|Chess of the Three Kingdoms|
Map as of end of game
|Link||Chess of the Three Kingdoms|
|Size||17 Players (Large)|
|Start Date||February 13, 2009|
|Winning Faction||Wei/Ma Chao|
|First to Die||The Merkal|
|Last Remaining||Surge, Joe's Student, Einkil, JarZe, SparrowHawk|
|MVP||SparrowHawk / Surge|
Chess of the Three Kingdoms was a game designed and hosted by yoruichi-san based on his own idea.
It began on February 13, 2009 and ended in a Wei/Ma Chao win in Cycle 7 (24 March, 2009).
Game Mechanics Edit
- Last Kingdom standing gains sovereignty over the Middle Mafiosphere and wins the game. Independent wins are independent of the Kingdom win.
- Surround kills: If a legion or group of allied legions is surrounded (i.e. all points one move away are taken up by enemy units), the legion is killed. If all the legions of a player are killed, the player is wiped-out and leaves the game. After completing a surround kill, participating legions may not move until their next movement phase. Kills effectively occur at the end of a Movement phase and all possible kills for that arrangement occur simultaneously.
- Movement phases are 12 hours for each of the Kingdoms to decide their moves. It is highly recommended that the teams discuss strategy and ideas prior to their actual movement phase.
- Movement rules: ##Legions move along line segments. Unless otherwise stated, each player may move up to a total of 6 units during each of their Movement phase, to be divided up among their legions however they wish. Final decisions should be written in the form (xi,yi)->(xf,yf), where xi and yi are the starting coordinates of a legion and xf and yf are the final coordinates. No two legions may occupy the same spot. There are no other limitations to movement. The Independents have priority during movement, so if a Kingdom player attempts to occupy the same spot, the player will be placed in the spot 1 move prior to their desired destination. Moving a legion into a surrounded spot is suicide unless it completes a surround kill of its own on that move.
- The Politique phase is 24 hours unless a no-contest is called. A no-contest can only be called by a player who has majority and must be PMed to me (since players can say whatever they want to on the thread ;P).
- Politique rules: Players must vote for the player they want to sanction. The player with the most votes will have their supply lines cut and hence be unable to move during their next movement phase. In case of a tie, if there are 2 or more votes for each tied player, all tied players are sanctioned. If there are less than 2 votes, no tied player is sanctioned.
- Order: Shu, Wei, Wu, Politique, Wei, Wu, Shu, Politique, Wu, Shu, Wei, Politique, Shu, Wu, Wei, Politique, Wu, Wei, Shu, Politique, Wei, Shu, Wu, Politique,...(repeat)...
West (Shu): Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhuge Liang, Zhao Yun
- 3 roles: Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei: Sworn brothers. Part of their oath: "Although we were not born on the same day, we swear to die on the same year, month, and day." Activating the 'Peach Bomb': If one brother is wiped out, the other two will die as well. However, since Guan Yu and Zhang Fei are formidable warriors, they will not go down quietly. Their dying legions will kill any adjacent legions (i.e. legions that are one move away). Also, Liu Bei may sacrifice his movement during any cycle to discover the character identity of a player, which Shu will be informed of during the Politique phase.
- Zhuge Liang: "Three inept tailors can defeat a Zhuge Liang." To kill him, legions from at least three different players must be used in the surround. If Liu Bei dies, his fierce devotion to loyalty will allow him to "stop five armies", i.e., he will be able to halt the movement of 5 legions once (chosen during the Politique phase).
- Zhao Yun: A brave warrior dedicated to serving his lord. Every cycle, deliver a secret message to a character who's legion is one move away from during the Politique phase.
North (Wei): Cao Cao, Cao Ren, Xiahou Dun, Dian Wei, Sima Yi
- Cao Cao: Hero of Chaos. Prince of Wei. An ambitious and cunning man. Cannot be wiped out as long as Wei stands. If his last legion is killed, he will take command of a surviving legion of another under his command. Every cycle, during the Politique phase can select an enemy legion which will be converted to an allied legion (count as a Wei unit), although not under his control, for the next cycle. The conversion is revealed when it has an effect (i.e. part of a kill) or at the end of the Wei Movement phase, which ever comes first.
