List of Water Margin characters

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The following is a list of characters in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.

108 Stars of Destiny[edit]

The 108 Stars of Destiny 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" (宿星; sù xīng), the 108 Stars of Destiny are stars representing 108 demonic overlords who were banished by the deity Shangdi. Having repented since their expulsion, the 108 Stars are accidentally released from their place of confinement, and are reborn in the world as 108 heroes who band together for the cause of justice.

Chao Gai's story[edit]

  • He Tao (何濤; 何涛; Hé Tāo) is the chief constable tasked with arresting Chao Gai and his six companions after they robbed the convoy of birthday gifts for Cai Jing, the corrupt Imperial Tutor. While leading a group of soldiers to Liangshan Marsh in pursuit of the seven men, he falls into an ambush and suffers a disastrous defeat. The seven men also capture him alive. Ruan Xiaoqi cuts off one of his ears before releasing him to allow him to bring the news of his defeat back to the government officials.
  • He Qing (何清; Hé Qīng) is He Tao's younger brother. By chance, he happens to be near Yellow Soil Ridge the day before Chao Gai and his six companions rob the convoy of birthday gifts. Although he does not know them personally, he recognises Chao Gai as the headman of Dongxi Village. Later, when He Tao is investigating the robbery, He Qing provides him with a lead by saying that he saw Chao Gai and six others interacting suspiciously with Bai Sheng the day before the robbery. Using this information, He Tao tracks down and arrests Bai Sheng, finds part of the loot in Bai Sheng's house, and confirms that Chao Gai is one of the robbers.
  • Huang An (黃安; 黄安; Huáng Ān) is a military officer ordered to lead another group of soldiers to attack Liangshan after He Tao's failed attempt to arrest Chao Gai and his friends. The Liangshan outlaws defeat him and his men in battle. Liangshan's Liu Tang kills Huang An when the latter is trying to escape after his defeat.

Song Jiang's story[edit]

  • Yan Poxi (閻婆惜; 阎婆惜; Yán Póxī) is Song Jiang's concubine. Her mother persuades an initially reluctant Song to marry the 18-year-old Yan after he paid the funeral costs for Yan's deceased father. Yan gradually comes to detest Song and has a secret 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 collaborating with the outlaws unless Song agrees to three conditions. First, she wants Song to allow her to marry Zhang Wenyuan. Second, she is to retain all the clothing, ornaments and property 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 becomes furious and stabs her to death. He then burns the letter and flees to evade arrest.
  • Zhang Wenyuan (張文遠; 张文远; 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 (時文彬; 时文彬; Shí Wénbīn) is the magistrate of Yuncheng County.
  • Liu Gao (劉高; 刘高; Liú 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 kidnapping her. Liu Gao believes his wife and orders his men to arrest and imprison Song. He is killed along with his family after the outlaws break into the fort to rescue Song.
  • Murong Yanda (慕容彥達; 慕容彦达; Mùróng Yàndá) is the governor of Qingzhou (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 bandits 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 (蔡九; Cài Jiǔ) is the governor of Jiangzhou (present-day Jiujiang, Jiangxi) 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 (黃文炳; 黄文炳; 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[edit]

  • Li Gu (李固; 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 (賈氏; 贾氏; 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[edit]

  • 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. Unwilling to give up on Lin's wife, he collaborates with Lu Qian to frame Lin Chong for attempting to assassinate Gao Qiu. After Lin is sentenced to exile, he divorces his wife to allow her to have a chance to marry again. Lin's wife remains faithful to her husband and hangs herself after Gao Qiu repeatedly pressures her to marry his foster son.
  • Jin'er (錦兒; 锦儿; Jǐn'ér) is a maid in Lin Chong's household.
  • Instructor Zhang (張教頭; 张教头; Zhāng Jiàotóu) is Lin Chong's father-in-law. He is also a martial arts instructor of the Imperial Guards.
  • Gao Yanei1 (高衙內; Gāo Yánèi) is Gao Qiu's lecherous foster son, who is nicknamed "Tai Sui of Flowers" (花花太歲). 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 Lin's wife that her husband has fallen unconscious after drinking. Lin's wife 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 Lin's wife but she puts up resistance. In the meantime, Jin'er escapes and informs her master. Lin rushes to Lu Qian's house to save his wife, while Yanei flees. Yanei falls ill due to his obsession with Lin's wife, 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 Grand Marshal wanted to see a new sabre he had purchased. The sabre 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 officials hold important meetings; weapons are not permitted inside. Lin is arrested and placed on trial for "attempting to assassinate an 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 (陸謙; 陆谦; 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 (富安; Fù'ān), nicknamed "Bird Head" (乾鳥頭), 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.
  • Prefect Teng (滕府尹; Téng Fúyǐn) is the prefect of Kaifeng.
  • Sun Ding (孫定; 孙定; Sūn Dìng) is a kongmu (孔目; court clerk) involved in Lin Chong's case and an advisor to Prefect Teng. He is a righteous man and is nicknamed "Buddha Sun" (孫佛兒) 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 (董超; Dǒng Chāo) and Xue Ba (薛霸; 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. When they arrive in the desolate Wild Boar Woods, they attempt to kill Lin 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 (洪教頭; 洪教头; 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 (王倫; 王伦; 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[edit]

