Toxic Grimmvenger (Hero/Villain)

 

toxic-grimmvengerCode-name: Toxic Grimmvenger

Full name: Toxic Grimmvenger

Faction: Grimm

Dusk was giving way to night in the outskirts of the Industrial Zone. Nestled on the outer edges of the area, Zenith Chemicals was a plant that had seen far better days. Rust crept along the seams of painted metal chimneys that reached like fingers for a darkling sky, while manufacturing detritus lay discarded in unused parts of the lot. At the outer perimeter, a squat, lumpy-skinned creature stuck his tongue out between crooked teeth as he roughly hewed a hole in the plant’s fence. Low-pitched snaggletoothed chuckles erupted among his companions as the barrier was breached.

The Grimm raiding party scurried through the haphazard hole in the oxidized chain-link fence. Twelve figures passed through the opening, for the most part each different and distinct from the next, yet all recognizable as part of the same species. Among them were several Grimm with bodies not unlike sacks made flesh, with limbs attached.

Their guttural speech followed patterns unintelligible to human ears. “<Way this, is way this>,” said the principal Grimm, a half-blind creature with pale skin, clad in ragged robes and walking with the aid of a stick. The others followed his lead.

“<Hur, hur>,” laughed a punk-looking brute with a mohawk, his frame bigger than the rest. Whether he was laughing at the lead Grimm or something in his own addled brain was not clear.

toxicgrimmvenger-page-001The band approached the largest of the Zenith buildings. In the distance, the rhythmic movement of flashlights indicated a pair of security guards doing their rounds. When the lights were clearly moving away, the robed Grimmancer signaled to the large Hooligrimm, who shoulder charged a side door open. The Grimm trooped in, oblivious to the sound of the clattering door they stomped over.

Under the guidance of the Grimmancer the Grimm set to work, grabbing samples of various chemicals to take back to the Grimm tunnels. Flesh-sack Grimm were filled with an assortment of industrial fluids. Four of the SackGrimm were dispatched to fill themselves up with shampoos. Another SackGrimm was dispatched high to a walkway above a vat marked with danger signs, and emblazoned ‘Danger – Waste Chemicals’. The Hooligrimm accompanied him, dangling the SackGrimm into the bright green viscous fluid, scooping it up and filling up the suspended bag-like Grimm.

toxicgrimmvenger-page-002Just then a voice shouted out, its exhortation lost on the Grimm. Human ears would have detected the word “Halt!”

Two security guards opened fire on the intruders, bullets plunging into one of the SackGrimm, causing an instant violent liquid explosion. The force of the creature’s body bursting ruptured a huge nearby vat, its spilled contents forcefully washing away the Grimmancer and another Grimm. Another SackGrimm looked on at the scene, startled, and lacking direction without the party leader. An involuntary gag reflex caused the SackGrimm to spray its storage-stomach full of chemicals onto an electrical panel immediately in front of it. The creature was instantly felled by an electrical arc which danced up the metal gantry. The Hooligrimm fell into the vat, stunned by the electrical shock, his skin blistering as he sank down, unable to swim to the surface as he had never needed to evolve such a skill. The remaining SackGrimm juddered as the electrical current swept through his body, and he too fell into the vat.

Fire broke out on the electrical panel, quickly spreading round the plant, fueled by igniting flammable liquids. The owners of Zenith had cut corners, finding it cheaper to bribe safety inspectors rather than bring the place up to code. They would come to regret those decisions. The guards looked on momentarily before they fled in panic.

The next day, and Zenith Chemicals was a smoking ruin. Captain Hadron and Dr. Mercury assisted with the clean-up once it had been identified that Grimm were involved. Grainy CCTV footage from a neighboring plant showed twelve Grimm make their way through the Zenith fence. Later recordings showed four of the creatures wandering back through the hole they had made in the fence, their bodies stretched like balloons filled with water. When the Heavy Metal Supremes had recovered the remains of the rest of the Grimm, they counted only seven more. A thorough search followed, but no other Grimm was found.

toxicgrimmvengerbsmlDays later, a Grimm truly unlike any other wandered into the furthest tunnels of the Underempire. Its misshapen body looked like it was formed of oozing green liquid. Grimm working the outer reaches looked on with curiosity for the barest moment, sniffing the air for the noxious fumes emanating from the newcomer before returning to their tasks. The oozing Grimm wandered on towards the heart of the Underempire, leaving wet, emerald footprints in his wake. A new Grimm had evolved.

