Yuan Shao's Forces
178 cm (5'10")
|Weapon Type:|| Longsword (3~6)|
Extension blade (8)
|4th Weapon:|| |
Grand Master/Sword of Kings (3~5)
Soul Piercer (WO3)
|Playable Debut:||Dynasty Warriors 2|
|Real name:|| |
|Chinese name:|| |
袁紹 - 袁绍
|Style name:|| |
|Chinese name:|| |
June 28, 202
|Mystic Weapon:|| |
|Personal Item:|| |
Crest of Nobility
Yuan Shao (onyomi: En Shō) is a nobleman and ardent supporter of the Han Dynasty who raised a large, powerful army in response to the Yellow Turban Rebellion. He is the father of Yuan Tan, Yuan Xi, and Yuan Shang. His younger half-brother is Yuan Shu. During the twilight years of the Han Dynasty, he reigned as a supreme northern power until his death. His territories were eventually claimed by his former friend, Cao Cao.
Role in GamesEdit
- "Your noble blood shines like precious metal!"
- ~~Yoshimoto; Warriors Orochi
Yuan Shao is a proud nobleman who wants to uphold his prestigious family name. When Cao Cao gathers the surrounding regional lords to take a stand against Dong Zhuo's tyranny, he nominates Yuan Shao to be their leader. In honor of his family's reputation, Yuan Shao leads the Allied Forces at Si Shui and Hu Lao Gates. He tries to restore order in the capital, but ultimately loses his trust in the Han Dynasty. With his own ambitions, he often conquers Gongsun Zan in the north and becomes one of the largest forces in the land when he suppresses Hua Bei. He attacks the central plains and confronts Cao Cao at Guan Du. In most scenarios, he either dies or suffers a grave defeat from the battle. A few titles mention a follow up campaign to completely destroy his family.
In Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends, Yuan Shao, instead of dying at Guan Du, defeats Cao Cao, who fades temporarily into obscurity. He then moves to wipe out Liu Bei, who leaves his service after encountering Guan Yu at Guan Du. After destroying Liu Bei at Chang Ban, Yuan Shao heads to Fan Castle, defended by his general Zhang He, to reinforce him against the allied armies of Guan Yu, who escapes Chang Ban alive, and Sun Quan, who rules in the Wu kingdom. After he defeats them and takes over much of Wu, Sun Quan marches against him at He Fei Castle, but Yuan Shao defeats him again, destroying the Wu kingdom. Yuan Shao's final enemy is Cao Cao in Wei, who manages to raise a large army to confront Yuan Shao. Though the efforts of Cao Cao and his strategist Sima Yi are fierce and determined, Yuan Shao is victorious and unites China under the Yuan family rule.
Dynasty Warriors 4 has Yuan Shao participate in the Han's forces during the Yellow Turban Rebellion. He continues to lead the Allied Forces and completely destroys Cao Cao at Guan Du. As the ruler of northern China, he proceeds to conquer Liu Bei and Sun Jian to unify the land. While Yuan Shao is an unavoidable obstacle in Wei's story, he can also be fought as an optional foe during Wu's third act.
His Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansion takes place during the Battle of Jieqiao, one of the conflicts between him and Gongsun Zan. The cavalry general assembles his fearsome "White Riders" unit to charge through Yuan Shao's army. Although the horse riders are known for their skill, Yuan Shao refuses to withdraw his troops and orders his army to stand firm. With the pride of his family on the line, Yuan Shao personally counters the famed cavalry. He encounters Zhao Yun, Liu Bei, and Liu Bei's brothers trying to stop him, but he eventually faces Gongsun Zan's personal unit and cuts his adversary down.
In his story in Dynasty Warriors 5, he subjugates the Yellow Turbans in Ji Province and personally lead the Allied Forces at Si Shui Gate. Yuan Shao doesn't destroy Dong Zhuo personally since his army does it for him in the capital. Realizing that the Han Dynasty is losing its power, Yuan Shao decides to create a new land. As he returns home, Zhang Yan and Gongsun Zan invade his home with former Yellow Turban members. Taking pity on the general, Yuan Shao temporarily shelters Lu Bu and orders him to join the march in Chang Shan. Deciding to prevent the general's defection is optional as Lu Bu does not appear in Yuan Shao's army after the battle. Soon afterwards, he faces Cao Cao at Guan Du and slays his rival to claim the central plains. Rewarded with various imperial rewards and titles, the land's wars end and Yuan Shao is named the land's new emperor. He swears to his army that he will create a land worthy of the Yuan family.
