List of Water Margin characters
- 1 108 Stars of Destiny
- 2 Chao Gai's story
- 3 Song Jiang's story
- 4 Lu Junyi's story
- 5 Lin Chong's story
- 6 Chai Jin's story
- 7 Lu Zhishen's story
- 8 Wu Song's story
- 9 Yang Zhi's story
- 10 Li Kui's story
- 11 Shi Jin's story
- 12 Lei Heng's story
- 13 Li Jun's story
- 14 Zhang Shun's story
- 15 Yang Xiong's story
- 16 Xie brothers' story
- 17 Zhu Family Village
- 18 Zeng Family Fortress
- 19 Song imperial court
- 20 Others
- 21 References
108 Stars of Destiny
The 108 Stars of Destiny (Chinese: 一百零八星; pinyin: Yī Bǎi Líng Bā Xīng) are at the core of the plot of Water Margin. Based on the Taoist concept that each person's destiny is tied to a Star of Destiny (Chinese: 宿星; pinyin: Sùxīng), the 108 Stars of Destiny are stars that represent 108 demonic overlords who have been banished by the Taoist sage Shangdi. Having repented since their banishment, the Stars are released from their place of banishment by accident, and are reborn in the world as 108 heroes who band together for the cause of justice.
Chao Gai's story
- He Tao (traditional Chinese: 何濤; simplified Chinese: 何涛; pinyin: Hé Tāo) is the constable chief tasked with arresting Chao Gai and his companions, who have robbed the convoy of birthday gifts. He leads a group of soldiers to Liangshan Marsh in pursuit of the seven men, but falls into an ambush and is defeated and captured alive. Ruan Xiaoqi slices off one of his ears before releasing him to allow him to bring the news of his defeat to Grand Secretary Liang.
- He Qing (Chinese: 何清; pinyin: Hé Qīng) is He Tao's idle younger brother. By coincidence, he met Chao Gai and his companions when they were preparing to rob the birthday gifts, and he recognised Chao. He informs his brother that Chao Gai is one of the seven robbers.
- Huang An (traditional Chinese: 黃安; simplified Chinese: 黄安; pinyin: Huáng Ān) is a military officer ordered to lead another group of soldiers to attack Liangshan after He Tao's failure. He is defeated in battle and is captured by Liu Tang while attempting to escape.
Song Jiang's story
- Yan Poxi (traditional Chinese: 閻婆惜; simplified Chinese: 阎婆惜; pinyin: Yán Póxī) is Song Jiang's concubine. Her mother persuades an initially reluctant Song to marry the 18-year-old Yan after he covers the costs of the funeral arrangements for Yan's deceased father. Yan gradually comes to detest Song and begins an affair with his assistant Zhang Wenyuan. One night, she discovers Chao Gai's letter to Song and threatens to report Song to the magistrate for being in league with outlaws if Song does not agree to three conditions. First, she wants Song to allow her to marry Zhang Wenyuan. Second, she is to retain all the clothing, ornaments, and furnishings Song has given her. Third, Song must give her the gold bars from Chao Gai. Song agrees, but he does not have with him all the gold promised in the letter; he only took one gold bar and asked Liu Tang to return the rest to Chao Gai. Yan is unwilling to give him time to raise an equivalent amount of money and threatens to accuse him in court. Song then bursts into a rage and stabs her to death. He then burns the letter and flees to evade arrest.
- Zhang Wenyuan (traditional Chinese: 張文遠; simplified Chinese: 张文远; pinyin: Zhāng Wényuǎn) is Song Jiang's assistant at the magistrate's office. He has an affair with Song's concubine Yan Poxi. He also repeatedly urges the magistrate to arrest Song Jiang after the latter flees from Yuncheng County.
- Shi Wenbin (traditional Chinese: 時文彬; simplified Chinese: 时文彬; pinyin: Shí Wénbīn) is the magistrate of Yuncheng County.
- Liu Gao (traditional Chinese: 劉高; simplified Chinese: 刘高; pinyin: Líu Gāo) is the official in charge of Qingfeng Fort. His wife was captured by the outlaws on Mount Qingfeng and was almost raped by Wang Ying. Song Jiang saved her by persuading Wang Ying to give up on her and the outlaws to release her. Later, Liu Gao's wife repays kindness with evil and accuses Song Jiang of being the man who kidnapped her. Liu Gao believes his wife and has Song Jiang arrested and imprisoned. Liu Gao is killed along with his family after the outlaws break into the fort to rescue Song.
- Murong Yanda (traditional Chinese: 慕容彥達; simplified Chinese: 慕容彦达; pinyin: Mùróng Yàndá) is the governor of Qingzhou (covering parts of present-day Shandong). He orders the execution of Qin Ming's family after mistakenly believing that the latter has joined the outlaw band on Mount Qingfeng. Huyan Zhuo comes to Qingzhou to join him after his defeat and helps him in attacking some minor bandit forces in Qingzhou. The Liangshan heroes capture Huyan Zhuo and persuades him to join them. Huyan Zhuo tricks Murong Yanda into opening the city gates and the outlaws break in. Murong Yanda is killed by Qin Ming after his capture.
- Cai Jiu (Chinese: 蔡九; pinyin: Cài Jǐu) is the governor of Jiangzhou (east of present-day Chongzuo, Guangxi) and a son of Cai Jing. An unintelligent, greedy and corrupt official, he sentences Song Jiang and Dai Zong to death after believing Huang Wenbing's accusations that Song is plotting a rebellion.
- Huang Wenbing (traditional Chinese: 黃文炳; simplified Chinese: 黄文炳; pinyin: Huáng Wénbǐng) is a low-ranking official from Jiangzhou. Huang is scheming by nature and desires to make his name through unscrupulous means. His chance comes when he discovers Song Jiang's poem and reports it to Cai Jiu. He detects that the letter supposedly sent back from Cai Jing was a fraud, because there is an error with the seal stamped on it. The letter was actually written by Xiao Rang as part of a scheme by Wu Yong, who originally intended to order Cai Jiu to send Song Jiang to Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng) and intercept the convoy on the way. Song Jiang and Dai Zong are arrested and sentenced to death but the outlaws storm the execution ground and rescue them. Huang's family is killed by the outlaws later and his house set on fire. Huang is later captured by Zhang Shun and meets his end at the hands of Li Kui.
