|By Alexander of Volzhsky||See other fanon and fan fiction works from Alexander of Volzhsky.|
|Chronological and political information|
Premier of the Restored Hou-Ting Government
Prince Dianying was an Earth Kingdom general, minister of war, and Hou-Ting Dynasty loyalist who was active during the time of Avatar Korra. A top official in the royal cabinet during the reign of Queen Hou-Ting, Dianying later raised his own army during the anarchy in the Earth Kingdom that broke out in the aftermath of the Queen's assassination. He was an opponent of Kuvira and her "Earth Empire," keeping in contact with the exiled King Wu and rallying the royalist nobles for an eventual restoration. Following collapse of the Kuvira regime, Dianying used his army to take control of Ba Sing Se and restore the Hou-Ting Dynasty.
Since King Wu had abdicated in favor of a democratic government, Dianying named the late Queen's young grandson,, the new Earth King. He was effectively the regent of the Kingdom in his position as the prime minister of the Restored Hou-Ting Government. However, the Prince's regime only lasted a scant few months before being overthrown in a civil war.
Rise to prominence
A distant relative of the Earth Kingdom Royal Family, Prince Dianying was born in Ba Sing Se about 13 years after the end of the Hundred Year War and raised in the royal court. He grew up reading tales of the great Earth Kingdom commanders that fought against the Fire Nation during the War. Additionally, the prince spent much of his time studying history. This became a major inspiration to the young Dianying. As a result, unlike most of his family members, the young man decided that his calling was the military of the Earth Kingdom, not the civil service. He became a junior officer due to his status as an aristocrat, but quickly proved his worth as an officer of His Majesty's army. In 130 AG, the young Captain Dianying led a battalion of troops in conquering a rebellious city in the southern Earth Kingdom. He tricked the enemy into letting in a group of royal soldiers that were pretending to be rebels fleeing from the King's forces. They then opened the gates of the city, allowing Dianying's forces to enter and take it over.
He was promoted to colonel and given command of a regiment. Similar successes followed, against rebels and bandits across the Earth Kingdom, gaining Prince Dianying a reputation as a brilliant tactician and a ruthless suppressor of anti-monarchy uprisings. His relatives initially disproved of him choosing to go into the army instead of politics, but accepted the decision upon his rise to glory. Although he did not get involved in Ba Sing Se court intrigues, the Prince monitored the political situation carefully. His name became respected at the royal court, and he made acquaintance with several other influential officials who shared his political views, but remained in the shadows for the most part. The Prince was a patriot and was loyal to the monarchy, considering his role to be its preserver. Around the time that Queen Hou-Ting took the crown, Dianying became a general and the viceroy of the Ba Sing Se Province, the region surrounding the Earth Kingdom capital.
Having proved himself by quelling numerous minor rebellions and criminal gangs, General Dianying was appointed to Queen Hou-Ting's royal cabinet as the minister of war in 164 AG. He was able to manage the military efficiently, although as the Queen's rule became more tyrannical, the general was not able to keep corruption in check entirely. Nonetheless, he was determined to run the army to the best of his ability. The presence of incompetent officials in the royal government hindered his progress, but he was never criticized for the increasing corruption and inefficiency in the military. His previous reputation as a war hero and tactical genius resulted in him being viewed as a symbol of unity and loyalty in an era of chaos. One of the Prince's most notable works during his tenure as war minister was the introduction of conscription in 166 AG. The policy was unpopular with the people, however, and was repealed by his successor, General Ronglu, four years later.
Dianying chose to step down from his position in 170 AG, despite the wish of the Queen and other high nobles that he should stay. The Prince believed that someone younger, more energetic should take the role to tackle the endemic corruption in the army hierarchy. He was given the new position of viceroy of the backwater Garsai Province in the western part of the country. The office was not a prestigious one, usually given to those older officials who were essentially in semi-retirement. Dianying was preparing to step down from that position as well and leave public life. However, when the Queen was assassinated in 171 AG by the rogue airbender Zaheer and his Red Lotus group, the old general changed his decision and returned to service.
Era of chaos
With the Earth Kingdom thrown into anarchy following the Queen's death, the central government collapsed, with the royal cabinet and minor officials being forced to scatter. The heir to the throne, Prince Wu, and the rest of the royal family when into exile in the United Republic of Nations. Dianying, horrified by the developments, decided to go back into the military in order to restore order and the monarchy. His reputation helped him recruit soldiers, starting with a militia of several hundred in Garsai and turning into an army several thousand strong. Prince Dianying also urged the young heir to form a government-in-exile, so that he could have a legitimate body to rally the people around. Wu authorized the creation of the "Royal Restoration Army," which grew to a strength in the tens of thousands in 172 AG under the leadership of General Dianying.
However, being in the remote Garsai region, he was unable to reach Ba Sing Se, which was pacified by the former Zaofu guard captain, Kuvira. She declared herself the provisional leader of the country and also embarked on a campaign of stabilizing the Kingdom. Dianying viewed her as being too ambitious and scheming, but Prince Wu trusted her and ordered the old soldier to subordinate his force to her. He still remained distrustful of her, and in turn, she did not trust the nobleman either. Kuvira understood that his loyalties were with the old regime, and thus did not give him any important positions in her movement. She made him the provincial governor of a remote province in the northern Earth Kingdom, a position that she hoped would keep him away from the halls of power and the battlefield, where he could spread his influence. This caused him to further resent Kuvira.
The Prince did not give up, however, and made contacts in the power structures of her movement. He also kept in touch with royalists who were in hiding, in preparation for what he considered to be Kuvira's inevitable power grab. Although she outwardly professed allegiance to the future Earth King, Dianying did not believe it at all. His warnings were largely ignored by Wu. Taking measures to defend himself, the general formed his own army where he was living, similarly to the way he did so in Garsai. Its strength was in the thousands by 174 AG, and Dianying prepared it to serve the same role as his last army: a restoration force. Additionally, he used his old friends in the Kingdom's foreign ministry to spread rumors that portrayed Kuvira as a brutal tyrant abroad, to gain international support for a future conflict with her.
"My greatest wish is to see the restoration of the Hou-Ting Dynasty."
- He is based on Zhang Xun, a general of the Qing Dynasty who attempted to restore the deposed emperor Puyi to the throne of China in 1917, but ultimately failed.
- Dianying also represents some other late Qing Dynasty generals and statesmen, among them Zeng Goufan and Ma Xinyi.
- His life is also somewhat inspired by the history of the aftermath of the French Revolution, specifically, the French royalist movement and the Bourbon Restoration.
Eventually Gun (as Grand Secretariat)
|Premier of the Restored Hou-Ting Royal Government|
174 — 175 AG
| Succeeded by|
|Viceroy of the Garsai Province|
170 — 171 AG
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of War of the Earth Kingdom|
164 — 170 AG
| Succeeded by|
|Viceroy of the Ba Sing Se Province|
153 — 164 AG
| Succeeded by|
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