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Thread: The Queen Mother's Diaries: A Ming AAR

  1. #1
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    The Queen Mother's Diaries: A Ming AAR



    Introduction – This will be a Ming AAR using the 5.1 DW patch. For those interested in how to do so properly I can only refer you to Knul's brilliant Yin, Yang and the ugly . This will be less competent and also 5.1 has changed a few mechanics, not least I have to play the whole game as a Celestial Empire and with the constraints imposed by the faction system.

    Its on hard and lucky nations were random.

    Table Of Contents

    Dear Diary, 14 October 1399

    The Ming Emperors (& one Empress)

    The Frustration of Jianwen
    1399-1401 ... in which the Eunuchs are given the chop
    1402-1404 ... in which he overindulges - with predictable results
    The idiot Yongle
    1404-1407 ... in which he is packed off to take part in every war in the region
    1407-1410 ... in which he is not even invited to his own wedding party
    1410-1412 ... in which he follows the Queen Mother - to a very predictable end
    The impotent Hongxi
    1412-1414 ... in which he does his best to hide away
    1414-1417 ... in which his productivity is called into doubt
    1417-1421 ... in which he tries to forbid certain visitors
    1422-1427 ... in which he has some rather valuable help
    1428-1434 ... in which the realm expands and he expires
    The unfortunate Wanli
    1434-1438 ... in which the realm undergoes a few crises and he stays in the nursery (sensible boy)
    1439-1444 ... in which Wanli seems to have grown up very quickly
    1444-1448 ... in which Wanli is pretty much a one man marriage and war machine
    1448-1451 ... in which Wanli shows his soft caring cultural side
    1452-1455 ... in which Wanli becomes rather infamous
    1456-1459 ... in which Wanli dies of a surfeit of peaches
    The awesome Xuande
    1459-1466 ... in which another peach related death occurs
    Tianqi the Psycho
    1466-1472 ... in which he has a varied education
    1472-1474 ... in which he is a growing pain
    1474-1479 ... in which his dark side emerges
    1480-1485 ... in which he does seem to have a lot of wars
    1486-1490 ... in which he starts a big war but doesn't live to see the end
    The ill advised Youyi
    1491-1497 ... in which his upbringing is a source of strife
    1497-1501 ... in which he receives a lot of (contradictory) advice
    1501-1515 ... in which he tries to peel a peach with a large spear and other problems
    Jiajing the village idiot in charge
    1515-1520 ... in which Jiajing has problems following simple directions
    1521-1525 ... in which all he has to do is breed/stability/die ... and he still gets confused
    1526-1529 ... in which he gets them all in the right order
    Youxue, the mildly unlucky
    1530-1540 ... in which his childhood is dominated by confusion between east and west
    1541-1549 ... in which the Queen Mother's dress sense causes problems
    1549-1556 ... in which an unfortunate tea leaf ends a glittering career
    The rather violent Youjian
    1556-1562 ... in which a few minor disputes disturb the calm
    1562-1563 ... in which (with some help) Youjian is triumphant
    1563-1567 ... in which a little bit of peace is soon shattered
    1568-1576 ... in which Youjian reaches the top, only to find he's no longer needed
    Zhengiong, an emperor with a mission
    1576-1586 ... in which he ends up leaning too far to the West
    Shaowu, the basher of India and other places
    1586-1592 ... in which he forgets to be nice to the French
    1592-1597 ... in which the Queen Mother is very nice to the British
    1597-1600 ... in which the Queen Mother is nice even to the French, till her party is spoilt
    1600-1611 ... in which Shaowu overstays his welcome and other explosive events
    The Empress Yiping
    1611-1615 ... in which a sailing accident and other little incidents occur
    1615-1615 ... in which Yiping finds out that two Empresses is one too many
    Yongle II, the bystander
    1615-1619 ... in which Yongle feels very left out of things
    1619-1622 ... in which no one takes much notice of Yongle
    1623-1633 ... in which he is ignored, till he books the wrong tribute band
    Wanli II, the undiplomatic
    1633-1636 ... in which he decides not to believe in ghosts and other mistakes
    1636-1639 ... in which he feels the need to hide in a big safe place
    1640-1645 ... in which his self-esteem expands
    1645-1656 ... in which he manages to ignore all the chaos around him
    1657-1666 ... in which he shows very little self-awareness
    1666-1673 ... in which Wanli impresses himself
    1674-1684 ... in which Wanli has some lapses
    1684-1690 ... in which not much is left of Wanli
    Youshan, the rather late heir who doesn't get much credit for his achievements
    1690-1699 ... in which his sense of direction is queried
    1700-1706 ... Youshan conquers America - and gets no thanks at all
    Taichang I, the easily scared Emperor
    1706-1712 ... in which he overlooks a major war
    Taichan II, the expansionary Emperor
    1712-1717 ... in which the conqueror of the Americas is battered by a peach tree
    Wanli III, the last of the Mings
    1718-1728 ... in which the dynasty almost comes to an early end
    1728-1735 ... in which his education is ended prematurely

