Dear readers, fellow gamers,

We hope you are well in these difficult times. Let us try to keep morale up by giving you – finally – a glimpse of your first steps as your character in Rise of the White Sun!

Please excuse us for the lack of in-game screenshots. We are in the process of writing conversations and events but in return, you will get pictures from the era!

The Guangzhou Bund – 1930

Where it all starts – Guangzhou

Your adventure should start in Guangzhou (Canton in many foreign languages) in January 1920.

This is a real 1920 map of Guangzhou which you will be interacting with (a lot)

The Constitutional Protection Movement formed in 1917 with Sun Yatsen as its leader has changed: the southern warlords (Guangxi and Yunnan) have taken control of the government and Sun has been sent in exile in 1918.

Street view of Guangzhou, 1919

The 20,000-men Guangdong army gathered by Chen Jiongming, a Guangdong warlord, follower of Dr. Sun, has been pushed back to Eastern Guangdong. His « capital » is established in Changzhou, which he turns into the « Fujian’s Moscow »: opening of new schools, freedom of the press, archists included in the making of school programmes, revised and fairer taxes system, etc. This force is the only one which can help restore Sun Yat-sen’s rule but, in January 2020, is still marshalling men and gathering equipment.

Guangzhou was recaptured by the Guangdong army in October 1920, with almost no fight – the city had been deserted by Guangxi soldiers a day or so before the attack. However, to be noted among internal actions, a student and worker strike and a railwaymen armed uprising.

A city under warlord rule

Guangzhou is mostly controlled by the Lu Rongting’s Guangxi clique. He delegated his subordinate Mo Rongxin to handle the daily management. Anybody from Guomindang is persona non grata within the city.

Guangzhou Zhenhai Tower (Five Stories Tower) built by the Qing, photo from the 1870s. In 1920, this tower has been destroyed by the Guangxi clique. It will only be rebuilt in 1928.

The occupation has generated some damage on Guangzhou’s main monuments. Merchants are regularly racketted by Guangxi’s troops and are sick of this treatment. Inhabitants are sometimes bullied by idle soldiers but do not dare fighting back. In a nutshell, the people endures rather quietly its Guangxi masters but not without resentment.

Life however goes on – there are no report of shortages whatsoever and war with the Guangdong army is rather distant in January 1920.

Guangzhou’s Sacred Heart Cathedral – 1880s

Westerners and Japanese people mostly remain on Shameen island, which is not under Chinese jurisdiction. Shameen is indeed a British and French concession.

A 1920-map of Shameen island – you can even see buildings location
Aerial view of Shameen island, south of Guangzhou – 1920s
Westerners at Shameen’s Victorial Hotel – 1920s

Chinese citizens, except those working for foreign employers, are not allowed on Shameen island. There are two accesses to the island: the English bridge, guarded by Sikh soldiers, and the French bridge, guarded by Annamite soldiers.

Your mission, should you accept it – help seizing Guangzhou

View of the Guanhzou Bund, 1920

Your character will arrive in Guangzhou in January 1920, incognito, with a mission: to help preparing the taking of Guangzhou. To do so, you will be tasked with several objectives.

Your objectives will be to:

  • Secure the support of wavering army battalions
  • Secure the support of the Chinese Navy (rallied to the Constitutional Protection Movement)
  • Recruit coolies for the Guangdong Army
  • Procure weapons for an uprising and to support the Guangdong Army
  • Prepare a timed strike / uprising
  • Lower Guangxi clique control over Guangzhou
Exterior of a Guangzhou temple – 1910

We do not expect you to be able to fulfil all the objectives in such a short timeframe. How well you perform will have an impact on your status and the way you are regarded in the party once Guangzhou has been secured.

All you objectives will be trackable in a « Missions » tab, regrouping all tasks, assignments, requests and goals you may have.

How to be of help?

Nothing comes for free (or maybe just a very few things). To accomplish the above-mentioned objectives, you will have to balance the use of 3 ressources:

  • Influence: represents your capacity to convince people (not necessarily your interlocutor), pull a few strings to get things done, ask friends for favours, etc.
  • Resources: mostly represents your money resources, but also factors the goods you own, your possessions, your business, etc.
  • Energy: litteraly how much your body and mind let you do. For the time being, we assume that your character would have 4 Energy points a month (i.e. roughly a week of work, where relevant).
Ancestral Temple of the Chen family – 1910

Depending on your character’s background, you will have access to a couple of background specific actions, notably in lowering Guangxi control over Guangzhou. But be careful in your actions as you may draw the attention of Guangxi forces, who will put you in jail if you become too high profile.

On top of all of this, your character will also have his own personal missions, sometimes as lowly as finding a place where to stay.

Kum Yam hill and the Five Stories Pagoda (Zhenhai Tower) – 1870s

Wait, what about politics?

Good point, we advertise RoWS as a political game. Well, given the fact that the Guomindang was strugglinh with its own organisation until November 1920 and that its members were not welcome in Guangzhou, party politics will not be accessible during these 8 months you try and help seizing the city. You should see this time as a tutorial for the in-game interactions beside internal politics.

However, how well you performed with you objectives will reflect upon you later on. Party members will have a better starting opinion of you if you fulfilled many party objectives. You may even attract the attention of Sun Yat-sen himself. On the other hand, failing too much or focussing on your personal goals will lead others to look down on you. However, no opinion is ever definitive in this game. Up to you to balance party and personal missions!

And, on these goods words, we will conclude this DD. Stay tuned for more input and stay home!