- Cao Ren: Cousin to Cao Cao. Valiant and loyal to a fault. Every cycle, may 'deliver' a secret message. I.e. he may send a secret message to a player whose legion is one unit away during the Politique phase.
- Xiahou Dun: A general who has followed Cao Cao since the beginning. Lost an eye in battle. Every cycle, he learns the identity of any non-allied units who are within the triangle made by his three legions during the Politique phase. If he is down to two legions, he learns the identity of the units that are on the line segment made by his legions.
- Dian Wei: A young and adroit warrior. Fierce and eager for battle. Any cycle, but not two in a row, he may engage any or all the legions he is adjacent (1 move away from) in battle. After he engages an enemy legion, neither he nor the enemy legions may move for the duration of 1 cycle.
- Sima Yi: A capable tactician with his own ambitions. Any cycle, he may choose to sacrifice his movement to lay a trap: prior to the end of the Politique phase, he chooses a set of coordinates in the grid and if a legion is there after the next Movement cycles the legion is trapped there for the following cycle.
East (Wu): Sun Ce, Sun Quan, Gan Ning, Ling Tong, Huang Gai
- Sun Ce: Eldest son of Sun Jian. Descendent of Sun Ji (Sun Tzu). A formidable warrior as well as a capable general and a benevolent ruler. Any cycle, but not two in a row, he may choose any two legions to switch on the map. Takes effect at the end of the Wu Movement phase.
- Sun Quan: Younger brother of Sun Ce, inheritor to the Sun legacy. A capable politician and general. Every Cycle during the Politique phase, may find out the identity of one character that one of his legions is within 3 of from and send a secret message to that player.
- 2 roles: Gan Ning and Ling Tong: Generals and rivals for Sun Quan's favor. One may move more units during a cycle if the other moves less units. I.e. Gan Ning may move 8 if Ling Tong moves only 4. Total allowed moves for the two during a cycle is 12.
- Huang Gai: Veteran soldier. Any cycle may carry out the 'Bitter Meat Plan', sacrificing his movement in order to cancel out the ability of a player of his choosing. Must inform host of intention to carry out the Bitter Meat Plan prior to the end of the Politique phase.
South (Independents): Lu Bu, Ma Chao. Are neutral to each other. ***Independent wins are independent of the Kingdom win, and if an independent reaches their win condition early on, they leave the game in victory and the game continues until one Kingdom is victorious.***
- Lu Bu: The greatest warrior. Wins if he takes part in the surround kill of 3 of the greatest warriors of the Kingdoms (Dian Wei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Sun Ce, Gan Ning) He possesses Red Hare, the fastest horse, which allows him to move a total of 9 units. May send a secret message to any character during the Politique phase.
- Ma Chao: Seeks revenge on Cao Cao for the death of his father. Wins if he takes part on the surround kill on 3 of Cao Cao's legions. May choose to move at any phases during the cycle and may divide up his moves however he pleases. May send a secret message to any character during the Politique phase.
Host's Summary Edit
Game Idea and Expectations Edit
Winning Faction Edit
- Joe's Student
- JarZe - Ma Chao
- sparrowhawk (dawh)
Day and Night Posts Edit
|In the peach garden, the fuzz on the plump fruit radiated a golden glow in the red-orange rays of the setting sun. Beneath the spry blossoms, the gallant figures of three heroes were coalesced into a single magnificent image, an image that would be painted into innumerable canvases for centuries to come. In that timeless scene, the three swore an oath that would serve as both the beginning and end of the extraordinary adventure to come:
"We three---Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei---though of different families, swear brotherhood, and promise mutual help to one end. We will rescue each other in difficulty; we will aid each other in danger. We swear to serve the state and save the people. We ask not the same day of birth, but we seek to die together. May Heaven, the all-ruling, and Earth, the all-producing, read our hearts. If we turn aside from righteousness or forget kindliness, may Heaven and Human smite us!"
A dry laugh escaped Cao Cao's lips. "Of course not." He waved his hand dismissively. "Why should I risk detriment to my army when we can simply wait for Bao Xin to attack and weaken the enemy rebels and then clean up?" Stroking his chin, he mused "In fact, I think we may be able to convince the remainder of the rebels to surrender and join our ranks..."
