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Xu Huang

Translated Description:

Reminiscene of Zhou Ya Fu

Weapon:

Great Axe

Element:

Darkness

Faction:

Wei Army

First Appearance:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms

First Playable:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms

Xu Huang is a character that first appeared on the first Chaos of the Three Kingdoms game. He is a general who once served Yang Feng during his battle against dark lord Cao Cao in his quest for power. But after his defeat, Xu Huang is convinced to join the Wei army by Xiahou Dun and he became one of the five generals of Wei.

DescriptionEdit

Despite his barbaric appearance, Xu Huang is actually a calm and righteous man who is known for his strong combat abilities and carrying out raids to sever enemy supply lines. He served Yang Feng when the latter saved the Han emperor from Li Jue and tried to fight dark lord Cao Cao in a quest for power. During the battle, dark lord Cao Cao observed and notices Xu Huang's incredible combat abilities as he took down Wei soldiers one by one. But after dark lord Cao Cao managed to crush Yang Feng, Xu Huang soon joined the Wei army soon after and became one of the five generals of Wei, participating in many battles like the Battle of Fan Castle.

HistoryEdit

Early life and service under Yang Feng

Born in the county of Yang (present day Hedong, Shanxi) in the late years of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Xu Huang worked as a local clerk in his youth. He became a subordinate of Yang Feng from the White Wave Bandits (originally a sect of Yellow Turban rebels that rose up in Xu Huang's hometown in Shanxi), after the bandits raided Hedong and Taiyuan (太原) in 188. Over the years, the leaders of the White Wave Bandits had been holding different attitudes toward the central government, and Yang Feng submitted to Dong Zhuo. Xu Huang later followed Yang Feng to quell some remnants of the Yellow Turban rebels, and was appointed a Cavalry Commandant (騎都尉) by the Han court under the Liang Province faction led by Dong Zhuo.

The successors of Dong Zhuo were Li Jue and Guo Si, but the two regents had grown suspicious of each other and started warring within the streets of the capital. At the time, Yang Feng and Xu Huang were subordinates of Li Jue. In 195, Xu Huang joined a plot against Li Jue, he convinced Yang Feng to help escort Emperor Xian from Chang'an back to Luoyang, which by then was much dilapidated.[1] There, Yang Feng and Dong Cheng's rivalry had led the latter to summon Cao Cao. Early the next year, Cao Cao came personally without resistance, and he moved the emperor to his secured base in Xuchang. Xu Huang then prompted Yang Feng to join Cao Cao's forces, and Yang nearly heeded the advice but refused at last. Cao Cao soon attacked Yang Feng, whereupon Xu Huang switched his allegiance to the aggressor.[2]

[edit] Performance in Cao Cao's northern campaignEdit

Hereafter Xu Huang participated in most major campaigns Cao Cao undertook, including offensives against Lü Bu, Yuan Shao, Tadun, Sun Quan, and Ma Chao. Xu Huang performed well in all of them except in the Battle of Jiangling in 208.

During the Battle of Guandu in 200, Yuan Shao had been storing supplies at a depot in the village of Gushi (southwest of present-day Yanjin County, Henan); Xu Huang, along Shi Huan (史渙), were sent to attack this position. They defeated the defenders, and burned Yuan's grain carts, forcing Yuan to call for relief supplies in response to this raid. A few years later, Xu Huang joined the follow-up operation against Yuan Shao's heirs. In 203, the defender of Yiyang (易阳), Han Fan (韩范), feigned surrender and strengthened his town. Xu Huang then wrote a letter of persuasion and had it fired into the city on an arrow. The defender was hence won over and Xu Huang conquered the city without bloodshed. Interestingly, it was recorded in the Records of the Three Kingdoms that Xu Huang went to Cao Cao and asked the latter to refrain from massacring the residents of Yiyang only after Han Fan did surrender, and the rationale of their final decision was entirely based on tactical consideration, which was to soften other defending cities by setting up an example.[3]

