> Quest Twitter: @Stratocumulus1The scent of rosewater suffuses through your sleep, curling through your dream and dissolving it. Ever since you were a child you knew what rosewater on the pillow meant - that it's time to wake up, to begin the day. Every day is important, your father once told you. That was before he got on his horse and rode out of the palace and city for the last time, on campaign. But somehow, you have this feeling that today will be a bit more important than usual. Sitting up in bed, you quickly rouse your manservant to come in, but then stop him at the door. 'Don't trouble yourself!' You tell Gen, waving your hand. 'I can put on my own shoes and robe.''If you say so, sir,' Gen bows as deeply as his old, stiff back will allow, and then returns to standing outside. As you get dressed, you cast your glance around the room. Your father had always had pretty austere habits, and you've generally kept to them - there's a low tea table and a working table for writing, though you pay attention to having good brushes and a nice inkstone. One luxury you do afford yourself is a scroll painting on the wall, beside the writing table. It is a reminder of your homeland and state, the land your father gave his life to defend and for which you would do the same, depicting its scenery. > What does the painting depict? > The majestic, pillar-like peaks of the Wuyi Mountains. > The sweeping banks and reeds of Lake Dongting. > The bends and meanders of the Great River. > The roar of the tidal bore rumbling up the Qiantang River. > The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast. > Also, roll d320.
Rolled 9>>27974973>The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast.
Rolled 95>>27974973>The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast.
Rolled 287>>27975010I wonder if low or high is good, or if it matters.>>27974973>The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast.
Rolled 281>>27974973>The majestic, pillar-like peaks of the Wuyi Mountains.
Rolled 11, 1, 9 = 21>>27974973> The bends and meanders of the Great River. Assuming you want 3d20, not 1d320.
> Chinese questYou have my attention.
>>27975010>>27975029>>27975031Whether low or high is good, we're covered in the first three.
Rolled 3, 18, 7 = 28>>27974973>The bends and meanders of the Great River.
Rolled 2>>27975048> On the contrary: 1d320. > This is for your surname, if anyone is wondering. My dice is which of the first 5 rolls will be selected.
Rolled 13, 9, 20 = 42Did you mean 3d20? But anyway->The majestic, pillar-like peaks of the Wuyi Mountains. I am watching with interest.
>>27974973> The bends and meanders of the Great River.
Rolled 278>>27974973>> The majestic, pillar-like peaks of the Wuyi Mountains.
Rolled 64>>27974973>The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast.Pirate lord master race.We do not sow.
>>27975078Oh. Huh. That's interesting.
Rolled 285>The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast.
Rolled 53>>27974973>The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast.They shall be crushed by the might of our armada!
>>27975101the gods of chance smile upon me this day, I look forward to a glorious quest
>>27974973>The majestic, pillar-like peaks of the Wuyi Mountains.Dammit Panthera, Hunter's Quest when?
> Your surname: Meng 孟, 95th of the Hundred Family Surnames (not compiled at this period of time, actually). > If you would like to suggest some general things to be named after, feel free. > I'm typing and will consider suggestions.
Rolled 143>>27975174We're named after the sky.
>>27975174I am hype. I however know little to nothing about the naming systems of pre Song dynasty China. Or post Song dynasty China. Or Song dynasty China. So, I'll just watch quietly and eagerly.
>>27975174Named after... uhh... sharks?
Rolled 106>>27975248> SUCK MY DIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!
Rolled 18, 19, 5 = 42>>27974973>> The innumerable islands and rocks that dot the rugged southern coast.
>>27975174Let's be named after Sang Hongyang, who took the modernist position in the Discourses of Salt and Iron. We seem to be kind of a modern kind of dude.
>>27975174> Hunter's Quest soon. > Your state: Southern Han (map included, in Chinese)Once dressed, you stand beside your table and look up at the painting - a view of the Pearl River's mouth, with its many rocky islands, harbours and green forested expanses, and in the distance, a fog from the sea obscuring the outermost of the isles. 'Gen!' You call. 'You may come in now.' Dressing you can do yourself, but the schedules and arrangements of the day - many of which come in the form of royal instructions from the Southern Han court by night, and are compiled into a scroll to be presented - are the kindly old man's to deliver. He potters in over the threshold and sets the paper reverently on the fragrant wood of your table. 'Anything special?' Your sense tells you there is something special. Something is... strange, not perhaps in a bad way, today. Of course there are certain things you know are happening. The King has been ill for some time now, after more than twenty years on the throne. But you do not expect what Gen says, even with your heightened expectations. 'My lord, it is very good news. The Second Prince has returned from the posting to Hainan. The news came just last night.' 'What? Wenxun is back?''Certainly, sir.' Gen smiles. 'Your servant knew you would be happy at the news.'Happy - just happy? It's been a year and a half since he was sent to be Governor of that blasted hot island... you can see there is a letter from him. > Read the letter immediately. The Second Prince, playmate and friend, has been away for so long!> Go and attend to official business first. You are, after all, an official of the Southern Han court.
>>27975174a common name, but a respectable name, one that we can bring into prominence by our integrity and our deeds.
>>27975323Dunno who that is, but this sounds good. Let's do it.
>>27975365>> Read the letter immediately. The Second Prince, playmate and friend, has been away for so long!Come on, our duties can wait the 15 minutes it will take to read that letter.
>>27975365>Read the letter immediately. The Second Prince, playmate and friend, has been away for so long!
Rolled 215>>27975365>> Read the letter immediately. The Second Prince, playmate and friend, has been away for so long!FAITH AND DUTY can wait.
>>27975365>Read the letter immediately. The Second Prince, playmate and friend, has been away for so long! I mean, official business can wait for a few minutes, assuming we don't have a meeting with someone planned.
>>27975365just to beat a dead horse, let's READ THE LETTER IMMEDIATELY.
>>27975503>>27975415>>27975417>>27975429>>27975438> Name set! > Meng Hongyang - the Hongyang can also mean 'great sun', so it is named for the sky as well. The letter, short and folded and sealed, lies beside your appointment scroll. Controlling yourself, you open the appointment scroll and glance it over; despite being a lot longer than the letter was, it is mostly formal language and formulae. In short, there isn't all that much you have to do now in court. There is some mockery in that thought, almost. Your father, Meng Qingyun, had fought alongside the King ever since the collapse of the Tang Dynasty so many years ago - fighting Chu in the north, Dali in the west, Min in the east, before finally dying in battle with the Annamese in the south. They sent his body back, wrapped in horse hide, and ever since then the King had seen you as half a son of his. Except you are not a son of His Majesty's, after all. And neither are you officially given any title, which means you drift within court, mocked by some and envied by many. Great. To be reminded of this just when good news is here... The letter, read the letter! > cont'd.
>>27975681'Dear brother Meng Hongyang, Two years in Hainan, however good the land and water and girls were, and now that I have returned I want nothing - nothing - more than to see my best and closest friend immediately. 'Perhaps I will emulate those cliched poets of the passed Tang Dynasty, and ask if the palm trees and lychees of your garden have been putting forth fruit. But enough of that for now. You must come to me now, and tell me how you have been. 'Bring whatever you wish, or bring nothing - if you are confident that in the Southwestern Palace there would be entertainment enough for you. Or we could go somewhere else and have our fun. Oh, while my sinews cry out for rest, I am kept on my feet by the desire to talk and laugh with you about the idiocies of our life!'Humbly and sincerely, Your proud brother Liu Wenxun'Well... you can't say that's not a tempting offer. Your appointments - inspecting the Royal Guard, going to the meetings of the Ministries of Revenue and the Civil Service wherein you have no official rank anyway - you're not so sure about those... > Screw work! Your adoptive father, the King, will surely understand if you went to see his son. > Endurance is a prime virtue of life. You can go and do your work, and then see Wenxun later. > Let's do neither. We are half a prince! Who dares criticise us if we take a day off? > Other.
>>27975721>> Endurance is a prime virtue of life. You can go and do your work, and then see Wenxun later.We still are bound by duty.
>>27975721>Endurance is a prime virtue of life. You can go and do your work, and then see Wenxun later.The king has been good to us, we must do our duty, even if it is shitty.
>>27975721Screw work, we don't have any real work anyhow. We might want to go about fixing that later, but now our fucking brother is back, and there's two years of stories untold, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR.
>>27975721> Endurance is a prime virtue of life. You can go and do your work, and then see Wenxun later.
>>27975721> Fuck, forgot the map. > Here it is, in Chinese. You're the purple bit, obviously, and the big round circle is the capital, Xingwangfu.
>>27975792Going for this. The king will be glad we have his second son's back, too. If he likes his second son that is.
> be studying Chinese> check /tg/> China quest is up...my professor will understand.
>>27975721Endurance.The Meng family name cannot be dishonored!
