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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Zamarak500

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He feels bad because your guy died within a month of starting the game. So he is trying to drag it out.
Shit, you got me! xD

Fun Fact, I had Feng Zian dying on me thrice in his first war and had to reload each cause those were really shit death. Once in a duel against a -5 guy (I hope, cause that was the better duelist among the three enemmy commanders), once of the wound he got in a battle (which isn't great, as it's litterally the first battle of his war!), and once "in an accident". Not suspicious accident, just accident. So he hit his head and died or something.

None of this will be cannon, thank god.
 
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Idhrendur

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Shit, you got me! xD

Fun Fact, I had Feng Zian dying on me thrice in his first war and had to reload each cause those were really shit death. Once in a duel against a -5 guy (I hope, cause that was the better duelist among the three enemmy commanders), once of the wound he got in a battle (which isn't great, as it's litterally the first battle of his war!), and once "in an accident". Not suspicious accident, just accident. So he hit his head and died or something.

None of this will be cannon, thank god.
That's pretty funny.

Though I'm not the one restarting to avoid it, so...
 
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190-191: Yuan Shu Dreams of Power

Zamarak500

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190-191: YUAN SHU DREAMS OF POWER
20201017130543_1.jpg


Yuan Shu was a former commander of the imperial guard, having participated in the massacre of the eunuchs. He slayed these wicked animals, but only to have Dong Zhuo get in and ruin everything. Dong Zhuo had been sympathetic to him, oh yes, even offering him a promotion. But he instead chose to flee the capital with his men, afraid of the fat warlord and of the regime he was putting in place. He now held a powerful position in the north of Jing Province, although it was a little too close to Luoyang for his tastes. He had powerful generals to his service, like Sun Jian, Tan Zilong and Feng Zian. With these by his side, he would grow stronger than his brother Yuan Shao. No longer would he live in his shadow! Yes, he would rise up! He would become one of the greatest warlords of the realm, drawing in riches and prestige! Dong Zhuo? Yuan Shao? Tao Qian? No! It was time for Yuan Shu! He would be the one rising over all and unifying China! And once he had done so, he would be the one holding the Mandate of Heaven!
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But as much as Yuan Shu wanted to plot his way to victory, and he was really good when it came to plotting, he knew that he needed to expand militarily as well. He needed to enforce his authority on his neighbours. His eyes were first and foremost on the south, on the rich and lavish Jing Province. Now, if he could just get recruits and coins coming from Jing Province, or maybe even bring it under his control, then he would be unstoppable! Sadly, there was just one problem to his grandiose plan. Jing Province was controlled by the highly respected Governor Liu Biao. Yuan Shu didn’t like Liu Biao, if for no other reason than that he stood in the way of his ambitions. It didn’t help that Liu Biao had no immediately recognized him as his overlord. Truly Liu Biao needed to be reminded who was the greatest warlord of the region.

In late February 190, Yuan Shu summoned his main advisors and told them of his plans. He would invade Jing Province and force Liu Biao to pay him tribute and send him recruits. With Liu Biao forced to support him, he would be able to expand in all directions! To his annoyance, his advisors were less enthusiastic about this whole idea. The giant Tan Zilong was hesitant to wage war on such a respected man. He felt like it wasn’t the right thing to do, and that instead they should focus on cleaning bandits and rebels out of the neighbouring territories. However, he was a loyal man who respected the chain of command, and so didn’t speak up against Yuan Shu.
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One who did speak against his lord was Sun Jian, Yuan Shu’s second-in-command. Good looking, smart and strong, Sun Jian also had skills that would have made anyone jealous. It certainly made Yuan Shu jealous. Sun Jian was respected by his men and the other officers far more than Yuan Shu ever was. When Sun Jian spoke, everyone listened. He openly criticized the campaign to the south, instead arguing that they should take over the territories of Henan Commandery around the imperial capital. “The Han is currently controlled by the monster Dong Zhuo and the people cry for help. Of all the lords of the Dynasty, we are the closest. Yet you suggest that we move away from our goal?”
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Most of the military advisors agreed, now coming firmly on Sun Jian side. Yuan Shu felt humiliated, but he would not admit defeat. With a shrewd grin, he explained that he would take their opinions in consideration and think it out over the night before leaving, summoning back his advisors a few days later. This time, however, he also invited all the officers and generals, which changed the mood dramatically. The lower ranked officers had a different opinion than high ranking commanders. Few of them fought to save the Han or unite the realm. Some of them fought out of loyalty to Yuan Shu, not to the Dynasty. Others fought for their personal glory or their lust for battle. There were even those that fought to protect their homes and had no desire to risk everything by going against Dong Zhuo. And a few just wanted to see things burn.

