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Variously titled Fengshen Yanyi or Fengshen Bang in Chinese, Hōshin Engi in Japanese, and Investiture of the Gods or Creation of the Gods in English, this novel is a heavily mythologized account of the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty by the Zhou Dynasty in the 11th Century BC. Also, just like Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Journey to the West, it contains 100 chapters.

The major arcs of the book can be separated into a few parts:

  1. The birth and rise to power of King Zhou of Shang, his ever-growing corruption which brings about the ire of a goddess, and finally his complete Start of Darkness wherein he orders the executions of ministers, generals, and even his own sons.
  2. The births of heroes, especially Li Nezha. During this time we also see the arrival of the novel's central-most figure, Jiang Ziya - a 72-year-old Taoist Mystic; that being said, 72 is not that old for a Taoist Mystic, and as such he's usually portrayed in his early-to-mid twenties.
  3. The Rebellion of King Wu of Zhou. It's at this point that the main action of the novel picks up, the majority of the story takes place, and the motivations for the myriad of characters begin to interweave. Of special note is Jiang Ziya's job, as dictated by his master, whose own orders were dictated by the Jade Emperor himself: first, to ensure that the Shang Dynasty falls and the Zhou Dynasty rises; second, to cultivate those listed on the eponymous "Fengshen Bang," or "List of Gods-To-Be" to become the numerous Gods of the Celestial Bureaucracy.
  4. The success of the Rebellion, the institution of the Zhou Dynasty, and the establishment of the Celestial Bureaucracy in Heaven.
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As one can expect from a story as large as this, the Fengshen Yanyi contains far too many heroes and side characters to count and plenty of back-and-forth betrayals, executions, and skulduggery.

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Fengshen Yanyi provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Nezha. Many recaps about his story (even on Wikipedia) recount how he heroically killed the Yaksha and the Dragon Prince Ao Bing to save some kids they wanted to sacrifice. In the novel proper, Ao Guang was simply minding his own business in his court, Nezha accidentally caused a quake by washing his Fabao in the water and when confronted by the Yaksha and Ao Bing he rudely provoked them into a fight and killed them. When Ao Guang tried to denounce him to the Heavens, Nezha was made invisible by his master and ambushed the Dragon God, beating him into submission. While he eventually kills himself to save his family, he does so knowing very well that the Will of Heaven still needs him and thus he will be given a new body.
  • And Show It to You: In one of the earlier chapters, Daji plots revenge against The Good Chancellor Bi Gan for killing several of her fellow fox spirits and making them into a fur coat for King Zhou. She feigns a heart attack that can only be cured by Bi Gan's heart specifically, and due to receiving a magical charm from Jiang Ziya before hand, Bi Gan is able to pull his heart out without any sort of harm to himself. Unfortunately, another of Daji's accomplices got him in the end.
  • Anyone Can Die: With all these characters in the story, quite a few major ones end up being killed in action; basically the only characters with solid Plot Armor are Jiang Ziya (since he has to be alive to anoint the new deities at the end) and King Wu (because history says so). Case in point: Huang Feihu defects early on, gets killed on his way out, is brought back to life, and serves as one of the rebellion's major generals all the way up until the last act, where he dies to the enemy general of the week.
  • Arc Villain: Once the military expedition against Xiqi start, the heroes find themselves facing a long series of antagonists, usually the leaders of the expedition aided by powerful generals and taoists. Among them, we have Zhang Guifeng, Grand Tutor Wen Zhong, Princes Yin Hong and Yin Jiao, Patriarch Tongtian and finally King Zhou.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Li Jing to Nezha, during Nezha's story arc. Downplayed in that Nezha's not entirely innocent in the matter and ultimately the two make amend.
  • Asian Fox-Spirit: The sadistic demon-fox Daji is one of the main antagonists of the narrative, having been sent by the goddess Nu Wa to seduce King Zhou and corrupt him into a tyrant. Initially described as a thousand years old vixen, it is later mentioned that she has nine tails as well.
  • Back from the Dead: Nezha's master constructed a new body for Nezha's soul out of sacred lotuses, which ended up being even more powerful than his original flesh-and-blood body. Jiang Ziya himself is destinated to die seven times during the novel, each time being revived before his soul can cross over.
  • Bad Boss: Being a member of King Zhou's court is not a pleasant experience, unless your name is Daji. A good number of his ministers, concubines, and generals end up dead before the fighting even begins.
