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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sūn Cè 孙策

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:47 PM 3 comments
Translated description: 
"The Young Conqueror of Jiang Dong 江东的小霸王 (jiāng dōng dè xiǎo bà wáng)"

(Note: 霸王 was the title of Xiang Yu 项羽, a military leader of the late-Qin dynasty known for his combat ability.)

Who is he:
Ever heard the song "18 and Life" by the 80's rock band Skidrow? Losing his father, Sun Jian 孙坚, when he was only 16 years old, Sun Ce took over the reins of his father's militia and proclaimed himself their warlord. But unlike the misguided youth with a gun in "18 and Life", Sun Ce rose out of sorrow like a flaming phoenix and very quickly swept through South and Eastern China, conquering at a ferociously alarming rate! Within only 9 years, Sun Ce quickly became a force to be reckoned with, earning the respect (and warranted fear) of famed warlords such as Cao Cao 曹操 and Yuan Shu 袁术. To give you an idea of just how extraordinary were Sun Ce's achievements, we need only compare the age gap between Cao Cao and Sun Ce. When the two warlords first started discussing alliances, Cao Cao was a respectable 40 years old while Sun Ce was only 20 years old!! What was even more incredible was Sun Ce's ability to recruit and win the respect of extremely talented fighters, many of whom stayed loyal to the Wu Kingdom their entire lives. Some of the famed talents loyal to Sun Ce were Zhou Tai 周泰, Taishi Ci 太史慈, Zhang Zhao 张昭 and Zhang Hong 张纮.

Indeed, had Sun Ce not died so young, history would be very different. However the circumstances surrounding his death were very peculiar. A mix of superstition, black magic, and perhaps an over-active imagination, Sun Ce was said to have died under the curse of one very infamous Taoist priest. Can you guess who?


Character ability 1: "Ardor 激昂 (jī áng)"
Whenever you use (or become the target of) DUEL 决斗 or a red-suited ATTACK 杀, you can draw a card.

Character ability 2: "Divine Aura 魂姿 (hún zī)" [Awakening ability]
At the beginning of your turn, if your health is 1 unit, you must reduce your maximum health by 1 unit. You then permanently acquire the abilities "Dashing Hero 英姿" and "Lingering Spirit 英魂".

(Note: "Dashing Hero" is Zhou Yu 周瑜's ability that allows him to draw 3 cards. "Linering Spirit" is Sun Jian's ability "Draw X discard 1" or "Draw 1 discard X".)

Character ability 3: "Hegemony 制霸 (zhì bà)" [Ruler ability]
During the action phase of other Wu characters, they can choose to “Points Duel” once with you. If they do not win the “Points Duel”, you can take the cards used in “Points Duel” from both parties. After your Awakening ability activates, you can refuse the "Points Duel".

Ability's relation to story:
This is another one of those abilities that simply borrowed a title to label the mechanics. "Ardor" refers to Sun Ce’s combat ability, and he was a mighty warrior who led from the frontlines and clashed swords with many generals. He just LOVED to battle. One of those opponents was Taishi Ci, and the duel between the two resulted in a stalemate. But relevance of the title aside, what does having "red" attack got to do with his love for fighting? Maybe red is the colour of passion? Hmm.

The Chinese characters for "Divine Aura 魂姿" is a combination of "英魂" and "英姿", Sun Jian’s and Zhou Yu's abilities respectively. The character's creator noted that the enlightenment from his father and assistance from Zhou Yu were essential to Sun Ce’s success. The phrase literally translates to “Spiritual Presence”, but it sounds a little too religiously influenced.

"Hegemony" relates to Sun Ce’s leadership ability. Not only did he defeat his enemies, he also won them over with his charisma. The game mechanics allows other Wu characters (some are former enemies like Taishi Ci and Gan Ning) to challenge Sun Ce as initiating a "Points Duel". This plays into Sun Ce's love for dueling. Also, if Sun Ce wins or draws the "Points Duel", Sun Ce will literally "win their support".

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Laying the foundations of the Wu Kingdom at breakneck speed. Sun Ce started his military career from the town of Dan Yang 丹杨 with barely 100 soldiers, but at the time of his death, he had already expanded his territorial claim well into a neighboring province and multiplied his armed forces. The ultimate benefactor of this strong growth was Sun Quan 孙权, that managed to keep the kingdom expanding though at a more conservative pace.

2. Cause of death - Sun Ce had his detractors, one of which was Xu Gong 许贡, a disloyal and disgruntled officer that was forced to surrender to Sun Ce. After Sun Ce executed Xu Gong, three loyal followers of Xu Gong ambushed Sun Ce during his solo hunting trip and managed to pierce an arrow through Sun Ce's cheeks. In the ROTK story, Sun Ce recovered from the wound, but succumbed to the curse of Yu Ji 于吉 and began to hallucinate. The ghostly apparition of Yu Ji haunted Sun Ce wherever he went, till he tore open his wound in frustration and there was no recovering from there. However historically, it is unlikely that any ghost or superstition had to do with his death. Some accounts wrote that Sun Ce died the very night he received the arrow wound.

Wiki Link:
Sun Ce Wiki

3 comments:

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    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Is use different from play? For example, if I was Sun Ce and in a duel, use red suited sha cards. Do I get to draw?

    ReplyDelete

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