    The Shi Emperors

    Gaoxu, Conqueror of Mexico
    1736-1743 ... in which Queen Mother laments the decline of China
    1744-1751 ... in which Gaoxu has some French lessons
    1751-1758 ... in which Gaoxu has a Bohemian phase
    Hongxi II, 'Even nuttier than a sesame seed'
    1758-1769 ... in which Hongxi has a brief rampage
    Tianqi II, the often overlooked
    1769-1773 ... in which the QM's self belief takes a battering (& GB declares war)
    1773-1779 ... in which the QM has a few mood swings
    1779-1783 ... in which Tianqi is rather overlooked
    1783-1806 ... in which Tianqi finally makes his mark (on a peach tree)
    Shaowu II, the survivor
    1806-1821 ... in which China is remarkably peaceful


    A quick summary, final review of the end-game world and comments
    Last edited by loki100; 25-08-2012 at 23:29.

  2. #2
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    14 October 1399: Dear Diary

    Friday 14 October, 1399


    The whereabouts of the Queen Mother of the West [1]

    Scene 1: The throne room [2]

    "come on, come on"

    "now do I look better in this"



    "or this"



    "answer ... why are you are looking at me like that"

    "err .... you have a visitor ... here's his calling card"



    Scene 2: A more private room [3]

    "so I write a diary ... senor ... senor Harold ... and you publish it"

    Harry [4] chuckles

    "yes it'll be a best seller, people will quote from it all the time"

    offers her a front cover ... quickly realises its the wrong one



    and passes the corrected version



    "have a peach, while I think about this ... so I just write"



    "well you have to write something interesting"

    The Queen Mother hands Harry a sheet of paper

    "like this"

    Harry reads aloud

    "Court Circular ... trim the peach trees, trim the toenails of the peacocks. Eat a peach?

    This is it?"

    "Yes"

    "No it needs to be a bit racier, violence, death, intrigue that sort of thing ... are you up to it?"

    Scene 3: The Library

    The Queen Mother looks at the blank sheet of paper, sighs she picks up the peacock feather

    The peacock complained

    After the quill was removed she started to write

    "today I went to look at the peaches"

    and remembers Harry's instructions ... such a strange man, such bad breath, strange pets and those flies ... she rips out the page

    "Are Eunuchs really a girls best friend?"



    [1] The Queen Mother of the West is located somewhere in Central Asia in Chinese Myths, she is immortal, associated with peaches and peacocks ... oh and she varies between being quite benign and malicious.
    [2] Her palace is a place where various dieties from different religious systems meet this may cause problems
    [3] I'll leave it to your imaginations
    [4] and when Harry chuckles its time to take a step back (to those who haven't met this celestial incompetent ... he is not the most successful diety to have walked the halls of AArland)



  3. #3
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Thanks for clearing up the peaches thing. I was thinking it was an incredibly obtuse reference to The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I'm blaming sleep deprivation for that one.