The most notable of these officers was a young scholar and martial artist named Feng Zian. Having betrayed his previous lord because he respected Yuan Shu’s power, he wasn’t going to just let his new master get humiliated again. When Yuan Shu proposed once again his plan to force Jing Province to become his tributary, Sun Jian and Tan Zilong once again protested. But this time, younger officers led by Feng Zian came to the defence of Yuan Shu and his plan, just like the crafty warlord had hoped. Feng Zian began to passionately question why Sun Jian challenged their lord’s authority like that. Sun Jian tried to make him understand that Yuan Shu’s strategies were not sound, that with Dong Zhuo at their doorstep it wasn’t wise to make another enemy in Liu Biao. He also pinned this willingness to fight on Feng Zian’s youth, which the young man perceived as an insult. As his answer, Feng Zian quoted Sun Tzu’s Art of War, saying “ll one can say is that this power will be exercised wisely by some, foolishly by others, and that among those who bear arms some will be loyal and others rebellious.”, then adding “General Sun, are you loyal or rebellious?” This was enough to give a pause to Tan Zilong and the other advisors, who began to back off. Sun Jian might have answered back if Yuan Shu hadn’t cut in, saying that the war with Liu Biao would happen, thus stopping Sun Jian from changing everyone’s mind.
20201015114234_1.jpg


In late February Yuan Shu sent envoys to Liu Biao, asking the governor to pay him tribute and send him new recruits when he asked for it. Obviously, Liu Biao refused. He had been appointed lawfully by the Imperial Court to protect Jing Province and he wasn’t going to bow to this scumbag Yuan Shu. While he welcomed the envoys and treated them with respect, he told them that he would sadly not be able to comply with the demands of General Yuan Shu. So the envoys stayed around, supposedly to try and change Liu Biao’s mind. In truth, they had secret orders from Yuan Shu to cause dissention in Liu Biao’s court, trying to get some of the officials to side with Yuan Shu against their lord. They invited the main advisors of Jing Province to a “private meal” where they explained to them all the riches they would be getting if they chose to side with Yuan Shu, if they forced Liu Biao to submit. Or maybe one of them wished to rule Jing Province in Yuan Shu’s name instead? The scheming envoys were happy to see all the officials who had come to their meeting. Surely it meant they were all changing side, right? Actually, no, as they had been ordered by Liu Biao to attend so that there would be enough proofs to have the envoys rightfully executed for sedition. Yuan Shu was not amused when he learned of their fate.
20201015114422_1.jpg


So in March, the armies of Yuan Shu moved south to attack Jing Province. They weren’t led by Yuan Shu, obviously, as he didn’t want to leave his personal powerbase. Instead, Yuan Shu appointed sun Jian to go pacify the south and bring Liu Biao under his heel. Sun Jian had been the most vocal opponent of the campaign, but never the less accepted the command. He was the second-in-command of his lord, after all. Sun Jian also had ambitions of his own, and by winning this campaign he might be able to secure himself a stronger base of support under Yuan Shu, or maybe even gain allies among Liu Biao’s generals. He expected to have Tan Zilong at his side for the campaign alongside his own officers, like Cheng Pu and his son Sun Ce. But Yuan Shu had no desire to see his general lead the campaign as he pleased. So he held Tan Zilong back, putting him in charge of the defence of their territories. Instead, he sent two of his generals to assist Sun Jian: Feng Zian, the young hothead scholar, and Chang Nu, an officer who had followed Yuan Shu from the capital. In fact, Yuan Shu even appointed Feng Zian as Sun Jian’s second-in-command, hoping this would stop Sun Jian from taking full control of the army.
20201015114407_1.jpg


