Dong Zhuo's Forces
Lu Bu's Forces
168 cm (5'6")
|Weapon Type:|| Dual chuí (1~5)|
Chain whip (6~9)
|Playable Debut:||Dynasty Warriors|
|Real name:|| |
|Chinese name:|| |
貂蟬 - 貂蝉
|Possibly fictional. Scholars reason she was born sometime around 161 to 169 while Dynasty Warriors 6 lists her birthdate as 176.|
|Personal Item:|| |
Lu Bu's Comb
Diaochan (onyomi: Chōsen) is Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu's lover in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. She is one of Wang Yun's dancing servants who used her beauty and charms to turn both of her lovers against one another. Due to the open nature of her origin, she can either be seen as a malicious or loving character.
In the Dynasty Warriors series, her romantic ties for Dong Zhuo are discarded often in favor for her role as Lu Bu's lover. Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll has her at fourteenth place; she was the fifth most popular character with fans in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends poll. In Famitsu's character survey, she placed tenth in the girlfriend category. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts her in twenty-eighth. The character poll for overseas fans puts her in third place for the Other division, fourth in the semi-finals, and fifth in the final round. This counterpart shares a character duet with Lu Bu called REASON TO FIGHT.
Her Kessen II counterpart's height is 165 cm (5'5"). Her voice actor is a thespian and television celebrity. She is one of the many celebrated actors who performed for the title.
Before 2012, Koei titles separated the Chinese characters for her character's name and called her "Diao Chan". Her given name is now properly localized in the games.
Role in GamesEdit
- "Some flowers are too dangerous to touch."
- ~~Hideyoshi; Warriors Orochi
Diao Chan is a dancing maiden who wants to destroy Dong Zhuo, usually on request by her adopted father Wang Yun. She does so by infiltrating Dong Zhuo's army as a normal mistress and fights to gain the tyrant's trust. She also appeals to Lu Bu, using his feelings for her to antagonize Dong Zhuo. In their related Musou Modes, she joins Lu Bu's revolt. During other characters' scenarios, she either dies fighting against the Allied Forces at Hu Lao Gate or the army opposing Lu Bu at Xia Pi.
Her only appearance in Dynasty Warriors 2 is at Hu Lao Gate where she accompanies Dong Zhuo into battle, generally dying in the battle. Should players fail to ensure her survival while fighting under Dong Zhuo's banner, Lu Bu will immediately blame the tyrant for her death and turn against him.
Diao Chan's role in Dynasty Warriors 3 remains similar to the last title and she will always die at Hu Lao Gate, unless she is ignored by the player. However, she may defect in Dong Zhuo's version of Hu Lao Gate if the coalition gains the upper hand. She is also seen dancing and singing the game's image song during Shu's ending scene and may appear in one of Wu's versions as well.
In her story in Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends, Diao Chan constantly flatters Lu Bu while they fight together in Dong Zhuo's army. Her performance in the battles against Cao Cao and Sun Ce earns Dong Zhuo's trust, and he allows her to accompany Lu Bu to conquer Shu on Dong Zhuo's behalf. Diao Chan convinces him to betray Dong Zhuo after they succeed, and their armies clash at Chi Bi. Lu Bu and Diao Chan are victorious and Dong Zhuo is slain. Afterwards, Diao Chan convinces the "politically inept" Lu Bu to support the Han Dynasty and the Han are restored. Diao Chan then attempts to leave Lu Bu, but her way is blocked by Lu Bu's officers and the remnants of the Three Kingdoms. Lu Bu corners her and refuses to let her leave. To leave the political arena for good, she defeats him to live peacefully by herself. In the other story modes, she generally has a minor role in Yuan Shao's, only appearing at Hu Lao. In Dong Zhuo's she fights in a few of his battles and later is slain by him at Chi Bi, alongside Lu Bu. She has a similar role in Lu Bu's story, except that she lives and fights with him. In Zhu Rong's story, she is one of the characters humiliated by the Nanman pair. Along with her lover and the remaining couples, they stage an attack on Zhu Rong's army at He Fei Castle, but are all slain by the Nanman King and Queen.
