The Three Kingdoms - Yellow Turban Rebellion - Extra History - #1

The Three Kingdoms - Yellow Turban Rebellion - Extra History - #1


The first episode in a series of short, animated documentaries chronicling the Three Kingdoms period of China's history.

Yellow Turban Victory

In the years 184-205 AD, a massive peasant revolt motivated by Taoism, known as the Yellow Turban Rebellion, ravaged the country of China, an event which marked the beginning of the end for the Han Dynasty. The rebellion itself was established by three brothers from oldest to youngest: Zhang Jue, Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang. In our timeline, the rebels were successfully put down by a volunteer army lead by generals who would eventually establish The Wei, Wu and Shu Kingdoms. After the Han's turbulent collapse, the Three Generals and their Kingdoms fight each other for supremacy in the Chinese Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-280).

Table of Contents

The power of the Eastern Han dynasty went into depression and steadily declined from a variety of political and economic problems after the death in 105 of Emperor He. A series of Han emperors ascended the throne while still youths, and de facto imperial power often rested with the emperors' older relatives.. During the reigns of Emperor Huan (r. 146–168) and Emperor Ling (r. 168–189), leading officials' dissatisfaction with the eunuchs' usurpations of power reached a peak, and many began to openly protest against them. The first and second protests met with failure, and the court eunuchs persuaded the emperor to execute many of the protesting scholars. Some local rulers seized the opportunity to exert despotic control over their lands and citizens, since many feared to speak out in the oppressive political climate. Emperors Huan and Ling's reigns were recorded as particularly dark periods of Han dynasty rule. In addition to political oppression and mismanagement, China experienced a number of natural disasters during this period, and local rebellions sprung up throughout the country.

In the third month of 184, Zhang Jiao, leader of the Way of Supreme Peace, a Taoist movement, along with his two brothers Zhang Liang and Zhang Bao, led the movement's followers in a rebellion against the government that was called the Yellow Turban Rebellion. Their movement quickly attracted followers and soon numbered several hundred thousand and received support from many parts of China. They had 36 bases throughout China, with large bases having 10,000 or more followers and minor bases having 6,000 to 7,000, similar to Han armies.

Emperor Ling dispatched generals Huangfu Song, Lu Zhi, and Zhu Jun to lead the Han armies against the rebels, and decreed that local governments had to supply soldiers to assist in their efforts. It is at this point that the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms begins its narrative. The Yellow Turbans were ultimately defeated and its surviving followers dispersed throughout China, but due to the turbulent situation throughout the empire, many were able to survive as bandits in mountainous areas, thus continuing their ability to contribute to the turmoil of the era.

Warlords [ edit | edit source ]

Melee [ edit | edit source ]

  • Peasant Spearman
  • Peasant Band
  • Yellow Turban Spearman
  • Yellow Turban Warriors
  • White Wave Veterans
  • White Wave Horsemen
  • Yellow Sky Heralds
  • Militia of Virtue
  • Reclaimers (Only Available to Yellow Turban Factions)
  • Scholar Warriors (Only Available to Yellow Turban Factions)

Ranged [ edit | edit source ]

  • Peasant Archers
  • Yellow Turban Archers
  • Men of the Forest
  • Archery Masters

Hybrid [ edit | edit source ]

Yellow Turbans also have a choice to recruit a Captain rather than a general. Each captain generally has peasant infantry and, based on which captain, can have normal Yellow TurbaN units. Each Captain is like a garrison captain, which makes them normal units, but better, but not generals. It is generally advised to recruit Captains early in the game, as Elite units (units unlocked in reforms/Faction Specific Units) are generally not seen often. But in the middle & late game, it is advisable to replace these captains with a regular general.

Downloadable Content

Yellow Turban Rebellion

The Yellow Turban Rebellion was released at the same time as the main game and was available free of charge with pre-orders and early purchaser of Three Kingdoms. The DLC adds a new Yellow Turban playable sub-culture with three new playable warlords He Yi, Gong Du, and Huang Shao. The Yellow Turban factions have different hero classes, units, technologies, character skills and ancillaries.

