• Hey, Guest! We’re glad you are a part of the Paradox Community and want to know what you think about it. Please let us know by filling out this short survey. We appreciate it!
  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    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

Massinissa the Wise

Corporal
2 Badges
Sep 20, 2020
27
36
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
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.
Nice to have a tribute to the awesome mod maker in the AAR.
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.
That scene would be very interesting, especially with the "filial piety" of China. At least it's better for her to berate her grandson, who kinda continues Dong's legacy, than to be beheaded after Zhuo's death, which happened in real life.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:
190-191: The War for Qing Province

Zamarak500

Major
59 Badges
Jun 22, 2013
574
124
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • March of the Eagles
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • For the Motherland
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
190-191: THE WAR FOR QING PROVINCE
20201017164620_1.jpg


Yan Province was ruled by Inspector Liu Dai, one of the many imperial scions living under the Han Dynasty. Having been appointed in the years following the Yellow Turban Rebellion, he now found himself in control of one of the most powerful provinces of the whole empire. He was an amazing administrator, efficiently running it all and ensuring that everything was in order. Really, there could be no better man to run the region. But just like everyone else, Liu Dai was worried of Dong Zhuo and his growing power. He feared that once this campaign against the White Wave Bandits was over the tyrant might decide to expand in the Central Plains, which would mean the annexation of Yan Province. Liu Dai couldn’t allow this, but he would not be able to resist Dong Zhuo if he came with an army. So he chose to expand instead, hoping to gain more territories and troops.
20201017163942_1.jpg


He decided to target the neighbouring Qing Province. They had also eyed for Fei County before it had been conquered by a Yan vassal, which only raised tensions between the two provinces. Now, there was the issue that Qing Province already had its own Inspector, Zang Hong. Zang Hong was known as a loyal man, a devout and virtuous ruler and a friend of the people. So Liu Dai couldn’t simply say he was corrupt and roll in. First he began to spread rumors about Zang Hong, saying that he was actually a rapist and an incestuous pervert who used to sleep with his mother. These kinds of rumors were easy enough to spread, as long as the coins were spent on the right people. For his part, Zang Hong was confused and disturbed by all these rumors ruining his image, but could do little about it. When he was finally satisfied, Liu Dai declared that he would bring the corrupt Zang Hong to justice and declared war for Qing Province. Zang Hong was horrified by this, and actually sent calls to his neighbours for help. Sadly, both Han Fu of Ji and Tao Qian of Xu had they own wars at the time. Thus he was forced to go to war alone as Liu Dai mobilized in August 190.
20201017164306_1.jpg


Both assembled their troops and prepared to march against the enemy. But as their armies advanced into enemy territories, both found themselves with the same problem: they lacked trust in their main commanding officer, who they (rightfully) believed was eyeing for their position. In Liu Dai’s case, this turned out to be even more of a problem, as he didn’t lead the troops himself at the start of the war (something that would change as mistrust grew). He had instead been forced to appoint his political rival Qiao Mao, the Administrator of Dong Commandery. Qiao Mao was the cousin of former Chancellor Qiao Xuan, which gave him a lot of influence in the Province. Liu Dai and his general had not trust for one another, but Qiao Mao was the best commander he had. Beside, both supported the annexation of Qing Province, so the true battle would be in who would be able to spin the eventual victory in their favor.
20201017164010_1.jpg


Meanwhile, Zang Hong took command of his own troops, although he brought as his second-in-command the respected scholar and administrator Kong Rong, a direct descendant of Confucius who had recently been appointed in the province. Just as Qiao Mao, Kong Rong’s familial ties to a famous figure led many to believe that he might be a better choice of leader than his lord. Now, Zang Hong had showed nothing but goodwill toward Kong Rong, and Kong Rong had in turn proved loyal and respectful of his lord. But Kong Rong was also ambitious, which was why he invited great men to join his side. Seeing how much people chose Kong Rong over him, it was no wonder that Zang Hong got nervous. He already felt his power endangered by the lies spread by Liu Dai, but now he had to watch for Kong Rong too, as the man held more sway over the troops than he did. This campaign would be a test to see if the two could mend their worsening relationship or if they could stay united.
20201017164314_1.jpg


Weirdly enough, both armies entered the other’s territory without any fight. Qiao Mao attacked the villages at the border between Yan and Qing, while Zang Hong and Kong Rong decided to start by besieging Fei County. Zang Hong tried to appeal to the local magistrate Zhuge Gui, asking him to open his gate and surrender the city. Zang Hong was honest enough that he broke off the siege to start negotiations, and even invited Zhuge Gui to a meeting. Zhuge Gui first sent his son Zhuge Liang, who asked that his father be allowed to return to the city if he refused to surrender after the negotiations. Zang Hong, who was impressed by the child’s calm and authority, agreed, taking an oath that no arm would be done to Zhuge Gui when he came out. He also forced Kong Rong to swear the oath, even if the general was less trilled about wasting time on such pointless negotiations.

Zhuge Gui did leave his stronghold to go to Zang Hong’s camp, and would indeed come out of it with a great respect for both Zang Hong and Kong Rong. However, he refused to surrender, saying that “While I am honored to know that the people of Qing Province are virtuous, my loyalty lays with my lord, whose loyalty lays with Yan Province. As such, I cannot in good conscience betray that trust placed in me by welcoming you inside Fei County.” While they were disappointed, the Inspector and his main general understood and allowed Zhuge Gui to leave, parting on good terms with him.
20201017164232_1.jpg


Now, Ying Shao wasn’t going to abandon Zhuge Gui like that. He asked Liu Dai for supply, which the Inspector granted. This was actually supply requested by Qiao Mao, but Liu Dai believed this was meant to supply a deep strike into Qing, which might be used by Qiao Mao to take over the province for himself. Better to let a loyal subject like Ying Shao have it. With that supply, Ying Shao turned to the best administrator he had on hand, Xiao Ru. He wanted Xiao Ru to pass for a merchant and then get the supply to Zhuge Gui. Xiao Ru gladly accepted this responsibility with no plan to accomplish the task whatsoever. He hated Zhuge Gui for taking Fei County from him two months ago. So why would he try to save that man? With some luck, Zhuge Gui would be killed in the defence of Fei County, which might force Ying Shao to appoint him instead.
20201017164258_1.jpg


So Xiao Ru headed toward the capital of Fei County, which was still besieged by Zang Hong and Kong Rong. He approached with his caravan of supply, looking like a merchant. But instead of trying to sneak in and give the provisions to Zhuge Gui, he would simply sell it to the besiegers and make a small fortune. The problem was that the besiegers were not idiots. When they saw this trade caravan suspiciously approaching, they immediately guessed that it was a disguised relief for Zhuge Gui. In fact, as he approached the camp, Xiao Ru and his men were spotted and stopped by Kong Rong’s youngest officer, the eighteen years old Hu Zan.

