First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Bradums » 08 Mar 2017, 15:23

[Tea Party Trio]

At Cai Bin's own apology, Liang chuckled as he placed a friendly hand on the elder minister's arm and replied, "Then it seems you and I are apologizing for nothing, Minister. All is well."

At least the two of them were ready to show respect and speak obsequiously with one another when appropriate. After all, it was an interesting dynamic. Zhou Liang was a noble who saw Cai Bin as his superior in experience and knowledge in the administration, while in terms of society, Zhou Liang was technically superior due to his social status. In those situations, there are usually two outcomes: 1. The two men assume dominance and things are usually hostile; or 2. They two men show deference to one another due to their respective stations. Thankfully, this was proving to be the latter.

"I agree with Minister Cai. I supported your bid for magistrate, among other reasons, because you weren't the typical administrator. You think ahead, you think critically, and you consider the bigger picture. If we are to have a successor, I would be more confident in one who could pick up where you left off, Heavens-forbid anything happens to you, and continue what we've started," the noble explained, "The individuals suggested by Minister Cai are from a military background, but likewise share some understanding and consideration for the other facets of governance."

He stopped to take another sip of tea, draining the last of his cup.

"Of the three, I have only spoken with Captain Li, while I was volunteering with the new recruits at the garrison," Liang admitted, "She is of a logical mindset, and even temper. Without knowing who I was, I expected her to try to chase me off. To the contrary, she approached and conversed with me at length about Wan's future and the future of the garrison. She saw the reality in all topics, and she addressed them with a rare understanding. Wan certainly has a loyal daughter in Li Jun, I will attest to that."

As he poured himself another cup, the Zhou scion looked to Shentong and added, "While I'm not personally familiar with either of the other two, their reputation is firm. Without knowing them further, I would still venture to say that Officer Dai Ren is most in line with your methods and ideals. I am led to believe he is of a similar nature, and has a similar drive. Not too young, not too old. He may be the one to address as your potential successor."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Mat » 09 Mar 2017, 20:08

Tea Parteh
"I would like to speak with Sima Dan, yes. Please arrange a meeting with him. And if either of you meets or hears of any man or woman who may serve in the capacity as tactician, do let me know; it is a void best filled sooner rather than later."

The young general had given significant thought to the battle plans but wanted guidance he could trust to help see Wan through this difficult time. Going into battle without a tactician was sheer folly, especially if the rebels managed to find themselves someone worthy of that title.

Shentong's dark eyes shifted between speakers as both Cai Bin and Zhou Liang gave their insight regarding potential successors. The thought of Li Jun had actually not occurred to Shentong for a very simple reason - he thought she would absolutely hate being magistrate. General Li was an excellent leader, smart, and courageous. Her men loved her. But she would be miserable in the position. Shentong was loath to burden her with such a task.

"You both make some good points," Shentong began. He paused and considered sipping his tea when he realized the cup was empty. He began filling it and continued speaking.

"General Dai will be my successor. It would make for a very seamless transition of power within the military ranks and, perhaps most importantly, we can trust him to serve the Han. I have not been given any reason to cast doubt on Master Liao's abilities or intent, but Dai Ren is a known quantity. He can be relied upon to serve Wan no matter what circumstances present themselves."

"With those matters out of the way, is there anything else that we should discuss? I know the city won't fix itself overnight, but it would be best to know how we plan to approach the issues we face."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Xu Yuan » 10 Mar 2017, 03:39

Tea for Three

Cai Bin bowed his head. "Yes, once I return home I will write up an invitation to discuss matters to a greater extent with Sima Dan. I will have my Aides send it posthaste and I will ascertain if he is worthy as I believe him to be. Aside from the Frontiersman I will keep my ear to the ground for any other potential nominees to this most important post."

The successor was chosen and it was indeed a worthy man. The elder nodded his head in full agreement. "You have spoken the words that are on my mind. Officer Dai's predictability and steadfast mannerisms will steel the people and restore their morale should the worst befall your Lordship." He paused, thinking that they were forgetting something very important in regards to this... oh yes! "We should speak to Officer Dai about this; this should not be a conversation which is sprung upon him at the worst opportunity. I imagine that your Lordship would like to discuss this with him at your convenience."

