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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Sunday, 29 July 2012

So apparently, Mogga managed to bua [1] the correct(?) Spurs...

Depending on how you'll define the term development squad on all things Tottenham Hotspurs. Not that Mr Eric Soh will mind my FB joke posted just now. Some more posted in public view=siaoliao=sure kenna bua gu you liao.

Leutwiler

Parnaby  McManus  Hines  Arca

Thomson

Haroun     Leadbitter     Bailey

Emnes  Ledesma

Note that I would have done a 4-4-2 assumption had it not for the fact that Thomson was playing a withdrawn midfield role for the most obvious reason. O' horrors of anti-football! :o

Interestingly enough, Arca dropped to his usual(?) left back position. Which didn't help much on the whole "Joe Bennett giaki Villa hibeng"[2] rumour. If there's anything to go by though, Mogga had most likely killed off the tabloids ala how Guan Yu personally offed Yan Liang to end the Siege of Baima.[3] If jetting off together with the lads (Plus Woodgate as well for those who still think "him=crock-bait") means nothing to you, then I guess personal intelligence shouldn't account that much as well. [4]

So does that mean anything apart from additional cover for Bennett should things go awry in the middle of this coming season? Signing George Friend might be a case of having two fellas as back up more than anything else. Or rather Arca as Mr Utility via a possible tempo-control sub at the central mid? Seems that Mogga is starting to emulate El Zorro (ver.St George btw) here. Seems that deployment versatility has taken a onus in his greater plans. Especially on the withdrawn mid role. Now let's see what Mr Friend's intro will bring to the leftback picture since it's a 99% done deal at the moment here.

As for Haroun, Leadbitter and Bailey at the advanced mid area, it will be interesting to note that apart from Haroun, the other two are far more of center mids rather than width players (which added a whole new wtf factor so far on Bailey dropping to *gasp!* rightback?). In fact this might be Mogga's dice. To create a front 3 CM approach rather than to play width. ppl tend to say Haroun can play on the right, but to me, he's far more of a CM than a right winger. Unlike the prev 3-5-2 vs Falkirk, this is the kind of formation where shielding Thomson is far more direct. Back then, he has 4 guys as the trench cover (at least we had a back 3 support+2 guys running+2 wingbacks as width pressure). This time round, it's 3 guys at the front. i.e. La Italia Roja. [5]

The story on swashbuckling Boro? It's still the Typically Incorrect Boro here (And here I am building up absurd expectations for myself. -.-') with Emnes and Ledesma playing the same ol' MSU warfare. [6]


 Leutwiler

       Bailey  Hines McManus  Reach

Smallwood

  Haroun    Leadbitter    Halliday

 L.Williams

 McDonald

Haroun's play shifted to the right due to Reach going left? Very likely. A potential 4-4-2? Doubt so since neither McDonald nor Prince Williams II are exactly the kind of 1.8 blokes running abt and holding up the play. [7] If there's anything to go by, it's very likely a false No.9 for Luke Williams where Mogga might be experimenting with a free role with this kid for all we know (note the e-word here). Interestingly enough, Halliday was being used as the leftback for the 2nd time in asking. Given the fact that he can't play centre back for crying loud, we don't have to assume [8] Bennettville=waiting to be built since tabloids have yet to break the fire alarm. Proverbially speaking ofc. And it seems that Arca won't be playing that much in the LB position given its pretty much physically demanding on-the-pitch.
Case in point: He got subbed by Halliday come 30th min.


Ripley

  Bailey  Hines  McManus  Reach

Smallwood

Halliday                         Park

L.Williams

Curtis Main                McDonald
A far more expansive approach? Again, Main isn't the kind of lad spanning 1.8m. Yet with two proven wide players in the form of Halliday and Park, Smallwood doesn't need to run that much so as to speak. And herein lies the most vital factor: Luke Wlliams. By putting him behind two strikers instead of one, Smallwood can still retain his holding mid role without the pressure upfront being compromised. In fact if there's anything to go by, having two Scottish lions running wild and switching isn't a long shot this time round. As the official bloke no.3 in the hole, it could be argued that Williams' free role would only be relieved stress-wise, NOT role-wise. Also if there's anything to go by so far in this match, Reach can do a pretty neat job of surging forward as the fielded LB.

P.S: I dunno how well Bailey could play at an unfamiliar RB role. But if there's anything to go by, he might be there to anchor the backline ala a ghost centre back. Its been proven that he can play in the CB role. No j/k here. And if I'm spot on here, that will just create a whole new dimension in all things Unorthodox Them Boro. 

P.S: Apparently, if we can laugh at ourselves as the Smoggies tag, then I guess this shouldn't be too much.

After all, Middlesbrough+mocked as shit+our football not so shit after all=srsly...WTF? [9]

[1]: Normal context means getting interrogated in Hokkien. This is a quasi-special case so as to speak.
[2]: Joe Bennett going to Villa in Hokkien.
[4]: Dumb conformity exists for a very good reason. Just ask Borat and Bruno.
[5]: I'm just a poor Singaporean trying to make ends meet=I not him. So please don't see this term as legit.
[6]: For those who hate playing against Wood Elves in all things Warhammer Fantasy Battle bar 8th Ed.
[7]: We have one to be sure. A crocked Pole to be exact. Any links with that link is purely unintentional.
[8]: Making an ASS out of U and ME. To my dear Great Man of Wales, you taught me this.
[9]

Thursday, 26 July 2012

So apparently Mogga pulled off a 3-5-2...WTF???!!!

As per promised to the blokes at the oneBoro forums, here I am to pull this tactical talk off. Of course we all know that's just me talking here, but meh.
Okay, so let's set things off here: Mogga started off with a 3-5-2. Which goes something like:

Leutwiler

Parnaby  Hines  McManus

Arca  Bailey  Thomson  Leadbitter  Reach

Emnes  L.Williams

So wtf is Mogga trying to prove here? That he had pulled off a 3-5-2 before? (which is pretty much true here fyi) Just a summary of what I'm seeing here:

Kevin Thomson=crocked record=still give him the skipper band=WTF???

Should this be a question mark? I think not. Firstly, Thomson is a good player by his own rights. The only thing that made him MIA was down to his horrendous record with injury that only Matthew Bates himself can better off. If there's anything to go by, its Mogga's way of saying "I've got faith and expectations in you". Interestingly enough, Bailey and Leadbitter were actually far more adventurous here. And why not? The two of them are far more of a box-to-box midfielders. With Thomson staying behind, he didn't have to exert himself too much since we got the other two surging forward. Thomson=Holding midfielder. That's how I see his role.

The Bailey and Lead Show

We all know what Bailey is capable of. Pretty much of a Stevie G mold, playing style wise. If he's there to provided the surging runs, then Leadbitter wouldn't have to do that much running, no? Ok, he still have to do the running, but still if there's anything to go by here, how he created the first goal IS the exact reason why Mogga signed him. He can't pick that vital guy 50 yards out, but boy can he do so within 10-20 yards out. In the world of Championship football, that would have been more than enough to make people take notice. 1 split second of lapse=GG. Pretty much like having Bailey wielding the machine-gun while Leadbitter is there as the running sniper behind.