  • Battle Couple: Tuxingsun and his wife Deng Chanyu, later joined by Princess Longji and Hong Jin. On the villainous side there's Zhang Kui and his wife Gao Culiang.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: King Zhou (The Caligula that the heroes fight to overthrow) and his consort Daji (the evil fox-spirit who's sending the king off the deep end).
  • Bittersweet Ending: The conclusion of the Ten Thousand Immortals Formation arc: the hostile Jie Taoists are finally defeated, the wicked Shen Gongbao is executed and peace is restored between the three great masters of Taoism, but now the Immortals must return forever on their mountains and Jiang Ziya, who has to complete his task, is very sad at the thought of not seeing them again.
  • Blade on a Stick:
    • The fangtianji (Squared Heaven Halbeard), a long spear with a crescent blade attached to the side, like an axe on a western halberd, is used by several characters, such as Sun Quanzhong, Li Jing, one of the Mo Brothers and Prince Yin Hong, Crown Prince Yin Jiao and many other generals.
    • Spear users include the defiant Marquis Su Hu (whose lance is called "Fire Dragon Lance") and many other generals and warriors, such as Huang Feihu, Nangong Kuo and Deng Jiugong. Paopei spears do exist, two notable examples being Nezha's Fire-Tipped Lance and Yang Ren's Flying Lightning Spear.
    • The dao (glaive) weapon is seen used by a handful of characters, such as Hong Jin (wields a weapon called "Crescent Moon Glaive"), Yang Jiang/Erlang (the "Three-Pointed, Double-Edged Glaive, a bladed trident) and possibly King Zhou himself, who wields one described as the "General-beheading Sword" (as the term Dadao, great saber, can refer to both large curved swords and glaive-like polearms).
    • Halfway through the book, Huang Feihu encounters three neutral warriors who eventually decide to join him on the battlefield: the first wields a several feet long trident, the second wields an eight-faced bronze hammer with a very long handle and the last one wields a silvery polearm with a set of five sharp claws on the head, like a rake.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: One of the more famous anecdotes about Jiang Ziya was him going fishing with a straight hook that he dangled three feet above the water, reasoning that he would only catch those who really wanted to seek him out. Naturally, he's not talking about fish, and ended up a chancellor for the eventual Zhou Dynasty.
  • The Caligula: King Zhou, in spades. He very quickly has a full-blown rebellion protesting his cruelty.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The living weapon of Lu Ya, the Immortal-Beheading Flying Dagger. Is eventually used by Jiang Ziya to execute Daji.
  • Cool Sword: Most characters use swords, though they're usually pretty mundane and used in normal combat, some are actually cool enough to actually be a magic weapon for the user. Notable examples:
    • Qingxu Daode Zhenjun's Treasure Sword of Moye, which when swung releases a beam of white light that instantly beheads anyone touched by it.
    • Mo Liqing of the Four Demon Clan Generals wields the deadly Azure Cloud Sword, a sword inscribed with the four elements which, when swung, can release a storm of black, shredding wind and conjure fireballs from the sky.
    • Princess Longji has a veritable collection of precious sword and she always use a different one in combat: she has the Double Dragon Sword, the Flying Luan note  Sword and finally the Jade Pond White Light Sword. At least the first one is powerful enough to allow her to counter other magical treasures.
    • Lu Yue, the plague Immortal, carries around the Plague-Sending Sword, while one of his disciples wields the coma-inducing Torpor Sword.
    • Yuding Zhenren has, as his only weapon, the Immortal-Beheading Saber, which does exactly what's implied by the name (note that the Immortals in the book have everlasting life and youth but can be killed).
    • Luo Xuan, the Fire-Wreathed Immortal, dual wields the Flying Smoke Swords, which are implied to be on fire.
    • Tongtian Jiaozhu possess the Four Treasure Swords, four extremely powerful, baleful swords which were created to eradicate scores of Immortals in one strike and are needed to form the Immortal-Executing Formation. They are the Immortal-Executing Sword, the Immortal-Carving Sword, the Immortal-Trapping Sword and the Immortal-Severing Sword.
  • The Corruptor: The job of the Jade Pipa Spirit, the Nine-Headed Pheasant and the Thousand Years Old Fox. The lattermost would find the greatest success under the name of "Daji".
  • The Good Chancellor: King Zhou can count on several ministers and chancellors, but unfortunately his arrogance and desire to spend more time partying with women and listening to Daji's advice leads to him dismissing their advice at best, or to brutally executre them when they dare reprimand him. San Yishen and later Jiang Ziya are this for King Wu.