Lu Junyi's story
- Li Gu (Chinese: 李固; pinyin: Lǐ Gù) is Lu Junyi's housekeeper and financial manager. He has an ongoing affair with Lu's wife, but does not conspire against Lu until after Wu Yong informs him that Lu has rebelled. Li also uses as evidence a poem (see Lu Junyi#Wu Yong's poem) written by Wu Yong on a wall in Lu's house, causing Lu to be arrested and imprisoned when he finally returns home. Li, however, takes a further step and attempts to have his former master murdered in prison, but his plans are thwarted by Chai Jin, who bribes the executioners involved in Lu's case (Cai Qing and Cai Fu). After Lu is eventually rescued from prison by the outlaws, he returns home and kills the adulterous pair in revenge.
- Madam Jia (traditional Chinese: 賈氏; simplified Chinese: 贾氏; pinyin: Jiǎ Shì) is Lu Junyi's wife. She betrays her husband and has an affair with Li Gu. She is killed along with Li by her husband after he is rescued by the outlaws.
Lin Chong's story
- Lin Chong's wife attracted the attention of Gao Yanei while she was praying in the temple. Gao attempts to molest her but refrains from doing so when Lin Chong shows up. He is unwilling to give up and collaborates with his foster father Gao Qiu and servant Lu Qian to frame Lin Chong. Lin is sentenced to exile and he divorces his wife before leaving to allow her to have a chance to marry again. Mrs Lin remains faithful to her husband and she hangs herself after Gao Qiu repeatedly pressures her to marry his foster son.
- Jin'er (traditional Chinese: 錦兒; simplified Chinese: 锦儿; pinyin: Jǐn'ér) is a maid in Lin Chong's household.
- Instructor Zhang (traditional Chinese: 張教頭; simplified Chinese: 张教头; pinyin: Zhāng Jiàotóu) is Lin Chong's father-in-law. He is also a martial arts instructor of the Imperial Guards.
- Gao Yanei1 (Chinese: 高衙內; pinyin: Gāo Yánèi) is Gao Qiu's lecherous foster son, who is nicknamed "Tai Sui of Flowers" (traditional Chinese: 花花太歲; simplified Chinese: 花花太岁; pinyin: Huāhuā Tàisuì). He lusts for Lin Chong's wife so much that he enlists the help of Lu Qian and Fu'an to lure her into a trap. In the plan, Lu Qian pretends to invite Lin Chong out for drinks, while Fu'an goes to Lin's house and tells Mrs Lin that her husband has fallen unconscious after drinking. Mrs Lin follows Fu'an to find her husband but is tricked into entering Lu Qian's house, where Yanei is waiting. Yanei attempts to force himself on Mrs Lin but she puts up resistance. In the meantime, Lin Chong's maid Jin'er escapes to inform her master, and Lin rushes to Lu Qian's house to save his wife, while Yanei escapes after his failed plan. Yanei falls ill due to his obsession with Mrs Lin, so Fu'an and Lu Qian conceive a plan to eliminate Lin Chong first so that Yanei can seize Lin's wife. In the scheme, Lin is lured to Gao Qiu's residence after being told that the marshal wanted to see a new saber he had purchased. The saber was purposely sold to Lin on Gao's instruction. However, Lin is instead tricked into entering the White Tiger Hall, a place where high-ranking military officers hold important meetings, and where weapons are not permitted. Lin is arrested and placed on trial for "attempted assassination of a government official in the White Tiger Hall". Gao Qiu tries to pressure the prefect of Kaifeng to put Lin Chong to death but the prefect sentences Lin to exile in Cangzhou instead.
1Note that "Yanei" is not Gao Yanei's personal name. "Yanei" was a term used in the Song dynasty to refer to the sons of high-ranking government officials.
- Lu Qian (traditional Chinese: 陸謙; simplified Chinese: 陆谦; pinyin: Lù Qiān) is an old friend of Lin Chong. When Lin Chong first met him, he was still roaming the streets of Kaifeng, so Lin took pity on him and helped him find a job. Lu becomes a yuhou (虞侯)2 under Gao Qiu. He repays Lin Chong's kindness with evil by collaborating with Gao Qiu and Gao Yanei to frame Lin and cause the latter to be sentenced to exile in Cangzhou. He is sent by Gao Qiu to Cangzhou to bribe the officials there to kill Lin. The plan fails and Lu is slain by Lin after setting fire to the fodder depot.
2A "yuhou" was a servant of a high-ranking government official in the Song dynasty.
- Fu'an (Chinese: 富安; pinyin: Fù'ān), nicknamed "Bird Head" (traditional Chinese: 乾鳥頭; simplified Chinese: 干鸟头; pinyin: Gàn Niǎo Tóu), is one of Gao Yanei's close associates. He travels to Cangzhou with Lu Qian to kill Lin Chong at the fodder depot. They fail in their plan and end up being killed by Lin.
- Sun Ding (traditional Chinese: 孫定; simplified Chinese: 孙定; pinyin: Sūn Dìng) is a court clerk (孔目) involved in Lin Chong's case and an advisor to Prefect Teng. He is a righteous man and is nicknamed "Buddha Sun" (traditional Chinese: 孫佛兒; simplified Chinese: 孙佛儿; pinyin: Sūn Fó'ěr) for his kindness and willingness to help people. He reminds the prefect that he should not give in to pressure from Gao Qiu to put Lin Chong to death and helps to mitigate Lin's sentence.
