First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Xu Yuan » 16 Mar 2017, 17:54

OOC: I was hoping to get an answer in the Questions Thread but...

Records of the Three Tea Drinkers

Cai Bin smiled brightly towards the Magistrate. "Cao Shen? Indeed, a fine merchant. He proves his virtue by supplying us in our hour of need. It is Heaven's Will that he give us food when our plans most require it." He held his hands out towards the east, where the port sat in a ruined state, ignored by the nobles who occupied this district. "Perhaps we may even see the Harbor restored to allow the free movement of trade over water instead of the increasingly dangerous roads and byways. In fact, should we complete the Civil Office program we can re-establish Port Controls, drawing in merchants from nearby lands which will increase our tax revenue exponentially. While that is an option, I am partial towards Court Restoration after the Civil Office program is accomplished."


He turned to face the young noble. "An astute observation Young Master. It is for that reason I do not think we will face any serious opposition to our proposal. The officers realize that it is the monetary situation that prevents them from gaining rank, therefore out of a desire for self-preservation and self-promotion they will consent. Only those who seek to deter us will not, they will undoubtedly claim they speak for 'the people' or some such nonsense. It is my hope that we have none of those among us, but I cannot honestly say." The Political Advisor turned back to the Magistrate. "As for the price... I am no merchant, the price of rice seems to fluctuate by the season and by the skill of the merchant buying and selling. If I were to wager a guess it would be no more than 3800 supplies." He took several long sips of his tea as he thought on another important matter that should be brought up sooner than later.

He bowed his head to show his earnestness as his voice became grave. "You have acquired the title of Magistrate, but will that be enough to protect Wan? People look to authority as a symbol of stability. If we have over 20,000 soldiers in our military and a significant number of followers the Imperial Court have traditionally granted the title of Grand Administrator for these feats. In this position you would be able to appoint higher ranks to our Military and Civil Realms and the "Imperial Trust" will allow us to field thirteen units, instead of ten. We can hope for nothing further than Grand Administrator, nor would you desire anything more, certainly. It is yet another aspect of it all to consider your Lordship."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Bradums » 16 Mar 2017, 20:10

Liang took a deep breath. He wasn't a master of logistics, but he understood numbers well enough to garner some understanding of the situation.

"I'd be more concerned with the sale of an estimated 3800 supplies were it not for the generosity shown by Cao Shen," he admitted, "The 1000 offered to us makes the prospect of selling supplies to fund civil works a lot more palatable. Especially when the proposed works will increase our harvests in seasons to come and recoup the sold goods in short order."

Running a few fingers across his neatly-tied hair to ensure it was still in place, the young man went on to note, "And if we follow through on maintaining minimal military growth for a short time, the consumption and degradation of supplies will be minimal enough that the sale won't affect the populace or troops. And once the facilities we fund are operational, the efficiency and increased yields will provide us the means to expand our economy and military strength far beyond what we would've otherwise been able to attain."

He finished his cup of tea, and pondered a moment about the latter topic. Liang thought it might be improper to interject in a matter so serious, but felt it best to make his opinion known.

Bowing respectfully, the Zhou remarked, "Sir, I don't want to overreach, but if you were to attain the rank of Grand Administrator, it would be a fitting post. You are a Liu, and you fight to defend the Han from rebels. You united the people of Wan, and you seek to not only defend them, but provide them a stronger future. Not for personal glory or recognition, but because it is Right. If nothing else, these are enough reason to accept the role of Grand Administrator if we can petition for it."

"However, with utmost respect, I feel I may be in disagreement with Minister Cai," he admitted, giving the elder of the three an apologetic and respectful bow of his head, "If the day comes, and you are Grand Administrator, what then? I understand you do not seek lofty titles and increased command beyond what is immediately necessary, but it is no stretch to say that Wan is hardly the only city besieged by chaos. If we are able to secure Wan, defeat the rebels, and begin the path to stability, should we ignore our neighboring cities if they are left worse off?"

Gesturing toward the South, Liang asked, "What of Xiangyang, currently under the rebel thumb?"

Gesturing toward the East, he asked, "What of Runan, our neighbors across the hills?"

Bowing once more, the noble concluded, "We spoke of practicality, and you took on the mantle of magistrate because it was the practical thing to do. You had the mindset and the talent to rectify the situation, and now we're set on that path. I don't believe we should end that path at Grand Administrator, if the Heavens show us a way further. If we defeat the rebels and stabilize Wan, would inaction not be a worse crime than ambition? Would it not be a grave failure to refuse the opportunity to bring order where only chaos makes its home?"

Still bowed, Liang said, "I don't expect you to make a decision tonight, of course. These are matters far in the future, hypothetical and subject to variables beyond count. But I want to express my opinion. If the time comes, and we are able to look beyond Wan's borders - and you are offered the chance to become Governor - it is my opinion that you accept it, and we extend our work further than the rank of Grand Administrator."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 17 Mar 2017, 02:22

Ceremonialism!