Sun Jian felt a bit insulted by this, but he didn’t complain. After all, the generals appointed by his side were still competent. Feng Zian, while having as bad of a temper as his son Sun Ce, was still a knowledgeable man who could quote the Art of War at will. Chang Nu, for his part, was a just, hardworking and loyal man who he could at least trust to stand his ground in times of adversity. And if things were really problematic, he could always rely on Sun Ce and Cheng Pu, who accompanied him. He just hoped that there would be no problems. Problems started before they even left over a dispute with Feng Zian, who wanted to bring his wife and son on campaign. Cheng Pu and Chang Nu tried to convince him that a war camp was not a place for women and children. Feng Zian answered “What fun can there be for a man away of his woman?” The other officers continued to protest, but Sun Jian allowed it. He hoped that with his family not in Yuan Shu’s grasp, Feng Zian might prove to have a switch of allegiance.

Sun Jian and his army were quick to enter the territories of Liu Biao. The small garrisons guarding the border were easily destroyed, Chang Nu and Sun Ce bravely breaking any defence that stood in their way. Feng Zian tried to suggest less frontal strategies, but Sun Ce retorted that the scholar should stick to his books while warriors waged war. Said scholar proceeded to punch the young man in the face, sending him flying to the ground. Sun Ce responded in kind, and soldiers had to get in to separate the two before anything serious could happen. When Sun Jian realised what this commotion was about, he was infuriated. Sun Ce angrily pointed out to his father that Feng Zian started it, but the general would hear nothing. As per military law, he ordered the two unruly officers to receive thirty lashes. Feng Zian, while angry at this humiliation, agreed that he acted in an unruly way and deserved the punishment, taking it in silence.
20201016211003_1.jpg


Yuan Shu continued to receive missives of the advance Sun Jian was making, and he wasn’t happy. No resistance? Easy victories? No, this wasn’t to be allowed! If this continued Sun Jian would get all the glory and might break off from his influence. So as the army began to penetrate into Jing Province, Yuan Shu started to slowly cut off its supply. This forced Sun Jian to slow down his advance in order to wait for more provisions. While he waited, he began to besiege the local county capital. Now he was forced to lead a prolonged siege, which was bound to make some of the soldiers grumble. But he needed supply, and if Yuan Shu was going to hold it then he would have to take it from the local granaries. Yuan Shu’s tactic to stop the rising star of Sun Jian backfired spectacularly when the army of Liu Biao entered his territories, cutting off the supply line he had with Sun Jian. While Tan Zilong mounted a defence, Yuan Shu was forced to call back Sun Jian. There was just one problem: they didn’t have the supply to make their way back to their home territories.

Thus the army of Sun Jian found itself stuck in an endless series of sieges for survival. They had to take the cities and strongholds to survive, let alone make it back home. While some of the village were kind enough to sell supply to the army, it wasn’t nearly enough. Some officers suggested pillaging the villages, but Sun Jian vehemently opposed. “How will they want to send their sons for our wars if we treat them as our enemies?” he asked. Yet supply was still hard to find, and only the sieges kept supplying the army. It had been months now, and no sign of Yuan Shu sending anything to them. In the end, it was Cheng Pu who came up with the right idea: farming. Sun Jian’s lieutenant suggested that the troops be used to farm the land so that they would have food and to work so that they could have goods to trade. Sun Jian agreed, and soon small farms began to appear next to the camps.
20201017130614_1.jpg


This led the soldiers to mingle more and more with the locals. Many of the soldiers disappeared for a couple of days only to return with a local wife by their side. Others simply deserted, having enough of this hard campaign that was going nowhere. Thankfully this was a rare occurrence, especially as deserters who were found were summerly executed according to military law. This was enough to dissuade most of choosing this path. Feng Zian also used this opportunity to go visit the villages so he could get to “know” the local women. It wasn’t because he wife was here that he couldn’t have a bit of passion on the side, right? He also spent times in the army camps, trying to teach strategy and philosophy to the soldiers. This endeavour proved fruitless, however, as he often lost his temper due to the men’s rustic and simplistic attitude, the soldiers not caring about complicated thoughts and tactics.

