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From what I've gathered, the various items of the Miraculous world can grant limited super powers, and one specific one-time use ability to the wielders. The old Chinese guardian actively chose the current Ladybug and Black Cat... but the villain Hawk Moth's powers seem to work somewhat differently.

  • He doesn't lose his power after transforming a person
  • His main weapon, the can sword, shows no extra abilities
  • His affects vary from person to person
  • He has a telepathic link with his Akumatized individuals
  • He has a stronger mental connection/control over his Kwamii

Thing is, in the episodes I've seen, it's never explained exactly​ how he managed to get the Kwamii Nuruu to begin with. I'm guessing he went on some quest to find a supernatural solution after his wife passed, considering how obsessed he seems with her portrait.That may have lead him to the legend of the Miraculous, but if they were in the care of the Old Master, it's unclear how he might have managed to lay hands on the Moth pin.

Is there any backstory on this?

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It is impossible to answer this question without mentioning a lot of information from episodes that you seem not to have seen.

As of now, from the episode "Feast" we know that when Master Fu fled the temple with the Miraculous Box, he dropped the Miraculous of the Butterfly, along with that of the Peacock.

Further,

presumably, at some point during his travels, Hawk Moth (and Emilie?) came across these lost Miraculouses and acquired them for their own ends. It seems that they most acquired them before Emilie "died," since she was the previous Mayura.

Worth noting is that Hawk Moth's Miraculous and Kwami are not really different from the others. His abilities, such as being able to stay transformed, come from his greater experience. The differing theme of his powers is because Nooroo is the Kwami of Transmission, giving powers to others seemingly in accordance with their personality and emotional state. And his cane can do a variety of things.

  • Please, feel free to mention it. The only reason I even know of it is because this show seems popular with my little ones, and as budding comic and anime geeks, they asked their favorite Uncle Questions. So while I have seen various episodes from season one and two, it's been somewhat sporadic. The "Greater experience" would be somewhat questionable though, unless there is a writing error; first time we saw him Ask Nuru about his powers was in episode 1, and Master Fu has been guarding the box for over a century (his lady love met him in WWII, not so?) So how much more experienced can he be? – Russhiro Dec 19 '19 at 15:13
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    @Russhiro Not to be forgotten, but Hawkmoth also had access to the Miraculous Spellbook, which provided detailed knowledge of the abilities granted by the Kwami to their miraculous holders. While the book is stated to be encoded, given his knowledge about the power granted by possessing both the Ladybug and Cat miraculouses is something the book also covers, it's not unreasonable to assume he was able to decode it and learn much of what he knows from it. – Mwr247 Dec 19 '19 at 16:37
  • @Mwr247 That I did not know; I had thought the book the Old Master had was the only tome of Miraculous knowledge, but that Would explain how and why Hawk Moth knows so much. I suppose we can assume it fell into his possession at some point, and with his money and connections, it wouldn't be hard for him to seek out and acquire a lot of rare, occult knowledge under the guise of being an eccentric collector. Thank you for that, friend. – Russhiro Dec 19 '19 at 16:51

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