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Qilin Physiology

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The ability to use the abilities of Qilin. Variation of Mythical Bestiary.

Also Called

  • Chi'lin Physiology
  • Kirin Physiology


The user is or has the ability to take on the form of Qilin: a mythical hooved Chinese chimerical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures, and is said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a wise sage or an illustrious ruler. It is a good omen that brings rui; roughly translated as "serenity" or "prosperity" and often depicted with what looks like fire all over its body. It is sometimes misleadingly called the "Chinese unicorn" due to conflation with the unicorn by Westerners.

There are many different ways Qilin have been described. Some think of them as a rare form of unicorn; others have described it as a creature that has the head of a dragon and a body of tiger with scales. Others see it as a creature with a single horn on its forehead, a multicolored back, the hooves of a horse, the body of a deer, and with the tail of an ox.

Although it looks fearsome, the Qilin only punishes the wicked. It can walk on grass yet not trample the blades, and it can also walk on water. As it is a peaceful creature, its diet does not include flesh. It takes great care when it walks never to harm or tread on any living thing, and it is said to appear only in areas ruled by a wise and benevolent leader (some say even if this area is only a house). It is normally gentle but can become fierce if a pure person is threatened by a sinner, spouting flames from its mouth and exercising other fearsome powers that vary from story to story.

There are variations in the appearance of the qilin, even in historical China, owing to cultural differences between dynasties and regions.


  • During the Jin Dynasty, the Qilin is depicted as wreathed in flame and smoke, with a dragon-like head, scales, and the body of a powerful hooved beast such as a horse.
  • In the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), the Qilin is represented as an oxen-hoofed animal with a dragon-like head surmounted by a pair of horns and flame-like head ornaments.
  • The Qilin of China's subsequent Manchu Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) is a fanciful animal. Depictions of the Qilin show a creature with the head of a dragon, the antlers of a deer, the skin and scales of a fish, the hooves of an ox and tail of a lion.


  • Kirin is the Korean pronunciation of the Qilin. It is described as a maned creature with the torso of a deer, an ox tail with the hooves of a horse. The Qilin in Korean art were initially depicted as more deer-like, however over time they have transformed into more horse-like.


  • The Qilin is called Kirin in Japanese, which has also come to be used in the modern Japanese word for a giraffe. The Japanese art tends to depict the Qilin as more deer-like than in Chinese art. Alternatively, it is depicted as a dragon shaped like a deer, but with an ox's tail instead of a lion's tail. They are also often portrayed as partially unicorn-like in appearance, but with a backwards curving horn.




Known Users

  • Kirin (Pet Shop of Horrors)
  • Arceus (Pokemon)
  • Kirin (Genju no Seiza)
  • Kirin (Final Fantasy)
  • Qilinmon (Digimon)
  • Infernal Kirin, Skyfire Kirin, Cloudhoof Kirin, Celestial Kirin, and Bounteous Kirin (Magic: The Gathering set "Saviors of Kamigawa")
  • The Elder Dragon Kirin (Monster Hunter)
  • Enki (Twelve Kingdoms)
  • Qilin (Valkyrie Crusade)
  • Kirin Moto (RevEvolution)
  • Qilin (Yo-kai Watch)
  • Qilin (Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness)


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