Deadlands Reloaded: The Righteous, The Rough, and The Clever
I don’t know how much you know about the Far East, but they’ve had some terrible wars there. Americans think their ‘Civil War’ is bad, but the recent Taiping Rebellion in China claimed over 20 million lives. These people do not muck about, and I have no intention of aiding them should they be intent on repeating such madness here. — Rutherford Ellington Dillenger.
I can barely speak of the horrors I saw in China. Gyonshees that drain a man of his blood, demon dogs straight from the pits of Oriental Hell, and even—I swear on my grave—a flying dragon. But even those horrors paled beside the pure carnage of the Taiping Rebellion. The histories will claim 20 million dead in that war, but I’d swear on my grave disease and starvation brought the count closer to twice that. — Captain Roderick Pennington-Smythe
The Taiping Rebellion was a massive civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, against the ruling Manchu Qing dynasty. It was a millenarian movement led by Hong Xiuquan, who announced that he had received visions, in which he learned that he was the younger brother of Jesus. At least 20 million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest military conflicts in history.5
Hong established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom with its capital at Nanjing. The Kingdom’s army controlled large parts of southern China, at its height ruling about 30 million people. The rebel agenda included social reforms such as shared “property in common”, equality for women, and the replacement of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Chinese folk religion with their form of Christianity. Because of their refusal to wear the queue, Taiping combatants were nicknamed “Longhairs” (simplified Chinese: 长毛; traditional Chinese: 長毛; pinyin: Chángmáo) by the Qing government, which besieged the Taiping armies throughout the rebellion. The Qing government eventually crushed the rebellion with the aid of French and British forces.
Hong Xiuquan was also know as Hung Hsiu-ch’uan. Legend has it that Around 1866 Hung killed himself. The Manchus executed all the members of the Taiping, even lopping the head off Hung’s dead body.
Rumor around the Maze says that the skull of Hung Hsiu-ch’uan was taken by one of his minor followers who brought it with him to the Maze. The story goes that the skull started talking to the follower during the trip across the ocean. Using the talking skull the follower now know as “the King of the Horizon” has raised an army of martial artists in the far Northern Maze.