And so it was. Receiving Cao Cao's message, Bao Xin led his armly hotly into battle with the rebels, inflicting great damage until he was killed. Subsequently, Cao Cao pursued the rebel survivors as they fled. Ten thousand surrendered, and Cao Cao cleverly put these new converts in the van. As his army marched on, upon seeing that their former colleagues had joined Cao Cao, many more of the rebels surrendered. Three months later, Cao Cao was ready to conquer the Kingdom.
The brothers Sun Ce and Sun Quan, regal in their ancestral armor, stared across the horizon from their perch upon the red cliff. The blood in their veins carried their history and their legacy. They were born with prestige due to their ancestor, the great strategist Sun Ji (Tzu). But they were determined to carve their own place into antiquity with their own minds and hands. They had a loyal following and the wits and skill to carry them through. Now it was time for the war of the Kingdoms to begin.
|Wu Movement :
Separated from their colleagues and starving, Guan Yu's general did his best to keep up the moral of his troops. But they were surrounded by the combined forces of Wu and Wei and there was little hope. Ever merciful, the magnanimous Sun Ce ordered their deaths to be swift.
A ways away, Ma Chao fastened his swords to his belt and leaped onto his horse. He had paid his respects to the grave of his father, and now he was ready to move. He rode some distance before coming to a stop to allow his horse to rest and drink near a creek. Moments later, some men waving a banner came out of the woods. On the banner was the character of Wu. "You dare disturb my resting spot?" Ma Chao said, his hand flying to the hilt of his sword. His eyes flared. He was ready for a fight.
The Wu troops, who were weary from their battle that day, took one glance at the formidable warrior and hastily retreated to the nearest location in the direction they had come from.
The Sun brothers smiled to themselves as their troops sneaked into their positions under the cover of darkness. Outwardly agreeing to an 'alliance' with Wei, they secretly made plans to take out the legions of Cao Cao, Cao Ren, Xiahou Dun and Sima Yi. In doing so, they fulfilled their promise to Ma Chao to help him avenge his father. As Sun Ce leaned back and scanned the corpses sitting on the ground, Sun Quan nodded to Ma Chao from across the battlefield. Ma Chao raised his weapon in a salute before riding into the sunset, to return to battle another day.
As the brave soldiers of Wei marched out to battle, Sima Yi sat in his tent, stroking his long black beard. Moments later, a messenger stumbled in front of him. Although breathless, the messenger still obeyed protocol. He planted his knee on the ground and bowed to Sima Yi. "Lord Si," the messenger began. He looked up, his eyes alight with excitement. "Your trap has been sprung."
Meanwhile, at the forefront of the army, the units of Wei and the units of Wu stared at each other with hostility. Suddenly, the line of Wei units parted and a doughty figure rode out onto the battlefield. He raised his ornamental saber and pointed it at the Wu units. "I, Dian Wei, challenge your warriors in battle!" he declared. Sun Ce, who was leading those units, rode out bravely to meet his challenge. His brother, Sun Quan, and his general, Gan Ning followed their leader.
Dian Wei was a fierce and skilled warrior and the battle would not be easy. The adversaries traded blows long into the night...
Obeying a summons, Zhuge Liang entered the tent of Liu Bei, his liege. Two scrolls lay unfurled on the table, and Liu Bei sat between them, his brows knit in contemplation. Zhuge Liang inquired of Liu Bei what he was thinking about. Liu Bei answered: "Both Wei and Wu have asked our assistance in defeating each other's armies. There are both risks and benefits to each's proposal. I am not sure who's side to take...if only we could defeat them both..."
Zhuge Liang waved his swan-feather fan. "My lord," the greatest tactician murmured. "What if I told you there is a way to do just that?"
