General Zhao Gong Ming is considered the one of the Deities of Wealth in Taoism, the figure came from a real historical person, a general in Qin Dynasty around two thousand years ago.
It is said that Zhao Gong Ming lived during the late Warring States period and he retreated to Zhong Nan Shan when the King of Qin founded his empire. He cultivated himself until he became an immortal and ascended to heaven. When Zhang Dao Ling (张天师 Zhang Tian Shi) cultivated to make the pills of immortality (丹药Dan Yao), he asked the Jade Emperor to send a god to protect him. Zhao Gong Ming was sent to protect the Tian Shi and received the title Zheng Yi Xuan Tan Marshal (正一玄坛元帅).
General Zhao Gong Ming was a disciple of the Celestial Master Zhang. He had helped his master to guard the caldrons for making the Golden Elixir and shared the Golden Elixir once it was made.
It is said General Zhao Gong Ming is able to control thunder and lightning, to dispel evil and eliminate epidemics, and bless people with wealth and fortune. In popular art, the figure of the general is one with black and hairy face, a stick weapon in hand and riding a black tiger.
Zhao Yuan Shui has four disciples assisting him. 1. Chen Jiu Gong, the god of attracting wealth; 2. Xiao Sheng, the god of collecting treasures; 3. Cao Bao, the god of collecting valuables; 4. Yao Shao Si, the god of profitability. Together they are known as the 五路财神 Wu Lu Cai Shen , God of Wealth of the Five Roads.