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Friday, December 9, 2011

Zhāng Jiǎo 张角

Posted by Ricky Chua On 11:10 PM No comments

What's with the cartoon?
He looks more similar to Rambo in this new portrait. The key detail here is the spade that seems to be generating the lightning for him, which as you know is spot-on for Zhang Jiao's deadly abilities!

Who is he:
The leader and inciter of the yellow turban rebellion, Zhang Jiao became a hero to the those suffering under the corrupt and decaying Han Dynasty 汉朝. Due to a terrible famine that hit China at around 180 AD, the people suffered terribly and yet were further tormented by corrupt and greedy officials. It was then that Zhang Jiao met a strange old man in a cave which gave him 3 books, said to contain the ways of a mysterious art. After mastering the books, Zhang Jiao could control the wind, rain, and lightning and became a sorcerer. Despite having these powers, Zhang Jiao won the hearts of the people by providing aid and supplies to those in need. It was thus that tens of thousands rallied behind Zhang Jiao in his bid to overthrow the Han Dynasty. He never succeeded however, and was defeated by those who were loyal to dynasty, namely Liu Bei 刘备 and Cao Cao 曹操.

Character ability 1: "Lightning Strike 雷击 (léi jī)"
Whenever Zhang Jiao uses a DODGE 闪 card, he can target any player to make a judgement. If the judgement card is of the "spades" suit, the target player suffers 2 units of lightning attribute damage.

Character ability 2: "Dark Sorcery 鬼道 (gǔi dào)"
Zhang Jiao can exchange the judgement card of any player before it takes effect with any of his "spades" or "clubs" suit cards (on-hand or equipped). Note that the cards are exchanged, meaning Zhang Jiao can retrieve the original judgement card back into his hand.

Character ability 3: [Ruler ability] "Amber Sky 黄天 (huáng tiān)"
All Heroes 群雄 characters can give Zhang Jiao one DODGE or LIGHTNING 闪电 card during their individual turns.

Ability's relation to story:
In the story, there wasn't much mention of Zhang Jiao himself. From what is written, it is known that can he control the weather (like Storm from X-Men). Therefore "Lightning Strike" is a direct link. There is no mention of any form of deception or intervention such as "Dark Sorcery", however.

"Amber Sky" actually has a link to the story. Part of the slogan of the Yellow Turban Rebels goes something like this:

"The Dynasty is dead, arise the Amber Sky 苍天已死, 黄天当立"

where Amber Sky is a celebratory designation that Zhang Jiao gave himself, akin to calling himself the Amber Emperor.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Inciting the Yellow Turban Rebellion and opening the epic Three Kingdoms story. Zhang Jiao appears in Chapter 1 of the story and his valiant efforts in galvanizing the people led to the rebellion. This rebellion is critically important as it marked the beginning of the end of the Han Dynasty, though the rebellion itself fizzled away quickly.

2. Cause of death - Unknown! It was only written in a passing statement that Zhang Jiao had died, and no reference was made as to who killed him and how. The story then put the focus on Zhang Jiao's brother Zhang Bao 张包 and his battle with Liu Bei 刘备.

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