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Qin Shi Huang


Qin Shi Huang was the first leader of unified China. He was the first to use the title "emperor" instead of "king," which became the standard for two millennia. Under his rule, China constructed the Great Wall, a national road system, and the Terracotta Army. After surviving many assassination attempts, it was the emperor's own hubris that killed him. Desperate to find immortality, he sent a servant out with ships full of hundreds of people to look for the mythical island Penglai, home to immortals and the Elixir of Life.

While he was touring Eastern China, Qin Shi Huang died, probably from mercury poisoning from "immortality pills" made by his alchemists. His tomb has never been opened and is said to be surrounded by a river of mercury. He is one of the first chinese emperors who tried to achieve immortality.