He shares his Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansion with Dong Zhuo. Both men desire to save the emperor from the plot of the Ten Eunuchs, but the two of them have different desires in the battle. Yuan Shao wants to save He Jin and liberate the court from the eunuch's influence. Punishing the eunuchs, he declares that the land should better know his family name but worries about the Han's decline. To prevent such an event from happening again, Yuan Shao reasons that it may be time for his family to shine.
Yuan Shao continues to be the army's commander at Hu Lao Gate in the following title and fights Cao Cao at Guan Du. He play a bigger role in Lu Bu's story. When Lu Bu interferes at Guan Du, Yuan Shao joins forces with Cao Cao, commenting that they could both lose to him. However, this proves unsuccessful, and Yuan Shao leaves in disgust while warning Lu Bu and his army they don't know of the possible damage they are causing. He returns at Hulao Gate, where he is part of a large coalition group along with Cao Cao, Liu Bei, Sun Quan, Dong Zhuo and Zhang Jiao. Although Yuan Shao retreats after being unable to stop Lu Bu's advance, he works with the other Warlords to attack him at once. However, Yuan Shao and the others are slain as a result, thus ending the conflict at Hulao Gate. In Special, he survives his defeat from Cao Cao and makes a final stand against his enemy's forces at He Bei. He works together with his family, relying on his sons to aid him.
During Wei's Story Mode in the seventh title, Yuan Shao can be seen ranting to Cao Cao during his stay in the capital. Yuan Shao reviles the Ten Eunuchs for their corruption and despises Dong Zhuo for his underhanded methods of gaining power. When Cao Cao is unmoved by his speech, Yuan Shao yells for him to join his cause to eliminate Dong Zhuo. Like other titles in the series, he is then seen as the commander of the Anti-Dong Zhuo Coalition. However, he is commander in name only since he would rather flaunt around his title and dramatic words of inspiration than lead the men. He throws a fit when Hua Xiong and Lu Bu prove a threat for their march. After the coalition disbands with Dong Zhuo's death, Yuan Shao learns that Sun Jian possesses the Imperial Seal and demands the warlord to fork it over to him. His declaration is answered with Sun Jian seeking shelter under Yuan Shu.
Yuan Shao meets his end in Story Mode at Guan Du. During Shu's Story Mode, he offers shelter to Liu Bei after the latter's failed attempt to declare independence from Cao Cao in Xu Province. Once Yuan Shao learns that Guan Yu is serving within Cao Cao's forces, an angered Yuan Shao calls Liu Bei a traitor and chases Liu Bei away from his patronage. In Wei's Story Mode, he opposes Cao Pi's march and is defeated. Infuriated by being beaten by his nemesis's offspring, Yuan Shao curses that he will never forgive the indignation. However, he dies a few years later. His death is reported to Cao Cao and Cao Pi.
His first Legendary Mode lets players fight for Yuan Shao and his army at Luoyang alongside to topple Dong Zhuo for good. During his second Legendary Mode, Yuan Shao leads an army to take the Imperial Seal away from Sun Jian. His last Legendary Mode gives players the opportunity to defend against and defeat Cao Cao's Army at Guan Du.
The Xtreme Legends expansion has him star in a Hero Scenario regarding his suppression of Gongsun Zan. Thinking the braggart shows disrespect to his family name, their armies clash at Jieqiao. Aware of the reputation of Gongsun Zan's cavalry, Yuan Shao first prepares his formations to deal with the threat by defeating the charging generals in the south. Although his men, including Zhao Yun may struggle, the ploy succeeds if the player acts quickly. With the horsemen's ferocity nulled, Yuan Shao's forces charge Gongsun Zan's main camp. Liu Bei and his brothers, who are friends of the enemy general, attempt to intercept them.
Ultimately, Yuan Shao succeeds and gloats with his superior might and reputation over his adversary. His family's name is untarnished and shines brighter than ever. Thus is how Yuan Shao has earned his nickname, "The Head of Hebei".
