The Talismans of Shendu are named for the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. They each hold an aspect of Shendu's power.
Long ago, Shendu's subjects rose up against him, led by Lo Pei, Using an extraction spell, he trapped Shendu in statue form, separating his powers from him in the form of twelve Talismans. Lo Pei scattered them across the globe to make sure Shendu would never again rise to power.
It would be nine centuries before Shendu made a deal with the Dark Hand in exchange for treasure. However, they only got him two talismans the Sheep and Dragon while their nemesis, Jackie Chan, had ten. By tricking Jackie's Yang side (affected by the Tiger Talisman's magic), Shendu gained the other talismans and returned to power.
Near Hong Kong, at Shendu's palace, Jackie used a potion dabbed on his hands to extract the Rat Talisman and turn Shendu back into a statue, which Jade destroyed with the Dragon Talisman. However, the talismans ended up in the possession of the Dark Hand, who tried to using them for crime until Shendu came back as a spirit. He enlisted their service, as the talismans were of no use to him in his form. The J-Team was able to recover the Talismans and had them locked in Section 13, from which they would make cameo appearances in all of the later seasons as characters (usually Jade) used them for various tasks. Normally, they would be used against the main antagonist of the season, and the J-Team would use them in the season finales of 4 and 5, against the Oni and Drago, respectively.
After Shendu's spirit was sent back to the Demon Netherworld, the Dark Hand sought to steal the talismans, only for them to be destroyed by a laser cannon in a three-way fight between the Enforcers, Daolon Wong and the Chans. The powers of the Talismans then spread across the world to find the original animals of the zodiac to house their powers as their original owner Shendu was dead. As those animals were long since dead, the magic targeted "noblest" animal of the same species. The Chans were able to get nine of the power animals; the Pig and the Rooster were captured by Daolon Wong, and there was no dragon left on Earth. They tried to place the talisman powers within replicas Tohru carved, but the replicas would not hold the energy. Meanwhile, Wong resurrected Shendu to gain the Dragon's magic, only for Shendu to betray him and slowly regain all his powers. Luckily, Uncle, Tohru and the Section 13 agents produced another extraction spell, trapping Shendu in statue form again and reforging the talismans.
During the battle against Drago in the final episode, Jade had everyone throw their talismans to Shendu so he would stand a better chance in the fight against his son. Using a reversal spell, Uncle and Tohru banished Drago and all demons from the Earth, and the talismans are never seen again.
Before Tohru landed on and destroyed it, Shendu at one time had an artifact that could locate the Talismans. The item was a handle with four dragon-like heads. The eyes would glow in from the dragon pointing towards the nearest Talisman when used.
On the front of each talisman is an animal of the Chinese zodiac, while on the back are inscriptions that describe their powers.
|Talisman||Power||First User||Noble Animal||Location|
|Strength||El Toro Fuerte||The Yak||Mexico|
|Tohru||Royal Medicine||North Pole|
|Thermal Vision||Hak Foo||Mordecai||Bavaria|
The Talisman Powers
In season 3, both Daolon Wong and the Dark Hand managed to break into Section 13 and attempted to steal the Talismans. But Jackie fired a powerful laser cannon at the bag of Talismans, intending to destroy them forever, as well as put an end to Daolon Wong's plan. However, he learned the hard way that although the Talismans can be destroyed, their magical powers are invulnerable. As a result, the powers were scattered to the winds and headed out to possess the noble descendants of the original Zodiac animals; as their original containers were destroyed, they had to seek a substitute. So, instead of ending the Talisman quest for good, Jackie started it all over again (much to his chagrin).
- The Dog Talisman prevents death or major injury, it does not prevent one from feeling pain which is something the Horse Talisman does. This was show by Finn in The Stronger Evil, when he flew into a bridge overpass, saying 'Immortally hurts'. Ironically, he said having both healing and immortality would be redundant.
- Although the Pig Talisman isn't as strong in its offensive uses as the Dragon Talisman, it can also grant the user thermal imaging in order to counter the effects of the Snake Talisman.
- Jade once commented that the Dragon, Dog, Rabbit, Rooster, Snake and Ox are "the good ones", in that they are the most useful of the twelve.
- Finn considered that the rat, sheep, and tiger talisman are the 3 most useless talismans
- Thanks to DeviantArt-ist Parallel1980 you can now make your own out of cardpaper scissors and glue: The Rabbit and Dragon, the Rat and Horse, the Snake and Sheep, the Dog and Pig, the Ox and Rooster, and the Monkey and Tiger which unfortunately doesn't come apart but it's something the fans have been waiting for a long time (their own talismans)
- A common reoccurring them with the people using the talismans, is making puns based on their animal or power.
|Artifacts and Talismans|
|Rooster • Ox • Snake • Rabbit • Sheep • Dragon • Rat • Horse • Monkey • Dog • Pig • Tiger|
|Talisman Locators • Lost Treasure of Qin Shi Huang • Pan'ku Box • Scroll of Hung Chao • Armor of the Eight Immortals • Book of Ages • Urn of Wei Cheing • Cube of Tang Shan • Orb of Kwan Lo • Deja Vu Stone • Dragon's Teeth • Chi-O-Matic • Chi Arcanum|
|Oni Masks • Hana Fuda • Demon Archive|
|The Kyoto Octopus|
|Cat of Khartoum (Iran) • Armbands of Shiva (India) • Sutras of Raktajiba (India) • Opal (Bhutan) • Burmese Raccoon (Myanmar)|
|Silver Iguana of Awramba (Ethiopia) • Eye of Aurora (Egypt)|
|Emerald of Killarney (Ireland) • Green Beard's Gloves (Britain)|
|Chalice of Life (Patagonia)|
|Time-Traveling Crystal Ball • Golden Squid|