Green Serpent (Villain)

greenserpentCode-name: Green Serpent

Full Name: Chiyoko

Faction: Jade Cult, The Way

Twenty Years Ago
“Again,” barked the Ninja Sensei. At his command a young Japanese girl of five years of age slapped her hand against water sitting in a large simple wooden bowl.

The two were the only figures in the main courtyard of a vast temple set high into a remote mountainside. The air was cold and bit at the girl’s tender skin, but she made no complaint as she diligently undertook her training.

Water was displaced with each slap as she struck, and when the bowl became empty she was instructed with the same single word ‘again’ to refill it and start over once more, this time slapping the water with her other hand.

The girl did what she was told because it was what her father wanted, and father’s will was all she had ever known.

greenserpent-page-001Thirteen Years Ago
The girl, now on the cusp of adolescence, but having lived a childhood hard like no other, knelt before a sack of cold, wet sand. She had carried it up the side of the bleak and forbidding mountain as her Sensei had ordered. She had been instructed to creep undetected into the village below, escaping with her worthless prize. Shadows embraced her as she did as she had been told. Without any words of protest she clambered up the mountain with her heavy burden, slowly ascending step after painful step, as icy winds lashed at her slender body.

Returned to the citadel, she knelt before her prize and at a single nod from her Sensei began to rhythmically and repetitively punch the sand, over and over, right then left, then right, then left, until she could no longer count the blows and her knuckles bled, and she continued despite her pain and beckoning exhaustion.

Her task was what her father wanted, so she carried on without question.

greenserpent-page-002Eight Years Ago
A large windowless chamber deep within the ancient stone fortress; burning torches along the walls cast flickering light, leaving dancing pools of shadow around the room.

She was poised, her lithe frame ready for what she faced. A dozen ninjas stood motionless before her, each waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Each had failed the Jade Cult in some way, so each had failed the Green Emperor. Redemption could be claimed by one of their number if he or she slew the Emperor’s daughter. Her task in turn was to slay them all. She was he father’s daughter, and without mercy or hesitation she completed her bloody task, stepping silently through shadows to effortlessly kill the doomed cadre, as her father demanded.

jadeninjagirljpegToday
Her father was different now, reborn but still the Green Emperor. His demeanour was changed, and the Oni Queen had gained his favour, sitting at his right hand. He had gathered new recruits with talents to compete with hers, and worse than that, there was the dog he had bequeathed the title Shadow Mask to.

She had dutifully followed his instructions, establishing a headquarters in Pulp City to suit his plans. But while she was her father’s daughter, he had changed. And so had she. Amid a brutal and brutalised childhood, she had slowly earned her father’s respect. This Green Emperor was different. She did not command the same respect from her new ‘father’. The cycle had been changed. Her position had changed. And with that she knew his power could become hers. She would one day become the Green Empress.

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Green Emperor (Villain)

Code-name: Green Emperor

Full Name: Green Emperor

Faction: Jade Cult

The first memory of each incarnation was always of being reborn after incineration by terrible supernatural flame. The last memory of every incarnation was always the first recollection of the next.

The story was always the same; hatching from a jade egg deep within the heart of a sacred mountain, far away from the dread touch of fire. The hatchling slithering out into darkness and waiting months until scales begin to shed and a human form took shape. Soon, there was a visit from a shadow Oni who brought naga milk to bind the reptilian with human. Then, the first guttural words of command would be uttered to demonic minions: “Bring me my sword and armor.”

What was to follow would ever be a cycle of conquest and bloodshed. And in the end, it always culminated with the same fiery defeat.

This time would be different.

The shadow milk was strong, stronger than ever. This oni was different too; there was something very powerful about the way it moved.  This time, it was the oni who spoke first.

“We will break the cycle. No longer will you defeat the Tiger only to fall at the hands of some peasant that wields the Phoenix power. You will command the other shijin as the Dragon should. The new Oni Queen will lend you her resources to conquer this plane. Times have changed and gods no longer deal with mortal affairs. The world is yours.”

“For a price?”, were the first words of the Dragon this time. The oni grinned at him.

”Yes, for a price.”

 

The days under that darkly numinous mountain came to an end and conquest began. But everything was different. This was not all out war, it was a silent game of Go. The means of war had changed and the Dragon had the best lieutenants to lead his war from the shadows. A mysterious woman in jade vestments who called him ‘father’ led the countless armies of the most skilled shadow warriors the Orient could muster. All crime organizations of the East were subdued and subjugated within a year. An assassin, wreathed in shadow, brought the heads of crime-bosses to the Dragon, just like a cat brings dead mice to the hand that feeds it. Clandestine laboratories and factories across the water were tasked with improving his army Terror Cotta Warriors to face new threats. The oni that had greeted him to this world remained silent every time he asked about the price of the victory.

