In the years following the collapse of the Han Dynasty, chaos and anarchy spread throughout the country. Regional warlords had amassed considerable military strength in the wake of the Yellow Turban Rebellion and there no longer existed a strong, centralized government. Out of this period, emerged Cao Cao, who swiftly rose to the challenge and unified all of northern China under his banner. The territory he seized would form the foundation of what would become to the empire of Wei.

== Cao Cao==

Ruler of the Wei. A brilliant military strategist and cunning warrior; nicknamed the “Hero of Chaos.” As a young captain in the employ of the Han Dynasty, Cao Cao rose to prominence during the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the campaign against the tyrant Dong Zhuo. Following the fall of the Han, he was able to quickly defeat his rivals and unify all of northern China under his command. His ambition would lead him south, where he was temporarily set back by the combined forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan at the Battle of Red Cliff.

== Xiahou Dun==

General of the Wei. Xiahou Dun was the cousin of Cao Cao and the warlord’s closest confidant. Known for his generosity and humility among friends, and his ferocity in his battle, Dun was both greatly respected and feared by his peers. As a general, he had few military successes; however, as a governor, he was greatly beloved by his subjects. Xiahou Dun is often depicted with only a single eye, the other lost by way of a flaming arrow during the height of the Three Kingdoms conflict.

== Xiahou Yuan==

General of the Wei. One of Cao Cao’s most formidable military leaders, Xiahou Yuan was instrumental in expanding his older cousin’s territory in the northern provinces of China. His approach in wartime was quick and decisive, sometimes acting without the proper consent of Cao Cao if the situation necessitated it so. Yuan lacked the refinement of his elder cousins and was far more prone to overreact and lose his composure.

== Dian Wei==

Warrior of the Wei. Renowned for his extraordinary physical strength, the mighty Dian Wei served as the primary protector and bodyguard of Cao Cao. He gained his reputation as a feared soldier in the service of Zhang Miao and Xiahou Dun, during the campaigns against Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu. Dian Wei is often associated with a pair of massive halberds, powerful weapons rumored to each weigh over 40 jin.

Before acquiring a title and land of his own, Liu Bei recruited an army to help defend the Han against the Yellow Turban Rebellion. Among the many warriors that pledged to fight under his command were Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. The three of them would vow a pact of brotherhood, one that would forever be recorded in history as the “Oath of the Peach Garden.” Following the death of Dong Zhuo and the advent of Cao Cao, Liu Bei and his oath brothers formed the kingdom of Shu, seeking to restore the splintered empire to its former glory.

== Liu Bei==

Leader of the Shu. Born into poverty, Liu Bei was a distant relative of the ruling family of the collapsed Han Dynasty. Although he lost his father at an early age, an older and more affluent relative recognized Liu’s potential when he was only a teenager. Eventually, Liu Bei would organize a volunteer army – among them, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei – to combat the Yellow Turban Rebellion. This army would serve as the basis for the kingdom of Shu, which gained in strength in the remote and rugged regions under their control. Liu Bei is widely portrayed as a compassionate, righteous, and naturally charismatic leader.

== Guan Yu==

General of the Shu. Guan Yu was a powerful warrior and stalwart ally of Liu Bei who steadfastly believed in the virtues of honor, justice, and loyalty. When Liu Bei proclaimed his desire to restore the Han Dynasty, he appointed Guan Yu as his “General of the Front.” After his capture by the Wei, Guan Yu briefly served under Cao Cao and was greatly admired by the latter. When Guan Yu finally learned that Liu Bei still lived, however, he abandoned Cao Cao to rejoin his oath brother. Over the centuries, the noble Guan Yu has come to be regarded the Chinese “God of War.”

== Zhang Fei==

General of the Shu, and youngest of the “Three Oath Brothers.” It is said that Zhang Fei was capable of wielding the strength of a thousand men in battle. The often loud and drunkard warrior was as notorious for his exploits in the local tavern as he was for his accomplishments on the battlefield. Zhang Fei was known to treat his superiors with respect, but had little regard for his subordinates. Liu Bei famously warned him that his harshness with his soldiers would eventually bring him disaster.

== Zhao Yun==

One of the Five Tiger Generals of Shu. For most of his military career, Zhao Yun courageously served under the warlord Liu Bei. The two first met when Liu was only a major in the army of a lowly regional commander. Zhao Yun is frequently depicted as a chivalrous, heroic, and loyal officer - often overcoming seemingly impossible odds, almost single-handedly, atop his famed white steed.

The territory that would come to form the seat of the Wu family’s power was originally held by competing provincial governors that could not muster enough strength to vanquish each other. Sun Jian, a warlord that had earned considerable fame during the wars against the Yellow Turbans and Dong Zhuo, moved his armies into this area with the intention of merging the rival provinces. After his untimely death in battle, Sun Jian’s children took up his cause and eventually established the empire of Wu.

== Sun Jian==

“The Tiger of Jiang Dong.” Sun Jian was a descendant of the famed Sun Tzu, and father to Sun Ce, Sun Quan, and Sun Ren. He gained fame early in his career by single-handedly defeating a crew of pirates when he was only a teen. Later, Sun Jian took on the Yellow Turban Rebellion and led his forces against the usurper Dong Zhuo. His advances against Zhuo forced the latter to permanently abandon the capital of Luoyang. In the years following this victory, Sun Jian and his children laid the foundation for the powerful Wu kingdom wich many players bellive to be the best one to join.

== Sun Ce==

“The Little Conqueror.” At only sixteen years of age, the untimely death of his father forced Sun Ce, the eldest of Sun Jian’s children, to inherit the family legacy. Despite his youth, however, Sun Ce demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and the kind of strategic acumen associated with his forefather. He was greatly admired by the troops under his command and achieved numerous military successes. At one point, it seemed as if Sun Ce was poised to capture all of Southern China.

== Sun Ren==

Daughter of Sun Jian and Wife of Liu Bei. The fiery Sun Ren, also called “Lady Sun” or “Sun Shangxiang,” longed to prove her worth in battle. She was an expert archer and skilled in combat using wind and fire wheels. After the death of Sun Ce, she fell in love with Liu Bei and was married off to him by her brother, Sun Quan, to secure a temporary alliance between the two kingdoms. The peace would not last, however, and the two would be torn apart.

== Taishi Ci==

General of the Wu. Taishi Ci was a soldier who served under a number of warlords, finally finding his place within the ranks of the Wu army. Although they first met as adversaries, Taishi Ci was impressed with Sun Ce’s abilities and came to admire the young leader. Eventually, Taishi Ci rose through the ranks and earned the loyalty of his fellow officers and soldiers. He would remain a loyal and staunch supporter of the Sun family for the rest of his life.