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Supreme Grimm (Hero/Villain)

 

supremegrimmCode-name: Supreme Grimm

Full Name: Supreme Grimm

Faction: Grimm

Jonesy looked up to the roof of the crumbling tenement, rain tumbling onto his reptilian face. Up there, he was sure he could see a squat figure, its cape whipping in the wind. The weather was unseasonal for Pulp City, making his nocturnal business hard enough. Supreme trouble just made things worse.

Jonesy was something known locally as a Mutant Mobster. Along with his partner Smith he was an enforcer and not to be messed with, but he did not need Supreme-level interference. He lifted a taloned hand to shield his eyes enough to get a better look, to maybe work out if the Supreme was Hero or Villain, before deciding his next move. As Jonesy stared, there was a sudden lightning flash, splitting the night sky and starkly silhouetting the caped figure above. A few seconds later came a thunderous boom which alerted Jonesy to the fact he needed to do something, and quick. He pulled out his piece, a heavy blaster designed by the boss to look a little like an old-school Tommy gun.

supremegrimm-page-001Jonesy started to move, powerful lizard-leg strides. He had money to collect and no-one let the boss down unless they wanted to end up as victim of one of his experiments, and Jonesy had already been down that path once. Supremes were making it too damn hard to earn a dishonest living in this city.

He headed into the alley running alongside the tenement. Years of experience combined with the sixth sense of a mostly successful career-criminal caused Jonesy to glance upwards. The Supreme was swooping down, a little erratically, almost like he was not used to flying. His pursuer hit the ground with a thudding splash, before straightening up. What Jonesy saw clearly then startled even his jaded demeanor. The Supreme was clearly a Grimm, one wearing a half-cowl and flapping cape, and nothing else. Its stocky physique indicated some degree of power. Weird was the only word to describe this new Supreme. Things got even stranger as he realized the Grimm was gurgling a tune: “Der-de-de-de-der, der-der-der, der-de-de-de-der, der-der-der.”

supremegrimm-page-002The Mutant Mobster felt more than a little surprised. The peculiar, stocky, mostly-naked green-skinned Supreme seemed to be vocalizing its own theme music. His bemusement was instantly broken. A staccato ionized crack-crack-crack signaled that Smith was standing beside Jonesy and had opened up with his own blaster. Jonesy joined in, doubling the energy-fire raining down on the stoic-faced Grimm. Shots bounced off its chest and tore through its cape. In a blur of motion the Grimm flew forwarded, careening clumsily into Smith and knocking the burly dino-man out, while sending Jonesy to the floor more than a little dazed.

Jonesy shook his head to clear it. Things were not going well. He tried to raise his gun, but his arm felt a little weak from the collision. The Grimm stood over him, triumphant and proud, fists resting against hips as his features were once again lit up with brilliant light from another bolt of lightning. Must be a Hero thought Jonesy, only a Hero would strike a pose like that.

SupremeGrimmJust at that moment, Jonesy’s luck changed. He heard a not-too-distant explosion, almost immediately followed by the screaming peal of an alarm system. The caped Grimm twisted its head left then right, and it seemed to sniff the air before raising one arm skywards and unsteadily streaking into the air. Jonesy thought he could faintly hear the Grimm exclaim, “Up, up and awaaaay,” but he couldn’t be sure. Now all he had to do was wake up Smith and they could be about their business. Then he had to figure an angle to use the information of a new Supreme Grimm to get in good with the boss. It was all in a night’s work.

 

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Grimm Lee Chan (Hero/Villain)

 

grimmleechanCode-name: Grimm Lee Chan

Full Name: Grimm Lee Chan

Faction: Grimm, The Way

June panned her camera around taking in the spectacle – it looked like everyone in Little Asia was kung fu fighting! And in the heart of it all, was a peculiar little humanoid in a yellow jumpsuit, near-hairless with violet hued skin, its odd face split by crooked pointed teeth. The strange-looking thing twirled two nunchakus with lightning speed, a whirling vision of martial arts motion. He knocked down Ankle Biters with every crunching strike, punctuating his attacks with a shouted ‘Ki-ya!’

