NOTE: I will track attendance in this post
Tai Ju Li
Chu Ming Sing
Wei Lian Si
Fan Zeng - Prime Minister of Chu
Sai, Zhao, Wei, Han
The following introduction was written by Li Dao Wen
The Chen Palace Conference [Mid-February 205 B.C.] - Introduction
With the annexation of Liang, the fall of Yue, and the mass exodus of the province's battle-hardened troops, the eventful month of January came to a close. The new overlords of Chu had done a masterful job in cutting their losses and progressing forward, despite the hurdles which their enemies had flung their way. Now that the raging fires of war had momentarily settled, the first order of business for the month of February was put into effect.
The missive had said that the conference of lords would take place at the onset of February; certain events, however, had derailed the timeline of the event. Yet despite the battles on the eastern and southern fronts that he had to fight, Ma Dieu had ordered his favored ministers to go ahead with the preparations. As such, they were met in the quickest and soonest time possible.
The massive ramparts of Chen were now fully repaired and the tapestries newly refurbished, leaving little or no trace of the capital's plundering by Xiang Yu's fleeing troops. All the officers and veteran soldiers of the Chu campaign stood in a glorious array of martial might and arms, clothed with bright new colors and equipped with polished new weapons and armor. Patrols both guarded the populace and manned the battlements, making sure that nothing went amiss from their plans, for the meeting called forth the presence of the most important leaders of the land. Security was top-notch and strict compliance to the rules and regulations were enforced within the enclave of the palace; outside, the common rabble, subjects of the Grand Protector's new regime, gawked and looked on with constant interest.
Duke Ma Dieu had sent his noble minister, Chief of Officials Chen Gu, on a mission to invite his peer leaders to a conference that would decide the fate of the empire. Guided by the belief that the land could only be led by a new emperor, the Duke conveyed his sincerity and humility before friend and foe alike, through the vigilant efforts of his chosen emissary. In the end, Chen Gu did all that he could, and he did a masterful job in convincing most of the lords themselves to attend. Now, with all the preparations ready, both servant and master stood at the helm of the assembled fray, ready to see their long-term goals come to fruition. Around them stood some of the most famous -and infamous- ministers and generals of the land.
Marquis Fei Lai, the Duke's sworn brother, highest ranking official and most important minister, stood at his right side, wearing that ever-passive look on his face. To the Duke's left, towering over the average man was the mighty General Xian Long Rui, former bandit and terrorist of the Shadows, now champion of the reformed Imperial armies. The former Lord of Liang, the Duke's cousin Ma Su, made his presence felt in his battle garbs, that grim look on his face still roving the premises. Minister Sun Chao, the lady who oversaw the operations that brought death and destruction to Xiang Yu's supply lines, also stood by, along with the silent Supreme Commander Zhao Ban. Beside the giant Black Ogre stood his protege and lieutenant General Zhang Ze, one of Chu's brightest stars for the near future, and his sworn brother, the famed trainer of horses Po Huai. The victorious general of Yue, Tiger Pang Zhou, was also present, standing tall amongst a myriad of other heroic officers, including the former Xiang Yu minister Xue Shi, the enigmatic Tai Ju Li, the charismatic He Ro, the shadowy personas of Nalan Yuchun, Shan Dian and Chu Ming Sing, Kong Ming, Jing Yun, Wei Lian Si, and Ma Ryo, all people of few words but great substance. The newly-recruited former Xiang Yu loyalists Long Ju, Ji Xin and Cao Can stood at the helm of a troop of soldiers, clad in ornate garbs and armor, overseeing the inspection process of those who were to come through the palace portals.
The supposed-to-be king of Yue, the famed Qi general Tian Rong, was also expected to be there, as well as the presider of the conference, Prime Minister Fan Zeng.
With a smile, the Duke, along with his entire retinue of retainers, waited at the gates of Chen to meet their guests of honor.