  • Gao Lian (高廉; Gāo Lián) is Gao Qiu's cousin and the corrupt governor of Gaotangzhou (around present-day Gaotang County, Shandong) and a skilled sorcerer. Yin Tianxi bullies Chai Jin's uncle and tries to seize the Chai family residence for himself 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 dark magic. They defeat Gao eventually when Gongsun Sheng arrives and breaks his dark magic. He is slain by Lei Heng after falling off his magical cloud while attempting to flee.
  • Yin Tianxi (殷天錫; 殷天锡; 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 the Chai family residence and beats up Chai's elderly uncle, who eventually died from his injuries. Chai Jin, accompanied by Li Kui, goes to confront him. When Yin insults Chai, Li Kui is so overwhelmed by anger that he kills Yin.
  • Yu Zhi (于直; Yú Zhí), Wen Wenbao (溫文寶; 温文宝; Wēn Wénbǎo) and Xue Yuanhui (薛元輝; 薛元辉; 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[edit]

  • Jin Cuilian (金翠蓮; 金翠莲; Jīn Cuìlián) is a young woman bullied by Butcher Zheng. Zheng is attracted by her beauty and wants to make her his concubine. After she enters the Zheng household, Zheng's wife dislikes her and pressures her husband to make Jin leave. Zheng 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 unknowingly attracts the attention of Lu Zhishen (then known as Major Lu Da). After hearing her story, Lu is so furious that he goes to confront Zheng and ends up killing him in anger. Jin and her father flee from town after that incident and are eventually given shelter by the kindly Squire Zhao.
  • Butcher Zheng (鄭屠夫; 郑屠夫; 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" (鎮關西). 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 him with just three punches to the head.
  • Squire Zhao (趙員外; 赵员外; 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 Zhao's house. Zhao enjoys befriending jianghu figures and immediately welcomes Lu Da. He recommends Lu Da to become a monk in Manjusri Monastery through his friendship with the abbot.
  • Elder Zhizhen (智真長老; 智真长老; Zhìzhēn Zhánglǎo) is the abbot of Manjusri Monastery on Mount Wutai. He is a close friend of Squire Zhao.
  • Squire Liu (劉太公; 刘太公; Líu Tàigōng) is the master of Peach Blossom Manor. His daughter attracts the attention of the bandit chief Zhou Tong from Mount Peach Blossom. Zhou forces Liu's daughter to marry him. Lu Zhishen, who was spending a night at the manor during his journey to Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng), hears about the Lius' problem with Zhou Tong and decides to help them. He ambushes Zhou in the dark and beats him up. Zhou escapes and tells Li Zhong about it. Zhou and Li then bring along their bandit followers to the manor to confront the monk. Li is surprised when he recognises Lu, whom he had met and befriended earlier. The conflict is resolved when Li manages to persuade Zhou to give up on Squire Liu's daughter and stop harassing the Lius.
  • Cui Daocheng (崔道成; Cuī Dàochéng) and Qiu Xiaoyi (邱小乙; Qīu Xiǎoyì) are two bandits who disguise themselves as a Buddhist monk and Taoist priest respectively. They are nicknamed "Living Iron Buddha" (生鐵佛) and "Sky Flying Yaksha" (飛天夜叉) 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 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 (智清長老; 智清长老; Zhìqīng Zhánglǎo) is the abbot of Daxiangguo Temple in Dongjing. He is Elder Zhizhen's junior.
  • Zhang San (張三; 张三; Zhāng Sān) and Li Si (李四; Lǐ Sì) are nicknamed "Street Crossing Rat" (過街老鼠) and "Green Grass Snake" (青草蛇) 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 (鄧龍; 邓龙; 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[edit]