Dynasty Warriors Next introduces Yuan Shao in the second chapter where he rallies the other warlords following the formation of their alliance against Dong Zhuo. He vows to deliver them victory, though Cao Cao's group scoffs at his arrogance. Throughout the campaign, Yuan Shao makes questionable decisions that would have hindered the coalition's progress if not for Cao Cao's resourcefulness.
He becomes Cao Cao's final opponent during the fourth chapter. Using his superior numbers to attack Guandu Castle, he is forced to retreat after sustaining casualties from Wei's ballista attack. Deciding to take matters into his own hands after losing Wuchao, Yuan Shao challenges his rival to a duel only to die in the end. He also serves as an opponent for Lu Bu in the latter's own chapter. Yuan Shao can only be controlled by the player in Conquest Mode.
In Dynasty Warriors 8, his role remains similar to that of before, where he leads the coalition at Hulao Gate and proudly opposes Dong Zhuo. An important figure in the early part of Wei and Shu's story modes, his appearance fluctuates as either an ally or an enemy, such as appearing to take the emperor from Cao Cao's care or turning on Liu Bei because he discovered that Guan Yu was with Cao Cao. The key difference in Wei's story is that he is killed by Cao Cao upon his defeat at Guandu.
The Xtreme Legends expansion has Yuan Shao play an important role in Lu Bu's story. First coming to help with the subjugation of the Ten Eunuch's rebellion, he immediately gathers a coalition to oppose him during the war against Dong Zhuo in Hulao Gate. The two of them resume being allies when Lu Bu is landless and out of desperation, offers his services to fight alongside Yuan Shao at Changshan. At this point, he no longer appears in Lu Bu's historical route. On the hypothetical route, Yuan Shao arrives to Lu Bu's defense against Cao Cao at Puyang. He also arrives with reinforcements at Dingtao, preventing them from losing the battle as in the historical route. However, they are once again on opposing sides, contending with one another at Guandu. Losing the battle, Yuan Shao joins forces with the remnants of Dong Zhuo's army as well as Lu Bu's previous allies and enemies only to die defending Chang'an.
His original scenario in Dynasty Warriors 8 details a telling of the battle of Guandu from his perspective, where his army and Liu Bei need to push back Cao Cao's men. With Yan Liang and Wen Chou slain by Guan Yu, Yuan Shao personally heads out to deal with him and any other problems such as Guo Jia and Yue Jin before Liu Bei notices. By thwarting each of Cao Cao's tactics, morale of generals such as Zhang He and Zhenji will rise and Ju Shou will praise Yuan Shao. By defeating Cao Cao, it ends with Yuan Shao the triumphant winner. Yuan Shao is also given two additional what-if scenarios in Story Mode. The first stage pits him against the forces of Sun Ce in Chibi where he finds out about their fire attack and manages to thwart it, thus leading to Wu's defeat while the second has him challenge the other notable families in the land to prove his clan's superiority.
In the first game, Yuan Shao leads a force of warriors, including Yukimura, against troops led by Wei Yan. Da Ji planted agents among his forces to convince them that they were fighting ghosts resurrected by magic and forced to do Da Ji's bidding. Yuan Shao was defeated and fled from the battlefield, only to be captured and held in Wu territory.
He was eventually rescued by a combined force of Zhao Yun and Yukimura's troops, although they were expecting Liu Bei rather than himself. The general was in fact bait in a trap created by Zhuge Liang, who at the time was serving Orochi. Yuan Shao misconstrued their disappointment as awe over his presence, and volunteered to lead them to Liu Bei (once he remembers where he is). The Resistance accepted Yuan Shao's help. After aiding in the rescue of Sun Ce's forces from Sima Yi, Yuan Shao remembered that he had heard Liu Bei was being held in Edo Castle.
Yuan Shao tries to create his own army once more in Warriors Orochi 2. He stations himself at Shizugatake and gains the traveling Jiang Wei's services. He tries to stop the bickering amongst his family by having Jiang Wei send a letter to his son. If this is interrupted, Yuan Shao will be forced to enter the battle personally. After his defeat, he is pleased to join Wei, as he considers all of the warriors within the faction to be serving him. He shares his dream stage with Nene and Zhu Rong as three charitable warriors. They defend Hideyoshi from Cao Pi's massive army at Mai Castle. His personal goal in the stage is to convince the neutral Dong Zhuo to help them.