The orders from the new Oni Queen arrived exactly seven years after the Dragon’s latest rebirth. She directed him to find the underwater tomb of the Black Beast and awaken it. The monster had been defeated and entombed by the White Tiger one hundred years earlier and she stated that its resurrection was the key to breaking the cycle.

Unlike the other shijin, the Beast was a mindless force of destruction that always began the cycle, threatening the world, only to be defeated by the Tiger. Tiger would then be defeated by Dragon, and finally Phoenix would defeat Dragon for the cycle to eventually begin anew. But now the cycle could be broken.

His Jade Cult headed out the next day moving towards the coastline. This world was new to him, but the rules remained unchanged – the jade wave rolled down the mountain, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

 

The sparkling towers of the city they called Hong Kong welcomed the arrival of its Emperor.

He strolled through the streets, amazed to see how this part of his country has changed. The soldiers of the city armed with bizarre projectile weapons tried to stop them but their attempts fell short when one hundred of his newly-modified Terror Cotta Warriors unleashed a barrage of rockets upon them.

Stragglers were cut down by the combined forces of Jade Cult ninjas and oni.  They were almost in the harbor as wall of flickering amber fire rose in front of the Jade Cult army. It was happening again. Laughter rose from the ranks of his demonic allies as two female shapes emerged from the flames and walked towards his army of thousands.

The shorter one wore a crimson gown and a cape of peacock-like feathers that had all of their color replaced by changing hues of red. She bore no weapons but sparks danced around her fingers. The other one wore a white tunic with black stripes and a mask that covered her eyes.

“We meet again, but this time it is different, the Tiger and the Phoenix will not let you awaken the Black Beast of the Depths,” shouted the woman in red.

The massed ranks of oni laughed again, but only until a fireball that fell from the sky destroyed a dozen of the demonic creatures, leaving only smoldering husks and a pool of molten metal that had been shadow weapons.

The Dragon felt fear creep into his jade heart. It was happening again. The Tiger bore her steel claws and covered the distance between them in one giant leap. This was the moment when his sword usually pierced the Tiger heart, but this time, the jade blade got caught in the claws and broke.

The Emperor looked at his sword shortened almost by half. The hilt was still locked with the Tiger’s weapon, so he spun around, and delivered a massive kick to her lower body, sending the woman flying away from her ally, the Phoenix.  He turned again, pivoting on his left foot, only to duck beneath a gout of flame. The temperature rose dramatically, as the Phoenix manifested itself in its fullest, a tiny female shape was the only dark spot in the middle of two massive fiery wings.

His armor started melting like it always did in the course of the cycle. In an act of desperation, he hurled his broken sword in her direction. The blade flew unscathed through the firestorm and hit the bull’s eye, sinking in the woman’s chest. Flames were extinguished instantly and his army cheered. The body on the ground was still twitching as he walked towards it. There was no sorrow or pain on her face, only shock and disbelief.

The Green Emperor twisted his broken sword in the chest of the Phoenix and the fire died in her eyes. Indeed, the times had truly changed. He turned around looking for the Tiger, but she was nowhere to be found. It mattered not, for they were writing a completely new history this time.

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Terror Cotta Warriors (Villain)

Full Name: Terror Cotta Warriors
Allegiance: Jade Cult

In a labyrinthine lab complex hidden far from prying eyes far beneath the streets of Tokyo, Dr. Hideo Takahashi trembled inwardly. Trying hard to focus and compose himself as assistants busied themselves all around him, he resolved not to reveal his fear, for his master was nothing if not capricious; yet rewards for the Green Emperor’s most capable servants were truly great.

The doctor’s laboratories were state of the art, bedecked with bleeding edge computer work stations, engineering equipment, and related paraphernalia so advanced that it had not yet even reached market, all stolen from under the noses of its various developers. The Green Emperor always got what he desired, and in turn his underlings were given the best to work with. They did so with a simple understanding – failure was not an option. Dr. Takahashi understood that tenet as well as any servant of the Jade Cult.

Dr. Takahashi’s lab-complex was home to not just the acquired technologies that allowed it to undertake the research and development demanded by the Green Emperor, but it also served as a small-scale production facility for the creation of the Green Emperor’s fearsome Terror Cotta Warriors.