Reign of Blood

The Reign of Blood DLC adds blood and gore to the battle scenes. Depending on the purchaser's country of residence there may be an age restriction on this product.

The Eight Princes

The Eight Princes pack introduces a new campaign set 100 years after the main game and includes eight new playable princes. The new princes come with unique buildings, assignments, court options and new elite units.

Mandate of Heaven

Released in January 2020 with the 1.4.0 patch of the game, Mandate of Heaven provides a campaign starting in 182CE before the start of the Yellow Turban rebellion. The pack includes new characters, six new playable warlords and comes with unique new campaign mechanics, events and objectives.

Tao Qian

Released at the same time as Mandate of Heaven, Tao Qian is available as a free download. Tao Qian is a new playable character with a unique resource called 'displaced population', which provides him with a bonus when other factions conquer settlements!

A World Betrayed

Released in March 2020 with the 1.5.0 patch of the game, A World Betrayed adds the 194AD start date, two new factions specific to that start date (Lu Bu and Sun Ce), 17 new characters, a complete revamp of the bandit factions, new units, a new title system to replace the promotion system, expansions to espionage, and population changes.

Yan Baihu

Released alongside A World Betrayed, Yan Baihu is the second FLC pack for the game. Yan Baihu is a bandit character south of the Yangtze in Xindu Commandery in the 190AD and 194AD start dates. He has a faction resource focusing on coalition building, unique Yue and White Tiger units, and his brother Yan Yu as a starting unique general.

The Furious Wild

Released in September 2020 with the 1.6.0 patch of the game, The Furious Wild expands the map in the southwest and adds the Nanman culture group. The map expansion includes new commanderies, a new jungle campaign terrain type, and the addition of fortified gate passes in several mountainous areas. The Nanman culture comes with a new unit roster, four factions, six unique characters, and their own campaign mechanics and objectives.

Shi Xie

Released alongside The Furious Wild, Shi Xie is the third FLC pack for the game. Shi Xie is a Han governor character that starts in the extreme south of the map in Jiaozhi Commandery inthe 190AD and 194AD start dates. His unique faction mechanic revolves around putting his family into powerful positions in his faction and others in order to generate a currency he can use to create unique tribute chests with powerful effects.

Fates Divided

Released in March 2021 with the 1.7.0 patch of the game, Fates Divided adds the 200AD start date, the multigenerational Liu Yan/Liu Zhang faction, 10 new characters, a revamp of faction progression and the faction council system, the new imperial intrigue system, new units, and the Northern Army.

Could you tell us a bit more about the three unique character classes?

The Yellow Turbans have access to three unique character classes: the Scholar, the Healer, and the Veteran.

Each of them is tied to a specific Taoist domain and virtue: the Scholar is associated with Heaven and the virtue of Humility, the Healer is associated with the People and the virtue of Compassion, and the Veteran is associated with the Land and the virtue of Frugality.

The Healer was the most obvious class to include as the Zhang brothers, who founded the rebellion, were healers – we decided to give them a support role. While lightly armoured like a Strategist, they can equip staff and spear weapons, as well as hold their own a bit better than you’d expect.

Scholars are those who study scripture, and might be practitioners of martial arts as developing the physical arts was viewed as important as knowledge of esoteric matters. Scholars are well versed in the use of dual weapons, and while only capable of wearing medium armour they are very skilled at dodging incoming blows.

Many former soldiers and guards also joined the rebellion, and their officers would come to be the third Yellow Turban class: the Veteran. Veterans are heavily armoured and skilled in the use of various pole weapons, including the devastating ball mace.

All Yellow Turban characters have access to unique Yellow Turban exclusive skills and abilities. There are three abilities and four skills available to each Yellow Turban class, and each character has access to all the abilities and skills of their main class as well as two skills from the remaining two classes. As they level up, they also gain access to one of four skills from the main game. The selection of available skills varies from character to character, and is based on their personal background.