Refusing to give up on his dreams, Yuan Shao continues his wish to establish his family's independence and prestige in Warriors Orochi 3. This time he desires to create an utopia in which the serpent forces and humanity can coexist together, trying to take over Ueda Castle for himself in the original timeline. Although he is not aware of it, Yuan Shao is manipulated by a particularly ambitious serpent general to act as his puppet. When Motonari and his party defeat the selfish general at Jiange, Yuan Shao is easily swayed by their words to think for himself and willingly supports the coalition.
In the downloadable stage, "Animal Rescue", Yuan Shao drives out animals from their homes to bring peace to the land under his name. But his plots are foiled by Kotarō, Xiaoqiao, and Sun Ce. In "The Rescue of Da Ji", he lends a hand in saving Da Ji from the Mystic Army at Koshi Castle.
Ultimate has him appear in the sixth chapter where he and Dong Zhuo clash at Xuchang though it later turns out that this Yuan Shao is a fake. The real Yuan Shao later returns to his past with Zhurong and Ginchiyo Tachibana to trap and eliminate the demons that deceived him. Initially feigning complete ignorance, he is able to gain the trust of Hammerjaw and after a stern reminder from Ginchiyo, betrays his "allies". Unexpectedly, the conflict attracts Kiyomori into the area, and he empowers the remaining demon army, and they surround Yuan Shao's forces. Despite nearly fleeing, Yuan Shao is victorious, and he celebrates his triumph but is flabbergasted at how both women request rewards for their services.
Although he doesn't make an on-screen appearance, Yuan Shao stages a rebellion north of Wei's territory in Kessen II. In Shu's story, Wei's army concentrates their efforts on him before they move to finish Liu Bei. In Wei's story, Cao Cao leaves the battle of subduing Yuan Shao to Xiahou Yuan and marches to disrupt Liu Bei's attack on the capital. He is defeated in both scenarios and his property is integrated into Wei.
Yuan Shao leads a faction in the north through the Dynasty Tactics series. In the north, he suppresses Gongsun Zan. In Cao Cao's story, he is always scripted to die. In one scenario, Yuan Shao is executed, with his subjects swearing loyalty to Cao Cao.
In earlier titles, Yuan Shao is portrayed as an honorable and proud general, reluctant to take the role of the alliance's supreme commander during the war against Dong Zhuo. As the series progresses, Yuan Shao's pride and haughty traits have been vastly exaggerated to the point of absolute arrogance and pretentiousness. Becoming the series' comic relief character, he speaks with a flamboyant and high-and-mighty attitude, which is toned down considerably in his English appearances. He is known to make passionate and inspirational speeches about justice and valor, gaining the love of the people for his impeccable image. Somewhat incompetent compared to other lords and unwilling to take others' advice, however, he is depicted as a man who doesn't completely fit the heroic image he claims to be.
He retains his prideful side in the Warriors Orochi series while displaying rare instances of humility and compassion to other heroes. In the third title, he is one of the few characters to form friendly relations with demons who no longer associate themselves with Orochi.
Yuan Shao is a childhood friend of Cao Cao, but their relationship is strained at best. Yuan Shao in particular deems his friend to be of inferior rank and considers his friend to be a rude upstart. Cao Cao in turn criticizes him as a man who relies too much on his family past and is too inept to survive in the land's wars. Even so, Yuan Shao does express regret when they face one another at Guan Du.
In the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Yuan Shao is given the nickname of "The Sword of Honor" while the English version changes it to "Man of Lineage, Man of Honor". As a dominant ruler in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, he calls his five greatest warriors the "Five Generals of Yuan".
The original names for his third and fourth weapons are references to his relationship with Cao Cao. If his childhood friend is his rival for supremacy, it's fitting for Yuan Shao to dedicate the names of his swords for his own path of military conquest (覇道, hadou).
In contrast to his third and fourth weapons, Yuan Shao's Standard weapon in Dynasty Warriors 6 is named after the method of rule that relies solely on nobility and status (王道, oudou). As opposed to trying to wrestle the right of the land away from his rivals, this path implies that he need only state his family's name to be accepted as royalty. Since he doesn't require the use of brute force, it is, in theory, a serene way of gaining control of a country.
