Edo Marvel: The Men of Tendai Picture

The Men of Tendai, the Edo Period version of the X-Men.

The Empowered is a subset of the human race, with members born with superhuman powers. These people, across the planet, have hidden their abilities from the civilized public for hundreds of years, but they have become more known to normal humanity in the 1500s and they’ve tried to integrate with the public. They have been persecuted for years in all parts of the globe, but no more so in China, which developed governmental measures to control, or perhaps exterminate the empowered. By word-of-mouth, the empowered and other sentient creatures oppressed by normal humans have heard of a school in Japan that shelters their peoples from oppression, train them to properly use their burgeoning skills, and foster a sense of justice and fairness in each student.
Only then can they become one of many, a member of a new generation of heroes… a Man of Tendai!

First Row:

Sensei X:
Counterpart of : Prof. X
Real Name: Shiro Ximizu
Species: Empowered
Nationality: Japanese
Biography: Shiro Ximizu was born into a affluent family in the city of Edo, Japan (now Tokyo). He began displaying his natural-born telepathic powers in his teen years, and he hid these powers. He soon discovered a Tendai Buddhist temple beneath Mount Hiei, whose clergy teach those born with their powers to control them and use them properly. The head priest, Gojou Toukan, took two exceptional young students under his wing, the Japanese-born Shiro and a European boy named Erik Eisenhart. Erik and Shiro became friends, and they developed a philosophical theory of evolution: “Collectively, humankind is like a single human itself, and like a human, it goes through stages of its life; the emergence of the Empowered is likened to humankind’s puberty.”
The Tendai temple had prospered for years, but since they started preaching tolerance for the Empowered, they fell under heavy ridicule from both the public and the wealthy land owners from the neighboring areas; this tension came to a head when a small army of masked civilians burned down the temple and killed most of the residents, except for Toukan and several other students, who were protected by Shiro and Erik’s mental powers. The trauma of the attack caused a rift between the two friends; while Shiro could find the compassion to forgive the assailants for their misguided actions, Erik’s hatred for normal humans developed, and he started believing that the only way for his people to be free is to enslave or destroy the normals.
The remaining students left the temple for fear of being attacked again, but Shiro remained with Toukan to build a new school. Toukan eventually succumbed to an infection he gained in the attack, and he named Shiro his successor on his deathbed. Erik, meanwhile, married a woman named Megumi and started a family. When Erik was killed by rioters, Shiro took care of his twin children, Erik Jr. and Lidia, but Lidia became a witch and used her magic to bring her parents back to life. Now in a body of undying metal, Erik Sr. took the name Aegis and declared his war against the oppression of the powerless before disappearing with his family.
Shiro, realizing that he alone cannot stop Aegis, decided to form a team of young heroes with the power to do so. Over the next 2 years, in a special meditation chamber he built into his new school, Sensei X telepathically reached out to several Empowered and otherwise-nonhuman individuals from across the planet, and under his guidance, they became a new beacon of hope in a dark world…
Powers: Sensei X is a powerful telepath, capable of reading, influencing, and controlling the minds of living creatures; he can implant false memories, create illusions, telepathically communicate with others, and project his astral form into a realm between the mortal and spiritual planes, allowing him to possess unconscious or soul-less bodies. This power cannot be so easily controlled by him, so Sensei X must sequester himself to a special meditation chamber hidden in the school to focus his powers without distraction; in this chamber, the Sensei can also telepathically locate other Empowereds and superhuman creatures, anywhere in the world. Shiro Ximizu is also a highly educated teacher, a devout Buddhist monk, and one of the earliest evolutionary theorists.