Hu Zan had orders to stop any suspicious group approaching the camp, and this “merchant caravan” led by a stuttering man was suspicious indeed. Thankfully, this was all fixed by a small “donation” from Xiao Ru to Hu Zan. Always weak to this kind of persuasion, Hu Zan gladly accepted the sack of coins. Willing to repay the kindness of this “gift”, Hu Zan arranged for Xiao Ru to be brought in front of Kong Rong, although he kept the rest of the caravan under guard. Kong Rong heard what Xiao Ru had to say, how he was a merchant selling this supply in the hope of supporting Qing Province. He still stuttered the whole way through, a bit intimidated by this famous man. Kong Rong was not impressed, and instead accused Xiao Ru of being a spy. He was about to have him arrested when Hu Zan intervened, vouching for Xiao Ru. With his assistant’s approval, Kong Rong chose to believe the “merchant”, and even bought his supply for fair price. Before he left, Xiao Ru would thank Hu Zan for his support and even give him some coins as recompense. The two left each other in good terms.
20201017164331_1.jpg


But as Fei County was surrendering and Qiao Mao was capturing villages, someone came in to perturb the whole war. The lies about Zang Hong’s debauchery had spread beyond Qing Province, reaching the encampments of the small warlord Liu Bei. A small official who had risen to take over an entire county, Liu Bei was renowned as honorable, righteous and an all-around good guy. Once upon a time, he had sworn an oath in a peach garden to restore peace to the Han and defeat the rebels alongside Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, who became his sworn brothers. And everything he heard about Zang Hong horrified him. What a decadent man, truly an enemy of the Han! He discussed with his two brothers of what to do. He wanted to free Qing Province of Zang Hong, but he hesitated about the path to take. Both Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, who wanted to see glory and battles, pushed Liu Bei to launch a campaign. Convinced, he entered Qing Province in early December 190, shocking both Zang Hong and Liu Dai, who had never expected a third party to jump in.
20201017164354_1.jpg


Qiao Mao began to contemplate the idea of joining force with Liu Bei, first against Zang Hong and then against Liu Dai. He sent envoys to request a meeting with Liu Bei, hoping that the two could meet while Liu Dai was occupied. As it turned out, the Inspector of Yan Province was dealing with a small peasant revolt on the other side of his territories. Liu Bei agreed to meet with Qiao Mao out of etiquette. Although he and his brothers were kindly received in the Qiao Mao’s camp, they were disappointed by what he offered. Both Guan Yu and Zhang Fei scoffed at the idea of cooperating with him, arrogantly boasting that they could defeat Zang Hong and his generals without his help. Meanwhile, Liu Bei didn’t like the idea of helping Qiao Mao overthrow Liu Dai. “I will not fight a fellow member of the Imperial Clan, nor will I fight such a virtuous man.” he told Qiao Mao.

Qiao Mao was disappointed, but his days only got worst with the sudden arrival of Liu Dai. As it turned out, he had already crushed the peasant uprising a few months back and had simply kept the fact hidden from Qiao Mao. The news of Liu Bei joining had left him worried that Qiao Mao might attempt to betray him by allying with Liu Bei, so he decided to go take command of the troops himself. He actually met the leaving Liu Bei as he arrived. Liu Bei paid his respects to his more illustrious relative, as did Guan Yu. Zhang Fei didn’t seem to care, so Liu Bei had to force him to bow alongside them. Liu Dai quickly told him to get up, and the two had a drink, talking of the current situation of the Emperor.

Liu Dai welcomed Liu Bei to join his cause, thanking him for providing forces that could help him take Qing Province, and eventually, go save the Emperor. But showing some ambitions of his own, Liu Bei politely declined, saying that he believed that his illustrious relative might already have a lot on his plate with Yan province. Instead, by letting Liu Bei take over Qing Province, he would ensure that he had a loyal and righteous ally to his eastern border. Then they could march toward Luoyang and save the Emperor. Liu Dai was not thrilled with the idea, and in the end this would be their only meeting as he quickly ended discussions with Liu Bei once he realised that they wouldn’t join force.
20201017164454_1.jpg
20201017164442_1.jpg


Unlike Liu Dai, who took a slow and steady approach to war, taking positions on the border, Liu Bei chose to go for the heart of Qing Province, attacking Zang Hong’s seat of power. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, who saw this as a chance to show their skills, pushed for the move, to which Liu Bei relented. Messengers were sent to Zang Hong the second that the flag of Liu Bei was spotted near the provincial capital. When they arrived, Liu Bei kindly asked that the garrison let them enter, so they could free Qing Province from the evil Zang Hong. The garrison refused, as they knew Zang Hong was actually a kind ruler. Angered by what he saw as an insult against his first brother, Guan Yu came forward and challenged the commander of the garrison to a duel. The commander agreed and came out, only to be promptly killed by the long bearded warrior.

Zang Hong received this news and started to panic. Fei County had been taken, but now he had to face both Liu Dai and Liu Bei. Kong Rong came forward and suggested a plan cooked up by his officer Hu Zan. Hu Zan suggested that they first dealt with the army of Liu Dai, which was four times larger than Liu Bei’s. They could use the dissentions between Qiao Mao and Liu Dai to their advantage, fighting both separately and thus denying their numerical advantage. King Rong backed Hu Zan’s plan and begged Zang Hong to follow it. But Zang Hong could not sit idly while the people of his capital were under siege. He took his troops and marched back home. Kong Rong convinced him to leave some troops under his command so he could continue some small sieges, which Zang Hong agreed. But as he led his troops away, many began to whisper into his ear of how Kong Rong had defied his authority, how he tried to take decisions in his stead. Doubts were creeping in his mind.

