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redwolf

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Prologue

A Pact of Brotherhood

In 1592, Japanese forces invaded Korea. Pusan fell in one day followed by Seoul three weeks later. Soon, Japanese forces reached Pyongyang. The Korean King appealed to the Ming Emperor for aid and in February 1593, the armies of the Ming Empire marched into Korea. Very quickly, the Ming forced the Japanese all the way back to Pusan where it became a stalemate. Negotiations was started in 1596 to end the war but when it failed, a second Japanese offensive was launched, taking Chinese and Korean troops by surprise. It is early 1598 and Japanese troops march towards a Pass vital for the defense of Seoul. Whatever troops that could be raised were quickly rushed there with orders to hold the Pass until reinforcements could arrive…..

Chen RongCai was in a tense mood. He had been in the Pass for a couple of days with the rest of the Ming Imperial Guards waiting for the Japanese to show up. This would be his first fight as a soldier and he was looking forward and yet at the same time not looking forward to it. On his left was Li ZhiHao, his right Wu YanXing. RongCai did not know them very well. All he knew of them was that they joined the Imperial Guards as he did and this would be their first fight as well.

Ahead of them, the Ming soldiers could hear noises. The enemy was coming. All along their defensive line, soldiers raised their bows and prepared to fire.


Ming troops preparing for battle with the Japanese

The noises grew louder. RongCai tightened his grip on his bow. Beside Rongcai, sweat was pouring down ZhiHao’s face and Yanxing’s knuckles were white from gripping his bow so tightly.

The Japanese enter the Pass and sees the Ming defenders ready for battle. Bellowing in rage for he had hoped the Pass before the Chinese troops, the Japanese commander ordered the charge. Screaming their war cries, the Japanese ran towards the Ming positions.

“Fire!” the Chinese commander shouted and several hundred arrows shot towards the Japanese. Many Japanese fell, dead or wounded. However, ignoring the cries of their wounded comrades, the rest of the Japanese continued their charge at the Ming troops.

A second and then a third volley came down on the Japanese but still they came, moving forward like an unbreakable tide. The Japanese troops are now almost at the Chinese positions. The Ming soldiers quickly put down their bows, drew their melee weapons and then they charged the Japanese. The Battle of the Pass was on.


Ming and Japanese soldiers battle for the Pass

The Japanese have more men. However the Ming has chosen their defensive ground well. This was the narrowest point of the Pass and only limited soldiers can go through at a certain time, thus effectively negating the Japanese advantage of numbers.

For several hours, both sides fought furiously. But the Japanese were starting to gain the advantage. Inch by inch, the Ming troops were slowly forced back across the chokepoint. While the main line still held, several pockets of Chinese troops in front of the main line had been isolated, cut off by the Japanese. RongCai, ZhiHao and YanXing formed one such pocket. Back to back, surrounded by Japanese on all sides, the three of them fought with a skill born of desperation as they try to break out and fall back to their line.

Suddenly in the distance, behind the Chinese line, came the sounds of burgles. Reinforcements have arrived!


Chinese reinforcements enter the Pass

Thousands of Ming Troops poured into the valley, charging into the Japanese lines. These were fresh troops, having not fought at all while the Japanese had been fighting for several hours. The Japanese held for a while before they were finally broken. The Ming has won the day!

As the Japanese retreated, the three young Imperial Guards collapsed to the ground in exhaustion. As they caught their breath, RongCai looked into the eyes of the other two and they looked back at him with steady glances. Without a word, RongCai stretched out a hand and the other two men grasped it.

That night, the three of them gathered in front of an alter. In front of them was a cup of water. RongCai took out a knife and made a cut on his finger, allowing the blood to fall into the cup. The other 2 did the same. RongCai then took the cup and took a sip from it. Passing it to the other 2, they too took a sip from the cup in the ritual of sworn brotherhood. By drinking from the cup with their blood inside, they now declare that they are now sworn brothers. The Pact of Brotherhood is born.
 

redwolf

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My last China AAR was abandoned before I even really started it. So hopefully this time, I will complete it. Rather then starting from 1419, I've decided to jump straight to the interesting period by starting from the 1617 scenario.