In Dynasty Warriors 4, her role varies depending on which kingdom the player selects. Choosing Lu Bu's scenario causes her to convince him into revolting against his master. However, she remains with Dong Zhuo from beginning to end if his scenario is chosen instead. It's unknown if her loyalty to him in this path is sincere or not. In Shu's story mode, she only appears at Hu Lao Gate where she will always die. While in Wu's story mode she appears in both Hu Lao Gate and a Wu's Tale stage called The Imperial Seal, she normally dies in the latter battle. She has a larger role in Wei's Story Mode, appearing at Hu Lao and Xia Pi, in which she usually meets her end at Xia Pi, however she also appears at Wei's Tale Stage Lu Bu's Offensive, where either she or/and Gao Shun need to be defeated in order to carry out the fire attack. If you skipped Xia Pi, she will die at Lu Bu's Offensive.
Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends details her version of Dong Zhuo's death. Diao Chan faithfully sticks to Wang Yun's plot to use Lu Bu to kill Dong Zhuo, yet the warrior doesn't move against Dong Zhuo. As the tyrant's reign of terror prolongs itself, she decides to carry out her father's will by herself and sneaks into Dong Zhuo's room within the capital. She may choose to avoid the patrol guards so as to not fight Lu Bu. When she completes her mission, Dong Zhuo expresses his disbelief that she has been targeting him since the start. Diao Chan reasons that his death is needed to start a new age and leaves. She continues to fight through Dong Zhuo's remaining officers to escape from the castle.
Dynasty Warriors 5 has Diao Chan assist the front at Si Shui Gate, reluctant with her role in her father's plot. As she draws closer to Lu Bu, she becomes infatuated with him and fears for his safety at Hu Lao Gate. When she tells him that she chooses to stand by his side, she confesses Wang Yun's plot to Lu Bu and the couple kill Dong Zhuo together. Although her role is finished, she devotes herself to her love and follows him where ever he goes. They are hunted down as rebels and Cao Cao and Liu Bei attack Lu Bu when he finally gains a land for himself at Xia Pi. While Lu Bu's forces were able to prevail, their leader exhausts himself and dies. Diao Chan, left with no will to fight, gives no heed to the land's ensuing chaos.
She shares her Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansion with Lu Bu and Zhang Liao. The trio work together to surround Puyang Castle and create a land of their own. They join forces with the Wei defector, Chen Gong. After the battle, Diao Chan laments being ostracized by the surrounding regional lords. Even so, she pines to spend more time beside Lu Bu.
In Dynasty Warriors 6, she has already carried out her father's plot to destroy Dong Zhuo. While her father's dying wish was for her to live her own life, Diao Chan promises to keep using Lu Bu's strength to restore the Han Dynasty. Once Lu Bu steals Xia Pi, she acts as a damsel in distress to manipulate Lu Bu into action. His army attacks Sun Jian for the Imperial Seal and defeat the indignant Liu Bei at Jing Province. Cao Cao retaliates against Lu Bu and the army runs away from him until Han Zhong. They rout the conqueror and are granted a moment's peace. Chen Gong, who isn't fooled by Diao Chan's lies, asks her real desires and what it has to do with Lu Bu's wishes, which has her ponder her feelings for him. During their following conflicts with Cao Cao, Diao Chan begins to realize Lu Bu's genuine care for her and begins to feel guilty about her scheme. When Lu Bu hints that he has known the truth about her since Dong Zhuo's death, she is surprised yet touched, truly thanking him for his efforts. Cao Cao falls at Xu Chang and the Han Dynasty is restored to its former power. Diao Chan and Lu Bu detach themselves from political affairs and live their lives together in peace.
In Dynasty Warriors 7 Diao Chan is hardly seen in the story modes of the three kingdoms. She fights the coalition army at Hu Lao Gate, but after Dong Zhuo is murdered, she wanders the land with Lu Bu and later aids Liu Bei and Gongsun Zan's forces in the Battle of Xu Province. Later, Diao Chan fights the armies of Liu Bei and Cao Cao in the Battle of Xiapi, but she is not mentioned in any story mode after that. It is presumed that she dies alongside Lu Bu.
