Wanang Sun was born around 1299 DR.[note 1] As a young man, he trained at the Do Jang of Won Kwang in Pyong Do, learning the arts of war and other skills. In time, he became a general in service to the king of Silla.
In the early 14th century DR, Silla was at war with the kingdoms of Koguryo and Saishu. General Wanang Sun was instrumental in Silla's campaign, aiding the king of Silla in overcoming the other kingdoms. However, he plotted to become king himself one day and laid the foundation for a more secure and prosperous realm. In the 1330s DR, with Sun's aid, the king of Silla conquered Koguryo and Saishu, unifying the whole land of Choson into the Sillan Empire and defending against all threats.[note 2] However, the Sillan king proved to be a tyrant, inflicting crippling taxes and martial law on Saishu, occupying it with Sillan troops. However, Wanang Sun protected Dan Zor, king of Saishu, and his family, even arranging a marriage between Sun's second son and Dan's first daughter.
Around 1350 DR,[note 3] the king of Silla ordered his own secret invasion fleet to embark on an attempted conquest of Kozakura. Ultimately, a tsunami wrecked the whole armada, and the catastrophe saw the end of the king of Silla's reign; he abdicated and fled. In his place, General Wanang Sun seized the throne, becoming king and reforming the Sillan Empire into the Empire of Koryo. He welded the old factions of Choson into a unified nation. He granted Dan Zor governorship on Saishu, lifted the martial law, and cut taxes, winning the support of both Zor and the Saishu people.
Later, King Wanang Sun visited Foo Nakar on the news of the death of his old friend and former general in his command, Masgar Lam, but discovered it already grown over. Masgar's daughter Pouri Lam admitted she'd kept the death quiet for seven months while she'd stable government in the town. Sun was impressed by her skill in governing and realized she was no ordinary woman. Trusting his friend's judgement and skills, he allowed her to join the hichikung nio, a secret society of skilled personnel well placed in the kingdom to better the lives of the peasantry. Wanang also wished to elevate her properly to the governorship of Foo Nakar, finding her already well trained and more capable than any. However, this post was hotly contested in the Koryoan court and the king had to grant it as a reward to one of his followers. Thus, when he returned to Xi Hulang, he named a close friend as governor of Foo Nakar, but permanently shifted the post to the capital. He then created the position of "First Emissary" of Foo Nakar, which was responsible for the entire district in the governor's absence, and placed Pouri in the role. This ensured she could remain in control of Foo Nakar, maintained the good governance of the city, and placed one of hichikung nio in a position of high influence.
By 1357 DR, Koryo was at war with Kozakura. Karak was at the center of an ongoing war for territory between the kingdom of Koryo and advance forces of Kozakura. King Wanang Sun considered dispatching more soldiers to the area.
He felt that, to ensure the survival of his kingdom and dynasty, he had to better the peasants' lot in life and attract the people to his rule, so that any future rebellion would likely fail.
Wanang Sun was a master of strategy and a capable warrior. Such was his reputation in the field that Koryo's enemies and even some outlaws appeared to be dissuaded from invading or raiding the realm.
Ruling from the capital city of Xi Hulang, King Wanang Sun administered his realm via royal appointment of governors to each of the 21 city districts of Koryo. Most appointments were made for political reasons, both to solidify Sun's support and to strengthen relations with Koguryo and Saishu, but a few chosen governors were personal friends or advisors. The governors acted autonomously, handling their districts as they chose, but they answered directly to the king. The wily Wanang Sun was not above engineering these appointments and creating custom posts, such as when he shifted the governorship of Foo Nakar to the capital and created the post of First Emissary of Pouri Lam. He permitted the former leader of Saishu to stay on as governor, with the honorary title of "Master of Cheju".
He held court only with his governors, trusted advisors, and important dignitaries. As a former general, Sun ran his capital, government, and kingdom like an army, maintaining supply lines, constructing defenses, and establishing and enforcing strict laws and regulations, including curfews, licenses, and annual censuses. Sun was strongly supported by his governors, but he feared that, after his passing, the old petty lords of each city and subkingdom would try to revolt and reclaim their former independence. Therefore, he played a long game as well, focusing on bettering the peasants' lot in life and attracting the people to his rule, so that any future rebellion would likely fail.
Twice or thrice a year, he went out among the people of Xi Hulang and listened carefully to their views and received their complaints, before correcting their misconceptions and explaining why he would not alter his rules. The workers of the city respected and admired him for this.
Nevertheless, Sun could be underhanded as well. His spies were rife in crime-ridden Ojy-do and the floating city of Tu Pe. He also established the hichikung nio, a secret society of skilled people placed in key posts in local and regional bureaucracies. Their aim was to improve the lives of the peasantry through the established system.
Each year after he took the throne, King Wanang Sun took part in a three-day-long ceremony on Wei Do Peak to honor him and his new dynasty. Many monks and shukenja attended the festival, and bestowed blessings on Sun and his court. It culminated with the king himself ritually beheading the most infamous criminal in the kingdom's prisons. This act symbolized his power to defeat evil in the kingdom. It was rumored that when the king wielded the Golden Sword of Ammatok to do this duty, a spirit of the Celestial Heavens would appear beside him and consecrate his rule under their guidance.
Every morning, Sun trained in his martial arts. This demonstrated his readiness to his people.
Wanang Sun once led an expedition to recover three of the magical chalices of the Wo-ha Ui-jung. He was successful, discovering the sitting bull, sitting monkey, and standing deer by 1357 DR. Another, the squatting toad, was gifted to him by the grateful folk of Saishu. He was known to keep the sitting monkey in his treasure rooms, and to make regular use of the sitting bull for its protections. According to legend, the one who collected the lost Wo-ha Ui-jung all together once more would become the first emperor of the whole world.
- ↑ Sun is "about 58 years old" around 1357 DR.
- ↑ This is "15 years before" a point "several years ago" from 1357 DR.
- ↑ "Several years" before 1357 DR.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 122. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ James Wyatt (January 2004). “Kara-Tur: Ancestor Feats and Martial Arts Styles”. In Chris Thomasson ed. Dragon #315 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 63.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 121. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 124. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 126. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.