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Jiang-shis are a race of vampires who feed on the "chi" or life energy of living creatures by inhaling their breath. They are also known as hopping vampires due to their unusual method of locomotion.1
A jiang-shi retains its appearance at the time of reanimation. Each has a short prayer scroll affixed to its brow by stitches, which protects it from magic items, and usually wears out-of-date clothing. Because of rigor mortis, the jiang-shi's movement is especially stiff: it moves exclusively by hopping, and can be surprisingly nimble in difficult terrain.1
A jiang-shi is created when a restless spirit stays in its corpse after death, which decays until the jiang-shi rises from its grave to seek living prey. Jiang-shis are terrified by mirrors, the sound of a handbell, and cooked rice (which mocks the jiang-shis by reminding them that they can no longer eat). Although they prefer darkness and try to avoid sunlight, jiang-shi vampires are not harmed by it like moroi vampires, but they can be destroyed by peach wood, or if they are defeated and crumble into dust, which is then scattered or mixed with cooked rice and vinegar.1
Jiang-shi, like all true vampires, trace their ancestry to the strigoi, an ancient strain of vampires that entered the Material Plane from the Shadow Plane in ancient times. These ancient vampires first evolved into the nosferatu, with the moroi vampires in turn arising from vampires who rejected the bestial lives of their nosferatu forebears. Some moroi went into hibernation for unclear reasons, emerging millennia later starving and half-mad. Driven by their intense desires and hungers, they began to consume the life essence in the very breath of their victims, becoming the first jiang-shis.2
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- Jiangshi (Real-life mythical entity) on Wikipedia