  • Death by Origin Story: Nezha was quite the precocious herculean brat, and ended up ticking off one of the Four Dragon Kings, Ao Guang, along with accidentally killing one of Lady Rock's disciples and intentionally maiming another, which led to Nezha's master killing Lady Rock in order to protect Nezha. When the Jade Emperor caught wind of the mess Nezha was making, he was set to punish Nezha's parents, but Nezha brutally hacked himself to pieces in front of the Jade Emperor and Ao Guang as recompense, thus sparing his parents...
  • Defector from Decadence: As King Zhou of Shang grows more decadent, amoral and cruel, more of his loyal ministers and generals start to leave his ranks, going as far as betraying their former liege, notable examples include Huang Feihu (his wife and sister died because of King Zhou and Daji), Su Hu (was already forced to let his daughter Daji became a concubine for King Zhou), the Chao Brothers (were Genre Savvy enough to realize how screwed the Shang were) and many more. A big exception is Hu Sheng: after losing his generals to the forces of Xiqi he express a genuine desire to join them and even sent them a letter, but right after that he's visited by the powerful Holy Mother Huoling, who turns the tide of the battle to such an extent he actually changes his mind. When she's slain, he tries to join the Zhou again, but Jiang Ziya, remembering his trickery, states that he's too untrustworthy and has him executed.
  • Demonic Possession: Su Daji starts out as a normal, albeit uncommonly beautiful, noblewoman. She would be murdered by the Thousands Years Old Fox who would go on to possess her body in order to gain access to King Zhou of Shang's court.
  • Disney Death: Jiang Ziya is destinated to face "Seven Deaths" on his journey, which means that during the story he's killed (or almost killed) six times. Early on both Huang Feihu and Huang Tianhua are fatally struck by the enemy but are revived to continue the quest.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Though King Zhou was already destined to be the last of the Shang Dynasty, he was by no means the cruel or vindictive leader he became later. Rather, he became that way largely because of the intervention of the Mother Goddess of humanity, Nu Wa, who sent a Huli-Jing to seduce and corrupt Zhou and cause his downfall much sooner than intended. His crime? Remarking on how "hot" she was in her temple. Some adaptations have him follow up that statement with wishing that she would become one of his concubines, which was what really ticked her off. Others have King Zhou compose a poem about how he wanted to bring the Mother of Humanity to his palace to slake his carnal desires and wrote it on the walls of her temple. However, this is subverted however in the long run, when Nu Wa herself clarifies that her order for Daji and the other two spirits meant corrupting King Zhou without causing excessive harm to the people, while Daji often started several petty and whimsical plots which caused long-lasting destruction in the Empire, which earned her the hostility of Nu Wa.
    • Shen Gongbao, big time. Jiang Ziya was chosen to carry on the Fengshen plan and told to ignore his calling. Shen Gongbao took such offense for the latter that he tried to force Jiang Ziya to renounce on the spot, then sow discord to turn countless Immortals against Xiqi and even tried to murder Jiang Ziya in the flesh.
  • Divided for Publication: Most English versions (what few exist) split the work into 2 parts because the book contains 100 chapters, many of them detailing tactical maneuvers that are really cool but would never work in real life.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The word "Fenghshen": the fantastic side of the story has the hero, Jiang Ziya, being tasked by the head honcho of Chan Taoism Yuanshi Tianzun with finding and promoting 365 notable immortals and heroes to deities. In order to do so, he builds a massive altar structure where the souls of said notable people are gathered, waiting for their promotion to deities. Fengshen can either be read as "Sealing Spirits" (as in, souls) and as "Bestowing Divinity", the final purpose of Jiang Ziya's task.
  • Elemental Powers: Nearly all Immortals worthy of such name can manipulate the five elements and fly on clouds made from said elements. Many Paopei/Fabao can unleash magic elements at will:
    • Playing with Fire: Probably the most numberous, such as Nezha's Fire-Tip Spear, Heaven-Muddling Damask, Fire and Wind Wheels and Nine Dragons Divine Fire Coverlet. Other notable ones include the Blue Cloud Sword, the Fire Fires Seven Fowls Fan, the Vehement Flame Formation and the Divine Fire Skyscraping Pillars.
    • An Ice Person: The Gelid Frost Formation can summong two massive mountains of sharp ice which crush the unfortunate victim in the middle.
