I'm playing Lü Bu in Total War: Three Kingdoms, and I've got enough prestige to declare myself king around winter 200.

If I do that, it sets off the "Emperor!" land rush and suddenly the map has these three kingdoms:

  • Kingdom of Yin (me, Lü Bu) in the central plains
  • Kingdom of Wu (Sun Ce) a bit south of me
  • Yuan Shao's faction in the far north east — but he's the protector of the current Emperor, so he immediately gives up his own faction leadership and his faction becomes "Han Empire" lead by Liu Xie (a.k.a. Emperor Xian).

Gold-border Han Empire faction led by Liu Xie

But, there's still another Han Empire faction — the original Han rump state that gives you vassal income if you control the Emperor — on the map. Except they're fully independent now. (In fact, I have the option to vassalize them, though it's a pretty costly deal.)

Plain-border Han Empire faction led by Dong Bai ("imperial administrator")

I've played plenty of campaigns before with the puppet emperor, and even claimed him as a vassal myself a few times, but this is my first time playing the game with the newer "Emperor Xian takes over a whole faction" mechanics.

What will happen to the original (moribund) Han Empire now that there are two Han Empires on the map? Can I continue to interact with them normally (and vassalize them / annex them, e.g.) or are they a bit "busted" now? Does the new Han faction gain any power over them (since it's led by the guy who used to be the puppet baby emperor)?

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