Five Mountain Sword Sects Alliance

The Five Mountain Sword Sects Alliance is a fictional alliance formed by five orthodox martial arts sects in the wuxia novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer[1] by Jin Yong. The five sects specialise in swordplay and are based on the Five Great Mountains in Taoism: Mount Hua; Mount Tai; (South) Mount Heng; (North) Mount Heng; and Mount Song. The alliance was initially established to counter the "evil" and "unorthodox" Sun Moon Holy Cult. However, as the story progresses, the alliance ultimately disintegrates due to mutual distrust and infighting.

Five Mountain Sword Sects Alliance
Traditional Chinese五嶽劍派
Simplified Chinese五岳剑派

Mount Hua SectEdit

Mount Song SectEdit

The Mount Song Sect (嵩山派) is headed by Zuo Lengshan (左冷禪), who is also the nominal chief of the alliance. It is based on the same mountain as the Shaolin Sect but situated on a different peak. The ambitious and ruthless Zuo Lengshan wishes to consolidate power by intimidating the other four sects to submit to him and merge into the Mount Song Sect. He sends his spy Lao Denuo to infiltrate the Mount Hua Sect and steal Yue Buqun's Violet Mist Divine Skill manual, and instigates the exiled Sword faction members of the Mount Hua Sect to challenge Yue Buqun. He bribes members of the Mount Tai Sect to turn against their leader Tianmen, who is betrayed and killed by his own men during a special ceremony. Zuo Lengshan also sends his followers to assassinate Dingjing, one of the three leaders of the (North) Mount Heng Sect. In an earlier chapter of the novel, Zuo Lengshan confronts Liu Zhengfeng of the (South) Mount Heng Sect during the latter's retirement ceremony to force him to surrender. Zuo Lengshan is eventually defeated by Yue Buqun and blinded. He is killed by Linghu Chong during the chaotic scene when they are trapped by Yue Buqun in a cave.

Mount Tai SectEdit

The Mount Tai Sect (泰山派) is affiliated to Taoism and led by Tianmen. Tianmen refuses to comply with Zuo Lengshan so the latter bribes the former's followers to turn against their leader. Tianmen is betrayed and murdered by conspirators during a special ceremony and Yuji is nominated by Zuo Lengshan to succeed Tianmen. The sect's best fighters are killed when the four sects are trapped by Yue Buqun in a cave at Mount Hua.

(North) Mount Heng SectEdit

The (North) Mount Heng Sect (恆山派) is affiliated to Buddhism and headed by the Three Elder Nuns (Dingjing, Dingxian and Dingyi), with Dingxian as the most senior of the trio. Its members are all female and mostly Buddhist nuns. Dingxian refuses to submit to Zuo Lengshan so the latter sends his followers to ambush and assassinate the leaders. Dingjing is killed in an ambush while Dingxian and Dingyi are murdered by Yue Buqun in Shaolin Monastery later. Dingxian names Linghu Chong as the new leader of their sect before her death. After taking leadership of the sect, Linghu Chong allows the jianghu lowlifes he is acquainted with to join the sect. He leads the sect well and earns the respect of others.

(South) Mount Heng SectEdit

The (South) Mount Heng Sect (衡山派) is led by a mysterious man called Mo Da. Its swordplay techniques are customised to suit musical themes. Mo Da is known for playing melancholic tunes on his huqin, where his sword is hidden. Mo Da's junior, Liu Zhengfeng, befriends Qu Yang of the Sun Moon Holy Cult. The duo share the same passion for music and they compose the musical piece "Xiaoao Jianghu" together. Zuo Lengshan leads his men to confront Liu Zhengfeng during the latter's retirement ceremony and eventually Liu Zhengfeng commits suicide together with Qu Yang. Mo Da is the sole survivor from the sect after Linghu Chong saves the martial artists trapped by Yue Buqun in a cave.


  1. ^ Cha, Louis. The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. Ming Pao, 1967.