>>27975849>>27975824>>27975800>>27975792>>27975776>>27975770> You really are full of virtue, aren't you? You sit down while Gen continues to await your instructions, and behind him two of the maidservants come in and begin to tidy up the room. After Father's death, Mother did not last very long; a year later she left to join him as well, and since then this little estate which Father refused to enlarge has been yours alone. The letter is so very tempting. All the stories! You're sure Wenxun, the hero and fighter that he is, would have plenty of stories to tell; and over the last one and a half or so years, you too have not been idle. Where the King has decided to give you tasks to do, you have always gone about them as vigorously as you could, and there's even one incident which has won you some repute now... > What is this incident that has won you repute? > While hunting with the King, you spotted a leopard trying to jump him, and fought it to the death. The leopard's hide is still in your possession. > When the nearby county of Zhenzhou's governor died, you were dispatched there for three months to hold the fort while a new candidate was appointed, and were so effective that the natives begged, unsuccessfully, for you to stay on. > When pirates ravaged the mouth of the Pearl River, you personally led a force of 20 warships and managed to defeat them. > cont'd.
>>27976043>> When the nearby county of Zhenzhou's governor died, you were dispatched there for three months to hold the fort while a new candidate was appointed, and were so effective that the natives begged, unsuccessfully, for you to stay on.Our father was a warrior, we were a statesman in his absence.
>>27976043... then again. There is work to be done, and with the King ailing, it seems even more important that his officials - especially the personally closer ones, like you - should step up and support his work. Even if it is distasteful, it must be done. 'Sir?''Gen, get the carriage ready, we're going to the Main Palace Gate.'The old man seems slightly surprised, but bows and leaves. Soon you're on your way to the Palace Gate, a little quiet time - apart from the constant roar of the prosperous city around you - to plan your priorities. Normally there is no question of what needs to be done; indeed, normally, you should be getting flogged by now for being this late to the Royal Assembly in the morning. But then, what with the King's condition, Assembly has been called off for now. There's a few things you could do, then, as you read the list of tasks in greater detail. Huh. There's a bit more here than you thought. > Go straight to wait for the meeting of the Ministry of Revenues and the Civil Service. > Go straight to meet the Royal Guard commanders. > Go to meet the visiting Military Commissioner of Guiyang, an important general named Yang Jianzhi. > Go to request an audience with His Majesty the King himself. > Actually, fuck this. You're still in the carriage. Make course for the Southwestern Palace and Wenxun. > Other. (Questions are welcome, naturally.)
>>27976043>> When the nearby county of Zhenzhou's governor died, you were dispatched there for three months to hold the fort while a new candidate was appointed, and were so effective that the natives begged, unsuccessfully, for you to stay on.Aww~
>>27976043>When pirates ravaged the mouth of the Pearl River, you personally led a force of 20 warships and managed to defeat them.We a genious strategist, son
>>27976043> When pirates ravaged the mouth of the Pearl River, you personally led a force of 20 warships and managed to defeat them. A good balance between warrior and politician would be a tactician.Sun Tzu mode.>>27976108> Go straight to meet the Royal Guard commanders.
>>27976108> Go straight to wait for the meeting of the Ministry of Revenues and the Civil Service. In the king's frail state, we should make sure none of his ministers are lifting out of the royal coffers or overburdening the people.
>>27976043>When pirates ravaged the mouth of the Pearl River, you personally led a force of 20 warships and managed to defeat them. We's ADMIRAL MATERIAL SON>>27976108> Go to meet the visiting Military Commissioner of Guiyang, an important general named Yang Jianzhi.
>>27976108>Go straight to meet the Royal Guard commanders.
>>27976109This! We are administrator!
>>27976108>> Go straight to wait for the meeting of the Ministry of Revenues and the Civil Service.Money makes the world go round.Even Rambo's guns had to be paid for by SOMEBODY.
>>27976043>pirates>>27976103>generalWhile all these matters are important, priority should be on the meeting, since that accounts for both our time and his.
>>27976043>When pirates ravaged the mouth of the Pearl River, you personally led a force of 20 warships and managed to defeat them.A great Admiral!>Go to meet the visiting Military Commissioner of Guiyang, an important general named Yang Jianzhi.
>>27976324>>27976314It is easy to tell from inside the carriage when you're near the Palace - the noise fades away, the wheels get back onto straight ruts and the horses on stable footing, and soon you are moving uphill towards the Royal Gate. Well, this is handy, seeing as you have decided it's probably best to meet the Royal Guard commanders first. If only because you want to get the hard stuff away with - ministers can be argumentative and nitpicking, but the intransigence of veteran Royal Guard commanders against a youngster like you is on another level entirely. Indeed, until you had done a stint in the eastern county of Zhenzhou covering for a governor who had fallen off a tower, where among other things you led a small force of 20 light warships and defeated a flotilla of pirate vessels ravaging the nearby coastal areas, they were reluctant even to talk to you. Now... well, a little less. Just a little. > cont'd. > Adjusting for votes, so rewriting. Bear with me.
>>27976043> When the nearby county of Zhenzhou's governor died, you were dispatched there for three months to hold the fort while a new candidate was appointed, and were so effective that the natives begged, unsuccessfully, for you to stay on.
>>27976359Your plan to meet the Royal Guard Commanders, however, is slightly thrown when you are told at the gates by an eunuch that the Military Commissioner of Guiyang - the well known general, Yang Jianzhi - is already in court and awaiting orders. Firstly, how on earth did the eunuch know you were coming? But that's not a question to ask him, of course. 'General Yang was quick,' you say. 'I was told he would be arriving later today, so I could visit him after the Royal Guard.''He rode ahead of his entourage, sir, and arrived last evening.'If that's the case, then you want to meet him first. The eunuch nods, and leads you through a maze of familiar and half-familiar walkways which eventually lead to the large complex of guests houses in the western palace. Walking before you, he announces, in a high-pitched voice which makes you wince, 'attendant of His Majesty, Meng Hongyang, has arrived to visit the general!''And the general is waiting!' The eunuch and you both start, and then you wheel around to see Yang Jianzhi already standing at the staircase behind you. In each hand he is holding his trademark weapon - the long, gnarled, deadly iron cudgels that have earned him the nickname 'Twelve-foot Iron'. 'The junior Lord Meng, I presume? You take after your father!'You can only bow first, before this man who has been fighting and defending the kingdom alongside your father. > What say to the general? > The tenor and tone of the conversation is entirely up to you.
>>27976506>> What say to the general? >> The tenor and tone of the conversation is entirely up to you.Acknowledge our heritage while adopting a polite tone, one reserved for a teacher or an elder.We can ask him if he knew our father.
>>27976506'General Yang. What brings you to the capital? I hope things are fine at the border?'
>>27976619>'The junior Lord Meng, I presume? You take after your father!'He defo knows our father. Be polite. Ask if he has had a comfortable trip. Let him do talking.
>>27976506Discuss the current disposition of the army. Transition into reminiscing a little about your father.
>>27976506>What say to the general?"It's an honor to meet you great general, it is wonderful to finally meet you, a friend and loyal brother in arms of my late father"> The tenor and tone of the conversation is entirely up to you.Respectful, but not submissive.
>>27976654Well there is knowing someone and knowing someone. What I wanted to know is how much he knew our father. The two could have simply met in court or could have been battle brothers for all we know.
>>27976506>Twelve-foot IronI bet his cudgels aren't the only reason he has that nickname. Either that, or he has a micropenis.
>>27976688Yes, this. We should be politely curious. Maybe just the tiniest bit more curious than we technically should be given our station.
>>27976817>>27976700>>27976619>>27976620>>27976654>>27976682>>27976688Even someone as senior as General Yang, since he comes from outside the capital, appears to be showing you deference; walking up to you, he holds both cudgels in one hand and begins to go down on his knees. But you hurry to grab him and push him back on his feet. 'Please, general, this is too much! Were Father around he would thrash me if he saw this.'Yang Jianzhi laughs like a lion, throwing his head back as he grips your shoulder tightly, almost taunting you to flex and resist him. 'Oh, oh, Meng Qingyun would definitely do that, yes he would! I bet he *did*, in fact, when you were a whelp?''I have to say, Father was not sparing with the rod,' you say, smiling a little awkwardly. He would use a baton, for aligning ranks and made of springy willow-wood, for your back and backside. > cont'd.
>>27976911'Well, he's done well with that I can see.' He looks over you. 'I am still sorry he is dead, I am. I do wonder if, perhaps I had been around to support the left wing when he advanced...'Advancing with 800 men against 7,000 barbarians from Annam - it was all Father could do to try and save the situation at that dreadful battle. And it *worked*, damnit. He died, but the Han armies were prevented from an outright rout. 'It is as battles and fate are, sir, there's little one can do. I hope you have not arrived because all hell has broken loose on the Chu border?''Hmm? Well, it has come pretty close,' he says. 'I have come to the capital to discuss military strategy with His Majesty. Chu is pressing hard against our borders, and Annam continues to be the nuisance it has ever been. When the day comes for you to avenge your father, young Lord Meng, remember to take me along!'You laugh while pondering. If a general as senior as this has been called back, there are some possibilities. But the most prominent one in your mind is simple. A defence can be left to Yang's hands, up at the Guiyang Commissioner's HQ. It's beginning to make sense now. The Royal Guard is being inspected, over and over; a general is in the capital. They're not waiting for someone to march *in*; they're going to be marching *out*. His Majesty, despite illness, is planning an offensive of some sort. Or so it might be. > Probe General Yang directly with your hypothesis. > Hint subtly at your hypothesis. > Keep your hypothesis to yourself, talk about something else (write-in). > Go see the Royal Guard commanders now. > Ask to accompany General Yang to the King. > Other.
