Sun Jian's eldest son.
Sun Ce was a man of obvious valor. However, his quick and furious temper
was the shortcoming in his character. After his father's death he served
under Yuan Shu. He appointed Sun Ce Commander and sent him on various
expeditions, all of which were successful. Yuan Shu once admired him
and said, "If I had a son like Sun Ce, I should die without regret."
After Sun Ce had subdued Lu Kang, the Governor of Lujiang, Yuan Shu
had a great banquet to celebrate the victory. But Sun Ce returned to
his camp very bitter over the arrogant and patronizing airs of his patron.
Out of restlessness he embarked on his own conquest for fame.
In compensation for leaving and borrowing
three thousand troops, he left the Hereditary Seal, a memento from his
father, with Yuan Shu. With the help of his father's loyal generals,
his close friend Zhou Yu, Zhang Zhao and Zhang Hong, he overthrew Liu
Yong, Yan Baihu and Wang Lang, and took the lands east of the Yangtze
River. His stern delegation of other warriors earned him the nickname
"Little Prince." He improved the conditions of the people and maintained
order so that his adherents and supporters daily increased. He was called
Sun Ce the Bright. And thus Sun Ce won the respect and praise of everyone
and became very powerful.
Cao Cao was the only obstacle in Sun Ce's
path to the title he aspired for, "Grand Commander." He planned to ambush
Cao Cao amidst his battle against Yuan Shao, but Xu Gong saw through
his plans and sent a warning. Sun Ce's men intercepted the letter and
brought Xu Gong to their camp. Sun Ce was civil at first, but in a violent
burst of anger he had him executed. One day when Sun Ce was out hunting,
he was fatally wounded with a poisonous arrow by three men out to avenge
Xu Gong's death. On his recovery while preparing an attack on Cao Cao
together with Yuan Shao, he learned about a Taoist named Yu Ji. Blaming
him for inciting people to evil deeds, Yu Ji was executed out of anger.
Sun Ce himself was restless and his wound reopened.
On his deathbed, Sun Ce summoned his brother
Sun Quan and named him as his successor. He left him with these words:
"You will never be as successful as I might have in wielding our eastern
army against both of our opponents. However, as for inspiring the wise
and encouraging the able to rise to our cause, I would not have succeeded
as you will."