Unlike the game’s standard character classes, the Yellow Turban character classes also have hybrid characteristics: Healers are focused on instinct and resolve, Scholars are focused on authority and expertise, and Veterans are focused on resolve and cunning.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a 14th-century historical novel attributed to Luo Guanzhong. It is set in the turbulent years towards the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history, starting in 169 AD and ending with the reunification of the land in 280.

The story – part history, part legend and part myth – covers the lives of feudal lords and their retainers, who tried to replace the dwindling Han Dynasty or restore it. While the novel follows hundreds of characters, the focus is mainly on the three power blocs that emerged from the remnants of the Han Dynasty, and would eventually form the three states of Cao Wei, Shu Han, and Eastern Wu. The novel deals with the plots, personal and military battles, intrigues, and struggles of these states to achieve dominance for almost 100 years.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is acclaimed as one of the “Four Great Classical Novels” of Chinese literature. The novel is among the most beloved works of literature in East Asia and its literary influence in the region has been immense. You can’t go two blocks without seeing reference to the novel, whether it’s shrines of Guan Yu or the countless games made using the setting and characters.

There are actually three written accounts of the time period called the Three Kingdoms period. There is the History of the Three Kingdoms, Annotations of the Three Kingdoms, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The first two are factual accounts of the events and people of the tumultuous time period. The third is a fictionalized version of the first two. Written during the Ming Dynasty, the novel takes much of the historical stuff and makes its cool. A perfect example of this is the character Xiahou Dun. During one battle, he manages to get shot in the eye. Rather than retreat or die, Xiahou Dun rips the arrow from his eye socket. Eye still attached to the arrow, he proceeds to eat the eye and return to battle. It is a moment of pure macho badassery and one that I will probably never forget. However, history is not always kind to badassery. The real Xiahou Dun did, in fact, get shot in the eye with an arrow, but he went on to serve as a civil servant and retired from military conquest. It is easy to see why Romance leads in terms of popularity and cultural importance. The blending of historical fact with historical fiction really draws you into the world. Everything that happens can be confirmed, it’s just the “how” that the author took liberties with.

“Every kingdom divided, must unite. Every kingdom united, must divide.” A poignant opening, one that rings true for the four volume, 1500+ page epic that is Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The novel opens up with a conflict called the Yellow Turban Rebellion. The Han emperor calls all of the heroes of China to crush the peasant rebellion and bring peace to the realm. Lords, generals, and commoners alike flock to the emperor’s call. It is here that we are introduced to our protagonists and antagonists. We meet Cao Cao, a famous general known for his cunning and ruthlessness. Liu Bei, a man with imperial blood and without land to rule, and Sun Jian, a lord from south of the Yang Zi River. These three form the bulk of the armies sent to fight the rebels. After many long and hard battles, due in large part to imperial incompetence, a power vacuum is left and the three lords, along with many smaller players, fight to gain control of China.

The novel can be broken down into two kinds of chapters. There are the political intrigue chapters, which usually involve meetings between characters and plotting against enemies. These chapters can get a bit slow if you are not into characters talking. As mentioned before, there are loads of characters so there were times when I couldn’t follow what was happening because I found myself asking “Who are any of these people?” It also doesn’t help that many scenes involve multiple people with the same surname, as politics of the day were nepotistic and family-oriented. The second type of chapter is the action scenes and, boy, are they eventful. Some of the best battles I’ve read have come from this novel, and they make a great payoff for chugging through the other chapters.

The number of characters, as mentioned before, can be daunting, but luckily the author did a great job in characterizing the important ones. You can hear Zhang Fei’s booming voice and see his bushy eyebrows. You know Zhou Yu and his ridiculously great looks (seriously, it takes two pages to describe him!). It’s easy to pick and choose sides based on who you love to read about and makes the novel more fun to read.