As Pulp City’s leading reporter on all Supreme matters, Channel 4’s June Summers had covered many strange stories, but she suspected that whatever lay behind this one would make it a doozy.

grimm lee chan-page-001June filmed the fray before her, trying to capture the action without getting caught in it. A hot tip had brought her looking into one of the stranger denizens of Little Asia, but she had not expected to suddenly become embroiled in an all-out street battle. She continued filming as it became clear that the district’s shadowy, unofficial protectors – The Way of the Fist and Blade – were vanquishing their last foes, although June was sure she glimpsed a villain in a long coat with a toothpaste-commercial smile escape into a sewer.

June watched as the curious little thing she was interested in executed a spinning aerial kick to a badly-damaged re-purposed Terror Cotta Warrior, sending it crashing to the ground. With that, stillness came over the scene, broken only by sirens as the Supremes of The Way broke for the shadows, melting from view. It was time to start the real digging for her story.

***

grimm lee chan-page-002June began investigating at a nearby restaurant, the House of Jade Lanterns. It quickly became clear she was not welcome from the twitchy manager’s frosty reception. Her next stop was a newspaper seller, his wooden stall scorched, no doubt by some recent Supreme conflict. The wizened old man smiled when he understood June’s inquiry. He nodded enthusiastically while decrying the repair bill he faced. Fifty bucks unlocked the snippet of a tale he had to tell. The vendor explained that the creature, Lee Chan to his friends across the community, arrived a few years earlier. Ever since then he had looked out for the people of Little Asia, protecting it with all he had. When June asked about where Lee Chan lived, the vendor shook his head and closed up his stand.

June continued asking around; people knew the Supreme she described, but few were talking. The scraps of information she gathered were at times contradictory, occasionally outlandish, even when benchmarked against the Supreme stories she had covered. One guy said that Lee Chan could never bathe or mirror-copies would spawn. Another explained he should not eat after midnight or he would turn into an evil twisted version of himself. June dismissed that one as she had seen the little creature with her own eyes, and he looked pretty twisted as it was, in a strangely cute way.

The next few days saw June continue trying to put the pieces together. She felt she had a lead connecting Lee Chan to the Grimm, but the whole story felt just out of reach. She had met resistance before, but this was different. The people she talked with smiled proudly when she mentioned Lee Chan’s name, becoming reticent when they realized she was seeking more information.

GrimmFuLRAfter another fruitless day, June decided to finish up as dusk encroached. Realizing she was a few blocks from her car, she spotted a narrow alleyway to use as a short-cut. It was dimly lit by hanging decorative lanterns, but June could handle herself so was content to press on. Halfway down the passage hairs on the back of her neck rose. She was being followed. June turned to see two shadowy figures. Ninjas! The city was crawling with rent-a-Ninjas in the past few years, so she had no idea who had sent them. Suddenly, she heard a familiar ‘Ki-ya’ shout as a short figure in a yellow jumpsuit blurred past her. June watched fascinated as Lee Chan swiftly knocked out the Ninjas with well-placed strikes and kicks. When the little creature was sure the would-be assailants were subdued, he turned to June and gave a toothy grin, accompanied by two thumbs up. He then barreled his way from the alley and was lost in the twilight.

June did not file her story. Little Asia had its protector, who did what he could for anyone in the area, even those just passing through. The community wanted to keep their shared secret about their unique guardian. June realized that she would not be the one to expose the tale. She thought about her little savior and how strongly his neighborhood protected him, and smiled as she wiped her tapes.

 

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Red Bella (Hero/Villain)

 

redbellaCode-name: Red Bella

Full Name: Red Bella

Faction: Ape Revolution Committee (A.R.C.)
Red Bella’s journey to Pulp City was long and strange. One of five primates who survived the crash of Module 2, Red Bella awoke alone amid wreckage in the mountains of China. Desperately searching for her crew-mates, she stumbled delirious for days before finally collapsing outside an ancient temple. There she was found by an unusual group of monks, and with them a band of academics who called themselves the Midnight Scholars, and with them the remnants of her crew.

