Clockwork Ninjas

By Moe Lane


Clockwork Ninjas
Autonomous Spirits

Corporeal Forces: 1
Strength: 1
Agility: 3
Ethereal Forces: 4
Intelligence: 8
Precision: 8
Celestial Forces: 2
Will: 4
Perception: 4

Elements: Senses: Darkness (Primary) and Tech: Machines (Secondary)

Affinities: Obscurement (moderate), Puissance (moderate)

Skills: Artistry/1 (varies), Dodge/3, Dream-Shaping/5, Emote/1, Enchant/1, 'Fighting'/5, Large Weapon/3 (Katana), Move Silently/3, Ranged Weapon/3 (Shuriken), Tracking/1

Songs: Artifacts (Ethereal/1), Darkness (Ethereal/1), Form (Ethereal/2), Machines (Ethereal/1)

Dread: Public failure to complete a commission/4 (2 points/level)

Image: A humanoid dressed in traditional ninja garb: an occasional glimpse of bamboo or metal can be seen at wrist, ankle and waist. Only the eyes can be seen through the cloth mask that covers the face, and then only when the Clockwork Ninja chooses (usually just before an attack). There is sometimes a faint sound of gears moving and a steady tick.

Clockwork Ninjas date almost from the beginning of the August Co-Prosperity Collective's alliance with Nybbas. The seminal ethereal (usually styled the Clockwork Master) came from the dreams of a late 19th century Japanese inventor-craftsman: it was able to stabilize itself and went on to an illustrious career as one of the Collective's most effective assassins. Its 'descendants' have continued the tradition.

Clockwork Ninjas are interesting in that new ones are created through what can be best described as 'voluntary assumption'. A likely spirit of either Darkness or Machines (usually the former) may after a rigorous set of tests choose to join the Clockwork Ninja 'clan': the Clockwork Master will gift the spirit with either a katana or shuriken created from a combination of its own life-force and that of an existing Clockwork Ninja. Once accepted, the weapon will quickly transform the spirit into a Clockwork Ninja. The procedure is wearying to the Clockwork Ninja (and sometimes fatal to the Clockwork Ninja donor), so it is not often done: there are always more petitioners than slots available.

The average Clockwork Ninja is an interesting study in mysticism and hardheaded practicality. They value stoicism, self-discipline and loyalty, but are often vulnerable to a suitably grand gesture. The procedure that creates new Clockwork Ninjas does not necessarily result in major personality changes, so they can be a varied lot (although it can be difficult to tell). Clockwork Ninjas are also not particularly evil creatures: indeed, some are quite decent entities. However, they are extremely loyal to the Clockwork Master, the Clockwork Ninja clan and the August Co-Prosperity Collective, in that order. The clan supports itself by acting as assassins, mercenaries and emissaries for the Collective: they will follow their contracts to the letter. This, coupled with their generally enhanced abilities, make them very feared adversaries, which is often all the Collective needs for them to be.

The Clockwork Master is like its 'children', only more so. It is a primal spirit (although of which Element is open to interested debate), possesses at least 9 Forces and is rumored to have killed both angels and demons in single combat. These days it rarely leaves the Collective's Domain, but is rumored to have the most interesting visitors at times...


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