>>27977002>Probe General Yang directly with your hypothesis.
>>27977002>> Hint subtly at your hypothesis.
>>27977002>Hint subtly at your hypothesis.
>>27977032>>27977027I get that he's likely capable of politicking, but I still doubt subtlety is the way to go with Yang.Probe directly, maintain poise. If the subject is improper he might stop us, or he might not care.
>>27977024>>27977027>>27977032>>27977054>>27977077>>27977086> Hint at Hypothesis> Roll d100. Your subtlety against a straightforward man like Yang Jianzhi is rewarded with a bonus.
Rolled 88>>27977108God, we're terrible
>>27977120>>27977123>>27977125fools, watch a master at work
Rolled 66>>27977108>hoping I roll good
Rolled 43>>27977147You forgot your dice.
Rolled 85>>27977147>dice in the name field>master
Rolled 25>>27977147Try the email field, master.
>>27977147words alone cannot describe this failure.
>>27977147>mfw i can never show my face in this quest again
>>27977105Furthermore, If the matter is meant to ne secret, he should know it was fairly transparent.
>>27977232there is but one thing you can do to regain your honor
>>27977147> E's over there, master!>>27977140>>27977127> Despite lower average, +10 bonus = still success!Your father once told you that you could trust General Yang to say what he feels on most things. That's the kind of man he is, apparently. But now... 'So, is the Chu border perhaps safe after all, sir?''Oh, when is it ever fully safe, Lord Meng? That is the definition of a military frontier, is it not?''Oh, certainly. But I was wondering if the Chu border might be safer for Chu, or for us, at any given time. Surely, with His Majesty on the throne, and now General Yang giving advice, perhaps Chu ought rightly to fear something?''Damn right they ought to fear something, there's fifteen thousand of our finest-' Yang's eyes shoot wide open as he realises what's slipped out of his mouth. Then he gives you a glance that seems half angry, but also half admiring as he sees what you've done. He's honest, after all, but he's far from stupid. 'Well, I am only surprised that His Majesty has not told you earlier, actually,' he finally says. 'Or perhaps he is leaving you out for fear of inscrutable things.'*Inscrutable things*. You're not stupid either; you've been around long enough to know what that phrase means. The King's family business is not for comment, not even from an adoptive child like you; but with three legitimate children, it is no surprise there should be tension. ... come think of it. Is that why Wenxun is back? And is that why Wenxian, the First Prince and his older brother, has also been called back from Tengzhou?> What do/say now, Hongyang? You can continue talking to the general, or perhaps go to your friend. Or you could do something else, of course. > Doing nothing might be difficult in a brewing power struggle, though.
>>27977376Finish the inspection, then go see our bro
>>27977376>Go see the Royal Guard commanders now.They're not exactly fans so let's not keep them waiting.
>>27977376Family business? Vut?
Rolled 28>>27977376Lets excuse ourselves politely, telling the old general that it was an immense honor to meet him.Lets go see the royal guard for now.
>>27977376Tell him that it was good to see him again and if possible would love to see him again before he leaves so we could talk more.But duty calls! Have to make sure the commanders of fifteen thousand of are finest are ready.
>>27977505>>27977486>>27977485>>27977450>>27977434Family business - that very term troubles you, and you wonder if perhaps Wenxun, by coming back from Hainan, might be in even greater danger here than he is in that hot place with its biting flies and dangerous miasmas. But now that you're in the Palace, it might be best to look elsewhere first and to gather your information properly, before going to see the Second Prince. 'I will tell no one, General. Are you now headed to see His Majesty?''Yes, in fact.' With that, cordially, you bid farewell to Yang Jianzhi before hurrying off to the main guardhouse of the Palace. Why you're doing this - going to see the assembled officers, whom you know dislike you, and could well pose a threat to your best friend - is not immediately clear to you. Could you really pry that much information from them, after all? But that question, and the other doubts which you were having about your judgement, are obviated when you reach the gatehouse only to see it locked. Kang Jie, one of the Guard commanders who is relatively well-disposed to you, is standing before it with several guards, who dare to menace you with their spears as you present yourself. 'Entry is denied, Lord Meng.''Explain this, please.''The commanders are having a meeting with the First Prince, sir.'... the First Prince, talking to the Royal Guard commanders? If you knew no better you wouldn't have thought he knew where the main guardhouse even *was*... something does seem to be off, very off indeed. > What do/say now, Meng Hongyang?
>>27977735>What do/say now, Meng Hongyang?I feel like we should go check on bro-prince and tell him this.
>>27977735Go to bro prince, tell him our schedule for the day was mostly cleared by his brothers.
Rolled 47>>27977735Lets simply excuse ourselves and leave. Not much to do here.
>>27977735>Leave>Go straight to the meeting of the Ministry of Revenues and the Civil Service.We've got other stuff to handle for now.
>>27977735Should we not go see the king himself? I'm thinking what they're fighting over.
>>27977735We "could" wait for this meeting to end as we still do have to deal with the commanders ourselves and would give us the chance to see if we can make one of them slip up.
>>27977807Stop going to the government stuff. We have to see our bro.
>>27977735Hell, maybe even talk to the guards, say something like we are suprised that first prince would be here and try to ask them if the first prince comes here often.
>>27977784seconding, I'm getting the feeling our bro wanted to talk to us about more than just his gallivanting abroad.
>>27977845We have duties, this is China, we do government stuff = Bro can wait.
>>27977845This. Legit politics in addition to bromance.
>>27977735Continue onto our next appointment as we can come back later.
>>27977886That thinking is the reason we don't have an official court position! Be more ambitious!
>>27977886this is OLD china, Feudal warring families china.We have duties to an ailing king, bro's brothers are on the move and bro specifically mentioned going elsewhere to talk about things. I smell a succession crisis and bro needs someone he can trust
>>27977886Stow that talk son, this isn't "Mediocrity Quest".
Kang Jia's face is really one of those which eminently ask to be struck, as hard as possible. But of course there is no question of doing that, now or in most other circumstances. More pressingly, you have to try to figure out what exactly is happening behind these few movements. To do that, there would be no point in seeing the Guard commanders, who will not treat with you kindly, let alone tell you their plans. And if you told them your doubts, that would be waking the snake by beating the grass... Instead, you simply salute. 'Well then, peace to you, sir.''And to you, Lord Meng.' He bows appropriately as you get into your carriage, and the eunuch approaches your seat. 'My lord, there is still the issue of the meeting with the Ministries. It has already started-''Never mind the ministries,' you look at him. 'Please tell the driver to head for the Southwest Palace. I will not require your help or attendance now, thank you.'> cont'd.
>>27977926>Ministry of Revenues and the Civil Service. >Revenues>Civil ServiceHe has nothing to rule if this shit isn't proper.
>>27977978Cart before horses.
>>27977949It is not a particularly long ride from the Royal Palace to the compound of the Southwestern Palace - formally called the Palace of Clarity and Purity - where Liu Wenxun, your friend and brother, resides. But the ride does, fortunately, go around the nicer parts of Xingwangfu - the less crowded, more verdant portions - before going out the walls and through more woods to end up near a lake. The men at the gate, upon seeing you hop out of the carriage, do not even bother to inquire about you; you can recognise some of them as the retainers who had followed Wenxun to Hainan, and others as the attendants who were here since *before* that. Naturally, you are a familiar face, and soon you are let in, past the stone gate-screen and the small square, into the long, high main hall with its red-painted wooden pillars. 'BROTHER! HONGYANG!'You start at the echoes down the space, and then wheel around to see Wenxun at the entrance. He walks briskly up to you, and you meet him with a broad embrace, feeling the breath get squashed out of you as he squeezes you against his chest, hand slapping against your shoulder. A light hugger, as always. 'Hongyang!' He holds your hand and leads you around to one of the side halls. 'Oh, brother, I heard about your naval and administrative exploit. You are truly a pillar of the State now, aren't you just!''Not a quarter of the pillar you are,' you grin. He's *really* tanned now, darkened and a little wrinkled, but the youth of his features is beyond doubt. > Ask about Hainan. > Reminisce about the Good Auld Days. > Ask why exactly Wenxun's come back. > Tell Wenxun about the apparent, planned expedition. > Other.
>>27978087>> Ask about Hainan.
>>27977978he aint gonna rule if he doesn't people watching his back
>>27978087>Ask about Hainan.
