DATE OF BIRTH: May 2, 393
HOMETOWN: Shandao, Seoujing
CURRENT LOCATION: --
FAMILY: Father, Mother
OCCUPATION: Freelance Mercenary/runebearer
Tao has two sides. One is bratty and innocently manipulative while the other is mature and serious. The side that gets shown depends heavily on how well he knows you and the situation at hand. He knows when to quit when his playfulness goes too far, though the usual victim of his antics is Luhan, who happily returns what Tao dishes out. He is sensitive, cries easily, and is considerate of others, in particular to those he feels loyalty towards. Tao has his manic moments thanks to a constant battle with low blood sugar. He can go from hyperactive little kid to a shoegazer depending which side of manic he ends up on. Food solves the problem and he’s back to normal, however it’s something he has to watch. He is most at ease around Luhan and is never late thanks to the internal clock provided by his rune.
Tall and athletic from his years of martial arts training, Tao easily catches your eye. Dark hair is kept short, and swept forward on his head, the fringe not quite in his eyes but close. Sharp, dark eyes are always calculating while a smirk is perpetually settled on his cupid’s bow shaped mouth. Usually seen wearing high collared overcoats with shirts that have long flowing sleeves that cover his hands, cargo pants with multiple pockets and lightweight combat boots, and a leather belt is at his waist with a few belt pouches to hold his belongings. Multiple earrings adorn both ears.
When he’s working, the sleeves are pulled back and tucked into bracers and fingerless gloves cover his hands. He doesn’t take his weapons out in public, but does keep a collapsable staff hidden in his sleeve and strapped to his forearm.
Tao was an only child, born into a well off family and the heir to his Father’s shipping business, which was a major power in Shandao’s local trade industry. He grew up normal, if somewhat spoiled and at a young age fell in love with Wu Shu. There was a local school that would constantly do demos near the family home and five year old Zi Tao would go to watch them often. It wasn’t long before his mother enrolled him in classes and soon he learned that he had passion and a real talent for the art. Here he became fast friends with one of the older students in the class, a Shin Xiao Yu, he looked after Tao much like he would his own brother, it didn’t take long before they’d become close.
Shortly after his sixth birthday, Tao’s world changed. The mark of his rune, Chronos, painted itself on the skin at the base of his neck while he slept. The next morning he found his world at a stand still while he was moving at normal speed. Panicking after finding his mother frozen in her housework, he fled from the house. But outside was no better, it was more of the same, everything was still, including the busy thoroughfare in front of the Huang’s townhouse. Tao ran into the street, only to look up at the sound of squealing brakes and the clang of a street car’s bell. The world had returned to normal and the boy had no time to save himself. He screamed, expecting an impact but it never came.
Xiao Yu plucked him out of the street before any harm could come to him. He then took a sobbing and terrified Tao to his mother, who had come running at the sound of the noise once she had been set free of whatever stasis had come over her. Everything had been normal for everyone else, Tao knew the truth, he knew something was wrong. It terrified him, he refused to sleep, he didn’t want the world to stop again, but despite his best efforts, he lost that battle and when he woke up, stumbling into the family’s living room, where both of his parents and a Grey Beard were waiting for him.
The Huangs had already been told what was happening to their son. Tao’s father was upset, losing his heir could mean trouble for his company. His mother just didn’t want to send her only son off to a strange place with strange people, but they both knew that it would be dangerous for everyone if the boy didn’t go with the Grey Beard. In the end, even if he didn’t completely understand, Tao was sent off with the Grey Beard to learn how to control his rune.
At first, it was hard being away from home and not knowing anyone, but he learned quickly and he discovered that his martial arts training helped harness the rune’s power. Once Tao understood the basics and could apply them to his power, he went about his normal routine, his time divided between Wushu, school and training with the other kids at the Guild. The bond with his guildmates developed and solidified quickly and soon he couldn’t imagine life without them.
Back home, Tao had an entirely different relationship with Xiao Yu. Somehow his long time friend and companion had become more. The relationship was difficult at the best of times and while Tao enjoyed the physical aspects of it, he didn’t have the same feelings that Xiao Yu did. It was very much an on again, off again relationship and when Kris announced his intentions to seek out another Guild for his rune, like the others in their pack, he couldn’t let Kris go alone. Once the preparations were made for them to depart, Tao broke it off with Xiao Yu. It hurt, but not as badly as he thought it would, he had both his pack and Luhan at his side. This was just the next stage in his life and Zi Tao wanted to face it head on, his packmates at his side.