What else was on the agenda? Well... "In terms of economics there is much to be discussed at greater length. I understand that you will trust these matters to the Prefect, but it seems pertinent to also tell you what the plans were in a preliminary fashion. We have 3000 gold left in the coffers. There are 18 people of rank. everyone chosen has a distinct role to play in either the side of military or the civil realm. 40 x 16, 50 x 2, 20 x 32, 1280 Gold alone goes to the salary. This leaves us 1720 gold remaining. The original plan was to support the building of an Economics Office alongside a Civil Office, since the Economics Office provides the necessary bureaucratic methods for use by the Civil Office, but the influx of officers makes that impossible. Since the cost of this would be 2000 gold. Should that not be possible we could sell food to make up the dividend, but that would mean we could not produce any armaments nor recruit any men. The benefit to this would be that in the next season our taxing methods would become much more efficient thereby fully restoring the city's coffers.

"Yet another option was that we would build only the Lower Courts, which was a hope of Wan for many years now, which would allow us to carry through with recruiting, and some armaments, With the Lower Courts in place, but the year's end we could have the Central Courts fully restored and begin to usher in a new government for the people based upon Law and Order but the return may be less than desired. That is the economic situation as it stands." He looked over to both men. "Does your Lordship or the Young Master have anything to input on these matters?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Bradums » 10 Mar 2017, 16:24

[OOC: I hate my company internet/Internet Explorer. I had a whole long reply written out to this, and it had a brain hemorrhage and decided to kill my open tabs, so I have to rewrite one...]

Liang nodded in approval, glad that the decision had been unanimous. Dai Ren was an easy choice. He had traits similar to those of Shentong, and there was a natural connection. If anything did happen to the magistrate, the transition would be fluid. The only shortcomings Liang had heard of were laughably minor. Supposedly, he wasn't the most pleasant public speaker and his background didn't lend itself to a courtly demeanor, but that's where Cai Bin and himself would step in and go to work. They didn't need a speaker, they needed a doer. Cai Bin and Zhou Liang were verbose enough to cover the difference.

"Forgive my lack of experience if it shows in my words, but this humble student of administration is of the opinion that we should not lease our long-term future for the sake of short-term security," Liang spoke, offering a deferential bow, "My recommendation would be to refrain from drafting or producing much in these early months, and focusing on maximizing our income."

Raising from his bow, he raised a finger to his eyebrow, fixing a stray hair as he went on to say, "With little income, relatively speaking, the act of drafting and ordering new armaments would result in increased upkeep and a continued deathgrip on what little income we have to look forward to. We may feel safer for the increased military strength, but we would remove all potential for growth and self-sufficiency."

Turning to Cai Bin, the young noble asked - almost rhetorically, "The estimated cost of new economic offices is, what, seven-hundred and fifty taels of gold and an estimated timeframe of three months? An established lower court system would be about the same, I believe. While the idealist in me would love to see the court system reborn in Wan, the pragmatist in me believes that the benefit a greater income and infrastructure will bring to all aspects of our situation will be greater in the long run and provide us the means to afford both a new lower court system the following season and a strengthened military without strangling ourselves in upkeep or debt. Focusing on the lower courts wouldn't be a bad idea, but I lean toward the establishment of economic offices for the aforementioned reasons."

Though he sounded confident in his opinion, the young scion of the Zhou clan felt a little concern and self-doubt. These were men who had spent years fighting and serving Wan, and knew their fields beyond a doubt. Who was he? Some privileged kid from a famous family. The more he thought about it, the more he questioned himself...

"That..." he concluded, offering another bow of his head, "...is my humble opinion."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 11 Mar 2017, 01:22

Succession of Groupness

Dao Lang chuckled. "With my new position I think my free time will be eaten up quite voraciously, but I shall try to find some time away from my own new desk."

At the introduction of Li Jun, Dao Lang's smile faded a bit. Ever since his run-in with the guardlets traipsing about under Jiang Yan when he had gone to meet with Liu Shentong he was always a little apprehensive about meeting new members of the garrison. At the self-deprecating comment, though, he managed to regain a feeble amount of his grin. "Yes, well...I suppose we can't expect the garrison to be interested, or even adequate, in civil matters."
He reached up, tingling the beads with his fingers, as he gripped the back of his head and laughed. "It would be like giving me a sword and telling me to protect the city! Ha ha! Though if Captain Li can spell her own name then she's skilled enough to do my job better than I could do hers."
He made a rough chopping motion with his hand. "On a good day, I'd know which side of the sword to grip. Ha!"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 12 Mar 2017, 06:10

As Dao Lang laughed, Li Jun seethed. It was one thing for her to acknowledge her weakness, it was another for this man to mock the guards and she mistook Dao Lang's self-mockery about his sword play as another insult to the guards. For her, the laughter became mocking and it took all her self control, honed byyears of expirence, not to reach for her sword.