Red Bella quickly learned that the Midnight Scholars were a secret international society of academics and scientists researching occult history. Well-funded and supported by old money from Europe, they sought to unearth ancient artifacts of power and preserve them to ensure the world’s safety. With the monks, they nursed the injured Bella to health and explained their purpose. Bella absorbed lore and history like a sponge, eagerly asking questions. After a few months the team was ready to move on. A voice deep within Bella told her that her place was with them for now. She and the other primates from Module 2 all agreed to travel with the Scholars.

red bella-page-001The monks of the mountain promised Bella that the debris from her craft and the knowledge of the survivors would be protected. They and the Midnight Scholars concluded that it was dangerous information better left on the mountain. With solemn vows a pact was made, and the company departed for Hong Kong. The inner voice, which was not her own, commended her decision.

Over the next couple of years, the adaptable Bella learned to read, write and speak a dozen more languages. Her own research helped uncover lost artifacts including the Wyrd Colt, once carried by an American adventurer who travelled to China. Her expeditions and exploits earned her the trust of Hong Kong’s own Supreme Iron Cloud. Iron Cloud soared through the skies using a jetpack he himself had designed and battled injustice, a popular local Hero. He trained Bella in the use of the bullwhip, and listening to the Midnight Scholars’ concerns he joined their party. Despite Bella’s newly acquired skills, her recent accomplishments were not what she was truly seeking, simply a means to an end. Her passion, and soon her obsession, greater than that of her simian companions, became the great Hanuman, the Monkey King – a being she now believed spoke to her and had guided her to the temple and her journey.

red bella-page-002Finally, after years of searching the globe, Bella uncovered what she believed to be Hanuman’s temple, hidden high in the Himalayas. She returned to Hong Kong to consult with her allies in the Scholars and plan her expedition.

Unbeknownst to Bella, her tomb raiding exploits had brought her to the attention of the Green Emperor. Realizing the danger that the Midnight Scholars represented to his own plans, he unleashed his greatest assassins. Upon returning to the Midnight Scholar’s quarters Bella found nothing but death, and even the mighty Iron Cloud could not stand against the Emperors’ fury. Of her remaining simian companions, she found no trace.

Bella fled the scene, grabbing as much as she could, including Iron Cloud’s jetpack. Soon arriving in the lower reaches of the Himalayas, many days of climbing frigid peaks followed, as she wanted to preserve what fuel remained in her flying device. The very air seemed to confound Bella, many times she found herself going in circles. She persevered despite the setbacks, the cold, and the blinding snow. Her food supply was almost exhausted, and she was convinced something stalked her. Bella found peculiar footprints that matched nothing she had ever seen or heard of. Noises split the night; yowling singing that chased her even in her dreams. Tormented day and night, she refused to turn back.

Then Bella heard the voice again. She followed it even when it urged her to walk places that seemed unsafe. She took leaps of faith again and again. In a deep ravine near the summit she at last found what she sought. The temple was nothing more than a shallow cave with a simple dulled-brass idol, set with glowing red rubies. The idol was strangely warm to the touch and free of ice and snow. The gems glowed brighter as she approached and the inner voice rang out stronger than ever.

redbellafinalprev“For an age have I waited for you, Bella. The faithful is first and others will follow. Take this token and it shall be part of you always. Heed my words and know that my children are not forgotten.”

The voice sounded clear in her head and as she reached for the idol it seemed to reach for her. They embraced like long-separated mother and child. In that moment Bella saw visions of great and terrible things. She knew that a larger destiny lay in store for her and the other Awakened. And then the Yeti struck. Appearing out of the snow like a giant terrible phantasm, it struck Bella down and dragged her to the Green Emperor.

Bella endured months of torture before Chimp Chi found and freed her, returning her gear. Never though had she despaired, never was she broken, for she had found the Ruby Idol and awoken the Primates of Power. She, Bella, had opened the door to save her kind. Now all she had to do was get the others to listen. How hard could that be?

 

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Le Murtiple (Hero/Villain)

Full Name: Le Murtiple
Allegiance: Ape Revolution Committee

“¡Viva la Revolución!” shouted the little lemur wearing a purple top hat. His dress uniform was immaculate, crisp and clean, for the little lemur was nothing if not attentive to detail.