Dao Lang chuckled as he fingered his bare chin. "Eccentric? Perhaps that's why I like Captain Jiang so much, a word often used to describe me."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Fa Zheng » 17 Mar 2017, 06:17

Liao Ju had been silent during the talking between the two but the mention of Jiang Yan turned his normal resting scowl into one of disgust. He had no appreciation for the young man at all and still couldn't fathom why he was a guard captain in Wan. The man was obviously unwell and couldn't tell right from wrong.

Liao Ju: You like the boy? I think he deserves a good slap and maybe a missing tongue. Why you officials in Wan decided to give a thug who is unbalanced the position of guard captain is beyond my comprehension. He is meant to uphold the law, not threaten anyone with a different opinion to his own.

He remembered his first encounter in Wan vividly, had it not been for Dai Ren being in a garrison at the time they most likely would have fought. Dai Ren so far had seemed the only military official he had met with any idea on how to lead, however he reserved his judgement on those he had just met or would meet.
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 18 Mar 2017, 06:22

Li Jun couldn't help but wonder if Dao Lang quite understood Jiang Yan's eccentricity or if they were really lucky he hadn't taken control of the city. She liked Jiang Yan but if he ever got into a major position, Wan was doomed. When Liao Ju gacve his views on what Jiang Yan needed, she got him a glare.

"We don't mutilate people we don't like so be careful of who you call a thug sir."

The rest of it, she couldn't complain about it. If she was new to the city, she knew Jiang Yan's recent behaviour would raise questions. That wasn't to say she was particularly tactful with her reply.

"He was hired becuase he was a strong youth with no record and he has risen quickly becuase he is good with the soldiers, kind to the civilians he must protect, an excellent understanding of archery, loyal, a good heart. He has always had eccentricities but it has gotten worse recently however with war coming, I doubt the last thing this city needs is for one of it's best archer commanders to be out of action. We need all the talent we can find and we all have to point up with figures that, personally, we might want to slap."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 20 Mar 2017, 12:39

Huang Dong quietly listened to various comments of the one surnamed Jiang. He quietly listed his new acquaintances, that was made in just a couple of days. They provided him with many entertainment with their interesting personality.

Huang Dong took a glance at those around him and smirked, 'Hmm... another weirdos..., this city is just like one hell of chap chay. I wonder what kind of weirdos I'll meet later. Such diverse personality...'

He calmly cleared his throat before he commented, "Trust... faith... it's weird thing. Sometimes people have faith on someone who... have a unique personality. If this man is trusted by his subordinate and reliable at doing his job, then despite his eccentricity, he is valuable for our army."

"The soldiers won't trust him for no reason, and it's the job for Captain Liu to decide whether he is truly reliable or not. A good leader should have a good eye to judge."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 23 Mar 2017, 08:10

Li Jun nodded to Huang Dong's words, she was grateful for the support though she would be surprised if Huang Dong had ever met Jiang Yan. It was worrying that Jiang Yan had given such a bad impression, it might mean he would have to be handled with care to at least prevent more outcries.

"This city needs to make the most of it's talent. My knowledge is among the guards, if the rest of you know figures in other spheres of Wan that should be used, we could use your help recruiting and utilizing them. With the rebels gathering and the city in a poor state, we can't afford to fail to use anyone properly."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 23 Mar 2017, 13:32

Dao Lang's face went a little pale as Li Jun mentioned Jiang Yan leafing troops in battle. "He's...going to be leading troops...in the looming battle?"
He shuddered. "Well I suppose...every army...needs fodder?"
His tone suggested he was grasping at straws to try to find something positive to say. "I'll admit that I hadn't really considered the fact that, as a captain, he would be leading soldiers in battle. I kind of thought...something more akin to guarding the Magistrate during the fighting."
He shrugged. "Can't argue that he seems loyal to Capt...Magistrate Liu."
And if he wasn't and he snapped and killed the Liu Shentong? Would that really turn out to be a bad thing for Dao?
"Hehehe...." He chuckled oddly and smiled at the assembled speakers. "Well, either way, Captain Li is correct that we need all the talent we can scrounge up. I'm no war major, but I think our best hope is that the rebels bypass us and go after the capital."
He looked about the others. "Or would that make things worse? We could either assault the rebel city and reclaim it...or take their army from behind. But I admit that my specialty would be more in coordinating supply lines if someone were desperate - or foolish enough - to put me in charge of any troops."
He smiled broadly. "I think we can all agree that if it came down to me or Captain Jiang, thug or hero, we should put the troops under his care."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 24 Mar 2017, 00:46

Huang Dong smiled wryly as Dao Lang seemed insisting on getting on Li Jun's bad side, "Master Dao, I wouldn't worry much about having someone with a few screw lose in his head to lead a troop in battle. I've seen men who can't live normally in society, turn into hero in battle."

"Of course, I couldn't judge Captain Jiang Yan's ability before I met him, but judging from his colleague's trust in him, I guess he is a capable man."

"He will ruin your business if you give him a job as your clerk or salesman, but based on Captain Li Jun's testimony, it seem that he will do just fine or even a marvelous job in battle."