"and if you had become ruler, I'm sure someone would have shown you how by cutting out your pompous tongue."

Alas she had rather less expirence in curbing her tongue.
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Mat » 12 Mar 2017, 11:14

T-to-the-Time
Shentong nodded at the young Zhou's suggestion of being conservative in regards to military spending. It was something he agreed with, despite being a military man. They had to approach the situation with the rebels rationally, and throwing what little money there was at the military would mean nothing without food and gold to supply the soldiers.

"We could use more armaments for certain, and my long term view of the situation would see us have at least one-quarter of the men outfitted with bows. We current have three bows for every ten men. It is sufficient."

"So I am fine spending money elsewhere. We also have ten thousand men to train and it will take quite a bit of time to do so. We could get by drafting just two thousand men this season, I think."


Shentong scratched at his clean shaven chin in thought. He could be a thoughtful sort but wanted to be certain of his initial reasoning when speaking of politics, for fear is ignorance showed.

"Once, two years ago, my predecessor sent me to deliver a message to the then-magistrate of Chang An. He was a very active man and floated about between civil offices to oversee things. It took me the better part of a morning to track him down."

The young warrior smiles a bit, remembering the trip. It was the day he met his wife. Bittersweet memories, but sweet enough nonetheless.

"In any case, I noticed that the city's civilian government was divided into three sectors: Commerce, Agriculture, and..."
He paused, trying to search for the word.

"...some other category. A miscellaneous one, I suppose."

"Would it not make sense to focus on both the commercial and agricultural pillars? We have so many talented men available to us that I would like to put as many of them to work as possible. What would it cost us to build dedicated facilities?"


[OOC: Office of Economic Development and Agricultural Office]

This question was clearly addressed to both men, though Shentong was looking at Cai Bin as he finished it. He knew the old man had forgotten more about civil administration than Shentong and Liang would probably ever know.
Last edited by Mat on 12 Mar 2017, 23:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 12 Mar 2017, 23:14

Dao Lang started to sweat a bit. Killing him right in the open was political suicide, but he'd had enough stupid remarks from the guardlets at the garrison to assume that they all lacked enough brain cells to understand the ramifications of their actions. Ever the salesman he merely laughed again.
"Not worry, Captain. A few of your cohorts said much the same thing when I first went to see Cap...Magistrate Liu. Something about how the soldiers in this city would rather fail to perform their jobs and let the rebels and looters take over the city than permit someone besides your boss take over."
He shrugged nonchalantly. "The Magistrate informs me not all of the guards of the city are like this, and I hope he is right. It's hard to peacefully run a city when the local barrack is garrisoned by a gaggle of rebellious peons."
He stared at the woman with a nonplussed smile. "I can't say I'd be any help to train them, myself, but I hope that stalwart folks like you can do more than just dress up the lads and make them parade-ready. Or else the civil sector won't mean much when we're barricading ourselves in the treasury and reduced to prayer. The troops here have fire, that's good, but they need direction - like a petulant child, really. A fire with no direction is an untamed blaze that does as much damage to its starter as it does to the kindling."
He seemed to find pause in his own words, as if they didn't make sense. He merely shrugged and returned to his goofy salesman's grin. "But I'm sure you already know that and I'm just repeating common sense to you, neh?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 13 Mar 2017, 00:21

Huang Dong felt his heart thumped, 'Great... I just mixed the right combination .... Should bring them to battle and I could easily set a fire trap. One lady with lots of anger and one merchant with a mischievous tongue.'

"Now, now,... Captain Li, perhaps you don't know, but Master Dao is known for his ... uhm... love for jokes. Don't take it too seriously. As you can see, he enjoy at making fun of himself and sometimes... other, but he mean no harm."

---

When Dao Lang's attention turned to something else, Huang Dong secretly whispered to Li Jun, "Don't show your anger, if you do then you just make him achieve his wish."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 13 Mar 2017, 07:54

Huang Dong's words of wisdom did temper Li Jun somewhat. She would not ask for forgiveness, her pride was stung and she was still angry but she could offer some sort of peace to the former ruler candidate.