The bold lemur surveyed the scene before him. Novaragua’s capital city was awash with revolutionary zeal as its military junta was under increasing pressure from the fighters of the Luminous Way. President for life Sendero had to know very well that the ‘for life’ aspect was no guarantee of longevity in these times of serious civil unrest. That much was clearly symbolized by the burning of the presidential palace. Of course that it was the lemur’s own home-brew bombs that had caused the palace to burn was simply emblematic of this strange little revolution. The leaders of the rebels in the Luminous Way had kept any mention of their intelligent talking primate ally from their followers, wary of his links to the despised governments of the region, and especially to Sendero himself. Everything he had done for the revolution had been under a cloud of secrecy, and that included this latest direct action.

The flickering flames of the burning official residence of President Sendero cast an amber glow onto the lemur, but insufficient warmth. Despite the fire, it was a cold night and the little primate pulled his cape closer around himself. Just then his sharp senses detected foot-steps coming towards him. Several men he estimated and they lacked the rhythmic step of trained soldiers – fellow revolutionaries he surmised.

“Ah, Vazquez. How are you comrade?” asked the lemur in his friendliest manner to the leader of the group. He had not arranged to meet his contacts at this time, or at this location, so his suspicions were raised. He cast a quick glance at the six men that drifted around him, surreptitiously sizing them up.

“Your time is done here, I think,” said the overweight and unshaven Vazquez, his words tinged with a veneer of warmth. The lemur understood the implication, but was not quite ready to show his hand yet.

“I don’t understand, I thought we were comrades in the glorious fight together?” said the lemur.

“Yes we were, but times change. While you were El Presidente’s special pet you were a valuable ally, our inside man, spreading misinformation and killing when we needed you to do so. And in the early days of the revolution you were very useful, making bombs and gathering intelligence. But times change little monkey. It would not do for the revolution to be associated with one of the symbols of El Presidente’s corrupt regime. And this is a human revolution, no monkey’s needed,” said Vazquez, spitting at the ground as he finished.

“There is one thing about me I never told you or the leaders of the revolution,” began the lemur, “You know about my skills, with a knife; my skills with making bombs; my skills as assassin and intelligence agent. But there is one last thing that I never told you, nor did I ever tell El Presidente. Every man who has learned this secret has died at my hand. This night will be no different.”

With that the little lemur became three. One of lemurs drew a butterfly knife, revealing its blade in a fluid motion.  Another of the identical lemurs drew a chemical flask from the folds of its cloak, while the third drew a stick of dynamite from a trouser pouch, deftly lighting its fuse as he did so. The half dozen men looked on in shock. It was the last thing they ever saw.

 

Dead men behind him, the little lemur fled into the jungle. His time in Novaragua was done; he was now an enemy to both sides, with the blood of men from both factions on his hands. However his conscience was clear; he had done what he felt was just and right and his actions aligned with his principles.  So he travelled into the thick jungle, to place distance between himself and his foes. He was startled then to stumble upon an orangutan wearing a lab coat, stood beside a beefy-looking gorilla wearing combat fatigues and toting a minigun. He was surprised that he had not sensed them sooner, but then his mind had been on other things, and this pair was an unexpected sight.

“Going somewhere?” asked the bespectacled orangutan in English, with a smile that revealed vicious looking teeth.

“Somewhere better for my health, I think,” replied the lemur, in accented English, warily eyeing the two big apes as he spoke, “And who are you?”

“We are fellow travelers, drawn here by your reputation.  It seems to my friend and I that you need to leave Novaragua in a hurry. We think we may have the perfect destination for you. Have you heard of Pulp City?”

The lemur nodded in affirmation.

“There is a revolution coming to Pulp City,” growled the big gorilla, briefly pausing before continuing, “And we want you. What is your name, what do we call you? Where did you come from?”

The lemur thought for a moment, weighed his options and his principles, and made a decision.

“You may call me, Le Murtiple”, said the little lemur, a broad grin across his face, “And as for where I came from? Well, that is another story…”

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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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Tanuki (Hero/Villain)

Code-name: Tanuki

Full Name: Tanuki

Allegiance: Jade Cult

Outside of the closed ranks of the Jade Cult, Tanuki’s origin is veiled in secrecy, and even within that terrible society few know the truth. One of the Jade Cult’s mysterious spirit-onis, Tanuki is probably the least loyal of that kind, even if ultimately he is the only one that recognizes that fact.