>>27978087>Ask about Hainan> Reminisce about the Good Auld Days. > Ask why exactly Wenxun's come back. In that order.
>>27978087Ask about Hainan. We can ease into the unpleasant talk.
>>27978087Ask about Hainan.
You really hope it is just some sort of paranoia - about how multiple things are happening on the same day - that is making you feel a little fearful as you sit and watch Wenxun pour liquor for you. After all, three hens may lay eggs that hatch the same day, and no one considers that a threat to the kingdom, right? It could be coincidence. It might not be, either. But you have time to make sure. 'So how was Hainan, Wenxun? Also, what exactly is this liquor? It smells... interesting.''One of my answers to your question, Hongyang!' He lifts the small goblet and salutes you with it, before knocking back the liquor in a single movement. 'That's millet liquor, with osmanthus flower and coconut added to it.'What...? But once you knock it back, after the normal feeling of fire flowing down the throat, you are rewarded with a strange, heavy but refreshing scent that fills your mouth and nose. And *then* the sense of fire again, flowing down your gullet. 'I... woah... this is pretty strong!''Yes, yes it is... well, Hainan, what can I say? It's warm, a lot warmer than here, there are palm trees, many of the girls are dark-skinned from staying out in the sun like fools.''Strange, I always thought you had some strange preference for those brown ones.''Well...' his voice suddenly sinks a little. Then, glancing at you, 'Have you heard of the imperial marriage that is being proposed?'Imperial marriage? Currently the only 'Empires' are Southern Tang, which lies just to your north and is a mighty state indeed, and Later Jin to the far north - a state of Turks, dominated by the Khitan to their north. You've heard of no such thing... > What? No... > Never mind that for now. (Tell about something else.)> Other.
>>27978301>> What? No...
>>27978301>What? No..."Oh god you're leaving the ranks of the Bachelors!? Quickly, we must be off! TO THE NEAREST TAVERN!"
>>27978468>>27978334>>27978343>>27978351>>27978357'Imperial bride?' You blink, your mind wrenched out of considering the King's illness and fifteen thousand soldiers and recalling princes *and* generals and the Royal Guard. 'I... wait, what is this?''Give me a moment. Did the paintings never reach the palace?' Wenxun stands up, then sighs. 'Well, then again, I suppose there was no reason to show anyone the paintings out here.'You think better of asking, instead letting him talk when he will. And he does. 'Not long ago - actually I got the painting just before getting the recall letter from Father - an envoy came around with copies of this particular picture. The Later Jin Emperor's princess - well, one of them, he must have scores - is of the age to tie her hair, and is therefore getting married. The main difference is, this princess was born to a foreign concubine, but she is now the Empress. So the daughter is...''A full-blooded, legitimate princess.''Precisely.' Wenxun unscrolls the painting, which makes you blink even more. The woman depicted looks *nothing* like someone from the Central Plains. 'She is a beauty, is she not? Holding lilies as well.''Beauty, yes, but real, I doubt. Look at her!''Her father is a Turk. The concubine who sprouted her, well, she was from the very far west. Captured by the Persians, sent east, the Khitans passed her into the Jin harem.' Wenxun shrugs. 'The Jin are Khitan dogs themselves, anyway. I'd tell you not to look too hard, but then you'd need to get married as well eventually, Hongyang!'Hmmm. The dark, reddish hair... the contours of her face... if nothing else, the painter is skilled. > Oh not you this time. > You... may be right, Wenxun. > Disregard brides, talk about serious issues. > Other.
>>27978669>> You... may be right, Wenxun.On a lighthearted tone.
>>27978669>> You... may be right, Wenxun.
>>27978669> You... may be right, Wenxun.
>>27978721>>27978752>>27978766Oh, really, even Wenxun is giving you this lecture now? But then, of course, you can see the point he's getting at. What else is a man supposed to do, after all? Glory outside his home, and a wife and brood of children within the walls. That's fair enough as it goes. 'Well, well, Wenxun,' you rub your chin and beard, feigning deep thought. 'You may be right about that.''Of *course* I'm right about that, you fool!' He grins. 'Your father would be proud, if he wasn't already proud enough of you as it is. Besides, people who don't settle down, well... who would trust them?'You reply with a chuckle for the moment, still looking at the painting. Wenxun looks at it too, making no effort to remove the thing from the long, broad table. > Ask about the woman in the painting. > Let's get back to serious stuff. Tell Wenxun what you saw in the palace. > Ask if Wenxun's seen His Majesty yet. > Ask about Wenxun's exploits, if he has any. > Other.
>>27978881>Ask about Wenxun's exploits, if he has any.
>>27978881>> Ask about Wenxun's exploits, if he has any.Lets give him a chance to show off.
>>27978881>> Ask about Wenxun's exploits, if he has any.
>>27978881>Ask if Wenxun's seen His Majesty yet
>>27978881> Ask about Wenxun's exploits, if he has any.
>>27978918>>27978935>>27978938>>27978945'Well, well,' Wenxun finally reaches for the painting and you sit back. 'No use looking, I suppose. Certainly the Later Jin aren't going to marry her off to someone who is merely going to remain a prince. And surely none of us would allow our brother to be married to someone like that...'His voice trails off, but then you do know what he's talking about. The Third Prince, Wenju, is a little too young for the rivalry currently; but Wenxian and Wenxun have been manoeuvring around the problem of succession for a while now. It's not the sort of thing you ask about, of course; you just have to see and know. To be honest, ever since His Majesty gave the Southwest Palace - with its beautiful views, and also its easily fortified position - to Wenxun, you have guessed that your best friend was perhaps going to be the next King of Southern Han after all. If nothing else, his exploits and ability ought to have justified him being next. 'So, Wenxun, tell me what you did in Hainan,' you say. 'I've always wondered about that posting, to be honest. Why would His Majesty send you to the back-end of the world like that?'> cont'd.
>>27979124'You *have* become a lot more cunning and perceptive,' Wenxun replies. 'Well, then again, you've always been cunning and perceptive. Like a fox. Well. The real reason I was sent there, was really that pirates were infesting the eastern coast of Hainan Island, threatening trade. So, well.''You mean it was actually a military post?' That makes you feel almost a little disappointed that you were not sent there along with him. But then the reason for that hits you. It's not so much that Wenxun could command troops and apply the teachings of Sun Wu and Bai Qi, though he *can*. Rather, it is about building more credit and accomplishments for him... Certainly, as Wenxun regales you with stories, he's built quite a bit of credit. He tells you about the time he was helping repair a coastal fort when pirates attacked, and they had to daub mud on wooden planks and use them as shields against fire-arrows. There was also that time when one of his light warships had been rammed by a pirate ship, which was itself tied to the pirate flagship. And instead of surrendering, Wenxun simply led his men across the smaller ship and set fire to the pirate ship, sinking it successfully.And then... 'An Edict from His Majesty the King!'Wenxun's hand hangs in the air, before both of you rush out to see an eunuch approaching. When he speaks, his words are the King's, and you must therefore kneel and touch your forehead to the ground before him. 'Prince Wenxun! You have, in two years in Hainan, proven yourself. Now we wish to receive you in our presence, and to give you another mission of utmost importance...'Several formulae later, and as the eunuch retreats - once again a despicable, defiled creature - Wenxun looks at you. 'Come along?'> Let's go see the King together. > Perhaps... not, actually.
>>27979297>Let's go see the King together.Hell yeah motherfuckers?
>>27979297>> Let's go see the King together.
>>27979297> Let's go see the King together.
>>27979297>> Let's go see the King together.No reason not to.
>>27979297Go see the king together.
>>27979297>Let's go see the King together.Sure, fuck why not.
>>27979321>>27979348>>27979352>>27979370>>27979373>>27979374Would it be a problem if you went with Wenxun? Since the King is well aware of how inseparable you used to be (and, from the looks of it, still are), it should not be a problem. 'Certainly,' you nod, and Wenxun simply gestures to let you head for the wide, comfortable princely carriage ahead of him. On the ride back towards the main palace, Wenxun begins humming a tune that you immediately recognise - it is a Tang Dynasty setting of Cao Zhi's famous ode, the Ode to the Bronze Peacock Pavilion. He stops after a short while, though it is enough to remind you of the need to practice - even in your leisure activities. > And which (non-military) leisure activities might you revel in? (Pick up to 2.)> Calligraphy> Poetry> Chess> Painting> Music> Mathematics> Philosophy> Horseriding> Other. Completely circling the hustle and bustle of the city - which could only have gotten even worse, since it's been a warm afternoon and what sounds like a thousand people will also smell like a thousand people - you slip into the Palace unobtrusively. Wenxun blinks. 'Why are we entering through a side gate?'You can't answer. No one else does. But soon you stop, before a small, side hall that the King normally uses for meditation and rest. > cont'd.
>>27979618> chess> mathematics
>>27979618>> Poetry> ChessLets go for strategist mode.
>>27979618>> Chess> Mathematics
>>27979618Chess and Philosophy.
