Shan Tinggui

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Shan Tinggui
Water Margin character
First appearance Chapter 67
Nickname "General of Sacred Water"
Rank 44th, Unique Star (地奇星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan
Origin Imperial drill instructor
Ancestral home / Place of origin Lingzhou (present-day Ling County, Dezhou, Shandong)
Weapon Black spear, bow and arrows
Simplified Chinese 单廷圭
Traditional Chinese 單廷珪
Pinyin Shàn Tíngguī
Wade–Giles Shan T'ing-kui

Shan Tinggui is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 44th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 8th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "General of Sacred Water".


Shan Tinggui dons a squarish helmet with a black feather at its peak and a suit of black armour. He rides on a black stallion and is armed with a black spear and a bow and arrows. An accomplished general and strategist, he serves in the imperial army as a drill instructor in his hometown, Lingzhou (凌州; present-day Ling County, Dezhou, Shandong), alongside his colleague Wei Dingguo. He specialises in water-based attacks, which include using the force of nature to flood and drown entire armies. His specialty earns him the nickname "General of Sacred Water".

Becoming an outlaw[edit]

After the imperial general Guan Sheng defects to the outlaw band at Liangshan Marsh, the Imperial Tutor Cai Jing recommends Shan Tinggui and Wei Dingguo to Emperor Huizong to lead the imperial army to eliminate the outlaws. When the outlaws receive news of the attack, Guan Sheng volunteers to lead an army with Xuan Zan and Hao Siwen to engage the enemy. At Lingzhou, Hao Siwen and Xuan Zan are lured into the enemy formation by Shan Tinggui and Wei Dingguo respectively and captured. Hao Siwen and Xuan Zan are escorted as prisoners of war back to Daming Prefecture (大名府; in present-day Handan, Hebei). Along the way, the bandits from Mount Deadwood (枯樹山), led by Bao Xu and Li Kui, attack the convoy and free the captives.

Guan Sheng challenges Shan Tinggui to a fight outside Lingzhou. Guan Sheng feigns defeat and retreats to lure Shan Tinggui to follow him. He turns around suddenly and knocks Shan Tinggui off his steed with a surprise attack. Shan Tinggui is captured and escorted back to Liangshan. Liangshan's chief, Song Jiang, treats Shan Tinggui with respect and succeeds in persuading Shan to join the outlaw band. Shan Tinggui returns to Lingzhou and successfully convinces Wei Dingguo to join Liangshan as well.

Campaigns and death[edit]

Shan Tinggui becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry 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 Fang La, Shan Tinggui and Wei Dingguo accompany Lu Junyi's army and aid the Liangshan forces in their conquests of Fang La's cities Xuanzhou (宣州; around present-day Xuanzhou District, Xuancheng, Anhui) and Huzhou. They are later assigned to lead the attack on Shezhou (歙州; present-day She County, Huangshan City, Anhui). They see that the city gates are wide open with no enemies in sight. In their eagerness to earn the top credit for victory, they lead their troops into the city without suspecting that it might be a trap. They fall into a hidden pit and are killed by enemy soldiers lying in ambush.