Back 3

Nothing much to say here. But a lot has been asked on why no Bennett? To me, the answer is very simple. Can he fit into a 3-5-2? If there's anything to go by, he's extremely good in running at the opponents at 100kph. But defensively wise, I'll have to hold back my judgment. Simply put, 3-5-2 needs to have people who can run forward and tracking back within a single time of space. If you get caught out, opponents are gonna have fun with the flanks. Again we don't have to read too much into the 1st friendly. Bennett should know this very well. Villa interesting in him? Apparently, I don't trust the tabloids in all things transfer news. Mr Eric Soh has taught me that much and I'm extremely grateful to him for that.

P.S: Wonder if Ms Empress Soh can reserve a slot for me come his big day?

Luke "Skywalker" Williams and Marvin "Marvelous" Emnes

They're not orthodox strikers. So why? Now if there's anything to go by, this is the reason why we're starting to see glimpses of Mogga brand football despite a 3-5-2. It's possession football. It's all about keeping the ball on the ground and using movement to bamboozle your opponents. Given that this was a friendly, a decent run out is only natural. In fact having the two at the forefront do have it's perks for the rest. i.e. we move=everybody move as well. You can say that it's a 3 part decoy, 7 part for real. Which is why Emnes didn't get on the scoresheet. It's not that he has lost his touch. Just that the stress had been relieved here. Also seeing how Luke Williams jinked past 4 guys before scoring the second goal just gets to remind us that the Force is still strong in this kid.

Arca and Reach

A lot has been said on why start with Arca? Why Arca so substandard? To me, it's very simple. Hey, he's like 31 or 32 now! Coupled with the fact that he didn't play that much last season and can you blame him for an obvious case of match rustiness? Just to set the record straight, a certain King Henry got crucified by random goons last time round for around his first 6 months of English football or so. And it's NOT a mere friendly season no less. Adam Reach, now this is a kid who has shown promise all the while. Yes it's still too early to tell. But given what I've seen in his reserve matched, the future is strong for him so far. All in all a solid showing. A good crosser of the ball here.

The Red Submarines.

46th min
V
V
V

Leutwiler

Parnaby  R.Wlliams  McManus

Arca  Bailey  Thomson  Leadbitter  Reach

McDonald   Ledesma

Still 3-5-2 with a far offensive approach? To me, this might be a far more orthodox frontline. Arca was retained to give him that far needed match time. Pretty much of the middle 5 were untouched. Ledesma as the false No.9 while McDonald as the orthodox striker. But maybe not so orthodox on the hindsight. McDonald isn't your standard 1.8m striker. Again Mogga trying to prove something with his classic swashbuckling Boro. Interestingly enough, Rhys Williams did seem quite rusty here for his own lofty standards. A no brainer here as well since he's another lad who didn't get much playing time last season until the final few games. And even then, the penultimate Southampton match was all about him coming off as a sub. And since the middle 5 were untouched, is it any biggie to see Bailey scoring his only goal of the match? Go figure guys. He's a B2B for crying loud! Also Ledesma proved why Mogga was willing to sign him from Walsall. I believe he can only get better. Yep, that goal scored by him. I blame everything on that one. :D

59th min
V
V
V

Ripley

Parnaby  R.Williams  McManus  Halliday

Bailey  Thomson 

Ledesma  Smallwood  Park

McDonald

Shift in formation. 4-2-3-1. With an orthodox back 4, Mogga was trying to control the match from the back 4. Parnaby able to go forward was down to Rhys Williams and McManus adding far needed strength on the spine. Halliday going leftback mode is a wtf. Or is it? If there's anything to go by, Mogga might be testing how he will fare in such a position. You can't expect an offensive midfielder to play a decent tracking back game on his first try on the ptich, so I guess that's why we have a de-facto back 3 here with Bailey/Thomson plugging the empty gap so as to speak. Is it a more reserved approach? Seeing the forward 3 in conjunction with Halliday and Parnaby seem to dispel anything and everything asked by the cynics. We're talking about the same ol' swashbuckling Boro here with Smallwood, Park and Ledesma going foward as the pressure support for McDonald. Take note that Scottie in every context as the player is your classic goal poacher. Even though he missed a sitter, I don't we should read too much into that. After all, he's one of the several blokes lacking much needed match time last season. All in all going 5-3 up would mean that Mogga can afford to strangle the match via outright possession and pushing forward. And Scottie finally scored as well. Two goals in fact with Park having a hand in the first one. I believe that will do this Aussie a good deal of confidence boost here. AnalAlex will be pleased at that. And lastly, if there's anything to go by, it will be interesting to see whether Park and Smallwood can make the step up as part of our Academy production line. :)

A/N: We don't have to be too harsh to Leutwiler. It's not as if he played for West Ham last season and let in 5 goals per average game.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Conman Rises ver. Final Scam

[二十二年,正说先主曰:“曹操一举而降张鲁,定汉中,不因此势以图巴、蜀,而留夏侯渊、张郃屯守,身遽北还,此非其智不逮而力不足也,必将内有忧逼故耳。今策渊、郃才略,不胜国之将帅,举众往讨,则必可克。之克〔克之〕之日,广农积谷,观衅伺隙,上可以倾覆寇敌,尊奖王室,中可以蚕食雍、凉,广拓境土,下可以固守要害,为持久之计。此盖天以与我,时不可失也。”

先主善其策,乃率诸将进兵汉中,正亦从行。]
 《法正传》

[先主复领益州牧。。。法正为谋主]
《先主传》

Trans: [During the twenty second year (of Jian An), Zheng advised the First Lord (Liu Bei) saying: "Cao Cao managed to pacify Hanzhong and force Zhang Lu to surrender, yet why is it that he didn't set his sights on the lands of Ba and Shu (i.e. Yi Province itself)? Instead by leaving Xiahou Yuan and Zhang He behind in holding fort while returning back to the north, it's not down to a lack of perception. Rather he lacks the necessary resources to do so due to unrest within his own territories. I dare say that Yuan and He's talents are no match for generals who are truly able. If we raise up our forces, we can win this battle. Upon capturing Hanzhong, we can expand the agriculture and store up sufficient grain. Upon bidding our time, we can overcome the enemy at the most appropriate moment first and foremost while invading the lands of Yong, Liang in order to expand our borders. Lastly but not least, we can use it as a natural fortress. All which are viable plans in the far run. Hence this is a chance gifted by Heaven."

The First Lord was glad at his counsel as he prepared his army to enter Hanzhong. Zheng followed his lord as well.]
《Accounts of Fa Zheng》

[As the First Lord took over as the Provincial Governor of Yi... Fa Zheng became his chief adviser]《Accounts of the First Lord》

Analysis: Firstly, Fa Zheng was right in saying Cao Cao was having problems controlling his backyard. Relevant evidence in his biography has shown just as clear:
[二十一年春二月,公还邺。] >>> As per stated above.

[三月壬寅,公亲耕籍田。] >>> Personally supervising the process of agriculture. Meaning shit had happened, be it civil unrest or some freak locust storm.

[夏五月,天子进公爵为魏王。代郡乌丸行单于普富卢与其侯王来朝。天子命王女为公主,食汤沐邑。秋七月,匈奴南单于呼厨泉将其名王来朝,待以客礼,遂留魏,使右贤王去卑监其国。八月,以大理钟繇为相国。] >>> Above stated SOP was in the third month. This is the fifth month. Constructive political upheaval ftw.

[冬十月,治兵,遂征孙权,十一月至谯。] >>> Everything all okay=I declare war on Sun Quan.

