Tianchao - History | Starborne

Tianchao - History

Tue Aug 23 2022 (Updated: Tue Aug 23 2022) - 3 min read


Background Briefing for Trusted Clients/Private Dissemination
Addendum 1: Historical information
Cypher Key #TI-750AQ268HJA003#
Security Level: 4 [Certain information has been restricted] 
Last Updated: 20.02.2420
Access granted by: EDL (FA-SE)


The exact origin of the Tianchao clan is lost to time and the devastation of Earth, but sources within the organization place their origin in south-eastern Eurasia. Rumors disseminated by other factions suggest that the clan’s roots can be traced back to one of the region’s organized crime networks.

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The first confirmed mention of Tianchao comes from the year 2180, when a large part of the clan fled from the Lunar reorganization of Earth to settle on Mars. The complex web of infighting and political struggles between member states of the Martian Commonwealth (particularly between the Children of Mars) provided ample demand for the clan’s unique services. Over the following decades, Tianchao massively expanded its wealth and influence by brokering information. While maintaining a careful air of neutrality, clever maneuvering led them to become a major power throughout the wider Solar system. This situation lasted well into the Early Interstellar Age, when Tianchao operatives discovered Everliving's role in creating what would later become the "Marauder-modifications" and related brainwashing technologies.

This data also revealed that Tianchao had been directly targeted by the Children of Mars. Brainwashed (also known as ‘imprinted’) operatives had infiltrated the clan, and [Information restricted]. To Tianchao, the fact that their fellow clansmen had been enslaved was unforgivable.

As always, their response remained in the shadows. Anonymous tips about Marauder convoys were delivered to frontline authorities. Select space stations began to suffer from unexpected communication failures before abruptly falling off the grid. Seemingly random uprisings occurred with unusual frequency in Martian colonies. These actions achieved the desired result: Marauder activity plummeted, and the Children of Mars suffered extensive financial losses.

Throughout this period, the Tianchao name took on a new meaning. Cursed among slavers, it was whispered like a prayer by their victims. Stoking the fires of revolt from the sidelines, the clan’s operations grew. On the Frontier a new tapestry of cooperation, smuggling, and vigilantism was being expertly woven.

The next step would come decades later, when clan agents uncovered the MPL's secret plan to construct their own Dyson Sphere, and the clan's leadership sensed an opportunity to land a decisive blow. Even today, the operation to infiltrate and undermine the MPL Dyson project is regarded as the crown jewel of Tianchao's cunning.

Several cells’ worth of Tianchao agents were planted in the project, and when the Sphere was brought online in 2344, communication within the entire system immediately went dark. Command of the Sphere’s TRB-generators was rerouted while the project’s leadership was simultaneously assassinated or taken hostage by their own servants and kitchen staff.

Effectively locked out of Sphere systems, the local MPL ships were left unable to launch as a Tianchao black-ops fleet uncloaked and opened fire. Within minutes, they activated the TRB-generators, and a major clan armada bridged into the system. Realizing that the battle was already lost, the MPL forces surrendered, and Tianchao successfully pulled off the largest and most ambitious heist in human history.

Both sides of the conflict did their best to keep the incident under wraps, as it was a major embarrassment for the MPL, and Tianchao already held secrecy as their modus operandi. A few months later, the clan declared independence as a major galactic faction by demonstrating its command of an interstellar transport network, without revealing the location or origin of their bridges. Then, as briefly as it emerged, the clan receded once more into the shadows of the Frontier.

[Information regarding more recent Tianchao operations has been restricted.]