"I appreciate now that it was a joke but we hear too much about how we are lacking in many many spheres, trained thugs, simpletons, that sort of thing from our supposed better. Master Dao, you may yet become governor of a city but a badly placed joke earns ill-will."

Li Jun gave a gentle nod to Huang Dong's quiet warning before turning to Dao Lang. She was somewhat disturbed by his claims that he had been threatened by the garrison. Yet, being on the defensive, her tone was perhaps testier then she intended.

"A guard's duty is not to select the ruler by force of arms, the guards needed to be seen as neutral and upholders of the law. Had you persuaded the city to place you in charge, the guards duty would have been to fall in line and uphold your rule. I do not believe myself, Dai Ren or the new magistrate would have sought to raise arms against the legitimate leader of Wan and we would certainly not have abandoned our duty to prevent invasion."

On the training, she just gave a nod and said nothing.
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Xu Yuan » 13 Mar 2017, 21:08

Wan Harbor Tea Party

Cai Bin listened to both men and carefully weighed what they had said. He opened his eyes as he spoke to both men, turning his head to make eye contact with the both of them. "Your ideas mostly align with my own. What is important as of this very moment is the means which we will use our funds. I am glad to see that both of you, despite being of a martial mind understand the vast importance of economic repair in which the only way to do such is with spending all we have to assure that the future is more profitable." He stopped speaking as a slyness showed in his eyes. "There may be some in our government who will call us wastrels and ruffians for placing all of our money into these measures. They will say that we have bankrupted the city upon a gamble and rally against us in a political arena." He held out a comforting hand. "Concern yourselves not with their prattling, that has been my life's mission and I know well how to deal with small-minded men that will seek to cause division for the sake of personal ambition."

He lightly sighed as he drank deeply of his tea before turning back to the two men. "My personal thoughts are on the Courts, but they always have been. I suppose now is not the time to rush the application of justice, but to reform our tax gathering departments. As such it is to our benefit to build the two offices." He bowed lightly to the Magistrate. "It would be 2000 gold your Lordship, 750 for the Economic Office and 1250 gold for the Civil Office. We would need to sell a measure of our supplies to make up the difference between officer salaries and to have this work done in a single season. Therein lies the true difficulty of our decision. We have 10000 supplies. We would need to sell enough to acquire 380 gold. It will even out the city's budget and there will not be a single gold left until the following tax season, but it will provide a strong pathway to a more sustainable future." An intensity showed in his eyes as he shifted his eyes to look at the men. "This is the real point of contention, sirs. Do we sell enough of our supplies to make the dividend?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 13 Mar 2017, 21:28

Dao Lang grinned almost devilishly as Huang Dong apologized for him. "Yes, as Master Huang says...my humor is often at odds with those who do not know me."
He paused, his smile fading only a sliver. "Actually those who knw me best probably only tolerate it."
He shrugged, the grin returning to its great size. "Truth be told I've been wealthy so long nobody dared upset me by telling me my jokes weren't funny. You'll have to accept my apologies if I cross a line, I lacked a guiding hand when my sense of humor developed and I'm just too old to learn any different."
He laughed audibly, almost strangely. "Not to mention I find myself hilarious, so it's hard to change."

He quieted down and flicked the beaded cap, it was possibly more annoying to him than it was to anyone else. Every time he lifted his head to laugh the beads fell into his mouth. How did the emperor stand to wear these things? If anyone had the authority to change fashion it had to be the Emperor himself, right? Maybe some day Dao could persuade the 'great yellow customer' to buy a truly fashionable hat. One made from Dao-brand Wan-made silken...was he just standing there talking to himself in his head in creepy silence? Yup. He glanced at the others in the small group and blushed. Lost in his own asinine thoughts again, he had missed the opportunity to comment more on the guard quality. Well that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, what with all the trouble his mouth could get him into. Was he still talking to himself?
He smiled at Li Jun. "Well one can't expect such raw recruits to be perfect. I've met Captain Dai, a good fellow, I trust in his capabilities. Oddly enough I have faith in that one that talks to himself a lot...in the third person, too. Jiang is it? There's just something about him that...piques my interest?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Bradums » 14 Mar 2017, 01:03

[Tea for Three]

Seeing his tea starting to get cold from sitting untouched for some time, the young Zhou took a small sip as Cai Bin spoke. He wasn't exactly shocked at the elder minister's confidence and verbiage when speaking about such matters. He had, for a fact, been at this game for longer than Liang had been alive. While that was certainly in his credit, the noble's son took some slight reassurance in that it also offered himself a little for being admitted into their trusted company at such a young age.