>>27979618Chess and math. ever the calculating bastard
>>27979701the zhuge liang to his Liu bei?
>>27979618Before we see the King, tell Wenxun briefly about what we saw today, about the old Geberal and his brother's 'meeting'Do we have any bodyguards with us? Or hell, even a weapon on us?
>>27979618>Philosophy>ChessWin the battle of the mind
>>27979618> One or two more posts before I sleep. Thank you all for playing!This time there is a whole crew of eunuchs to attend to you - and to keep the King safe from you, let's not forget. They escort you up the steps and into one hall, then into the inner hall, and then finally into a single, high-ceiling, well furnished--oh Damn!'Your child and servant, Wenxun, pays respects to His Majesty,' Wenxun says after giving you a hard nudge with his elbow, cueing you to get on your knees and forehead. But even as you do that you catch a glimpse of the King, and what you see shocks you. 'May His Majesty live, ten thousand, ten thousand, and yet ten thousand years.'You follow the words numbly. The King looks like he's been dried; the wrinkles have deepened and intensified, his face puffy and red. Small, loose folds of skin betray the amount of weight he has lost. And yet, when he speaks, it is the same voice that has ever addressed you or your father, demanding to be listened to, and to be obeyed. 'Right. On your feet,' that voice says. 'Look at you, Wenxun. Twelve years, and you could never outgrow your best friend.''I make up for it in brains, Father,' Wenxun says, which draws a wheezy chuckle. But then the King sits up, and all returns to silence. > cont'd.
>>27979801I don't suppose you also plan to continue this quest as well? I really like it.
>>27979801'Wenxun, I've sent you to Hainan in order to build your credibility. You know what I mean and how that is.' 'Yes, Father.' 'Since then your brother Wenxian has been begging me for a similar posting,' he says. 'And he has organised the officials... many of the Guard commanders... perhaps even a few regional commanders, to put forth this request.'You nearly gasp. The implications are clear. What can be used to push a gentle request can be used to push all sorts of things later on... 'Wenxian will do what he can,' the King says. 'But I have faith that you can actually *do* something. While the main army is gathering for a demonstration against Chu, I have another force - a mere 5,000, but crack troops - for another aim. Tell me, you. Do our destinies lie westwards, or south?'> To the west. > To the south. > In another direction, actually!> He isn't asking you, buster, keep it zipped. > Other.
>>27979816>> To the west.
>>27979709I'd rather be the Zhou Yu to his Sun Quan/Sun Ce.
>>27979816Map map map we cannot guide our bro in conquests without data
>>27979816> He isn't asking you, buster, keep it zipped.Let our friend shine here.
>>27979816>> Other.Lets give our brother a determined look here, to make him understand we'll help him if he choose the west.
>>27979816>> He isn't asking you, buster, keep it zipped.
>>27979816>He isn't asking you, buster, keep it zipped.Though ask permission to accompany him if you can
>>27979816let's go into the West
>>27979858Okay. I haven't a map of the exact year, but this is close enough. You are basically the pink-purple state in the southern end of China, including Hainan. To your west is Dali, a non-Chinese state. To your south is Annam, run by the Vietnamese. To your north is Chu, which occupies modern-day Hunan. And to your east is Min, a rugged, mountainous state in modern-day Fujian.
>>27979985God knows trying to conquer Vietnam is always a bad idea.
>>27979985so we're Nan Han?
>>27979985> Since the map only appeared now, I'll wait a bit more for more considered votes to be cast. > Yes, this quest will be continued. Like Hunter, I'm also plotting this one a bit more carefully, so we should have a semblance of a story. > Incidentally, on that map, the bluish chunk in the middle is Later Jin, populated by Chinese but ruled by Turks. That's where the apparent bride is coming from.
>>27979985>To your south is Annam, run by the VietnameseQUICKLY! TO THE SOUTH!>>27980011oh hush, we'll be home by... uh.. whats the eastern equivalent to christmas? We just need a plan
>>27979919>>27979936I'll go with these.
So, which nonweapon proficiency did we choose?
>>27980011>God knows trying to conquer Vietnam is always a bad idea.Not if you know what you're trying to do. Fuck those savages.
>>27980133>>27979936>>27979919>>27979861> Last post for tonight! Once again, thank you. > Do follow the twitter for announcements: @Stratocumulus1When the King mentions the south, your jaw clenches. The Annamese - of course, they were the ones who fought and then killed your father, and cut down nearly everyone in his wing of the army. If that does not call for some kind of retaliation... ... and yet, to the west - the mountainous lands between you and Dali - are also rich in tribes, many of whom make for fierce warriors. In the longer run, that might yet make the difference in the quality of your armies... In the end, you decide not to speak. The King is asking his son; it is not yours to answer. You know Wenxun had always considered fighting Dali for control of more of the fertile river valleys to the country's west, and give him a look. If he is going to Dali, then Dali you will attack. Heck, if he wanted to attack the Khitans, you'd be gearing up for the long ride too. But the answer is to your surprise. Wenxun steps up. 'Father, the lands of Annam are rich and their people are numerous. Their cities are fortified, their terrain possibly treacherous. But, Father, remember General Meng with whom you had fought for fifteen years? And how he gave his life to save the army from the Annamese?''I... yes,' the King nods, gathering his apricot-yellow robes. 'But what then?''Then, for Meng Hongyang, and for the kingdom and its army's pride, I say we attack south.'The King glances at you. 'Well. See what my son is willing to do for you. And what are you willing to do for him?'You consider that. You have, as a leftover from your father's days, about 200 men still under your control. It's not much, naturally, but... > What say, Hongyang? This is your chance to impress the King and show Wenxun what a worthy brother you are. > Have a good night, people!
>>27980309Ask for permission to bring our men along to accompany him. if permission is denied, ask for forgiveness if 200 men were to mysteriously vanish sometime that night
>>27980148> Since the votes split 6 Chess, 5 Math, 5 Philo, I want a d100 roll.> Two rolls >75, and you can keep both Math and Philo. If not, choose (I'll record the result next thread.)
>>27980309Well, there's nothing else to do but go.To serve to the best of our ability as our brother's subordinate and right hand.(Guiding hand, but we won't say that out loud)
Rolled 2>>27980390Wrenloft, seriously...
Rolled 36>>27980390>>27980399>>27980400Doing well so far :/
>>27980400not like you're one to talk.>>27980376between the two, I'll go with philo
>>27980390>>27980399>>27980400>>27980412>>27980420> I... wow. > Also, questions, opinions, suggestions, etc. welcome. > Would people like to know what each painting in the OP would have landed you in?
>>27980460Yeah, I'm curious
>>27980460I'd be interested in knowing the other possibilities
> Archived Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27974973/>>27980473>>27980476>>27980478Map is >>27979985> The majestic, pillar-like peaks of the Wuyi MountainsThis would be the State of Min (Tiny green bit in southeast China). Wuyishan is a prominent mountain group in Fujian. > The sweeping banks and reeds of Lake Dongting. This would have been Chu (Larger green bit, north of Southern Han), centred around the lake. > The bends and meanders of the Great River. This would have been Southern Tang (Yellow bit in the eastern portion of China, between the two green bits). > The roar of the tidal bore rumbling up the Qiantang River. This would have been Wuyue (Dark yellow bit on the eastern coast, north of Min and east of Southern Tang).
>>27980654Cool.I think this might be more in your wheel house than the Nomad one. More politicking, less free ridin' is more your strong suit imo.
>>27980376I wouldn't mind switching my Philo to math.
Going with philo
> I take it we'll have Philosophy, then.> You are highly skilled at chess, and also have a deep knowledge of philosophy, including both the conventional Confucian political thought, and Buddhist and Taoist metaphysical beliefs.
>>27980384>>27980369>>27980345You bow deeply, hands held straight by your side, aware all the while that the King is looking at you. Wizened and ailing as he is, his authority continues to almost burn into you as you remain bowed. 'Your Majety, your servant would like to request permission to lead his humble forces - a mere 200 of them as there may be - to join with and aid the Second Prince, however, His Highness may wish to direct them.''But Hongyang, you are a pillar of the court. What if some other governor was to die, like that man from Zhenzhou? Who should I send to make the peasants happy, then? I cannot send you.'His Majesty's voice is deadly serious - except, except there is a little hint of a lilt in his words which, apart from family, not many can recognise. 'Then, Your Majesty, I can only hope you forgive my running away from court. If someone else from Zhenzhou or Hezhou dies, Your Majesty knows where I will be certainly.'The King keeps silent for a moment, but Wenxun has no such qualm, and bursts out laughing. Soon both the royals are laughing, a hearty, loud laugh of warriors. 'Oh, Hongyang, you are just like your old man!' The King says, his laughter making him look almost recovered as he wipes his eyes. 'I... ohhh boy, of course, of course you will go with Wenxun.''Should I draw up the plans then, Father?'He nods in reply, finally getting himself under control. 'Yes. Yes you ought to. Go off now.'> cont'd.