- Dong Chao (Chinese: 董超; pinyin: Dǒng Chāo) and Xue Ba (Chinese: 薛霸; pinyin: Xuē Bà) are the guards tasked with escorting Lin Chong to Cangzhou. They have been bribed by Gao Qiu to kill Lin along the way. They mistreat and abuse Lin Chong throughout the journey, including scalding Lin's feet with boiling water at one point. When they arrive in the desolate Wild Boar Woods, they attempt to kill Lin there but Lu Zhishen appears and saves Lin. Lu Zhishen wants to kill them but Lin stops him and insists on serving exile, so Lu forces the guards to take good care of Lin and see him safely to Cangzhou. Later, Dong Chao and Xue Ba are chosen to escort Lu Junyi to Shamen Island. They have also been bribed by Li Gu to kill Lu Junyi along the way and they treat Lu in the same way as they did to Lin Chong years ago. They are killed by Yan Qing when they are about to murder Lu.
- Instructor Hong (traditional Chinese: 洪教頭; simplified Chinese: 洪教头; pinyin: Hóng Jiàotóu) is a martial arts instructor in Chai Jin's residence. He is arrogant and behaves rudely towards Lin Chong, whom he sees as an inferior convict. He challenges Lin to a fight and leaves in shame after being defeated by Lin.
- Wang Lun (traditional Chinese: 王倫; simplified Chinese: 王伦; pinyin: Wáng Lún) is the first chief of Liangshan. He is described to be a selfish man who is unwilling to accept others who are better than him for fear that they might usurp his position as chief. However, he does invite Yang Zhi to join his band as soon as they are introduced, albeit without sincerity. Wang Lun initially tries to send away Lin Chong, but eventually backs down and allows Lin to stay at Liangshan. When Chao Gai's group is asked to leave, Lin Chong, who has been instigated by Wu Yong, reacts angrily and stabs Wang through the heart with his sword.
Chai Jin's story
- Gao Lian (Chinese: 高廉; pinyin: Gāo Lián) is Gao Qiu's cousin and the corrupt governor of Gaotangzhou (around present-day Gaotang County, Shandong). His relative, Yin Tianxi, bullies Chai Jin's uncle and tried to seize the Chai residence but ends up being killed by Li Kui. Gao is furious and he holds Chai Jin responsible and imprisons him. The Liangshan heroes attack Gaotangzhou to rescue Chai Jin but are held off by Gao's black magic. They defeat Gao eventually when Gongsun Sheng arrives and breaks his dark magic. He is slain by Lei Heng after falling off his magic cloud while attempting to flee.
- Yin Tianxi (traditional Chinese: 殷天錫; simplified Chinese: 殷天锡; pinyin: Yīn Tiānxī) is Gao Lian's relative. He bullies the people by abusing the privileges from his relations with Gao. Once, he tries to take over Chai Jin's residence and severely beats up Chai's elderly uncle, who eventually died from his injuries. Chai confronts him but Yin shows disrespect and is killed by Li Kui in anger.
- Yu Zhi (Chinese: 于直; pinyin: Yú Zhí), Wen Wenbao (traditional Chinese: 溫文寶; simplified Chinese: 温文宝; pinyin: Wēn Wénbǎo) and Xue Yuanhui (traditional Chinese: 薛元輝; simplified Chinese: 薛元辉; pinyin: Xuē Yuánhuī) are three generals serving under Gao Lian in Gaotangzhou. They are slain in battle by Lin Chong, Qin Ming and Hua Rong respectively.
Lu Zhishen's story
- Jin Cuilian (traditional Chinese: 金翠蓮; simplified Chinese: 金翠莲; pinyin: Jīn Cuìlián) is a young woman who is bullied by Butcher Zheng. Zheng is attracted by her beauty and wants to make her his concubine. After she enters Zheng's household, Zheng's wife dislikes her and drives her away. Zheng is known to be afraid of his fierce wife so he has no choice but to agree. He forces Jin and her father to compensate him for his "losses" but Jin and her father are too poor to afford that sum of money. Zheng does not allow them to leave so Jin and her father have to try to accumulate money by street-performing in order to pay the "debt". Once, Jin cries over her plight and draws the attention of Lu Zhishen (then known as Major Lu Da). After listening to her plight, Lu is furious and he goes to confront Zheng and ends up killing the latter in a fit of anger. Jin and her father flee from town after that incident and are eventually taken in by the kindly Squire Zhao.
- Butcher Zheng (traditional Chinese: 鄭屠夫; simplified Chinese: 郑屠夫; pinyin: Zhèng Túfū) is a butcher from Weizhou (southwest of present-day Yongshun County, Hunan) who abuses his wealth by bullying the poor. He nicknames himself "Suppressor of the West" (traditional Chinese: 鎮關西; simplified Chinese: 镇关西; pinyin: Zhèn Guānxī). He attempts to force Jin Cuilian to marry him but fails. He forces Jin and her father to compensate him for his "losses". When Lu Zhishen hears about it, he goes to confront Zheng and ends up killing the latter with just three punches to the head.
- Squire Zhao (traditional Chinese: 趙員外; simplified Chinese: 赵员外; pinyin: Zhào Yuánwài) is a wealthy squire who marries Jin Cuilian through matchmaking shortly after Jin and her father escape from Weizhou. Jin's father meets Lu Da, who is on the run from the law after killing Butcher Zheng, and brings him to his son-in-law's house. Zhao enjoys befriending jianghu figures and he does not hesitate in accepting Lu Da. Zhao recommends Lu Da to the monastery on Mount Wutai to become a monk through his friendship with the abbot.
- Elder Zhizhen (traditional Chinese: 智真長老; simplified Chinese: 智真长老; pinyin: Zhìzhēn Zhánglǎo) is the abbot of Wenshu Monastery on Mount Wutai. He is a close friend of Squire Zhao.
- Squire Liu (traditional Chinese: 劉太公; simplified Chinese: 刘太公; pinyin: Líu Tàigōng) is the master of Peach Blossom Manor. His daughter attracts the attention of the bandit chief Zhou Tong from the nearby Mount Peach Blossom. Zhou forces Liu's daughter to marry him. Lu Zhishen is staying with the Lius then and he decides to help them. He beats up Zhou in the dark and the latter escapes back to his stronghold. Li Zhong comes to Zhou's aid but he stops when he recognises Lu Zhishen. Li Zhong persuades Zhou Tong to give up marrying Squire Liu's daughter.