Real Name: Sotiris Chorido
Species: Empowered
Nationality: Greek
Biography: Greek pirate Crysos Chorido, captain of the dreaded ship known as The Starjammer, terrorized the Mediterranean Sea for years, while raising his two mother-less sons, Sotiris and Alexis. On the island of Strofades is where the pirates intended to hide away their newest ill-gotten bounty, but the harpies (Greek bird demons) of the island thought differently. The harpies attacked the pirates and killed most of their number. The brothers revealed their secret powers to defend their father, but only Alexis’ energies could vaporize the bird demons. Sotiris’s eye lasers accidentally vaporized the surrounding seawaters as The Starjammer made her escape, causing the ship to wreck upon an undersea rock formation. Sotiris and the ship’s navigator Ioanna washed ashore to another island, and the boy was in a coma for five days. Sotiris awoke under Ioanna’s care, only to realize his powers, due to his head injury, have gone out of control. Thankfully, the rays don’t decimate organic substances, to Ioanna carved the boy a blindfold-like helmet from wood, which prevents Sotiris’ rays from emerging while sacrificing his sight. Eventually, Ioanna and Sotiris, now considering themselves mother and son, settled in Komotini, a city in Northeastern Greece. In their home, they have a memorial shrine to Alexis, Crysos, and the other crew members; Sotiris constructed a new wooden helm, and he began his education. At age 17, Sotiris was contacted by Japanese teacher Shiro Ximizu, who invited him to join his school, and Sotiris accepted. At the school in Japan, Sotiris joined the Men of Tendai, a team of young heroes. Sotiris took the codename "Cyclops".
Powers: Cyclops continually fires red rays of energy from his eyes that bring ruin to non-living materials (such as stone, metal, and water); his rays don’t effect living creatures, such as human, animals, plants, and demons, so Cyclops wears a spring-loaded helm made from wood that blocks the flow of energy while rendering himself blind. To compensate for his loss of sight, Sotiris trained his other senses to higher levels. Sotiris is also skilled in the unarmed combat styles of hoplites, the ancient Greek soldiers. Sotiris can speak both Greek and Japanese.

Counterpart of : Phoenix
Real Name: Yami Hiaro
Species: Half-Tengu, Half-Human
Nationality: Japanese
Biography: Yami Hiaro was born out of wedlock to a poor mother. Yami knew she was different ever since childhood, as she has bilious, blood-red hair that the other children teased her for. When her mother, Yuri, died of a terminal disease, Yami’s telepathy activated for the first time, and the trauma of experiencing her mom’s dying thoughts nearly killed her. Yami wandered the countryside for years, replaying the images in her head, until she saw what looked like a bird-like person… with orange-red feathers! Trying to make sense of it, Yami eventually found herself in the company of Sensei Ximizu, who invited her into his home. Yami developed her telepathic powers and telekinesis, and Ximizu studied her body and her mother’s visions, concluding that while she inherited her mental powers from her mother, her physical qualities she inherited from her father… a demon! When Ximizu started the Men of Tendai, Yami took the codename “Kiseki Lass” and was appointed the co-leader of the team, under Sensei X. She also developed feelings for her teammate Cyclops. When the Men of Tendai defeated the Tengu bird demons, ending the war that spawned human heroes Hawkeye and Mockingbird, it was at the palace of the new Daitengu (ruler) Natsumi that Yami discovered her true heritage. She met her older half-sister, Tawa Shunichu, who is a full-blooded Tengu and formerly an advisor to the last Daitengu, Tsukuba, the brother of Natsumi. Tawa took Yami to the chamber that contains the Tengus’ most sacred treasure, the Basan Crystal. Tawa then knocked Yami out and magically bound her to the Crystal (also disabling her telepathy); when Yami came to, Tawa revealed that she used magic to make her father bear another child, so she could sacrifice her sibling to the Crystal and gain its power. All hope seemed lost for Yami, until Diatengu Natsumi wandered into the chamber. Tawa incapacitated Natsumi to keep her from interrupting the ritual, but Tawa had no idea that the Daitengu is always telepathically bound to the leader of the Tengu Kingdom’s Imperial Guard. The tengu warrior Ureshii, leader of the Guard, defeated the witch, but she summoned a horde of goblins to defend her. The Guard and the Men of Tendai battled the goblins, while Tawa preformed the ritual. Yami’s force of will disrupted the ritual, and she gained the power that her evil sister sought. Kiseki Lass is now the vessel of the Fire Spirit Basan, and she used her powers to destroy the goblin horde. Tawa was imprisioned by the tengu for her treachery, and Kiseki Girl changed her alias to “Basan”.
Powers: Yami possesses a half-tengu physiology, with hollowed bones, red hair, and proportionate strength. She possesses telekinesis and telepathy, suggesting that she also possesses the quality that makes one an Empowered. As the new host of the fire spirit Basan, Yami can manipulate energy (usually in a fiery form) and fly, and her natural powers are amplified to a greater extent.