    I've still not managed a single Divine Wind game, so it'll be interesting to see what you make of the mechanics for Ming, or more accurately what Harry makes of them. I'm guessing it's not going to be pretty.
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  4. #4
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Ooh, goody! So is this tale about Harry, or the Queen Mother? Or some unholy combination?

    So far, the Queen Mother does not appear to be on the up-and-up regarding Harry's habits. She's surprisingly unhostile.

    By the way, I love the description of the Temple faction - it appears to be the actual text from the game?
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    Harry (or at the very least his malign and rather incompetent influence) + EU3 = epic!

    Delighted to see this starting and delighted too to see Harry making an appearance. I have a feeling this AAR is going to prove...peachy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    I've still not managed a single Divine Wind game, so it'll be interesting to see what you make of the mechanics for Ming, or more accurately what Harry makes of them. I'm guessing it's not going to be pretty.
    I'm much the same, I've owned DW since it was released but not even yet installed it, so I'm very intrigued to see what changes it brings to Ming.
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    Major Alfredian's Avatar
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    Can this Queen Mother be pacified with Gin, or is Peach Schnapps the only game in town?

    The Queen Mother looks at the blank sheet of paper, sighs she picks up the peacock feather

    The peacock complained
    Very Good.
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    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Great start! I have even less excuse than the rest of you -- I bought DW when it came out, but have yet to try Japan or Ming. Shame on me, I guess.
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    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    Thanks for clearing up the peaches thing. I was thinking it was an incredibly obtuse reference to The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I'm blaming sleep deprivation for that one.

    I've still not managed a single Divine Wind game, so it'll be interesting to see what you make of the mechanics for Ming, or more accurately what Harry makes of them. I'm guessing it's not going to be pretty.
    well this is the first time I've really played EU since IN, so even the magistrates are a bit of a struggle to remember. I'll see but I think the constraints will make for an interesting game, not least no quick westernisation (some of the tricks that Knul used were nerfed in 5.1), so it should be jolly till the Europeans turn up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Ooh, goody! So is this tale about Harry, or the Queen Mother? Or some unholy combination?

    So far, the Queen Mother does not appear to be on the up-and-up regarding Harry's habits. She's surprisingly unhostile.

    By the way, I love the description of the Temple faction - it appears to be the actual text from the game?
    Mainly the Queen Mother but Harry is her editor ... and may well play a more direct role in the sport once China meets the west

    Yes the text is in-game. There is some grumbling that its apparently unrealistic but in essence they are the only people who will allow DOWs, but to make it hard then depress all your force limits. All the factions are the same mix of good/bad, and since you can't cease to be a celestial empire you lose the option that Knul used of becoming a republic. The factions are influenced by events, ruler stats, slider positions and you can spend magistrates for a short term boost. But in essence its your slider choices and your ruler that matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Harry (or at the very least his malign and rather incompetent influence) + EU3 = epic!

    Delighted to see this starting and delighted too to see Harry making an appearance. I have a feeling this AAR is going to prove...peachy.

    I'm much the same, I've owned DW since it was released but not even yet installed it, so I'm very intrigued to see what changes it brings to Ming.
    Frustrating to be honest (but in a fun way). You want to do things but the current faction stops you. But you can get around some of the limitations. Let the Manchu's colonise the hordes for you. Lots of protect x diplomatic missions means you'll get calls to arms, so even with the bureaucrats you can expand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredian View Post
    Can this Queen Mother be pacified with Gin, or is Peach Schnapps the only game in town?

    Very Good.
    yes, think it has to be peach schnaps, or slivovitch ... I'm sure that would do as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Great start! I have even less excuse than the rest of you -- I bought DW when it came out, but have yet to try Japan or Ming. Shame on me, I guess.
    I've read mixed AARs and reports on Japan. CatKnight did an early DW one and it seemed a bit too easy to play the system, but that too may be very different in 5.1. Ming certainly is. The real shock is early game, having more money than you can spend.

