The Khushu Idol is a rare, mystical object that allows the user to tap into the power of dark magic, essentially allowing them to harness both enhanced physical attributes and psychic abilities, but only by killing and drawing strength from the deaths of others around them. The idol and its user drew strength from death, fear, and the negative aspects of others, to the point where the user could overwhelm their victims with this darkness to drain them of their life force, while the user stole it for themselves to instantly revitalize, rejuvenate and heal themselves. Its previous owners include Baron Reiter and Damien Darhk. Taiana Venediktov also handled the idol and became morally and mentally corrupted by it, gaining a lust for death and killing to draw power from the deaths. It is shown that Baron Reiter had runes tattooed on his arm to have more control over the idol and be immune to its corruption. Damien Darhk would use a blood ritual and incantation to accomplish this. However, Taiana was slowly driven insane with blood lust, but retained enough of her sanity to have herself killed so as to avoid this fate.
Originally, the Khushu Idol was located within a secret chamber on the island Lian Yu, were it was excavated by Baron Reiter and his men accompanied by Oliver Queen acting as an undercover spy for A.R.G.U.S.. Taiana Venediktov also handled the idol and became morally and mentally corrupted by it, gaining a lust for death and killing to draw power from, but retained enough of her sanity to have herself killed so as to avoid this fate. Shortly after, A.R.G.U.S. returned to the island for Oliver Queen and the idol. Some time after the events on the Island, Damien Darhk came into possession of the idol and had used its mystical powers to not only enhance his own abilities, but to aid him in his efforts.
Powers and abilities
- Accelerated healing factor: Baron Reiter, Damien Darhk, and Taiana Venediktov have shown regenerative powers, as any injury on them was instantly healed, upon reconnection to the idols. Any injury they did receive did not hurt or faze them at all and if anyone died around them, they could use their life force to instantly heal. The more recently the user draws power from the idol and from death, the more powerful they are at the moment.
- Enhanced durability: Absorbing and draining people of life enhances the users resilience, stamina and endurance to inhuman levels, to the point where most damage cannot slow down or weaken the user at all when they have absorbed enough life. The more recently the user draws power from the idol and from death, the more powerful they are at the moment.
- Enhanced strength: Users of the idol are able to effortlessly overpower humans, to the point where one user could lift someone into the air with one hand or send them flying several feet away near effortlessly.
- Life force absorption: Due to the dark nature of the idol demanding the sacrifice of life for its power, users gain the ability to drain people of their life force with a touch, which they can use to strengthen themselves and completely recover from any damage instantly, to the point where most damage cannot slow down or weaken the user at all when they have absorbed enough life. This power drew strength from death, fear, and the negative aspects of others, allowing this power to kill people easier when people have more of these negative aspects than they do positive. This ability can be backfired by victims that have been resurrected by the Lazarus Pit. Also, the deaths of others around the user can allow them to draw power. It can also be backfired by Light Magic users that have positive aspects that can overcome the negative, the result of which can physically repel the user and there would be victim from each other. The more recently the user draws power from the idol and from death, the more powerful they are at the moment. The user does not seem to have to physically touch someone in order to absorb life so long as they were directly responsible for the death or deaths. The deaths of others around the person can also be used as life force to draw power from instantly, without the user themselves having to be responsible for such death, It is shown that the deaths of thousands can allow a user to disintegrate metal projectiles to dust mid air, drain a person of oxygen molecule by molecule and cause powerful tremors that can collapse large rooms, all with a wave of their hands.
- Restoration: If the Idol is broken into pieces, it can repair itself once someone has completely reassembled it from its original pieces and channeled at least a single life through it. The Idol, however, seems to be unable to fully repair itself whilst also healing someone channeling its power.
- Telekinesis: Users can grab, lift, catch, restrain, push, pull, crush, and launch objects and people without touching them and from a distance, so long as the user can see their target and know where they are at the time. It is easier for a user to more quickly move or stop the motion of targets that are in their immediate vicinity, while it is also easier to use hand gestures. With just a wave or thrust of their hand, a user can stop bullets and arrows, redirect projectiles with the same force, cause nearby objects to move and fly on their own, levitate victims several feet up, send them flying through the air, and even immobilize people where they stand, the latter of which allows the user to not have to look at his target to keep them restrained. The more recently the user draws power from the idol and from death, the more powerful they are at the moment. With multiple kills using the raw power of the idol, a user could cause a plane flying several miles away to explode with a hand gesture. With enough dark energy in his being, which can be drawn from the deaths of tens of thousands, a user is even able to disintegrate any target within a few feet of him into dust, which allows the user to turn steel arrows and lead bullets to dust mid air. Also, a user could cause oxygen to drain out of a person or a room molecule by molecule and cause a powerful tremor that collapsed an entire nexus chamber, all with a wave of their hands. One such user would be powerful enough to freeze explosions in mid air.
- Teleportation: Users have the ability to disappear and reappear instantly, allowing them to perform feats such as vanishing without a trace when an enemy is not looking or disappearing from in front of an enemy and reappear behind them instantly. It would appear that users cannot have this power all the time, as they have not used it when it is most convenient, but more as a last resort.
- Damage: If the idol is damaged in a way where a piece of it can be removed, like one of its gems, the Idol ceases to function until it is reassembled.
- Depletion: The idol's power is fueled by the lives sacrificed to it, meaning that like any fuel, it can run out, which leaves the user powerless until they kill again. Also, the more they use their power, the less of it they have, which weakens it as it slowly depletes.
- Lazarus Pit: People who have been resurrected by the Lazarus Pit cannot be drained of their life force and are immune to the user's power. The user's attempts to drain them of their life force would cause them to be somewhat drained instead, which could temporarily remove the bloodlust caused by being resurrected by the Lazarus Pit.
- Light Magic: Users of Light Magic with positive aspects that can overcome their negative aspects can repel the idol's dark magic, to the point where the user's attempts to drain them of life would cause their power to backfire, sending both people flying through the air away from each other.
- Location: The idol's power depends upon a constant connection to one of the Earth's Ley lines. As such, the closer it is to a Ley Line the more power they have access to.
- Mental deterioration: Those who are empowered by the Idol become affected by the Dark Magic and become addicted to the feeling of power consuming their being. They will lose all morality, willing to kill anyone to maintain the Idol's power and sustain their rush. However, more skilled magic users will have a method to combat this corruption, such Baron Reiter's runic tattoos and Damien Darhk's blood ritual and incantation.
- Mentally Bloodlusted beings: For reasons unknown, presumably because of a persons corrupted temptation for bloodlust rivaling the user, the user cannot drain life from those who are mentally challenged, notably ones who have a bloodlust. If the user attempts to absorb people with a bloodlust, the user will drain their life instead. Examples of this are shown through Damien Darhk, who attempted to absorb Thea who was still under the effects of the Lazarus Pit, and Baron Reiter, who attempted to absorb Taiana while her mind was corrupted by the idol.
- The word "Khushu" comes from Arabic meaning "humbleness".
- The incantation that Damien Darhk and Reiter use to access the idol's power is "Kanjigar Septum Vohostrum".
- Mari described the artifact as "rare and powerful", implying that the idol is not necessarily unique, and other similar artifacts may exist.
- Esrin Fortuna had another such idol, kept at her nexus chamber in Hub City in the same way that the Khushu Idol had been kept at the nexus chamber at Lian Yu.