Real Name: Henri Mercier
Species: Sasquatch
Nationality: Canadian
Biography: The beast who would become known as the heroic “Beast" was born to a tribe of sasquatches in South-Western Canada. The sasquatches are known for their warrior ways and cannibalism, but he decided to travel East to find a better place. Discovering a human colony of French explorers, he spied on them for months, learning their language and customs. When he was ready, he took a sharpened rock and shaved off most of his fur, in order to pass off as a human. The young sasquatch took the human name “Henri Mercier” and became a student and then a teacher. He became a colleague of Japanese monk Shiro Ximizu, and later joined his Men of Tendai. As “Beast” Henri fought alongside fellow apeman the Hibagon, a member of the Regalia, whom he referred to as “cousin.”
Powers: As a sasquatch, Henri possesses great strength, agility, stamina, reflexes, and senses. Living amongst humans, Henri received a high education, specializing in biology, philosophy, and politics; he can also speak 5 languages, including Japanese, French, and Chinese.

Real Name: Tomte Drakesonn
Species: Elf
Nationality: Norwegian
Biography: Tomte is a member of an offshoot race of elves, which developed in the frozen regions of Norway and other parts of Northern Europe. The elves evolved the ability to generate ice, which they use in their battles against the fire demons of the South. The war between the two factions, led by Ymir the Frost Giant and Surtur the Fire Titan, respectively, is mediated by the Norse Gods, who uses a magic bridge, located on the border of the two territories, to travel between Earth and their kingdom of Asgard. Tomte was among the youngest soldiers of his homeland’s army, and he was mentored by a high-ranking officer named Snostrom. Secretly, Snostrom was conspiring with a fire demon called Balarr to usurp their rulers and end the war, with them in control. The final signing of the peace treaty was interrupted by an assassin, who was prevented from killing one or both of the leaders; the assassin revealed to be an Asgardian, and the two forces united against them. The date of their initial invasion coincided with the Odinsleep, the time of year when Odin, the King of Asgard, would enter a hibernative state to restore his lost powers. The Asgardians fought valiantly against the invading horde, but they were fading fast. Thor, Norse God of Thunder, broke protocol to summon the aid of his Shintoist counterpart, Susanoo, the God of Storms and member of the Regalia. Meanwhile, Tomte Drakesonn learned of his mentor’s treachery, and tried to convince Ymir to believe him, but Susnaoo, Thor, and other warriors raided the elves’ fortress to try and end the war quickly. Tomte tried to plead his case to Susanoo, who can speak any language, and so the Storm God tested the young elf: he laid his weapon, the Jade Sword Kusanagi on the ground and said “if you are truthful, the Blade will allow itself to be hefted by you.”
Tomte was able to lift the Sword, and so Susanoo believed him. Eventually, Susanoo and Tomte revealed the generals Snostrom and Balarr as the employers of the Asgardian assassin, and they were defeated. With peace restored to the three kingdoms, Susanoo told the young ice elf of the Men of Tendai, who could benefit from his powers. Tomte traveled to Japan and joined the Men of Tendai, taking the alias “Iceman.”
Powers: Like all Norweigan elves, Frost can only survive in cold climates, so his race developed the inherited ability to mentally slow the vibrations of nearby molecules, gradually reducing heat in the area. Through practice, Frost developed the ability to slow the molecules of water vapor in the air, creating ice (either in the air or coating an object or person); he can also create simple shapes from ice, which he uses as tools and weapons. Tomte speaks Norweigan, the Elfin language, and Japanese, though his Japanese is still blocky and prone to misunderstandings.