As the Green Emperor has extended his reach beyond Japanese shores and turned his attention to the West in general, and Pulp City in particular, Tanuki has been an instrumental agent of the Jade Cult. Tanuki has found great pleasure in all that the modern world has to offer, and especially the liberty he has seen first-hand in Pulp City, once described as a decadent cesspit by his master. Cesspit or not, Tanuki loves what Pulp City has to offer – he just enjoys being unleashed in the world!

The earthly plane that Tanuki finds himself in is like Las Vegas for a newly confirmed gambler, and diametrically opposed to the feudal Japan that the Green Emperor seeks to re-create after his own design. There is not a single sensation or experience that he does not revel in, and he has learnt the ways of his new world in short order. Tanuki already owns a significant business portfolio, having generated massive profits from speculative investment in the burgeoning Japanese real-estate market of the late 1980’s, withdrawing his investments as he foresaw an imminent crash. He also loves manipulating gullible people and the media, and on many occasions he has planted fake stories for unwitting journalists to pick up on, all part of grander plots; the famed June Summers has yet to fall for one of these elaborate hoaxes and so he views duping her as the prize target in his wild little intrigues. Tanuki often has to pretend that he cares deeply for the goals Emperor and his Jade Cult, but the small raccoon-dog spirit is expert at putting on his ‘engaged’ face, and thus sparing himself the wrath of the only entity he fears – the Green Emperor.

Tanuki has been afforded certain freedoms not given to other Jade Cult agents; the Green Emperor has allowed the mischievous spirit a long leash as he gathers intelligence and makes new contacts to further the Jade Cult’s strategies. This has allowed Tanuki to pursue his own agenda, something he relishes. Seeing a city whose culture was clearly dominated by the super-powered Supremes living and fighting there, Tanuki felt it obligatory that he join in with their customs; thus he fashioned himself a domino mask as he felt this would help him blend in! Of course he has had to kowtow to the wishes of the Green Emperor, and so has adopted traditional Japanese garb as part of his ‘costume’. And so the bizarre sight of a talking raccoon dog hurling magic spells and potions around with abandon is one of the stranger tales that grace the Supreme scene, and Tanuki for one loves his role. His cheerful demeanor is disarming to most of the other Supremes he encounters; few realize the full devious extent of his plotting and machinations.

There are many onis within Green Emperor’s employ, and Tanuki is unique among them. Of all the spirits within the Jade Cult’s ranks, Tanuki’s link to the material world is the strongest, and he is the most difficult creature to banish. Tanuki weaves magic and twists probabilities to service the goals of the Green Emperor, but just as often his own objectives. Tanuki hopes to one day liberate himself from the control of the Green Emperor. He knows that day is probably long off, but that does not stop the strange little spirit-creature from scheming his schemes, in the hope that one day he will be free. However he inwardly acknowledges that to do so is to run a grave risk.

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Virgo (Hero/Villain)

Full Name: Virgo/Alana
Allegiance:  Allied with Tritonious and other resistance members

Growing up as a female in Neptune’s biggest city, Neoatlantis, you had to be either ready to spend the rest of your life as a cook, slave trainer or a cleaner OR be beautiful enough to be noticed by one of the noble males. Alana was neither ready for servitude, nor beautiful.

Because of her boyish manners and attitude, at age of ten, she was offered to the temple of Neptune to become a slave driver. But under a resilient hide that had gone through such a lot of hardship, there was a tender and compassionate soul. Alana was assigned to train and hand-pick scouts for the remote marine outposts within the vast Ulthar civilization. Mermen were natural candidates for these roles – they were just one step behind the evolutionary stage of their masters, unadapted to walk and live on an air-breathing surface, but perfectly suited to aquatic environments. But their thoughts and emotions were everything that Ulthars were before the dominant species spiraled into their sinister ways – they were not Ulthar.