Having been assured by the representatives of Shu that no attack would come from that faction, the soldiers of Wei and Wu slept soundly in their beds that night, resting in preparation for the battle with each other ahead. Unbeknownst to them, the forces of Shu crept stealthily into position around their camps. The first torch was thrown, the legions of Shu mounted their offensive, and before the targets could react, the campsites had become a blazing inferno of chaos. When the soldiers came running out of their tents, the Shu legions were standing ready to cut them down. The sky was lit orange by the flames and the ground was painted red with blood from the massacre. When the fire had smoldered down, so had the fighting. The banners of Wei and Wu had been charred beyond recognition. The pristine banners of Shu waved in the wind, held proudly over the corpses strewn below.
|Map has been updated.|
As the armies of Wei closed in upon them, the legions of Wu bravely stood their ground, swords and spears held ready to make one last stand. Then a cry came from the west. It was the scout, reporting joyously that they had found an escape route. With renewed hope fueling their actions, the legions of Wu hurried in that direction. The scout led the units through the thicket of forest and to a river, over which the only passage was a thin wooden bridge. The legions were forced to traverse over one-by-one. After half the legions had crossed, suddenly, the legion approaching the bridge froze. Their comrades across the bridge called out to them, asking what the matter was. In lieu of a reply, the legion allowed the Wu banner they held to drop into the river. Then swiftly, they attacked the bridge with their spears, cracking the wood and causing it to collapse into the raging waters. They turned on their trapped comrades with hostility in their expressions, as the figures of Wei soldiers crept out from the shadows of the trees. The Wu troops on the other side of the river could do nothing but watch helplessly as their comrades were brutally slaughtered. The river which carried away the Wu banner now ran red with Wu blood.
The rain poured down on the remaining forces of Wu, trudging in the mud, heads lowered in sorrow for the loss of their comrades. Suddenly their self-enforced silence was broken by the sound of hoofs approaching. Sun Quan glanced up just in time to see the glint off Zhang Fei's serpent halberd as it came towards his head. As death approached, images flashed in his mind. He saw the face of his parents, his sister, and finally, his older brother Sun Ce as a child, running up to him with a red bean bun which he offered to his younger brother, panting. Then he saw Sun Ce as the great grown man he had admired, who smiled at him with a magnanimous expression on his face. Brother, here I come. That was the thought that ran through his head as it fell to the ground. Enraged, Huang Gai summoned up all the strength he had left in his old bones and charged towards Zhang Fei. Taken by surprise, Zhang Fei's horse reared back, throwing the hero to the ground. As Zhang Fei was struggling to get a hold on the muddy ground, Huang Gai vaulted towards him, sword raised. Zhang Fei managed to get to his feet just in time to parry the attack. The two exchanged several more awkward blows as they struggled to keep their balance on the slippery ground. Then as Huang Gai prepared to parry another attack, his knee, weary from decades of hard use, gave out. The serpent halberd went through the old man's body. As it was withdrawn, the old man's body fell forward into the mud and the earth, to receive the rest it had long deserved.
After the destruction of Wu, the leaders of Wei were solemn as they contemplated the threat of the over-whelming forces of Shu. But the ambition of the hero of chaos should not be underestimated. With the help of his trusty advisers, Cao Cao began to scheme up a plan.
Hearing from his spy that Zhang Fei had beaten and hence alienated one of his commanders during a drunken fit, the consistently capitalizing Cao Cao called for a messenger to be sent to the commander bearing a carefully crafted letter soliciting his aid to turn against Shu along with several lavish gifts, including a jade handled sword. The commander, reading the letter, himself became drunk on Cao Cao's officious praise. Bathing in the glow from the sword as he tilted it in the sunlight, he swore to himself to extract his vengeance on the drunken bastard.
This news was joyful to Wei. But it was not enough. To win they would need the aid of Lu Bu, as well as the lone survivor of Wu, Ling Tong. Fortunately for them, Lu Bu had his own ambition to duel with Zhang Fei and prove himself the strongest warrior in the land. Ling Tong, who was in mourning for his fallen comrades, would be more of a challenge.
Cao Cao fell asleep, puzzling on the dilemma. In his dreams, amidst the usual chaos and bloodshed, he saw something new. As he slew a faceless adversary, his sight beheld the figure of Ling Tong, cutting his way through the brawl with a very special weapon in his hand. It was the Seven Star Sword.
Immediately after he awoke, Cao Cao sent for a messenger. Now he knew what he would have to offer Ling Tong to gain his aid.