Second Row:

Counterpart of : Angel
Real Name: Wen Huang III
Species: Empowered
Nationality: Chinese
Biography: Many centuries ago, a peasant couple in ancient China consumed ten different magic gems, and they soon gave birth to 10 sons in one pregnancy. The sons were named after each gemstone, and they developed magic powers. When a powerful creature from the Hell Realms threatened the Mandate of Heaven, the brothers focused their powers through rings (each embroidered with the gemstone of their name) that they wore and separated the creature’s body, mind, and spirit into 10 pieces, scattering them throughout Earth. The brothers lost their powers, and spent their remaining lives in peace and prosperity. Centuries later, the government of 1640s China concluded that these brothers, despite losing their powers, were the progenitors of the Empowered, a race of humans born with supernatural abilities. Faced with this “threat,” they commissioned a special project to control (or, if need be, exterminate) the nation’s Empowered population. The Project was divided into 2 factors: one to control the Empowered, and the other to determine its cause. This government operation, Project Wu Qi, discovered a race of parasitic monsters called the Phalanx that were locked away in a tomb. Through careful experimentation, the Chinese scientists discovered a way to infect living creatures with the parasites in a way that they become partially ferro-organic in nature. The human volunteers suffered horrible mutations and died when exposed, so the scientists started kidnapping Empowereds with accelerated healing powers, capable of surviving the process. One of the empowered they captured was Wen Huang III, the only son of a noble family. While incarcerated, Wen planned an escape with fellow captured empowereds Xiao and Jin. But before they could enact it, they were sent to the processing facility. They were exposed to the phalanx parasites and mutated into ferro-organic beings. The scientists hypothesized that the transformation would be painful enough to break their spirits (for the Chinese government to control them), but the trio’s wills were too strong, and they used their new powers to escape. After fleeing China, Wen, Xiao, and Jin soon met Shiro Ximizu, who invited them to join the Men of Tendai. As a Man of Tendai, Wen took the codename “Jingwei”, after a magic bird from Chinese mythology.
Powers: Wen is an Empowered with the ability to heal his own wounds at an accelerated rate; he can also survive in extreme altitudes and temperatures. After scientists bound him to a controlled sample of the Phalanx parasites, he grew organic metal wings; these wings are super durable and allow him to fly and release sharpened “feathers” as either projectiles or swords. Wen is a highly educated Confucian gentleman, skilled in traditional Chinese martial arts.

Real Name: Xiao Kongxin
Species: Empowered
Nationality: Chinese
Biography: Xiao Kongxin was born a sickly child, unfit to fight for the Mongul Empire. It was only until his teenage years that his natural-born healing powers kicked in, and he became much stronger over time. He was one of the finest soldiers in the Mongolian army, second to one Lee Tiao. Xiao and Lee were best friends, both united by their similar powers, which kept the alive through the rise and fall of the Mongolian Empire. Around the end of Kublai Kahn’s reign in China, Lee attacked and tried to rape a female prisoner of war, and Xiao attacked and nearly killed him. The two were expunged from service, and they went their separate ways, their friendship severed. Xiao traveled the continent, battling many powerful warriors, helping innocents in need, and, all the while, watching history unfold around him, because his powers slow his aging. Months after he returned to China in the 1640s, he was captured by government agents and taken to a Project Wu Qi stronghold. While incarcerated, Xiao planned an escape with fellow captured empowereds Wen and Jin. But before they could enact it, they were sent to the processing facility. They were exposed to the phalanx parasites and mutated into ferro-organic beings. Surviving the process, Xiao and the others broke free and escaped the Project Wu Qi facility. After fleeing China, Wen, Xiao, and Jin soon met Shiro Ximizu, who invited them to join the Men of Tendai. As a Man of Tendai, Xiao chose the name “Wolverine”.
Powers: Xiao is an Empowered with the ability to heal his own wounds at an accelerated rate; he can also survive diseases and extreme temperatures, and his aging is slowed. After scientists bound him to a controlled sample of the Phalanx parasites, Xiao’s bones turned into organic metal and he gained the ability to extend and contract foot-long, organic metal blades from his knuckles (3 from each hand). Wolverine is a highly trained soldier and martial artist, speaks Mongolian, Chinese and Japanese, and has above-human-level strength/speed/senses/agility/reflexes/stamina.

