First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 31 Mar 2017, 22:47

Dao Lang's question made Huang Dong's mind focused for the first time since the ceremony started. For a moment he stared at Dao Lang intently, he was trying to catch any hint from the old merchant's expression. The next moment, he sighed and glanced around.

'Heaven damned that s*** emperor and his lackeys. If it wasn't for their incompetence, we won't be here today. Even hacked to death would be a punishment too light for them.', he quietly thought to himself.

Whatever he had in mind, they were attending a ceremony with many die hard Han loyalists around. Most of them held important position with much greater authority and power compared to him.

Huang Dong looked at the empty cup in his hand and sighed sadly, "Well... Master Dao Lang... I don't think we have many options, not with our current strength."

"In my opinion, only those with power have such privilege. Those with no power, like a rabbit facing a tiger, their only options are hiding or running. That's why I believe that we should focus on strengthening our military power. Unfortunately, we don't have much information on the rebel's army."

"If we do, perhaps we could come up with some strategy to hold them beyond our city, and give us more time to build our army. In example, if they have no one who have experience in naval battle, then give me three thousand men and I will prevent them from crossing the river."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 01 Apr 2017, 06:31

Li Jun was impressed by Dao Lang's forethought, the idea of the north losing had not crossed her mind and though her mind rebelled against the idea, she had to admit there was a case for saying it could happen. The Han seemed invincible but on a pure miliatry front, they could lose.

As Huang Dong returned to his favourite plan, Li Jun slightly shaking her head as to why he was pushing it on Dao Lang, she was grateful for the time to formulate a response. Sometimes people asked really awkward and dangerous questions, even to a guard and she was grateful for that training now to avoid the politics.


"That question is, in many ways, above my paygrade. On a pure miliatry terms, I would expect the rebels to concentrate on Chang An before coming south but we would be hard pressed if we can not secure Xiang Yang before they turn south."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Chen Ping » 04 Apr 2017, 21:35

Xu Yuan wrote:Chen Ping

"Yang?" An incredulous smile crossed over the elder's face. "You are far from home, my friend. Your lord must have been a benevolent man to give his subordinates such riches. It is a land of exiles and eager young men, so I've been told. A cousin of mine is exiled to Wu for running afoul of the Eunuchs. The correspondence I receive from him doesn't paint it out to be a land of barbarians, but simply lacking in culture. He and his daughter seem to be trying everything in their limited power to bring musical theory and governmental theory to the people of that far-off Province."

Cai Bin laughed aloud at Chen Ping's quip, forgetting momentarily that he was the same man to have dragged Jia Liang back to Wan, hardly breathing. "Very true Master Chen. Thank you for your service. The Magistrate is a steady warrior of unparalleled might in this city. What rumors do they speak of? I have heard little of what the rebels seem to think of us."


Although the trip to Xiang Yang was less than pleasant, Chen was happy to share his experiences.

"The rebels say many things about the Magistrate. I've heard he is a fire-breathing demon, summoned by Han sorcerers to crush the rebellion. Others say he stands over 10 chi in height and can uproot trees with his bare hands. Why, some even say his mere gaze can impregnate a harem...With such a man on our side, we should feel invincible!"

Chen smiled but was slightly sad the Magistrate, as strong as he was, was not the monster of the rebel's imagination. He redirected conversation back to the topic of geography.

"And yes, I agree with your cousin's view of Yang. Yang may be a backcountry province, but it is a safe backcountry province. Yet, I must confess I appreciate Wan despite the chaos here. For one, there's much more business!"

In only 2 months, he had earned over 300 gold in profit selling his wares and patrolling the streets. This wealth would have taken over a year to accumulate back in Yang! He had even earned enough to craft a new fancy silk scarf. Life was good.

Chen then inquired the minister about his background.

"What brought you to Wan, Msater Cai? And why do you remain here in the face of growing danger?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Xu Yuan » 05 Apr 2017, 18:18

Xu Yuan wrote:
Although the trip to Xiang Yang was less than pleasant, Chen was happy to share his experiences.

"The rebels say many things about the Magistrate. I've heard he is a fire-breathing demon, summoned by Han sorcerers to crush the rebellion. Others say he stands over 10 chi in height and can uproot trees with his bare hands. Why, some even say his mere gaze can impregnate a harem...With such a man on our side, we should feel invincible!"

Chen smiled but was slightly sad the Magistrate, as strong as he was, was not the monster of the rebel's imagination. He redirected conversation back to the topic of geography.

"And yes, I agree with your cousin's view of Yang. Yang may be a backcountry province, but it is a safe backcountry province. Yet, I must confess I appreciate Wan despite the chaos here. For one, there's much more business!"