It was in early February 191 that Zang Hong finally arrived to face Liu Bei and his men. Zang Hong sent a messenger to Liu Bei, demanding why he was attacking him. Couldn’t they find a way to end this peacefully without hurting the commoners? Guan Yu met the envoy and didn’t even allow it in front of his First Brother. The tall bearded man arrogantly claimed that they had no time discussing with a corrupt man like Zang Hong, and that next time Zang Hong wanted to speak, he would have to come in person, and on his knees. Negotiations having failed, the two armies prepared for battle.

As he had half the troops Zang Hong had, Liu Bei planned a defensive strategy, especially as he feared that the garrison would come out and attacks his rear mid battle. Sadly, he was unable to keep his brothers in check, as Zhang Fei quickly broke rank and Guan Yu was forced to go after him, throwing the defensive strategy out the window. Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, now separated from their brother, decided to make their way on the battlefield and go straight for Zang Hong. They finally spotted the Inspector of Qing near the rear and charged at him. They killed two generals trying to protect their lord, and Guan Yu was even able to wound Zang Hong, but in the end the Inspector escaped. Still, this heroic push had galvanised Liu Bei’s troops and demoralised Zang Hong’s, and soon the troops of Qing were fleeing after their leader.

Victorious, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei returned to find the consequences of their actions. Just as Liu Bei had feared, the garrison had used the battle to attack Liu Bei’s rear. With his formation in shamble, they were able to get to Liu Bei and hurt him pretty bad before they were pushed back. Liu Bei had lost a hand in the fighting. Ashamed of their conduct, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei stayed silent as the injured Liu Bei tried to berate them for their conduct. He fainted in the middle of it.
20200927182328_1.jpg


Zang Hong’s defeated force retreated back to the border with Yan. This was a slow and arduous march, with everyone demoralised. It didn’t help that Zang Hong never fully healed of that wound he had received from Guan Yu. Things got even worst in May, when they learned that Liu Dai was chasing them. The Yan forces, already superior in numbers at the start of the war, where now twice as numerous due to the losses against Liu Bei. Zang Hong was forced to navigate through his own territories to escape him. He tried to reach to Kong Rong, demanding that he came back with the troops he had left him. But Kong Rong was in the middle of a series of siege, and abandoning them would leave his rear exposed as he joined back with Zang Hong. So he made the fateful decision of disobeying his lord’s order. To Zang Hong, this was the horrifying proof that Kong Rong might indeed be conspiring against him. He made a mental note to demand that Kong Rong explain himself once the war was over.

It was in June that Liu Dai finally caught up with Hang Zong. While Liu Dai would have normally been more cautious in his approach, the presence of Qiao Mao forced him to act more “heroically” so to control the narrative after victory. He took a group of loyal bodyguards and made his way to Hang Zong, wanting to kill the man on the battlefield. Hang Zong’s bodyguards interposed themselves, which resulted in a bloody melee between the two groups. Liu Dai was able slay one of the bodyguards himself, but he was heavily injured in the process. Meanwhile, Zang Hong was hit many times, leaving him badly hurt and forcing his bodyguards to drag him out of the battlefield. Once again the troops of Qing were defeated and fled, this time with their lord severely injured.
20200927184433_1.jpg


King Rong was surprised when he saw the army of Zang Hong arrived to his camp, and even more surprised when he saw the state his lord was in. Zang Hong was too hurt to lead or administrate the army, which led the officers to ask Kong Rong for leadership. He initially refused, but Zang Hong asked him to take command until he recovered. No matter the enmities between them, the focus was now on saving Qing Province. Kong Rong agreed to take command, and so he continued the sieges while Zang Hong laid in his tent in pain. Hu Zan was appointed as the commander of Zang Hong’s personal guard, a clear show of trust from Kong Rong’s part. Thus days passed, then weeks, then months, with Zang Hong not recovering. In fact, his state was only getting worst. In the end, the wounds and injuries he had endured were too much for him, and he died on the 19th of September 191 at the age of 27.
20201020122739_1.jpg


Hu Zan was the first to know, and so he immediately reported it to Kong Rong. As Zang Hong had no children, it didn’t take long for the army to demand that Kong Rong take over as Inspector of Qing Province. He accepted, although he did feign that it was only because the soldiers insisted. He soon entered in talks with the two invaders, who were fully willing to end this war. Liu Bei trusted that Kong Rong would be a just and righteous ruler, and so was happy to leave Qing Province in his hands. Liu Dai was a lot less interested about Kong Rong’s virtues, but he was severely injured and wanted to go back home to secure his power, which he feared might have been slipping since he got injured. He also hoped to use this peace to heal and recuperate. A futile dream, as these injuries would eventually kill him a few years down the line. Liu Bei and Liu Dai agreed to pull out of Qing and recognize Kong Rong as the new Inspector. Peace had returned to the province, and it seemed like Hu Zan and the other generals serving Kong Rong were on the verge of a quick ascension up the ranks.
20201020122748_1.jpg
 
  • 2Love
Reactions:

Dunaden

Major
45 Badges
Mar 3, 2012
648
551
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
Poor Zang Hong, his reputation and ultimately his life destroyed by lies and false accusations. But that does allow for the rise of Hu Zan and his master, now Governor Kong Rong of Qing.

Xiao Ru gets some satisfaction and profit and possibly a future ally in Hu Zan by betraying his rival, Magistrate Zhuge Gui of Fie, but if I were him I would be more wary of Zhuge Liang, that little boy continues to impress.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

Massinissa the Wise

Corporal
2 Badges
Sep 20, 2020
27
36
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
That was an intense chapter, with Liu Bei and co finally arriving!

Liu Bei had lost a hand in the fighting. Ashamed of their conduct, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei stayed silent as the injured Liu Bei tried to berate them for their conduct. He fainted in the middle of it.
This was a particularily touching scene for me. Bei doesn't seem to be intent on surviving if he continues like this :oops:.
As Zang Hong had no children, it didn’t take long for the army to demand that Kong Rong take over as Inspector of Qing Province.
His wife was pregnant, right? What bad luck.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

Zamarak500

Major
59 Badges
Jun 22, 2013
574
124
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • March of the Eagles
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • For the Motherland
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
Poor Zang Hong, his reputation and ultimately his life destroyed by lies and false accusations. But that does allow for the rise of Hu Zan and his master, now Governor Kong Rong of Qing.