Her three Legendary Battles roughly follow her general role in the series. Her first one has her act on her father's wishes to personally assassinate Dong Zhuo in the capital. Diao Chan's secondary Legendary Battle has her star in the defense of Xiapi, defending her lover from Liu Bei and Cao Cao's armies. Cao Cao states her duty to kill Dong Zhuo has long been achieved and asks how long she intends to keep up her farce to Lu Bu. Diao Chan has no idea how long she intends to follow Lu Bu, but she implies her feelings for her lover may be genuine. A beauty contest held between her and other maidens in the game acts as her last Legendary Battle. She defeats various beauties -including Zhang He- to prove her charms to be unmatched throughout the land.
The Xtreme Legends expansion adds a Hero Scenario dedicated to her. It is a detailed version of Dong Zhuo's assassination, in which she tries to convince other generals to defect. When her plan for stealth fails, it turns into massacre in the capital. Together with Lu Bu, the couple succeed in slaying the tyrant.
Dynasty Warriors Next has her enact Wang Yun's plot to destroy Dong Zhuo. She is encountered again as an enemy of Cao Cao's forces during the Battle of Xiapi. Despite her best efforts, she fails to defend the main camp from Xiahou Yuan and is forced to leave the battlefield. Following her lover throughout his scenario, Diaochan grieves over the continued conflict which motivates Lu Bu to end the fighting for her sake. His rampaging causes more suffering across the land, forcing Wang Yun to band the other warlords against him. Out of obligation for her father, she leaves Lu Bu's side and declares her intent to have him die for the chaos to end. She surrenders to Lu Bu after her father's defeat and they both mutually confess their affections for one another. The couple resumes their journey throughout the land in an effort to stop the scourge of war for good.
Dynasty Warriors 8 has Diaochan aid the worn out Cao Cao in his plight from Dong Zhuo by leading him to an escape route outside Luoyang. She is seen later on participating in the battles at Hulao Gate and Xiapi as an enemy. For her personal scenario in Story Mode, she and Wang Yun are pursued by Dong Zhuo who caught wind of their plot. Making their way through various foes and obstacles, they reach Lu Bu in time and successfully turn him against his master. With his aid, the three of them manage to repel Zhang Liao before exterminating Dong Zhuo.
In the Xtreme Legends expansion title, Diaochan plays a small but pivotal role in the first half of Lu Bu's Story Mode. After helping Dong Zhuo's army move the Emperor to Chang'an, she persuades Lu Bu to eliminate the tyrant for her father's sake. Once the deed is done, their army is forced to leave the capital due to enemy reinforcements led by Jia Xu. With her role over, Diaochan retires from the battlefield and does not appear in the historical route. Should the player have Wang Yun hide during the revolt, Diaochan will find him alive and promise to return to Lu Bu's side.
In the hypothetical route, Diaochan actively participates in Lu Bu's campaigns while showing concern over his dissatisfaction towards the Emperor. She proves instrumental in cementing her lover's alliance with Liu Bei in time for their attack against Cao Cao at Xu Province. She also appears in the final battle at Chang'an, and is happy to see Lu Bu's decision to become emperor without killing Emperor Xian.
In Warriors Orochi, Diao Chan originally followed Lu Bu into the Serpent King's service, but is disturbed by the cruelty of the Orochi Army and the effect that it has on Lu Bu. She eventually joins the Coalition against Orochi, causing Lu Bu to disown her. In the Japanese script, he merely says he looks forward to meeting her again.
She loyally follows her lover in the sequel and joins his side when he declares his independence. She shares her dream stage with Motochika and Zhang He as the three artistic warriors punish Da Ji for ruining the picture-perfect scenery. When Lu Bu appears on the field to aid the vixen, she chastises him for blindly following orders and convinces him to defect from the serpent forces.