- Cui Daocheng (Chinese: 崔道成; pinyin: Cuī Dàochéng) and Qiu Xiaoyi (Chinese: 邱小乙; pinyin: Qīu Xiǎoyì) are two bandits who disguise themselves as religious men (a Buddhist monk and a Taoist priest respectively). They are nicknamed "Living Iron Buddha" (traditional Chinese: 生鐵佛; simplified Chinese: 生铁佛; pinyin: Shēngtiě Fó) and "Sky Flying Yaksha" (traditional Chinese: 飛天夜叉; simplified Chinese: 飞天夜叉; pinyin: Fēitiān Yèchā) respectively. They raze a temple to the ground and drive away most of its occupants, except for a few elderly monks. Lu Zhishen passes by the temple on his journey to Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng) and asks the monks there for food. The monks warn him about Cui and Qiu, and Lu is unaware of their wicked intentions initially and almost deceived by them. Lu loses to the thugs the first time he fights with them because he is weakened by hunger. He escapes and encounters Shi Jin in a nearby forest. Shi gives him food and helps him defeat and slay the two bandits.
- Elder Zhiqing (traditional Chinese: 智清長老; simplified Chinese: 智清长老; pinyin: Zhìqīng Zhánglǎo) is the abbot of Daxiangguo Temple in Dongjing. He is Elder Zhizhen's junior.
- Zhang San (traditional Chinese: 張三; simplified Chinese: 张三; pinyin: Zhāng Sān) and Li Si (Chinese: 李四; pinyin: Lǐ Sì) are nicknamed "Street Crossing Rat" (traditional Chinese: 過街老鼠; simplified Chinese: 过街老鼠; pinyin: Guòjiē Láoshǔ) and "Green Grass Snake" (Chinese: 青草蛇; pinyin: Qīngcǎo Shé) respectively. They lead a group of 20-30 street hooligans in Dongjing. The gang depends on stealing vegetables from the garden in Daxiangguo Temple for a living. When Lu Zhishen first moved in as the new caretaker of the garden, the hooligans attempt to bully him into allowing them to take the vegetables freely, but Lu overpowers them and throws them into a pit of faeces. The hooligans are awed by Lu Zhishen's strength and decide to become his followers.
- Deng Long (traditional Chinese: 鄧龍; simplified Chinese: 邓龙; pinyin: Dèng Lóng) is the chief of a bandit gang on Mount Twin Dragons. He is killed by Lu Zhishen, Yang Zhi and Cao Zheng, who seize control of his stronghold.
Wu Song's story
- Wu Dalang (Chinese: 武大郎; pinyin: Wǔ Dàláng) is Wu Song's elder brother. He is nicknamed "Three-cun Nail" (traditional Chinese: 三寸釘; simplified Chinese: 三寸钉; pinyin: Sāncùn Dīng) for his short stature and ugly appearance. He is murdered by Pan Jinlian and Ximen Qing.
- Pan Jinlian (traditional Chinese: 潘金蓮; simplified Chinese: 潘金莲; pinyin: Pān Jīnlián) is Wu Dalang's wife. Once, she accidentally causes a window holder to fall off from the second floor and hit Ximen Qing, who is walking past downstairs. Ximen Qing looks up and is stunned and entranced by Pan Jinlian's beauty. With help from Granny Wang, a witty and ruthless neighbour, the pair gets together in a series of clandestine meetings. When Wu Dalang catches them in bed, Ximen kicks him in the chest and causes him to be bedridden. Out of fear that Wu Dalang might tell his brother about their affair, the adulterous couple, assisted with Granny Wang, murder Wu Dalang by poisoning his medicine. Pan even hastens her husband's death by smothering the latter with a blanket while he is struggling under the effect of poison. Pan is killed by Wu Song later after he forces a confession out of her.
- Ximen Qing (traditional Chinese: 西門慶; simplified Chinese: 西门庆; pinyin: Xīmén Qìng) is a rich and influential merchant in Yanggu County. He has an affair with Pan Jinlian and they murder Wu Dalang together with Granny Wang's help. Wu Song confronts him at Lion Tower later and kills him after a vicious fight.
- Granny Wang (Chinese: 王婆; pinyin: Wáng Pó) is Wu Dalang's neighbour, who runs a teahouse just opposite Wu's house. She aids Pan Jinlian and Ximen Qing in their affair and plays a role in Wu Dalang's murder. Wu Song brings her to the county office after obtaining the confessions of the murder. She is convicted of abetting adultery and murder and is sentenced to execution by slow slicing.
- He Jiu (Chinese: 何九; pinyin: Hé Jǐu) is the coroner who inspects Wu Dalang's corpse. He knows that Wu Dalang was poisoned to death but he has been bribed by Ximen Qing so he remains silent. Haunted by his conscience, he keeps a blackened bone (suggesting that Wu Dalang was poisoned) from the cremated body as evidence. When approached by Wu Song later, he agrees to testify in court as a witness.
- Yun'ge (traditional Chinese: 鄆哥; simplified Chinese: 郓哥; pinyin: Yùn'gē) is a young street urchin who befriends Wu Dalang and makes a living by selling pears. He witnesses the adulterous affair of Pan Jinlian and Ximen Qing and tells Wu Dalang about it. He helps Wu Song by testifying as a witness in court.
- Inspector Zhang (traditional Chinese: 張督監; simplified Chinese: 张督监; pinyin: Zhāng Dūjiān) is a high-ranking official in Mengzhou. He collaborates with Jiang Zhong and Instructor Zhang to frame Wu Song for theft and has Wu sentenced to exile. He bribes the guards escorting Wu Song to kill him along the way but Wu kills them instead. Wu Song returns to take his revenge and kills Inspector Zhang at his residence along with his family.
- Instructor Zhang (traditional Chinese: 張團練; simplified Chinese: 张团练; pinyin: Zhāng Tuánliàn) is a close friend of Jiang Zhong. He collaborates with Jiang Zhong and Inspector Zhang to frame Wu Song for theft. They bribe the guards escorting Wu Song into exile to kill him along the way, but Wu Song survives and returns to take his revenge by killing the trio.