  • Wu Dalang (武大郎; Wǔ Dàláng) is Wu Song's elder brother. He is nicknamed "Three-cun Nail" (三寸釘) for his short stature and ugly appearance. He is murdered by Pan Jinlian and Ximen Qing.
  • Pan Jinlian (潘金蓮; 潘金莲; 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 abdomen and causes him to be bedridden. Out of fear that Wu Dalang might tell his brother about their affair, Ximen and Pan murder Wu Dalang by poisoning his medicine. Pan even hastens her husband's death by smothering him with a blanket while he is struggling under the effects of poison. Pan is killed by Wu Song later after he forces a confession out of her.
  • Ximen Qing (西門慶; 西门庆; 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 (王婆; 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 (何九; Hé Jiú) 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 secretly keeps a blackened bone from the cremated body as evidence. When approached by Wu Song later, he agrees to testify in court as a witness.
  • Yun'ge (鄆哥; 郓哥; 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 (張督監; 张督监; 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 (張團練; 张团练; 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.
  • Jiang Zhong (蔣忠; 蒋忠; Jiǎng Zhōng) is a hooligan nicknamed "Jiang the Door God" (蔣門神) 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 (王道人; Wáng Dàorén), nicknamed "Flying Centipede" (飛天蜈蚣), 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[edit]

  • Niu Er (牛二; Níu Èr), nicknamed "Hairless Tiger" (沒毛大蟲), is a hooligan in Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng). He bullies and terrorises the townsfolk. The local authorities do not dare to interfere because Niu has connections with the aristocracy. When Yang Zhi is selling his sabre on the streets, he encounters Niu, who demands to test the weapon's special properties. Yang is desperate to sell the sabre so he reluctantly agrees to Niu's demand. However, when Niu orders him to kill a man with the sabre to prove that its blade will not be stained with blood, Yang refuses and attempts to leave. Niu tries to seize the sabre by force but ends up being accidentally killed by Yang during the ensuing scuffle.
  • Liang Shijie (梁世傑; 梁世杰; Liáng Shìjié), better known as Grand Secretary Liang (梁中書; 梁中书; 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 Prefecture 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 (李成; Lǐ Chéng) and Wen Da (聞達; 闻达; 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[edit]

  • Li Gui (李鬼; 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. After being defeated by Li Kui in a fight, Li Gui lies to Li Kui and tricks him into sparing his life. Later, he attempts to report Li Kui to the authorities and bring soldiers to arrest Li Kui, but Li Kui discovers the plot and kills Li Gui.
  • Li Gui's wife plots with her husband to capture Li Kui and collect the bounty on Li Kui's head. However, Li Kui overhears their conversation 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 (曹太公; 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. 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 prison. 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 (羅真人; 罗真人; Luó Zhēnrén) is a Taoist magician and Gongsun Sheng's master. 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 apprentice to leave with them, Li Kui sneaks up on Luo that night and kills him. 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[edit]

  • Wang Jin (王進; 王进; Wáng Jìn) is a martial arts instructor of the Imperial Guards. His father taught Gao Qiu a painful lesson when Gao was still a street ruffian. Gao Qiu seeks vengeance on Wang Jin after he became a Grand Marshal. Wang Jin knows that Gao Qiu will not let him off so he escapes from Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng) with his mother and comes to Shi Jin's home. He instructs Shi Jin in martial arts.
  • Wang Sheng (王昇; 王升; Wáng Shēng) is Wang Jin's father. He was also a martial arts instructor.
  • Squire Shi (史太公; Shǐ Tàigōng) is Shi Jin's father. He dies of illness not long after Wang Jin left the Shi family manor.
  • Wang Si (王四; 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" (賽伯當). 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 authorities send soldiers to arrest Shi, he confesses to his master about losing the letter. Shi brings him to the backyard and kills him.
  • Li Ji (李吉; Lǐ Jí) is a hunter who reports Shi Jin to the authorities 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 (賀太守; 贺太守; 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 and ends up being captured too. Later, Song Jiang impersonates Marshal Su Yuanjing and lures Prefect He out of the city to pay his respects to the marshal. 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 (王義; 王义; 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 (李瑞蘭; 李瑞兰; 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 brothel owner finds out and reports him to Prefect He. Shi Jin is captured and imprisoned, but is saved after the outlaws conquer the city.

Lei Heng's story[edit]

  • Bai Yuqiao (白玉喬; 白玉乔; 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 (白秀英; Bái Xiùyīng) 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[edit]

The following persons are jianghu figures living around the Lake Tai area. They become sworn brothers with Li Jun and eventually follow him to Siam, where he becomes king.

  • Fei Bao (費保; 费保; Fèi Bǎo), nicknamed "Red Whiskers Dragon" (赤鬚龍).
  • Ni Yun (倪雲; 倪云; Ní Yún), nicknamed "Curly Haired Tiger" (捲毛虎).
  • Bu Qing (卜青; Bǔ Qīng), nicknamed "Lake Tai Dragon" (太湖蛟).
  • Di Cheng (狄成; Dí Chéng), nicknamed "Narrow Faced Bear" (瘦臉熊).