  9. #9
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Volume 1: The Jianwen Years ... frustration and isolation

    Part 1: How can a girl attract a Eunuch?


    14 October 1399

    Went to visit Jianwen Ming. Not very successful. His son is an idiot and he seems obsessed by moving in any direction but towards me. I think he doesn't want me as a neighbour?



    He was very proud of his advisers (editor ... get to the racy stuff ... Harry)



    But really, Taiwan I mean ... wrong way, I mean so wrong, west boy thats the way to go



    And he's building walls, I do hope this is not designed to keep me out?



    Apparently yes, my spies tell me his comment was "this should keep the old bat out", well we'll see about that.

    (editor ... better, the readers like intrigue ... Harry)

    And he spent ages explaining domestic politics (editor ... this is really boring ... Harry)



    16 October 1399

    A wedding ... I am waiting for my invitation



    (edit ... at last, get in the details ... oh he didn't actually invite you? ... Harry)

    27 December 1399

    I try to seduce one of the Eunuchs ... this doesn't work very well



    (editor ... ok at least you tried ... details would help though ... Harry)

    4 February 1400

    The new tea and china set arrived



    (editor ... you are really trying my patience any more and I want the publishers advance back)

    7 February 1400

    I think I'm going to convert to Manchu ... they are real men and are heading in the right direction.



    Stand on roof ... look alluring for a while. Get cold.

    8 February 1400

    A fleet ... must be a mistake, you don't need a fleet to move towards me. The man is an idiot although not as big an idiot as his son.



    8 May 1400

    Another wedding, the peacocks must have eaten the last invite. Order a new dress.



    not invited ... am becoming annoyed

    20 May 1400

    The Eunuchs seem to be in decline, serves them right for ignoring my charms ... and not sending any wedding invites.



    3 September 1400

    More proof the Eunuchs don't know which way they are facing. Very nice in the South, but I'm in the West. Stand on roof yelling 'oi boys over here'.



    Late entry



    this arrived, apparently to make up for the missing wedding invitations.

    2 January 1401

    The Eunuchs are chopped off ... do hope this lot can at least organise a proper wedding party



    at least they are not intent on sailing off eastwards.

    3 January 1401

    Spoke too soon, what is it down there they all want?



    12 January 1401

    Ok maybe Taiwan is not that bad. Have placed an order.



    2 August 1401

    From Japan? What is the world coming to?



    (Editors notes boring, no violence, no intrigue, no sex, you had better spice this up or I'll start ghost writing it for you)

  10. #10
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    Turns out I chose a fitting AAR to look at while sipping my tea.

    Fun stuff, so I'll join the "barely touched DW" faction of followers.
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    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    I'm loving Harry's hectoring comments sprinkled throughout the diary entries. Hopefully the Queen Mother heeds his advice though, if Harry begins ghost writing this may quickly become X-rated!

    I do like how the factions seem to work as Ming, it rather reminds me of politics in V2 (especially as dependant on who is in power your options are opened/limited, just as with ruling parties in V2), although in a rather more simplified fashion. Is there any other way to influence which faction is in power beyond the Emperor's stats and slider changes?

    A promising start, a useful new colony gained, a wall quickly repaired in a bid to keep the Queen Mother out, things are going surprisingly well for Ming.
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  12. #12
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm just a dolt, but who exactly is the Queen Mother supposed to be Queen Mother of?
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    I try to seduce one of the Eunuchs ... this doesn't work very well.
    I see a very basic flaw with that approach...