Through arduous training, the weakest of mermen were revealed, only to be fed to the revered beasts of the Neptune abyss. Appalled by the fate that awaited them, Alana risked her life to help merman consigned to this end to escape instead. Her secretive operation went on for months; however every sentient being she saved was just a drop in an ocean of suffering. Her actions eventually attracted some unwanted attention and she knew she had to make a break for freedom. The latest chosen scouts, along with their wives and children, were to be escorted to a distant Ulthar outpost. A contingent of Sagittari was assigned to the slave caravan to make sure that those mermen scouts made it safely to their destination. Alana knew it was then or never.

She sabotaged the marksmen’s vessel. An explosion of the power-core resulted in most of the Sagittari being killed in instants, a handful making it to escape pods. Fleeing mermen invited her to join them, but Alana knew that there was so much more evil in Neoatlantis and the Ulthar Empire that needed to be culled, so she chose not to follow her apprentices. She donned a scout suit from the caravan’s armory, and waited patiently for reinforcements to reclaim the dead, wounded and survivors, and to carry them back to the capitol.

From then on, Alana worked behind enemy lines, providing intel for the rebelling races of Neptune and striking from the shadows. In the meantime, she disguised herself as a male Sagittarius, taking the name and identification of a fallen Sagittari from the explosion she herself had caused. Alana’s actions quickly saw her promoted from a ‘graduate’ of the academy to captain of an elite Sagittari unit that was soon sent to Earth with other pre-invasion troops. Just a few hours before her pod was to launch from the blue planet’s orbit, she and her unit were ordered to the medical chamber of the invasion ship for enviro-adaptation and inoculation. Knowing that this would mean discovery of her true nature, Alana started an emergency alarm on deck, and in the wake of the ensuing chaos she managed to escape to the planet’s surface.

Shedding her Sagittarius uniform and disguise was the final step to Alana’s transformation into a warrior-woman that swore to build a resistance against her own race everywhere it chose to venture. However, Alana knew that she was stuck at that moment on a planet that had just started making its first steps in the field of space travel.

 

When she later met with Earth’s most powerful beings – its Supremes – she soon found out that they were too busy fighting their own little wars over petty things. In the wake of impending doom, they needed a strong leader to unite them. Alana, who became known to Earthlings as Virgo, a name she adopted as a reminder of the lowly caste into which she was born in a dark empire, would lend her services to anybody who would help her develop a resistance front, for she knew a time of reckoning with the Ulthar was coming for Earth.

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Tritonious (Hero/Villain)

Full Name: Tritonious/Jonathan
Allegiance: Allied with Virgo

“When the stars and planets align themselves to form a giant glowing trident in the sky, peel your eyes for a silver shape that descends from orbit.

Once every twenty five years, the gods from above come to visit their progeny left on Earth.”

 

Before you turn your VHS machine off, let me inform you that this is the opening sequence of the newest June Summers’ documentary, titled Exodus from Atlantis. A wild subject to be sure, but June has a long-standing story of top quality TV productions based on well-documented facts. So why did this report never make it to the airwaves? Why is it that a highly sought after and much worn-out tape cannot be bought anywhere but the black market?

The truth is too much to take for most who hear this outlandish story. In case you never get to find a copy of the tape, here is the shocker in a nutshell: June investigates a small coastal town in New England called Solace, but only after she finds out that a prominent Pulp City businessman, Jeremiah Johnson, owns ninety per cent of the real estate there, including an off-shore forested island. She finds out that he is an orphan who ran away from pretty much every East Coast children’s institution before turning ten years old. Then he disappears for a decade, and literally goes off the radar.

He later legally changes his name to from Weiss to Johnson. Now, if you had to take an educated guess, what is the predominant name in the town of Solace? There is not a SINGLE person named anything other than Weiss.

June gets there, to that small, out of the way town, and deals with all that crazy stuff. I mean, it’s stricter than an Amish community. They run out of camera batteries in two days and when one of her crew goes to Salem to charge them up, a weird-weird storm starts and the rest of the crew is trapped there for a week. The rest of the footage they get is captured with an 8mm camera.