    • Making a Splash: Princess Longji can use the Universal Fog and Dew Net to quell the fires of an entire city, while Yuanshi Tianzun can use the Three Lights Divine Waters to reinforce existing water against spells and sorcery.
    • Blow You Away: Magic wind, usually described as black, the one summoned by the Blue Cloud Sword seems to contain countless blades, like the one in the Howling Wind Formation.
    • Light 'em Up: The Yin-Yang Mirrors and Golden Light Formation employs light to kill people.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: Jiuliusun possess a magic set of paper talismans which can turn the earth as hard as steel.
    • Shock and Awe: Yang Ren's Flying Lightning Spear, as well as the powers of both the Heavenly Extinction Formation and the Earthly Fury Formation.
    • Sand Blaster: Three of the Ten Deadly Formation can use sand to hurt people: the Blood Mutating Formation has black sand which melts people into blood on touch, the Fallen Souls one can also smother people to death with black dust and the Red Sand Formation contains red sands where each grain is as sharp as a sword.
  • Ensemble Cast: This page makes a list of them, and the creator of the page even goes so far as to say it's not even CLOSE to being a complete listing - just enough for your average reader to keep track of the important characters. To complicate matters, One-Steve Limit is averted and characters with identical names but different roles are not unheard of.
  • Evil Chancellor: While the evil King Zhou had many loyal ministers who still tried (and in some cases, died for this) to make him behave, he also had plenty of bootlickers and sicophants willing to do anything to please him. The first example comes from the duo Fei Zhong and You Hun, who kickstart the arrival of Daji at court by telling their emperor of Su Hu's beautiful daughter just because Su Hu refused to offer them gifts (read: bribe) upon arriving at the capital, while later Fei Zhong agrees to cospire for Daji to blame the current Queen Consort for traison, which causes her death. Aftert their deaths, two new ministers, named E Lai and Fei Lian, take their place as bad advisors. They are also very opportunistic, plotting to steal the Imperial Seal and offer it to King Wu to gain his trust so that he'll give them a job in the new government when King Zhou will fall. Luckily for King Wu, Jiang Ziya sees through their attempt and, after bestowing a divine rank to all the names on the list, has the two killed and make them deities in charge of crumbling and erosion, appropriately enough.
  • Evil Overlord List: Not only did King Zhou not read it, he commits so many mistakes listed on it that it's a wonder it took so long for the heroes to kill him. (He seems especially fond of spitting on Rules 17 and 37)
  • Familial Cannibalism Surprise: King Zhou at one point tries to invoke this on Ji Chang, who would eventually become the predecessor to King Wu, by feeding him meat cakes made from Ji Chang's son. Ji Chang was skilled enough in divination to know exactly what he was eating, but did so anyway to make King Zhou let down his guard.
  • Fatal Flaw: Wrath and impulsiveness are always source of trouble and pain, especially when coming from people who are responsible for so many that they can't afford to let anger and jealousy get the better of them. This is best seen with four of the villains, King Zhou, Wen Zhong, Zhao Gongming and Patriarch Tongtian.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Nu Wa dispatched three spirits, including Daji, to hasten the destined fall of the Shang Dynasty due to her taking offense at King Zhou of Shang's conduct. They were supposed to be punch clock villains and simply distract King Zhou from affairs of state. Instead they, especially Daji, reveled in the cruelty and the carnage which contributed significantly to kicking off the rebellion that would unseat King Zhou.
  • The Heavy: The Rival Shen Gongbao is the main threat of the middle part of the novel, being responsible for many of the military attacks against Xiqi (turning King Zhou's sons against Jiang Ziya is a particularly noteworthy example).
  • Heel–Face Turn: A good number of King Zhou's generals end up defecting, most notably his head of military affairs Huang Feihu, and for good reason.
  • Horse of a Different Color:
    • The novel has two istances of a taoist character riding on the back of a tiger to show off his power. In both instances, there's a gag of normal soldiers panicking upon seeing the tiger approaching, only for the rider to reassure them that the beast is domesticated.
