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Cao Zhang

Translated Description:

Yellow Bearded Man

Weapon:

Dragon Pike

Element:

Earth

Faction:

Wei Army

First Appearance:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2

First Playable:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2

Cao Zhang is a character that was introduced in Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2. He is the elder brother of Cao Pi who aids him and Zhang He in his manhunt to hunt down his sister Cao Pai. 

DescriptionEdit

Cao Zhang is the elder brother of Cao Pi who serves as counselor of Cao Pi's retrieval team. He does his best to calm his brother down every time he goes beserk and carries out his duties to locate and capture their sister at all cost.

Historical InformationEdit

Background[edit]Edit

The second of Cao Cao's four sons by Empress Dowager Bian, Cao Zhang was said to excel and obsessed in archery and armed combat in his youth so much so that he would fight fierce beasts with his bare hands. Though Cao Cao criticised his lack of academic learning, Cao Zhang had always aspired to pursue a career in the military. Once, his father sent him to the imperial University to study, but Cao Zhang lamented to his aides, saying a real man should command the army to make a name for himself instead of being a Doctor[3] (a Doctor was both an academic degree and a formal court title for many Chinese dynasties).

As a general[edit]Edit

When the Wuhuan tribe rebelled on the northern frontier in 218, Cao Zhang, holding the rank of Northern General of the Household, acting on the authority of General of the Resolute Cavalry (驍騎將軍), led a force of 1,000 infantry and several hundreds of cavalry from central government to suppress the revolt.[4] Before his departure, Cao Cao summoned him and specially warned him: "We are father and son in home, but we are supervisor and subordinate when assigned a task: the law will be applied straightly if you ever made any mistake, keep this in mind." When Cao Zhang arrived the field, his force had not been joined by that of the local government as planned. Outnumbered by the enemy, Cao Zhang took up a passive stance and defended the vital passes and routes. The rebels could not gain an advantage and dissipated. Cao Zhang then led his force out in pursuit, displaying great valour in the ensuing battles. The Records of the Three Kingdoms says several arrows were embedded in his armor by the end of a half-day long battle. Despite opposition from his subordinates, he ordered the pursuit be continued after the initial victory. One of his staff came out and reminded him that Cao Cao's order was that the army could not cross the jurisdiction of Dai, and further pursuit was straightly prohibited,[5] but Cao Zhang argued that a good general did not follow dull orders, and threatened if anyone did not join the pursuit would be penalized with death sentence; thus, they performed a 24 hours dash to catch up with the Wuhuan cavalry, and dealt the latter a major blow which caused a few thousands casualties. The Xianbei tribe leader Kebineng had led a ten-thousand strong cavalry force nearby to observe the ongoing war between Han and Wuhuan. Having seen the splendid victories Cao Zhang scored, Kebineng submitted to him. Unrest on the northern frontier was then quelled.

Cao Zhang then hurried west to take part in the Hanzhong Campaign against Liu Bei. Upon reaching Chang'an, however, he found out that the war had already been lost. Cao Cao then promoted his son to General of the Elite Cavalry (越騎將軍) and left him to defend Chang'an against probable advances of Liu Bei.

Death[edit]Edit

Shortly after returning to Luoyang in 220, Cao Cao fell ill. He died as Cao Zhang was en route to see him. His successor Cao Pi then sent all his brothers, including Cao Zhang, back to their individual fiefdoms, for fear that they might contest his position. In 222, Cao Zhang was enfeoffed as King of Rencheng (任城王). In the following year, Cao Zhang died due to sickness whilst attending court at the capital. He received the posthumous appellation of Wei (威), literally meaning awe-inspiring.

Theory of death[edit]Edit

There are legends surrounding the death of Cao Zhang. The most famous of these legends is that Cao Zhang was poisoned by his own brother Cao Pi [1]. After Cao Cao died, Cao Zhang was summoned to the palace by Cao Pi. During a casual conversation, Cao Zhang asked his brother if he could see his royal seal. This got Cao Pi worried that his brother wanted to succeed the throne of Cao Cao, which was rightfully Cao Pi's, and therefore Cao Pi decided to kill him. Cao Pi knew that Zhang was his mother Empress Bian's favourite son, so in order to get away with it, he had to make Cao Zhang's death seem natural. A few weeks later, Cao Pi invited his brother to a game of weiqi during their mother's birthday. The match was very close in the middle game when Cao Pi's servants brought some prunes, some that were poisoned. Cao Pi made sure he ate the unmarked ones that were not poisonous and make sure his brother ate the other ones. When Cao Zhang realized that he had been poisoned, he screamed for help. Empress Bian got to the scene on her bare feet and tried to search for water to flush down the poison that was now in Cao Zhang's body. But unfortunately for Cao Zhang, the crafty Cao Pi had secretly placed all the containers away beforehand and so Empress Bian failed to get the water; Cao Zhang then died at the hands of his own brother.

SkillsEdit

As The Dragon Pledges

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Cao Zhang spins his pike and performs a powerful horizontal slash towards enemy soldiers. Earth Elemental.

This Endless Conflict Is Uncertain

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Cao Zhang drags his pike from the ground and swings it upward to unleash a huge stalagmite that sends nearby enemy soldiers flying. Earth Elemental.

Desperately Searching For Triumph

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Cao Zhang plants his pike in the ground to convert his health into energy for his valor gauge. Earth Elemental.

Valor Attack: Alone I Must Show Endurance

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Cao Zhang ignites his halberd with volcanic energy and fiercely strikes the ground with it, creating a boiling mudslide that crashes into any nearby enemies which will drown them and dissolve their bodies, killing them. Earth Elemental.

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