His Skill weapon is originally named after Xuantian, one of the nine heavens. Within this area of the sky, a god named Emperor Xuantian is said to rule. During King Zhou's reign, the Jade Emperor ordered him to suppress to an army of demons. Donning black robes and leaving his hair as it was, he wore a helmet that covered him from injury from head to toe. With other heavenly soldiers, he imprisoned his foes with sublime courage. As a reward, he was given his emperor rank. Named a courageous and skilled man of war, Emperor Xuantian has been said to be a water or star god of the north who grants his divine protection at Wudang Mountains. Since he acts as Nezha's superior, some people think that he maybe an alternate form of Bishamonten. According to legend, his mighty footsteps walked across the land and Xuanwu was born from them; or Emperor Xuantian is alternatively the personified version of the tortoise god and is actually named Emperor Xuanwu. He maybe another form of Yuanshi Tianzun in Taoism. During the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Xuantian was also heralded as the god who protects treasure vaults from robbers.
Yuan Shao's original personal item in Warriors Orochi is called Hadou Yoroi or the "Conqueror's Armor", which is a direct contrast to the connotations tied to his English item.
- Avi Landau - Dynasty Warriors 2 (English)
- Paul St. Peter - Dynasty Warriors 4~5, Warriors Orochi series (English-uncredited)
- Dave Wittenberg - Dynasty Warriors 6 (English-uncredited)
- Christopher Corey Smith - Dynasty Warriors 7~8 (English-uncredited)
- Shen Guangping - Dynasty Warriors 3 (Chinese)
- On Yeong-sam - Dynasty Warriors 2 (Korean)
- Jang Seong-ho - Dynasty Warriors 3~5 (Korean)
- Osamu Ryutani - Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
- Hirohiko Kakegawa - Dynasty Tactics (Japanese)
- Hisao Egawa - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series
- See also: Yuan Shao/Quotes
- "To have to slay my own friend by my own hand... I suppose that is the price that I must pay. Cao Cao, please forgive me. I yearn for the day when we can meet and talk again as friends."
- "The shining light of nobility will lead us through this darkened age!"
- "None are fit to face me!"
- "I'll do it myself!"
- "Don't pursue Lu Bu!"
- "Go to Hu Lao Gate and attack Dong Zhuo!
- "My lord! Please withdraw for now!"
- "What nonsense! I am of the esteemed Yuan Family! A nobleman cannot run from his enemies in fear!"
- ~~Tian Feng and Yuan Shao; Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends
- "Such strange sorcery... Why do you seek to ruin the land?!"
- "Those who know not the hearts of the people have no business leading. It is people such as you that have ruined the Han!"
- "Eh?! Silence! Silence, you impudent fool! I shall show you the true power of the Yuan Family!"
- ~~Yuan Shao and Zhang Jiao; Dynasty Warriors 5
- "The power of the Yuan clan may have conquered the north, but the world is still in chaos. As I thought, I must conquer the central plains in order to create my new world."
- "An excellent idea. I've been so bored recently."
- "Then come with me to Guan Du and witness the dawning of a new age."
- ~~Yuan Shao and Zhen Ji; Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2
- "If we don't do something, we shall both lose to Lu Bu. The heavens do not wish that."
- "Right, old friend. Then let us join forces to stop that beast!"
- ~~Yuan Shao and Cao Cao; Dynasty Warriors 6
- "You look bored. Shall we go and have some fun?"
- "Hmph. With you? You're just going to insult me again!"
- "I would never do such a thing to a friend! You can be assured of that!"
- "Hmm... Well... I guess a little fun won't hurt."
- ~~Cao Cao and Yuan Shao; Dynasty Warriors 7
- "I don't care who you think you are! I'm plucking your feathers, you preening peacock!"
- "Ah, the bitter words of a jealous man. Dealing with your kind has always been a challenge."
- ~~Zhang Fei and Yuan Shao; Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends
- "Master Yuan Shao, you are always so well dressed... How do you do it?"
- "That is an excellent question! The Yuans have used the same tailor for generations."
- "The average person simply cannot grasp the beauty of your gaudy style."
- "Err... Yes, you are right. I will introduce you to him sometime."
- ~~Zhang He and Yuan Shao; Dynasty Warriors 8
- "Power is destined to desert us all eventually, only living on in our poems. The Yuan family is no exception."
- "How dare you say such a thing?! The Yuan family's place in the nobility is eternal!"
- ~~Cai Wenji and Yuan Shao; Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends
- "I am a true noble! Do you really think that a few ghosts will frighten me?! Show them the courage of the Yuan family, and send their spirits hence!"