    • You could make a drinking game out of the many, wonderful steeds used by the taoist characters: while normal humans rely on horses, Immortals or people related to them can count on more exotic beasts. Notable examples include Jiang Ziya's Supuxiang (a divine beast resembling a draconic deer), Huang Tianhua and Wen Zhong's Qiling (the former is jade-colored, the latter is black), the Four Saints' mounts (half-dragon, half-beast monsters), Zhang Kui's impossibly fast "One-Horned Black Smoke Beast", Tongtian Jiaozhu's one-legged bull, Princess Longji's Shenniu (a divine giant bird with fish-like scales, fins and whiskers) and other animals such as stags, cranes, mythical birds, camels and oxen.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Nezha first meets Prince Yinjiao (who is costantly in his three-faced, six-armed form) he playfully mocks him, pointing out that he has enough eyes and limbs for plenty of people. He's famous everywhere for his three-faced, eight-armed formation.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Some of the magic Fabao are obviously weapons such as spears or swords, but others are employed as weapons and are actually mundane items unsuited for war: examples includes Nezha's Golden Tile, the S-shaped Ruyi scepters used by many Immortals, Randeng's ruler and Yu Yuan's Golden File.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Big Bad is an emperor, specifically Emperor Xin, but he's always called "King Zhou", an offensive term (Zhou is the back part of the saddle), while the term "King" can also indicate a Prince or a "Great Person" in general, rather than the head of a kingdom.
  • Just Following Orders: When finally ensnared by the heroes, Daji and her sisters try to beg for their lives, pointing out that they were just following Nu Wa's command. The goddess herself point out that they went against her orders by harming the innocent people with their plots and leave them to be killed.
  • Kill and Replace: The real Daji was killed and possessed by the demon-fox before she met King Zhou.
  • Lady Macbeth: Daji could pretty much be the Chinese counterpart of the Trope Namer. Both historically and in-story, King Zhou became so infatuated with Daji that he neglected his kingdom in favor of showering her in attention, as well as catering to her increasingly depraved tastes.
  • Living Weapon: The Immortal Lu Ya at one point is seen summoning an "elongated white being with wings, eyes and eyebrows" from his magic gourd, which then paralyze the opponent with his gaze and falls down whirling on him, cutting his head off. We later learn that this thing is Lu Ya's Fabao (magic weapon), the "Immortal-Beheading Flying Knife", a weapon which absorbed the essence of the sun and the moon, turning into a living being.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: Nezha's mother carried him for 3 years and 9 months.
  • Master of the Levitating Blades: Nezha's brother Muzha is bestowed the Hook Swords of Wu, a couple of curved billhook-like swords which he normally wears on his back: by shaking his shoulder, he can send one or both blades flying at the enemy and slash their neck. The only other similar Fabao (magic tool) is Lu Ya's dagger, which is a Living Weapon with eyes and wings it can use to move around.
  • Monkey King Lite: Near the end, the hero Yang Jian (who's a younger Erlang Shen) must face the wicked general Yuan Hong, who's actually a monster from Plum Mountain, specifically a white monkey demon who fights with an iron staff and is a master of the 72 Transformations. To add further connections, one of Yuan Hong's helpers is a wild hog demon taking the appearence of a monk (Zhu Bajie), his battle with Yang Jian involves a lot of chasing and transformations and is extremely difficult to execute once captured.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Many Immortals have mastered the power to obtain a monstrous battle form with three faces and six arms, which they often use to wield multiple Fabao/Paopei (the magic taoist instruments) at once, such as Lu Yue, Yin Jiao and Luo Shuan. The iconic Prince Nezha goes one step further and can sprout eight arms (two for his lance, two for the Yin-Yang Swords and one each for the bracelet, damask, fire trap and golden tile), though since his swords aren't well known he's usually depicted with six arms. Minor antagonist Ma Yuan has a magic ability which allows him to sprout a third, extensible arm from his back, which he uses to manhandle his opponents and rip their hearts out of their chests.
  • One-Steve Limit: Note that King Zhou is not affiliated with the Zhou dynasty. It's less ambiguous in Chinese since the two use completely different characters. There are also characters who share the same name or surname and even character but are not related.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Dragon Beard Tiger, a disciple of Jiang Ziya, is a Mix-and-Match Critter with a camel's head, a goose's neck, shrimp whiskers, a fish-like torso with scales, hands that resemble eagle talons which he can shoot rocks from, and a single tiger's leg that he hops on. His appearance is so strange that Ziya is startled into sweating nervously when they first met.
  • The Rival: Famously, Shen Gongbao of Mount Kunlun is this to the hero Jiang Ziya: he thinks that fighting for Zhou is wrong and after being humiliated by the hero he swears to make his life hell and travels all around China, using deceit and lies to put even uninvolved Immortals against Jiang Ziya.