- Jiang Zhong (traditional Chinese: 蔣忠; simplified Chinese: 蒋忠; pinyin: Jiǎng Zhōng) is a hooligan nicknamed "Jiang the Door God" (traditional Chinese: 蔣門神; simplified Chinese: 蒋门神; pinyin: Jiǎng Mén Shén) for his big stature and fighting skills. He beats up Shi En and seizes Shi's restaurant for himself. Shi En enlists the help of Wu Song and Wu defeats Jiang Zhong in a fight. Wu Song demands that Jiang Zhong return the restaurant to Shi En and warns him never to return to Mengzhou. Jiang Zhong plots his revenge with Inspector Zhang and Instructor Zhang, and they frame Wu Song for theft. Wu Song survives the journey into exile and returns to take his revenge. Jiang Zhong is killed by Wu Song along with the Zhangs.
- Taoist Wang (Chinese: 王道人; pinyin: Wáng Dàorén), nicknamed "Flying Centipede" (traditional Chinese: 飛天蜈蚣; simplified Chinese: 飞天蜈蚣; pinyin: Fēitiān Wúgōng), is an evil Taoist priest living in a temple-cemetery at Centipede Ridge (蜈蚣嶺). He tries to rape a girl but is interrupted by Wu Song, who was passing by the temple on his journey to Mount Twin Dragons. Wu Song kills Wang, saves the girl, and burns down the temple.
Yang Zhi's story
- Niu Er (Chinese: 牛二; pinyin: Níu Èr), nicknamed "Hairless Tiger" (traditional Chinese: 沒毛大蟲; simplified Chinese: 没毛大虫; pinyin: Méimáo Dàchóng), is a hooligan in Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng) who has been bullying and terrorising the townsfolk. The authorities do not dare to arrest him because he has ties with the aristocracy. When Yang Zhi is selling his precious saber on the streets, he encounters Niu, who demands to test the weapon's special properties. Yang is desperate to sell the saber so he reluctantly obliges to Niu's demand. However, when Niu orders him to kill a man with the saber to prove that its blade will not be stained with blood, Yang refuses and attempts to leave. Niu tries to seize the saber by force but ends up being accidentally killed by Yang during the ensuing scuffle.
- Liang Shijie (traditional Chinese: 梁世傑; simplified Chinese: 梁世杰; pinyin: Liáng Shìjié), better known as Grand Secretary Liang (traditional Chinese: 梁中書; simplified Chinese: 梁中书; pinyin: Liáng Zhōngshū), is Cai Jing's son-in-law. He also serves as the governor of Daming Prefecture (in present-day Handan). When Yang Zhi is exiled to Daming for killing Niu Er, Liang intends to recruit Yang to serve under him, and he is further impressed with Yang after the latter demonstrates his skills in a military arts contest. Later, Liang puts Yang in charge of escorting a convoy of expensive birthday gifts to his father-in-law. However, the gifts are robbed by Chao Gai and his friends, who flee to Liangshan Marsh for refuge and form an outlaw band there. Yang Zhi becomes a fugitive after his failure and he eventually joins the outlaws too. Since then, Liang bears a grudge against the outlaws and he vents his anger on Lu Junyi later when the latter is accused of being in league with the outlaws.
- Li Cheng (Chinese: 李成; pinyin: Lǐ Chéng) and Wen Da (traditional Chinese: 聞達; simplified Chinese: 闻达; pinyin: Wén Dá) are two generals in Daming Prefecture serving under Grand Secretary Liang. They are defeated in the battle against the Liangshan outlaws.
Li Kui's story
- Li Gui (Chinese: 李鬼; pinyin: Lí Guǐ) is a man who impersonates Li Kui and robs passersby in the woods in Li Kui's name. He encounters the real Li Kui when the latter passed by the woods on his journey to fetch his mother to Liangshan. Li Gui is defeated by Li Kui and is placed at the mercy of the latter. However, Li Gui manages to fabricate a story to trick Li Kui into sparing his life. Li Gui later attempts to report Li Kui to the authorities and bring soldiers to arrest Li Kui, but Li Kui discovers the plot and he kills Li Gui.
- Li Gui's wife plots with her husband to capture Li Kui and obtain the bounty placed by the authorities on Li Kui's head. However, Li Kui overhears their conversation and bursts in and kills Li Gui, but Li Gui's wife escapes. She flees to Squire Cao's residence and hides there. Later, when Li Kui passes by Cao's manor after slaying four tigers, Li Gui's wife recognises him and informs Cao. She is killed by Li Kui when she is knocked out after drinking drugged wine from Zhu Gui and Zhu Fu.
- Squire Cao (Chinese: 曹太公; pinyin: Cáo Tàigōng) is a wealthy squire living in a town near Li Kui's home. He plots to capture Li Kui and hand him to the authorities for a reward after learning of Li Kui's true identity from Li Gui's wife. He pretends to be hospitable and sympathetic towards Li Kui and provides the latter with wine. The unsuspecting Li Kui indulges in alcohol to forget the sorrow of losing his mother. While Li Kui is drunk, Cao sends his servant to inform the local magistrate, who sends Li Yun and a group of soldiers to tie up Li Kui and bring him to the county office. Along the way, Zhu Gui and Zhu Fu pretend to offer food and wine to Li Yun's party. Li Yun and the others are knocked out after consuming the drugged wine, and the Zhus rescue Li Kui. Li Kui kills the unconscious Squire Cao in revenge.
- Taoist Luo (traditional Chinese: 羅真人; simplified Chinese: 罗真人; pinyin: Luó Zhēnrén) is a Taoist magician who taught Gongsun Sheng. When the Liangshan outlaws are attacking Gaotangzhou to rescue Chai Jin, they are held back by Gao Lian's dark magic, so Song Jiang sends Dai Zong and Li Kui to find Gongsun to help them. When Luo refuses to allow his student to leave with them, Li Kui sneaks up on Luo that night and kills the latter. The following day, Li Kui is shocked to see that Luo is alive and has no signs of injury. Luo agrees to allow Gongsun to leave with them.
