Here I talk about how the plans and dreams of the various personalities of Ravages get ravaged as time goes by.

  • Liu Bei wanted to uphold the rule of Han and serve the people, but he realized he had to survive and enhance his position to get anything done, even if it means scheming to co-opt and outmaneuver the other imperial relatives, and manipulating people to enhance his established reputation.
  • Cao Cao wanted to meritoriously climb up the ranks and get recognized as an able administrator of the realm in his own right, but he realized he had to act decisively in a time of chaos to keep things relatively stable, even if it means using force and guile to conquer the other warlords, and keeping the emperor as a figurehead and rubber-stamp of legitimacy.
  • Sun Jian wanted to safeguard the empire as a loyalist, but his act of hiding the Imperial Seal contributed to his untimely death, and leaving the leadership of the clan to young sons who see the continuation and propagation of clan power as more important than imperial loyalty.
  • Sima Hui wanted to teach intelligent students from all over the land so that they would become exemplary ministers of Han, but his inclusiveness ended up benefiting ambitious warlords looking for capable advisers, leading to more efficient and sophisticated forms of unrest and slaughter.
  • Sima Yi simply wanted to live a relatively carefree life and support his merchant clan, but circumstances culminating in the massacre of the Sima clan led him to a more purposeful path of vengeance and conquest against Cao Cao and those others involved in the near-annihilation of his family.
  • Yuan Shao wanted to uphold the loyalist legacy of his clan while enabling his secret bastard son to take over so as to facilitate the domination of his bloodline, but the collapse of the plan led instead to the downfall of the clan and the ascendancy of Cao Cao as the dominant warlord in the north.
  • Yuan Shu wanted to declare himself emperor of another polity and protect his subjects from the infighting waged in the name of Han, but the brazenness of his move led to his undoing at the hands of loyalists and opportunists, with the commoners suffering and his clan’s reputation tarnished as a result.
  • Lü Bu wanted to seize power by assassinating the usurper Dong Zhuo and presenting himself as the savior of Han, but his overall reputation and continued acts of treachery contributed to his decline, and ultimately blocked his chances of surrendering to live for another day.
  • Xiao Meng wanted to assassinate Cao Cao one last time so as to remind Sima Yi that the clan must be avenged, but the mistaken assumption that Sima Yi forgot about exacting revenge led instead to Liaoyuan Huo holding a grudge against Sima Yi.
  • Xun Yu wanted to guide and assist a capable leader who governs justly in the name of Han, but he realized he had to support a ruthless but cunning conqueror like Cao Cao as a way to effectively prop up the emperor’s reign, even if it means suppressing and manipulating imperial Han loyalists such as Liu Bei and Liu Chong.
  • Zhuge Liang wanted to devote himself to ideals of benevolent governance, but he realized talk of loyalty and righteousness requires an appropriate and shrewd representative as well as conducive conditions for flourishing, even if it means collaborating with a self-interested schemer like Sima Yi and engineering the future dissolution of Han into three kingdoms.

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