|Game:||Total War: Three Kingdoms|
|Title:||General of the Household who Breaks Ranks, Commandant of Jianchang|
Taishi Ci is a unique character in the Total War: Three Kingdoms grand campaign.
Born in Huang County, Donglai Commandery, Qing Province, in 166AD Taishi Ci was originally a studious young man working in the local commandery office as a clerk. However, he achieved great fame when a dispute broke out between the commandery and provincial governments. Both sent memorandums to the capitol explaining their side of the story, and Taishi Ci was recruited as the messenger for the commandery office, with the understanding that he needed to arrive first to give their version more weight. With quick thinking and guile, he succeeded in not only delivering his report first, but also destroying the report of the provincial government before it could be submitted. This made him a local star, but also earned him the enmity of the provincial government, and he fled Qing for Liaodong. He returned later to visit his mother in Beihai, and during his time there saved the local government under Kong Rong from Yellow Turban rebels by sneaking through the lines and seeking out Liu Bei for help. He didn't stay however, and eventually found service under Liu Yao, the Inspector of Yang Province.
Liu Yao was at war with the forces of Yuan Shu, and was able to force him out of Danyang Commandery in 194AD. However, the next year, Yuan Shu sent Sun Ce back across the Yangtze to go reclaim the lost territory. Taishi Ci had been passed over for command and made a staff officer, but during one of his personal reconnaissance missions, he came across Sun Ce and his retainers on his own in a village. The two fought each other in one of the only recorded duels in the era, but neither was able to gain the upper hand and their subordinates separated them. This didn't change the situation however, and Sun Ce quickly crushed most of Liu Yao's forces in Danyang, except for a foothold in the west. Liu Yao fled south into Yuzhang and left Taishi Ci in charge of the situation in Danyang. Taishi Ci recruited men from the Shanyue tribes nearby and built up enough of a force to keep Sun Ce at bay for two years, though Sun Ce used this interval to go on a conquering spree further east.
In 198AD, Sun Ce returned with a vengeance, first attacking the Shanyue and forcing them to surrender to him, and then surrounding and capturing Taishi Ci at Jing County. Sun Ce asked him what he would have done if he had won their duel and Taishi Ci replied that he didn't know. Sun Ce reportedly laughed and cut his bonds, recruiting him as a general on the spot. Following Liu Yao's death soon after, Taishi Ci was put in charge of scoping out the situation in Yuzhang. The intelligence he returned with allowed Sun Ce to completely subjugate the majority of the region in a year, thus putting the vast majority of the settled regions of Yang province, under his control. Taishi Ci was then sent to deal with attacks from Jing Province led by Liu Pan and Huang Zhong. From his base in Jiancheng, Taishi Ci demolished them and the region was pacified without much fuss. After Sun Ce's assassination, Sun Quan took control of their state and put Taishi Ci in charge of all lands in the south (presumably south of the other front at Jiangxia) due to his success against Liu Pan. He died in 204AD and was greatly mourned by Sun Quan.
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