- "Sounds like your family was a little too exclusive, if you know what I mean."
- ~~Yuan Shao and Yoshihiro; Warriors Orochi
- "Is this... the end...?"
- "Do not be foolish! How can we lose this battle when I am at the helm?"
- "What confidence and courage... how could I give up now with such a man as my leader?"
- ~~Hideyori and Yuan Shao; Warriors Orochi 2
- "You know, Lady Tachibana, I think I'll start relying more on pride than prestige, just like you."
- "Well done. For someone like you, that's an excellent idea."
- "If I hold on to my pride, my prestige will shine brighter than ever. The glory of the Yuan family will live forever!"
- ~~Yuan Shao and Ginchiyo; Warriors Orochi 3
- See also: Yuan Shao/Movesets
|Keys:||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
Dynasty Warriors 7Edit
Yuan Shao is affiliated with the rapier in this appearance. When he is equipped with it, he can perform a unique attack exclusive to him. Upon performing his Musou techniques, he will automatically use the weapon in his attacks.
- EX Attack: , , , , : Raises his sword and summons a rain of flaming arrows.
- Musou - Slash of Glory (栄光閃): : Spins once and then stabs forward. Classified as a Blast Musou in Next and used in Warriors Orochi 3.
- Alternate Musou - Royal Pose (常勝演舞): R1 + : Does a sparkling pose which restores some health.
- Dynasty Warriors Next
- Speed Musou - Spurt: Tap both sides of screen: Causes gold coins to erupt while posing regally, ending the assault by launching a shower of gold.
- Warriors Orochi 3
- : Does a single spin slash.
- , : Swings upward while crouching.
- , , : Flails sword around several times before posing gracefully.
- , , , , : Leaps up and stomps the ground.
- , , , , , : Sends out a large wave of energy forward.
- , : Jabs downward several times before diving on the ground to cause an impact, knocking down nearby opponents.
- R1: Expels a beam of glory forward.
- , R1 (Ultimate only): Jabs sword at a downward angle rapidly, then follows it up with a wide radial slash.
Dynasty Warriors 8Edit
Yuan Shao is affiliated with the extension blade in this appearance. When he is equipped with it, he can perform a unique attack exclusive to him. Upon performing his Musou techniques, he will automatically use the weapon in his attacks.
- EX Attack 2 (Xtreme Legends only): , : Emits a golden glow before attacking the opponent with a frontal thrust. Can be strengthened by holding .
- Aerial Musou - Immortal Prestige (不壊栄冠): , : Dives into the ground to perform a high-speed thrust attack.
- Awakening Musou: Swings weapon diagonally several times. Ends the move by jumping in time for a pose which in turn causes a sudden wave of energy to emanate from his position. The extended version causes him to start thrusting repeatedly, ending the barrage with multiple pokes while remaining stationary.
- See also: Yuan Shao/Weapons
Dynasty Warriors 8Edit
Yuan Shao now uses the extension blade as his default weapon in this title.
Yuan Shao was a powerful warlord who controlled the northern territories of China during the late Eastern Han Dynasty era. His bloodline had had massive influence and occupied incredibly influential positions within the Han court ever since the beginning, and Yuan Shao's grandfather, Yuan An, was appointed as one of the three Dukes of the Han Court, and Yuan An's sons had also been made into the same position afterwards. It was said Yuan Shao had a handsome face, and mingled well with subordinates.
After destroying the Ten Regular Attendants, he famously led the coalition against the tyrannical usurper Dong Zhuo, who held Emperor Xian hostage, but the coalition soon collapsed from internal disunity. In 200 AD, Yuan Shao led an invasion into the territory of Cao Cao, a childhood acquaintance of his. Initially the attacks were successful, but after a raid on Yuan Shao's supply lines the battles soon fell into Cao Cao's favor, and Yuan Shao had to retreat back north. Two years later, Yuan Shao died. The defeats are often blamed on Yuan Shao's ignorance of the advice from his advisors and indecisiveness.
Yuan Shao's forces, after his death, became split on whether to support his eldest and youngest sons, Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang, respectively, as the true successor. The Yuan family's influence soon ended with the deaths of Yuan Shang and Yuan Tan, who fought amongst each other and Cao Cao.
Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit
Dealing with the EunuchsEdit
- "Give me five thousand crack troops and I will march into the palace, enthrone the rightful emperor, destroy the eunuchs, and purge the court, thus restoring peace in the land."
- ―Yuan Shao, enthusiastically offering his services to He Jin.
In chapter 2, Yuan Shao first appears volunteering himself to help He Jin in eradicating the court-corrupting Ten Regular Attendants. His offer was accepted and together with five thousand troops and officials including Xun You, Yuan Shao helped in installing Liu Bian as emperor in the late Emperor Ling's stead. Liu Bian was named Emperor Shao, and Yuan Shao began searching for the eunuch Jian Shuo, who fled hid himself but was killed by another one of the Ten Regular Attendants, Guo Sheng. The palace guard, which Jian Shuo had once commanded, surrendered. Yuan Shao then recommended that the rest of the Ten Regular Attendants should be killed to He Jin.
The rest of the corrupt eunuchs, however, eventually won over the empress' support and He Jin, who was the empress' brother, was convinced not to eradicate the eunuchs. Yuan Shao recommended otherwise but was rejected.
Later, Yuan Shao once again recommended slaying the eunuchs. He Jin was ordered before his sister, Empress He, and she demanded that the eunuchs should be let to live. He Jin went back to Yuan Shao, who after finding out what had happened, suggested calling out to the other militant forces of the Han to come to the court and help in carrying out the duty.
The plot to kill the eunuchs was eventually leaked in chapter 3 and He Jin had been called to the empress. Yuan Shao, along with Chen Lin and Cao Cao, gave warning to He Jin, noting that the call could be a plot from the Ten Regular Attendants. He Jin ignored the heed, so Yuan Shao and Cao Cao had five hundred each of their finest put under Yuan Shao's half-brother Yuan Shu, and they all accompanied He Jin on the way to the empress, with Cao Cao and Yuan Shao escorting him personally. They stood down when the bureau noted that only He Jin was asked to come, thus he would be the only one to come inside. He Jin walked on, and was assassinated.
Having been waiting for a long time, Yuan Shao and Cao Cao called for He Jin from outside. He Jin's decapitated head was flung over the nearby wall, and Yuan Shao led a raid into the palace to slay every eunuch, whether they be corrupt or not.
Defying Dong ZhuoEdit
- "The empire is in my hands! If I choose to do as I please, who will dare to say nay? Think you my sword lacks an edge?"
- "If your sword is sharp, mine is never blunt!"
- ―Dong Zhuo and Yuan Shao, after the latter questioned Dong Zhuo's decision.
During the eradication of the Ten Regular Attendants, Emperor Shao and his brother, Liu Xie, were been taken away to a far away farm. Yuan Shao was part of a convoy which included the likes of Wang Yun and Chunyu Qiong, and the convoy eventually met up with the royal pair. The convoy was on its way to reaching the capital, Luoyang, when they encountered a large body of soldiers, and Yuan Shao rode out to the leader and asked who he was.
The leader of the van was Dong Zhuo, and so Dong Zhuo prostrated himself to the emperor, who was too afraid to speak and instead Liu Xie spoke for him. Dong Zhuo had come to the city at the request for outer forces that was made in chapter 2.
Dong Zhuo's army camped outside Luoyang and every day he came inside the city, causing fear into people's hearts with his circle of accompanying soldiers. Someone recommended to Yuan Shao that Dong Zhuo be killed, but Yuan Shao said that nothing could be done until the government settled down.
Later, Dong Zhuo held a banquet to which every minister attended. Right at the beginning of the ceremony, he stood up and said that he would replace Emperor Shao with his younger brother, Liu Xie, and install the boy as the new emperor. Dong Zhuo threatened anyone who questioned the actions with death. Yuan Shao stood up and protested, saying that Emperor Shao had committed no fault, and therefore replacing him would be treason. Dong Zhuo threatened Yuan Shao with his sword, as did Yuan Shao himself.
Li Ru, Dong Zhuo's advisor, calmed him down. Yuan Shao with his sword still unsheathed left the assembly and hung up his seals and cords of office, relinquishing his position in the court.
After the banquet and in chapter 4, two officials came to Dong Zhuo and recommended for him to pardon Yuan Shao, whose noted clan was spread all throughout the court. Yuan Shao was also said to be indecisive during the talks. Dong Zhuo then appointed Yuan Shao as governor of Bohai.
