My bad. I meant half brother, since Yuan Shao was actually the adopted (not biological) son of Yuan Shu's father's brother, i.e. their uncle. So technically they are cousins, but in fact they are brothers. Does half-brother/cousin sound OK? (I was trying to buy into their family disputes by denigrating them as half) From Wikipedia: Yuan Shao was an offspring of the Minister of Agriculture Yuan Feng (袁逢, and an elder half-brother of Yuan Feng's son, Yuan Shu, both were great-grandson of Yuan An, as recorded by the Book of Wei (魏書 by Wang Chen (王沈. Yuan Shao's mother was originally a maid in Yuan Feng's house, and since Yuan Feng lacked male offspring, the birth of Yuan Shao elevated his mother's status from a maid to a concubine. The Records of Three Kingdoms claimed that Yuan Shao was elder cousin to Yuan Shu. The reason for this was that Yuan Feng's older brother also lacked any male offsprings so Yuan Shao was adopted by Yuan Feng's older brother as his son. This adoption infuriated Yuan Shu, because despite also being a concubine's son, the younger Yuan Shu had a mother originally with higher status. The adoption of Yuan Shao by their elder uncle meant that Yuan Shao had become the eldest son of the clan, and would enjoy all the privileges associated with being the eldest. In their disputes in the later years, Yuan Shu would use the Yuan Shao's mother as an excuse to claim that Yuan Shao was really not a true son of the Yuan family, which inevitably would infuriate Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao was also a childhood friend of his future rival, Cao Cao. Speaking of Cao Cao, he got decimated by Yuan Shao in my game right before I won.