    The Queen Mother comes across as a bit desperate for some attention. Maybe that's why she's going along with Harry's hare-brained scheme in the first place?
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  14. #14
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Not inviting goddesses to weddings is how the Trojan war got started. I'm not sure that Ming is doing the right thing in snubbing the Queen Mother, but then again having her along would probably wreck the seating plan and you'd have to find space for the whole pantheon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Maybe I'm just a dolt, but who exactly is the Queen Mother supposed to be Queen Mother of?
    THE WEST!
    OT: Will follow this! I hope the Queen Mother starts pandering soon. We really need some violence
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  16. #16
    General knul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Introduction – This will be a Ming AAR using the 5.1 DW patch. For those interested in how to do so properly I can only refer you to Knuls brilliant Yin, Yang and the ugly . This will be less competent and also 5.1 has changed a few mechanics, not least I have to play the whole game as a Celestial Empire and with the constraints imposed by the faction system.
    Thank you for your kind words, loki100. The latests changes in the game have indeed changed Ming's faction system quite a lot. My "brilliance" in my AAR soleley consisted of the insights of balancing the factions and of using the republican government to quickly shift rulers. With half of that strategy gone out of the window, a new approach is needed.

    I'm quite curious to see how you handle the factions with the new restrictions.
    Current AAR: EU4: Single Domination: Ming, the first EU4 AAR ever to feature a non-European country!
    Finished AARs: EU3: Double Domination: Germany versus Japan. EU3: Yin, Yang and the ugly: a Divine Wind Ming AAR

    See an overview of my AARs at my Ink Well page.

  17. #17
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    This is really quite amusing and well laid out. Congrats!
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  18. #18
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    Turns out I chose a fitting AAR to look at while sipping my tea.

    Fun stuff, so I'll join the "barely touched DW" faction of followers.
    there will be quite a lot of tea related jokes for a while ... till I get bored of them.

    I'm finding it interesting, having more or less skipped HTTT, so the new buildings and the best use of magistrates is all rather fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    I'm loving Harry's hectoring comments sprinkled throughout the diary entries. Hopefully the Queen Mother heeds his advice though, if Harry begins ghost writing this may quickly become X-rated!

    I do like how the factions seem to work as Ming, it rather reminds me of politics in V2 (especially as dependant on who is in power your options are opened/limited, just as with ruling parties in V2), although in a rather more simplified fashion. Is there any other way to influence which faction is in power beyond the Emperor's stats and slider changes?

    A promising start, a useful new colony gained, a wall quickly repaired in a bid to keep the Queen Mother out, things are going surprisingly well for Ming.
    The two underlying drivers to the factions are ruler stats and your slider positions (so v naval favours Eunuchs etc). You then get short term boosts off events and by spending magistrates. So those won't keep a faction in power who are adversely affected by the stats but can help engineer a quick shift (something I've already done in actual game play - I'm up to 1412 or so)

    Yes, Harry's version of the diaries would get me 2 infractions per post, so his editorial control has to be limited,

    Whats really odd with Ming is just how much cash you have. So used in the early stages of an EU game to be cash limited and reduced to loans/mint to survive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Maybe I'm just a dolt, but who exactly is the Queen Mother supposed to be Queen Mother of?
    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    THE WEST!
    OT: Will follow this! I hope the Queen Mother starts pandering soon. We really need some violence
    there will be violence, especially when Yongle 'the village idiot' comes to power and is sent off to lead the armies on various campaigns.

    She's a figure in Chinese myths. Appears in around 300 BC and then about 800AD becomes an important thing in Taoism. I stumbled across when doing a supporting piece on a more scientific paper on longevity. Its interesting how Chinese myths on immortality and longevity are the inverse of west european. So West European myths assigned that sort of thing off to the wilds of Central Asia or to the Atlantic (you can make quite a feasible case that early Portuguese exploration was searching for the Isle of the Blest - who had the secret of immortality), the Chinese too dumped the exotic into Central Asia or well out into the Pacific.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    I see a very basic flaw with that approach...