And lastly, Fa Zheng as Liu Bei's chief adviser would mean that any AND every step taken in the forthcoming battle would have his signature stamped all over. But before we go anywhere further, let's talk about Xiahou Yuan and Zhang He:

[初,渊虽数战胜,太祖常戒曰:“为将当有怯弱时,不可但恃勇也。将当以勇为本,行之以智计;但知任勇,一匹夫敌耳。”]
《夏侯渊传》

[与飞相拒五十余日。飞率精卒万余人,从他道邀郃军交战,山道迮狭,前后不得相救,飞遂破郃。]
《张飞传》

Trans: [At the beginning, even though Yuan had won many battles, Taizu (Cao Cao) often warned him: "As a general, its only natural to experience moments of weakness while mere bravery as the response is unwise. For one must utilize bravery as the fundamentals while using his wits at appropriate times; yet know that willful courage is no different from a foolish enemy."]
《Accounts of Xiahou Yuan》

[...stood off against Fei for fifty plus days. Leading an elite force numbering ten thousand plus to engage He's army via a detour, He was unable regroup his forces in time as the mountainous path was narrow. Fei proceeded to route He]
《Accounts of Zhang He》

Analysis: On Xiahou Yuan's end, it's not that he's truly stupid. He's been proven to be a tactical genius as in everything to do with cavalry tactics=he's the boss. Yet the biggest problem lies in the very fact that he couldn't adapt once his forte got rendered useless. In fact, the terrain of Hanzhong is such that cavalry warfare was totally impossible barring a case of guerrilla warfare (which ironically was how Hanzhong was officially won via this).

As for Zhang He, all I can say is that his brain was actually far better than Xiahou Yuan. Yet, the biggest problem is that upon being pinned against the ropes, he can't really do a dime. In a very real sense, its a true blue paradox as in Chen Shou actually praised his capabilities in terrain warfare. Sadly, being baited for fifty plus days isn't the best bet to securing victory.

So what is the common ground between the two then? Very simple: They can't adapt to situations that demand swift decisiveness. i.e. dire situations of adversity (逆境之应对).

For Xiahou Yuan, its far more clear cut. For Zhang He, its down to his inability to command authority.

I'm gonna have fun with this because its tactics all over again
[二十三年,先主率诸将进兵汉中。分遣将军吴兰、雷铜等入武都,皆为曹公军所没。先主次于阳平关,与渊、郃等相拒。]
《先主传》

[刘备遣张飞、马超、吴兰等屯下辩;遣曹洪拒之。。。
曹洪破吴兰,斩其将任夔等。三月,张飞、马超走汉中,阴平氐强端斩吴兰,传其首。]
《武帝纪》

[刘备屯阳平,郃屯广石。备以精卒万馀,分为十部,夜急攻郃。郃率亲兵搏战,备不能克。]
《张郃传》

[备遣陈式等十馀营绝马鸣阁道,晃别征破之,贼自投山谷,多死者。太祖闻,甚喜,假晃节,令曰:“此阁道,汉中之险要咽喉也。刘备欲断绝外内,以取汉中。将军一举,克夺贼计,善之善者也。”]
《徐晃传》

Trans: [During the twenty third year, the First Lord led his troops into Hanzhong. Upon his allocated generals including Wu Lan and Lei Tong being eliminated by the Cao forces in Wudu, he proceeded to engage a stand off with Yuan, He and the rest at the pass of Yangping.]
《Accounts of the First Lord》

[Liu Bei deployed his generals including Zhang Fei, Ma Chao and Wu Lan to Xiabian; (Cao Cao) sent Cao Hong in response...
Cao Hong defeated Wu Lan and killed the likes of Ren Kui and the rest. Upon the third month, Zhang Fei and Ma Chao escaped to Hanzhong while the Di tribal leaders at Yinping executed Wu Lan and offered his severed head.]
《Records of the Wu Emperor》

[Liu Bei encamped at Hanzhong while Zhang He did the same at Guangshi. Utilizing ten thousand plus of elite soldiers and separating them into ten battalions, Liu Bei initiated a night raid on Zhang He. He personally led the defence leading to Bei unable to secure a victory.]
《Accounts of Zhang He》

[Bei sent Chen Shi together with ten plus encampments to block the path to Maming. Huang managed to systematically route the enemy as many survivors died as the result of plunging from the valleys. Taizu was happy upon hearing such news and granted Huang the post of a de-facto envoy, stating: "This very path has been the throat to Hanzhong. Liu Bei's attempt to take Hanzhong via isolating it has been foiled by you, O' General. Indeed best out of the best."]
《Accounts of Xu Huang》

Analysis: Now allow me to say that I don't really have a clear cut idea on when Xu Huang's part took place. While its extremely likely to have taken place before Liu Bei's stand-off with Zhang He, my greatest guess is that it might have taken place in between Cao Hong's victory and Zhang He's success in repelling the enemy. Interesting enough, nothing was mentioned about Xu Huang in Fa Zheng's words. So does that mean something in his abilities as a leader?

To me, its just this: Fa Zheng didn't have to say anything because he KNEW Xu Huang was a capable S.O.B. Period. In fact it could be very likely that his actions were committed under the circumstances where he didn't have the authority to do so. i.e. he's been ordered to hold fort, not to go aggro modal.

Which is why Cao Cao reserved utmost praise for him at that time by granting him the De-facto Commander's title. (假节)

Meaning he could just proceed to execute any of his men via the tenets of military law without making any prior reporting to anyone above. This is NOT play-acting to be fair. De-facto Commanders are rightly feared because you don't mess around with a boss who can kill you fairly enough. While they can never initiate a punitive approach, its very likely that countermeasures upon merit of defence can be seen as legit.

Now onto Ma Chao and Zhang Fei's end. Are they exceptional leaders? Yes. Is Cao Hong a moron? Actually he might be dumber than what we'd like to see him out to be. If I want to be fair, Zhang Fei was actually far more intelligent than how the novels dumb him down to be. If not for the fact that Cao Xiu (曹休) had seen through his distraction ruse, Zhang Fei would have bluffed everyone down the road. Of course it can be argued that this was an auxiliary tactic meant to buy time for Ma Chao to coordinate the ultimate offense, but meh.

[Just a simple matter of note here: Xiabian was part of Wudu, but then again you guys would have seen this coming anyway. Yet what I'm trying to say here is this: Wudu and Maming at that time is NOT part of Hanzhong itself. It's not until Liu Bei redrew the boundaries upon winning the battle did the relevant areas became part of Hanzhong. Hanzhong within this context is all about defending Yangping (which include Guangshi as well). This is indeed why Cao Cao could deploy Cao Hong instead of everything done by Xiahou Yuan.]