Shi Jin's story
- Wang Jin (traditional Chinese: 王進; simplified Chinese: 王进; pinyin: Wáng Jìn) is a martial arts instructor of the 800,000 strong Imperial Guards. His father taught Gao Qiu a painful lesson when the latter was still a street ruffian. When Gao Qiu becomes an official later, he seeks revenge on Wang Jin. Wang Jin knows that Gao Qiu will not let him off so he flees together with his mother and comes to Shi Jin's home. He instructs Shi Jin in martial arts.
- Wang Sheng (traditional Chinese: 王昇; simplified Chinese: 王升; pinyin: Wáng Shēng) is Wang Jin's father. He was also a martial arts instructor.
- Squire Shi (Chinese: 史太公; pinyin: Shǐ Tàigōng) is Shi Jin's father. He dies of illness not long after Wang Jin left the Shi manor.
- Wang Si (Chinese: 王四; pinyin: Wáng Sì) is a servant in Shi Jin's household. He has a glib tongue and knows how to tackle all kinds of situations, hence he is nicknamed "As good as Bodang" (traditional Chinese: 賽伯當; simplified Chinese: 赛伯当; pinyin: Sài Bódāng). Shi Jin often sends him to pass messages to the bandit leaders on Mount Shaohua. Once, he becomes drunk on his way home from the bandits' stronghold and falls asleep under a tree. The hunter Li Ji passes by, discovers a letter from the bandits addressed to Shi, and brings it to the government, accusing Shi of being in league with outlaws. After he recovers he realises that the letter is missing but does not sound the alarm. When the government sends soldiers to arrest Shi, he confesses to his master about losing the letter. Shi brings him to the backyard and kills him.
- Li Ji (Chinese: 李吉; pinyin: Lǐ Jí) is a hunter who reports Shi Jin to the government for being in league with the bandits on Mount Shaohua. Shi sets fire to his home and fights his way out. Li is killed by Shi during the chaos.
- Prefect He (traditional Chinese: 賀太守; simplified Chinese: 贺太守; pinyin: Hè Tàishǒu) is a corrupt official who seizes the daughter of a craftsman for himself. Shi Jin breaks into his residence to assassinate him and rescue the girl but fails and is captured. Lu Zhishen attempts to rescue Shi Jin but fails as well and is captured too. Later, Song Jiang impersonates Marshal Su Yuanjing and lures Prefect He out of the city to pay his respect. When Prefect He comes out, he is killed by the Liangshan outlaws, who then break into the city to rescue Shi Jin and Lu Zhishen.
- Wang Yi (traditional Chinese: 王義; simplified Chinese: 王义; pinyin: Wáng Yì) is a craftsman. His daughter catches the eye of Prefect He, who seizes her for himself. Shi Jin hears about it and wants to help him rescue his daughter but fails and ends up being captured.
- Li Ruilan (traditional Chinese: 李瑞蘭; simplified Chinese: 李瑞兰; pinyin: Lǐ Ruìlán) is a prostitute from Dongping Prefecture and an old acquaintance of Shi Jin. Shi Jin volunteers to sneak into the city and work as a spy for Liangshan when they are attacking the city. He hides in the brothel where Li Ruilan stays but the pimp discovers him and reports him to the magistrate. Shi Jin is captured and imprisoned, but is saved after the outlaws conquer the city.
Lei Heng's story
- Bai Yuqiao (traditional Chinese: 白玉喬; simplified Chinese: 白玉乔; pinyin: Bái Yùqiáo) is Bai Xiuying's father. Lei Heng goes to watch their performance but forgets to bring any money with him. The Bais pester Lei to pay up and insult him when he says he has no money. Lei beats up Bai Yuqiao in anger but is arrested later since Bai has connections with the corrupt officials.
- Bai Xiuying (Chinese: 白秀英; pinyin: Bái Xìuyīng) is a singer who insulted Lei Heng when he watched her performance without paying. Lei hits her father in anger and is arrested and put in chains. When Lei's mother goes to visit him, Bai insults her and slaps her. Lei cannot tolerate Bai's attitude towards his mother and kills her in anger by slamming his shackles on her.
Li Jun's story
- Fei Bao (traditional Chinese: 費保; simplified Chinese: 费保; pinyin: Fèi Bǎo), nicknamed "Red Whiskers Dragon" (traditional Chinese: 赤鬚龍; simplified Chinese: 赤须龙; pinyin: Chìxū Lóng).
- Ni Yun (traditional Chinese: 倪雲; simplified Chinese: 倪云; pinyin: Ní Yún), nicknamed "Curly Haired Tiger" (traditional Chinese: 捲毛虎; simplified Chinese: 卷毛虎; pinyin: Juǎnmáo Hǔ).
- Bu Qing (Chinese: 卜青; pinyin: Bǔ Qīng), nicknamed "Lake Tai Dragon" (Chinese: 太湖蛟; pinyin: Tàihú Jiāo).
- Di Cheng (Chinese: 狄成; pinyin: Dí Chéng), nicknamed "Narrow Faced Bear" (traditional Chinese: 瘦臉熊; simplified Chinese: 瘦脸熊; pinyin: Shòuliǎn Xíong).
Zhang Shun's story
- Zhang Wang (traditional Chinese: 張旺; simplified Chinese: 张旺) is a pirate who robs Zhang Shun while the latter is on a journey to find An Daoquan to cure Song Jiang. Zhang Wang ties up Zhang Shun and throws him into the river, but Zhang Shun manages to break his bonds and swim away. On the return journey, Zhang Shun encounters Zhang Wang again and he takes his revenge by tying up Zhang Wang and throwing him into the river.
- Li Qiaonu (Chinese: 李巧奴) is a prostitute and An Daoquan's lover. When Zhang Shun goes to find An to cure Song Jiang's illness, Li refuses to allow An to leave together with Zhang. Zhang attempts to force An to leave so he kills Li and writes "An Daoquan is the killer" on the wall near the crime scene to frame An. An has no choice but to leave with Zhang and become an outlaw.