In only 2 months, he had earned over 300 gold in profit selling his wares and patrolling the streets. This wealth would have taken over a year to accumulate back in Yang! He had even earned enough to craft a new fancy silk scarf. Life was good.

Chen then inquired the minister about his background.

"What brought you to Wan, Msater Cai? And why do you remain here in the face of growing danger?"


The elder laughed aloud at these outlandish descriptions of Liu Shentong, but it gave a rise in his mind that he had chosen the correct man to be the head of the city. Dao Lang would not have inspired the same sort of confidence and wonder. "This is the worth of a military man in charge, Master Chen. It has been so long since rebels have had to contend with an Administrator-Warrior that they were caught fully unaware by one, giving voice to their latent fears. This element of unconventional tactics may aid us greatly in our future struggles."

In the matters of commerce the aged politician looked upon the merchant with pride, as if he was indirectly responsible for Chen Ping's recently found success. "Wan, even though it has fallen on hard times, does benefit from closeness to the Central Plains and the Gateway to Jing. Government may have decayed but we have always kept a strong presence and patronage of the financially gifted merchantry as Deputy Prefect Dao would attest to. It is little surprise that you have found such success in our lands."

The situation came to Cai Bin's own past drawing a slightly shocked expression from the elder, before returning to an uncharacteristically shy smile and demeanor. "Oh, well you see... I was once in direct service to the Son of Heaven, long before you were born. I am of the Cai clan of Chenliu and my family was of some prominence. With a gift for politics and my father's connections I was made a minor aide to the Regent Liang Ji." He spoke the name with reverence and a light bowing motion. "I served within that administration gaining further renown and recognition for seventeen-years before..." He stopped himself and phrased his next words very carefully. "Before there was a change in administration." He cleared his throat and continued. " I was... transferred... to Wan nearly thirty years ago and have long been the liaison between the people and the government, I was the official Speech Messenger who spoke the Administrator, Governor, or Magistrate's will, whichever position was ruling Wan at the time. I would put forward many programs and work hand-in-hand with the leaders of Wan, no matter who that may be."

He gave a piercing look towards the merchant. "I am still here Master Chen because the situation is closed. There is no way to escape. The Capital is embroiled, the Old Capital is cut-off, the last chance for survival of our way of life lies here, in Wan. I will act as I always have, in defense of Wan with as little power as I may have. To try and run would lead to an early grave and I am not yet ready for that." His look lightened as he finished speaking, with a smile returned to his well-preserved face.
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 07 Apr 2017, 00:22

Dong Zhou wrote:..."That question is, in many ways, above my paygrade. On a pure miliatry terms, I would expect the rebels to concentrate on Chang An before coming south but we would be hard pressed if we can not secure Xiang Yang before they turn south."


"Talking about Chang An, I wonder... had we sent someone with experience in diplomacy to them? After all, if Luo Yang and Xiang Yang fall to the hand of the rebels, they'll be next and by that time, they'll fight the rebels alone. It would be better for them to fight now, while they have allies in Luo Yang and Xiang Yang."

"Someone with good diplomacy skill might be able to show them that truth and hopefully make Chang An move their army before it's too late."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Chen Ping » 12 Apr 2017, 00:57

Xu Yuan wrote:

The elder laughed aloud at these outlandish descriptions of Liu Shentong, but it gave a rise in his mind that he had chosen the correct man to be the head of the city. Dao Lang would not have inspired the same sort of confidence and wonder. "This is the worth of a military man in charge, Master Chen. It has been so long since rebels have had to contend with an Administrator-Warrior that they were caught fully unaware by one, giving voice to their latent fears. This element of unconventional tactics may aid us greatly in our future struggles."

In the matters of commerce the aged politician looked upon the merchant with pride, as if he was indirectly responsible for Chen Ping's recently found success. "Wan, even though it has fallen on hard times, does benefit from closeness to the Central Plains and the Gateway to Jing. Government may have decayed but we have always kept a strong presence and patronage of the financially gifted merchantry as Deputy Prefect Dao would attest to. It is little surprise that you have found such success in our lands."

The situation came to Cai Bin's own past drawing a slightly shocked expression from the elder, before returning to an uncharacteristically shy smile and demeanor. "Oh, well you see... I was once in direct service to the Son of Heaven, long before you were born. I am of the Cai clan of Chenliu and my family was of some prominence. With a gift for politics and my father's connections I was made a minor aide to the Regent Liang Ji." He spoke the name with reverence and a light bowing motion. "I served within that administration gaining further renown and recognition for seventeen-years before..." He stopped himself and phrased his next words very carefully. "Before there was a change in administration." He cleared his throat and continued. " I was... transferred... to Wan nearly thirty years ago and have long been the liaison between the people and the government, I was the official Speech Messenger who spoke the Administrator, Governor, or Magistrate's will, whichever position was ruling Wan at the time. I would put forward many programs and work hand-in-hand with the leaders of Wan, no matter who that may be."