Zhang Shun's story[edit]

  • Zhang Wang (張旺; 张旺; Zhāng Wàng) 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 (李巧奴; Lǐ Qiǎonú) 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[edit]

  • Pan Qiaoyun (潘巧雲; 潘巧云; 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 (裴如海; Péi Rúhǎi) is a monk who has an adulterous affair with Pan Qiaoyun. He is killed by Shi Xiu.
  • Ying'er (迎兒; 迎儿; 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[edit]

  • Squire Mao (毛太公; 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[edit]

  • Zhu Chaofeng (祝朝奉; Zhù Cháofèng) is the headman of the village. He abuses his connections with the local authorities by bullying the people living around his village. He also provokes the Liangshan outlaws by insulting its leaders and declaring that he will destroy Liangshan one day. 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.
  • Zhu Long (祝龍; 祝龙; 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 (祝虎; Zhù Hǔ) is Zhu Chaofeng's second son. He is killed by Lü Fang and Guo Sheng, who skewer him with their spears.
  • Zhu Biao (祝彪; 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, Zhu Biao flees to the Hu Family Village and hopes that the Hus will help him. However, Hu Cheng binds him and sends him to Liangshan in exchange for his sister, who had been captured earlier by the outlaws. Zhu Biao is killed by Li Kui while being escorted to the Liangshan camp.
  • Luan Tingyu (栾廷玉; 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 makes use of his friendship with Luan 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 (鐘離老人; 钟离老人; Zhōnglí Lǎorén) is an old man who instructs Shi Xiu on how to avoid the traps in the village. Shi rescues him later after the village falls to the outlaws.

Zeng Family Fortress[edit]

  • Zeng Nong (曾弄; Zēng Nòng) is the headman of the fortress. He was initially hostile towards the Liangshan outlaws, but regrets later after two of his sons are killed in battle against the outlaws. He tries to make peace with the outlaws but fails. He hangs himself after the fortress is captured by the outlaws.
  • Zeng Tu (曾涂; Zēng Tú) is Zeng Nong's eldest son. He fights with Lü Fang and Guo Sheng and tries to kill them when their spears are entangled, but falls off his horse after being hit by an arrow fired by Hua Rong. Lü and Guo then seize the opportunity to spear him together after he is down.
  • Zeng Mi (曾密; Zēng Mì) is Zeng Nong's second son. He is killed by Zhu Tong when the outlaws overrun the fortress.
  • Zeng Suo (曾索; 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 (曾魁; 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 (曾升; 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 (史文恭; Shǐ Wéngōng) is a martial arts instructor in the fortress and an advisor to Zeng Nong. He killed Liangshan's chief, Chao Gai, with a poisoned arrow in an earlier battle. Before dying, Chao Gai said, "Whoever captures Shi Wengong will be the new chief of Liangshan." Shi is highly skilled in combat and capable of fighting multiple opponents at the same time. After the fortress is overrun 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[edit]

  • Emperor Huizong (宋徽宗; Sòng Huīzōng), personal name Zhao Ji (趙佶; 赵佶; Zhào Jí), is the ruler of the Song Empire. He was previously known as Prince Duan (端王) before he became 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 (洪信; 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 reborn as the 108 Liangshan heroes. 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" (小蘇學士; 小苏学士; Xiǎo Sū Xuéshì) is an imperial academic who recommended Gao Qiu to Wang Shen. His true identity is not specified. He is believed to be Su Shi (Su Dongpo) or a member of Su Shi's family.
  • Wang Shen (王詵; 王诜; Wáng Shēn) is a prince consort who married a younger sister of Emperor Zhezong. He is referred to as Wang Jinqing (王晉卿; 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 (宿元景; Sù Yuánjǐng) is a Grand Marshal. He is known to be an honest official. Song Jiang wishes to convey his and the Liangshan heroes' grievances of being forced to become outlaws due to 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 (陳宗善; 陈宗善; 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 (劉夢龍; 刘梦龙; Líu Mènglóng) is a military officer 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 (張天師; 张天师; Zhāng Tiānshī), also known as Celestial Master Xujing (虛靖天師; 虚靖天师; Xūjìng Tiānshī), was a Taoist sage and an heir of 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 young cowherd, 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 cowherd was actually the Master.
  • Master Dongxuan (洞玄國師; 洞玄国师; Dòngxuán Guóshī) was a Taoist magician who lived in the Tang dynasty. He 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 reborn as the 108 Liangshan heroes.
  • Liu Shiquan (柳世權; 柳世权; 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 Gao was still wandering the streets. He later sends Gao Qiu to his relative, Dong Jiangshi.
  • Dong Jiangshi (董將士; 董将士; 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 Su's residence.
  • Hu Cheng (扈成; 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 upon recognising him.
  • Li Shishi (李師師; 李师师; 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.