So at Zhang He's end, Chen Shou was right after all. He's a master of terrain warfare since you'll have to be really damned clever in deploying you troops. But then again, maybe not:

[隘形者,我先居之,必盈之以待敌。若敌先居之,盈而勿从,不盈而从之。]
《孙子兵法:地形第十》 
[Narrow terrain is one where I can utilize numbers upon gaining it. If the enemy reaches it first, one must not attack with numbers, but using a lesser amount to control the situation.]
《Sun Zi's Art of War: Chapter Ten, Terrain》

[所由入者隘,所从归者迂,彼寡可以击吾之众者,为围地...围地则谋]
《孙子兵法:九地第十一》
 [Narrow for those who enter while winding paths await the returning, such a ground where lesser enemies can defeat us even with the advantage in numbers is deemed as enclosed... To plot is to attack.]
《Sun Zi's Art of War: Chapter Eleven, The Nine Grounds》

APPARENTLY, MT.DINGJUN=GREATEST MILITARY PONZI EVER
V
V
V

Phase End: Updated


(景耀)三年秋九月,追谥故将军关羽、张飞、马超、庞统、黄忠。
四年春三月,追谥故将军赵云。
《后主传》

“云昔从先帝,功积既著。朕以幼冲,涉涂艰难,赖恃忠顺,济于危险。夫谥所以叙元勋也,外议云宜谥。”大将军姜维等议,以为云昔从先帝,劳绩既著,经营天下,遵奉法度,功效可书。当阳之役,义贯金石,忠以卫上,君念其赏,礼以厚下,臣忘其死。死者有知,足以不朽;生者感恩,足以殒身。 谨按谥法,柔贤慈惠曰顺,执事有班曰平,克定祸乱曰平,应谥云曰顺平侯。
《云别传》

七年卒,追谥顺平侯。
初,先主时,惟法正见谥;后主时,诸葛亮功德盖世,蒋琬、费祎荷国之重,亦见谥;陈祗宠待,特加殊奖,夏侯霸远来归国,故复得谥;于是关羽、张飞、马超、庞统、黄忠及云乃追谥,时论以为荣。
《赵云本传》

(Jingyao) Third year, Autumn, Ninth month: The late generals Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Ma Chao, Pang Tong and Huang Zhong were given posthumous honours.
Fourth year, Spring, Third month: The late general Zhao Yun was honoured posthumously.
(Account of the Latter Lord)

"When Yun first followed the late Emperor, his accomplishments were exceptional. When I was in peril, my life was preserved due to his loyalty. Those honoured as such must earn their reputations, hence worthy to honour Yun upon counsel." The likes of Grand General Jiang Wei deemed Yun as loyal and capable, abiding to the laws, his very credentials made legit. During the Battle at Dangyang, his integrity was equal to gold and stone, his very loyalty in defending his lords. Gratitude and rewards are the only way to strengthen the vassals.If the dead knew of such, its no different from immortality. If the living are grateful, its enough for them to die for a cause. In accordance to the law of posthumous formality, Shun should be due to gentle virtues and benevolence; orderly manner of accomplishing duties request the word Ping as should the same for acts in pacifying woe and rebellion. Hence the title of Marquis of Shun Ping.
(Tales of Zhao Yun)

Deceased upon the seventh year (of Jianxing), posthumously honoured as the Marquis of Shun Ping.
At first during the First Lord's time, only Fa Zheng had the honour. During the Latter Lord's reign, Zhuge Liang was remembered for his contributions without peer, Jiang Wan and Fei Yi were honoured as well for their heavy duties towards the state. Chen Zhi was rewarded exceptionally as a favoured vassal while Xiahou Ba defected from afar, hence both were included. Upon Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Ma Chao, Pang Tong, Huang Zhong and Zhao Yun being remembered as well, it was deemed as an exceptional honour granted.
(Original Account of Zhao Yun)

Analysis: Liu Shan=Anal. But pointless bashing aside, can we fault the fact that Zhao Yun ended up posthumous mode far later on? To set the record straight, the remaining five croaked far earlier than him. (Guan Yu: AD 219, Zhang Fei: AD 221, Ma Chao AD 222, Huang Zhong AD 220, Pang Tong AD 214; Zhao Yun AD 229) So yay for the trolls playing 2+2=5. They must be cursing Jiang Wei for good now even though he was a certified jerk on certain aspects. At least I won't feel that butt hurt upon seeing Shu Han being destroyed due to his problematic stubbornness. <.<


建兴元年,[为]中护军、征南将军,封永昌亭侯,迁镇东将军。
《赵云本传》

First year of Jianxing, [as] the Central Army Protector and the General who Conquers the South, Yun was conferred the Marquis of Yongchang and promoted to the General who Guards the East.
(Original Account of Zhao Yun)

Analysis: A lot of people have the misconception that Zhao Yun actually gained all his general ranks post Yi conquest during this period. This is actually an outright fallacy due to the sentence structure back then being totally different from the modern context. Note the brackets? Anyone who knows his/her stuff in historical text can tell you that there's a difference between [拜为] and [为]. The former would have indicated a specific time whereas the latter is just an ambiguous term along the comparisons of "I've eaten already" rather than "I've eaten at two o'clock already".

先主不听,遂东征,留云督江州。
《先主传》

The First Lord heeded not the advice as his mind to attack east was made up. Yun was stationed at Jiangzhou as the result.
(The First Lord's Account)

先是,益州郡杀太守正昂。。。乃以裔为益州太守,迳往至郡。。。于是遂送裔于权。。。裔自至吴数年。。。
《张裔传》

At the beginning, the Yizhou county killed its Grand Administrator Zheng Ang... Yi was appointed as the replacement as he made his way to the county... Hence Yi was sent to (Sun) Quan... Yi has remained in Wu for a few years...
(Account of Zhang Yi)

Analysis: Liu Bei wasn't an asshole for holing Zhao Yun up at Jiangzhou. In fact Jiangzhou and Yizhou county were very close to each other in proximity. Simply put, the debacle caused on Zhang Yi's end was down to it being the precursor of the Nanzhong Rebellion where he only ended up back in Shu Han during AD 223. (Remember the (in)famous Meng Huo and Zhu Rong? Yeah, I'm talking about that event.)

Update on the General titles: I should have done this far earlier. :( But anyway, allow me to express my views on Zhao Yun's actual boundaries of military. 

But before that, let me just say that apart from that one single post I'll highlight later on, the fallacy called Zhao Yun=bodyguard is actually something unwittingly created by Luo Guanzhong himself. Simply put, its stupid people using a fictional work to justify a fictional lie.

牙门将军
[General of the Standard]
This is Liu Bei's first time granting a General's title to anypne under his banner. Now a lot has been said on this being a personal guard's commander. Outright bullshit. Should we call Wei Yan the same thing as well since Liu Bei gave him the SAME title after the Battle of Yi Province? Now if you're to ask me, the significance of the Standard is this: Presence of the grand commander's AUTHORITY rather than HIMSELF. Now at times of war back then, this is very important because once your standard banner falls, its game over. Its an omen of morale so as to speak. Hence such a post was very likely to be one where defending the standard is your highest priority. At the same time, deployment of your troops while staying put at your post of duty for the sake of repelling any enemy closing in is extremely likely as well.

留营司马
[Camp Commandant]
This can be seen as a nerfed down version of the original rank of Commandant (司马). So what is the role of a Commandant? Very simple folks. Two k areas: Military logistics andadministration. Due to Liu Bei's situation back then, it's imperative that there had to be someone in charge of the internal security act. Simply put, such a post was intended as a Commandant within the scope of Liu Bei's five counties in the Jing province (荆州五郡). In a very real sense, this could be seen as Liu Bei's own excuse to rein in that Little Sun. Simply put, Zhao Yun's power might be on the par with the actual McCoy so as to speak, but it's only a by-product of Liu Bei's intention if you're to ask me.

偏将军
[Brigadier General]
At times of war, its outright necessary to split your forces. And this is what such a post is meant for. The commander in chief for your vital branch army. i.e. forces splitting off from the main army. (分军/偏军)The greatest evidence yet? The very fact that Zhao Yun assumed total command of the branch army during the Battle of Yi Province where he had to take down Jiangyang without any reinforcements.