>>27985375Leaving the Palace hall, the two of you can't help but glance repeatedly at each other in excitement. When Wenxun was sent to Hainan, you had also petitioned to go with him - you would have petitioned a lot harder if you knew he was there as a *military* governor, in fact! But the King was quite serious that time, about not letting you go. This time, though... just before dismissing you, the King said that you would be setting off in three days, or at least his 5,000 men would be. You would have to be ready by then. 'We are going to do it properly!' Wenxun says, punching his fist. 'What ought we do first? I think I shall head over to look at the maps available in the Palace Archives. We'll need to get that ready before we can even plan. You can head to my palace and I'll join you for dinner.'On the carriage, you think through what you know about Annam, other than what is personal to you. After that battle near Qiyuanzhou City, where your father was killed, the Annamese have been very arrogant indeed to Southern Han, even though they did not win an outright victory. Every year they would send ships to harass and tax traders passing their waters on the way to Xingwangfu's port; and their raiders sometimes even crossed the border to burn and pillage. For so long, Southern Han has been tolerating such behaviour, fighting but not retaliating. It seems that time is finally past, and that Wenxun - and you - are in charge of demonstrating this. But what might be the best way of demonstrating Southern Han's newfound resolve?> The border economy should be devastated. Repay the Annamese with their own medicine!> Breaking an army is equivalent to breaking a kingdom's arms. You should seek to rout their army. > What is needed is a spectacle. Capture a city, or strike into the very heart of Annam and terrify them. > The sea is your shared lifeline. You should seek to strangle it. Cut along the coast. > Other.
Rolled 24>>27985588>The sea is your shared lifeline. You should seek to strangle it. Cut along the coast.initially at least
Rolled 64>>27985588>> The sea is your shared lifeline. You should seek to strangle it. Cut along the coast.Yeah this. It should deeply impact their economy. After they are weakened, we capture one of their city.
>>27985588>The sea is your shared lifeline. You should seek to strangle it. Cut along the coast.This is quite nice.
>>27985602>>27985634The coast! Annam has done a lot of things to attempt and disrupt your marine trade, and also to re-route that trade towards its own ports, the better to fill their coffers. The more they can afford, in turn, the more they can do in attacking Southern Han. It seems pretty clear to you how that cycle can be broken. A formidable chain of mountains separates Southern Han from Annam, but if you could sail around that, then you reach the flat coastlands where much of Annam's population resides. If those areas could be put to the torch and sword, it would break Annam for years to come... Seeing as you were given 5,000 soldiers, however, that plan would raise a new concern - how you intend to get them to sail around the mountains. Ships, of course. No one's going to be swimming. But where do you get those ships? > You'll need to consider your preparations now. > The King has given you backing for an expedition, but securing specific support will require cajoling, argumentation, intimidation where feasible, or bribing where possible. > You might be able to cobble together a proper warfleet from Southern Han's naval garrisons. They would be trained for war, which is very handy. > Or you could get support from the hundreds of merchant shipowners and use their ships - spacious, but not exactly warships in speed or manoeuvrability. > Or you could think of something else. > What other preparations do you want to make?
Rolled 28>>27985898We have to expect fighting, so we need warships with trained soldiers. The warfleet from Southern Han's naval garrisons will do nicely. Merchant ships are good to make our fleet look bigger than it is, to scare the enemy, so lets get some of these.What about the fleet of 20 warship we led before? Would the new governor lend us some of his ships?
>>27985972>>27985972this is as good of a plan as any I suppose
>>27985972Sounds good to me.
>>27986523Another good idea to consider.
>>27985898>>27985972Hmm, if our main goal is merely breaking their backs rather than actually trying to occupy them, maybe we could look into recruiting some raiders/pirates from other areas to bolster our numbers? In leiu of a salary, we could offer them spoils/looting of any cities we sack.Hell, at the same time, we could also keep a lookout and maybe recruit any that seem especially promising on a permanant basis.tl;dr GanNing.jpg
>>27986545Just to make sure I didn't accidently create a misunderstanding, my plan would hopefully be used in tandem with >>279859725000 troops isn't suffienct for an occupying force, so our goal should be to cause as much damage as possible to them, so offering loot/pillage as a reward shouldn't do us any harm. (Other than leaving less loot for us.)
Rolled 96>>27986552>In leiu of a salary, we could offer them spoils/looting of any cities we sack.I love that idea. We could also give them the chinese equivalent to a letter of marque, as long as they don't attack ships allied with us.There are multiple strategy we could employ here.1- Bait and hookWe start attacking using warships and such to get them ready for a long naval war. That way, they will focus their ressources on that.Then we attack them with our ground army. They won't be expecting that.2-BluffWe make a insanely big looking fleet using as many warship we can muster, nearly useless merchant repurposed ships and pirates. That should affect their morale and make them panic.
>>27986638>>27985898I vote for the latter of these two options.
Weren't spies a big thing in China? If we just grab a ton of merchant ships, they'd probably end up hearing about that.
>>27986638Hmm, perhaps we could use the merchant fleet as a decoy navy? Make it appear that a huge navy is approching them, and when they move to fend them off, we strike with our smaller, better equipped fleet?
>>27986660Even better! With such an obvious fleet, it'll (hopefully) be easier to mask our smaller fleet of actual warships!
>>27986661A two pronged attack, with both the pirate/raider fleet and the decoy fleet, should they send any ships to stop our decoy fleet, we ambush them with our *real* warships.Either way, the enemy pretty much has to split its forces in two to defend against an attack on two sides.
>>27986773Should they focus the majority of the ships against us, we'll enter a delaying action, with the pirates facing lighter resistance, they'll do a better job of attacking them, we let the pirates do our job for us, for free.If they focus the majority of the fleet against the pirates, we don't really care, cause they're goddamn pirates, we use that time to attack their fleet from behind and unload troops.If they have an equal distribution, we've successfully split their navy in two, and now we only have to fight half their ships!
>>27985898> Holy shit, sorry I didnt notice you guys were back! Dozed off. > Welcome. I am now reading and will soon be typing.
Rolled 96>>27986855We never left.Could we get some informations about the enemy? Known weaknesses, historical victory and losses?
>>27986855You are, of course, well aware that with 5,000 soldiers the King does not intend for you to take ground. Your father's army was all of 40,000, and even that could not withstand the Annamese. No, His Majesty merely wants you to do damage. By the time you hop off and make yourself comfortable in the Southwest Palace's antechamber - the servants here already call it 'Lord Meng's Chambers' after how you were always spending time here - you have many plans floating through your head, many resources you might be able to call upon. Merchants. Pirates. Navy. Then there's the matter of what you'll do when you get the fleet and troops. You could decoy them; you could strike at many points along the Annam coast; you'd have to make sure the food and water supply are adquate of course, and and and and...> cont'd.
>>27987029I highly suggest that we find a way to disable their navy without fighting it. Perhaps intimidating them somehow.
>>27987029Right. Calm down, Hongyang. First things first. You will have to get a good military fleet. Merchant ships could perhaps carry troops, but the Annamese have learned lessons from previous wars, and their navy is not to be trifled with. Thankfully, you have many contacts among the naval garrisons after your little stint in Zhenzhou, and your general experience in naval matters. You could perhaps approach Wang Tong, the Commander of the Royal Naval Forces - an effective, if rather doctrinaire, admiral who led the reconstruction of Southern Han's naval forces after the previous disastrous campaign at the Wisteria River. ... then again, asking him to join an offensive might be difficult. It's almost like he's scared of the bloody Annamese. There's an alternative. Guo Xuyou claims to be a descendant of Guo Ziyi, that great Tang general who restored the Empire after the bloodshed of the An-Shi Rebellions, and certainly he's got the guts and aggression to match. But right now he is merely Vice-Inspector of Shipyards, and chafing at the bit. A good turn could be much appreciated... Then, of course, there are the merchants. Those people have plenty of ships, but are often reluctant to loan them over. You can see why. At the Wisteria River there are still some 250 merchant shipwrecks which they never got back. But their ships can add numbers, their sailors are as competent at seamanship as any, and some of them have underworld links as well - trade and smuggling aren't all that different. Officially, you ought to be taking a tough line with them... but maybe you needn't. Maybe you oughtn't. > The good thing about the SW palace is that no one would refuse a summons to go there. And Wenxun trusts you with his seal, too; his servants know it. So you should get inviting now, for an evening meeting. > Get Wang Tong. > Get Guo Xuyou. > Get a small group of the leading merchants. > Show some favour for a larger group of merchants. > Other.
>>27987114>Guo Xuyou>Get a small group of the leading merchants
>>27987114>Get Wang Tong.we can counteract timidity easily enough, but someone that's overaggressive will be harder to deal with
>>27987114Get the pirates! If we can keep them from pirating for a while that'll win favors with the merchants.
>>27987107The problem is that our goal is to do as much damage to their country as possible, if we leave their fleet alone, we risk being stuck in the middle of their territory with their navy cutting off all avenues of retreat barring some kind of Long March.
