|By Alexander of Volzhsky||See other fanon and fan fiction works from Alexander of Volzhsky.|
The Hou-Ting Restoration was an attempt to restore the Earth monarchy in Ba Sing Se by royalist General , who supported King 's claim for the throne. The restoration only last a few months before falling to external pressure and uprisings by peasants in the capital.
The assassination of Queen Hou-Ting at the hands of the Red Lotus in 171 AG resulted in the Earth Kingdom falling into chaos. It was largely stabilized by the former Zaofu guard captain, Kuvira, who became the country's interim leader. However, she refused to give King Wu (Hou-Ting's great-nephew) the throne at his coronation, going rogue and creating a new "Earth Empire." Kuvira's military regime managed to conquer most of the former Earth Kingdom over the course of the next three years, but it fell after her attempt to invade the United Republic of Nations failed. A new power vacuum was opened in the country, and Wu declared that he abdicated from the crown, in favor of a confederation of democratic states. However, with no one ready to take power in Ba Sing Se, unrest and disorder broke out again.
A number of groups attempted to rise in the new power struggle, most notably supporters of Kuvira's regime and republicans who wanted to create a democratic state, as Wu intended. Criminals and bandits also took advantage of the new crisis to gain profit and expand their influence. Before any of them could seize power, the royalist warlord Generalmarched with his army into Ba Sing Se. His troops quickly pacified the city, arresting rioters and looters, and the capital police soon pledged allegiance to the new regime. He declared that the Earth monarchy, under the Hou-Ting Dynasty, had been restored, putting the late queen's grandson, , on the throne.
The Eighty Days
The former imperial court was reestablished, and Prince General Dianying was named the prime minister of the imperial cabinet by King Yang. They intentionally chose not to revive the office of Grand Secretariat of Ba Sing Se, in order to show that Yang's rule would be stronger than that of the past kings, since the Grand Secretariat only had authority in Ba Sing Se for the most part. A number of edicts were proclaimed, which forbade publicly showing any allegiance to the former Kuvira regime or to the republican movement. Royalist troops secured the capital and arrested a number of prominent leaders of Kuvirist and republican factions in Ba Sing Se, closing down their offices. Their lack of a unified leadership and surprise at the quickness of the events made it more difficult to resist.
The reaction from the provinces to the restoration was mixed, with some governors pledging allegiance to King Yang, while others declared their independence. King Wu, in exile in Republic City, denounced Yang and said that his claim to the crown was illegitimate. General Dianying dispatched several royalist divisions under his minister of war, Lieutenant General Zongxi, to pacify some nearby provinces that refused to acknowledge the new regime. The rebellious governors gathered a large number of troops, however, and were able to avoid complete annihilation. Rebel forces took heavy losses against Zongxi's troops, but managed to secure several important roadways outside of the capital after a week of intense fighting.
Meanwhile, the republican politician Sun Shiyi and the Kuvirist warlord General Baozhen met in Republic City, where they made an agreement to work together to overthrow King Yang. Another rebel army, consisting of volunteers from rebellious provinces, arrived to Ba Sing Se from the northwest.
In the capital, the imperial court ordered the royalist army to defeat the two rebel groups. Additionally, messengers were sent via airship to the provincial capitals of those regions who were loyal to the monarchy, asking them to send troops to Ba Sing Se. A number of cities, including Gaoling, responded by deploying armies of varying experience and skill to the capital.
A month into the reign of King Yang, the rebels south of the city began a large offensive, aiming to conquer Ba Sing Se before the imperial government's reinforcements arrived. They were met by the defending royalist troops along the main highway into Ba Sing Se, and the fighting lasted for several days, but ultimately were driven back from road. The rebels in the north besieged the outer wall on their front upon hearing of the offensive in the south, but were unable to make any gains either.
Shiyi proclaimed the creation of thea week after the failed offensives, in order to boost popular support and improve morale of the republican forces. General Baozhen did not agree with it, but decided with the rest of the Kuvirist movement to go along for the time being, and was appointed the republican army's supreme commander. Meanwhile, in Ba Sing Se, more recruits were accepted in the royalist forces to boost their numbers and to suppress any possible peasant's revolt.
As the army from Gaoling and other southern provinces approached the capital, they were met with Baozhen's southern rebel force. The rebels attacked the army in a rapid offensive, hoping to defeat them quickly and avoid a two-front war, but underestimated the royalists' strength. The royalist forces near Ba Sing Se attacked the rear of Baozhen's troops as they faced off with the reinforcements from the south, routing the rearguards. The panicking rebel troops began scattering in all directions, and Baozhen was forced to withdraw with his remaining intact regiments. The imperial government celebrated the victory as a major success and had news of it spread throughout the provinces.
However, that would be the last success for the king. A large peasant riot broke out in the Lower Ring, with rioters taking control of several police stations. The royalist troops deployed there failed to suppress the uprising, and a pro-republican faction took control of some of the gates to the city. At that time, the rebel forces outside the walls to the north entered the city. The imperial court summoned the victorious army from the south into Ba Sing Se, allowing Baozhen's defeated force to retake its positions and approach the outer walls.
The attackers were able to overwhelm the defending monarchist forces and stormed the Middle and Upper Rings, fighting in fierce close-quarters combat. Dianying's troops were outnumbered and the rebels were able to reach the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace. King Yang and the nobles were able evacuate in time, but his government fell later that day with the loss of the capital. Sun Shiyi, President of the Republic, arrived from Republic City and proclaimed that Ba Sing Se was now the capital of the Earth Republic. The remaining royalist soldiers asked for a ceasefire, which was accepted.
The Restoration was the last attempt to restore the Earth monarchy, ending the thousand-year history of the Earth Kingdom. King Yang would continue to claim his right to the throne and would flee the country, going into exile in the Fire Nation. General Dianying and his subordinates escaped to the pro-monarchist provinces, but were later defeated in the Earth Republic Civil War. A large number of royalist troops would fight against the republican government during that conflict, but ultimately their efforts failed. Dianying himself would spend the rest of his life in exile in the quasi-independent Kingdom of Omashu, which declared its independence and refused to recognize the Republic.
The other nations immediately recognized the new Earth Republic, including the Fire Nation. Yang was allowed to live in exile, and was supported by Earth monarchists, but remained out of public life. Several exiled imperial court officials would continue to support right wing groups in the Earth Republic over the years.
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