|Water Margin character|
|First appearance||Chapter 54|
|Rank||8th, "Heavenly Force Star" (天威星) of the 36 Heavenly Spirits|
|Rear General of the Five Tiger Generals of Liangshan|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Taiyuan, Shanxi|
|Weapon||Pair of steel clubs|
Huyan Zhuo is a semi-fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 8th of the 36 Heavenly Spirits in the 108 heroes of Mount Liang and is nicknamed "Double Clubs" (Chinese: 雙鞭) for his preferred weapons.
Huyan Zhuo is a descendant of Huyan Zan, a general who lived in the early Song dynasty. He served in the Song imperial army as a general, just like his ancestor. He was respected for his bravery in battles and mastery of combat skills. He used a pair of steel clubs as his fighting weapons, which earned him the nickname "Double Clubs". His flag color was black. He rode a black stallion in battle.
On the recommendation of the Imperial Tutor Cai Jing, Huyan Zhuo was summoned from Running Commandery (汝寧郡; around present-day Runan County, Zhumadian, Henan) to the capital Dongjing (東京; present-day Kaifeng, Henan) by Emperor Huizong to lead the imperial army to eradicate Liangshan outlaws. Huyan Zhuo was flanked by his deputies Han Tao and Peng Qi. He introduced his chain-linked armoured cavalry formation, which was seemingly impregnable, and scored initial major victories over the Liangshan outlaws. However, his cavalry formation was eventually defeated by Xu Ning's hooked spear formation. Huyan Zhuo was defeated by the outlaws after the loss of his cavalry formation and the capture of his deputies, who defect to Liangshan.
Battle of Qingzhou
Huyan Zhuo did not dare to return to Dongjing after his defeat. He travelled alone to Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong) to join the governor, Murong Yanda. Along the way, he passed by Taohua Mount (Mt. Peach Blossom), where his steed was stolen by some bandits on the mountain. Huyan Zhuo led imperial forces from Qingzhou to attack the bandits and subsequently brough the Liangshan outlaws into the scene when they arrived to help bandits at Taohua Mount. Huyan Zhuo encountered an ambush laid by the outlaws outside Qingzhou and was captured. He decided to join the Liangshan after being persuaded by Liangshan's chief, Song Jiang. He helped the outlaws to conquer Qingzhou and eliminated Murong Yanda.
Becoming an outlaw
Huyan Zhuo pretended to be a turncoat when the Liangshan outlaws were at war with the imperial army led by Guan Sheng. He lured Guan Sheng into a trap, in which Guan was captured by the outlaws. Guan Sheng also joined the outlaw band after being persuaded by Song Jiang. Following the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny, Huyan Zhuo became one of the Five Tiger Generals of the Liangshan cavalry.
After the outlaws had been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong of Song, Huyan Zhuo followed them on their campaigns against the Khitan invaders from the Liao dynasty and the rebel forces led by Tian Hu, Wang Qing and Fang La. He made some great contributions in those battles and was one of the few survivors of former Liangshan army by the end of the campaigns. He assumed the post of a general offered to him by the emperor in recognition of his achievements and continued to serve the imperial court. He was later killed by Jurchen invaders in a battle during the Jin–Song Wars.
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