Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Category: <span>Shogun Clan</span>

Sylum Inspiration: Nakano Takeko

Shogun: Hunter

 

Nakano, born in Edo, was the daughter of Nakano Heinai, an Aizu official. She was thoroughly trained in the martial and literary arts, and was adopted by her teacher Akaoka Daisuke. After working with her adoptive father as a martial arts instructor during the 1860s, Nakano entered Aizu for the first time in 1868.

During the Battle of Aizu, she fought with a naginata and was the leader of an ad hoc corps of female combatants who fought in the battle independently, as the senior Aizu retainers did not allow them to fight as an official part of the domain’s army. This unit was later retroactively called the Women’s Army (娘子隊 Jōshitai).

While leading a charge against Imperial Japanese Army troops of the Ōgaki Domain  she was fatally shot in the chest. Rather than let the enemy capture her head as a trophy, she asked her sister, Yūko, to cut it off and have it buried. It was taken to Hōkai Temple and buried under a pine tree.

For More Information contact the Vampire Council Library

She had caught the attention of Katsumoto, and he had sent Lady Blossom to find more about the woman warrior.  Through their meeting, Nakano learned about Vampires. She became intrigued and soon sought out Blossom to discuss being Turned.

Sylum Inspiration: Niccolò Polo

Shogun: Member

Leaving Niccolò’s infant son Marco behind, Niccolò and Maffeo left Venice for Constantinople, where they resided for several years. The two brothers lived in the Venetian quarter of Constantinople, where they enjoyed diplomatic immunity, political chances and tax relief because of their country’s role in establishing the Latin Empire in the Fourth Crusade of 1204. However, the family judged the political situation of the city precarious, so they decided to transfer their business northeast to Soldaia, a city in Crimea, and left Constantinople in 1259 or 1260. Their decision proved wise. Constantinople was recaptured in 1261 by Michael Palaeologus, the ruler of the Empire of Nicaea, who promptly burned and razed the Venetian quarter and reestablished the Byzantine Empire. Captured Venetian citizens were blinded, while many of those who managed to escape perished aboard overloaded refugee ships fleeing to other Venetian colonies in the Aegean Sea.

While in Constantinople the two brothers were invited to Masyaf to hear the stories of Altaïr and Darim.

When Masyaf was attacked by Mongols and Altaïr ended up Turning Niccolò and then helped the explorers escape by using the Apple to fend off the attackers. He gave Niccolò some of his books and sent them to Lealta.

Sylum Inspiration: Lady Blossom

Shogun: Spy Liaison

Lady Blossom was trained from an early age to work as a courtesan. Her skill set got her into the high ranking levels of Kublai Khan’s ‘pleasure house’. She became one of his favorite courtesans.

It was there she learned information, made connections, and worked through the system to make sure she was protected along with a few girls she took under he wing. When she discovered a spy within the house she used her position to approach Kublai personally. He rewarded her loyalty with her freedom, she chose to stay with the house to protect her ‘girls’.

It was through this she met Sifu, Hundred Eyes. She knew something was different about him from the beginning, and just because he was blind didn’t mean she couldn’t seduce him. He chuckled as she took her own pleasure from him, then demanded answers.

Never a man to truly lie, he told her the truth. He was a Vampire, who was there to watch Khan. He had the added benefit of watching over the young Polo.

She continued her alliance with Sifu, and when the time came requested to be Turned. Pointing out he needed her. She had an inside to Khan, he countered with the fact so did he as did Marco. She also had an in with the Queen, and knew which girls could be useful to get information from other sources, he countered with the fact no one notices the blind man sitting near by.

She finally pulled a knife and demanded. Sifu laughed as he fought with her. At the end he had her pinned to the floor. ‘Now that is why I’ll Turn you’

Sylum Inspiration: Nathan Algren

Shogun: Co-Leader

Nathan doesn’t talk much about his life before Japan. He fought in the Civil War, was a decorated officer, that saw too many of his men killed.  After the war, he drank to stop the memories and barely held onto his rank and pension.