During the original timeline of Warriors Orochi 3, Diaochan was Lu Bu's faithful companion in his travels throughout the dimensional realm. Upon watching her lover be defeated by Nezha after the two chanced upon an engagement between the Wei forces and Da Ji, she attempted to flee, but was cornered and subsequently killed. Her death is averted by the coalition when they travel to the past to chain boats together to form new passage for her in a changed timeline. After returning to Tong Gate again, the makeshift bridge is enough to encourage her speedy and safe escape after Lu Bu's withdrawal. Grateful for saving her life, she eagerly accompanies them in their quest to change the future. In the battle at Osaka Castle, she asks Lu Bu to join her if the two of them meet.
Throughout the downloadable stages she appears in, Diaochan accompanies Lu Bu, rarely being without him. In "Dong Zhuo's Ambition", they help their lord in creating a paradise of beautiful women. In "Lu Bu's Revenge", Diaochan helps her lover in defeating Nezha.
One of the new scenarios in Ultimate has Diaochan cooperate with Ayane and Nemea in driving off the demonic troops at Yan Province. Their efforts help them earn the trust of Ayane's half-sister Kasumi. Diaochan also participates in one of the Coalition's skirmishes against Kyūbi alongside Zhou Yu and Sanzang.
Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit
Romance of the Three Kingdoms III refers to her as Chou Sen. At her father's behest, she will join the player if they conquer Chang'an during the former's twilight years. Her high charisma makes her an excellent choice for recruiting new officers, while her others stats are relatively low. Later titles depict her role in Dong Zhuo's assassination and in some titles she is exclusively playable in this specific mission. Her stats in these games are more or less like the majority of the female cast: good stats for domestic and low stats for military affairs. Her charisma is among the highest in the games where the stat is present. She tends to die young, around her 25 years old.
Diao Chan acts as the narrator for both the Shu and Wei stories in Kessen II. She is a simple dancer and Liu Bei's compassionate lover. The infant Han emperor entrusted her with the Imperial Seal and asked her to find a worthy man to possess it. She kept its location a secret, but Himiko sensed that she had it thus leading Cao Cao to stage a rebellion against Liu Bei. She is kidnapped by him and is constantly interrogated to reveal the hidden treasure. She communicates with her lover through a crystal orb whenever she can.
As she stays with Cao Cao, Diao Chan begins to sympathize with him and realizes that he wasn't the cruel tyrant she originally thought. Midway through the game, Cao Cao's troops leak a false rumor regarding her death with the hopes of demoralizing Liu Bei. The ploy didn't last long as Zhuge Liang tells his lord that she is still alive.
During the later part of Wei's story, she eventually offers to tell Cao Cao the Imperial Seal's location. Cao Cao, who has a change of heart by this time, states he no longer needs it. In Shu's ending, she is happily reunited with Liu Bei and reveals that Cao Cao died due to the wounds he sustained in battle. Liu Bei is declared missing after his defeat in Wei's ending, so Diao Chan respectfully leaves Cao Cao to search for him. She finds him in the game's epilogue, and the lovers are content to leisurely sail on a boat.
Diaochan is an elegant and patient woman who displays her cunning with her charms. Normally a kind and benevolent individual, she painfully conceals her true feelings for her father's scheme. She does not enjoy violence yet finds that battle is inevitable in the times she lives in. A talented dancer and singer, she equates each encounter she fights as a dance. Her English counterpart is slightly stronger willed than her Japanese counterpart, who speaks in a dainty, graceful and overtly feminine dialect.
Her sincerity towards Lu Bu changes in each title. In certain titles, she seems only to be manipulating him to better serve her goals. However, many titles and scenarios depict that she truly loves him and is genuinely devoted to him. She addresses her lover as "Lord Lu Bu" in the English script and "Lord Fèngxiān" in the Asian script. Like Zhenji, her sexually suggestive phrases for Lu Bu are often cut in the English script. She despises Dong Zhuo, which she emphasizes in every appearance. While she sides with Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu, she ultimately stays true to her own set of beliefs as she manipulates the men to do her bidding. In the Warriors Orochi series, she shares an affinity with Oichi and Nene during the first game while befriending Okuni, Sanzang, and Kasumi in the later sequels.
