Character Model (DW6)
|Lifespan||154–202 A.D. (48 Years)|
|Birth Place||Ruyang, Runan Commandery|
Yuan Shao (Benchu) ( 154 - 202 A.D. ) was the son of the Minister of the Interior, Yuan Feng. He was of royal blood and was certainly not afraid to admit it. He developed a massive following in the north and even fought against Cao Cao in a large battle at Guan Du.
Plotting Against Dong Zhuo
Letter to Wang Yun
Yuan Shao had a strong resentment towards Dong Zhuo ever since he placed Prince Xian on the throne of the Han and removed Emperor Bian from it. When he heard of Dong Zhuo's corrupt actions, he sent a letter to Wang Yun, asking him to assist him in taking down Dong Zhuo. This letter was what caused Wang Yun to call many men to council and the council was what caused Cao Cao to attempt to assassinate Dong Zhuo with the Seven Jeweled Sword.
Cao Cao's Call to Arms
After the failure of Cao Cao's assassination attempt, he sent a letter to Yuan Shao, asking him to lead a coalition against Dong Zhuo. Yuan Shao accepted and used his fame to gather 17 of the most important lords of the time, each of which brought with them a large force in order to attack Dong Zhuo. But, after burning the capital of Luo Yang, Dong Zhuo escaped to Chang An and the coalition broke up, having failed to complete their task. Sun Jian was one of the first to drop out, leaving with the Imperial Seal. Yuan Shao new this and told Liu Biao to stop Sun Jian from returning home. This caused a large battle between Sun Jian and Liu Biao.
Fighting Gongsun Zan
Yuan Shao began his feud with Gongsun Zan by sending him a letter asking him to attack Han Fu. But, Yuan Shao also warned Han Fu who, being an unable leader, gave his territory to Yuan Shao. When Gongsun Zan heard that Yuan Shao had finally taken over Han Fu's territory, he sent his brother, Gongsun Yue, to ask Yuan Shao for his share of the region. But, Yuan Shao told him off and Gongsun Yue was ambushed by Yuan Shao's men on his return home. When Gongsun Zan received word of this, he was furious, and he launched a full scale attack on Yuan Shao at River Pan. Gongsun Zan's Forces were defeated by Yuan Shao's due to the efforts of Yuan Shao's general, Wen Chou, who would have most likely killed Gongsun Zan had Zhao Yun not arrived to save his life. When Gongsun Zan launched another attack on Yuan Shao, Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei arrived and pushed Yuan Shao's Forces back. After this loss, Yuan Shao pulled back and both of the armies strengthened their defenses.
Lu Bu with Yuan Shao
After Lu Bu fled from the capital after assassinating Dong Zhuo, he did join Yuan Shao for a short period of time. Yuan Shao used the warrior to help him defeat Zhang Yan. But, while under his service, Lu Bu was extremely arrogant and he boasted about his abilities so often that it annoyed Yuan Shao and he was on the verge of putting Lu Bu to death. This forced Lu Bu to flee from Yuan Shao and he sought refuge with Zhang Yang.
Finishing Gongsun Zan
After beginning the assault again, Yuan Shao began to start winning against Gongsun Zan. Liu Bei and his brothers were under the command of Cao Cao at the time, so they were unable to assist him. Then, Gongsun Zan built Yi Jing tower in order to strengthen his defenses. But, Yuan Shao surrounded him and[Gongsun Zan was unable to call for help of any kind. Yuan Shao sieged the city and burned it, causing Gongsun Zan to hang himself. With Gongsun Zan's defeat, Yuan Shao adopted his territories and many of his troops and officers. His army became very strong and was a superpower in the north.
Fighting Cao Cao
Yuan Shu and Liu Bei
Yuan Shu, after being nearly defeated due to him appointing himself as the new Emperor, offered to yield in favor of Yuan Shao and to give him the Imperial Seal. Yuan Shao accepted, but Liu Bei stopped Yuan Shu from getting to Yuan Shao. Then, Liu Bei proceeded to send Yuan Shao a letter, asking him to attack Cao Cao. Yuan Shao only accepted because he was friends with the man who wrote the letter.