Rolled 4>>27987114>Guo Xuyou> Get a small group of the leading merchants. >Get the pirates. Yarrrrrr!
>>27987143> and some of them have underworld links as well - trade and smuggling aren't all that different. Maybe smoe of them are actually pirates also. Well we'll see.
>>27987114> Get Guo Xuyou.> Get a small group of the leading merchants. >Seek our pirates, maybe some of these "smugglers" help with that.
>>27987154I meant getting them to surrender their ships to us without a fight. Then we can burn/use them at our leisure.
>>27987114> Get Wang Tong> Get Guo XuyouThey both have their own challenges, Wang Tong's going to be harder to convince, but will be easier to persuade to do unconvential attacks, while Guo Xuyou will be easier to convince, but more likely to charge into a head on assault.Still, I think Guo Xuyou's the better choice, as being grateful to us would make him more likely to listen to our plans, and we could use him better in the future politically.As for his hotheadedneess, perhaps we can convince him by recouting the tale of Chi Bi, where a much smaller naval force managed to defeat a larger force through trickery.
Rolled 17>>27987209>where a much smaller naval force managed to defeat a larger force through trickery.I want to play that kind of tactician really. We could also plan around his hotheadedness. We could leak our plan to the enemy, while planning on Guo Xuyou not actually following it.
> Guo Xuyou> Small group of merchantsYou head, unhindered, into the working area of the Palace and then into Wenxun's main personal study. There, three of his scribes are already in attendance, though by 'in attendance' they seem really to mean sitting around chatting. When they see you, however, a little discipline returns, and they get to their feet. 'Lord Meng,' the most senior one says, 'it has been such a long time since you've dropped by. It is good to see you again.''Good to be here as well. I need some invitations written up.' Between Wang Tong and Guo Xuyou, you finally decide there are more reasons to choose the latter, after considering some political dimensions. Rank and temperament aside, Wang Tong is a conventional man, likely to stick to the misinterpreted Confucianist line that primogeniture is an absolute principle. In short, he is one to side with Liu Wenxian, the First Prince, if there should be a dispute. Guo Xuyou, on the other hand, you're not so sure about. Certainly you'd have to convince His Majesty to give Guo a more proper rank fitting his command; but dangling that before Guo would make him very eager, you suspect. And you see no reason the King would object, unless he knows something horrible about Guo that you don't. Which is possible, of course. But for now... 'I need a letter to be drafted. His Highness's informal seal. To the Vice-Inspector of Shipyards, inviting him to supper.'> cont'd.
>>27987292Question QM, as it may come up later.How educated are we?I assume we can read and write, have a passing of mathematics, history, martial arts and religion.
>>27987292As for the merchants, you hold off on sending the invitations out just yet. But you tell the scribes to draft a letter, nonetheless, and keep it at the ready. This is because, while you know the major merchants from the minor ones, it would also be interesting to focus on the merchants who might have illegal sidelines - or, even, links with pirates - to support your endeavour. Skilled, armed seamen are a priceless asset; you could also use the leverage of the law to arm-twist them into working for you. The letter to Guo Xuyou is readied; you proofread it and then approve its dispatch. Not long after that, an announcement - 'The Second Prince is in his residence!' - makes you jump to your feet. That's not the main issue, though - the main issue is what you hear as the servants lead Wenxun here, no doubt telling him that you are working on stuff on his behalf. 'Damn him! Damn that man! His moustache is three inches longer, and he thinks All under Heaven is his! He wouldn't be able to run a bloody warm bath if he didn't have eight women to tell him what water was! How *dare* he!'Oh, damn. You dismiss the scribes, who scurry away; all of you know, naturally, who's behind the rage. It's Wenxian, the First Prince. The two brothers have never been on good terms; between the two, you are very clear that Wenxun is superior, but Wenxian has the advantage of age. Sure enough, Wenxun bursts in, dismisses his servants, and then sits on the chair so heavily you're worried it would break. 'I've had it with him, Hongyang! I've had it with First Brother!'> Soothe him first. > Probe his aggravation. > Ignore him! Here are my ideas... > Other.
>>27987393>other>Snark "I'll prepare the assassins"
>>27987393>> Probe his aggravation.
> Okay. It's some background information time. Annam is actually a very recently founded state. They took advantage of the chaos in the late Tang to split off, and Southern Han spent 20 years trying to pull them back into the bring by force. Two major expeditions marked these efforts. The first time you tried was some 15 years ago, when a huge fleet led by the King's first son led 60,000 men to sail up the Red River and finish Annam. Instead they were intercepted at the Wisteria River, near Dragonfall Bay with its crazy stone spires and pillars. 'We were defeated' is quite an understatement. Four ships returned to Xingwangfu, the original first prince was killed, and the King nearly died of grief. The second time was about ten years ago, when 50,000 marched overland this time, trying to break through into the Red River Plain. Your father was in that expedition. He didn't come back, as you of course know by now. > Roll d100 for Annam intelligence. As for education - you are very, very well educated indeed. After all you're an official's son, a King's godson, a prince's friend and schoolmate. You learned to read and write; maths, music, chess, archery, horsemanship, sailing and the lot. The best of Southern Han's scholars were your teachers.
Rolled 46>>27987456> Roll d100 for Annam intelligence. >>27987393> Probe his aggravation.
Rolled 65>>27987456Dat Vietnamese intel.
Rolled 32>>27987456How well did we do in school compaired to the princes?
>>27987525>>27987466> Drawn vote for snark and probe, so please continue to vote for now. > 64, 65: Basic success on Annam intelligence. You know that Annam's first king, Wu Quan (or Ngo Quyun in their incomprehensible bloody language), is still alive. Having defeated the Southern Han twice, his arrogance towards your homeland is insufferable; thankfully, this arrogance has apparently also become complacency in terms of defence. Unfortunately, while their king has not been paying too much attention, one of his officers does. Chen Tingji (or Tran Dinchi) was a vice-commander during the battle at Wisteria River, and is now their Grand Inspector and Commander of Naval Forces. He will be a formidable opponent on the front; but you suspect his position is no longer as strong now as it was then, with the king ignoring his defensive duties.
>>27987647Snark it up!
>Making jokes about assassinating the firstborn princeYou realize we could be put to death for this?
>>27987851This thread has followed medieval Chinese social conventions long enough. We want to shake this shit up already.
>>27987878Time to set up an anarcho-syndacist commune
You stand beside the table, listening to Wenxun rant a little more. Then, in a break, you crack a smile. 'What? Was it funny?''No, I'm just wondering if I know any assassins.''Oi!' Wenxun slaps at your hand, but you dodge the move. 'Do not say foolish things like that!' But then he breaks a smile, and your stratagem is effective as he finally sits back and sighs. 'You know that army that Father has been summoning? Those 15,000 he says he is gathering?''Yes. Well, I just knew of it today.' 'Father wants Yang Jianzhi to command it, naturally. And he wants it to do no more than make a demonstration against Chu, just to show them that we mean to defend Guiyang if they dare make a move. But now Wenxian has been all about taking control of that army, about doubling it, even about drawing the Royal Guard units in to reinforce them.''And... what is he doing then?''He wants to build up his favour among the military men, Hongyang! He wants to start a bloody war against Chu in order to do it! And for what? Just because-' he stops there. No one likes to talk about succession, least when they're among the contenders. But now you understand why Wenxian has been meeting people...> Play down the threat. Focus on the campaign. > Tell Wenxun more about what you saw. This is a serious threat. > Other.
>>27987926>> Tell Wenxun more about what you saw. This is a serious threat.
Rolled 2>>27987926>> Tell Wenxun more about what you saw. This is a serious threat.But first, look around the room for spy or servants who linger a bit too long around.
>>27987926>Tell Wenxun more about what you saw. This is a serious threatand for god's sake>>27987957we cannot afford to have this leak
>>27987926Tell him after the meeting, but play it down for now.
>>27987936>>27987957>>27987970>>27988015It isn't nervousness or paranoia to make sure that everyone is actually out of the room before saying what you're about to say. Checking around the room to ensure no servants or spies might be around, you then turn to Wenxun. 'What're you doing?' He says, glancing around at you. 'Well, Wenxun, did you know that Wenxian has been planning this? He was meeting with the Royal Guard's commanders just earlier today. And he may well have links with Yang Jianzhi by now, if he's trying to gain a seat on that campaign.''Damnit.' Wenxun pounds the table with a fist. If there is one major flaw with this man, it is that he rarely keeps his anger in check. Mind, it doesn't happen a lot; but when something does annoy him... 'look. The thing is, judging by Father's expressions, he did not mean for them to know about our expedition. But, of course, now I know about theirs, and... we ought to keep our task a secret until it is too late. Lest he attempts to undermine us.'Now here's a fun situation. Two rival expeditions, each led by a brother, while the King sits ailing in the Palace. Were it not real, it would have made a great story... > Timeskip to the meeting with Guo Xuyou. > Cancel the meeting. Operational Security has suddenly become important. > Tell Wenxun your plans, and ask his own. > Other.