Any comments will be more than welcome. :)
 

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Starting in the soon to be rebellious period. You, sir, are brave! :)
 

coz1

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This looks great so far, redwolf. I'll be following along to see where you take it.
 

redwolf

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A child is born

To those who have read and commented, thanks for the encouraging remarks. The next part is up.

A Child is born, year 1610

General Chen RongCai paced along the living hall. The house was a hive of activity as maids and servants hustled and bustled through the house. This was an important day for the Chen Household for General Chen’s first child was about to be born. His wife has gone into labor a few hours earlier and the midwife was quickly summoned to the mansion. Upon arriving, she had given a series of instructions and had Chen driven away from the room as she administered to Chen’s wife.

A servant entered the living room and announced to Chen,” Master, General Wu and General Li are here.”

“Quickly, bring them in!” said Chen as the servant moved off.

A minute later, two young boys aged 5 and 6, the sons of Li and Wu, rushed into the house and leapt into Chen greeting their “Uncle Chen” at the top of their voices. Then General Wu YanXing and General Li ZhiHao entered the house with their wives in tow.

“Chen, how’s your wife? I heard she went into labor.” Asked an anxious Wu. Chen nodded and pointed in the direction of his room,” Yes, the midwife is with her now.”

Upon hearing the news, Lady Wu and Lady Li excused themselves and went in the direction indicated to see if they could help in any way.

Meanwhile the 2 kids were running around the living hall, waving wooden swords at each other and generally making a lot of noise. Finally Wu shooed them out to the courtyard where their noises would not disturb them. “And don’t break anything there or you will get it from me” Wu shouted after them as the children ran off.

While the other 2 generals made small talk, Chen continued to pace around, waiting anxiously for the birth of his first child.

His wife suddenly emitted a loud scream which could be heard all the way in the living hall. In an instant, Chen was out of the living hall and to his room. But before he could reach his room, his 2 sworn brothers had grabbed him and started dragging him back to the living hall.

Another scream came from the room. However this time it was the wail of a baby. With surprising strength, Chen broke free of his brothers, sending them sprawling to the ground and he was running off to his room again. Wu and Li, both on the ground stared at each other for a moment. Finally Li shrugged his shoulders and started laughing, followed by Wu a moment later. They got to their feet and started making their way to Chen’s room.

Arriving outside Chen’s room, they were stopped by their wives. “Let Chen get acquainted with his son first.” Said Lady Li. “It’s a son?” asked Wu. When the ladies nodded, Wu and Li whooped in delight.

The doors of the room opened and Chen came out, carrying his son in his arms, his face beaming with pride and joy. The other 2 men quickly surrounded Chen to have a look at the newly arrived child as they offered their heartiest congratulations.

“Have you given him a name?” asked Wu. Chen nodded,” Yes, his name is YaoHui.” “Chen YaoHui. Yes, it’s a good name.” Said Li.

“SanGui, ZiCheng, get over here now!” Wu bellowed across the courtyard. A minute later, the 2 young kids scampered across to where the adults stood.

Chen stretched out his arms so that the 2 kids can see the baby,” Boys, this is your youngest sworn brother. His name is YaoHui.” The boys nodded and looked at their newest sworn brother. Sangui announced,” Don’t worry, Uncle Chen! We will look out for YahHui. As long as we are around, no one will bully him!” ZiCheng was nodding his head furiously at Sangui’s words.

Yanxing looked at the 3 young children, Wu SanGui, Li ZiCheng and Chen YaoHui,” Yes, Sangui, you speak correctly. The three of you must always be united and stand up for each other. As long as you do that, I believe the 3 of you are destined for great things.”

Little did Yanxing know just what things were in store for those 3 children and how they will change the destiny of China in the years to come…..
 

coz1

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Excellent. It's always difficult to write a birth scene, not knowing what to include and what to leave out. Well done. And it left off with a great foreshadow.
 

redwolf

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Thanks Coz1. I tried my best but I felt it could have been better. However that's the best I can do given my limited writing abilities.

Now for the next post.