In the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Diao Chan is given the nickname of "The Fatal Lady" while the English version changes it to "The Dancer who Toppled Kingdoms". As a dominant ruler in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, she calls her five greatest warriors the "Five Warriors of Grace".
Her second weapon in older titles is named after the hibiscus, or specifically the Confederate Rose. Its characteristic trait is its changing color as it blooms. When it's morning, the flower is white and it gradually turns scarlet by nightfall. According to legend, Hou Zhu of the Later Shu kingdom was surrounded by the flower at the castle he was within. Touched by the sight, he praised the flowers to match the charm and beauty of several thousand maidens. Today, the flower is the emblem of Chengdu and is famous for having fields of them when in season. Within the flower language, the flower means forbidden love or a delicate beauty.
Diao Chan's outfit in Dynasty Warriors 6 is decorated with a peony native to China, the Chinese peony. It is seen as a national flower and often paired with another native tree peony. An idiom for a beautiful maiden includes these flowers: "If standing, she is a Chinese peony; if sitting, she is a tree peony; and when she walks, she is like a lily." In the flower language, it means bashfulness or shyness. When pressed, it can also mean a growing sense of attrition or spite. Her outfit also has a butterfly adornment, which is related to a pun more commonly associated with Zhang He in the series.
Her weapons in the sixth title are originally named after romantic and pristine images. They are moon incense (Standard), a rainbow drop (Skill), and flower tears (Strength). Her skill chart has two hearts, likely a reference with her relationship with Lu Bu.
Diao Chan's personal item in Warriors Orochi is Lu Bu's headdress. Made out of gold and precious pearls, the headdress was a gift from Wang Yun who used it to curry favor with Lu Bu and have him meet Diao Chan. It also gave away his presence to the maiden when she stayed with Dong Zhuo, allowing her to feign tears on cue to stir the warrior's emotions.
- Lynn Harris - Dynasty Warriors 2 (English)
- Melodee Spevack - Dynasty Warriors 4 (English-uncredited)
- Carrie Savage - Dynasty Warriors 5~8, Warriors Orochi series; first and second games only (English-uncredited)
- Wendee Lee - Kessen II (English-uncredited)
- Beate Pfeiffer - Dynasty Warriors 3 (German-uncredited)
- Chen Xiaoyue - Dynasty Warriors 3 (Chinese)
- Bae Jeong-mi - Dynasty Warriors 2 (Korean)
- Jeong Hyeong Yeong - Dynasty Warriors 3 (Korean)
- Choi Deok Hui - Dynasty Warriors 4 (Korean)
- Kim Seon Hye - Dynasty Warriors 5 (Korean)
- Park So-yeon - Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed (Korean)
- Rika Komatsu - Dynasty Warriors series, Warriors Orochi series, Sangokushi 12 (Japanese)
- Emiri Nakayama - Kessen II (Japanese); also the model for character and actor for Diao Chan's live action sequences
- Maria Kawamura - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series
- Rie Suegara - Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 (Japanese)
- Ayana Taketatsu - Sangokushi Legion
Live Action PerformersEdit
- See also: Diaochan/Quotes
- "I will serve under you always and forever... my love, Lord Lu Bu."
- "Rest now... My beloved."
- "There is only one man I wish to stand by... and it is you, not Lord Dong Zhuo!"
- "For me to receive this rank... From hereafter I shall continue dancing to comfort everyone's body and soul with all my best."
- "Such a fine woman to be wasted on such a beast!"
- "My lord Lu Bu is more than you'll ever be!"
- ~~Cao Cao and Diao Chan; Dynasty Warriors 5
- "Diao Chan, will you dance for me tonight?"
- "Your wish is my command. What sort of dance would you desire?"
- "Hmm... I'll leave that to you. Any dance will be fine, as long as it's you."
- ~~Lu Bu and Diao Chan; Dynasty Warriors 7
- "Diaochan, I'm sorry. I know I always ask a lot of you."
- "No, I don't find it any trouble at all. I want to repay you for the kindness you have shown me, Father."
