|Water Margin character|
|Rank||8th, Prestige Star (天威星) of the 36 Heavenly Spirits|
|Rear General of the Five Tiger Generals of Liangshan|
|Origin||Imperial general from Runing Commandery|
|First appearance||Chapter 54|
|Weapon||Pair of steel clubs|
Huyan Zhuo is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 8th of the 36 Heavenly Spirits of the 108 Liangshan heroes and is nicknamed "Double Clubs".
Huyan Zhuo is a descendant of Huyan Zan, a general who lived in the early Song Dynasty, and he too serves the Song government as an imperial general just like his ancestor. He is respected for his bravery in battle and mastery of combat skills. He wields a pair of steel clubs in battle, which earns him his nickname "Double Clubs". His choice of colour is black, as evidenced by his flags and armour. This is trait passed down by his ancestors who also donned black in battle. He rides a black stallion in battle.
Huyan Zhuo is summoned from Runing Commandery to the capital by the Emperor Huizong to lead the army to eradicate the Liangshan outlaws, on the recommendation of Cai Jing. Huyan Zhuo is flanked by his deputies Han Tao and Peng Qi. He introduces his chain-linked armoured cavalry and scores initial major victories over the Liangshan forces as his cavalry is seemingly impregnable. However, his cavalry is eventually defeated by Liangshan forces after the outlaws recruit Xu Ning to train their infantry in the use of the hooked spear. Huyan Zhuo's army is defeated by the outlaws after the loss of his "invincible" cavalry and his deputies are captured. Huyan Zhuo's deputies defect to Liangshan.
Battle of Qingzhou
Huyan Zhuo is afraid of returning to the capital after his defeat. He travels alone to Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong) to join the governor Murong Yanda. Along the way, he passes by Mount Peach Blossom where his steed is stolen by the bandits on the mountain. Huyan Zhuo leads the Qingzhou army to attack the bandits and subsequently brings the Liangshan outlaws into the scene when they arrive to reinforce the bandits from Mount Peach Blossom. Huyan Zhuo falls into an ambush laid by the outlaws outside Qingzhou and is captured. He decides to join the Liangshan cause after being persuaded by Song Jiang. He aids the outlaws in conquering Qingzhou and eliminating Murong Yanda.
Becoming an outlaw
Huyan Zhuo pretends to be a turncoat when the Liangshan outlaws are at war with Guan Sheng and imperial forces. Huyan Zhuo lures Guan Sheng into a trap set by the outlaws and Guan is captured. Guan Sheng surrenders and decides to join the Liangshan cause as well. After the Grand Assembly, Huyan Zhuo becomes one of the Five Tiger Generals of the Liangshan cavalry.
After the outlaws have been granted amnesty by the emperor, Huyan Zhuo follows them on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and the rebel forces of Tian Hu, Wang Qing and Fang La. He makes great contributions during these campaigns and is one of the few survivors after the campaigns. He takes up the post of a general offered to him by the emperor in recognition of his achievements and continues to serve the imperial court. He dies subsequently as a martyr in the war against invaders from the Jurchen-ruled Jin Dynasty.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2010)|
Huyan Zhuo's chain-linked cavalry consists of heavily armoured horses linked together in groups of five by heavy steel chains. Heavily armoured archers are mounted on these horses. Together, they form a system similar to a modern tank that is capable of knocking down anything in its path. The chain links of the cavalry prove to be the system's greatest flaw. Liangshan's infantry troops use hooked spears to attack the horses' legs and drag them to the ground. Once a single horse is down, the other four horses linked to it will collapse as well and the entire system is thus destroyed.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 17. EPB Publishers Pte Ltd, 1992. ISBN 9971-0-0252-3.
- Buck, Pearl. All Men are Brothers. Moyer Bell Ltd, 2006. ISBN 9781559213035.
- Zhang, Lin Ching. Biographies of Characters in Water Margin. Writers Publishing House, 2009. ISBN 978-7506344784.
- Shibusawa, Kou. Bandit Kings of Ancient China, page 91. KOEI, 1989.
- (Japanese) Ichisada, Miyazaki. Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu. Chuo Koronsha, 1993. ISBN 978-4122020559.
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- Keffer, David. Outlaws of the Marsh.