The appearance of a Qilin is regarded as an auspicious sign. It is also believed that the Qilin would only appear during the reign of a good ruler, or shortly before the birth or death of a sage.The Chinese emperors wanted one to appear during their reign, to enhance their reputations.
The Qilin is said to be composed of different animals,much like the Chinese dragon,but through the centuries its description has changed from dynasty to dynasty. Generally the Qilin has a quadruped, equine or ox-like body. Its body is covered with a fish’s scales, and is often enveloped in fire. Its head is similar to the Chinese dragon, yet, even this feature has its variations over time. Some Qilin have a single horn, for instance, while others have antlers of a deer.
The Qilin may be terrifying to behold, but stories describe it as a gentle,benign creature. In Buddhist depictions, the beast is often shown walking on the clouds so that it does not harm the grass by stepping upon it. In some of those legends, however. the Qilin is capable of incinerating evil-doers, and it has an arsenal of supernatural powers that are only revealed when it needs to defend innocent people