Foxxy Blade (Hero/Villain)

Code-name: Foxxy Blade

Full Name: Gloria “Foxxy” Blade

Faction: The Way

Gloria ‘Foxxy’ Blade strode with calm purpose into a rain-slicked alleyway in New Port. Her wedges splashed into small puddles. She was heading into trouble, and she wanted ‘trouble’ to know she was coming. Ahead were half a dozen rent-a-thugs working for the Mysterious Man, and they were not going to get in her way. She had a rendezvous with an old friend to keep, and she was already late. She drew her katana and sai and walked forwards. The six hoodlums truly did not know what hit them.

Ten minutes later and Foxxy was on a nearby roof-top standing side by side with maybe the only person she trusted – Crimson Oni. She had known him by another name, but that was a lifetime ago and he was simply Crimson Oni now. But as much as her friend had left his old life behind, Foxxy was haunted by the past, and that is what had bought her here tonight.

“Get waylaid?” asked Crimson Oni with that mischievous smile of his.

“Nothing I couldn’t handle, sugar, but I have what we need,” she responded, pausing briefly before continuing “Just Mysterious Man after some payback. I think it was a token effort; he had to send some goons after me to save face after I sent his last job south. I’m sure we’re even now and if he ever has the info I need, well honey, then I will work for him again.”

Crimson Oni flinched at that. Foxxy knew that he did not approve of the connections she had made as she continued to follow her own objective, a goal that intertwined so closely with his own as they sought to bring down an organization Oni saw as the biggest threat to the very future of Pulp City, and that Foxxy wanted bloody revenge against.

Briefly, Foxxy’s thoughts flashed back to memories of the time when she met the kid who would become the man known as Crimson Oni; the times when they sparred and trained together at the same dojo; him suggesting her nickname as a joke after she said had seen a kitsune one very weird night.

Her mind rapidly skipped to other recollections, remembrances of her fallen master. He had been a hard man, Master Kitano, disdainful of women, westerners and the young. But through her tenacity and having nowhere else to go, she had become one of his greatest students. She trained every day, each lesson intended to break her spirit or make her stronger. In time Gloria’s will to impress the hard master won him over and he shared some of his most guarded secrets. That ended when he was brutally murdered. She arrived for her lessons to find his lifeless body at his unassuming little dojo. A single sliver of jade shaped like a lizard scale was clutched in his hand. He had left her a sign to follow even as he died.

Foxxy shook off her reverie. The two Supremes looked down on a Jade Lantern Imports warehouse. Used to move counterfeit goods that added to Jade Cult’s income stream, it also served as a staging post for bringing in Terror Cotta Warriors, deadly machines serving the Green Emperor.

Oni asked Foxxy if she wanted to sneak in. They both laughed at this old joke between friends before they dropped into the alleyway and marched up to the front doors. The massive doors were shattered into thousands of shards by the unbridled force of Crimson Oni’s Six Element Fist.

Stepping into the dimly-lit building they saw a five Jade Cult Ninjas drop from the ceiling to the warehouse floor. Seconds later two Terror Cotta Warriors crashed out of wooden packing crates, splinters flying across the room.

“Go, I got this,” said Crimson Oni to Foxxy, a wry smile creasing his face.

Foxxy ran with unerring elegance up an iron staircase toward the warehouse office. As she hit the halfway point, two Ninjas dropped from the shadows of the roof to block her way; and two more dropped onto the stairs behind her. Without breaking stride Foxxy continued upwards, graceful cuts dispatching the Ninjas before and behind her. She reached the office to find another Ninja waiting. She dodged two shuriken flung her way. Assessing the Ninja in an instant, she recognized the medallion he wore marking him as a Sensei; his uncovered head mixed human and oni features.

A formidable foe, but not formidable enough, she thought. Foxxy stepped inside his expert sword-strike, taking a grazing hit to avoid being impaled. She twisted and in her pirouette swung her own sword around, neatly decapitating the Sensei in one fluid movement. Before his body hit the ground she had covered the distance to the office safe.

Foxxy could hear the din of combat below as Crimson Oni battled against numerous foes. She needed to move with celerity. As much as her partner enjoyed a fight, even he was not indestructible. She began turning the single dial lock on the wall safe. Before encountering Mysterious Man’s thugs she had met with a contact who had supplied the combination for this safe. She unlocked the sturdy metal box and reached in to grab its only content; a slim manila folder with a single sheet of paper. She grabbed the sheet of paper and slipped it into a pocket before leaving the office. Foxxy looked over the iron railing. Crimson Oni was still outnumbered as he was holding off a damaged Terror Cotta Warrior and one remaining Ninja. The other Terror Cotta Warrior lay in pieces across the concrete floor, and the other Ninjas in broken heaps. Oni dispatched the last Ninja to leave him facing the remaining Terror Cotta Warrior. Suddenly more Ninjas rushed the warehouse, seemingly coming in from every doorway and shadow.