Xiao Ru gets some satisfaction and profit and possibly a future ally in Hu Zan by betraying his rival, Magistrate Zhuge Gui of Fie, but if I were him I would be more wary of Zhuge Liang, that little boy continues to impress.
Honestly, until I wrote this chapter I just considered Zang Hong "that guy who dies and leave power to Kong Rong" (seriously, he died often in play tests). Now I feel kind of bad for him. He was a nice guy, all things considered, and sadly things went bad for him fast.

His wife was pregnant, right? What bad luck.
Yeah, but it's going to be a daughter, so it wouldn't have mattered. I know she'll marry someone in the story later on, but can't remember who.
 
  • 1
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Specialist290

Field Marshal
77 Badges
Feb 25, 2006
6.207
1.111
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • BATTLETECH
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Rome Gold
  • King Arthur II
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • 500k Club
One of the great tragedies of this era (and many eras generally, really) is the fact that so many lives are often destroyed in the name of ambition. The fact that Liu Dai.

Glad to see the Brethren of the Peach Garden make their appearance at last, but Liu Bei losing his hand like that is certainly an ill omen.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

patpekala

Private
33 Badges
Oct 2, 2015
15
24
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Tyranny: Gold Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Prison Architect: Psych Ward
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
Ah, new chapters. Well, it's your Anchor Alex Hughie here in Qing News here. To tell you what the hell is going on.

Liu Dai of Yan suddenly attacks the once beloved, but now disgusting tyrant Zang Hong of Qing. Totally bad person. Totally. Very evil. He once gave my family a Christmas gift, moving on.....

Two great provinces, going to war, with lots of tension. Lots of names, not all that important, folks. Bunch of rivalry up in here. Funny guy named Kong Rong, dudes stats is massively OP. I mean, holy crap man.

Speaking of Names, there's Xiao Ru, playing delivery man, and it was a pretty close call there. :cool: Good thing that Hu Zan came alone. Wonder if those two will ever see each other again? Pretty doubtful. Let's hope that Xiao Ru will get to defeat his rival, Douche - I mean, Zhuge.

Wait, wasn't Hu Zan married? I can't seem to see, maybe these events happened before his marriage to a the child. Maybe I shouldn't complain about the age difference, it's not like Hu Zan is 60 or something.

We just got the news. Zang Hong has perished. He died as he lived, respected. Sorta, he died from a soldier who fought him because he thought Zang Hong was evil even though it was bullshit and.. AND MISS ZANG HONG!!! Dude didn't deserve such a rep. Why?! Why, cruel world!
*5 minute break. Word from the commercials*

Ahem, sorry I get emotional at the loss of truly well good - I mean, totally vile men. Whatever. We all know its rumors. Now, Kong Rong is the new Governor of Qing. May his reign be long.. .. Now, on to sports. Blood sports, that is.
 
  • 2Like
  • 1Love
Reactions:
191: The First Step of the First Step

Zamarak500

Major
59 Badges
Jun 22, 2013
574
124
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • March of the Eagles
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • For the Motherland
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
191: THE FIRST STEP OF THE FIRST STEP
20201020141736_1.jpg


After the recent war, Yang Weili was tired and wanted to relax. He started to enjoy a peaceful life in his new home of Xipingru. Sure, the work of Magistrate forced him to participate in local affairs, but it wasn’t that hard. He simply gave his honest opinion and advised the civilian officials however he could while never getting in their way. Surely the knew how to do their job better than he did. And besides, he also had all these new responsibilities as Commandant of Yang Province. This appointment had been a show of trust from Chen Wen, something he greatly appreciated. But this was a lot of work. Yet every time he went back to Hefei to discuss with his lord, he was treated like a friend. This led the other aristocrats to talk behind his back, insulting him for his close relation to their lord. He didn’t let himself be affected by their slanders. As long as he could serve Chen Wen and get a good salary, life would be good.
20201020142024_1.jpg


After two months of this, Chen Wen summoned his advisors and vassals to Hefei, which of course included Yang Weili. At first it seemed like a happy banquet, where everyone drank, praised Chen Wen and then toasted to the Han. Once the meal was done, he called a select few to another room where he began to ask them for advice. It had been a year since he had arrived in Yang, and Chen Wen now wanted to make sure that the people of Yang Province could prosper and be protected. “How can I bring them peace?” he asked his most trusted advisors. They all wondered to themselves how to answer this question until Chen Wen personally asked Yang Weili what were his thoughts. Forced to take center stage. He asked for a map of Han, where Yang Province and the neighbouring territories were showed in details.
20201020141837_1.jpg


“My Lord, to bring peace to Yang, you need to do three things.” he began. “First, you need to take Jong Province. It is a region rich in resources and young men to recruit in our armies. Second, you need to break free from the influence of Xu. Only when Yang Province will control its destiny will its sons and daughters be at peace. And third, you need to submit the local barbarians, by tribute if possible, by force if necessary. Then will Yang Province finally be at peace.”

Chen Wen nodded and approved Yang Weili’s assessment. “Excellent!” he proclaimed out loud. But some of the advisors opposed the idea, with the old Lu Jun at their head. Lu Jun was an old official, which for Yang Weili made him think of the late Tang Mao. But unlike the arrogant Tang Mao, Lu Jun was a relative newcomer in the province, having been appointed first as a magistrate in 188 and was only recently promoted to the position of Administrator. Lu Jun claimed that Yang Weili was wrong, that everything he had just said was wrong. To bring peace to Yang Province, they didn’t need to expand in Jing or fight Xu. They needed to focus on Yang, and Yang alone. Only by having Yang left alone would they be able to ensure peace.

