The current active army.
Angrily kicking in the door to the fourth house, we surprise Ma Liang (59-211-1449) and manage to subdue him before he can react. Sputteringly, he chokes out that four governors are fighting over the Jing Zhou area. He implores us to settle the region for the good of the people and to cease the needless infighting. Seems that the time is nigh for us to take over here, easily!
Secretly winking amongst ourselves, we pat Ma Liang on the head and tell him not to worry.
The first ruler up against our wrath is Jin Xuan at Wu Ling. He turns out to be so incredibly weak, we're embarrassed to have referred to him as a ruler in the first place.
Inside Wu Ling, someone reports that Feng Chu, one of the superior tacticians we had heard of before, is also called Pang Tong. Wary from the trouble we had with our last name changer, Xu Zhe (Dan Fu), we're not all that jazzed to go looking for this other guy.
Seeing nothing of interest in Wu Ling, we head east and south to Chang Sha. There we're pre-emptively attacked by a cocky Han Xuan. After a round of combat, we realize why he's so cocky. Huang Zhong and Wei Yan are quite powerful, indeed.
In the aftermath of the battle, though, Huang Zhong and Wei Yan (228-136-1317) waddle up to us and express interest in joining our army. Wei Yan looks young and strong so we take him in, but Huang Zhong appears as if he could keel over at any moment so we pass on him. He hopes that we will accept his services at a later date.
Not much else in this castle, so onward to Gui Yang we go. However, we find that there is to be no fight for us here! They are welcoming us with open arms! Finally, a ruler who knows to surrender when faced with impossible odds. We go to meet Zhao Fan, and he offers us lodging before we officially take over the castle. Gratefully, we accept, snickering to ourselves all the while.
We're attacked in our sleep, and suffer large losses. Luckily for us, Zhao Fan doesn't have very good generals and we still beat them decisively. The ruler begs for his life, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Zhao Fan's head adorns Guan Yu's trident.
Next, we make the long, boring trek to Ling Ling castle. They have had time to build a fortress for our welcoming, and it is manned by Xingdao Rong and Liu Yan. However, just like all of the others, their mediocre skills prove no match for the likes of us.
Xingdao Rong pulls back to Ling Ling and forms up with Liu Du, who meets us on the battlefield. Liu Du is defeated, but escapes. The very second we win, peace returns to Jing Zhou.
Touring Ling Ling, a commoner tells us that Pang Tong is out with his troops. We can't be troubled to hunt him down, so we leave him to his fate.
However, the oppressive certainty that our tyrant Liu Bei will have something else for us to do immediately after this victory weighs on us, so we head back to Gui Yang where he is frothing. Liu Bei informs Xu Zhe that his mother is ill. Before he leaves, he tells us that Fu Long goes by another name, Zhuge Liang, and that we should recruit him. Feh! We've had enough of these outlaws using aliases. Wen Hun reminds us that maybe he has some hidden treasure, so we decide to check his house again.
Along the way, we meet Ma Liang and Ma Su at their house. They have the nerve to say to us, "Our work here is done." Excuse me? They didn't do a lick of fighting. Yan Liang and Wei Yan are about to gut them when Guan Yu stands defiantly in the way. He points at their pockets and explains that we should spare them because they can carry a lot of power pils for us. Seeing the wisdom in his words, we accept them into our army. After a little while, we can tell that Ma Liang is an idiot savant with an adroit handle on modern tactics. He becomes our replacement for Xu Zhe.
At Zhuge Liang's house, his brother Jin says that he may be at Cui Zhou Ping's house all the way back in Xu Zhou. Assuming he is looking for treasure that we must have missed, we race back to Lou Sang village.
Cui Zhou Ping is home! But Zhuge Liang has already left. Schleping ourselves back to his house for the third time, we find that he's already left again! That little pissant of a brother tells us that he'll let us know at Nan Yang castle if he ever shows up again.
Spending no small amount of time gluttoning ourselves at Nan Yang, the twerp Zhuge Jin comes to get us. Once again, we make the now familiar trek to casa de Zhuge. Finally, he's here! Except for the fact that he's sleeping. We barge into the bedroom, pull off his covers, and announce ourselves loudly. After so much rigmarole to find him we're surprised to see he's actually got the nerve to be angry!
We pull out our weapons to hang, draw, and quarter him. He quickly changes his tune and nervously says that he will meet us at Gui Yang castle. After hanging around a for bit to make sure he doesn't try to sneak back into his bedroom, we head there after him.
Zhuge Liang makes the smart move and actually does as he says. Liu Bei orders us to go to his cousin Liu Zhang's aid in Shu. He promises us much gold and women if we comply, so we set off right away, tossing sleepy Zhuge Liang in the billet on our way out.