翊军将军
[General of the Soaring Army]
As per mentioned far earlier, Liu Bei granted him the rights to administer advice. This might or might not have anything to do with the title of The General of the Soaring Army. Yet if there's anything to go by, such a post has NOTHING to do with being the chief of personal guards. Read: NO actual evidence. But yet:
 “云兵随忠取米。。。”
This is an excerpt from Tales of Zhao Yun, which was listed as part of Pei Songzhi's annotations for the actual records itself. Now allow me to say something about the military heirarchy during the feudal era. Simply put, overall leadership is absolute and individualistic in nature. Within any given battalion/army, there can only be ONE commander so as to speak. Hence, the fact that Huang Zhong was the commander is pretty much true. But that's only part of the story. No undermining of such a power, yet why is it that Zhao Yun had his own soldiers? Maybe we should take a look at how the actual wording pans out here:
The word [翊] is not just an indication of support [辅佐]. Above everything else, its actually a synonym with the term [翼] i.e. wings. Simply put, such a word is a statement of absolute/vital support so as to speak. Hence by the title [翊军将军], it means that Zhao Yun had a certain absolute military power so long as his role would never go beyond that of support at the frontlines. i.e. back-up/holding fort.

中护军
[Central Army Protector]
If we're to go by historical sources, this is actually an evolution of the original Army Protector i.e. [护军]. Such a post would consist of allocation of manpower in times of war. For this very upgraded title, its actually a post where:
1. Taking charge of the personal/imperial guards is concerned.
2. Allocation of military personnel within the boundaries of your own country. i.e. defensive purposes.
Hence, the additional [中], which implies the central military operations.


征南将军
[The General who Conquers the South]
镇东将军
[The General who Guards the East]
镇军将军
[The General who Guards the Army]

The first two are titles stating Zhao Yun's military power within Shu Han rather than during times of punitive expeditions. Simply put, his range of command actually covered BOTH the southern and eastern parts respectively. i.e. the army forces allocated in the relevant areas. (境内军权) The final one? Let's not think too much on this because it might just be playacting on Liu Shan's end. Or rather Zhuge Liang himself since he actually held absolute power during his lifetime.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Conman Rises

[益州别驾张松与正相善,忖璋不足与有为,常窃叹息。松于荆州见曹公还,劝璋绝曹公而自结先主。璋曰:“谁可使者?”

松乃举正,正辞让,不得已而往。正既还,为松称说先主有雄略,密谋协规,原共戴奉,而未有缘。后因璋闻曹公欲遣将征张鲁之有 惧心也,松遂说璋宜迎先主,使之讨鲁,复令正衔命。正既宣旨,阴献策于先主曰:“以明将军之英才,乘刘牧之懦弱;张松,州之股肱,以响应于内;然后资益州之殷富,冯天府之险阻,以此成业,犹反掌也。”

先主然之,溯江而西,与璋会涪。北至葭萌,南还取璋。]

Analysis: I'm not gonna translate this b/c it will be far easier for me to do a summary here. Simply put, its just like in the novels. Both Fa Zheng and Zhang Song saw Liu Zhang until sibeh sian. (i.e. sick and tired in Hokkien) Then after Zhang Song's audience with Cao Cao ended up in failure, the second guy to approach is Liu Bei. Upon hence Fa Zheng was recommended as the envoy. Apparently, Fa Zheng liked what he saw and heard from Liu Bei himself. So here comes his advise:

"Judging from O'General's wisdom, you should take advantage of Liu Zhang's weakness. With Zhang Song as the vital cog of the province, we can create chaos from within. After the province is taken, we can utilize the riches and treacherous terrain as the platform for an empire with extreme ease. "

Hence Liu Bei heeded the advice and met up with Zhang at the Pei region. After going all the way up north to Jia Meng, Liu Bei turned back south to attack Liu Zhang.

Controversy:
A lot of people tend to vilify Fa Zheng due to this. Calling him a traitor seemed a tad too harsh to me. Firstly, we're talking about an age of turmoil. Either you have the ability or you're just a mere sucker. No one can blame Fa Zheng over the fact that:

1. Liu Zhang has severe issues in utilizing the correct personnel.

2. Fa Zheng was a true blue talent. Frankly speaking, Liu Zhang screwed=Liu Bei's gain.

Conclusion:
刘备的江山不是哭出来的, 而是被坑出来的。
(Trans: Liu Bei's empire wasn't born out of tears, but rather from trickery)

Note: Can't translate Zhang Song's actual status (别驾). But let's just say that he's part of Liu Zhang's cabinet whose rank straddled between a local official and a high ranking government post.

[郑度说璋曰:华阳国志曰:度,广汉人,为州从事。“左将军县军袭我,兵不满万,士众未附,野谷是资,军无辎重。其计莫若尽驱巴西、梓潼民内涪水以西,其仓廪野谷,一皆烧除,高垒深沟,静以待之。彼至,请战, 勿许,久无所资,不过百日,必将自走。走而击之,则必禽耳。”

先主闻而恶之,以问正。

正曰:“终不能用,无可忧也。”

璋果如正言,谓其群下曰:“吾闻拒敌以安民,未闻动民以 避敌也。”

于是黜度,不用其计。]

Analysis: Again only summary. Apparently, Liu Zhang do HAVE capable people at his disposal. (Huang Quan(黄权), Liu Ba(刘巴), Zhang Ren(张任), and Cheng Ji(程畿) are the best examples as well) The only problem? He's a second Liu Biao. All hot air, not substance.

Zheng Du was a capable person who actually held a high rank as an attendant. His proposal of a scorched earth tactic was the best bet in repelling Liu Bei and co. Yet, Liu Zhang's character was way too nice. He couldn't harden his heart to hold his own civilians hostage so as to speak. And that's given the civilians would be safe via being driven to the western end. -.-' Fa Zheng was right after all. He knew that Liu Zhang won't pull this off. Guo Jia the 2nd?

[及军围雒城,正笺与璋曰:“正受性无术,盟好违损,惧左右不明本末,必并归咎,蒙耻没身,辱及执事,是以损身于外,不敢反命。恐圣听秽恶其声,故中间不有笺敬,顾念宿遇,瞻望悢々。然惟前后披露腹心,自从始初以至于终,实不藏情,有所不尽,但愚闇策薄,精诚不感,以致于此 耳。今国事已危,祸害在速,虽捐放于外,言足憎尤,犹贪极所怀,以尽余忠。明将军本心,正之所知也,实为区区不欲失左将军之意,而卒至于是者,左右不达英 雄从事之道,谓可违信黩誓,而以意气相致,日月相迁,趋求顺耳悦目,随阿遂指,不图远虑为国深计故也。 事变既成,又不量强弱之势,以为左将军县远之众,粮谷无储,欲得以多击少,旷日相持。 而从关至此,所历辄破,离宫别屯,日自零落。雒下虽有万兵,皆坏陈之卒,破军之将,若欲争一旦之战,则兵将势力,实不相当。 各欲远期计粮者,今此营守已固,谷米已积,而明将军土地日削,百姓日困,敌对遂多,所供远旷。愚意计之,谓必先竭,将不复以持久也。空尔相守,犹不相堪,今张益德数万之众,已定巴东,入犍为界,分平资中、德阳,三邈道侵,将何以御之?本为明将军计者,必谓此军县远无粮,馈运不及,兵少无继。今荆州道通,众 数十倍,加孙车骑遣弟及李异、甘宁等为其后继。若争客主之势,以土地相胜者,今此全有巴东,广汉、犍为,过半已定,巴西一郡,复非明将军之有也。计益州所 仰惟蜀,蜀亦破坏; 三分亡二,吏民疲困,思为乱者十户而八;若敌远则百姓不能堪役,敌近则一旦易主矣。广汉诸县,是明比也。又鱼复与关头实为益州福 祸之门,今二门悉开,坚城皆下,诸军并破,兵将俱尽,而敌家数道并进,已入心腹,坐守都、雒,存亡之势,昭然可见。斯乃大略,其外较耳,其余屈曲,难以辞极也。以正下愚,犹知此事不可覆成,况明将军左右明智用谋之士,岂当不见此数哉?旦夕偷幸,求容取媚,不虑远图,莫肯尽心献良计耳。若事穷势迫,将各索 生,求济门户,展转反复,与今计异,不为明将军尽死难也。而尊门犹当受其忧。正虽获不忠之谤,然心自谓不负圣德,顾惟分义,实窃痛心。左将军从本举来,旧心依依,实无薄意。愚以为可图变化,以保尊门。”]