On the third night of the storm, the clouds start glowing from above and then part to reveal a bizarre star constellation that looks like a trident. You can’t really see it on the footage that well, but the ocean literally parts as a procession of townsfolk marches into the dark blue depths. A giant glowing object breaks off from the trident and descends, hovering over the exact spot where the citizens of Solace disappeared. It casts this eerie jade light over the scene, while shapes of ancient buildings and colonnades rise from the waves. The whole crowd is there, and the mayor of the town, Obadiah Weiss, raises a shining artifact to the sky, and you can see how the mysterious object cracks open like a silver flower, revealing an almost human baby. The hovering vessel’s lights explode in a white flash, and all recording devices go blank for a few moments, and human eyes take a minute or two to come to their senses. The storm rages on, but the ocean looks very cold and lifeless. At this point, most of the crew panics and they had back to Salem.

 

Fast forward three years, and June gets a phone call from a young man who introduces himself as Jonathan.

He asks June if she ever wants to complete her documentary.  Jonathon says he has a lot of interesting information that he is willing to exchange in return for getting him in touch with some of June’s Supreme friends. June meets Jonathan at the docks; it’s late and stormy, and wary, she brings Trail as back-up. When a hulking figure in a trench coat approaches her, the air gets cold and it smells funny, like burnt ozone. Trail appears from the shadows, waves his hand and as his gem-eyed mask lights up, June clearly sees three skulking shapes as they let loose a volley of crossbow bolts. Jonathan spins on his heel and roars as a thick water curtain stops the projectiles. June feels the gravity shift as a tidal wave crushes the attackers and their unconscious bodies slowly drift to her feet.

“Sagittari,” says Jonathan “the elite silent killers”. His face is as inhuman as everything that has happened here so far. His greenish skin is wet and fins encircle his square jaw. “My name is Jonathan Weiss, but everybody calls me Tritonious, son of Neptune VII, the undersea ruler of this planet. I’ll guide you to Atlantis, but just help me find my baby-sister. I know she is in Pulp City”.

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Stalker (Hero/Villain)

stalkerCode-name: Stalker

Full Name: Stalker

Faction: none

When the sun blazes in the sky over Pulp City, and Solar is hunting evil-doers, the big black cat identified as Stalker is often to be found by his side. When the sun goes down and darkness falls, and a change can be sensed in the sun-powered Hero, Stalker remains as his companion. And when the feral man-beast some call the Avatar of the Jaguar hunts, Stalker has been seen running with him.

The dark-furred feline is an enigma to the authorities of Pulp City. Although the general populace has come to terms with evolved talking primates from the Ape Revolutionary Committee, most believe Stalker to be an urban myth. Few accept that there is any possibility of a mighty beast native to the jungles of Latin America being on the loose in a modern metropolis, even one teeming with as much weirdness as Pulp City.

stalker-page-001Scattered reports have linked the elusive animal to vicious attacks on criminals, while yet other reports have suggested that the creature that has been suggested to be Stalker has been seen in the company of Supreme Villains. What is clear to the authorities in the city is that if the beast is real, it is not clear how it continues to evade capture, whether it is some kind of Supreme animal, or even whether human-level intelligence drives it on.

In truth Stalker serves as Solar’s monitor, in all of sun-powered Supreme’s aspects. Solar has yet to fully realize his full potential as the avatar of Ahau-Kin on Earth. This has caused Johann Sonnenbrandt’s psyche to become fragmented, and in turn he displays different abilities depending on which aspect is currently in the ascendency. The median aspect – known to some as Dark Solar – reflects traits of the other two, and is like a powerful and vengeful demi-god. Stalker’s task is to help Johann accept and become Ahau Kin.

stalker-page-002Stalker is a spirit guide, appearing when he is needed, knowing that Sonnenbrandt must learn some lessons for himself. As a brave soul of a fallen warrior, eternally rejoicing in the hunt, he was summoned by Ahau-Kin to become a guide and interpreter of mysteries to Solar, as he became the avatar of the god by putting on the tiara. However, Stalker has found more than he expected when he was charged with his duty. He likes being alive once more, even on an impossibly changed Earth. He also likes his role as a guide, much as he did when training young Jaguar Warriors of old. To his own surprise, he has come to love the city as a new hunting ground. It remains to be seen whether he will fulfill the duty given to him by Ahua-Kin. For now he is happy to hunt the varied and exciting prey of this new jungle. He is happier still to serve a mighty being like Ahau-Kin, and shape the re-birth of his ancient God.

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