The best and brightest minds selected to serve the Jade Cult saw to their primary task: scientists and engineers designing and building new Terror Cotta Warriors through a melding of ancient relics and bleeding edge technology. An army of the robot-soldiers had been amassed under the aegis of the Green Emperor, to be dispatched in unobtrusive shipping containers to ports worldwide where the tendrils of the Green Emperor’s influence could be felt when the time was right. The Warriors were his foot soldiers, the armored fist of the Jade Cult. They represented his unrelenting, unflinching might; a networked phalanx to crush his enemies. The scope of the Green Emperor’s ambitions was vast – far beyond the understanding or realizations of a scientist such as Takahashi – but a general needed his soldiers, even a general as powerful as the Green Emperor, and that is what the Terror Cotta Warriors provided.

Half-completed torsos and leg drive trains hung from ceilings on chain-hoists; rocket and missile launcher mechanisms were laid out within dust-free assembly pods; spear weapon-arms on wall racks; CPU chips-sets were boxed awaiting installation; self-destruct mechanisms ready to be transplanted into the literal heart of these soldier-machines. All parts awaiting assembly. And for completion, a further enhancement would be necessary. Takahashi had once playfully mused to himself that it was like a robot autopsy in reverse.

Takahashi thought he felt a sudden slight chill in the lab. From the dark corners of the room stepped Shadow Mask, the master assassin and greatest of the Jade Cult Ninja Assassins. If Shadow Mask was here, then the master would arrive shortly. And if Shadow Mask had allowed Takahashi to see him, then that was significant. The assassin in the darkness could have killed the doctor without alerting him to his presence if that was what the Emperor intended. That he had not done so provided Takahashi with a boost as it offered a modicum of reassurance. He affirmed to himself that surely the Emperor would be pleased with his team’s latest achievements. ‘Yes, that would be it’, he thought to himself, ‘the Green Emperor is surely satisfied’.

The doors to the lab swished open, and a powerful and imposing figure strode through from the dark without. The Green Emperor, bearing the armor that he was never seen without. The force of his personality was so strong that Takahashi felt he almost filled the room. The Emperor was flanked by four Jade Cult Ninjas and the deadly and beautiful Green Serpent. The chill of terror touched Takahashi’s soul once more as Jade Serpent sinuously glided across the room to stand some way behind him. It took all of his remaining resolve to not look behind himself

“An update, Takahashi,” instructed the Green Emperor, his powerful voice devoid of emotion, revealing nothing to the scientist.

Bowing, Takahashi rattled off the latest accomplishments. In the last quarter more than one hundred Terror Cotta Warrior units had been produced, exceeding the set target by ten per cent. All were being packed into shipping containers to be dispatched to cities around the world to be deployed when required. Engineers had worked double time to get achieve the quota. Takahashi hoped that his master noted that they had surpassed expectations with the latest production run of Terror Cotta Warriors.

“And what of the failure rate, doctor?” asked the Green Emperor. Steel and threat were in his voice this time. As the question was posed, Takahashi tugged at his shirt collar, his fear palpably growing. Terror Cotta Warrior’s had seen the Green Emperor’s technologies advanced one step further. Human nervous systems had been grafted into the units from dead servants of the ruthless Emperor found lacking. However, the process was still in its infancy and success rates yielded high rate of failed implantation. The science and engineering team had worked doubly hard to strive to achieve their targets, but had ultimately faced many set-backs. Takahashi hoped his master would recognize the difficulties in marrying the myriad technologies within a single controllable unit.

“We have had some modest success, master,” began the scientist, his voice tremulous, “But overall reliability has been compromised due to difficulties in –“.

The Green Emperor cut him off with a brief sweep of his hand.

“Dr. Takahashi, I do not care for justifications of failure. I care only for achievement, for success. I reward those that meet my standards with boons they could otherwise only dream of. All of my servants know this. You know this, doctor. The price I place on such standards, on such generosity in success, is that failure is not an option.”

Takahashi paled. He was aware of such overwhelming forces around him: Shadow Mask; Green Serpent; the Jade Cult Ninjas. Any one of them could end his life within a single movement. But to be faced with the recognition of failure by the Green Emperor himself; that suggested a far worse fate was in store for him.

The Green Emperor turned to Takahashi’s number two, and commanded:

“You are promoted Dr. Watanabe. Do not make the same mistakes as your predecessor. I suggest the rate of failure has been compromised by process. From now on, please ensure that nervous system grafting is from live and intact subjects. Start with Dr. Takahashi and see how things proceed.”

The room swam in Takahashi’s field of vision. His body felt chill through to his bones.