Yang Weili pointed out that this was a bit naïve and selfish, but Lu Jun pointed out that his plan was far safer than Yang Weili’s. Even so, Chen Wen chose to back up Yang Weili and his ideas, once again putting his trust behind his Commandant and friend. He angrily shouted that any new criticism would be taken as an insult against him. Not wanting to end up on his lord’s bad side, Lu Jun prudently backed off.
20201020142107_1.jpg


Chen Wen later asked Yang Weili how they could expand in Jing Province. After all, Liu Biao was a powerful governor with a lot of men at his service. Yang Weili was quick toreassure his lord. As things stood at the moment, they didn’t need to go directly for Liu Biao. Instead, they could use the fact that the old governor was distracted due to his war with Yuan Shu to attack another target. He once again showed the maps of the Han to Chen Wen and explained to him that there was an administrator that was more or less autonomous from Liu Biao: Su Dai. The Changsha Commandery had slipped out of Liu Biao’s influence during the last tumultuous years, meaning that it stood alone between Jing and Yang. Maybe it was time to bring it into Yang’s orbit…

Su Dai was a simple man, uninterested in all these wars and ambitions that plagued the Dynasty. Yes, he had managed to free himself from the influence of Liu Biao, but that was about as much as he wanted to accomplish. He did not desire to take over the South, or become Emperor, or even be a powerful warlord. He was completely satisfied with the territories that were under his current control. In many ways, he felt like it was already more than he deserved. Still, he did what he could to administer the territories he had justly and peacefully.

But he kept being pestered by his main general, Bu Baoxun. Both men were annoyed by the other. Su Dai saw Bu Baoxun as a man always angry and searching for a fight who couldn’t just leave him alone. Meanwhile, Bu Baoxun kept trying to push his lord to expand. If they just planned their moved right they could take over Jing or the barbarians to the south. They had a shot at greatness! So why did Su Dai sit on his ass all day refusing to look outside his lands? But even with these disputes, Bu Baoxun remained loyal to his lord. He even warned him of the possibility of a Yang invasion. But Su Dai dismissed it, saying that “We are of Jing, and Liu Biao is in no state to come for us. What is there to fear?” So when in late February news arrived that Yang Province was invading, Bu Baoxun angrily berated his lord with a series of “I told you so”.
20201020142131_1.jpg


So Yang Weili took command of the whole campaign, ordering the generals to assemble at the border with their troops. This process took months, which left the time for Bu Baoxun to assemble his own troops. Seeing this, one of the first generals to arrive decided to ignore Yang Weili’s orders and advance into Changsha Commandery. He thought that attacking the 700 men commanded by Bu Baoxun would be a quick victory, stopping the enemy for joining up their forces. The only issue is that Bu Baoxun had the time to set up his own defensive positions, and when the two fought in June, the Yang general found himself with his back to a lake, leaving his army with little space to retreat. The ensuing battle was a humiliating defeat for the invader, as the demoralised army tried to flee by swimming into the lake, leading many to drown in the process. When the general escaped, he was welcomed by a disappointed Yang Weili, who sent him back to Hefei. Chen Wen was so enraged that he publicly fired the general, although he would later reappoint him to give him a second chance.
20201022172459_1.jpg


Yang Weili was impressed by the skills Bu Baoxun showed in the recent battle, and so sent a messenger in the hope of meeting with the general. Bu Baoxun accepted, trusting that Yang Weili wouldn’t be the kind of man to use this as an excuse to ambush him. The two met on horseback at the frontier between their states, with Yang Weili presenting his respects to the “great and excellent General Bu”, while Bu Baoxun called Yang Weili “his excellency the Commandant of Yang Province and hero of its people”. All good words that meant little all things considered. Yang Weili hoped to convince Bu Baoxun to end the war here and there, ending useless bloodshed. He tried to convince the general by telling him how his talent would be appreciated by Chen Wen, how Yang Weili wanted to work with him to protect the South. Bu Baoxun was angered by this attempt at swaying him, declaring his loyalty to Su Dai and leaving the meeting feeling insulted by this proposal.

Although Bu Baoxun clearly wanted to fight this out on the battlefield, Yang Weili decided that it was more prudent to evade the general. His victory in June had evened the odds, and so the strategist instead besieged the capital of Changsha Commandery… where Su Dai still resided, believing he would be fine as long as Bu Baoxun led the troops. Bu Baoxun, who was camped in the hills, was infuriated when he realised the situation his lord had found himself in. Yang Weili asked Su Dai to surrender, but he was once again met by a refusal. Su Dai trusted that Bu Baoxun would come to save him. So Yang Weili settled in. It was obvious to him that Bu Baoxun would lose patience and come down the hills to relieve his lord, but he would deal with it when it came. It indeed came in September, but it seemed that only a small portion of the local troops were willing to follow General Bu in this charge, and so he was easily pushed back.
20201020142212_1.jpg


Meanwhile, Chen Wen was getting pestered again and again by Lu Jun. During a banquet in October, organized and paid by Lu Jun so to get the attention of Chen Wen, he once again demanded that Yang Weili be recalled. The defeat in June had only convinced him that it was all a worthless enterprise. But Chen Wen remained one hundred percent behind his Commandant, saying that he would never abandon Yang Weili like that. Yet Lu Jun continued to say his honest opinion about the subject, and in the end an annoyed Chen Wen screamed at him that the only way the war would end was if Su Dai surrendered, and that if Lu Jun wanted the war to end then he could just go make Su Dai surrender himself. To the Inspector’s surprise, Lu Jun actually asked for the permission to do just that, probably motivated by the fact that he would at least be a central part of the peace. Chen Wen agreed to let him go negotiate the surrender of Su Dai.

Lu Jun showed up in the camps of Yang Weili in late November, telling him that he had been appointed by Chen Wen to end the war and negotiate with Su Dai. To Lu Jun’s surprise, Yang Weili took this in strides and welcomed him in his camp, pledging to help him however he could. Yang Weili trusted that Chen Wen hadn’t backstabbed him and that his lord probably had a good reason to stop the offensive. He also didn’t want to antagonize Lu Jun, still remembering his former commander Tang Mao. And then there were the stories of the disputes between Liu Siyuan and Mi Fang that currently plagued their current campaign. He had no desire to see things turn like that.

