Liu Jin (劉瑾; 1451 – 1510) was the leader of the Eight Tigers, a powerful group of eunuchs who served the Zhengde Emperor. He was betrayed and implicated on charges of treason by the other Tigers—all members of the Chinese Rite of the Templar Order—and executed via lingchi.
Serving under the Zhengde Emperor of the Ming dynasty, Liu Jin amassed enormous power and wealth. He was a corrupt eunuch who used his influence to siphon money to himself. In time, he came to lead the Eight Tigers, a group consisting of seven other eunuchs who shared in his abuse of power. Because the emperor indulged in a life of luxury and neglected his duties, Liu virtually had control of the nation, but his lieutenant, Zhang Yong, joined the Templar Order after many years cooperating with him. Failing to perceive the danger, Liu ignored this conversion and that of the rest of the Tigers.
In court, he clashed with the minister Wang Yangming, and in 1506, he managed to have the Neo-Confucian expelled from the capital. Unbeknownst to the Eight Tigers at the time, Wang was a Master Assassin of the Chinese Brotherhood and organized the Prince of Anhua rebellion in 1510 to counter his power. With his tremendous resources, Liu was easily poised to defeat it, but Wang's role was not discovered.
His victory meant little, for later that same year, he was betrayed by Zhang, who sought to usurp his position to advance the Templars' goals. He was implicated on charges both real and fabricated, among them, the theft of nearly a decade's worth of national income in gold and silver from taxes, and a plot to assassinate the emperor. Upon his conviction, he was sentenced to death by lingchi, a slow and torturous form of execution, and died two days after it commenced. A young Shao Jun, then only four-years-old, was one of the witnesses of his agonizing demise, and the scene was forever etched in her memory.
Behind the scenes
Liu Jin is mentioned as the late predecessor of the main antagonist Zhang Yong in 2015 video game Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China. Although both Chronicles: China and Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide gives the year of his death as 1510, Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun has it occurring in 1507.
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China (mentioned in Database entry only)
- Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun (appears in flashback(s))
- Assassin's Creed: The Ming Storm (mentioned only)