The Black Powder
Black Powder
The Black Powder alight in "Purity"
Owner(s) Pao Ssu, Kahn, Ming T'ien, Joxer
Type Weapon
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
First Appearance "Purity"
Last Appearance "Back in the Bottle"

The Black Powder is a more powerful version of Greek Fire. It is highly flammable and explosive. Legend holds that it was invented by a cook, and that its ingredients could be found in a typical Chinese kitchen. By the time of Hercules and Xena, it had been outlawed for generations and most Chinese authorities suppressed any practical knowledge of it.

Pao Ssu eventually discovered the recipe for the Black Powder and used it to give her army an edge in the war against her sister K'ao Hsin. During this conflict, Joxer also figured out the recipe of the Black Powder after a little culinary experimentation (and realizing that the legends never said that the cook who invented the Powder was a good cook).

When Pao Ssu died, she and Mig T'ien shared the secret of the Black Powder with Khan. Xena and K'ao Hsin managed to defeat them again, however, and ensured the Black Powder remained secret.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The Black Powder is, of course, gunpowder, which was indeed invented in China. It was originally used to power fireworks, and it would be some time before it was weaponized.
  • Although stated to be a more powerful version of Greek Fire, in real life, Greek Fire is potentially deadlier and has slightly different application.


  1. "Purity"
  2. "Back in the Bottle"
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