The next day, as the sun set, the banner of Wei flew over the blood soaked ground. The silhouette of Lu Bu on his horse was outlined by the blood-red sun. The treacherous commander stroked his sword as well as his pride. Ling Tong stood proudly in the middle of the battlefield, a banner of Wu in one hand, the Seven Star Sword in the other.
Sorry ST...no supplies for you
Wei Movement starts!
Liu Bei and the rest of the Shu commanders were hunched together over the table, which was strewn with hand-drawn maps of the region. In the flickering of the red-orange lamp light, shadows creeped in and out of the lines and creases of their war-worn yet determinedly concentrated faces. Their energy and resources were being whittled away little by little by the enemy forces of Wei, and if they did not act expediently, it would be only a matter of time before the insiduous Cao Cao subverted their entire army out from under them. They couldn't wait any longer, it was time to take the initiate and use their immensely destructive force offensively. Liu Bei would send his legion into the heart of enemy territory to lure the troops of their adversary into an ambush, where Guan Yu and Zhang Fei would be prepared to jump in and take their momentus last stand.
The waning moon was high in the sky whilst Liu Bei's legion marched into place, carrying wooden torches. Ma Chao came up behind them, as they had asked. The figure of Cao Cao, leading his army appeared in their line of sight, just as they had planned. Cao Cao let out a contentious laugh, addressing Liu Bei, "Now we have you surrounded. What are you going to do?"
In response, Liu Bei held his head up defiantly. "No," he countered. "Now we have you were exactly where we want you." As he said this, he gracefully raised an armored arm and motioned for his lieutenant to light the signal. The lieutenant raised the torch...and offered it into salute to Cao Cao. Cao Cao laughed victoriously. "Fool...your troops are no longer loyal to you. They are mine now...and your kingdom will be too, very soon."
For the moment, Liu Bei just stared up at Cao Cao. In the darkness...(to be continued)
For the moment, Liu Bei just stared up at Cao Cao. In the darkness, Liu Bei's expression was hidden from the sharp eyes of the Prince of Wei.
"My liege, watch out!" called the treacherous lieutenant to Cao Cao as he caught sight of the glint of the moonlight off an archer's arrow in the distance. Cao Cao turned just in time to see...the arrow graze by his cheek. "Ha!" he cried triumphantly, turning back to Liu Bei. "Your archers, like your strategy, has missed the mark!"
"No," Liu Bei asserted defiantly. "My archers never miss the mark...and neither does Zhuge Liang." As he said this, he swept his arm out in a gesture towards where his lieutenant had been standing. The lieutenant staggered a few steps, staring incredulously at the arrow in his chest. Then as he fell, so did the torch in his hand, landing on the large pile of fuel that had been set there, covering the entire ground where they were standing. The entire section went up in a great flare. As the flames surrounded him, for a moment it looked to the forces of Wei as if they froze, framing Liu Bei, and illuminating the eternal fire of war in his eyes. Then he was gone.
It was the signal Zhang Fei and Guan Yu had been waiting for. Letting out a great aggrieved yell, Zhang Fei twirled his serpent halbeard over his head and lunged into the midst of the enemy lines. Brave and loyal as always, Xiahou Dun charged to the forefront to confront the warrior. "I'll take your head and present it to my lord!" he declared, jutting his spear out towards his foe. But his well-trained and thoughtful strokes were no match for the fury-saturated movements of Zhang Fei. Before the end of ten strokes, Xiahou Dun's head fell onto the ground, where it bounced twice and then rolled down the hill. It landed with the helmet side down and the face facing up. His lone eye stared out as if in a trance, as if looking at the vision of their victory that was slowly slipping away...
Meanwhile, on the other side of the mountain pass, Guan Yu's Green Dragon Saber glowed eerily in the combination of the moonlight and the light from the conflagration. Cao Ren gritted his teeth in exertion as he scrambled to parry Guan Yu's proficient strikes. The blade of the green saber barely missed Cao Ren's throat as he ducked back. Suddenly, his knee, fatigued from all the fights he had partaken in, buckled under his weight. Expertly taking advantage of this opening, Guan Yu drew his weapon back for momentum, then plunged it forward with unmatched ferocity into Cao Ren's heart. As the last drops of blood pumped through Cao Ren's veins, he silently beseeched it to send a message to the blood in Cao Cao's veins: Carry on, my dear cousin, be the Hero of Chaos!