Foxxy dropped the twenty feet to the warehouse floor and stood back to back with her partner.

“You take out the robot-thing, sugar,” she began, “I’ll hold off the Ninja horde!”

They unleashed precise sword-strikes and devastating martial power attacks in tandem. They resisted the blows of their enemies with guile and honed reflexes. Still they were hit time after time but would not fall. Foxxy rampaged through the ranks of Ninjas, felling them to the left and right as she moved with liquid grace, the strength of the Ninjas numbers a disadvantage to them in such confining quarters, while Oni crashed a punch through the torso of the Terror Cotta Warrior.

The two Supremes fought for minutes that seemed like an eternity, until the last of their foes was finally cut down. They left a scene of bloody devastation behind them, both knowing there were more agents of the Jade Cult ahead of them as they walked their paths of justice and vengeance. Oni asked if she had what she needed. Foxxy affirmed that she did, her thoughts razor-sharp focused on revenge for her fallen master. The Jade Cult had been responsible for his death; with each agent dispatched she felt closer to her goal of vengeance. Only when the Cult fell, its leader vanquished and the identity of her master’s killer at last revealed would she rest. Until then there would be more nights like this one.

Separating from Oni, Foxxy walked into the embrace of night. She was alone, but that held no fear for her. She had wounds to salve and bandage, and plans to make. As she walked she thought she caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of her eye. She looked around, seeing nothing. But even so, she was sure she had seen something, maybe an old, hard master giving the slightest nod of approval.

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Perun (Hero)

Code-name: Perun

Full Name: Stanislaw Starzynski

Faction: Supreme Alliance

In every generation there is one brave Polish man chosen to wield the power of the storm in mankind’s darkest hour. He lifts up his runic axe, older than the people of his land, the lightning strikes, and the power of an ancient deity starts coursing through his veins.

Old gods still watch over their children and stand vigilant when tides of evil rise. Dark forces have begun to rise once more, and in Pulp City the agents of a coalescing evil power are at large.

The first photo-documented proof of Perun’s existence dates back to 1944, from a still taken in Warsaw. The picture was taken in the razed capital of Poland by a German army photographer evidencing the extent of the damage done.

The picture is over-contrasted and blurry, but it clearly depicts the clear silhouette of a man hovering ten feet above the ground. The figure wielded an archaic weapon that seemed to be the source of an all-present light, bathing the rubble in unearthly shades of white. In front of him a smoldering pile of corpses, all uniforms burned away, so it was hard to tell their allegiance. The photographer was recovered by his allies a week after the photo was captured and taken in for questioning, never speaking publicly about what he saw.

Another note was found in the documentation of one of the arcane-seeking Third Reich units. Apparently, the entity was mistaken for the Scandinavian/Germanic deity, Thor. No trace was ever found of the unit that tried to talk Perun into service for the Nazi empire.

The 1950′s and 1960′s proved that Perun was more than a local phenomenon, as he was seen siding with the greatest Supremes on Earth, including the Supreme Alliance, visiting distant Pulp City on occasion. Without word, he eventually vanished from the headlines, his fate unclear.

He is not a talker, say his allies, but they are glad he is on their side. He is not a diplomat, but a thunderstorm and barrage of lightning is usually enough to convince even the most steadfast opposition.

The current wielder of Perun’s power (though it is hard to tell, as the runic axe changes the appearance of the bearer) is a student from Warsaw whose grandfather and great-great grandfather also served as Lightning Lords years ago. Stanislaw Starzynski became marked with the lightning rune when he confronted Forgotten minions sent to recover Szczerbiec, the legendary coronation sword of Polish kings.

And now the power of Perun stands ready once more.

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Jade Hawk (Hero)

Code-name: Jade Hawk

Full Name: unknown

Faction: The Way

“Car 54, we have a code 1025 in progress at 827 east 32nd street at the U-Hock-It pawn shop.”

“Ten-four dispatch. This is car 54, we’re en route.”

A voice whispers in the darkness….. “Armed robbery sounds like my kind of scene.”

A dark figure leaps from the rooftop and into the shadows. The hunter has begun stalking its prey.

