Servants of the Four Monarchs

By Patrick O'Duffy.

[Webmaster's note: many of these writeups use the weapon schticks found elsewhere on this site.]

Butterfly Knight

These servants of the Thunder King undergo transformative magic to give them enormous butterfly wings and great speed. The leaders of the Butterfly Knights are those who develop the most impressive and beautiful wings.

Numbers in brackets are for Named Butterfly Knights.

Attributes: Bod: 5, (Mov 8) [Tgh 7], Chi: 0 (Mag 5) [5], Mnd: 5, Ref: 6 (Spd 8)

Skills: Creature Powers 8, Martial Arts 8 [13], [Leadership 9]

Schticks: Creature: Flight x 2 (Move 10); [Fu: Vital Blow, Hands Without Shadow, Quick Draw]

Weapons: Sword (9) or Pike (9)

Fire Assassins

Deadly followers of the Fire Kings, the Assassins are his secret weapon in the Secret War. Each Assassin specialises in fighting a particular type of enemy - be it martial artists, sorcerors, abominations, armed soldiers - with a few Assassins trained as all-purpose warriors. All Assassins are named characters, familiar with many weapons and styles, equipped with whatever devices the Fire King bestows upon them. They tend to go after single targets, sneaking in and killing their target in silence. However, they are also deadly in full combat.

Attributes: Bod: 7, Chi: 7 (Mag 4), Mnd: 6, Ref: 8

Skills: Intrusion 13, Martial Arts 15, Guns 13, Sabotage 15, Fix-it 12

Schticks: Different Fire Assassins have different areas of training, depending on the enemy they have been taught to defeat.

Fu: Fire Strike, Fire Stance, Fire Fist, Eyes of Fire, Gathering the Fire, Friend of Darkness; Weapon: Vital Blow
Martial Arts:
Fu: Fire Strike, Friend of Darkness, Hands Without Shadow, Bite of the Dragon, Breath of the Dragon, Claw of the Dragon; Weapon: Vital Blow
Fu: Fire Strike, Friend of Darkness, Natural Order, Backlash of the Turtle, Mirror of the Turtle; Weapon: Ricochet Strike x 2
Fu: Natural Order, Backlash of the Turtle, Mirror of the Turtle, Creative Thunder, Wandering Cow, Fire Strike; Weapon: True Strike, Vital Blow
Fu: Fire Strike, Fire Stance, Fire Fist, Friend of Darkness, Inner Strength, Eye of the Storm, Fox's Retreat, Clothed in Life
Any and all. Uses bows, not guns.

Fire Martyrs

Fanatics who worship the Fire King as a living god, the martyrs serve as front line troops. The Fire King magically infuses them with fire, which they can usleash in an explosion that consumes them (all for the glory of the Fire King). Fire Marytrs can be distinguished by the flames that dance in their eyes.

Attributes: Bod: 5, Chi: 0 (Mag 5), Mnd: 5, Ref: 5

Skills: Martial Arts 7

Unique Schtick: Explodo! The Fire Martyr can give his life for his King. As a 3-point action, the Martyr can explode in a ball of fire. This requires rolling Martial Arts against a Difficulty of 5. The explosion has a base damage of 15, with bonuses for the Outcome of the check. The explosion has a radius equal to 5 metres plus Outcome, with the damage dropping by 1 point per metre. This (of course) kills the Martyr.

Ice Tiger

These huge, beautiful tigers are magical creations of the Ice Queen, who serve as bodyguards for her and those servants of her court. All important personages have an Ice Tiger as a pet/guard, and the Tiger will leap to their defense whenever they are threatened. Consider all Ice Tigers to be Named characters.

Attributes: Bod: 8, Chi: 3 (Mag 5), Mnd: 4 (Per 8), Ref: 7

Skills: Martial Arts 12, Creature Powers 10, Intimidation 9

Schticks: Claws x2 [12], Damage Immunity: Blast (except Fire), Damage Immunity: Unarmed Attacks, Damage Immunity: Hand to Hand Weapons (whips)

Lord Shi

The Netherworld is an enormous place, and it's sheer folly to believe that the Four Monarchs rule the whole thing. There are many small dukedoms, nation-states, pocket kingdoms and forbidden cities tucked away, ruled by warlords and outcasts from other times, holding onto a few feng shui sites and living by their own rules. Lord Shi is one such warlord -- one of the most powerful.