[edit] Battles against Sun Quan and western warlordsEdit

In 208, Xu Huang followed Cao Cao to pacify Jing Province, and was supposed to participate in the Battle of Red Cliffs in the same year. When Cao Cao retreated north after his defeat at Red Cliffs, Xu Huang was ordered to stay behind with Cao Ren in Jiangling to resist Sun Quan's counteroffensive. In one occasion during the Battle of Jiangling, the enemy commander, Zhou Yu, left the defence of his main camp to his subordinate, Ling Tong, and led most of the troops to rescue another subject, Gan Ning, who was surrounded by Cao Ren's cavalry in a distant castle. Even Ling Tong was left with only a wee fraction of the army to guard the camp, the numerically superior Xu Huang and Cao Ren were unable to surpass their much younger opponent and the enemy camps remained intact. As a result, a yearlong vigorous fighting followed and the casualty on Cao Cao side became enormous, so Xu and Cao Ren finally abandoned Jiangling and retreated north.

After continuous setback in the south, Cao Cao turned his attention to Liang Province in the northwest, and provoked the Battle of Tong Pass. Knowing the nominal leader of the coalition of Liang Province warlords (also called the Guanxi coalition), Han Sui, did not leave any troops guarding the shallow of Puban, Xu Huang suggested to Cao Cao to send him north and cross the Yellow River via the Puban Ford (浦阪津) to circumvent Tong Pass from the west of the river. Cao Cao assented to Xu Huang's plan, and sent Zhu Ling to go with him. They crossed Puban and started pitching camps, but before the defence fortification was completed, one of the coalition members, Liang Xing, scouted them. Instead of asking his allies for reinforcement, Liang Xing attacked right away, but was routed in the end. Xu Huang and Zhu Ling then impelled the pace to complete the defense, and waited for the arrival of the main forces. However, the discovery of Xu Huang's presence had alerted the coalition forces and created a serious crisis for Cao Cao's crossing of the river.

In 215, Xu Huang was tasked with defending Hanzhong's communication line, Mamingge (馬鳴閣), under the command of Xiahou Yuan to halt the advances of Liu Bei's army. When Liu Bei sent his general Chen Shi in an attempt to sever the supply routes to the city, Xu Huang struck the enemy head-on. Due to Xu Huang's ferocious attack, many enemy soldiers jumped off the cliff, and the casualty was high enough to keep Hanzhong secure for the time being.

[edit] Defeating Guan YuEdit

Xu Huang's most glorious moment in his military career came in the Battle of Fancheng in 219. When Fancheng (a district of present-day Xiangfan, Hubei) was besieged by Guan Yu and the first relief force led by Yu Jin was vanquished by a natural disaster, Xu Huang was sent with a second relief force to help protect the city.

Knowing that most of his soldiers were composed of new recruits without training, Xu Huang did not go into battle straight away but camped behind the enemy to impose a deterrent effect. Meanwhile, he instructed his men to dig trenches around the nearby enemy city of Yancheng (偃城) in a pretense to cut off supplies into the city. The enemies were deceived and abandoned their position, yielding Xu Huang a foothold on the battlefield. By this time, a total of twelve camps had been gathered under the flag of Xu Huang. With the strengthened army, Xu Huang finally unleashed an attack on Guan Yu's camp.[4] Guan Yu personally led 5,000 horsemen to meet the attackers, but was eventually outmatched. Many of his soldiers were forced into the nearby Han River and drowned.[5] The siege on Fancheng was then lifted. When Cao Cao heard of the victory, he praised Xu Huang and compared the general to Sun Wu and Tian Rangju¹.

Upon Xu Huang's return, Cao Cao went three kilometres out of Xuchang to greet him, giving him full credits for securing Fancheng. Throughout the field reception, the soldiers of other commanders shifted about in order to get a better view of Cao Cao, but Xu Huang's men stood stationary in neat files. Seeing this, Cao Cao lauded, "General Xu has truly inherited the style of Zhou Yafu."