After he plucked his saber out of Cao Ren's chest, Guan Yu stuck the weapon into the ground and leaned on it's handle, panting heavily. Behind him, leaden footsteps approached. Guan Yu strained to twist his head to greet the sight of his sworn brother. Zhang Fei's steps stopped a few feet away Guan Yu. He smiled up at his sworn brother lethargically. "That was fun." he chirped in a voice that betrayed just the tiniest note of sorrow. "We should do it again sometime...but I think..." his voice became weaker, "I think I need to take a nap first..." his voice trailed off as his body toppled forward, revealing several spears stuck into his back.
Guan Yu lowered his head and muttered a silent prayer to the Heavens for his dead brothers. Then finally his legendary strength gave out. He had fought against the exhaustion of constant battling for too long. Now all his wounds, which had not been given time to heal, were re-opened. He had suppressed the pain for the sake of his Brothers and his Kingdom. Now, finally, he could succumb to the darkness which had been hounding him for the entire battle. Now, finally, he could rest.
Back at the Shu encampment, Zhuge Liang gripped his swan feather fan tightly in his hand as he stared down at the maps on the table. The pain of the loss of his liege flooded over him, and he closed his eyes so that, for just a moment, he indulged himself by allowing his heart to drown in its blood-red waters. Then abruptly, he drew up his fan, allowing the feathers to spread out in front of his face. When he lowered it, his dark eyes were filled with renewed strength and determination. It was now up to him to carry on the legacy of his liege. He would not let Liu Bei's sacrifice be in vain. He would not lose.
As the sun rose along the horizon of the battlefield, the survivors on both sides stared at each other amidst the destruction and desolation of that night. The battle had reached a climax, with both sides dealt and dealing hard blows. Now it was time to finish it, and determine the sovereignty of the land.
Out of the shadows of the trees, a contumelious figure strode out. It was Sima Yi, Cao Cao's tactician. Within seconds, Ma Chao had his spear at Sima Yi's throat. "What," Ma Chao scoffed, "why have you come to me, alone? Is Cao Cao offering me your life in exchange for his for penance in killing my father? Well, I will not be satisified until his blood coats my blade."
Sima Yi's cunning gaze never wavered. "No," he replied, staring straight into Ma Chao's eyes. "I have come because my liege desires for you to hear his message. He is holed up in the North right now by the onslaught of the forces of Shu. If things continue this way, they will kill him before you have a chance to exact your revenge. So, if you desire his blood on your blade, then you will first need to save it from the blades of those of Shu."
Ma Chao ground his teeth together, hard. A moment later, he lowered the spear. "Alright, what are we waiting for then?"
Meanwhile, Wei moved to take out one of Lu Bu's legions which had come to act as a scout.
Predicting that Cao Cao would offer an incentive for betrayal to one of his legions, Zhuge Liang decided to order his legions to switch places in order to confuse and mislead Wei. Also, he had sent Zhao Yun to seek assistance from the great warrior Lu Bu, with a message that they would help Lu Bu gain his desired duel with Dian Wei if he helped them take down the lone survivor of Wu. Zhao Yun returned with news that Lu Bu had agreed to the requested aid. Zhuge Liang had just poured out the wine in order to rejoice when an uproar from outside disturbed them.
Before they could head out to see what was the matter, a Shu soldier, covered with blood, stumbled into the tent. He was breathing heavily, but he disciplined himself to report the news to the leaders. "One of our legions turned on us, like you expected," he choked out, "we had the situation under control, but..." A fit of coughing stopped his words. With the coughs, came blood. The valiant soldier ignored it and continued. "But then Ma Chao came out of nowhere and joined in the fray. The legion that turned on us...he's killed them all."
Zhuge Liang knitted his brows together. So Sima Yi had convinced Ma Chao to join their side after all. Zhuge Liang sighed deeply as he looked at the untouched wine on the table. Then he grabbed a bowl and lifted it in toast to his rival.
The Death of Zhuge Liang (was too tired/lazy to write up a fitting scene so I 'borrowed' the one from ROTK )
Yang Yi listened to these words intently. That night Zhuge Liang was carried into the open and gazed up at the sky.
