses, elite military units akin to ancient orders of knighthood. First formed in the latter twenty-ninth century after the massive destruction of the Second Succession War, the Warrior Houses served a dual purpose: to rebuild the strength of House Liao’s armies and give the Capellan people a much-needed morale boost. Strict discipline, mystical underpinnings and intensive training made this breed of MechWarrior the ultimate symbol of Capellan pride, fighting skill and devotion to the Liao family. To this day, the mere presence of Warrior House troops can freeze the blood of the enemy forces, winning half the battle for Liao before combat is even joined.
On the other end of the spectrum are recently created or rebuilt units like the Hustaing Warriors — with more than their share of green troops and rough around the edges, but nonetheless exhibiting a common Capellan determination to get the job done. From the most elite to the greenest unit, the soldiers of the CCAF display three traits that enable them to do disproportionate damage on the battlefield: bulldog tenacity, unquestioning devotion to House Liao, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to ensure victory.