Chang'e's Buyao






Sacrificial Replacement




Emotional Need

Collected by

Warehouse 8, Originally







Date of Collection

20 October 1515 C.E.


Origin[edit | edit source]

Chang'e is a traditional Chinese goddess of the moon, who is most recognized for her part in the origin of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, an annual celebration in many Eastern and Southeastern countries held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar.

According to myth, Chang'e was originally a woman married to the legendary archer Hou Yi, who was known for his heroic exploits slaying beasts that threatened humanity. One day, the ten suns that would normally cross the sky one by one all came out at once, scorching the earth. When efforts to move the suns failed, Hou Yi took his bow and shot down nine of them, saving the Earth. As reward for his actions, he was gifted a pill (or in some versions, an elixir) of immortality by the gods. But before he could consume it for himself, Chang'e took it, and floated away, choosing to live on the moon and watch the world below.

Why Chang'e took the gift of immortality from her husband is an oft-contested detail in iterations of her story. In some cases, Chang'e took the pill in order to prevent an apprentice of Hou Yi from stealing it, and as thanks for her actions, Hou Yi would offer cakes and fruits to the full moon until he died, which is a key component of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Other versions of the story say that Hou Yi, crowned king for his heroic action against the ten suns, had become a tyrant, and Chang'e feared what would happen to his subjects if her husband could live forever; hence the cakes and fruits were originally offered by the people of China in gratitude for Chang'e's sacrifice. And yet, there are still some versions of the story that give no good reasons for her actions.

Like many women of myth, whether Chang'e is a sympathetic or villainous figure for her actions is largely dependent on the attitudes of the storyteller. However, her story continues today; just as Chang'e reached for the moon, the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, known as the Chang'e Project, focuses on robotic missions aimed towards a lunar research station.

Effects[edit | edit source]

Imbued with Chang'e's love for her husband, her buyao suggests a different side of the story - wearing the buyao allows a user with sufficient emotional desire to switch places with another at the moment the latter would have been killed. This effect appears to be able to work not only through space, but also through time.

Collection[edit | edit source]

An incomplete record from Warehouse 4 describing a teleporting ornamental hair comb from China is suspected to have been the Warehouse's first instance of encountering this artifact, though it was apparently not collected.

It was officially collected in 1515 by Warehouse 8, but the buyao did not appear in subsequent inventory manifests for the next four hundred years. Where it was during this time is unknown, though it is believed to have been stolen and used during the movement to Warehouse 9.

It was finally spotted again in 1914 by Warehouse 13 agents, in a photo of Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, the day she was assassinated alongside her husband Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria - Gavrilo Princip, the assassin, was reportedly surprised to see the duchess, and fired with his eyes closed. Unfortunately, the turmoil of the event prevented immediate collection, and the artifact remains at large.

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