It was not always so. Once, Lord Shi was a general in the juncture ruled by the Four Monarchs. He lost his territories in their squabbling and rivalries, and became a leader for hire, selling his services to all four Monarchs. Then came the critical shift that destroyed the Monarch's jucture, and Lord Shi grabbed his chance. He staked out a corner of the Netherworld for his own, forming his own fiefdom away from the family he had served for so long. Now he follows his own path. He will still work for the Monarchs occasionally, but only when it suits him.

Lord Shi is a man who lives by a strict code of honor, and will fulfill any obligation -- or demand payment of any debt. A good man, but a hard man, in a world where he can't afford to show weakness. Physically, Shi is a handsome, middle-aged (due to the invigorating powers of chi) man, normally dressed in the armor and garb of a Japanese warrior.

Attributes: Bod: 6 Chi: 8 (For 3) Mnd: 7 (Cha 8) Ref: 9

Skills: Martial Arts 16, Intimidation 13, Leadership 16, Info/Netherworld 13, Shaping 9

Fu Schticks: Hands Without Shadow, Clothed in Life, Willow Step, Walk of a Thousand Steps, Armored in Life, Prodigous Leap, Abundant Leap, Flying Sword, Vertical Charge, Loyal Steel

Weapon Schticks: Weapon Master (Sword), Razor-Edged Senses

Weapons: Swords (12)

Thunder Knights or Ice Warriors

The mook warriors of their respective Monarchs, these two groups are practically interchangable. Thunder Knights are noisier and wear armour, Ice Warriors tend to be serious and dress in furs. Both prefer to use swords and traditional weapons, but will take advantage of anything that they come across.

Attributes: Bod: 6, Chi: 0, Mnd: 5, Ref: 5

Skills: Martial Arts 8, Guns 8

Weapons: Sword or Axe (10), AK-47 (13++/5/20)

Thunder Champions

The Thunder King's heroes and elite warriors. The Thunder Champions are specially trained to be able to disrupt an enemy's hold upon a precious feng-shui site (who says the Thunder King never learns anything?), using the Fertility magic they've learned. All Champions are masters of the weapons they wield, and wear shiny and effective armour that doesn't affect their movements. Treat all Champions as Named characters, and customise them with extra schticks.

Attributes: Bod: 8, Chi: 3 (Mag 7), Mnd: 5, Ref: 6

Skills: Martial Arts 14, Leadership 13, Sorcery 12, Intimidation 11

Schticks: Weapon: Signature Weapon, Quick Draw x 2; Sorcery: Fertility

Weapons: Sword/Axe/Polearm (15)

Flying Cresent

This weapon is comprised of a cresent-blade attatched to a staff by a long chain. The user can fight with the blade attached to the staff (like a scythe) or throw the cresent out and then pull it back. A master of the Cresent can maneuver the blade after hurling it away, thus being able to select targets at range and even keep the blade moving after striking someone.

In practice, the Cresent does STR+4 damage. Using it at close range suffers no modifiers. Using it at its extended range suffers a -2 penalty for those unaccustomed to using the weapon in this fashion. The Cresent gives a +2 bonus for attacking multiple targets at range -- this bonus does not apply if the user is also received the penalty for unfamiliarity.

Claws of Darkness

These weapons consist of a pair of gauntlets with large claws extending from them. In combat, they do STR+2 damage. If the wielder kills an opponent using the Claws, the Claws drain the Chi energy from the fallen adversary, in the form of their Fortune Dice. All but one of these Dice are channeled to the wielder, who retains these Fortune Dice for their own use. The bonus dice are lost at the rate of one per hour if not used. The one 'lost' die is channeled to the Queen of the Darkness Pagoda as raw chi-energy.

Ice Diadem

This tiara contains healing magic -- the Heal Wounds schtick, in fact, at skill level 10. The diadem only works on the wearer, and contains one 'charge' that is regenerated every 12 hours.

Fire Sled

A primitive form of transport used by the Fire King's minions. The sled 'slides' on a thin cushion of heat that allows it to act like a hovercraft. It has a Move rating of 15, and only works in the Netherworld (outside, the cushion is inert). It allows fast travel between Netherworld portals, and most riders burst through the portal at high speed while they have inertia behind them.

Last modified: June 25th, 1997; please send comments to