Lu Jun entered in contact with Su Dai, who welcomed him as an official envoy of Chen Wen. Although he was at first reticent to negotiate, news of another failed attempt of Bu Baoxun to break in pushed him toward peace. Su Dai was finally convinced when Lu Jun promised that he would keep control of Changsha Commandery. The only thing that would change would be that he now served Chen Wen. Having no aspirations of his own, the administrator agreed to these terms and opened his gate to Yang Weili and his troops, ending the war in early December 191. Bu Baoxun was a lot harder to convince, as it was hard to send a messenger in the hills to tell him of what had happened. And when they did reach him, he was infuriated. He kept his positions there for three weeks until Su Dai himself went and told him to stand down. Both Lu Jun and Yang Weili were welcomed as heroes back home. But while Lu Jun was satisfied that peace had finally returned, Yang Weili and Chen Wen focused on the next step of their plan: invading Jing Province.
20201022193552_1.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Reactions:

Massinissa the Wise

Corporal
2 Badges
Sep 20, 2020
27
36
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
Yet Lu Jun continued to say his honest opinion about the subject, and in the end an annoyed Chen Wen screamed at him that the only way the war would end was if Su Dai surrendered, and that if Lu Jun wanted the war to end then he could just go make Su Dai surrender himself. To the Inspector’s surprise, Lu Jun actually asked for the permission to do just that, probably motivated by the fact that he would at least be a central part of the peace.
Stop letting me spit out whatever I'm drinking! :p Seriously, the conversations you paint are so vivid, I can easily replay them in my head. Keep going!
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

HistoryDude

Emperor of Greece and Rome and Holy Roman Emperor
32 Badges
Mar 19, 2018
1.603
592
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Rome Gold
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
Xuan Su is still doing well, I see.

Dong Zhuo is dead!

Nice to see the nomads dealt with.

Yuan Shu seems to be about to lose. Liu Biao might be able to take advantage of all of this new tension that is threatening to boil over...

Well, that was an immense struggle over Qing...

Expansionists seem to dominate China. I imagine there will end up being a lot more than 3 kingdoms...
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

Zamarak500

Major
59 Badges
Jun 22, 2013
574
124
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • March of the Eagles
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • For the Motherland
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
Does anyone else call Yang Weili Willy?
Well, now that's stuck in my head!

Stop letting me spit out whatever I'm drinking! :p Seriously, the conversations you paint are so vivid, I can easily replay them in my head. Keep going!
As above, I'm also enjoying the character interactions immensely. They certainly add a bold dash of color to the tale.
Thanks! I was actually worried it would be dull when I started (always a worry for me with AARs that have little dialogues), so that's a relief!

Expansionists seem to dominate China. I imagine there will end up being a lot more than 3 kingdoms...
Well who knows? If we follow IRL timeline, we still have what, 20-30 years before we reach the Three Kingdoms? Maybe we'll get more than three, maybe less! But yeah, expansion is the order of the day right now.
 
  • 2
Reactions:
191-192: Can't Get Along

Zamarak500

Major
59 Badges
Jun 22, 2013
574
124
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • March of the Eagles
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • For the Motherland
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
191-192: CAN’T GET ALONG
20201023104232_1.jpg


The Yellow Turbans had been pushed out of Xincai by the forces of Xu Province. Tao Qian, satisfied with this victory, appointed Liu Siyuan to rule the conquered county, to the annoyance of his rival Mi Fang. Liu Siyuan took his new post and went to his new home where he lived with his new wife, Hao Huitong. In a sense, this was a happy ending for him after the war. He had a home, a wife, the respect of his peers… But he and Mi Fang had parted ways on extremely bad terms. And while he enjoyed a good life in Xincai, Mi Fang and his brother Mi Zhu were at court complaining about this warrior who simply couldn’t listen to orders and didn’t deserve to have this new territory. Clearly Mi Fang would have been a better choice, he argued.

Tao Qian was fully aware of the rivalry between the two men. He read the many letters sent by Mi Fang while on campaign. He knew the issues that had transpired. But he also knew that the victories had been achieved thanks to the efforts of Liu Siyuan. He did his best to listen to Mi Fang and his concerns, to tell him that he had heard what Mi Fang was selling, after which Tao Qian would calm his general and do nothing. “Your words are true, Mi Fang. I shall hold to them and keep an eye for Liu Siyuan.” he told him with kind words. But he couldn’t just dismiss such a useful general as Liu Siyuan. This was also helped by the fact that Liu Siyuan’s cousin Liu He was the Commandant of Xu, meaning that the Liu Clan had a lot of influence in the province. And Liu He did everything he could to help his cousin, which sometimes annoyed Tao Qian to no end. Liu He was insistent though, and since he was one of Tao Qian most powerful supporters, the governor kept him happy, especially since he feared that Chen Wen in Yang Province might be getting ideas…
20201023104253_1.jpg
20201023104359_1.jpg


Meanwhile, Mi Fang hadn't stopped at simply bothering Tao Qian. The Mi brothers also started to build themselves a small network of allies and sympathisers at court, people who were willing to take their side over Liu Siyuan’s. None of them was willing to go against Tao Qian, of course. They weren’t stupid. But in private, they talked behind Liu He’s back and tried to spread rumors about the passionate and lusty Liu Siyuan. Mi Fang managed to hit the jackpot when he got in the good graces of Tao Shang, Tao Qian’s son and heir. Tao Shang was nowhere near as smart as his father. He was shy, but also arrogant and prone to accept bribes. While Mi Fang was too righteous to offer the later, he still convinced Tao Shang that he had his best interests in mind (which to Mi Fang was really the case). Tao Shang thus began to look at the influence of the Liu Clan with worries, while the Mi brothers looked like a way to counter this.
20201023104304_1.jpg


Tao Qian was advised by Liu He in February 191 that another war against a small rebel might be the best way to end tensions at court. Tao Qian agreed, hoping to expand his influence toward the West. There were also uncertainties about the state of the Han since the death of Dong Zhuo. With everyone looking at Luoyang to see what would happen next, no one would bother him as he expanded.