Real Name: Jin Ren
Species: Empowered
Nationality: Chinese
Biography: Jin, a titanic figure with a gentle heart, discovered his advanced regeneration ability when his family’s farm in mainland China was raided by bandits. He survived the raiders’ attacks and he used his natural strength to defend his parents and little sister. One of the bandits escaped Jin’s wrath, but was soon caught by the royal guard; the bandit told them about the “farm boy’s” powers, and the soldiers later kidnapped Jin. While incarcerated, Jin planned an escape with fellow captured empowereds Xiao and Wen. But before they could enact it, they were sent to the processing facility. They were exposed to the phalanx parasites and mutated into ferro-organic beings. Surviving the process, Jin and the others broke free and escaped the Project Wu Qi facility. After fleeing China, Wen, Xiao, and Jin soon met Shiro Ximizu, who invited them to join the Men of Tendai. As a Man of Tendai, Jin took the codename “Colossus.”
Some months and several missions after joining the team, Colossus, Wolverine, and Jingwei started suffering weird dreams about a cloaked figure in a temple in a desert. They merely wrote it off as stress acquired from their duties, until the Sentinels, empowered-hunting golems created with the Phalanx, started attacking normal humans. Eventually, the Sentinels started leaving Asia, along with Wolverine, Colossus, Jingwei, and other phalanx-created agents of Wu Qi. The Men of Tendai followed the at a safe distance, fearing that they’re under mind-control. Eventually, all those affected with the parasites gathered in the same spot: a temple… in Egypt.
Powers: Jin is an Empowered with the ability to heal his own wounds at an accelerated rate; he can also survive diseases and extreme temperatures. After scientists bound him to a controlled sample of the phalanx parasites, Jin’s skin, muscles, eyes, hair, and nails become organic metal, giving him a greater level of strength, stamina, reflexes, and speed. The only problem is that his bones and internal organs aren’t of the same property, so a strong-enough punch would be capable of rupturing Colossus’ innards while leaving his metal muscles unbroken. Jin isn’t as educated or as combative as his fellow experiments-turned-Men of Tendai, but he’s a great farmer and chef, with a strong sense of loyalty to his friends.

Third Row:

