The famous characters from 'Investiture of the Gods' are The Lord of East (黄飞虎)，Neza (哪吒)，The four demonic generals (魔家四將)，The god of wealth (趙公明)，The 10 heavenly masters (十天君)，The 3-eyed God (二郎神)，Thunder God (雷震子) etc.
On the other hand the famous characters from Journey to the West are: The Tang Monk (唐三藏)，the 8 precepts (猪八戒)，the Monkey God (孙悟空)，Monk Sha (沙悟净) etc.
And finally in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms we have the famous warrior Guangong (关公).
At first glance, all of the characters above are already gods that we can see in most Chinese temples and homes. But do you know the hidden agendas of those epics?
First the 'Investiture of the Gods' praises Taoism and belittles Buddhism. The 4 demonic generals actually refers to the 4 heavenly kings of Buddhism. On the other hand, in the Journey to the West, the pig-head and the Monk Sha refer to Taoist heavenly generals, while the Monkey God is also of Taoist origin.
So, by depicting three Taoist figures sought refuge under the Tang Monk; the author indicates that Buddhism is much superior than Taoism.
Of course, all of the above mentioned figures are of fable nature except the Tang Monk and Guangong. Interestingly speaking, Guangong worship only started in Qing Dynasty after advocated by the emperor of that time.
After rounds and rounds of title endowments by Chinese emperors, Guangong suddenly became the god of brotherhood. Perhaps the Qing emperors' message was to encourage their subjects sworn loyalty towards the Qing dynasties. Having so said, Qing dynasty toppled after about 300 years of ruling China.
If we scrutinize Taoist rituals now a days, most of the above mentioned gods would be invoked during all sorts of celebrations and rituals. My question is:
"What will join the party since all of those figures are fable or perhaps no more in existence in nature?"