I'm gonna have fun with this. Simply put, I'll only list down the vital portions of Fa Zheng's letter to Liu Zhang. Take note that this was during the siege of the Luo city. Which would also hint at Pang Tong's death before hand. i.e. he died during the siege at the Luo province.

[雒下虽有万兵,皆坏陈之卒,破军之将,若欲争一旦之战,则兵将势力,实不相当。]

Trans: [Even though Luo had soldiers numbering ten thousand, all had been weakened. Once the battle has been declared, numbers alone will never amount to an advantage gained]

Verdict: Talking cock=lying

[各欲远期计粮者,今此营守已固,谷米已积,而明将军土地日削,百姓日困,敌对遂多,所供远旷。]

Trans: [With grained store amply, our defence is now durable without fail. Yet Milord's land is dwindling by day and the people wearied as well. Whatever you've stored isn't enough due to our forces covering the distance.]

Verdict: Talking cock=The truth. (Refer to Zhao Yun's advice against granting the lands and houses of the people to the generals after Liu Bei took over the reins)

[今张益德数万之众,已定巴东,入犍为界,分平资中、德阳...今荆州道通,众 数十倍,加孙车骑遣弟及李异、甘宁等为其后继。]

Trans: [Hence leading an army of a few ten thousand, Zhang Yide has conquered Badong and entered the boundaries of Jianwei, taking down Zizhong, Deyang...the road from Jing Province is now clear with numbers increased ten fold together the likes of Sun Quan's brother, Li Sheng and Gan Ning as reinforcements]

Verdict: Sun Quan was still facing off against Cao Cao at that time=Lying bastard.

Badong was a collective effort with Zhuge Liang as the de-facto chief=Lying asshole

Zhao Yun was the bloke taking down Jianwei and Zizhong via Jiangyang=Lying ****er

The part on Sun Wu and Jing Province=Not even Fergie can lie THIS good.

The rest of the letter?
V
V
V
TalkingCock.com.yi=This lobo who neh update his character in over N years

A little break from my Fa Zheng tirade


Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Conman

[建安初,天下饥荒,正与同郡孟达俱入蜀依刘璋,久之为新都令, 后召署军议校尉。既不任用,又为其州邑俱侨客者所谤无行,志意不得。。。]

Trans: At the beginning of the Jian An calender, famine ravaged the land. Zheng and his fellow native Meng Da entered Shu in order to pledge their fealty to Liu Zhang. Stuck in the post as Magistrate of Xindu, he was later summoned to stand in for the Capital Commander of Military Treatise. Upon being treated as nothing and slandered by his fellow migrants, he became despondent.

Verdict: Dio pah. [1] 

[十九年,进围成都,璋蜀郡太守许靖将逾城降,事觉,不果。璋以危亡在近,故不诛靖。璋既稽服,先主以此薄靖不用也。正说曰:“天下有获虚誉而无 其实者,许靖是也。然今主公始创大业,天下之人不可户说,靖之浮称,播流四海,若其不礼,天下之人以是谓主公为贱贤也。宜加敬重,以眩远近,追昔燕王之待郭隗。” 先主于是乃厚待靖。]

Trans: Upon the nineteenth year (of Jian An), the Grand Administrator of Shu county Xu Jing attempted to surrender without success. Due to such a critical moment, Liu Zhang opted not to execute Jing. Upon Zhang surrendering, Liu Bei refused to use Jing and despised him.

Hence Zheng advised: "Amongst those with honour, yet without abilties, Xu Jing is the worst of the lot. Yet due to Milord just starting out to build your empire, you'll need to convince people flocking to your side. Jing's empty name has resounded throughout the land. If you refuse to treat him with respect, they will think you're disregarding the talents at your disposal. It's important to give him far heavier respect and beguile those near and afar just like how the Lord of Yan treated Guo Kui." Therefore, Liu Bei heeded the advice and treated Jing kindly.

Verdict: Sibeh ho pah [2]

[以正为蜀郡太守、扬武将军,外统都畿,内为谋主。一餐之德,睚眦之怨,无不报复,擅杀毁伤己者数人。]

Trans: Conferring Zheng the post of the Grand Administrator of Shu county and General who Spread the Might, he ruled the capital and assumed the role as the chief adviser. Be it gratitude of a single meal or the slightest of grievance, all were repaid in full as he willfully executed numbers of those who had harmed him.

Verdict: Dio pah jihao, jiatao si heng pah liao. [3]

[或谓诸葛亮曰:“法正于蜀郡太纵横,将军宜启主公,抑其威福。” 亮答曰:“主公之在公安也,北畏曹公之强,东惮孙权之逼,近则惧孙夫人生变于肘腋之下;当斯之时,进退狼跋,法孝直为之辅翼,令翻然翱翔,不可复制,如何禁止法正使不得行其意邪!” 初,孙权以妹妻先主,妹才捷刚猛,有诸兄之风,侍婢百余人,皆亲执刀侍立,先主每入,衷心常凛凛;亮又知先主雅爱信正,故言如此。]

Trans: There were those who informed Zhuge Liang: "Fa Zheng has gotten out of control as the Grand Administrator. Your Eminence, please inform our lord so that he won't continue to go overboard."
Liang answered: "Our lord is now at Gong An. Fearing the strength of Duke Cao up north and Sun Quan nearing by to the east, he still have to be wary of Lady Sun rebelling by his side. At this very critical moment as the wings of support that granted him a change in fortunes, Fa Xiaozhi is irreplaceable. Hence how can I stop Fa Zheng from acting with impunity?"

At the beginning, Sun Quan married his younger sister to Liu Bei. Agile in wit and fierce in character, she has the airs of her elder brothers. With maids and servants heavily armed numbering to a hundred plus, Liu Bei would always enter with trepidation; due to Liang knowing Liu Bei was extremely favoured towards Zheng, he had no choice, but to speak those words.

Verdict: Jin-eh sibeh kiampah. [4]

[先主立为汉中王,以正为尚书令、护军将军。明年卒,时年四十五。 先主为之流涕者累日。谥曰翼侯。]

Trans: Upon his self-proclamation as the King of Hanzhong, Liu Bei made Zheng the Imperial Secretary and the General who Protects the Army. Upon passing away the following year at the age of forty five, Liu Bei cried for days and finally bestowing him the posthumous title of the Yi Marquis. (Note: Yi in this context means wings/vital presence)

Verdict: Suaysiao. [5]

[诸葛亮与正,虽好尚不同,以公义相取。亮每奇正智术。]

Trans: Although Zhuge Liang and Zheng differed vastly, yet they exhibited fairness and impartiality whenever needed to. Indeed Liang had never ceased to be amazed at Zheng's unparalleled wit.

