Sects in Jin Yong's Novels
Beggar Sect 丐帮
This sect is one of the oldest and more prevalent sects in Jingyong's stories. The sect consist of beggers whose networks extends far beyond any other clan, and is famous for their information gather ability. It's often considered the biggest sect. Not all beggers are of this sect, however, and they carry sacks that indicate their rank within the sect, with nine sacks indicating the highest rank, and no sack the lowest. Their most important item is the Dog Beating Stick, which serve as a septor and weapon for the leader of the sect. The clan skill by the same name is a skill practiced only by the leader of the clan and selected protégé. The skill/weapon is so named for it's purpose of beating watch dogs, wild dogs or occasionally people who should be called dogs that would harm the beggars. Another sect skill is the Dragon Subduing Eighteen Palm, though not leader exclusive, and is so called because there are only eighteen styles. However, its power and flexibility between hard and soft places it as one of the two most important sect skills along with the Dog Beating Stick skill. And interesting custom of this clan is that when a new leader receives the Dog Beating Stick, the new leader must walk through the crowd of beggers as they spit on him.
Relevant Series in Chronological Order:
Demi Gods and Semi Devils: Qiao Feng governed the Beggar Sect using the Dragon Subduing Palm, and brought it to certain prosperity. However, when it was found that he was in fact not of the Han ethnicity, but actually of Liao, an adversary ethnic group/enemy country to the Song dynasty, he was cast away from the Begger Sect. After him, You Danzhi took over after killing many elders in the sect. However, he was weak in terms of influence and on the side was a disciple of the Xingsu Sect as well, and since he didn't know the two sect skills, no one in the sect believed him to the rightful leader.
Legend of the Condor Heroes: This introduces Hong Qigong as the 18th Leader and by a chance meeting with Hong Qigong, Huang Rong and Guo Jing each learned from Hong Qigong the two sect skills. Guo Jing learned the Dragon Subduing Palm despite him not being a formal member of the Beggar Sect. Huang Rong, however, became the leader of the sect after Hong Qigong passed away.
Return of the Condor Heroes: Huang Rong continued as the sect Leader, and tries to pass it to Lu Youjiao. Only the reign was short as Lu Youjiao is killed by He Du, who also steals the Dog Beating Stick. After several years with Huang Rong as acting Leader, they finally selected Yelu Qi (the second know non-Han Sect Leader) as the new Leader, and with Yang Guo's help, recovered the lost Dog Beating Stick.
Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber: Shi Huolong became the leader after Yelu Qi. The Dragon Subduing Palm already lost 4 styles in passing to Yelu Qi' due to his limited talent, and when passing to Shi Huolong the skill further lost two styles, so Shi Huolong only learned 12 styles. Perhaps this the main reason he was severely injured in his fight with the villain Chen Kun and died after. His daughter Shi Hongshi gained the position of the sect leader with help from the Yellow Cloth Maiden.
The Smiling Proud Wanderer/The Swordsman A sect leader was present, but played no role in the plot.
An interesting and rather deep aside:
In the comedy movie The Beggar King starring Stephen Chou, the emperor is afraid of the influence of such a big sect, and asks the main character, "Your Beggar Sect have hundreds of thousands of disciples. As long as your sect don't disband, how can I be at ease?" The main character replied, "How many disciples are in the Beggar Sect is not decided by me, but decided by you. If you are truly wise and powerful, and bring prosperity and wealth to the nation and its people, who would ever think of becoming beggars?"
All Truth Sect 全真道
Also Known As: All True Sect
Most famous people: Wang Chongyang, Ma Yu, Qiu Chuji, Zhou Botong/Lao Wantong
This sect was founded by Wang Chongyang, who was apparently trained by immortals, one of which is Lu Dongbing, one of the Eight Immortals. It was established during the Jin Dynasty. It sits on the Kunlun Mountains. Wang Chongyang's seven disciplines, the "Quan Zhen Seven", continued the tradition, as well as creating their own branches. Zhou Botong was Wang Chongyang's junior, but he didn't really remain in the Sect at all, choosing instead to roam the world. The Sect specializes in swords, as well as some what in formations. Being taoist, they also dabble in alchemy, although it's sort of an internalized alchemy process of self improvement rather than to rely on creating pills. Ideology is common with traditional Taoist ideology, although Wang Chongyang believed in the combination of, or at least equality among, Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. This is why the Taoists of this school are also not allowed to marry, similar to monks, despite the fact that Sun Bu'er was Ma Yu's wife before meeting Wang Chongyang. Yeah, here's the eye opener for the day: the only women on the Seven, the one always speaking against Yang Guo, was originally Ma Yu's wife... Although Jinyong depict this sect as standing against Jin and Mongol rule, this sect in actual history conformed to both rules. In fact, Qiu Chuji actually became a sort of religious coordinator for Genghis Kan.
Relevant Series in Chronological Order:
Legend of the Condor Heroes: Qiu Chuji meets the parents of Guo Jing and Yang Kang, having just killed a Jin official. After the two protagonists' parents died/disappeared, Qiu Chuji was tasked with finding the Yang Kang and his mother, as well as training Yang Kang. While Yang Kang trained under Qiu Chuji, Ma Yu tipped Guo Jing in his internal training, laying foundation for his future success, as well as help the Jiang Nan Qi Guai deal with Mei Chaofeng. Afterwards, Guo Jing also became sworn brother of Zhou Botong, completely f***ing up the relationships.
Return of the Condor Heroes: Yang Guo was sent by Guo Jing to study at the sect in the beginning but runs away to the Ancient Tomb Sect after being abused by his seniors. In this series, Wang Chongyang had died, and Ma Yu became the next sect leader. We learned about the black romance/rivalry between Wang Chongyang and Grandmaster of the Ancient Tomb Sect. Yi Zhiping/Ling Pingzhi rapes Xiao Long Nu, and after Xiao Long Nu found out she is severely harmed by the Quan Zhen Seven. By this time Ling Pingzhi became the sect leader. Yang Guo and Zhou Botong help the sect eliminate the traitor, and Ling Pingzhi died.
Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber: Quan Zhen Sect is not mentioned, but by the end of this story, when the Ming dynasty is founded, Quan Zhen went into severe decline. The sect split along the Seven Branches. One of the resulting sect is call Mount Hua, but this is not related to the Mount Hua sect in Swordsman/Smiling Proud Wanderer.
- Wuxiapedia http://wuxiapedia.com/