Tactician/Courtier based on Zhuge Liang
The talented Mr. Cai:
Layman Courtier (working on it!)
Tiān Cái of Clan Tè Wu was born in 1142, the Year of the Ox, as the eighth child of Zhèn and Fǔ Yù Tè Wu, sired in their autumn years. Clan Tè Wu (a vassal clan to Clan Chuī) specialized in the covert aspects of diplomacy, scouting, and warfare, but Tiān Cái’s father was not numbered among thier agents. He labored as a more skilled, if less glorious, apothecary (or poison smith if you want to split hairs).
Zhèn, befitting a man of his status, was a patient and soft spoken authority, content to see little Tiān Cái grow into his own; and Fǔ Yù was as doting and nurturing as the stereotypes say of upper class wives. Of their nine children, three survived infancy, one brother and one sister; making them dote on thier other children so much more. The eldest, Tè Wu Yǔn(conscripted as a medic), fell in battle over a decade prior to Tiān Cái’s birth in one of many of Emperor Xuanlong’s expansionistic campaigns. His older sister of four years, Tè Wu Wéi Hù (fifth), also benefited from the same attention, giving her a razor intellect and an unwomanly assertiveness. Growing up she would, still adopt her mother’s habits of course, and ply Tiān Cái with even more attention and protectiveness.
Tiān Cái’s childhood was spent was joyously spent ignorant of poverty or want, playing with the other upperclass children in Lord Tè Wu’s court. Among his peers, Tiān Cái easily assumed the central social role as his parents doting provided him the expectation of being the center of attention. Even Lord Tè Wu’s own son took a secondary role… when no grown ups were around at least. This is not to say Tiān Cái had no conflicts, he did as all children do, or think they do. He would scrap with older, dominance seeking children, or get into some rascal scheme, most often taking other along with him. He always managed to avoid responsibility and repercussion because his sister was always there, playing the proxy mother, sheltering him. The women in his life provided him a cocoon; his father spent these years indoctrinating him with the family trade, as is expected of the Gantanese.
However, when a fire in the capital [1156R.C.] claimed the aggressively expansionistic Emperor Xuanlong and all direct heirs to the throne, civil war was inevitable. As every fourth cousin twice removed or petty general self styled as regent (with a “royal” baby in hand to prove it) laid claim to the throne, Gantau geared itself for implosion.
Fei and Yun, children of one of Lord Shin’s most learned servants, were an easy sell to send to Clan Sù for specialized war training. So it was that Fei went to learn combat engineering, and Yun courtesan-ship. In Gantau, family mean much more than it does to Faridarian standards. Outside of their clan, with so many changes and uncertainties about them, Yun would follow the habits she knew and watched over Fei during their studies.
Two years into the war, Clan Sù would lie defeated and absorbed by a successor who would later be defeated and absorbed by another. Clan Shin would cease to exist. Shàng Zhàn, the god of war himself, tired of repeated assassination attempts against him, joined the campaign and single-handedly butchered the clan, so it is said.
So, in 1158 R.C. Yun took her brother where many refugees attempted to find solace, in Grussia. Yun and Fei never having to take care of themselves struggled and failed to survive. Having little capital, a language barrier stunting all attempts to hock what salves he could make, and a horde of similar refugees all competing for the resources Grussia deigned to spare, Fei had no success applying his trades. Yun sold her body… at an immigrant’s wage. She managed to keep them from starving to death, but not from starving, let alone finding urban shelter. What they did manage to make they had to use immediately, lest one of the many gangs of thugs that preyed on refugees turn eye toward them. This was a harsh lesson learned.
By Autumn, Fei was closing the language gap. Yun, however, contracted a severe urban disease, though curable by their father’s children… had they the resources to make the necessary treatment. He watched her body fall apart. Getting ever more desperate, Fei degraded to stealing, but he found this lay outside of his talents. Luckily, he was better at running. So, in her last week of life, Fei was unable to take care of the one who had always taken care of him.
1142 0 Born
1155 13 Grevian appears.
1156 14 Start of Gantau upheaval.
1158 16 Clan Shin wiped out. Yun and Fei migrate. Yun dies at 21. Fei joins Grevian.
1159 17 Grevian send Feis to Militaire de Saint-Cyr war academy.
1160 18 Merc Corps formed.
1162 20 Campaign.