Verdict: Bo-hang seng. [6]

[先主既即尊号,将东征孙权 以复关羽之耻,群臣多谏,一不从。章武二年,大军败绩,还住白帝。亮叹曰:“法 孝直若在,则能制主上,令不东行;就复东行,必不倾危矣。”]


Trans: Upon assuming his self-declared Emperor status, Liu Bei prepared to wage war on Sun Quan in order to avenge the loss of Guan Yu. Many tried to dissuade him without success. Upon the massive defeat during the second year of Zhang Wu, Liu Bei retreated back into Baidi as Liang lamented: "If Fa Xiaozhi is still around, he will be able to prevent our lord from this folly. Yet even if he failed to do so, he will still limit the losses incurred."

Verdict: Lang siliao=li ai pahlang li jiu dio pah. [7]

(陈寿)评曰:法正著见成败,有奇画策算,然不以德素称也.儗之魏臣。。。正其程﹑郭之俦俪邪?
《三国志:法正传》

Chen Shou's verdict: Fa Zheng is discerning of victory and defeat with spontaneous planning and counter-measures. Yet he wasn't renowned for his acts. Upon being compared to the vassals of Wei, shouldn't he be seen as the parallel to Cheng and Guo? [8] 
《Records of the Three Kingdoms: Accounts of Fa Zheng》

Final verdict: Jigor lang jin-eh buay-sai pah. Ai pah li jiu zai-si. [9]

Glossary of all things vulgar dialect:
[1]: Getting whacked
[2]: Extremely easy to whack
[3]: After getting whacked, now its time for payback
[4]: Really asking for a beating
[5]: Extremely unlucky
[6]: No contest
[7]: Fella is now dead=If you want to be whacked, you will be whacked
[8]: Cheng Yu(程昱)and Guo Jia(郭嘉). Arguably two of the best military geniuses Cao Cao ever had in his lifetime coupled together with their problematic personalities.
[9]: You can not afford to fight this fellow. If you still want to, you'll die

P.S: Weirdly enough, a certain individual hailing from DDR has conjured up some funny images of Harada Katushiro himself. Yes, I know that Alisa was super distracting, but still...

Conman Begins...

Been itching to get started on this bloke. Apparently, Zhuge Liang wasn't really that thrice-damned broken imba like what Luo Guanzhong had made him out to be. Also, Blogspot do have a certain tendency to die on me in terms of word formatting at random moments. Hence you all get the gist.

[法正字孝直,(右)扶风郿人也。祖父真,有清节高名。三辅决录注曰:真字高卿,少明五经, 兼通谶纬,学无常师,名有高才。常幅巾见扶风守,守曰:“哀公虽不肖,犹臣仲尼,柳下惠不去父母之邦,欲相屈为功曹何如?”真曰:“以明府见待有礼,故四时朝觐,若欲吏使之,真将在北山之北南山之南矣。”扶风守遂不敢以为吏。初,真年未弱冠,父在南郡,步往候父,已欲去,父留之待正旦,使观朝吏会。会者数百人,真于窗中窥其与父语。毕,问真“孰贤”?真曰:“曹掾胡广有公卿之量。”其后广果历九卿三公之位,世以服真之知人。前后征辟,皆不就,友人郭正等美之,号曰玄德先生。年八十九,中平五年卒。正父衍,字季谋,司徒掾、廷尉左监。]
《三国志:法正传》

Trans: Fa Zheng, styled Xiaozhi; a native of the Mei prefecture of Fufeng county. His grandfather Fa Zhen had a reputation of integrity and a noble character.
[Annotations from San Fu Jue Lu by Pei Songzhi: Zhen, styled Gaoqing. Able to understand the Five Classics and the ways of divination at a young age, he was a spontaneous learner with a repute as a talent. Often visiting the Grand Administrator of Fufeng under the cover of a headscarf, he once asked Zhen: "Though unfilial, yet Your Grace is Zhongni's (i.e. Confucius himself) equal. Hence, what is your views on Liu Xiahui choosing a humble post within the meritocratic ministry instead of returning to his motherland?'

Zhen replied: "Via our frequent audiences because of your generosity, your efforts to lord over me will all be in vain."

Hence, the Grand Administrator dared not to use him as a local official. At the beginning when Zhen was nearing twenty, his father was at the Nan (Southern) county. Just before his departure after the visit, the journey was delayed due to his father's insistence to witness the gathering of the local officials. There were a hundred present as Zhen conversed with his father behind the window. Upon end of the meeting, Zhen was quizzed upon who would be the truly able.

Zhen said: "The official assistant Hu Guang has the capacity of a major minister."

Indeed Guang later assumed such a post as all were astounded by Zhen's understanding of individual characters. Yet he refused all requests for his loyalty with his friends like Guo Zheng lauding him with the nickname Master of the Hidden Virtues. Upon the age of eighty nine, he passed away during the fifth year of the Zhongping calender. Zheng's father Yan, styled Jimou, assumed the assistant post to the Grand Minister of Land and Social Affairs cum Left Supervisor of the Prison Ministry.]
《Records of the Three Kingdoms: Accounts of Fa Zheng

Analysis: A case of ancestral pedigree? Is it really surprising that mysticism was a common fixture back then in feudal societies? Regardless of the answer, Fa Zheng's ah-kong [1] was surely one bloody garang [2] ah-kong. Apparently, the Grand Administrator-kisama [3] was trying to test him.

Unfortunately, you don't start off with an insult if you want to win the service of the truly able. [4] The fact that frequent meetings is a prior fixture means nothing to the truly intelligent. If Fa Zhen was merely a clever person, he would have tongkheng [5] for good. If we're to go by the current standards of learning, he would have been the youngest Mensa in history. Period. 

Case in point: If you can learn big time without a fixed schedule/teaching personal, you're far better than the Kindaichi lineage. [6] And to imagine wtf Akechi Kengo [6] was doing all the while. If Takato Yoichi [6] was to discover the most perfect crime partner, it would be either the grandpa or grandson. Period.

As for the father? Well if you can be the assistant to the top three ranked court officials, you're one hell of a mofo. Coupled with a similiar position in all things prison operations and you'll get yourself an Akiyama Shinichi[7] waiting to be born.

Nerd-ferences:
[1]: Grandfather in Hokkien. You all should know by now.
[2]: On the ball in Malay. 
[3]: If you use this towards your superiors in the Land of Rising Sun, it means that you're prepared to be fired.
[4]: Apparently, we'll never ever see G.W Bush insulting Dick Cheney despite his own PR record. Period.
[5]: Bending over in Hokkien. 
[6]: Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo
[7]: That bloody phenom

Note: Gaoqing means esteemed minister. Jimou means young counsel.


One random music clip and it's g'night, guys.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Character Concept: Lars Alterfate

Yet another character pre-planned. In fact the entire idea has been stuck in my head far longer than Eliador himself. Amazingly enough, coming across e-fools can pull off wondrous stunts in all things inspiration.

"The wages of sin is death, for who can ever cheat his rightful master of his rightful due? To hunt a beast is to hunt his sins. And truth to be spoken, I don't see any difference between bestiality and humanity."