He gave a piercing look towards the merchant. "I am still here Master Chen because the situation is closed. There is no way to escape. The Capital is embroiled, the Old Capital is cut-off, the last chance for survival of our way of life lies here, in Wan. I will act as I always have, in defense of Wan with as little power as I may have. To try and run would lead to an early grave and I am not yet ready for that." His look lightened as he finished speaking, with a smile returned to his well-preserved face.


Chen nodded his head, grateful to hear the elder recount his experience.

"Heh, you sound both accepting yet hopeful of the situation. Either way, I admire your dedication and thank you for keeping Wan a sanctuary. And, as long as the Magistrate is a fraction of the man he is reputed to be, I think we will be safe in the end."

He stroked his beard before finishing.

"If there is anything you or the city needs, do ask of me. I can do more than sew a scarf, you know! In fact, I plan to take a break from the shop and patrol the streets of the city instead, at least until my prized spot in the town square is cleaned up. A pile of rotting corpses is never good for business unfortunately, but at least the maggots will be happy."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 14 Apr 2017, 17:15

Dao Lang chuckled at his cohorts' responses to his question regarding the fall of the Han. "Right now I think we should assume the rebels have at least twice the military capabilities we do. If they were any stronger...they would have already marched out and taken us. If they were any weaker...they would not have claimed Xiangyang so easily."
He fingered his breadless chin and smiled at Huang Dong. "In that we must, for now, assume their navy is stronger than ours, as well."
He glanced at the woman, Li Jun. "So we are forced to remain on the defensive for now? It seems that to be the case. Should we - and this hypothetical on all accounts - actually progress to the abilities wherein we can expunge the rebel influence over Xiangyang, perhaps even capture the city, itself..."
He trailed for a moment in thought before turning his head back to the woman, staring her in the face intently. "Which should be done first...spreading our influence in the south to eliminate the rebel hostility behind us, or moving north to aid the capital region?"
He turned his head quickly back to Huang Dong with a wide grin, as if he hadn't just given a Li Jun a soul-sucking stare. "Master Huang, can I assume your choice would be whichever direction the river is flowing?"
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 16 Apr 2017, 05:41

Li Jun nodded in agreement with Dao Lang's analysis of the situation though she would really prefer they knew for certain what forces they were up against. She was also relieved that he shot down Huang Dong's plan, more gently then she did but perhaps it would curb his enthusiasm for the naval plan.

Li Jun perhaps misinterpreted Dao Lang's stare as simply concentrating on her so she had the answer, she saw his question as just a miliatry query and shrugged.


"It would depend on how things look when we get that far, I can not read the future. However if the rebels are still strong in the north by then, I find it hard to foresee a situation where we risk allowing the north to fall into enemy hands and leave ourselves without allies."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 16 Apr 2017, 07:12

RCS wrote:...He turned his head quickly back to Huang Dong with a wide grin, as if he hadn't just given a Li Jun a soul-sucking stare. "Master Huang, can I assume your choice would be whichever direction the river is flowing?"


Huang Dong smiled, "Well... I believe Master Dao understand the principle. After all, the competition between merchants and the ever changing economic situation, are similar to the competition between generals and the ever changing situation of battle field."

"In war, just like in market. One should always ready to adapt and take the best decision based on the most updated situation."

"Should we assist the capitol, should we attack the south? It's all depend on the information at hand. Which, unfortunately, we don't have much at this moment. Beside, by the time we have the strength to attack Xiang Yang, the situation might be completely different from the situation we're facing right now. At that time, maybe an attack to Xiang Yang could alleviate the pressure at the north. Who knows?"

"Anyway, for now, like I said, I don't think we have many option. Choices are for those with power and we don't have much. Although we should be grateful, because many in Wan, even have less power than us. If I have to make a decision, then I'll try my best to have it with them in mind. Those who have so little power that their fate are hang on our decision."

Huang Dong secretly snorted, 'Well, Master Dao... I'm afraid you don't get the answer you want.'
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby RCS » 19 Apr 2017, 00:57

Dao Lang nodded as the others spoke and finally smiled. "With Prefect Wai and myself running the economy of this city, I hope that in time the slums of this city will look my mansion. We merchants often get poor public opinion for looking out for ourselves, but a good merchants knows that the more wealth the city around them has, the more wealth they can have."
He laughed with a nonchalant shrug. "It doesn't matter how good of a salesman you are, if the citizens have to decide between a pearl and a meat bun and only have enough for one or the other...I hope you like your pearl because you're going to get to keep it for a loooong time."

