Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires
Mortal (Historical), Chancellor Shangguan Yi
Formally Duke of Chu was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the reign of Emperor Gaozong. In 664, with Emperor Gaozong displeased with his wife Empress Wu (later known as Wu Zetian) for her controlling behavior, Shangguan proposed that Empress Wu be deposed, a proposal that Emperor Gaozong was initially receptive to but disavowed once Empress Wu discovered it. Empress Wu then had Shangguan accused of plotting treason with Emperor Gaozong’s oldest son, the former crown prince Li Zhong (who had been displaced by Empress Wu’s son Li Hong), and Shangguan was executed. His granddaughter Shangguan Wan’er later served as a key secretary to Empress Wu and a concubine to her son Emperor Zhongzong. It was said that Shangguan was particularly known for his poetry, particularly a style featuring five characters per line; his poetry was said to be decorated and delicate—a style that was then often imitated and became known as the Shangguan Style. It was said that Shangguan was arrogant because of his talent, and became the object of much jealousy.
Evidence is quickly stacking up that this fellow become something after his mortal death. A Yin spirit, or a Ghost-Person is still to be seen. His tomb was defaced quite completely with the word ‘General’ graffiti’d over his tombs effigy.
More details on the story: By 664, Emperor Gaozong was said to be deeply fearful and resentful of his powerful second wife Empress Wu, as she interfered with his decisions. After the eunuch Wang Fusheng reported to Emperor Gaozong that Empress Wu had, against strict regulations, engaged the Taoist monk Guo Xinzhen to engage in sorcery, Emperor Gaozong was angry, and he summoned Shangguan to ask for advice on what to do. Shangguan suggested, “The empress has no control of herself, and the entire empire is dissatisfied with her. Please depose her.” Emperor Gaozong agreed and had Shangguan draft an edict deposing her. However, because among Emperor Gaozong’s attendants were her allies, she found out, and she immediately appeared before him to defend herself. As Emperor Gaozong was caught red-handed with the draft edict in his hand, Emperor Gaozong the Elder was ashamed, and he reconciled with her. He further blamed Shangguan for the idea, to divert Empress Wu’s displeasure. As Shangguan had served on the staff of Emperor Gaozong’s first crown prince Li Zhong (who was not born of Empress Wu), Empress Wu had her ally Xu Jingzong accuse Shangguan, Wang, and Li Zhong of plotting to kill Emperor Gaozong. Around the new year 665, Shangguan and Wang were both arrested and executed. Also kllled was Shangguan’s son Shangguan Tingzhi. Li Zhong was thereafter forced to commit suicide. Shangguan’s assets were seized, and his family were taken as servants. A number of officials close to Shangguan, including fellow chancellor Liu Xiangdao, were demoted.