Fan Rui

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Fan Rui
Water Margin character
First appearance Chapter 60
Nickname "Demon King of Chaos"
Rank 61st, Correct Star (地然星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Infantry leader of Liangshan
Origin Bandit leader
Ancestral home / Place of origin Puzhou (around present-day Juancheng County, Heze, Shandong)
Weapon Netherworld Demon King Sword (冥界魔王劍)
Dark Chain Spiked Mace (暗黑流星錘)
Simplified Chinese 樊瑞
Traditional Chinese 樊瑞
Pinyin Fán Ruì
Wade–Giles Fan Jui

Fan Rui is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 61st of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 25th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Demon King of Chaos".


Fan Rui is from Puzhou (濮州; around present-day Juancheng County, Heze, Shandong). He is described as a fearsome-looking man with untidy black hair, who wears armour over a silk robe, and wields a sword and spiked chain mace in battle. Apart from being a powerful warrior, he is also a master of Taoist sorcery and can control the weather and subdue various evil supernatural beings. He is thus nicknamed "Demon King of Chaos".

Fan Rui leads a group of bandits on Mount Mangdang (芒碭山; north of present-day Yongcheng, Shangqiu, Henan). He is flanked by his deputies, Xiang Chong and Li Gun, and they have 3,000 bandit followers under their command. They rob the rich to help the poor, attack corrupt government officials, and uphold justice.

Joining Liangshan[edit]

The three bandit chiefs get into conflict with the outlaws at Liangshan Marsh after announcing that they will conquer Liangshan one day. Liangshan's Shi Jin leads a vanguard force to attack Mount Mangdang, but loses the first battle against Fan Rui's forces, and manages to escape only when Liangshan reinforcements arrive.

The following day, Gongsun Sheng deploys the Liangshan forces in the Eight Trigrams Formation to counter Fan Rui. Fan Rui uses magic to darken the sky and create a sandstorm to throw the enemy into confusion. He orders Xiang Chong and Li Gun to lead 500 men to break the formation. Gongsun Sheng engages Fan Rui in a battle of magic powers and defeats him. Both Xiang Chong and Li Gun are captured in the formation while Fan Rui escapes in a frenzy.

Song Jiang, Liangshan's chief, treats Xiang Chong and Li Gun respectfully and persuades them to join the outlaw band at Liangshan. They are touched by his sincerity and agree to join Liangshan. They return to Mount Mangdang later and manage to convince Fan Rui to join Liangshan as well. Fan Rui becomes Gongsun Sheng's apprentice and learns Taoist magic from Gongsun.


Fan Rui becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Tian Hu, Fan Rui engages Tian's magician, Qiao Daoqing, in a battle of sorcery but is no match for the enemy. Qiao Daoqing is eventually defeated by Gongsun Sheng.

Fan Rui is one of the few surviving Liangshan heroes after the final campaign against the rebel leader Fang La. The emperor offers him an official post to recognise him for his contributions during the campaigns, but he declines and chooses to accompany Gongsun Sheng and Zhu Wu to study Taoism for the rest of his life.