The poet Du Fu wrote some verses on his death.
[hip, hip, hip] A bright star last night falling from the sky, This message gave, "The Master is no more." No more in camps shall bold men tramp at his command; At court no statesman ever will fill the place he held; At home, his clients miss their patron kind; Sad for the army, who were lonely in this world. In the green wood stones and creeks are crying, No more of his lute, birds have hushed singing. [yip, yip, yip]
And Bai Juyi also wrote a poem:
[hip, hip, hip] Within the forest dim the Master lived obscure, Till, thrice returning, there the prince his mentor met. As when a fish the ocean gains, desire was filled Wholly the dragon freed could soar aloft at will. As king's son's guardian none more zealous was; As minister, most loyally he wrought at court. His war memorials still to us are left, And, reading them, the tears unconscious fall.
Sima Yi watched the skies. One night a large red star with bright rays passed from the northeast to the southwest and dropped over the camps of Shu. It dipped thrice and rose again. Sima Yi heard also a low rumbling in the distance.
Sima Yi said to his sons, "You are to bring up the remaining force with all speed, whereas I will lead the vanguard."
Sima Yi hastened in the wake of the retreating army. Coming to some hills, he saw them in the distance and pressed on still harder. Then suddenly a bomb exploded, a great shout broke the stillness, and the retiring army turned about and came toward him, ready for battle. In their midst fluttered a great banner bearing the words, Prime Minister of Han, Lord of Wuxiang, Zhuge Liang.
Sima Yi stopped, pale with fear. Then out from the army came some score of generals of rank, and they were escorting a small carriage, in which sat Zhuge Liang as he had always appeared, in his hand the feather fan.
"Then Zhuge Liang is still alive!" gasped Sima Yi. "And I have rashly placed myself in his power."
As he pulled round his horse to flee, Jiang Wei shouted, "Do not try to run away, O rebel! You have fallen into one of the Prime Minister's traps and had better stay!"
The soldiers, seized with panic, fled, throwing off all their gear. They trampled each other down, and many perished. Their leader galloped fifteen miles without pulling rein. When at last two of his generals came up with him, and had stopped his flying steed by catching at the bridle, Sima Yi clapped his hand to his head, crying, "Have I still a head?"
"Do not fear, Commander, the soldiers of Shu are now far away," they replied.
But he still panted with fear, and only after some time did he recognize that his two companions were Xiahou Ba and Xiahou Hui. The three found their way by by-roads to their own camp, whence scouts were sent out in all directions.
In a few days the natives brought news: "The Shu army had really gone, and as soon as the retiring army entered the valley, they raised a wailing for the dead and hoisted white flags. Zhuge Liang was really dead, and Jiang Wei's rearguard consisted of only one thousand troops. The figure in the carriage was only a wooden image of the Prime Minister."
"While he lived, I could guess what he would do; dead, I was helpless!" said Sima Yi.
The people had a saying that "A dead Zhuge Liang can scare off a live Sima Yi."
[hip, hip, hip] In the depth of night a brilliant star Fell from the northern sky; Doubts stayed Sima Yi When he would pursue His dead, but fearsome enemy. And even now the western people, With scornful smile, will say "Oh, is my head on my shoulder still? It was nearly lost today." [yip, yip, yip]
Now indeed Sima Yi knew that his rival was no more, so he retook the pursuit. But when he reached the Red Hills, the Shu army had marched too far away.
As he took the homeward road, he said to his officers, "We can now sleep in comfort."
As they marched back, they saw the camps of their enemies, and were amazed at their skillful arrangement.
"Truly a wonderful genius!" sighed Sima Yi.
The commander of the treacherous Shu legion glared at his former allies. "I have decided to follow the great Cao Cao to the ends of the earth!" he declared defiantly. He tilted his head back and let out a hysterical laugh.
"Then follow him to hell!" a voice cried. The traitor turned just in time to see Ma Chao's spear skewer him in the chest. As the body crumpled to the ground, Ma Chao looked intently on the blood on his weapon. "Cao Cao," he muttered with determination, "next time, this blood will be yours, I swear it!"
|The silky silver mist encircling the blue-green foliaged mountains carried the windy whisper that echoed throughout the peaks and valleys. The war was over, Wei had won.