    The Queen Mother comes across as a bit desperate for some attention. Maybe that's why she's going along with Harry's hare-brained scheme in the first place?
    don't forget at this stage she's just learning her trade and feeling her way (to keep a bad pun going) - quite why she's gone along with Harry will be revealed (ie I need to think of a reason and then a way to introduce it)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    Not inviting goddesses to weddings is how the Trojan war got started. I'm not sure that Ming is doing the right thing in snubbing the Queen Mother, but then again having her along would probably wreck the seating plan and you'd have to find space for the whole pantheon.
    and especially when you overlook elderly females with a taste for peach-gin ... grumpy and sloshed, plus immortal, is really not something you'd want to annoy. But Jianglian carries on doing so till his demise.

    Quote Originally Posted by knul View Post
    Thank you for your kind words, loki100. The latests changes in the game have indeed changed Ming's faction system quite a lot. My "brilliance" in my AAR soleley consisted of the insights of balancing the factions and of using the republican government to quickly shift rulers. With half of that strategy gone out of the window, a new approach is needed.

    I'm quite curious to see how you handle the factions with the new restrictions.
    I think the compensation is you can now use magistrates, so a judicious bit of that with luck from events, can give you a quick faction change (even if you can't sustain it) so you can do some DOWs/colonisation etc before the Bureaucrats return (as they seem to tend to do)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    This is really quite amusing and well laid out. Congrats!
    glad its grabbed your attention ... now to hold it

  19. #19
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Volume 1: The Jianwen Years ... frustration and isolation

    Part 2: Jianwen eats a peacock and other bad decisions


    Scene 1: Harry's 'office'

    He is editing the second chapter.

    Jianwen is dragged in.

    "right, look over this, see if you can spice it up a bit"

    "what"

    "the Queen Mother, its her diary, she didn't like you much ... see what you can add"

    The Diary

    10 January 1402


    Taiwan, Taiwan, all he talks about is Taiwan ... he's facing the wrong way



    (H not more about Taiwan)

    (J it was a really tough new year when she came to visit, I tell you moving east was such an attractive option)

    13 January 1402

    A painting ... how nice



    (H a painting ... oh God give me strength)

    (J it kept her quiet for a while)

    7 May 1402

    Assam, I suppose he's getting closer but still the wrong direction ... but the tea is rather nice



    (J there really is no pleasing certain people)

    9 August 1402

    I really do not like Jianwen, he will pay for this. I mean all this manly posturing but he ignores me, here, surrounded by barbarians.



    (H at last, some violence)

    (J silly old bat, he was already senile and in any case, the barbarians deserve her)

    14 November 1402

    At last, they are moving in my direction



    (H looks like a war is on the way)

    24 November 1402

    You see, he just didn't try hard enough -- proves that Jianwen is such a total incompetent ... but its the thought that counts ... I suppose



    (J that hurts, I mean I try to please her and what thanks did I get)

    12 February 1403

    That should have been mine ... I won't forget this



    (J well it was nice, shiny and all mine ... and it had been another terrible new year party when she came to visit)

    4 May 1403

    Good he took the hint



    (J well she was really annoyed about the jade, it kept her quiet for a while)

    14 September 1403

    Another marriage ... and another missing invite



    (J yeah, with hindsight, it would have been easier to ask her given what she did next)

    1 January 1404

    Another painting ... does he think I'm that easy to bribe



    (J yes)

    11 August 1404

    that'll show him up for the devious waistral he was. I didn't even get invited to the new years party.



    (H details, I want the details)

    (J mmhhh, that brings back fond memories, roast peacock with fresh peaches ...)

    28 August 1404

    no one told me he had a weak heart ... according to my spies he was with 3 .... (deleted) and it serves him right for eating my peacock



    (H yes at last, something interesting happens what did you do?)

    (J whow what a way to go)

    Pity that Yongle is such a total idiot

    17 September 1404

    at least things could be looking up at the Court


  20. #20
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Somehow I can't help but think of the Bureaucrat Faction as chock full of Sir Humphrey-types, which is probably not the case given this is fifteenth century China.

    Does Harry naturally have the custody of former emperors, or is this some exchange programme he's got worked out with the Jade Emperor (or whoever's actually running the show)?
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