The master of the Jade Cult then swept from the room, imperious, followed silently by his deadly agents. Behind him the screams of Dr. Takahashi rang out as the poor scientist realized his wretched fate.

 

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Shadow Mask (Villain)

Code-name: Shadow Mask

Full Name: Unknown

Allegiance: Jade Cult

A secret high-tech lab in Japan, years ago; a young girl watched as a killer wiped blood from his sword-blade, the blood of her brave father who had vainly tried to protect her, and her mother and sister, their lives brutally ended.  The implacable killer proceeded to manipulate controls for the test-chamber that the young girl was trapped inside. Leaving the girl to die as the chamber activated, as it filled with a peculiar liquid, the swordsman set to depart.

However, something very strange happened then. Time for the sword-wielding killer stretched out to seeming infinity, his body reacting ever so slowly to his surroundings. He saw then the young dark-eyed girl with burning hatred in her heart. With time slowed to an almost standstill he was able to see the spray of blood fly from his own neck glide impossibly slowly outwards as the vengeful girl took his own sword and cleaved his head from his body with a single blow. The life of Shadow Mask was snuffed out in an instant as time resumed its normal flow. Shadow Mask was dead, and his sword, the symbol of Shadow Masks across innumerable generations, taken by his own killer.

 

Years passed, and far away in a remote mountain fortress in Japan, a feral thing brooded alone in a Spartan cell. The creature was something less than a man and at the same time so much more. Simple clothes adorned the savage man-thing’s frame as a small reflection of the creature’s limited needs. The creature wore a mask that resembled nothing so much as an ornate muzzle, a stark contrast to its simple vestments, its beastly nature defined and displayed through that adornment. The thing’s cell was not locked, since its occupant lived only to serve its master, and would not seek to be elsewhere unless commanded. A cold stone corridor led from the cell into one of the meeting chambers of the man-creature’s master, the Green Emperor.

Following a discrete signal, the brute left its cell arrived in the meeting chamber. His master was there, regal and shrouded in cloak and armor. A cadre of Ninjas stood motionless against one wall, and before them stood the Green Serpent, deadly and beautiful in the eyes of all those who saw her, except perhaps for this brute. His thoughts were governed only by servitude to his master and the violence that he would unleash in fulfilling his tasks.

“Ah, your attack dog arrives, father,” said Green Serpent, disdain dripping from her words. Silence followed briefly in the stone-walled chamber.

“There are those who think this beast is unworthy of your attention, father, that it is unworthy of the Shadow Mask mantle.” An almost imperceptible shake of the Green Emperor’s head signaled to her that she should say no more.

The Green Emperor stood impassively for several minutes. He stared to who knew where, his face hidden behind his ceremonial mask, his contemplations his own. Finally he turned on his heel and walked up to the one he called ‘daughter’, that those others who knew of her called Green Serpent, heir to the empire of the Jade Cult.

“You see too little, daughter,” he began, emphasis on the latter word.

“You see only what you want, what you desire. You see the Jade Cult. You see the shijin totems. You see steps to power. You see the steps to usurp my power. And I applaud all of that. But I see more. I see that a child, half human, half oni, and born as lowly as one can be within my empire can become something to be feared. A child born with nothing has the potential to fight for anything. By taking that potential, honing it and sharpening it a great instrument is created.”

The Green Emperor paused, and gazed along the cadre of Ninjas standing stock still against the wall.

“Anyone can kill, daughter. But those who can are ultimately distracted by other things. And any of these Jade Cult Ninjas could rise to the mantle of Shadow Mask, as the pinnacle of their skills, as those who did so before them,” he waved nonchalantly at the ranked assassins, “But that is pride. It is a pride in their own abilities, but pride nonetheless. And your weakness is avarice. It was weakness that was the failure of the previous Shadow Masks. But my new Shadow Mask is a killer without distraction, without such weakness. Already he is one again with thoughts that race bloodily as he seeks only to serve me and to mete out death at my command. He has a singular purpose and in that he is magnificent, my perfect instrument. If you are correct to dismiss my new Shadow Mask, then that will be tested and proven. I asked that you bring your most promising Ninjas to me now, and here they are. I propose a test then. If your Ninjas defeat the Shadow Mask, then he dies as the dog you feel he is. If your Ninjas fail, then he has truly earned his name and rank. Or if I willed it, he would stand and face their attack and not attack back, reining in every instinct within him to do so.”

As he finished, the Green Emperor nodded at his new Shadow Mask.