Speaking of choosing sides, the author shows a clear bias towards Shu Han. Liu Bei and his retinue are always described in a positive light, Cao Cao and the soldiers of Cao Wei are always described as stern, suspicious, and ruthless. Liu Bei’s actions are always justified, even if they are no different from the things that Cao Cao or Sun Quan do. Eastern Wu also disappears for most of the second half of the novel, until the last two chapters. You can feel the shoulder shrug from the author as you read about them. You can argue that the novel structure always pushes a protagonist vs. antagonist story, and that’s true, but when you are taking real history, it, in a way, takes away from the novel if you know an event happens a little different. Luckily, for the version I own, there are loads of notes and annotations explaining or giving context to scenes in the novel. Romance is a fantasized version of real events, so just keep that in mind when you read. So is Romance of the Three Kingdoms one of the first fantasy novels? I’d say no, because while there are many fantasy elements to the novel, especially anything involving the Taoist priest Zhuge Liang, much of the novel is just a retelling of actual events. As a counterpoint, series like A Song of Ice and Fire, heavily inspired by the War of the Roses that took place in medieval England, and others are inspired by historical events. Tolkien, for all his genius and creativity, and his seminal works are heavily inspired by World War 1 and Norse mythology. Romance of the Kingdoms, unlike those mentioned above, doesn’t change the name, places, or times of the histories. Those all stay intact, just colored in with new details and excitement.

The cultural impact is also something to examine. While certain fandoms, like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones, have made a huge cultural impact on many Western countries, you will never find people who actually went to Hogwarts or have seen the Wall, because they are not real. Everything in Romance of the Three Kingdoms is mostly true with tangible records, and as a result, there are statues, shrines, and temples all dedicated to the characters and kingdoms of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. There are no shrines built for the Lord of Light. At least not yet anyway…

You can find copies of Romance of the Three Kingdoms at any Xinhua Bookstore or the Qujiang Bookstore.

Malcolm Aquino has been exploring China for the last two years. If there is beautiful scenery and delicious food, chances are he’s been there.

Biography (COB ): Huang Zhong (Hansheng)

Place of Birth: Nanyang District (Presently Nanyang City in Henan Province)
Lifespan: AD 148 – 221 (73 Years)
Titles: General of the Rear, Lord of the Second Rank, Forthright Lord

Huang Zhong started his career late in his life when the Yellow Turban rebellion had recently ended. He first served Liu Biao as Imperial Corps Commander and was in charge of defending Chang Sha.

Later when Liu Biao was at war with Cao Cao, Hansheng took up the post as Deputy General under Han Xuan. At Nanjun, when Liu Bei was advancing south, he sent Guan Yu to intercept Huang Zhong. Guan Yu prevailed and captured Huang Zhong who surrendered his forces and joined Liu Bei’s entourage.

Hansheng accompanied Liu Bei when the latter was invading the Western River Lands of Ba Shu. For his great contributions, he was titled General Who Eliminated the Barbarians.

In the twenty-fourth year of Rebuilt Tranquility ( AD 219), Huang Zhong guarded the important mountain pass at Dingjun ( 定军 ), and subsequently killed Wei’s Commander Xiahou Yuan (1). For his great defense, Hansheng was promoted to General Who Conquers the West.

In that same year, Liu Bei proclaimed himself King of Hanzhong, and Huang Zhong was honored as one of the Tiger Generals. In the twenty-sixth year of Rebuilt Tranquility ( AD 221), Liu Bei ascended the throne as Emperor of Shu, and conferred upon Huang Zhong the post of General of the Rear and title Lord of the Second Rank.

Later that year when Liu Bei attacked Wu at Yi Ling, Huang Zhong was killed in battle and titled Forthright Lord posthumously (2).

Romance of The Three Kingdoms(Beta)

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The Three Kingdoms

The Han Dynasty of China went through numerous trials and tribulations, ups and downs over a period of over 400 years. In its latter days, power struggle within the palace would result in child emperors being enthroned after short-lived emperors had passed on. The empire fell into the hands of dowagers, their relatives and bands of eunuchs who siphoned from the treasury into their own homes. Floods and famines ravaged the land. From the start of the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184 AD, the empire went into rapid decline.