Dong Zhuo went through with deposing Emperor Shao and instating Liu Xie as the new emperor, and had Li Ru murder the former emperor and his mother and wife. Dong Zhuo also murdered an official who opposed him, which led Yuan Shao to send a letter to Wang Yun asking him to find an opportunity to kill Dong Zhuo.
The Coalition against Dong ZhuoEdit
In chapter 5, Yuan Shao responded to Cao Cao's call-to-arms, along with another sixteen lords, including Gongsun Zan, Tao Qian, and Sun Jian, for a coalition against Dong Zhuo.
During a war council being held, Cao Cao recommended that Yuan Shao be installed as leader of the coalition on the basis of his expansive and influential lineage. Yuan Shao modestly declined some few times, but the consensus of the lords agreed that he should be leader and therefore Yuan Shao was the leader of the alliance.
After an emotional ceremony accepting the honor, Yuan Shao asked for a man who was willing to provoke a battle at Si Pass with Yuan Shu working the supplies, to which Sun Jian volunteered for.
Yuan Shao later received a letter detailing Sun Jian's defeat at the hands of the enemy's commander, Hua Xiong, as well as the death of Zu Mao. Calling yet another council meeting, he saw three men standing behind Gongsun Zan, and upon learning that one of them was Liu Bei, a descendant of the imperial Han line, bade him to sit down. Yuan Shao openly stated that he respected Liu Bei not for his merit in helping with the Yellow Turbans, but for his relations to the Liu clan. Word came mid-meeting that Hua Xiong was riding along the Si Pass flaunting Sun Jian's turban, so two lords of the coalition volunteered their respective prized generals to fight him, and both generals were slain. Yuan Shao cried that Yan Liang and Wen Chou, his own renowned fighters, would be able to defeat Hua Xiong. The battle was eventually won with Guan Yu's slaying of the enemy commander.
Li Ru explained to Dong Zhuo that Yuan Wei, Yuan Shao's uncle and the Imperial Guardian, was within the court, and that he could stage a coup from inside the capital with cooperation with the outer forces of Yuan Shao. As such, Dong Zhuo had two of his generals, Li Jue and Guo Si, surround Yuan Wei's residence along with five hundred soldiers and slaughter the household.
From there, while Li Jue and Guo Si occupied Sishui Pass with fifty thousand, Dong Zhuo occupied Tiger Trap Pass with one hundred and fifty thousand men. As a response, eight of the coalition warlords marched on Tiger Trap Pass at the suggestion of Cao Cao, and there the three oath brothers were able to repel Lu Bu, an enemy commander, away.
In chapter 6, upon hearing news of the victory, Yuan Shao sent Sun Jian to advance. Later, Dong Zhuo was forced to flee the capital and on the way he plundered and burned it to the ground. Cao Cao recommended pursuing Dong Zhuo's army, but Yuan Shao refused, detailing their own force tired and in need of rest.
Not wanting to deal with Yuan Shao's refusal, Cao Cao rushed to pursue Dong Zhuo and was gravely defeated, then returning to Luoyang. Yuan Shao had also gotten into an argument with Sun Jian, whom was correctly suspected to have the Imperial Seal and left. Yuan Shao had received the information from an informant. At a banquet designed to console Cao Cao for his loss, Cao Cao revealed that he had a plan for the coalition to achieve victory over Dong Zhuo, but with the mistrust of him from the other leaders and Yuan Shao's indecisiveness it could not be completed. And so with Gongsun Zan who also realized Yuan Shao's fault, Cao Cao marched back to his province. The alliance fell apart, and Yuan Shao too eventually broke away.
Liu Biao warred with Sun Jian on word that he had acquired the Imperial Seal given in a letter by Yuan Shao, and the result was that Sun Jian was killed-in-action.
Yuan Shao himself convinced Han Fu to give over his lands to Shao's "protection" from outside influences, gaining Shao a fertile land to feed his troops. With backdoor dealings with Gongsun Zan, he convinced Liu Yu to surrender to him, thus giving him the upper hand in his subsequent war with Gongsun Zan. After conquering Gongsun Zan, the north was secure, Yuan Shao looked south to the lands of Cao Cao and engaged him in Guandu, where he was defeated. Shortly thereafter, Yuan Shao died and his lands torn apart by his warring son's civil war.
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