The savage Supreme breathed darkness out from his own muzzling mask. The darkness coalesced around Shadow Mask. The inky darkness twisted and formed a shape, and the shape drifted away from Shadow Mask to form a shadowy copy of its creator. In that moment more than half a dozen Ninjas, expert assassins all, drew weapons to face a snarling wild man-thing and his shadow double.

Minutes had passed. The chamber was awash with blood. Shadow Mask’s claws dripped red to the stone floor. Bloodied but unbeaten, Shadow Mask stood across the bodies of those the Green Emperor had set before him. The Emperor approached, and put a fatherly hand on his shoulder. Green Serpent looked on as impassively as she could manage, but noticeably chagrined in the eyes of her father.

“I have a task for you, one worthy of you. There is a city, in the west. I bid that you go there and enact my will. Pulp City shall feel the power of the Green Emperor, and you will lead the way for the Jade Cult in that accursed place.”

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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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Ninjas (Minions)

 

 

Ninjas_gatheredFaction: varies

In one the remotest parts of Japan, nestled in mountains untouched by modern influence, is a forbidding fortress of dark stone. Local folklore has long held that demonic and evil creatures inhabit the treacherous slopes below this outpost. However such accounts are generally agreed to be simply the stuff of superstition.

No-one ever scales those peaks, and those living nearby avoid even the shadow of the mountain, muttering about curses and death to the unwary, even if they are only the stuff of local legends. Yet in those tales is some shred of truth, for at the highest summit is that unwelcoming fortress, shrouded by the most ancient and powerful of devilish magic.

Ninjas-page-001In the caves and hollows littering the mountainside, oni prowl; hideous, gigantic creatures with razor-sharp claws, wild manes of hair, and long horns growing from their fore-heads. They have formed a pact with the other denizens of this mountain, those ensconced in the citadel above. Their oni magic has concealed that edifice for centuries. In return blood ties have been formed between the oni and those living in the stronghold; as the world has moved on, the oni have managed to stay hidden from view under the aegis of those with whom they have made their pact.

Within the implacable walls of the fortress is an austere and drab settlement. Activity is evident throughout, but this is no noisy and bustling outpost. Far from it, as an eerie near-silence pervades all. Buildings are maintained, provisions distributed and martial skills practiced – all tasks conducted under the same chilling quiet.

Ninjas-page-002There is no intrusion of modernity here. Buildings harken back to a by-gone era, and tools are traditional and basic. Those living there are quartered in bleak and bare cells.

Banners flutter in a cold breeze that passes over the bastion. Under those standards emblazoned with a green dragon motif, those who toil and train have all have sworn allegiance to one purpose alone; servitude to their master and an oath made to him to sweep clean Japan of all invaders. All in the citadel are instruments of his war, the precise and silent blade of the Green Emperor. They are the ninjas of the Jade Cult and they are his legion of assassins.

The Jade Cult network is an all-encompassing web across Japan. It is through this network that new members – assets –are acquired. Local intelligence is used to identify possible inductees who will follow the tenets of the Green Emperor while providing useful skills, from research scientists to potential killers. Thus, the Jade Cult’s assassins form just one branch of a vast and very secretive organization. Nonetheless the ninjas of the Jade Cult have become a powerful tool, sowing fear and murder on behalf of their master.

NinjaSensei-page-001The Jade Cult has grown in the shadows, just as the power of the Green Emperor has grown, the two inextricably linked, and the Jade Cult ninjas have prospered through the links forged with the monstrous oni. Half-bloods have been carefully bred with human and oni parents. These offspring would be freaks or fiends in any other place, but in the castle of the Jade Cult assassins they are revered. They train harder, push themselves further and are more naturally adept with the skills of darkness and death than their human allies. The most able become sensei of the Jade Cult, instructing the next generation of the willing in the ancient arts of ninjutsu, while serving to enact the edicts of the Green Emperor.

NinjaSensei-page-002Wild reports have been exchanged among a few within the Supreme community of a small band of ninjas that have broken with the Jade Cult. With what little is known of the Jade Cult and its iron-fisted master, this seems beyond credulity, but still those sporadic rumors persist.

As the gaze of the Green Emperor has turned to the west, to Pulp City, so too have his agents have been dispatched. Encounters with ‘ninjas’ are increasingly being reported in Pulp City; stories of silent killers often led by more bestial-looking assassins. Heavy Metal, the Blood Watch and the other Heroes of Pulp City recognize that a new force is on the rise in the city; although what the ultimate purpose of these implacable executioners is they do not yet know. And of course, there are other secret citadels where such assassins are trained…

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