Real Name: Motreen Kanda
Species: Cursed Human
Nationality: African (Tanzania)
Biography: Long before his reign over all of Tanzania, an African country, Wakesa Kanda was a powerful warrior, fighting against other warring tribes in a long-raging civil war. M’Baku, the leader of the White Gorilla tribe, suffered defeat at the hands of Kanda and used his people’s magics to curse his first-born, so that they “may cause death and destruction wherever they go.” Years later, Kanda became the ruler of the united tribes of Tanzania, and appointed a powerful new champion to the role of the kingdom’s protector, the “Black Panther”. Some time after the tribes’ unification, King Wakesa and his wife sired a daughter, Motreen. The curse that M’Baku brought upon the Kanda house went into effect the moment the baby girl took her first breath, and for months the capital city of the kingdom has been plagued by massive storms. The Black Panther learned that this curse was White Gorilla magic, and he interrogated M’Baku to reveal how to lift the curse; M’Baku told him that the curse only passes from firstborn to the firstborn’s firstborn, and so on until the bloodline is “interrupted”. Upon hearing this, Wakesa decided to keep his daughter in exile, rather than have her die. In the deepest part of the palace’s basement is where Motreen spent most of her 10-year life, studying under Africa’s finest mystics and combat masters to control her emotions and, in turn, her powers. The only time she ever left her home is when she was kidnapped by South Vietnamese bandits. One of the bandits, a young man named Cheo, had a change of heart and tried to free her, but he was nearly killed by the ruler of South Vietnam and his psychic powers. The evil psychic tried to make Motreen his weapon for conquering the North, but he was defeated by Shiro Ximizu, a benevolent psychic and leader of the Men of Tendai. Ximizu invited Motreen and Cheo, who also has powers, to join his team of heroes, and they both agreed, after they got permission from their fathers.
Powers: Motreen is a normal human, but she was cursed by her father’s enemy to cause destruction wherever she goes. The weather patterns she (unintentionally) creates are tied to whichever emotion she feels at the time:
Joy: Snow (from a few flakes to a blinding blizzard)
Sadness: Rain (from light drizzle to flash flood)
Fear: Wind (from strong enough to carry a human to typhoon speeds)
Anger: Lightning (from night-illuminating cracks to human-frying bolts)
Motreen is trained to control her emotions in order to create perfectly-timed weather fluctuations that help her allies and harm her enemies.
She is a student of the mystic arts and she speaks Japanese and Tanzanian.

Real Name: Cheo Luong
Species: Empowered
Nationality: Vietnamese
Biography: Cheo Luong, a Vietnamese Empowered, was raised by the Luong Thieves’ Guild, headquartered in the city of Nha Trang. When Cheo came of age, the Guild was tapped by the Nguyen Lords, who control the South, for an important mission that would win them the war against the Trinh Lords of the North. Cheo, his father Chi Luong, and a small group of thieves were sent to the African kingdom of Tanzania to retrieve a powerful weapon, hidden in the deepest basement of the palace. The thieves managed to penetrate the first 3 chambers without incident, but the final before the weapon’s vault was already fortified by a large platoon of Tanzanian soldiers, led by the country’s champion. As Chi Luong battled the champion, the Black Panther, Cheo broke into the vault, but he found no weapon; just a young girl with snow white hair. She was scared of him, but Cheo had his orders and took the girl topside. Outside, the girl revealed her power over the weather and tried to escape on a gust of wind; Cheo struck her with a card encoded with his mind-control pheromones, which put her into a trace, canceling her weather powers. The thieves escaped with the girl, but when they returned to Vietnam, Cheo started having second thoughts. He used his powers to rouse the girl from her vegetative state, and he tried to help her escape from the Nguyen Palace and return to her homeland. Freedom was within reach, when the Thieves Guild operatives he worked with stopped them. Puch Nguyen, the Lord of the South, gave Cheo and the girl one last chance to surrender, and when he refused, the Thieves began convulsing in pain! Cheo’s father and friends were being slowly murdered, and Lord Nguyen, revealed to be an Empowered telepath called “The Shadow King”, was the culprit. Cheo tried to attack the Blackened Lord, but he turned his mind’s eye to him, too. The Shaodw King told the girl to become his weapon, “or these men will DIE.”
The girl, Motreen, was about to agree when the Lord began convulsing in pain and the thieves regained their composure. On the astral plane, the Blackened Lord battled and lost to the noble telepath Shiro Ximizu, who had taken the form of a demonic samurai to lock the King’s mind away forever. Ximizu later met Cheo and Motreen in his telepathic form, and invited them to join the Men of Tendai. They both agreed, after they got permission from their fathers.
Powers: Gambit is an expert gambler, conman, thief, saboteur, and spy, and he can speak 4 different languages, including Japanese. His specialty game is “tien len”, which he plays with a deck of Western-style cards that he carries on his person at all times. The cards (which he throws like shuriken) and a 3-sectioned staff are Gambit’s main weapons, made deadlier with his natural Empowered ability: the power to generate pheromones. These pheromones, when exposed to a cognitive creature, allow Gambit to briefly influence their state of mind; Gambit’s use of the pheromones range from revealing a gambler’s tell to causing heart attacks.