This time he chose to target a small rebel named Jiang Gong who controlled Chengfu and its county. Mi Fang quickly volunteered to lead the troops, and Tao Qian agreed… but he would have to share command with Liu Siyuan again. Mi Fang was enraged at this, but Tao Qian insisted. Liu Siyuan’s home of Xincai was bordering Chengfu, so he would get involved anyway. Thus Tao Qian ordered that Mi Fang join up with Liu Siyuan so the two could take Chengfu from the rebels. Mi Fang agreed to his lord’s orders, hoping to use this opportunity to free Tao Qian from the influence of the Liu Clan.
20201023104319_1.jpg


When Liu Siyuan received the order and immediately rode out, ready to go take command of the troops assigned to him. Because of his proximity with Chengfu, he was also the first one to arrive to the gates of the city, asking Jiang Gong to surrender. Jiang Gong obviously refused this demand and instead came out to meet this commander of Xu. “I cannot see a bigger honor than to know the man who will face me, so that we can come out of this as friends” he told his men. Liu Siyuan didn’t really know how to react to that, but he agreed to pause his siege and welcomed Jiang Gong to his encampment.
20201023104344_1.jpg


Jiang Gong came without armor, only wearing his daily clothes, with a sword tucked in his belt. Liu Siyuan had to admit that the man had balls. After customary greetings, the two talked it out in Liu Siyuan’s personal tent. The warrior explained to the rebel that sooner or later the rest of Xu’s army would arrive, and Jiang Gong would be defeated. It was better to surrender now. Jiang Gong explained that he could easily fight it out in the forests and on the great Quan River, which he could blockade to hurt them economically. Of course, he also wanted to duke it out on the battlefield, if only to protect his people. Liu Siyuan was impressed by the man, his strategies and his courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

After this positive first impression, the two kept in contact, even though they were enemies. Soon enough, Liu Siyuan was able to bring Jiang Gong back to the negotiation table. Jiang Gong respected Liu Siyuan, and so at the very least trusted him to handle negotiations well. He also didn’t want his supporters to suffer a long and brutal war. Thus Liu Siyuan and Jiang Gong began to talk about the possibility of a peaceful surrender, with Jiang Gong keeping Chengfu but swearing allegiance to Tao Qian.

Discussions were going well until Mi Fang arrived in May. When he saw what was happening, the general put a rapid end to all talks, positioning his troops for a siege of Chengfu. The rebels were to be crushed, not negotiated with! Liu Siyuan was furious that Mi Fang had forced Jiang Gong to fight and refused to help, having more respect for the rebel than his fellow general. “You destroyed peace for you own glory.” he accused Mi Fang.
20201023104409_1.jpg


Thus began a long and arduous siege for the troops of Mi Fang and Liu Siyuan, although the later kept trying to force Mi Fang to abandon the siege. He wanted Jiang Gong to join them while Mi Fang wanted him destroyed. Not only did they not agree, but they continuously challenged each other’s authority. They had disputes over the division of the supply, each wanting their troops to have more. Mi Fang pointed out that he was the one doing the actual siege, so he needed it. Liu Siyuan said his men had been here for far longer, and so they were more desperate for it. Each of them also sent dispatches to Tao Qian asking for more power over the campaign, but the governor always ignored the issue. He told them that if they both preferred, he could send Liu He to take over the war. Liu Siyuan was all for it, as he knew his cousin would favor him over Mi Fang, which was exactly why Mi Fang refused.

These disputes were so bad that they couldn’t even agree on which troops would guard the camp at night. This left their base badly undefended, which allowed Jiang Gong to launch a night raid against them in late July. His plan was to force an enemy retreat and capture Mi Fang, thus leaving Liu Siyuan in charge and restarting the negotiations. But this all happened at night and in the chaos of battle. Most of his men didn’t even know what Mi Fang looked like. So when the Xu forces fled from their camp, Jiang Gong was presented with a captured… Liu Siyuan. Woops. Jiang Gong quickly explained himself to Liu Siyuan and cried about how sorry he was for all this. Liu Siyuan, although angry at first, quickly calmed down and accepted the rebel’s apologies. He would remain as an honored guest of Jiang Gong for the rest of the war, although as a hostage. As for Mi Fang, he had restarted his disturbed siege, now with the excuse of doing this to save Liu Siyuan. As much as he hated the idea, he couldn’t wait to see Liu Siyuan’s face when he would appear as his savior.
20201025202458_1.jpg


Finally the doors of the city were forced open in early-December 191, after months of a long and difficult siege. Mi Fang entered the city and had many of the rebels put to the sword. Victory was their! But even then it had to be spoiled by Liu Siyuan. Instead of thanking him for saving him, Liu Siyuan criticized Mi Fang of his long siege once again. Even worst, when the time to apprehend Jiang Gong, Liu Siyuan stepped in, putting the rebel under his protection as his personal guest. Mi Fang was infuriated, but he could do nothing other than outright fighting Liu Siyuan and his men to get Jiang Gong, and he wasn’t ready to do so… yet.

A messenger arrived as the two exchanged a heated argument over the issue. When asked what he was doing here, the messenger responded that he came to tell General Liu and General Mi that their lord had passed away. Both men were shocked at this news. Tao Qian had passed away? Indeed, he had died ten days before the fall of Chengdu, leaving Tao Shang in charge of Xu Province. This turn of events was welcomed by Mi Fang, who had cultivated the new governor as one of his allies. This proved worth it, as the messenger also informed them that Mi Fang had been appointed Magistrate of Chengdu. This infuriated Liu Siyuan and overjoyed Mi Fang, who was finally rewarded for his loyalty. This also meant that the two rivals were now basically neighbours.
20201025202246_1.jpg
20201025202234_1.jpg


To his credit, Tao Shang tried to start his “rule” by attempting to appease everyone. While he was far more sympathetic to the Mi brothers than to the Liu Clan, he didn’t want this feud to blow up in a civil war. So he attempted to calm everyone by giving both Liu Siyuan and Mi Fang a place among his closest advisors. But this only moved the dispute from the lower parts of the court to the highest ranks of power. With Mi Zhu also finding a place as the main accounting official of Xu Province, it became clear within a week of these appointments that this was not going to work out. So Tao Shang, at the advice of Mi Fang, did what his father had done: he launched a campaign against a small rebel to unite everyone against their new enemy! Beside, this had worked the first time, hadn’t it?
20201023104333_1.jpg


The new target would be Anyang, controlled by the rebel Qu Gong. Qu Gong was known as a cruel and greedy lord who bullied his own populace just to enrich himself. He had already massacred two peasant uprisings against his rule. Clearly the perfect kind of tyrant to go against! Surely this campaign would unite everyone in freeing Anyang! Yes! Also, Tao Shang thought it would be a good idea to put Mi Fang in charge this time, just to be sure there would be no dispute over the chain of command. Certainly this would not annoy anyone, especially not Liu Siyuan, who was appointed commander of the vanguard for this expedition. Mi Fang gladly led the troops outside of Xu in late December, only three weeks after the taking of Chengfu.

