WARNING: This page contains spoilers through the end of the series.
Sang Zan lived two hundred years ago as a slave of the Hanga tribe. He and Wang Zheng, the daughter of the Patriach, fell in love. However this did not stop him from leading a slave rebellion and killing her father, who was responsible for the deaths of Sang Zan's sister and brother.
After the rebellion, Sang Zan took over the Hanga tribe and declared that there would be no more slaves, and all would be equal. For a time, he and Wang Zheng lived happily. But the tribal elders decided that Wang Zheng had used witchcraft to ensnare Sang Zan, and condemned her to death by strangling.
Sang Zan, desperate to save his lover, used the Mountain-River Awl in an attempt to revive her. Instead, the Mountain-River Awl separated her essence from her body. Believing his lover dead, Sang Zan plotted to kill the rest of his tribe, and carried out his plans for murdering the people he believed responsible.
After poisoning and stabbing one of the last elders, Sang Zan learned that the remaining members of the tribe were digging up Wang Zheng's body with the intention to burn it. He rushed to her side, grasping the Mountain-River Awl. When it activated, Sang Zan was trapped in a pillar in a mountain cave, while Wang Zheng's essence was sent forward in time, to be found by the SID.
Eventually the SID found and freed Sang Zan, getting the Mountain-River Awl in the process. Sang Zan, now also an energy body, accepted the position of librarian with the SID, despite neither speaking nor reading their language. He struggles with modern life, but he and Wang Zheng are very much in love and happy together.