Real Name: Nikusui, aka “Niku”
Species: Empowered
Nationality: Japanese
Biography: Niku lost her family at a young age, and the people of her village decided to continue raising her, themselves. When she was 11, she tried to kiss her boyfriend, Angou Komadori, her powers activated for the first time and, like a baby snake that can’t control its venomous bite, she nearly killed him by absorbing too much of his life energy. Her people turned on her and she was driven from her own home. She knew that only her lips could steal life energy, so she forced herself never to get close to anyone again, lest she give way to her feelings and steal their life through another kiss. Niku wandered Japan for months, stealing what she could to survive. Eventually, she came across a fox demoness who was heavily injured, with an x-shaped scar across her abdomen. Niku nursed the demoness back to health, and stayed with her in the forest. When the demoness came back to health, she decided to raise Niku as her daughter. At 16, Niku was introduced to the Fraternity of Power, a group of Empowereds (like Niku) and non-human creatures dedicated to conquering normal humans. Niku joined the Fraternity, and she, along with two other members, sacked the village that rejected her. In the midst of the attack, she was reunited with Angou, who she thought she was dead. Angou was able to forgive Niku for what happened, and she realized that she made a horrible mistake. She used her powers on one fraternity member, and then use his pyrokinetic powers to defeat the other. Niku disappeared from the Fraternity’s view until she reappeared as Rogue, a member of the Fraternity’s enemies, the Men of Tendai.
Powers: Niku has the ability to absorb life energy and copy memories and superpowers through lip contact with her victim’s flesh; the longer she makes contact, the longer she possesses these powers. Her hair turns white when he has someone’s powers, and it gradually turns back to brown as the power fades. Nikusui also has average martial art skills and great seduction skills, taught by her adoptive mother.

Real Name: Gitsune
Species: Demon
Nationality: Japanese
Biography: Gitsune’s father Totsuou, the warlord of a troop of Oni that escaped from Hell, found his infant son on the outskirts of his encampment, nine months after Totsuou laid with a demoness prostitute. Totsuou raised Gitsune, but the child was shunned by the other oni for resembling a fox spirit, who are servants of the Shinto goddess Inari. When he came of age, Gitsune was given by his father a necklace with a gold skull; this trinket belonged to his mother, which she left behind after she fornicated with Totsuou. Gitsune left his home in the mystical guise of a human to search for his mother, traveling from town to town using teleportation, an ability he inherited from his father. In the city of Osaka is where he found the answers he sought: in a brothel called The Storm Shelter, one of many controlled by the Hellfire Club, he presented the gold skull to one of the oiran, who brought Gitsune to a room marked with a painting of a golden skull. The he introduced himself to Karasu, the courtesan controlling the pleasure chamber, he presented the necklace and said “I believe that you are my mother.” Karasu, after making sure nobody was looking, asked Gitsune to reveal his true form. He did, which left Karasu comfortable to reveal hers: a blue-furred fox demoness with 4 tails and a streak of red fur along her head and back. In their demon forms, the mother and son traveled to the underground kingdom of Avalon, where Karasu, under the alias “Mystique”, aides Aegis and the Fraternity of Power in their war against normal humans. Gitsune decided to join the Fraternity, and he took the name “Nightcrawler”. In a battle against the Men of Tendai, Nightcrawler and Rogue did battle, neither one aware of the other’s connection to Mystique. Trickster teleported with her into the air and released her, dropping her into a lake; instantly penitent over his action, Gitsune rescued Niku from drowning and gave her the breath of life. It was then that he learned that teleporting with another super-being reverses their powers temporarily, meaning that when their lips touched, he copied her memories instead of the other way around. With her memories in his head, Gitsune learned that Niku was raised by Karasu as a daughter. Outraged that his own mother had more compassion for another person’s child instead of her own flesh and blood, he attacked her and left the Fraternity.
For the next few months, Gitsune lived outside the Tendai School, contemplating his feelings, and he soon enough chose getting to know his new-found “sister”, Niku, over returning to his father. In the end, Nightcralwer became a new Man of Tendai.
Powers: As a fox-like demon, Gitsune has advanced speed/reflexes/senses/stamina/agility, along with fangs, blue and white fur, a tail, and claws. He was also born with the ability to teleport; when Gitsune teleports when in contact with a superpowered being, their powers are temporarily reversed.