  • Shapeshifter Showdown: Near the end of the novel the heroes are confronted by the seven evil monsters of Baishan, a gang of animals turned monster. To defeat three of them, Yang Jian (a young Erlang Shen) uses his power of transformation to turn himself into an animal suitable for subduing the opponent: he turns into a winged, sharp-pinced centipede to kill Chang Hao (a snake monster), then into a large rooster to kill Wu Long (a centipede monster) and finally into a tiger to maul Yang Xian (an ibex monster).
  • Third Eye: Grand Tutor of the Shang Dynasty Wen Zhong makes his Immortal nature clear by having a pale golden face and a third eye in the middle of his forehead, which emits beams of light when he's furious and can allow him to follow fast movements and magic. A handful of other Immortals have such a third eye with supernatural powers, most notably Crown Prince Yin Jiao and his two generals, which is mocked by Nezha when he comments that three people have enough eyes among them for four persons and half.
  • This Was His True Form: Many immortal used to be animals who attained intelligence and magic skills through exposure to taoist scripts or have been exposed to the essence of Yin and Yang for a long period of time. As a result, they'll usually assume their true animal form when slain: the first examples in the novel are the Third Dragon Prince Ao Bing (who, upon being slain by Nezha, turns back into a Dragon) and Lady Shiji (who's burnt to death by Taiyi Zhenren and all that's left of her is a misshapen rough rock).
  • Shout-Out: Near the end, Yang Jian (Erlang) ends up fighting Yuan Hong, a demon whose real form is that of a white monkey who can wield a staff and perform the 72 transformations.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Bi Gan killing off a few of Daji's fellow fox demons was probably a good thing to do for humanity in general, and he might have gotten away with making a fur coat out of them. What he most certainly had no chance of getting away with was gifting that coat to King Zhou, right in front of Daji. Needless to say, he dies for it.
  • Tunnel King: Tuxingsun/Earth-Traveler Sun learnt the art of moving freely through the ground after a hundred years of training under his Taoist master. This allows him to dig his way into heavily fortified places undisturbed, escape from any danger as long as he's touching the soil and take his opponents by surprise. The only time this ability of his is nullified is when his own master uses his "Earth-in-Iron Transforming Talismans" to make the local dirt as hard as steel and leave him with nowhere to run. A late enemy, Zhang Kui, can perform the same trick as Tuxingsun.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The couple Tuxingsun and Deng Chanyu: while the latter is always described as a very beautiful swordswoman, the former varies in depiction, ranging from a not-to-ugly mustachioed man to a dwarf-like midget to a downright mole-man thing and Chanyu isn't very happy to marry him, though she accepts the Arranged Marriage as the most convenient thing she can do for the time being.
  • Warrior Monk: At one poin, Jiang Ziya tells his men that there are three types of people a general must fear to meet on the battlefield: Taoists, Buddhist Monks and women, for all three of them are more likely to have mastered sorcery and arcane powers. Indeed, all three of them are commonly encountered as extremely dangerous opponents.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: All over the place: normal warriors and generals usually rely on spears, glaives and axes, while nearly all Immortals carry straight swords or, rarely, ridged maces.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: Invoked and a little deconstructed, when faced by his first strong taoist opponents, Jiang Ziya is given the God-beating Whip, a super powerful wooden whip/cudgel which is used by the Jade Emperor to punish rebellious gods. However, the caveat of this weapon is that while it can hurt deities and kill Immortals with the potential to become gods (the ones on the Fengshen list), it does nothing to mere mortals or unremarkable immortals. Furthermore, since the creator of the weapon was a taoist, the whip is powerless against those who will be deified in the buddhist pantheon (as seen with the Mo Brothers, destinated to become the Four Heavenly Kings/Lokapala of Buddhism).
  • Winged Humanoid: The character of Leizhenzi eats two magical apricots that turns him in a tengu-like monster, complete with massive feathery wings which allows him to fly freely in the sky. Later in the story the bandit leader Xin Huan appears, described as an ogre-like red-skinned man with two "wings of flesh" (sic) on his back, and ends up dueling against Leizhenzi. Averted, despite the name, by the Immortal Yuyi/the Winged Immortal: despite being the Golden Peng in human form, he has a beak but not wings while in humanoid form, getting them back only when turning back into a colossal bird.
  • World of Badass: Quite a few named characters are gods or destined to become gods, or at the very least have supernatural powers. Pity the Red Shirts that have to go up against these guys.

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