The current active army.
Moving south from Ling Ling, we are immediately ambushed by Lu Bu along with approximately nine thousand troops. Ma Liang and Ma Su prove their worth by distributing power pils to everyone, and we're able to overcome the most underachieving schmuck in Chinese history.
Done with him finally, we resume our course to Fu Shui.
Going a long way north and then east, we finally arrive. Meng Da and Tao Qian ineptly lead the first wall of defenses at the fortress. At the castle, we're met by hostilites from Yan Yan, Fa Zheng, and Yang Huai with about 10,000 soldiers. It's a tough fight, but nobody can deny the Han Dynasty.
In the castle, we find Liu Zhang dirty and cowering in the brig.
We have to batter the door down since we never found a key for it. Once out, Liu Zhang thanks us and leaves right away, presumably to get us our reward. Unfortunately (for him), he doesn't return, and Wei Yan places a price on his head.
A quick visit to the blacksmith nets us nothing. He says there's some nice ore in Mt. Gang Tai but we'd have to go get it. Figures.
We set out for Luo, intent on getting some loot for all of our hard work. Liu Bei doesn't pay us enough to throw our lives away.
At the fortress protecting Luo, Huang Quan and Leng Bao are waiting for us. But when they see we've brought the newly recruited Yan Yan and Zhang Ren with us, they attempt to parley.
Stepping over their corpses, we are greeted by a hail of
arrows from Ma Chao, Ma Dai, and Pang De, at Luo. They are gifted
generals, but we could have beaten them even without power pils.
We also hear a rumor from someone that the missing Liu Zhang has joined the rebels! That mistake will cost him his life. How many strongholds do they have left now, like two?
Plunging headfirst into Mt. Gang Tai, we find the Iron Ore easily enough and emerge on the other side of the mountain, close to Mian Zhu Guan. There, we have Li Yan, Liu Ba, and Liu Xun attempting a pathetic defense.
Next, at the Cheng Du fortress, Lei Tong and Wu Lan give battle. Steamrolling through them, Wu Lan manages to escape to Cheng Du, and rally around Liu Zhang. Accompanied by Wu Yi and Wang Lei, the four generals make their last stand against us.
Equipped with the best weapons and armor that gold can buy, we prevail, naturally.
Finally, we're finished. Liu Bei barges in and takes charge. Soon enough, we hear that the old blacksmith is looking for us.
We take our time going back to his smithy. When we arrive, he says he heard we found some ore and that he's willing to make some swords for us...for free. Sensing some sort of deception but itching for a fight after so long, we hand the Iron Ore over, expecting trouble. We're informed that it will take many days for him to complete the swords and we should come back.
As soon as we step outside though, he hear a ruckus from the smithy. Somehow, in the span of a few seconds, he finished the swords and they were subsequently stolen by people he described as the Yellow Turbans! Our bullshit detector was going off the scale here. However, unwilling to go looking for more stuff, we opt to return home to Cheng Du with the smith's head in Meng Da's satchel.
Zhang Fei and Guan Yu have begun grumbling about the amount of work they've done compared to the amount of riches they've obtained. On our way to shake down Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang sneaks up to us from out of the billet and follows behind.
Once in front of Liu Bei, his two oath brothers demand their own castles as they draw their weapons. Sensing danger, Liu Bei acquiesces and gives Guan Yu Chang Sha castle and Zhang Fei Gui Yang castle.
The two of them laugh at the rest of us and leave. The remainder of the army is Lei Tong, Yan Yan, Zhang Ren, and Ma Liang. We begin to plot against Liu Bei in our own bid for power.
Before long, Liu Bei gets word that Cao Cao in Wei took ill and died. Then on that messenger's heels arrives another announcing the assassination of Sun Ce of Wu. And then right after that guy, we get yet another message that Sun Quan, the new ruler of Wu, is attacking Chang Sha and Gui Yang.
This all seems carefully choreographed to interfere with our plans to wrest control from Liu Bei; we must have an informer in our midst. Confident that it is Zhuge Liang (122-255-2493), we abduct him and keep him tied up at the rear of the army for the remainder of our campaigns.
Having no choice but to go back to Jing Zhou to repel more invaders, we set off, looking hungrily towards plundering Wu afterwards.