Obviously, the fact that Mi Fang was the supreme commander of this campaign caused tensions with Liu Siyuan, who still refused to recognize Mi Fang’s authority. He did his best to ignore the orders given by Mi Fang, even if the warrior always ended up doing them in the end so that Mi Fang’s letters to Tao Shang would look exaggerated. After all, he always did the tasks in the end, so why was Mi Fang complaining? This enraged Mi Fang to no end, as he expected his good leadership to be followed with loyalty from his officers. And while Liu Siyuan followed the rules, he did it as little as he could. But the most annoying thing he did was bring the former rebel Jiang Gong with him on his staff. Mi Fang couldn’t understand how Liu Siyuan allowed this rebel, this enemy, to serve him and be his lieutenant. For his part, Jiang Gong had no love for Mi Fang, and so did nothing to help Liu Siyuan and the other general mend their dispute. In fact, he only made things worst.
20201025202434_1.jpg


Qu Gong finally appeared with his troops. One of his generals had dared to question the sanity of facing an army four times the size of theirs. For this he had the general executed, and the other officers chose to wisely put their troops on the battlefield. Mi Fang had a great plan to deal with this rebel army, a strategy he believed would be undefeatable. But Jiang Gong pointed out that it would cost the life of too many men. Liu Siyuan agreed with his strategist, but Mi Fang told them to remember who was in charge. They would obey as it was their duties. But Liu Siyuan, at the advice of Jiang Gong, challenged an enemy general to a duel. It was a quick affair, with the general losing his head within seconds. The enemy army was demoralised, the Xu troops were galvanized, Liu Siyuan was a hero to his men and Mi Fang was angry to no end.
20201023104422_1.jpg


The ensuing battle and victory over Qu Gong, which both men tried to claim credit for, was followed by a long and slow siege that lasted six months. Once again, the two generals went back to their usual shenanigans, although this time they quickly agreed on a guard schedule so to avoid the fiasco of the previous campaign. The entire county was finally conquered in late July 192, with both Mi Fang and Liu Siyuan all too happy to be able to go home. Tao Shang, not wanted to make tensions even worst, kept Anyang for himself instead of giving it to one of the generals. Liu Siyuan returned to his home and his wife, happy to see her. But he couldn’t handle Mi Fang anymore. As soon as he arrived, he began to hear about border disputes with Mi Fang’s territories. This was it. He had enough. And now it was only a matter of time until he finally took actions against his hated rival.
______
PS: So here’s the plan for the next 5 chapters (obviously subject to change)
  1. 191-192: We finally return to Luoyang and see what the government of Dong Huang is doing, and we also see what happens with the campaign against the White Wave Bandits Dong Zhuo started.
  2. 191-192: We see what Lü Bu and Xuan Su have been doing during the previous chapter.
  3. 191-192: We see what Guo Si and Yao Shuren have been doing during the previous two chapters.
  4. 190-192: We roll back to talk of a war in Ji province and introduce an important character for the story going forward (one who isn’t related to the current story of any of your characters).
  5. 190-192: We talk about what has been happening in Yi Province all that time. Which mean that yes, we finally introduce Pan Zheng!
After that I’m not sure who we’ll switch to, be we’ll probably start to talk about events bleeding into 193.
 
  • 4Love
Reactions:

HistoryDude

Emperor of Greece and Rome and Holy Roman Emperor
32 Badges
Mar 19, 2018
1.603
592
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Rome Gold
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
Well, that's going to be a disaster.

Poor manipulated Tao Shang...

Mi Fang and Liu Siyuan will be at war...
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

EtzelHoveri

Lt. General
50 Badges
Dec 16, 2010
1.256
78
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
‘And it will be glorious!’ (In the voice of Varvatos Vex). Watched a few episodes of 3Below with my daughter this weekend.

I am greatly looking forward to this conflict escalating. Curious though if my guy actually finally killed somebody in combat or if that was just flavor.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

Zamarak500

Major
59 Badges
Jun 22, 2013
574
124
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • March of the Eagles
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • For the Motherland
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
Curious though if my guy actually finally killed somebody in combat or if that was just flavor.
This one was flavor. The thing is that most duels end up with a wounded instead of a dead, which is harder to track down as you don't have a "wounded list" like the "kill list".
 
  • 1
Reactions:

Dunaden

Major
45 Badges
Mar 3, 2012
648
551
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
Definitely not the best idea to make Mi Fang and Liu Siyuan neighbors, it may end up with them killing each other and Mi Zhu claiming both territories.


Looks like some good chapters coming up, culminating at last with the rise (or fall , if @EtzelHoveri is right ) of the true hero of the tale, Pan Zheng!
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Massinissa the Wise

Corporal
2 Badges
Sep 20, 2020
27
36
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
  1. 190-192: We roll back to talk of a war in Ji province and introduce an important character for the story going forward (one who isn’t related to the current story of any of your characters).
  1. I wonder who it is. Hmm, who is a very major character in the real ROTK, formed one of the Three Kingdoms and hasn't been covered except in one short mention? Right! :p
After that I’m not sure who we’ll switch to, be we’ll probably start to talk about events bleeding into 193.
I hope the bleeding wasn't an intentional pun...
 
  • 1Haha
Reactions:

Zamarak500

Major
59 Badges
Jun 22, 2013
574
124
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Honor
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • March of the Eagles
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • For the Motherland
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
Looks like some good chapters coming up, culminating at last with the rise (or fall , if @EtzelHoveri is right ) of the true hero of the tale, Pan Zheng!
xD
Yeah, it's about time he shows up. He's what? 7 chapters late on the rest of the cast?

I hope the bleeding wasn't an intentional pun...
It wasn't supposed to be a pun at all. :p I read an article for class where the writer said that "the problem of Alaric which had started in 401 bleed into 402", in the sense that it continued. Don't know why but I liked the sentence, so I reused it.
 
  • 1
Reactions: