The Hsien have their own body, but typically inhabit the bodies of others as they dislike their own. They appear to be linked to their own body even when not in it, as one Hsien was blackmailed by a man holding his original body prisoner.
They can jump from one cadaver to another by touching each one with his hand, reanimating corpses while he inhabited them. It cannot remain within a corpse indefinitely as the cadaver continues to decay despite the presence of the Hsien within it. The Hsien can only exist within a corpse for only several hours (or perhaps a couple of days), and the same rule appears to apply to their original bodies. If the corpse is destroyed, in particular the brain, the Hsien dies with it. This rule about damage apparently only applies to injuries sustained while the Hsien is in the corpse, as one was shown inhabiting a body that had been shot in the head.
There does not seem to be a limit to how many bodies a Hsien can jump through. In the morgue, the Hsien was shown jumping in and out of five bodies quickly in order to reach a corpse at the end of the row of tables that held cadavers.
Literally, "an immortal", living on or above the earth, but within natural things, a material immortality in which the body was still needed, however preserved in a "lightened" form. Hsien were Taoist immortals, supposed to have partaken the elixir of life, and in early illustrations they often appear as feathered men. The ancient Chinese believed in the existence of drugs which could be taken for this purpose.
- 1.05 Dead Lucky