Appearance: A golden blond Human male with a tattoo pattern carved from his chest to the abdomen. Lean and muscular, his height reached the six foot mark. Stunningly handsome, the sides and back of his hair was cropped with straight prominent bangs. His eyes of ruby red being proof of an enigma, no one seems able enough to decipher whether he's an existence of emptiness or an entity of repentance.

Garb: Torso bared with a sleeveless vest, his costume would be nothing less than wholly white with a sash of silver and loose fit pants.

Concepts

Gil
Enkidu
Soul Eater
WTF?
If you're truly listed as such, may the Basement bless you down below

Conceptual Quotes

"A fair lady for a fair honour's take. Should it be a given for me to know your fairest name?"

"Alestrial Eliaden... a pity that we have to meet this way. You're too much like 'her'. For all I know, Aeranath might be your very demise."

"I do not remember grudges... but only if its personal. What a shame that I don't do things the normal way, Watari Drew."

 Two clips and its nightey night here.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Lore: The Red Lions

Have been waiting to do this for a very long time. Anyway, here it goes:


Source of inspiration from that most politically incorrect supporter

INTRO: Separated into ten Divisions, the Red Lions are the highest symbol of courage built from humility. They bear no bitterness towards those undeserving and justice will always be met out unto the countless knaves unfortunate enough to raise their ire. Rooted within the Northern territories of the Kalaran Empire, equality is the only route to merit fully earned.

PLEDGE:  
We who are sworn to oath, pledge ourselves as one united legion.
Ignoring barriers the only way, foolishness will be there to tear down.
Let the truly spiteful shrivel, let the truly weak be preyed upon.
For all are one as a body made up of many parts.

HIERARCHY:
Each Division is being led by the highest operational commander known as a Gaffer. The formal way of addressing is "Gaffer Sir", yet such a rule should never be seen as cast iron. There have been numerous cases where informal greetings of respect are seen as acceptable. As for the coordination of daily operations, the Headquarters at the Manchester Division will be put wholly in charge. By default, the Gaffer of the said Headquarters will have total discretion in allocating any manpower to the respective Divisions, hence a need for acute acumen in strategy.
Field leaders are known as Sergeants (or Sarge in personal terms) while exceptional leaders are labeled as "a leader rank", i.e. those combining exceptional skills in fighting with a relevant standard in tactical mastery. In addition, every Gaffer will have his own personal assistant together with various bunk officers put in charge of disciplinary affairs.

ACADEMY:
Every able-bodied lad at the age of fourteen is entitled the choice whether or not to join the Red Lions. No fee is needed since this is the only militia organisation officially endorsed by the Empirical administration. However within the first three months of basic training, anybody can opt to drop out due to its demanding pace and training regime. After the three month grace period, all who remain behind can never desert from their eventual postings at the pain of death by hanging.
From there onwards, the recruits (Cubs) will be allocated to various parts of the Merseyside Academy and they will be split into numerous Platoons led by a single Platoon Sergeant. Once reaching the age of eighteen years, the Cubs will be officially recognized as Lions in what is most commonly known as Leaving the Den Parade, i.e. the Passing Out Parade.

OPERATIONAL SYSTEM:
A Command is defined as an universal term for soldiers within a specific job scope (cue Chapter 2). For the Red Lions, this is no different. Each Division is entitled to twenty Commands (A/N: One Command as a unit numbers from a hundred to five hundred soldiers) split into two main categories: the Support Command and the Engagement Command. The former comprises of fresh graduates from the Academy while the latter belongs to the more seasoned veterans.
Naturally, individuals from the Engagement Command are needed to lead any number of troops from the given Support Command(s). Those from any Support Command will undertaking runner missions and reconnaissance with skirmishing required as the final resort. As for the Engagement Command, they will be seen as actual combat units.

ARMS AND ARMOUR:
Deployment can be listed as one of the two: actual security in any major settlements (Phalanx) or assault troops (Shockers). The former is tasked with protecting the residents from inner strife as well as outer invasions if regular forces fail to arrive on time. The standard equipment for this instance will be:
1. a coat of scale mail
2. a steel spangenhelm
3. a halberd
4. a white surcoat with the Red Lions' coat of arms. i.e. a lion in red half standing.
For Shockers, it will be a green sleeveless tunic with a matching pair of pants. A suit of leather scales will be worn underneath together with high leather boots and the same type of helmet. The coat of arms will still be visible with spear and crossbow being the default weapons of choice.

LOCATION:
First and foremost, the Academy of Merseyside will always be located at the centre of the North together with the Manchester Headquarters. Further upward will be the Divisions of Highbury and White'hart. To the Eastern side, the triumvirate of Teesside, Wearside, and Tyneside stay strong. Westbound will be the Edwood and Seaside Divisions while further down South will be Cardiff and Stamford.

TERRAIN:
The Central is typified by a flat terrain surrounded by hillocks at the centre region where agriculture has always been a sure sign of prosperity and wealth.
The North End is far colder and littered with a greater number of hillocks bordering the steppes of Slarvea. The North East is all about rugged terrain comprising of forests, mountains and marshlands with a sporadic amount of fertile land irrigated by the downstream flow of River Portar.
North West base its riches upon the maritime trade where Seaside earned its name. Edwood is actually an island under the Empire's total jurisdiction with its fame built upon the excellent timber meant for galleys.
The South End has the most frequent human traffic coupled with a varied terrain, hence gaining the fame of being the richest and most fortified area out of the rest.

BASIC UNIT WARFARE:
The Lions at Highbury and White'hart are renowned crossbowmen, for the defensive high ground available can never be ignored.
Key adversaries: Mounted raiders from Slarvea.

The terrain of North East ensures cutting off any of the enemy's supply/advancing routes can become a reality upon Shockers' merit.
Key adversaries: Bandit organisations beyond the reach of law and random Orcish raids.

The Seasiders and Edwoodmen are mostly the Phalanx type with manpower supplied to the Imperial Navy whenever needed.
Key adversaries: Marine raiders from the arid Southlands while the Serpent of Histalonia himself should be seen as a potential danger as well.

Rich in resources, Stamford and Cardiff stand as the key logistic points where their Phalanx will be stationed in various outposts with a sustainable number of Shockers on patrol round the clock within the surrounding hard/rough terrain
Key adversaries: Frequent Orcish raids together with equally frequent encounters with organised mobs of highwaymen.

And lastly but perhaps the most vital of them all, Manchester's terrain location has cemented their status as the reinforcement hub made possible by the sprawling distributaries branching from River Portar.
Key adversaries: Everyone listed above.

LIST OF DIVISIONS AND CURRENT GAFFERS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Division of Manchester: Fergie Malom

 Division of White'hart: Andrei Boaz

Division of Highbury: Arsun Wengas

Division of Teesside: Moggray Tonn

Division of Tyneside: Chrys Hughes

Division of Wearside: Marty Bruce

Division of Edwood: Jake Walken

Division of Seaside: Ian Holls

Division of Stamford: Joes Mouriz

Division of Cardiff: Mack Malte

A/N : The city of Lindel where Aeranath made his debut in Chapter 1 is actually part of the North West.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The War Song

During the concert portion of Breaking The Silence@The Cathay, my brain managed to go overdrive mode. On one hand, I was enjoying whatever on-stage (including Minister Heng's speech despite my regular barbed humour on everything you-know-now). Yet on the other, certain events of the past have managed to inspire me to do this nice little piece of poetry. In a very constructive sense, its good to flex a move or two after so long in absence so as to speak. :)
But before I get started...