>>27988181>Tell Wenxun your plans, and ask his own.COMMUNICATION IS KEY.we dont want a clusterfuck because our schemes wind up against each other
>>27988181>> Tell Wenxun your plans, and ask his own.
>>27988181>Tell Wenxun your plansWe have to try our best to get as high up in the chain of command as we can with one of the two expeditions. Therefore, if the leader has an "accident," we will be ready to replace him.
>>27988181>Tell Wenxun your plans, and ask his own.
>>27988214we are one of the expeditions. we're talking to the guy that will be leading it.its his incompetent brother that's trying to start a war
>>27988246How high up on the CoC are we now?
>>27988255just under the guy that is just under the king
Rolled 70>>27988181>> Tell Wenxun your plans, and ask his own.We have to work with our bro here.He is probably the only person in the court we can trust.
>>27988246Better to fight the incompetent brother.
>>27988255I've been assuming our corruption is pretty low right now, but we're not even in fetish-land yet.
>>27988265So we can go full usurper and paint the other brother as a traitor, and our character as the replacement for the dead prince and the sick (soon to be dead) king!
>>27988293are...you suggesting we murder our best friend?
Rolled 94>>27988270Direct confontation would be too dangerous.However, we can make sure that he get killed by the beast he's poking.
>>27988293Nah man, I think we'll be happy with Hand of the King status.
>>27988302What part of "Ancient China" did you not understand?
>>27988319>nope.jpgYou guys may be happy with lapdog status, but I will only be satisfied with one of two options: royalty, or death.
Rolled 73>>27988357I don't like the way you think.Don't forget that there is more than one way to royalty. If we manage to become a legendary admiral, we may become worthy of a royal marriage and become the heir to another kingdom.Well maybe. I don't know much about ancient China.
>>27988357I don't know man, getting a nice cushy landed title would be nice, and maybe by making advantageous marriages our line could be elevated to the status of royal blood, but I don't think aspiring to be king in our lifetime is a good idea.
>>27988357>lapdog>best friend and brother of the princeGo away, Snapple.
> Two or three posts before I disappear. Thanks for hanging around!> Check Twitter for updates, as usual. Finally tiring of standing, you take a seat beside Wenxun. This will be difficult. Of course, currently, you have a sort of advantage; Yang Jianzhi is still the commander for the northern expedition, while Wenxun is already the confirmed commander for the Annam affair. Then again, if the worst should eventually come to pass, you will have all of 5,000 men against an army of 15,000 - if not 30,000. Wenxian is not even bothering to conceal his moves now, in terms of consolidating his power; this is because factions in the court support him, while the King is more firmly behind Wenxun. Leaving that aside, you tell Wenxun your plans, and that you've invited Guo Xuyou over to talk. As you say that, the concerns of security suddenly strike you. 'Do... do you think Guo will tell people?''If he has as much to gain from an expedition as you are proposing, I doubt it. I will have him promoted as a brevet vice-Admiral.'That should keep him, yes. 'How about you, Wenxun, what were your plans?''I was considering, in fact, an overland campaign. We assemble at Zuozhou, in the west, then strike upriver along the Zuo, and break the pass at Qiyuan. That will give us a position to withstand Annam's armies, and once we can damage their armies, we will damage their prestige.' You've thought of that too yourself, if only briefly. > cont'd.
>>27988403>>27988424>Wanting to become great through marriage instead of force of arms/political deceptionYou folk make me sad.
>>27988460You talk a little more about your plan; it seems that Wenxun, having heard yours, is seeing it as a slightly more plausible course. After all, the Zuo River option was not unlike that which the armies took ten years ago, and look how that turned out. But Wenxun has one objection. 'We can't use pirates. That would be a great point for Wenxian to bring up if he finds out. Then Father would have no choice but to deal with us.''But if we only have so many men, then...''We'll just have to make do,' Wenxun sighs. 'See, I wish to do to Wenxian the same as I think he will do to us. But I cannot, because 30,000 is a large army. If we were to lose that number of men against Chu, the tigers will pounce on us from everywhere. But Wenxian does not know that - or if he knows that, he does not care.'The First Prince is basically holding Southern Han's armies hostage... and he has a faction of officials behind him.> We ought to get that other expedition cancelled anyway. > We must find some way to stop Wenxian's plans. > Ignore that. We do our duty properly. And victory in Annam is our duty. > Other. > Also - insist on your plan, or defer to Wenxun? He is the commander after all, but seems willing to listen.
>>27988466I think its more because we don't want to get executed for your obviously idiotic suggestion.There's always somebody in every quest who believed we're completely invincible and have free reign to do stupid crap without consequences.
>>27988488>> We must find some way to stop Wenxian's plans.Also, defer to Wenxun
>>27988488If Wenxun is willing to listen we should insist on our plan. And we should try to stop Wenxian.
>>27988488>We must find some way to stop Wenxian's plans.
>>27988499But it's the consequences that make the stupid crap fun.
Rolled 78>>27988488> We must find some way to stop Wenxian's plans. also>> Other.We could hire the pirates throught the proxy of agents masquerading as Wenxian's men.
>>27988667>>27988584>>27988566>>27988501'Wenxun,' you say, while reluctant to continue. After all, how many officials get into trouble for suggesting such... extreme courses of action for their rulers or even friends? 'The First Prince, in my opinion, really ought to be stopped.''But how?' Wenxun sighs. 'Also, do you think your plan has a good chance of success? If we are indeed going to be recruiting Guo Xuyou to our course, then I expect I could also call on the people in Hainan's naval garrisons to join us.'Oh, that's a bloody good idea! 'With those, I am sure it will have a good chance of success. We can definitely do plenty of damage to Annam, which really is the point.''That, and probably loot,' Wenxun smiles. 'But I'm still just wondering. How should we stop him? We cannot possibly hope for the defeat and destruction of those armies. Those are *our* armies. So we will have to go directly after the officials, which we need to run the country, since Father is around.'Once he descends from his anger, Wenxun often becomes over-cautious. You wonder if that's why His Majesty always approved of you being around him - you would keep him from going either way, as often you have. > What do you do/say/plan, Hongyang? You can do military strategy - how about political strategy? > This is the last post for today. Thanks everyone for playing. Questions, suggestions, opinions, etc. welcome. > Guo Xuyou will make your acquaintance next thread. > Also, here's a picture of Dragonfall Bay, better known now as Ha Long Bay.
>>27988927"I don't suppose you're willing to use blackmail and bribery?"
Rolled 62>>27988927We can't go directly against the first prince, but we can gather power in parallel.We could either do enough damage to Annam's army so that they can't focus properly on Wenxian army or attempt to stop them entirely through machinations.We could try intercepting letters containing orders and changing them, bribing officers and officials and possibly blackmailing a few.
>>27989063Just a note: your expeditions are not against the same enemy. The big expedition (which was not supposed to be an *actual* offensive at all, to be honest) is against Chu, your northern neighbour and a major threat. Your expedition, on the other hand, is striking west and south against those pesky Annamese, who call themselves Viets (as if they haven't been *Chinese* for a thousand years). > I am not, of course, a rabid Chinese nationalist. But the MC is as nationalist as people those days were, so.
>>27989120Oh sorry, I completely misread that.My suggestion still stands, we can subtly work against him in the background by planting spies and allies in his army and using trickery while we lead our own expedition.Is the first prince married?
>>27989120Still going with blackmail and bribes. and spies, too, i guess.
>>27989216If he has a family, we could feign an attemp on their lives, which would probably bring him back to the capital and heavily delay his expedition.That or a fake royal letter from the king requesting his presence back home
>>27988927How to do make sure that the first prince doesn't get to go anywhere with a huge ass army? Simple: Ministry of Revenues and the Civil Service. We go and meet with the different ministers and express our regret for having to canel our meeting with them. The second prince summoned us in the middle of our rounds and we had to go see him.We made talk to them and make sure that the army doesn't have enough supplies to make it there or to even be able to start a war.
>>27989248I'd avoid the attempt on his life. That would probably get us into some really deep shit if it were found out.
>>27989248Both of these are offences that could get us and our entire family executed, though. >>27989256This actually makes sense, yeah.
>>27989256Express concern with how the "Royal guard" wich is meant to protect the capital and other areas see to be heading to the front.I mean, if they wanted to reinforce they would just send some of the men, but the entire guard? It sounds like an offensive and if such an offensive were to break? Who would be left to stop the Chu from marching their armies straight to the capital.
>>27989349We have to try and play off the Fear of an invasion and how that would destroy the economy for a long time.And we do this all while conducting the normal business we had with them. Near the end when we have finnished what stuff they wanted we ask if we could ask them something where we start our "concerns" about what has been going on.
>>27989419Even better if we can someone limit the army supplie to....oh...I don't know....Our army size exactly and we then take out our supplies so there is nothing left for them to take to the Chu front.
>>27989518Somewhat limit the army supplies*