It had been a long and bloody conflict, full of twists of fate and turns of fortune, but now, finally, there was peace. In the cycles to come, the farmers would till the aqueduct-striped lands, and eventually the masses would forget that the soil had once been soaked with the blood of valiant warriors and noble heroes.
All that had come to pass would fade as the meniality of everyday life set in. The shining memory of the kind and brave leader of poor means but aristocratic bloodline who swore a blood oath with an intelligent and capable hero and a passionate and fierce warrior would lose its luster. The threat of their determination and strength had made them the early target. However, mindful leaders of Wu had feared the seer's prophecy of Cao Cao and deemed Wei the greater threat, and had used the opportunity to betray their trust and deal the first formidable blow.
The aftermath had been a whirlwind of violence and death. Using the opportunity to gain the coorperation of Cao Cao, Shu and Zhuge Liang, the greatest strategist, had turned on both Wu and Wei and dealt great destruction in battle. Eager to seek revenge on Wu, Wei continued their tentative confederation with Shu to destroy all but a single member of Wu. Then they sought to destroy the brothers of the Peach Garden Oath. However, Shu had thought one step ahead of them, as true masters of chess, and used the loyalty and vigor of the sworn brothers to dimminish the numbers of Wei.
As defeat appeared imminent, the craft of Cao Cao had come to deviously deliver them from death. Wei uses Ma Chao's mission for vengence against Cao Cao to coerce him to do their bidding. They carefully cut out the strategic heart of Shu by assassinating Zhuge Liang. Then they used their political weight to ostracize Zhao Yun. With the moral defeat of the demise of his comrads and dwindling supplies, the war of attrition finally annihilated the last Shu general. Continuing to use their hold on Ma Chao, the cunning of Wei succeeded in claiming sovereignty. Ma Chao had been granted his pound of flesh in the end, and the on the battlefield, the blue banners of Wei were left standing.
The glory and skill of all the fine men who blazed their paths in that match of the minds would find their place in the archives of history. But in the minds of the people, the pleasure of peace pervaded, and in their bodies, the satisfaction of having food in their stomachs severed all semblence of insurgency.
In the new capitol, an array of lavishly adorned soldiers and officials knelt with bowed heads before the marble steps. At the summit, Cao Cao, in a regal yellow robe that was decorated with gold-contoured dragons stepped forward and spread out his arms in greeting to his new subjects. As he jerked his head up to the sky, the blood-red tassles on his crown shimmered and stirred. The herald exclaimed in a clear voice that reached into the heavens, "Here is your Emperor. This is the man who has conquered the turbulent times and brought unity and peace to the country. Behold, the Hero of Chaos!"
The audience raised their heads to Heaven in unison and cried out in one voice, the voice of the future, "Long live the Emporer! Wan shui, wan shui, wan wan shui!" ('Ten thousand years, ten thousand years, tens of tens of thousands of years!')
Congratulations, Wei and Ma Chao...but honestly...(yes, this is going to sound cheesy)...you're all winners in my scroll b/c you all showed me an amazing propensity and potential for thinking strategically and creatively. So, thank you all, and I hope to see you in the near future...(well...technically...it's the past...)
End of Game Roster Edit
- solarfish - Killed cycle 7 by Shu Peach bomb activated by Ma Chao
- Kat - Killed at end
- Riranor - Killed cycle 7 by Shu Peach bomb activated by Ma Chao
- IDNE - Killed During cycle 5 by Shu
- Prof. T - Killed During cycle 5 by Shu
- rossbeemer - Killed During cycle 7 by Wei
- Cherry Lane - Killed cycle 7 by Shu Peach bomb activated by Ma Chao
- Dawg - Killed cycle 7 by Shu
- Joe's Student
- Einkil - Killed at end
- JarZe - Ma Chao
- TwinPop - Killed cycle 7 by Shu
- ST-Lu Bu
- sparrowhawk (dawh)
- the Merkal - Killed during cycle 3 by Shu
- Lemonymelon - Killed During cycle 5 by Wei
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