He glanced to the sky, grimacing as the beads from his obfuscating cap dribbled into his mouth. As he lowered his head he spit out a beaded cord and watched it swing back in forth, his eyes trailing it like a hawk following a vole. "Money is a fickle thing. On the hand it is entirely meaningless in an existential way, but on the other hand nobody can operate without it."
His eyes snapped back to Li Jun. "And sadly, we are without it. One of your colleagues - or maybe it was one of mine to be honest - they mentioned the military's desire to acquire large numbers of bows. That is a costly operation, but I see the merits of it. You'll have to forgive me - I've rarely engaged in arms trade, I prefer the silk and food trades, myself."
"That being said, arrows are not particularly expensive, just time-consuming to make. What is your opinion on this?" He folded his arms over his chest. He seemed to have a perplexed look on his face, as if he has just asked a question and wasn't sure what his own question was. Before either of the others could respond he stammered. "That is...what do you fellows think of spending whatever finances we have remaining on bows, rather than...you know...anything else a government can throw money at?"
His perplexed look didn't dissipate; hard to tell if he was really searching for an answer, or just couldn't find the right way to word his question.
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Dong Zhou » 19 Apr 2017, 07:11

Li Jun could appreciate Huang Dong's skilful deflection of the question, it was a perfectly reasonable answer while committing him to neither side. Besides some people were thinking too far ahead, their own survival was the issue of now and if they didn't get that right then it didn't matter or south, they were dead.

As the merchant comparisons started getting over head and making her want to zone it, she noticed the merchant turn to her and picked up his question. Her answer was matter of fact, if there was politics in it she wasn't aware and she just answered as a guards officer and hoped Dao Lang didn't take it badly.


"We can equip our troops to an extent for a fight but lightly armed infantry is very limited, if the rebels have enough archers or cavalry then we would be cut down in open field easily enough, we would struggle to manoeuvre and it won't end well for us. Having enough archers needs to be the first priority for army resources beyond basic food and wages, it gives us a stronger defensive chance in a siege if we can fire upon an approaching army and we have some good archer commanders in our ranks."

Li Jun gave a helpless shrug

"I know spending on bows means less money for the civilian side, I can not tell you how to best allocate the city resources but as an officer of the guard, I can only emphasise how badly we need to build up our ranged equipment before we go to battle."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Han1977 » 19 Apr 2017, 23:46

"I guess it all depend on how much money we have right now. I just hope that the new prefect keep our situation in mind, when he run the administration. Spending money for fancy stuff that don't contribute to our defense, is a waste of money. It just make the rebel drool over our city."

"On the other hand, building an army that's too large for our economic ability to support, will be another problem."

"Unfortunately, I never have a chance to deal with the monetary aspect of an army. I'm more comfortable with leading a troop to battle. How the administrator provide the money to buy their equipment or pay their salary, never cross my mind.", Huang Dong added, with a grin on his face.

"Anyway, I believe, the first thing that should be done, is getting information of our enemy. I think that will help us to decide the best course of action."
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Re: First Simzhou Crisis: Selecting a Ruler

Postby Fa Zheng » 20 Apr 2017, 06:41

Liao Ju had sort of dozed off for what seemed weeks. The ceremony had obviously bored him so much that he felt tired and struggled to keep his eyes open. He noticed the others were still talking though and snapped back into reality, he was glad too as it was a conversation he was interested in. Bows. One of his greatest strengths was his ability with one, though no one in Wan had seen him use one yet. For one of the first times since coming to Wan a smirk came across his face as he somewhat abruptly started speaking

Liao Ju: There is always enough money for bows, you can never had too many. What a great way to fight, maximizing your offensive capability while your foe can't even reach you. Though don't get me wrong, a balanced army is always needed, I just find the feel and usefulness of a bow to be outstanding. With the exception of perhaps arbalests I don't feel like there is a better weapon for war. Oh and lets not forget about their versatility, letting you shoot your enemy from the field, walls or sea and being able to drop them and pick up the sword if they make it through your volleys.

Liao Ju realised just how much he was talking and stopped and cleared his throat.

Liao Ju: there is a reason I do not run administrations. I could never balance the civil aspect with the military, one of the many reasons I believe the magistrate should be from the civil corp. Peoples should be able to live without the fear of poverty before some hack job like me squanders all the gold on finding the perfect bow.

(OOC: Sorry, been a very, very busy year so far)
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