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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lǚ Méng 吕蒙

Posted by Ricky Chua On 3:17 PM No comments
What's with the cartoon?
A cuter depiction of the original portrait, showing him disguised as the merchant in white... going to a masquerade party?!

Who is he:
One of the most prominent generals from the Kingdom of Sun Wu 孙吴, Lu Meng started out as a military general with scant knowledge of tactics and strategy. Following his rising appointments in the Wu Kingdom, Sun Quan 孙权 himself advised Lu Meng to read in his spare time. Lu Meng wisely did so and his wisdom and knowledge made great leaps in a very short time. So impressive was his improvement, in fact, that Sun Quan's able advisor Lu Su 鲁肃 commented the famous phrase:

"When the clueless Lu Meng is under Wu Kingdom's nurturing, one must re-evaluate him in a different light. 吴下阿蒙, 刮目相看"

Character ability: "Self-Mastery 克己 (kè jǐ)"
If Lu Meng does not use any ATTACK 杀 cards during his action phase, he can skip the discard phase. This means he need not discard any cards despite having more cards than he has health units.

Note that the use of ATTACK outside of his turn (such as in response to BARBARIANS 南蛮入侵) does not require him to discard his cards either.

Ability's relation to story:
There appears to be two possible links for "Self-Mastery" to the story. This first is philosophical, where Lu Meng's diligence in his studies is a result of being able to master his time management and overcome his procrastination. He once complained to Sun Quan that he did not have time to read, but Sun Quan aptly replied that himself is busier than Lu Meng yet he can find the time to read.

The second is directly related to the game ability. As displayed in the translated description, Lu Meng crossed a river in white robes for the purpose of deceiving Guan Yu 关羽's troops. Lu Meng's troops hid their weapons and pretended to be merchants (who were dressed in white in those days). Only at the last moment did they break their cover and surprise the enemy. This is indeed very similar to Lu Meng's game character! Always undercover and nondescript, but when he explodes he can be extremely lethal.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Defeating Guan Yu. One of the key reasons for Guan Yu's defeat was Lu Meng's capture of Jing Zhou 荆州. Lu Meng subsequently treated the citizens of Jing Zhou extremely well, leading to Guan Yu's troops (mainly recruited from Jing Zhou) to desert Guan Yu and return home. With a depleting army, Guan Yu escaped to Mai Cheng 麦城 and was ultimately captured and executed by Sun Quan.

2. Cause of death - Guan Yu's death did not mark the end of Guan Yu. Instead the ghost of Guan Yu possessed Lu Meng at a celebratory banquet thrown by Sun Quan. At the banquet, the possessed Lu Meng grabbed hold of Sun Quan and swore revenge. Lu Meng then collapsed and died. This story ultimately spawned the Demi-God Guan Yu 神关羽 character.

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