The Manchus invade

June 14, 1617, night,

1st Marshall Chen RongCai sat in his study. He was reviewing the disposition of the Armies of Ming when his door burst open and a young 7 year old boy entered the room in a whirlwind of motion, waving a wooden sword in his hand and shouting at the top of his voice. RongCai’s hand was half moving to his sword until he realized how it was.

His son YaoHui leapt into his lap, shouting,” Papa!” at the top of his voice. RongCai shook his head as he settled his son comfortably on his lap.

“Do you know it’s rude for you to enter without knocking?” His father said in a stern voice. His son’s only reply was a cheeky grin on his face.

RongCai returned his attention to the map in front of him. His son YaoHui took a glance at the map and then proudly announced,” Papa, this is Great Ming!”


Map of China, 1617

“Yes, it is son. Now can you tell me who are our neighbours in the north?”

“Papa, they are Manchu and Korea.”

“Correct my boy. Now if I tell you that Korea and Manchu are allies. What does it mean to you?”

“Manchu are our enemies. For hundreds of years, our kingdoms have always been at war. With Korea being allies with Manchu, it means that they will come to their aid in times of war. But papa I don’t understand. Why are the Koreans allies with them? I thought the Koreans were our friends.”

“So did I son, so did I. Your Papa here fought in Korea before. We went there to help our friends. But apparently these friends are ungrateful. But because of this, our northern borders are now under serious threat because of this alliance.”

“Don’t worry Papa. I am sure we can beat the hell out of them if they dare to invade us.”

RongCai smiled at his son’s words. He was about to say something when a servant poped his head into the study room.

“Master, a Palace Eunuch seeks an audience. He says he bear an important message from the Emperor. “

“The Emperor? Quick bring me to him at once!” replied RongCai. Turning back to his son,” Son, go to bed now. I got important matters to attend to.”

His son nodded and he ran off to his bed room.

RongCai quickly stepped out of his room into the courtyard when the Eunuch awaited him.


A Palace Eunuch delivering the Emperor’s summons

“Marshall, the Emperor demands your presence in the Palace at once.” Said the eunuch.

“Now? At this late hour at night? Very well, I shall go once I am changed. But do you have any idea why the Emperor wants my presence at this time?”

“I have no idea Marshall. But a messenger from Liaoning has just arrived with an important dispatch from Vice Marshall Li and upon reading the message, the Emperor ordered a meeting of the Military Council at once.

“Very well. Convey to the Emperor that I will go the Palace immediately.”

RongCai quickly returned to his bedroom and changed into his uniform. After reassuring his wife that everything was alright, he made his way to the Forbidden City where the Emperor holds his court.


The Forbidden Palace

Arriving the Palace a short time later, RongCai saw that most of the members of the Military Council has already arrived. Seeing him, his sworn brother Vice Marshall Wu YanXing quickly went over to him.

“Brother, any idea what’s behind the sudden summons?”

“An emergency dispatch just arrived from Liaoning.”

Yanxing took a deep breath,” Liaoning? Could it be the Manchus….?”

RongCai cut his brother off, ”We will find out soon. Come, let’s go in. We must not keep the Emperor waiting.”

RongCai led the Military Council into the Court. They prepared to prostrate before the Emperor but the Emperor quickly shook his head,” No time for this! We have an emergency on out hands.”

RongCai stepped forwards,” What has happened, Your Majesty?”

The Emperor threw a parchment onto the floor,” Read it yourself. This just came from Liaoning.”

RongCai bent down to pick up the parchment. He started reading it and as he finished, his face grew hard as stone. What he had suspected has become true. He turned back to the Council and announced to them,” The Manchus and Koreans have just declared war on the Empire. Even now, 70,000 Manchu soldiers march south into Liaoning and Hepei."