To the proposal at hand, Liang remarked, "Pending any catastrophe, we need gold now more than food. We are disorganized and inefficient, as it is, and as harsh as that may sound, I'm confident we would all agree to this. As long as we retain enough grain and rice to last the city without forcing us into rations or diverting the food stores, your thoughts mirror my own, esteemed Minister, though I hadn't the foresight to consider the sale of grain to fund a greater scope of works. Some might criticize or use the sale of grain to cry foul or challenge our ability to manage the city, but the fact is: the gold it would bring will be a small down payment on exponentially-improved harvests and tax efficiency."

At that, he rubbed his chin with his free hand as he placed his cup down. Establishing control and distributing ranks was the easy part. The real trial came in the actual governing of Wan. The three men gathered, along with those who they called comrades, would be tested immensely in the coming months...
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Mat » 14 Mar 2017, 01:41

Shentong habitually reached down and ran his fingers along the pommel of the sword. It was a nervous habit he normally did a better job of hiding. After a moment he spoke again.

"Selling provisions seems the best course of action. Right now we have enough food to feed the troops for an entire year, so it makes sense to part with some of the provisions if it means the civil officers can make immediate use of the gold."

The young warrior's face perked up a bit since he had good news to share.

"We actually have 11,000 units of provisions."

"I spoke with a man by the name of Cao Shen earlier today. Although not a citizen of Wan, he owes the city much. The safe waterways the garrison has provided have made him wealthy over the years. When he learned I was to be Magistrate he sent a small caravan of provisions to help feed the soldiers."

"How much food would we need to sell?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 14 Mar 2017, 14:57

RCS wrote:Dao Lang grinned almost devilishly as Huang Dong apologized for him. "Yes, as Master Huang says...my humor is often at odds with those who do not know me."
He paused, his smile fading only a sliver. "Actually those who knw me best probably only tolerate it."
He shrugged, the grin returning to its great size. "Truth be told I've been wealthy so long nobody dared upset me by telling me my jokes weren't funny. You'll have to accept my apologies if I cross a line, I lacked a guiding hand when my sense of humor developed and I'm just too old to learn any different."
He laughed audibly, almost strangely. "Not to mention I find myself hilarious, so it's hard to change."

He quieted down and flicked the beaded cap, it was possibly more annoying to him than it was to anyone else. Every time he lifted his head to laugh the beads fell into his mouth. How did the emperor stand to wear these things? If anyone had the authority to change fashion it had to be the Emperor himself, right? Maybe some day Dao could persuade the 'great yellow customer' to buy a truly fashionable hat. One made from Dao-brand Wan-made silken...was he just standing there talking to himself in his head in creepy silence? Yup. He glanced at the others in the small group and blushed. Lost in his own asinine thoughts again, he had missed the opportunity to comment more on the guard quality. Well that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, what with all the trouble his mouth could get him into. Was he still talking to himself?
He smiled at Li Jun. "Well one can't expect such raw recruits to be perfect. I've met Captain Dai, a good fellow, I trust in his capabilities. Oddly enough I have faith in that one that talks to himself a lot...in the third person, too. Jiang is it? There's just something about him that...piques my interest?"


Li Jun didn't consider Dao Lang's apology the best she had ever heard but there was no point in arguing about it so she kept silent. Then silent some more as Dao Lang seemed to drift off, creating an awkward silence that dragged on and on and on.

Finally the beaded cap one spoke, breaking the silence. Li Jun was happier to talk about her fellow guards then continue talking about Dao Lang's manners. She relaxed a little as she talked of Captain Dai


"Captain Dai doesn't say much but he is a good man, a good leader, he and I will be able to bring the soldiers up to speed if given time. You can trust him. Captain Jiang Yan is also a good man and a good officer..."

then the pause of her own as Li Jun tried to word this carefully.

"but he is... eccentric and can unsettle those unused to him. Best to leave him be for his own sake."
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