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Years prior to the story, Mr. Ping as a young gooseling went into the Xin Xau forest, and encountered the Qilin. He was frightened and escaped. Since then, Mr. Ping told stories of the Qilin that no one would believe, even the assumptions that the Qilin would eat the heads of people.
Po encountered the creature after Mr. Ping leaves him in the forest. He shows Po around his cavern home and how he earns his living. Po believed the Qilin was harmless, but Mr. Ping won't. Eventually, General Tsin who proclaimed the creature was evil began to hunt the Qilin.
The panda tries to talk Tsin down and warn the Qilin. When at first there would be no hope of escape, Mr. Ping believed his son and saved the two. To show their beliefs, Po and Ping let the Qilin chase them around the Valley of Peace and threaten the villagers that if they do not eat at Mr. Ping's noodle shop, he would consume their heads. After succeeding, the Qilin admires the goose who first sighted him, then leaves.
Qilin is nothing like how he's been said to be, and is merely a victim of being different.
Really, he's quite friendly, a good host to those he invites into his home, and just wants to be left alone since a lot of folks have hunted him. However, he does have a lonely side, as he never knew his own father, he wishes others would accept him despite his appearance, and felt like he should do something to help Po and Mr. Ping make up since he was the root of their argument.
He has a quirk of saying some nonsensical words, and likes tea and snacks.
Qilin might practice some form of martial arts although he appears to rely mostly on his strength and agility. However, he helped save Po by swinging on a rope and kicking General Tsin in a flying kick.
He is very fast and come run even faster on all fours, and is strong enough to knock down a tree with one backhand swipe.
It's possible he has some magical abilities, as the entrance into his home is literally through a boulder he can walk right through. Unless he pulls them in, no one can enter his home the same way. He stated the entrance is camouflaged but he didn't say how.
Qilin somehow knew Po and Mr. Png were looking for him and so followed them while hearing they were arguing about his existence. When they seemed to have a falling out, Qilin felt he should show himself to Po so he would know his father wasn't lying about Qilin's existence, leading to a chase through the woods, finally ending with Wilin inviting Po into his home where he offered him lots of snacks and explained his stigma of being different and hunted for it. Po promised to tell no one but Mr. Ping about Qilin.
Unfortunately, General Tsin overheard Po so he had to go and warn Qilin. During the fight, Qilin saved Po from Tsin. Po, and Mr. Ping, became Qilin's friends.
Mr. Ping states he once had an encounter with the Qilin when he was a child. It's unknown if this was the same Qilin as the one who met Po, or possibly Qilin's own father whom he mentioned to Po (but states he never knew his own father). Qilin overheard Mr. Ping and Po about his existence and felt bad since he was the root of their argument so to show Po his father wasn't a liar, he showed himself to Po, leading to a few disasters, but Mr. Ping was satisfied to have confirmed Qilin's existence and promised his secret was safe with them, making him and Po Qilin's friends.
Qilin wears a loincloth/apron like garment around his waist, colored blue, outlined red, and sided green with yellow flower patterns.
- This creature is based off of the Qilin from Chinese mythology, described to be a unicorn-like creature with multiple animal features: a single horn on its forehead, a yellow belly, a multicolored back, the hooves of a horse, the body of a deer, and the tail of an ox. Its rare appearance is said to coincide with the imminent birth or death of a sage or illustrious ruler.