They are equipped with bows and arrows and magical symbols with which they avert evil spirits. According to legend, they also defended the 6th emperor against attacking demons while he was asleep. The Men-shen appear as protectors in many folktales.
The deities are portrayed as two men with terrifying facial expressions, in military uniform and/or armor and armed with a rapier or halberd. Affixed to their shoulders are tiny banners to signify their rank.