Duruch'i-lin looked like gigantic, colorful horses. Female duruch'i-lin were much larger than the males, with ch'i-lin able to reach a height of 100 feet (30 meters). Both ch'i-lin and duru had the same appearance, with the difference being the color of their undersides. A ch'i-lin's belly was bright yellow, while a duru's belly was blue. A duruch'i-lin resembled a unicorn, with a 5‑foot-long (1.5‑meter) blunt horn that protruded from its forehead. They had teeth and a jaw structure that was similar to a wolf. A duruch'i-lin's coat was colorful, covered in spots of black, blue, red, white, and yellow.
Duruch'i-lin were gentle and peaceful creatures. They avoided violence at all costs and only resorted to it as a last resort. In addition to magic, a duruch'i-lin used its hooves, horn, and sharp teeth as weapons.
The duruch'i-lin's horn was able to launch magic bolts several times a day. They had the innate ability to duplicate the effects of invisibility and plane shift spells at will and crystalbrittle and bless several times a day. Duruch'i-lin were immune to every type of poison, as well as any charm, death, or hold-based spells. An aura permanently surrounded a duruch'i-lin, similar to the deflection spell. This aura was gold for ch'i-lin and silver for duru.
Duruch'i-lin had a kinship with all living creatures, especially those of the forest. They avoided civilization and were rarely seen by humans. Despite this, humans in Kara-Tur associated duruch'i-lin with longevity, good health, and fortune.
Duruch'i-lin were solitary and did not live with others of their kind, nor did they have permanent lairs. When one wanted privacy, it shifted to another plane, sometimes for up to a decade. They claimed and protected large areas of a forest, up to 10,000 square miles (26,000 square kilometers).
Duruch'i-lin rarely walked upon the ground itself, in fear of damaging vegetation or harming small creatures and insects. Instead, they constantly glided through the air. They consumed only minerals and drank only pure stream water. Duruch'i-lin were extremely long-lived creatures.
The mating ritual of duruch'i-lin was lengthy and complex. When a duru wished to mate with a ch'i-lin, he brought her to his territory, and she was greeted by a gathering of forest animals. Each creature in his territory was represented. The reason for this gathering was for the representatives to approve of the ch'i-lin. If they liked her and approval was granted, the duru then introduced the ch'i-lin directly to the Celestial Bureaucracy for final approval. If approval was given, then they both then shifted to another plane, where they spent the next five years sharing every detail of their long lives. They gave birth to a single child and remained on the plane until the child reached maturity, which took about fifty years. Once they all returned to the Prime Material Plane, the family split up, each going its own way.
Legend stated that the first ch'i-lin was a magical blending of two now extinct creatures, the ch'i and the lin. The former was a silver-antlered stag with emerald eyes and the latter a golden warhorse with earthquake-causing steps. This first ch'i-lin rose from the waters of the Akano River in Wa and presented itself to the nation's first Emperor, Kochi, in the first year of his rule. Upon the ch'i-lin's back were a series of characters, from which Kochi created the first written form of the Wa-an language.
An individual who touched the horn of a living duruch'i-lin temporarily gained the ability to cast the omen spell. This affect lasted only for an hour. The coat of a dead duruch'i-lin was a highly sought after item, as it retained its deflection ability. The horn could be ground into a powder and was used as an antidote that was effective against all poisons.