Yuan Shao is Indecisive
Yuan Shao had a letter written that declared the reason he was attacking Cao Cao. When Cao Cao read it, he decided to march his army of 200,000 men on Yuan Shao. But, Yuan Shao did not attack Cao Cao at first because his strategists could not come to a group conclusion on what to do. So, Cao Cao gave the order to strengthen his defenses and the war ceased for the winter. But, when the time came to attack, Cao Cao instead went to attack Liu Bei on Guo Jia's advice. And, just as Guo Jia had predicted, Yuan Shao, even though the opportunity was perfect, was too indecisive to act.
Liu Bei and Guan Yu
After Cao Cao defeated Liu Bei and caused his forces to scatter, Liu Bei himself fled to Yuan Shao for refuge. But, Guan Yu ended up temporarily siding with Cao Cao. When Yuan Shao sent Yan Liang and Wen Chou into battle against Cao Cao, Guan Yu killed them both as an offering to Cao Cao for his good will to him. Yuan Shao, on multiple occasions, threatened Liu Bei's life because scouts had reported that the man who killed both Yan Liang and Wen Chou was in fact Guan Yu. But, Liu Bei truthfully told Yuan Shao that he did not know that Guan Yu was in those battles.
Marching on Guan Du
When Yuan Shao discovered that Cao Cao had given high ranks to Sun Quan in the south land, he was quite jealous. He decided to launch a full scale attack, which his strategist, Tian Feng, was against for the time being, on Cao Cao at Guan Du. He marched 700,000 men to attack with. Xiahou Dun, who was in charge at Guan Du at the time, got wind of this advance and sent to Cao Cao in the capital for reinforcements. Cao Cao immediately lead 70,000 men to help protect Guan Du. At this time, Ju Shou informed Yuan Shao that if he held a long and drawn out battle, he would win, but Yuan Shao got angry and sent Ju Shou away.
Battle at Guan Du
When Yuan Shao arrived with his army, Cao Cao immediately made for a quick fight by attacking as soon as possible. Zhang Liao was sent out to challenge Yuan Shao's forces and in response, Zhang He road out to give battle. After a long duel, Xu Zhu from Cao Cao's side and Gao Lan from Yuan Shao's side both rode out to help. Then, Cao Cao gave the signal for general advance, but he was pushed back to Guan Du by Yuan Shao's archers. There, Shen Pei advised Yuan Shao to build mounds around Guan Du and shoot at Cao Cao's Forces from them to keep them at bay. The plan succeeded for a while until Cao Cao, under Liu Ye's advice, had catapults built to destroy Yuan Shao's archer towers. This plan was successful as well. To counter this,Yuan Shao dug tunnels into Cao Cao's camp, but Cao Cao dug a moat around Guan Du to flood the tunnels. The battle went on like this for 9 months until Cao Cao began to get the upper hand after defeating one of Yuan Shao's supply convoys.
Three of Yuan Shao's Generals Defect
Xu You, one of Yuan Shao's advisers, intercepted one of Cao Cao's letters that stated he was very low on supplies. Yuan Shao refused to believe it, saying that it was one of Cao Cao's ruses and Xu You, disappointed, defected to Cao Cao's side. He told Cao Cao about Yuan Shao's supply depot at Wu Chao and Cao Cao immediately attacked it. One of Yuan Shao's generals, Chunyu Qiong, was in charge of the depot, but he failed to defend it and Cao Cao took it over. Yuan Shao's generals, Zhang He and Gao Lan were sent out to attack Cao Cao afterwards, but Yuan Shao suspected they were traitors and tried to call them back for execution, but instead, they defected as well. Cao Cao got the upper hand and, due to one of Xu You's plans, was able to attack Yuan Shao's main camp and forced him to flee for his life without any of his documents or possessions that were within his camp.
Yuan Shao Flees Twice and Dies
Yuan Shao made his way back to the north and became very ill from worry. He had Tian Feng executed and then called together a council on who his successor should be. His advisers could not come to a conclusion about the matter by the time Cao Cao arrived with his forces. At first, the battle did not go in Cao Cao's favor, but after developing a plan, Yuan Shao was defeated in a total of 10 ambushes that wiped his forces out. He fled again and this time, he was unable to keep his strength. He died of illness and told his wife to name Yuan Shang as successor.
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