Yang Xiong's story
- Pan Qiaoyun (traditional Chinese: 潘巧雲; simplified Chinese: 潘巧云; pinyin: Pān Qiǎoyún) is Yang Xiong's wife. She has an affair with Pei Ruhai and she accuses Shi Xiu of molesting her after he discovers their affair. Shi kills Pei and brings Pan to Cuiping Hill. On the hill, Yang Xiong interrogates her and forces a confession out of her before killing her.
- Pei Ruhai (Chinese: 裴如海; pinyin: Péi Rúhǎi) is a monk who has an adulterous affair with Pan Qiaoyun. He is killed by Shi Xiu.
- Ying'er (traditional Chinese: 迎兒; simplified Chinese: 迎儿; pinyin: Yíng'ěr) is Pan Qiaoyun's servant. She has been helping her mistress cover up her affair with Pei Ruhai. She is killed along with her mistress by Yang Xiong at Cuiping Hill.
Xie brothers' story
- Squire Mao (Chinese: 毛太公; pinyin: Máo Tàigōng) is a wealthy squire in Dengzhou (in present-day Shandong). The Xie brothers are sent to hunt down and kill a ferocious tiger. The tiger is wounded and rolls down the hill and lands in Mao's backyard. The Xies go to Mao's residence to claim the tiger but Mao has already sent his men with the dead tiger to the county office to collect his reward. Mao frames the Xies for attempting to rob him and bribes the magistrate to sentence them to death. The Xie brothers are later rescued by Gu Dasao, Sun Xin and others, and they return to take revenge on Mao by killing him and his family.
Zhu Family Village
- Zhu Chaofeng (Chinese: 祝朝奉; pinyin: Zhù Cháofèng) is the headman of the village. He has connections with the local government and abuses his authority and wealth by oppressing the people. He provokes Liangshan through insulting messages, proclaiming that he will destroy Liangshan and capture its leaders. His actions harden the outlaws' decision to attack his village. After the village falls, he tries to escape but runs into Shi Xiu, who beheads him on sight.
- Zhu Long (traditional Chinese: 祝龍; simplified Chinese: 祝龙; pinyin: Zhù Lóng) is Zhu Chaofeng's eldest son. He is killed by Lin Chong while attempting to escape after the village is taken by the outlaws.
- Zhu Hu (Chinese: 祝虎; pinyin: Zhù Hǔ) is Zhu Chaofeng's second son. He is killed by Lü Fang and Guo Sheng, who skewer him with their spears and drag him together with his steed to the ground.
- Zhu Biao (Chinese: 祝彪; pinyin: Zhù Biāo) is Zhu Chaofeng's youngest son. He was originally engaged to Hu Sanniang of the neighbouring Hu Family Village. After the Zhu Family Village falls, he flees to the Hus, hoping that he will be accepted. However, Hu Cheng binds him and sends him to Liangshan in exchange for his sister. Zhu Biao is killed by Li Kui while being escorted to the Liangshan camp.
- Luan Tingyu (Chinese: 栾廷玉; pinyin: Luán Tíngyù) is a martial arts instructor in the village and an advisor to Zhu Chaofeng. He was a classmate of Sun Li. Sun Li uses their relationship to infiltrate the village and work as a spy for Liangshan. Luan's eventual fate is not mentioned in the novel as he disappears after the village fell, but he is purportedly killed in battle.
- Old Man Zhongli (traditional Chinese: 鐘離老人; simplified Chinese: 钟离老人; pinyin: Zhōnglí Lǎorén) is an old man who instructs Shi Xiu on how to exit the labyrinthine village. Shi rescues him later when the village falls to the outlaws.
Zeng Family Fortress
- Zeng Nong (Chinese: 曾弄; pinyin: Zēng Nòng) is the headman of the fortress. He was originally at odds with Liangshan but regrets after losing two of his sons. He tries to reconcile and come to a truce with Liangshan but fails. He hangs himself after the fortress is captured by the outlaws.
- Zeng Tu (Chinese: 曾涂; pinyin: Zēng Tú) is Zeng Nong's eldest son. He fights with Lü Fang and Guo Sheng and tries to kill them when their spears become entangled. Hua Rong wounds him with an arrow and Lü and Guo seize the opportunity to spear him together after he is down.
- Zeng Mi (Chinese: 曾密; pinyin: Zēng Mì) is Zeng Nong's second son. He is killed by Zhu Tong when the outlaws overrun the fortress.
- Zeng Suo (Chinese: 曾索; pinyin: Zēng Suǒ) is Zeng Nong's third son. He is killed in an ambush while attempting to launch a sneak attack on the Liangshan camp.
- Zeng Kui (Chinese: 曾魁; pinyin: Zēng Kuí) is Zeng Nong's fourth son. He is killed by Lu Zhishen and Wu Song when the fortress is overrun by the outlaws.
- Zeng Sheng (Chinese: 曾升; pinyin: Zēng Shēng) is Zeng Nong's youngest son. He is sent as a hostage to the Liangshan camp during the negotiations for a truce between Liangshan and the fortress. He is killed by the outlaws after the fortress falls.
- Shi Wengong (Chinese: 史文恭; pinyin: Shǐ Wéngōng) is a martial arts instructor in the fortress and an advisor to Zeng Nong. He is responsible for killing Liangshan's chief Chao Gai with a poisoned arrow and becomes a sworn enemy of Liangshan. "Whoever captures Shi Wengong will be the leader of Liangshan" were the dying words of Chao Gai. He is very skilled in battle, capable of battling multiple opponents at once. However, after the village has been taken by the outlaws, he is captured by Lu Junyi while attempting to escape. He is escorted back to Liangshan and executed as a sacrifice to Chao Gai. Some non-Water Margin sources claim that he is a student of the archer Zhou Tong, just like Liangshan's Lu Junyi, Lin Chong and Wu Song.
