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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/item_id/878208-Winter-Dreams
Rated: 18+ · Folder · History · #878208
The tale of a lone swordsman's journey across 17th century war-ravaged China.
These are the waning years of the Ming Dynasty. As the string of incompetent emperors continued down the line of succession, Imperial power crumbled respectively. With political control more autocratic than any previous dynasty in history and in the hands of various rivaling factions of Court Eunuchs, the Empire rotted away at its core.

High taxes and rampant corruption devastated the common people while floods, famines and wars devastated the landscape.

In the forty-third year (1616 AD) of Emperor Taichang's reign, a new northern power presented a clear a present danger to the survival of the Ming Empire. Nurhachi unified the Jurchen tribes and proclaimed the founding of the Great Jin Empire. Two years later, open confrontations with Imperial Ming forces begin on a massive scale. The war of the North had begun.

With the Ming army convincingly defeated at the battle of Saerhu, the Jin establishied military dominance in the North. After consolidating his gains, Nurhachi once again launched his renewed assault upon Northern China.

In the fifth year (1626 AD) of Emperor Tainqi's reign, Nurhachi dies from injuries sustained at the battle of Ningyuan. His son Abahai is next in the line of succession and is placed upon the Jin throne. After renaming the kingdom to Qing, war continues in the North, moving closer towards the borders of the Great Wall. The province of Liaodong falls under the might of the Qing army.

Two years later, internal affairs within the Ming Empire began overtaking those of the Qing threat. As famine and drought wreaked havoc upon the lands, the populace rose up in revolt. With chaos spreading across Henan, Shanxi and Shaanxi, Li Zicheng and Zhang Xianzhong would launch their own quests for empires. Now engaged in two separate theaters of war upon two distant fronts, Ming military potential declined drastically.

By the autumn of the twelfth year (1640 AD) of Emperor Chongzhen's reign, the Ming Empire in its state of decay was on the verge of collapse. The fortresses garrisoned beyond the Great Wall remained as bastions of Ming power, serving as buffers between the Qing armies and the power base of the Imperial Northern Army at the fortress of Sanhaikwan. Thus during these dark days of China's gothic age, the tale of the swordsman begins as ten warriors depart for Jinzhou, a frontline fortress settled deep in the military buffer zone.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/item_id/878208-Winter-Dreams