As the end of the year approached, many of the soldiers began to grumble. They didn’t sign to be farmer, awaiting cities to surrender. In fact many of them hadn’t signed at all! They had been conscripted from their farms just to be… farmer? What was the point? It had been more than six months since they had been stuck in Jing Province, and other than taking a few villages and forts, nothing had been done. They began to grumble more and more, soon rallying around Feng Zian, who himself didn’t have the patience for this kind of prolonged warfare. One day in December, he simply stormed in the command tent, demanding that Sun Jian finally do something instead of just standing around. Cheng Pu criticized Feng Zian for storming in like that and letting himself be manipulated by the common soldiers, but Sun Jian stopped this dispute from escalading. He came outside and addressed the troop.

“I know you hunger for battle, that you dream of home. I do too. You are angry, and I understand. I made a grave mistake by letting my trust in our lord blind me. I let our fate in his hands, and it only led us to hardships. But hardships are good. It keeps the commanders from getting complacent. It keeps the soldiers from becoming arrogant. Hardships shows us who is will to stand with us when friends are most needed, and who will abandon us. Hardships we face long the way are not problems, but tests from Heaven! And I will never doubt you all! We will pass those tests! We will survive these hardships! And we will return home heroes of the realm!”

The soldiers, now pumped up, worked twice as hard. Farms became more productive, siege work went faster. It was helped by the fact that Sun Jian even came down to help his men in farming the lands, bolstering their moral even more. But when spies of Yuan Shu in the army sent reports to their lord of what had transpired, the warlord couldn’t miss the fact he had been heavily criticized in the speech. He better keep a close eye on Sun Jian… Sun Jian, for his part, continued to curse Yuan Shu when he learned of what had happened in the imperial capital. When he was told that Dong Zhuo had been killed, he exclaimed “How sad that Yuan Shu wasted our chance at greatness! The tyrant has fallen and yet all we can do is to remain here prison of his feeble ambitions!”

Six months later and they were still doing the same thing as before. Sieges and farming. The only difference is that they had been able to progress slowly back to their own territories. Still, progress was slow, and they still had to stop to take local granaries and to trade with locals. It was during one of these stays in late February 191 that Feng Zian learned that there was a martial art master living in a hut not far from the closest village. Intrigued, Feng Zian and some of his men went to see this man for themselves. Indeed, they found this bald man meditating alone in his hut. The man asked them if they had come to seek his knowledge or challenge him. Feng Zian answered the latter, wanting to see test his skills against this so-called master, just to make sure he wasn’t rusty. Feng Zian entered this fight expecting to win, or at least have a good showing. He came out of it three minutes later with a black eyes and feeling humiliated. It didn’t help that the soldiers and villagers who came to see started laughing along the way. In a moment of anger, he ordered his men to grab the master and executed him. He calmed down moment later and tried to have the ordered rescinded, but it was too late. The deed had been done.
20201016211020_1.jpg


In early June the army of Sun Jian finally had some luck. Chang Nu had spent the last months leading small detachments in the hope of finding the supply line of the enemy. This was finally paying off. He had found a large caravan of supply going north to the main forces of Liu Biao. While in his haste to capture the caravan he did damage some of the carts, this capture proved a gift from Heaven. Now with the resources to get home, Sun Jian ordered a march back to Yuan Shu’s territories to the joy of the men. They finally arrived in late July, where they found Liu Biao’s brother-in-law assigning positions. Expecting his supply, the general was shocked to see that it was in fact Sun Jian’s army that was approaching. Tan Zilong, who was in charge of the defence, quickly dispatched messengers to Sun Jian, and the two were able to coordinate their efforts to push back the Jing forces outside of Yuan Shu’s territories. Feng Zian gave advise from the rear, thus never getting into a potentialy mortal duel. After this victory, Sun Jian was celebrated as a hero by the men, and Yuan Shu gave him praises and rewards for pushing back the enemy. But behind this façade were tensions, as Yuan Shu now feared Sun Jian’s popularity more than ever and Sun Jian was starting to get fed up with Yuan Shu.
20201017112926_1.jpg

 

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Midnite Duke

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Is the stats in this mod overpowered? 60s and 70s total stats seem to be normal rather than exceptional.
 