Only blocks away four thugs were piling TV’s, electronics, and handfuls of jewelry into the back of an old beat-up van. A pawn shop employee lay crumpled on the ground next to the loading dock. While the other three ran inside for more loot, one thug jumped into the driver’s door to start the getaway vehicle. He barely turned the key before a green claw burst through the side window and tore the man from the cab. The next thing he noticed was the unpleasant taste of asphalt and a piercing pain in his back. He barely let out a gurgle before passing out.

Two of the other thugs walked up to the van carrying a large box with a 50 inch flat screen TV. “Benny, what the heck is that?” called Freddie.

It was too late. Benny felt a sharp pain across the back of his knees before his legs gave out from underneath him. The shadowy figure leapt up from behind Benny and pounced off the box – pushing it directly onto the chest of the collapsing thug. This pulled Freddie forward and off balance just in time to receive a kick to the face.

Both thugs landed hard. The dark-clad figure was immediately on top of Freddie. Only then did Freddie get a good look at the vigilante that was ruining his night. The figure had an emerald green hawk-like mask, a dark hood and cape, and a protective bodysuit. This had to be the Jade Hawk!

Freddie started to rise when the Jade Hawk planted a glove with brutal gem-like talons onto his chest. “You’re not going anywhere,” whispered the Hawk in the criminal’s ear.

The sound of running footsteps down the alley caused the Jade Hawk to turn her head. The fourth thief was making a run for it. The vigilante was not going to let this man get away, only for the others to make some sort of plea deal to turn their buddy in for less jail time. No. She would get all of these losers…

“Dispatch, this is car 54 requesting backup. We have a brown Chevy van license plate PLJ-459 with its engine running at the loading dock of the pawn shop. We’re going in.”

“Car 54, this is Dispatch, backup is on the way.”

Officers McCrery and Franklin began to move cautiously down the alley with weapons drawn when the fourth criminal landed on the hood of their cruiser with a dull thump.

Less than an hour later…

“Franklin, what happened here?” asked Detective Walsh.

“Well detective, as best we can tell, the Jade Hawk beat us to the scene again. The Hawk took out these four lowlifes robbing the pawn shop. Their prints are all over everything in the van. It seems pretty cut and dry. At least the store employee will be okay.”

“Cut and dry? We can’t have another costumed hooligan running wild in the streets meting out justice on a whim. There are laws in this town. Heroes are supposed to fight villains and leave the regular crime to the police. We have four criminals that need hospitalization here. You don’t see Iron Train pulling this kind of bull! The chief wants the Jade Hawk in handcuffs and off the streets!!!”

 

ABOUT THE JADE HAWK
The Jade Hawk is a dark figure that stalks the criminal element of Pulp City. Heroes are not generally fond of her methods but cannot deny the results. When Heavy Metal or Blood Watch find themselves hunting the same prey, Heroes like Iron Train and Red Riding Hoodoo try to mitigate the Jade Hawk’s sheer brutality. None knows exactly why she is on this crusade, but whispers from the dark vigilante seem to imply that lady justice failed her some time ago.

Evildoers owe her an unpaid debt. The Jade Hawk plans to collect on this debt – in pain and blood.

 

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Kitty Cheshire (Hero/Villain)

 

kittychesireCode-name: Kitty Cheshire

Full Name: unknown

Faction: Otherside

Mad, mad Kitty; the demonic-looking woman with the twisted ever-present smile.

The first reported sighting of the woman who would become known as Kitty Cheshire was amid the ruins of Ashville Asylum. Within those ruins there had been a small group of teens dressed in black, sporting dark eyeliner and bedecked with silver pentacles and ankhs, imbibing wine while listening to strains of Bauhaus and Siouxsie and the Banshees from their tape machine. They came to this place a lot, to drink in the cachet of danger and mystery associated with it.

kittychesire_logoclock-page-001They partied and talked and sang and drank as they always did on these nights. Even the perceptible chill in the evening air gave no cause for concern. They were here in the ruins of Ashville, near to the legendary Silver Mirror that seemed to hang in the air, just another curio of Pulp City’s troubled history. Inert, peculiar and long-since over-looked by the grand metropolis and most of its people, the Silver Mirror was a mere tourist sight for the most part these days, any threat long since gone according to the finest academics and scientists.