Song imperial court
- Emperor Huizong (Chinese: 宋徽宗; pinyin: Sòng Huīzōng), personal name Zhao Ji (traditional Chinese: 趙佶; simplified Chinese: 赵佶; pinyin: Zhào Jí), is the ruler of the Song Empire. He was previously known as Prince Duan (Chinese: 端王; pinyin: Duān Wáng) before he became the emperor. He had a keen interest in the ball game qiqiu (氣毬) and got to know Gao Qiu through their common hobby.
- Hong Xin (Chinese: 洪信; pinyin: Hóng Xìn) was a Grand Marshal (太尉) sent by Emperor Renzong to seek Celestial Master Zhang to help them in combating a plague. After completing his mission and before returning to the capital, he visited the temple near where the Master resided and unsuspecting released 108 demons trapped in a secret chamber for centuries. The demons spread out throughout the land after their release and are incarnated as the 108 Liangshan heroes in Emperor Huizong's time. As if Hong Xin's actions were predestined, a stone tablet that stood on the location where the demons were imprisoned had the words "Opens when Hong arrives" (遇洪而開) carved on it.
- "Little Su the Scholar" (traditional Chinese: 小蘇學士; simplified Chinese: 小苏学士; pinyin: Xiǎo Sū Xuéshì) is an imperial academic who recommended Gao Qiu to Wang Shen. His true identity is not specified and has been a topic for debate. Some people believe him to be Su Shi (Su Dongpo) or a member of Su Shi's family.
- Wang Shen (traditional Chinese: 王詵; simplified Chinese: 王诜; pinyin: Wáng Shēn) is a prince consort who married a younger sister of Emperor Zhezong. He is referred to as Wang Jinqing (Chinese: 王晉卿; pinyin: Wáng Jìnqīng) in the novel. Before Gao Qiu rose to power, he was briefly a servant in Wang's residence. Once, Wang tasked him with sending gifts to Prince Duan and Gao Qiu interrupted the prince's qiqiu game by coincidence. The prince is impressed with Gao Qiu's skill and asks Wang to allow Gao to serve him, and Wang agrees.
- Su Yuanjing (Chinese: 宿元景; pinyin: Sù Yuánjǐng) is a Grand Marshal. He is known to be an honest and incorrupt official. Song Jiang wishes to convey his and the Liangshan heroes' grievances of being forced to become outlaws due to the corruption in the government, as well as express their desire to serve the imperial court. Song approaches Su for help and the latter agrees. Su succeeds in persuading Emperor Huizong to grant the outlaws amnesty and he spoke up for them in front of the emperor on several occasions. He is sent by the emperor to grant amnesty to the outlaws for the second time after the first attempt by Chen Zongshan failed.
- Chen Zongshan (traditional Chinese: 陳宗善; simplified Chinese: 陈宗善; pinyin: Chén Zōngshàn) is a Grand Marshal sent by Emperor Huizong to grant amnesty to the Liangshan outlaws for the first time. However, his mission turns out to be a failure because the majority of the outlaws are reluctant to accept amnesty, and Li Kui tears up the imperial decree.
- Liu Menglong (traditional Chinese: 劉夢龍; simplified Chinese: 刘梦龙; pinyin: Líu Mènglóng) is a general who specialises in naval warfare. He is appointed by Gao Qiu to lead the imperial navy to attack Liangshan Marsh. His complacency results in him falling into an ambush in the marsh, where his entire fleet is destroyed and he is captured by the outlaws. He is sent back to Gao Qiu after his defeat and promptly executed on Gao's orders for his failure.
- Celestial Master Zhang (traditional Chinese: 張天師; simplified Chinese: 张天师; pinyin: Zhāng Tiānshī), also known as Celestial Master Xujing (traditional Chinese: 虛靖天師; simplified Chinese: 虚靖天师; pinyin: Xūjìng Tiānshī), was a Taoist sage and an heir to Zhang Daoling. Emperor Shenzong sent Hong Xin in search of him to help in combating a plague. Hong reached Mount Dragon Tiger (龍虎山) in Xinzhou (信州), Jiangxi, where the Master resided. The priests at the temple told Hong that he must travel up the mountain alone to find the Master as a test of his courage and faith. Hong met a cowherd boy, who told him that the Master already knew about the plague and was on his way to the capital. Upon returning to the temple, the priests told Hong that the boy he met was actually the Master.
- Master Dongxuan (traditional Chinese: 洞玄國師; simplified Chinese: 洞玄国师; pinyin: Dòngxuán Guóshī) was a Taoist magician who lived during the Tang dynasty. He was the one who subdued the 108 demons and imprisoned them in a secret chamber in the temple on Mount Dragon Tiger. Centuries later, the demons were released accidentally by Hong Xin and were later reincarnated as the 108 Liangshan heroes.
- Liu Shiquan (traditional Chinese: 柳世權; simplified Chinese: 柳世权; pinyin: Lǐu Shìquán) is a man who runs a gambling house. He likes to accept idlers and provide them with food and lodging. He lets Gao Qiu stay with him when the latter was still wandering the streets. He later sends Gao Qiu to his relative Dong Jiangshi.
- Dong Jiangshi (traditional Chinese: 董將士; simplified Chinese: 董将士; pinyin: Dǒng Jiàngshì) is Liu Shiquan's relative, who runs a pharmacy near the Jinliang Bridge in Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng). He accepts Gao Qiu and lets the latter stay with him for a while, but does not really like him. He is afraid that Gao Qiu might have a negative influence on his children so he sends Gao away to "Little Su the Scholar"'s residence.
- Hu Cheng (Chinese: 扈成; pinyin: Hù Chéng) is Hu Sanniang's elder brother. He pleads with the Liangshan heroes to release his sister after she is captured by them. Song Jiang agrees on the condition that Hu brings one of the three Zhu brothers in exchange for her. When Zhu Biao flees to Hu Cheng's village after his defeat, Hu has him bound and escorted to the Liangshan camp. Along the way, they meet Li Kui, who decapitates Zhu Biao after recognising him.
- Li Shishi (traditional Chinese: 李師師; simplified Chinese: 李师师; pinyin: Lǐ Shīshī) is a prostitute in the capital. Emperor Huizong is one of her regular clients. She helps the Liangshan heroes in obtaining amnesty from the emperor.
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