¹(Tian Ranju (田穰苴) was a general of the Qi state during the Warring States Period, and was most famous for his military discipline.)

[edit] DeathEdit

After Cao Cao's death in 220, Xu Huang continued to be heavily trusted by Cao Cao's successor Cao Pi. He was appointed General of the Right (右將軍) and Marquis of Yangping (陽平侯). When Cao Pi's successor Cao Rui took over in 227, he sent Xu Huang to defend Xiangyang against the Eastern Wu invasion. However, Xu Huang died in the same year due to illness, leaving behind a will demanding a burial in plain clothes. He was given the posthumous title of "Marquis Zhuang" (壯侯), literally meaning "robust marquis".

[edit] DescendantsEdit

Xu Huang's titles were inherited by his son Xu Gai (徐蓋) after his death. When Xu Gai died, the titles were inherited by his son, Xu Ba (徐霸). Cao Rui granted the titles of marquises to Xu Gai and Xu Ba and placed some households under their control.[6]

[edit] In fictionEdit

In the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, Xu Huang made his first appearance in chapter 13, where he served under Yang Feng. Xu Huang and Yang Feng escorted Emperor Xian back to Luoyang after the death of Dong Zhuo, who had been holding the emperor hostage.

When Cao Cao came to Luoyang to fetch the emperor to Xuchang, Yang Feng sent out Xu Huang to deter him. Cao Cao knew that Xu Huang was an extraordinary man on first sight and he sent Xu Chu to duel with Xu. Neither side could gain an advantage over each other after 50 bouts, and by then, Cao Cao was very impressed by Xu Huang's skill. Not wanting either of the two men to get hurt, Cao Cao then called for Xu Chu to retreat. Knowing his lord intended to recruit Xu Huang, Man Chong, a subject of Cao Cao and a fellow townsman of Xu Huang, volunteered to persuade Xu to defect. That very night, Man Chong disguised himself as a common soldier, sneaked into Xu Huang's tent and successfully persuaded Xu to join Cao Cao. Man Chong then suggested slaying Yang Feng as a gesture of defection but Xu Huang refused to kill his former superior.

Xu Huang, along with Zhang Liao, was the closest friend to Guan Yu when the latter temporarily served under Cao Cao. They meet again when Xu Huang led Cao Cao's army against Guan Yu during the Battle of Fancheng. After exchanging pleasantries, Xu Huang shouted to his men, offering 1,000 pieces of gold for whoever that took Guan's head. Guan Yu was stunned, and Xu Huang remarked that as he was on official duty, and he would not allow his private friendship with Guan to affect his performance.

In the novel, Xu Huang met his end outside Xincheng (新城), where he was shot in his forehead by Meng Da from the city wall. His men immediately took him back to camp, where the physician removed the arrow and tried to heal him, but Xu Huang eventually died later that night. The novel claimed that he was 59 years old, but this figure is not supported by any evidence from historical records.

SkillsEdit

Depraved Anguish

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Xu Huang charges up his axe and then cuts through a rift in space, creating a black hole which proceeds suck up and erase any enemy soldiers who gets pulled in by it. Darkness Elemental.

Rampage

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Xu Huang uses his great axe to unleash a huge shockwave of dark energy which homes in on enemy troops on the ground and disintegrates them on impact, killing them. Darkness Elemental.

Devastation

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Xu Huang swings his great axe mid air which causes multiple pillars of dark energy to erupt from the ground that will erase any nearby enemies from existence. Darkness Elemental.

Valor Attack: Ultimate Decimation of Darkness

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: While standing in front of the enemy soldiers, Xu Huang summons two spinning great axes made of black telekinetic energy and uses them to crosswise cut and eviscerate the enemy troops continuously, killing them. Darkness Elemental.

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