At first they did not notice as strange distorted and contorted visages seemed to dance across the surface of the Silver Mirror. The kids were soon startled and fascinated when they saw the legendary Silver Mirror unexpectedly glow from within. Possibly emboldened by alcohol, one slender, pallid young man approached the shimmering mirror. He claimed to his friends he could faintly see a woman’s reflection in there. They laughed and jeered in reply. The surface of the mirror then rippled outwards from the center, and a shape was extruded. The shape took greater definition and a silvery hand was seen pressing forwards, reaching out from the mirror towards the teen. Slowly an arm emerged followed by the other, and then a face and finally the rest of a woman’s body. The silver peeled away from her form, recoiling back to the mirror, and a bizarre sight was revealed – a strange looking woman with a tail and wild hair, who was there but was not, and whose body twisted as if it danced through reality. Terrified, those teen-agers fled into the night to tell their wild story; while behind them mad, mad Kitty Cheshire grinned and then laughed, peels of her laughter echoing around the ruins into the late hours.

kittychesire_logoclock-page-002In the days that followed more sightings were reported to a baffled Police Department and the city authorities.

Finally, they had confirmation of the existence of this strange figure, when after arriving at the scene of a prestigious gala reception held to honor the great and good of Pulp City, the woman who is here and there caused pandemonium, and announced her name. She somersaulted about the place, trashing decorations and tearing down banners. Attendees ran from the building in panic. When challenged by Pulp City’s Chief of Police as to what she wanted, Kitty simply replied “Why, to make mischief of course!” – grinning all the while – before she blinked away, just her smile remaining, until it too winked out of sight.

In the days, weeks and months thereafter more sightings took place as the peculiar Supreme battled against and alongside all manner of other Supremes, though none could quite say why she was there.

kitty_cheshire_conceptIn fragmentary pronouncements and non sequitur statements, Kitty claims she has pierced the veil of realities between Earth and the Otherside, that she crossed the edge of the Silver Mirror at her own behest. Who is to refute this claim, save to say that none have done so before? She described her arrival as a return, her comeback, and in her wake has been a trail of madness and chaos. Of course from whence Kitty came, will others follow?

In the time since she arrived or returned, Kitty has gained a sometime partner in the form of the addled Vector, and the two have done little to suggest what their ultimate purpose is, as they have both saved and terrorized the city in their seemingly random appearances. Amid the wild, weird and wonderful Supremes of Pulp City, the woman known as Kitty Cheshire is an enigma even amongst their kind. Some commentators suggest she is a demon, others that she is a poor, tortured woman lost when Ashville Asylum burned to the ground. Whatever the truth, Kitty is not saying.

 

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Ace of Wraiths (Hero)

 

 

aceofwraithsCodename: Ace of Wraiths

Full Name: unknown

Faction: Blood Watch

Even over one hundred years later, they still talk in Pulp City about that night of poker. That was the night a dazzling card-sharp became the Ace of Wraiths. His name is long-since forgotten, but the legend says that he was the greatest gambler of his day. He could bluff his way to a win with just a pair of deuces, and today Ace of Wraiths is the oldest resident of Pulp City’s Crossroad Hills district.

Over one century ago, that was his night; nobody could best him at cards, until a stranger joined his game. The stranger’s native blood did not match his white man’s clothing, nor did his Old World accent. The two played for hours until the momentum swung back to Ace in the gray hours just before the breaking of dawn. It came down to one last hand.

The stranger had no money, but he laid his gun and card box on the table. At first glance, the gun appeared to be nothing special, but as Ace stared at it he saw its exquisite workmanship along with ornate etching on the barrel. The same pattern was impressed on the solid silver box.

The final game was five card stud. The stranger took one card, Ace took three and drew aces over eights. He laid his cards down. The stranger sighed and looked Ace in the eyes. A smile came to his lips that grew into a laugh that chilled Ace’s soul. Then the stranger’s body collapsed into a pile of ashes. Ace flipped over the stranger’s cards: six, seven, eight, nine, and the one-eyed jack of spades.

That gambler Ace did not realize what had happened that night until a wandering preacher on a pale horse, upon seeing the winnings, told him a story about a cursed gun and deck of cards which damn their owner with immortality and eternal torment. He told the tale that they cannot be given away, but the owner can try to outwit another into winning the trophies in a game of cards, thus condemning the winner’s soul to an afterlife in hell. Ace had met his match that night, and his winning streak had come to a damned end.

Ace soon found he could not die. A bullet, or a knife, or a hangman’s noose may take his breath and stop his heart, but he was always reborn on the following night at the nearest crossroads. A few arcanists that know of his curse whisper that his life on earth will one day come to an end, when every man and woman tricked by the cursed Deck of Souls is redeemed with a claimed life of an evil being. And these days there seems no end of evil souls to harvest.

The powers of Ace of Wraiths rely on his artifacts. A skilled gunslinger and a cartomancer, Ace has had more than a century to master the art of paying his toll with the blood of evil men and women.

 

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