Manchu troops invade China
 

unmerged(11018)

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Great start! I'll be following this one! :cool:

And nice use of pictures.
 

coz1

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Doh! It must be an emergency to allow another male inside the Forbidden City after dark - usually this is a no-no. ;) Good luck fighting off the Manchu and Koreans. And the scene with his son was very nice.
 

redwolf

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coz1 said:
Doh! It must be an emergency to allow another male inside the Forbidden City after dark - usually this is a no-no. ;) Good luck fighting off the Manchu and Koreans. And the scene with his son was very nice.
With 3000 concubines in the Forbidden City, i wonder why :D
 

Craig Ashley

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RW: Cool concept. The initial scene made me think of Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms period, but apparently this tale will focus more on their children.

One question, though. Would the children of three sworn brothers automatically become sworn brothers themselves? In the RTK material I've read and seen (limited to snippets of the novel and the Koei games), the children of Shu's three sworn brothers did not consider themselves sworn brothers, though they were fiercely loyal to "Uncle" Liu Bei and his less than competent successor Liu Chan.
 

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Great start redwolf! It's always great to see a Chinese AAR for once! Good luck!
 

redwolf

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TheBee, Semi-Lobster thanks for reading.

CA, from what i know, children of sworn brothers are not automatically sworn brothers.To be sworn brothers, they will have to swear among themselves. But the tendancy is that the children will swear sworn brotherhood themselves in honour of their fathers or their fathers will compell them to swear sworn brotherhood to carry on the bonds.

Right, the next post is up.

Sino-Manchu War part 1

The meeting of the Military Council went late into the night as they discussed how best to handle the Manchu situation. Finally they came out with the following measures.

1) The 40000 Northern Army, led by Vice Marshall Li ZhiHao is to hold the Manchus at Liaoning for as long as possible.

2) 10000 men to be recruited from Beijing.

3) 20000 soldiers from China’s Southern garrisons to be marched north at once to reinforce the Northern Army.

4) The Imperial Navy to sat sail at once to engage the Korean and Manchu Navy.

Finally the meeting broke at dawn and the military officials returned home. Upon returning home, Chen RongCai was surprised to see his son YaoHui packing his luggage. Beside him, his sworn brothers SanGui and ZiCheng all had bundles in their hands and appeared to be waiting for YaoHui to finish packing.

“What the hell is going here?” RongCai asked the 3 boys.

“Papa, the Emperor has called for volunteers for the war against the Manchus and Koreans.” YaoHui announced.

“Yes I know. I was there when the Emperor issued the edict. What does that got to do with you kids?”

“Uncle Chen, we are going to volunteer. We want to do our part for the Empire!” SanGui said in an earnest tone.

RongCai’s jaw dropped,” What? You want to volunteer?”

The 3 boys nodded,” Yes! We will drive those Manchu bastards from China.”

At that point, RongCai’s second child, 5 year old YuanYuan, came running in with a bundle in her hands as well. “Big brothers, I am ready!”

RongCai smacked his palm against his forehead. “Not you too!” He said to his daughter.

Pointing to the 3 boys, YuanYuan said,” My brothers go to war. I want to go with them.”

Seating down, RongCai motioned the boys and YuanYuan to come over. “Look children, I know you are loyal to the Empire but you are much too young. How old are you? 12,11, 7 and 5. All of you are not yet ready. This is my fight as well as your fathers. Your turn will come soon.”

The boys started to protest but RongCai cut them off. “Look boys, once the battle starts, I will have lots of things to worry about. Don’t make me have to worry about you as well. I want your promise on this.”

“You will let us fight when we are old enough?” asked SanGui. The 3 boys finally nodded their heads, followed a moment later by YuanYuan.

“Good. Now why don’t you go find some things to amuse yourselves with?” Said RongCai. As the children went running off, RongCai went back to his bedroom to get a much needed rest.

The next 2 months will prove to be busy ones for RongCai. Everyday, large numbers of dispatches will come and go updating RongCai on the military situation. In July of 1617, China’s 2 western neighbours, Chagatai and Tibet went to war with each other as well. China stayed well clear of this conflict but a strongly worded message was sent to both countries warning of dire consequences should the conflict spill over to China’s western borders.

On November 3 1617, RongCai, YanXing and the rest of the Military Council was having a meeting when a soldier rushed into the room and announced that Vice Marshall Li has just arrived.