Real Name: Koneko
Species: Cat Person
Nationality: Japanese
Biography: Koneko is a member of the Cat People, a creation of dark ages sorcery residing in Northern Japan. Koneko’s older sister, Kuroneko, abandoned her when she was a child, and she was raised by her older cousin, Sujineko. The Cat People were later enslaved by their enemies, the Dog People, and Koneko and Sujineko (and most of the other Cat Women) were forced to be sex slaves to the alpha, Mad Dog. Sujineko escaped and became Devilcat, a vicious freedom fighter. Devilcat later joined a superhero team called the Regalia in order to build the resistance against her people's oppressors. The Madhound, on the verge of defeat, then struck a bargain with the Regalia: if Sujineko resumed her duties as consort, he would free Koneko. Sujineko agreed, and Koneko was allowed to leave her conquered land. Without a home, Koneko wandered the islands of Japan, under the guise of a human. She soon came across an injured baby dragon; she nursed him back to health and named him “Lucky”. Lucky soon revealed that not only does he have telepathic powers, he’s also the son of a benevolent dragon king. Koneko returned Lucky to his family, the Pride, and the grateful father gave her a gift they gave to no non-dragon before: the dragonic magic of “shadow-walking”. With the power of shadow-walking, Koneko can use the darkness as a passage to freedom, and with this power, she decided to take down Mad Dog, once and for all. After a failed mission that she barely escaped from, Koneko, now calling herself “Shadowcat”, learned that she couldn’t do it alone, and since she cursed the Regalia for letting her only family be enslaved by the Dogs, she joined the Men of Tendai instead. The team eventually defeated the Dog People and freed the Cat People from enslavement; Devilcat returned to the Regalia, and Shadowcat remained with the Men of Tendai.
Powers: Koneko has the ability to use shadows as magic passageways through solid matter. Trained by Wolverine, Koneko is a competent martial artist and swordswoman in her own right. She also has cat-like physical properties, such as claws, a tail, pointed ears, and a barbed tongue.

Mentioned Characters:

Empowered: Mutant
Aegis: Magneto
Ximizu’s Meditation Chamber: Cerebro
Crysos Chorido: Christopher Summers/Corsair
Ioanna: Hepzibah

Kiseki Lass: Marvel Girl
Natsumi: Lilandra
Tawa Shunichu: Madelyn Pryor
Tsukuba: D’Ken
Basan Crystal: M’Kraan Crystal/Phoenix Force
Ureshi: Gladiator

Hibagon: Hulk
The Regalia: The Avengers
Snostrom: Blizzard
Balarr: Firebrand
Susanoo: Thor (Shinto Counterpart)
Jade Sword Kusanagi: Mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer)

Project Wu Qi: Weapon Plus
Lee Tiao: Victor Creed/Sabretooth
M'Baku: Man-Ape

Chi Luong: Jean-Luc LeBeau
Angou Komadori: Cody Robbins
Fraternity of Power: Brotherhood of Mutants

Totsuou: Azazel
Devilcat: Tigra
Lucky: Lockheed
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