- "If that is so, then let me see you be happy. You could think about finding a nice man to settle down with..."
- "Hehehe... Father, getting married would only cause me more trouble."
- ~~Wang Yun and Diaochan; Dynasty Warriors 8
- "I'm not sure how to say this, but... Your outfit is really sexy. I don't think it would suit me at all."
- "Oh, I wouldn't say that. You have a very cute charm all of your own."
- "Being sexy is all about making men's heads spin, though, right? I don't really understand that stuff yet."
- "It's more than that. Being loved, and having special people. That's another type of sexiness. You have a lot of friends, and Master Zhou Yu treasures you deeply. You should have more confidence."
- "Hehe, it's nice to hear that! Thank you! You're also one of my friends!"
- "I'm one of them too? Thank you for saying that. I will treasure you too."
- ~~Xiaoqiao and Diaochan; Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers
- "Your dance has beauty, but it is faithless, and it only brings dishonor to the battlefield."
- "Honor, faith... These words mean nothing in this world of turmoil..."
- ~~Kanetsugu and Diao Chan; Warriors Orochi
- "Beautiful. Much too lovely a flower for the battlefield."
- "Compared to you, I am but a plain, poor girl..."
- ~~Nu Wa and Diao Chan; Warriors Orochi 2
- "Lady Sanzang, please listen. My dancing is impure. I think..."
- "Diaochan, there is sadness in your movements, but that can soothe the human heart."
- "Lady Sanzang, you must be all-knowing. Maybe I can learn to appreciate my dancing somewhat."
- ~~Diaochan and Sanzang; Warriors Orochi 3
- "Lady Kasumi, is something troubling you? From time to time, I can see it in your face."
- "There is somebody that I wish were dead. That's what I was thinking about."
- "Oh, I see... Hehe... I know exactly what you mean."
- ~~Diaochan and Kasumi; Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate
- "I am sorry to disturb you my lord, but I am afraid. I feel that I will never see you again once you leave the castle."
- "You do not have to worry, for I am invincible. I will not be defeated by the likes of Cao Cao. I have always come back to you after a battle, have I not?"
- ~~Diao Chan and Lu Bu; Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII
- See also: Diaochan/Movesets
|Keys:||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
Dynasty Warriors 7Edit
Diao Chan is affiliated with nine sectioned whip in this appearance. When she is equipped with it, she can perform a unique attack exclusive to her. Upon performing her Musou techniques, she will automatically use the weapon in her attacks.
- EX Attack: , , , , : Spins in place declaring her battle cry causing an attack and speed buff to temporarily increase speed and attack for a short time.
- Musou - Silver Lotus (銀蓮): : Performs a "prancing" dance while surrounded by a pink flower pedal aura, hitting enemies as she dances. Classified as a Multi-strike Musou in Next and used in Warriors Orochi 3.
- Alternate Musou - Lunar Dance (月李): R1 + : Performs a spinning dance in place, hitting enemies with the same flowery aura as she spins. The animation used for this move varies in each version of the game.
- Dynasty Warriors Next
- Speed Musou - Whirlwind: Tap both sides of screen: Draws in enemies by twirling weapon in an upright position to create a pink-tinted whirlwind. Following the attack's movements causes the whirlwind to grow larger and release flower petals.
- Warriors Orochi 3
- , : Spins around while descending, sending nearby enemies up into the air.
- R1: Quickly swings whip to perform an aerial dance that devastates the enemy within landing range.
- , R1 (Ultimate only): Hangs unto whip while spinning around kicking at the enemy sideways multiple times.
Dynasty Warriors 8Edit
Diaochan keeps the same moveset from the previous title with the following additions.
- EX Attack 2 (Xtreme Legends only): , , : Performs two radial strikes and a slide attack while covered in numerous petals.
- Aerial Musou - Blossoming Flower (木花相): , : Gracefully lands on top of an enemy. If it successfully connects, she will perform three somersault kicks in a row.