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Zamarak500

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Is the stats in this mod overpowered? 60s and 70s total stats seem to be normal rather than exceptional.
Since it's supposed to be this era of great heroes and legendary generals, a lot of characters are broken yes.
 
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EtzelHoveri

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You know doubt are a few years play time ahead of this chapter. (Really good by the way. Love how you played Yuan Shu.). Have any of our officers fought one another?
 
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You know doubt are a few years play time ahead of this chapter. (Really good by the way. Love how you played Yuan Shu.). Have any of our officers fought one another?
Thanks! I personally hate Yuan Shu so much, so I got motivated when it came to writing him.

I'm currently in 220, so 30 years down the line. It's actually really weird writing stuffs from 190-191, considering how I got use to later game map and politics. As for your characters fighting, well... I think you can understand if I keep it secret for later. :p
 
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EtzelHoveri

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We don’t need specifics but at least a nod and a wink?


I know what you mean. He is such a scumbag. One of my favorite characters because of that. I enjoyed the actors portrayal of him in the tv series(no ideas how to pluralize that right now)
 
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2010 version was made in China which was 95 episodes long and cost something like 30 million dollars and 5 years to make.

1994 version also made in China but shorter like 80 episodes.

Both were live action
 
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Zamarak500

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I am truly ignorant! More details, please. Network? Country of production? Live Action? Animation?
2010 version was made in China which was 95 episodes long and cost something like 30 million dollars and 5 years to make.

1994 version also made in China but shorter like 80 episodes.

Both were live action
You can find most of the 2010 on youtube. That's what really got me into the period, personally. There also a prequel show set 400 years before by the same guy who did the 2010 version on Netflix called King's War, if you prefer to watch on streaming. Both were part of the inspiration to make this AAR (among a lot of other things).
 
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Massinissa the Wise

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Wow, there's something seriously off with Paradox notifying per mail. I missed this chapter entirely!
The giant Tan Zilong was hesitant to wage war on such a respected man. He felt like it wasn’t the right thing to do, and that instead they should focus on cleaning bandits and rebels out of the neighbouring territories. However, he was a loyal man who respected the chain of command, and so didn’t speak up against Yuan Shu.
Do we have the creator JaceX here? Or is it an incredibly big coincidence? I seem to recall his character is Tan Zhilong, but I can be wrong.

By the way, what happened to Lady Dong, Zhuo's incredibly old mother (born in 103)? I guess she doesn't have a big role in the AAR, so can you tell us when she died?
 
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Wow, there's something seriously off with Paradox notifying per mail. I missed this chapter entirely!

Do we have the creator JaceX here? Or is it an incredibly big coincidence? I seem to recall his character is Tan Zhilong, but I can be wrong.

By the way, what happened to Lady Dong, Zhuo's incredibly old mother (born in 103)? I guess she doesn't have a big role in the AAR, so can you tell us when she died?
I know his character is a Tan, but was it Tan Zilong? Cause there will be another Tan later in the story who seems to fit the bill of a self insert a lot more. I'd have to check.
EDIT: His character is Tan Zhihan, not Tan Zilong. If I remember correctly, Tan Zhihan will make an appearance in the story, however. As for Tan Zilong, JaceX did mention Tan Zhihan's relatives were his family and friends, so there is a chance Tan Zilong is fictional too.

Lary Dong is still alive by now. She might make an appereance to call her grandson Dong Huang out on betraying Dong Zhuo, but other than that she is secondary yeah. I think she dies in 192-193.
 
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