After a pause Huang Dong said, "It wouldn't be easy to find someone who are reliable both in civil and in military. Most of the time, those who try to learn both field, will find it hard to achieve the peak."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 24 Mar 2017, 08:03

Li Jun fumed as Dao Lang reacted rather... poorly to the idea of Jiang Yan, she wondered how badly he would have handled the army if he had become Magistrate. There were strange people in an army, that didn't say much about their ability to kill the people they were facing. Huang Dong's intervention at least prevented Li Jun letting her temper explode, she took his path of keeping calm.

"A miliatry officer needs to be able to understand the flow of battle, be skilled at killing those in front of them and know how to get the best out of their soldiers. Most commanders won't worry too much if their officers are unusual or less then ideal in some ways, as long as when the time comes, they can do the job."

At least the merchant knew his limitations to an extent but when he mentioned rebels leaving them alone, she shook her head vigorously.

"I doubt the rebels are going to leave us alone. We may be in poor shape but leaving us means we can grow into a threat and if they don't win quickly in the north, suddenly they have an army at their backs to worry them. Assume they will come here to secure their route north and give them a base closer to their main goal."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 24 Mar 2017, 13:38

Dao Lang shrugged. "Strange is one thing, dangerous to your fellows is another. An unhinged person shouldn't be in command of hundreds of people. Who is to say he doesn't hallucinate and charge his forces into an ambush? He is a fearsome person though, many fear him..."
He motioned around the group. "Clearly, given our conversation."
He placed his hand to his chin. "Sick him on the enemy and make them fear him more than us, I certainly agree with that idea. But I hesitate to put unstable people in positions of command."
He tried to give a civil servant analogy, but he came up draw. "Imagine a minister of the treasury who...uhh...couldn't count?"
He shook his head and held up his hand pleadingly. "No, no...I don't think anyone here, even Master Liao, doubts Captain Jiang's abilities."
He shrugged, it would have to be a shop keeping analogy. "Imagine...a shopkeeper who could sell rocks to a mountain hermit? He could sell you the shoes on your own feet. But he has a wandering eye when it comes to numbers. They say one-two-three, and when you read them to him he can recite one-two-three...but when he looks at them on paper he sees one-three-two. No matter how good he is you can't trust him with the ledger. He has a place in the organization, you put him in the front and have him hawk wares...but you don't put him in charge of the store."
He lowered his hand from his chin with a sigh. "Knowing that the rebels will come here is troubling, but not unexpected. That means what my department accomplishes in the field will be burnt, what we accomplish in the mines will be torn down, and what we accomplish in the coffers will be spent on weaponry."
He smiled oddly. "While fields can be replanted, mineshafts reinforced, and coffers replenished...I worry that just sitting on the defensive will wear us down. How many must starve because the rebels come at harvest time, how many are trapped because they are underground when the rebels steal the lifts to build palisades, and how many will become destitute because we tax them to poverty to fund more swords and bows?"
He glanced at the others. "We know little of the enemy...but with what little we know what do you all think of the ultimate agenda of attacking Xiangyang? I mean...it has to happen eventually, right? Or do we beat them back and assume the Imperial Court's authority will naturally return there?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 26 Mar 2017, 06:48

Li Jun would be the first to admit, if only to herself, the analogy escaped her but it was clear that Jiang's... instability worried him so she tried to give some reassurance.

"If Captain Jiang ever got to a position where he seemed a threat to himself and his men, he will get pulled from duty. He hasn't gone that far yet though so till then, we must use his talents."

The guard captain was more comfortable talking miliatry affairs and she brightened up as Dao Lang talked of the long term plan. Her body relaxed, a small smile appearing, this sort of thing she was used to.

"We are a long way from being able to attack but if we can repel the attacks then at some point we will be in a position to take the offensive. I hadn't considered it in th same way as you Master Dao but we are of the same mind on the need to take the fight to Xiangyang rebels. If we stick on the defensive, we let them dictate the terms and risk either being worn down or making one fatal mistake that costs us everything."

Thinking about the court, Li Jun shook her head.

"The imperial armies have their own problems, we can not guarantee they will be in any shape to help us for some time. We should act on the assumption that we must fend for ourselves."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 26 Mar 2017, 08:09

"I'm afraid, it will take a long time before we're in position to attack Xiang Yang. With our current army and the limited budget, I think the battle at Luo Yang will end, before we reach the level where an attack to Xiang Yang is feasible.", Huang Dong gave his opinion.
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 29 Mar 2017, 08:03

Li Jun nodded.

"Huang Dong is right, will be some time till we can attack but I do think we should plan as if no help will come rather then rely on the Imperial Forces. They may have other priorities once one of the capitals is saved."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 31 Mar 2017, 17:47

"So we all seem to be in agreement that we're on our own; at least for the foreseeable future." He paused and looked around before settling back on the group. "Has anyone considered our options if...the capital falls? Or even worse...Heavens forbid, the Emperor be taken or killed?"
He tried to gauge the expressions of the others as he let his question sink in.
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