- Awakening Musou: Encircles flaming weapon in a vertical fashion slowly. Ends the attack with a pirouette kick that sends off electric surges followed by a shockwave-generating flip kick. The extension picks up the speed by having her hop around spinning with whip in hand before including additional hits.
- See also: Diaochan/Weapons
Dynasty Warriors 8Edit
Diaochan still uses the chain whip as her default weapon in this title.
Diaochan is a woman who may not have existed in history as her name is not listed in official historical records. While records suggests that Lu Bu did have relations with one of Dong Zhuo's maids, no mentions of her name are found anywhere. Nevertheless, she is known as one of the Four Beauties of Ancient China, who was said to be so luminously lovely that the moon itself would shy away in embarrassment when compared to her face.
Her name and backstory can be found in Romance of Three Kingdoms. In the text, she appears as a sixteen-year old songstress of unparalleled beauty taken in at an unspecified time during her childhood by Wang Yun, one of the high-ranking ministers in the Han court. Wang Yun, despondent after Dong Zhuo had a minister's head brought in on a red platter during a banquet, walked to-and-fro at his home at night, weeping. There he hears the crying of Diaochan, who herself was grieving over her caretaker's depression caused by the tyranny of Dong Zhuo. She expressed how she would rather die ten thousand times before declining an opportunity to serve him. Wang Yun, after observing her visage quickly formulated a plan, and prostrating before her presented his Double Snare plot, which was to catch the hearts of Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu and pit them against the other.
Diaochan hurriedly accepted the offer. Shortly after, Wang Yun introduced the fair maiden to his target's adopted son, Lu Bu, who was instantly charmed by her graceful demeanor. Wang Yun promised her to the stricken youth but, only a few days later, he gave her to Dong Zhuo as his concubine at a banquet. Diaochan's beauty enraptured the chancellor so much that official work was left alone for a month. Diaochan stayed with Dong Zhuo, and on more than one occasion acted helpless in front of Lu Bu while his adoptive father was not watching. At the same time, Dong Zhuo grew suspicious of his son harboring feelings for the maiden, causing their relation to worsen. Tensions between the two came to a head when Dong Zhuo chased off Lu Bu for embracing Diaochan outside the palace garden. Diaochan cleverely secured the tyrant's trust by making it seem as if Lu Bu was harassing her and protested at the idea of being sent to him as a peace offering. Pleased with her answer, the two of them set out for the city of Meiwo. Despite advice from Li Ru, who was foreseeing what might have happened should the wedging bonds continue, Dong Zhuo would not let her go. Eventually, Lu Bu would betray his father and kill him in another trap set by Wang Yun.
After this event, Diaochan reunited with Lu Bu and became one of his wives. She stayed with him during their time moving from place to place until his execution at Xiapi five years later. She is no longer mentioned in the novel at this point, though some adaptations of the story have her die alongside Lu Bu.
Various folktales of Diaochan mostly describe her fate after Lu Bu's death. In one story, she is given to Guan Yu as an offering by Cao Cao to gain his loyalty. Another tale has Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei arguing over her. Both stories end with Guan Yu killing Diaochan to prevent her from causing anymore discord between men.
The Yuan Dynasty opera Lianhuan Ji (連環計) portrays Diaochan as the daughter of one Ren Ang (任昂) from the village of Mu'er in Xinzhou. Her real name being Ren Hongchang (任紅昌), she became a handmaid within the Han court and handled the sable cicada headresses worn by high-ranking officials. This role is depicted as the origin of her current name. She was originally given to Ding Yuan who then handed her over to Lu Bu as his wife. When the two of them were separated during the Yellow Turban Rebellion, Diaochan was taken in by Wang Yun who discovered her ties with Lu Bu and reunited them both. When her husband died at Xiapi, she was introduced to Guan Yu by Zhang Fei only to be decapitated by the former.
A different folktale has Diaochan be spared by Guan Yu before becoming a nun. Unfortunately, she commits suicide after hearing of Cao Cao's intention of making her his concubine. In another tale, however, the three sworn brothers escort Diaochan back to her alleged hometown of Muzhi Village (once known as Mu'er) where she lived for the remainder of her days.