As the influence of the palace declined, regional governors battled one another for control of the empire. In these desperate time, only the strongest and craftiest could survive. The power of the generals, the temperament of the leaders and the wit of the strategists would play out on the bloody battlefields. After decades of chaotic fighting, three powers were left standing, the Wei Kingdom, the Wu Kingdom and the Shu Kingdom. How did they all get here? The Three Kingdoms saga is an ancient classic which reveals much of Chinese culture, values, ingenuity and cruelty. Never before written this way in English, this series of Three Kingdoms gives the classic a lively modern interpretation. It is the author’s hope that readers will find it more readable and enjoyable than other English versions.

3 men vow to defend the ailing Eastern Han Dynasty. Emperor Han Lingdi passes on. 12-year-old Liu Bian is enthroned. Power struggle in the palace resulting in massacre. Dong Zhuo enters the palace and assumes leadership. …

Dong Zhuo is eliminated. Another power struggle resulting in absolute chaos. Emperor abandons Chang An but finds no refuge in dilapidated Luoyang. Numerous assassination attempts. Emperor rescued by Cao Cao and moved to Xuchang, the beginning of 挟天子以令诸侯. Bloodbath in Xuzhou, Liu Bei rescues Xuzhou. Liu Bei tries in vain to gain foothold in Xuzhou, fighting Lu Bu at one end, Yuan Shu at another, finally found refuge under Cao Cao.

Liu Bei escapes from Cao Cao, kills his general at Xuzhou. Cao Cao attacks. Liu Bei loses Xuzhou again. Guan Yu surrenders to Cao Cao. Cao Cao engages Yuan Shao in battle at Guan Du. Guan Yu escapes when Liu Bei writes to him. Liu Bei establishes new base in Run Nan. Cao Cao crushes Yuan Shao and Ru Nan. Sun Ce conquers the Southeast and builds up at Dongwu.

Liu Bei seeks refuge under Liu Biao at Jingzhou and attempts to build a new base at Xin Ye. Finds Zhuge Liang. Cao Cao attacks, Liu Bei loses Xin Ye, faced total defeat at Chang Ban, rescued by Liu Biao’s son Liu Qi and reorganises army. Jingzhou surrenders to Cao Cao.

Cao Cao threatens Dongwu with his newly-minted navy. Zhuge Liang and Lu Su propose an alliance. Dongwu appoints Zhou Yu as commander. The Battle at Red Cliff begins…

Romance of the Three Kingdoms series

A strategy series developed and published by KOEI that is based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel version and uses pingyin romanization for the translation of Chinese names.

The Three Kingdoms (Chinese: 三国, sanguo) era is a period in Chinese history, following the decline and fall of the Han Dynasty after the Yellow Turban Rebellion. The saga originally existed via oral stories and was eventually made into official history. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms version was later popularized by Chinese writer Luó Guànzhōng between 1330-1400, portraying Liu Bei as the hero of the series and Cao Cao as the antagonist. The game series is heavily influenced by the romantic version rather than the official version.

Depending on the game, a Romance of the Three Kingdoms game may start during the decline of Han dynasty after the Yellow Turban Rebellion (184 AD), followed by periods such as the anti-Dong Zhuo league, the fight for power between the three kingdoms, and ultimately the preliminary establishment of the Jin Dynasty (264 AD). Some series have introduced scenarios and/or characters earlier or later from the usual time frame.

  • The Kingdom of Wei, initially ruled by Cao Cao.
  • The Kingdom of Shu, initially ruled by Liu Bei.
  • The Kingdom of Wu, initially ruled by Sun Jian.

    Top-down political map strategy-type gameplay, where the player control provinces and their natural resources managing armies and their generals conducting plots and schemes between the player between or with rival kingdoms. The KOEI-type strategy game familiarizes generals with individual portraits as well as unique character skills and statistics. Individual biographies may also be available partially or completely in the game manual or in game documentation

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