“What? I thought is he supposed to be at the frontlines. What is he doing back in Beijing?” asked YanXing

“Quickly send him in at once.” Said RongCai. Li was quickly ushered into the room where he made his report. “I am sorry, my brother. I failed to hold Liaoning. We met the Manchus in battle but there were just too many of them. We were forced to retreat. Liaoning still stands but with only a 5000 man garrison against the 70000 strong Manchu army, I estimate it can only hold for a month or so. Also, reports also indicate that a 40000 strong Korean army is marching south towards Liaoning as well.”

The Military Council went silent. With the addition of the Koreans, the enemy now number 110,000 strong. Even with the addition of the 10000 fresh Chinese recruits and the 20000 reinforcements from the south, the Ming can only bring to bear an army of about 70000 men against the combined Manchu-Korean army. Things do not look good at all.

RongCai shook his head. As far as he was concerned, Liaoning was gone. There was no way that the city could hold against such overwhelming numbers. Now his concern was the Capital City Beijing. After Liaoning, the next city south will be the Capital itself. Giving up Liaoning was one thing but he will be damned if he allows Beijing to fall to the Manchus.

Turning to Yanxing, RongCai asked,” What’s the status of the new recruits as well as the reinforcements from the south?”

Yanxing glanced at the parchment he was holding and reported,” The recruits are undergoing training now and are expected to be ready by February. The army from the south will arrive by January.”


Southern Ming Troops head north to Beijing

RongCai nodded,” Get them up to Beijing as soon as they can. The Manchus will arrive soon and I want our army to be at full strength when they arrive.”

With the Capital at stake, the Military Council worked feverishly to prepare the city’s defenses before the Manchus arrive. January of 1618 will bring a sudden piece of good news. Nippon declared war on Korea and the 40000 Korean soldiers quickly made an about turn to defend their country from the Nipponese threat.

In the same month, the Manchus finally broke through the gates of Liaoning. With Liaoning now in the hands of the Manchus, the Manchu army now turned it’s attention on the Chinese Capital of Beijing.

On April 15, the 70000 Manchu army moved in sight of Beijing. Marshall Chen, with his 2 brothers Vice Marshals Li and Wu, led 70000 Ming soldiers out the gates of the city and onto the plains and prepared for battle.

This battle will determine the fate of the Ming Empire. Every soldier knew the stakes and all were prepared to sacrifice their lives in defense of the city. Ahead, the Manchu war trumpets sounded and the Manchu army started their advance.

Chen looked at his brothers and then at the advancing Manchu army. It was time. Raising his sword, he shouted,” Attack!” The Ming Armies charged……


The Battle for Beijing begins
 

Ksim3000

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Very good story you have going here Red Wolf, very good! Already I am enjoying it and I am indeed interested if The Chinese can defend Beijing. Also I like the way you are including the families too, it indeed makes it an interesting read. I am looking forward to the next update.
 

redwolf

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Farquharson said:
Aagh! You're leaving us in suspense?? Like, you just saved the game there and went off to bed? :p Great story and the pictures are wonderful!
Haha, actually you are right. I had actually intend to finish the battle in one post. But I was feeling sleepy already, so I decided to end off at that point, get my beauty sleep and then carry on. :D Nice to know you are reading though.

Ksim3000,Thanks for your comments. Hope you will carry in reading.
 

Amric

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If you don't finish this, I am going to personally come to your house and tie you to your computer until you do!<evil laughter> Actually i am truly enjoying this story and I really do hope you go all the way on this one!
 

redwolf

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Amric said:
If you don't finish this, I am going to personally come to your house and tie you to your computer until you do!<evil laughter> Actually i am truly enjoying this story and I really do hope you go all the way on this one!
Hmm, I might keep the battle in suspense for a while. You know, undergraduates students like us are always so busy. :p Let's see now, I got this project in a couple hours time, a bowling game tonight, a test tomorrow, :D
But of course if you guys ask nicely..... ;)
 

TreizeV

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Amazing writing thus far redwolf! I was an avid reader of your "step into the past" AAR, one of the first AARs ive read when i joined the forum ;) ill be sure to keep track of your latest China AAR.