He was sent to Japan to help train the soldiers into an Imperial Army. Except they were kids and not even close to being ready to face battle. When they sent them anyway he rode in afterwards trying to save those he could.

He ended up taken by Takamori, the Shogun warrior holding back the Emperors advances. He hated the man instantly, yet felt a pull to him that made him want to do anything he asked. Takamori detoxed him, trained him, and then sent him to battle.

Nathan watched in horror as they were slaughted now under true military soldiers. He carried Takamori’s sword to the young emperor and told his story. All of it. Including what war does to a man. Showed him the honor of Takamori’s heritage.

He returned to the village only to discover Takamori was actually Katsumoto, a Vampire and his Mate.

He was Turned and Claimed that night.

Sylum Inspiration: Shao Jun

Shogun Hunter: Shao Jun

Jun was born into imperial captivity and was raised to become a concubine in the Forbidden City during China’s Ming dynasty, under the lackluster rule of Emperor Zhengde.

At first she was one of the lower ranking concubines who hoped to become Empress, a wife of the Emperor. To this effect, Jun was taught the traditional arts displayed by the ladies of the imperial court, such as embroidery, singing and reading, but showed exceptional talent for dance and music early on.

As a child, Jun witnessed Liu Jin’s execution and torture with the Ling Chi technique (“slow slicing”, or death by a thousand cuts), a punishment for betraying the Emperor, which she would never forget.

Zhengde, known for his juvenile nature and lack of interest in the urgent matters that concerned his country, regarded Jun highly among his concubines after she had reached her teenage years, for her agility and cat-like discretion fascinated him. Living a decade of her life under Zhengde, he often used her as his spy or thief and to stage jokes against eunuchs and ministers.

By the age of thirteen, Shao Jun had risen to the rank of Imperial Concubine through her talents and Zhengde’s affection. Along with her best friend Zhang, she was poised to become Imperial Consort or even Empress. Jun always won her friendly competition with Zhang using her cat-like grace and talents against her foot-bound and breast-bound friend. Even then, Jun had never visited her Emperor’s bed who preferred the intimate company of prostitutes and other ladies he invited in.

When Zhengde fancied himself as a warlord and went to fight the Mongols in the north, Shao Jun was one of the concubines he took with him. Jun traveled with him to his expeditions in various places and met many foreigners; to serve mostly as his spy, and finally, for his personal leisure.

However, after Zhengde’s death in April 1521, when Shao Jun was sixteen, the royal ministers fell into disarray and bickered over who should succeed the heir-less Zhengde; Jun realized that her opportunities to becoming an Imperial Consort would be lost, unless the new ruler took a liking to her. She used her spying talents to find a way to maintain her Imperial Concubine priveleges, and uncovered a secret war between the Tigers which were working for the Templar Order and a Brotherhood of Assassins. Soon, Jun fathomed that the Tigers were plotting to control China by using their power to place their puppet on the throne. She saw a chance for freedom in the Assassins and since the Tigers already controlled the most influential people in the court, she decided to contact the Assassin Order through Wang Yangming and joined them. Shao Jun was rescued along with several other concubines after the Assassins broke into the royal palace.

Years after her rescue, Jun and her Mentor decided to save the remaining concubines whom she had grown up with. After breaking into the Imperial Palace, Jun discovered that most of her friends had been tortured and killed through the use of Ling Chi, by order of Zhengde’s cousin and successor, Jiajing. Jun and her Mentor then fled the palace.

Before leaving, Shao Jun took the incredible risk of infiltrating the Forbidden City to free her friend Zhang. Although she knew the place by heart, the eunuch guards would have slaughtered her if she’d been caught. Fortunately, the level of security was lower than usual for Jiajing was often away in his own private palaces. Jun found Zhang and was astonished to hear that she wanted to stay, even if the Emperor was a brutal man. Zhang was lucky enough to please him and was now the Imperial Consort. She told her old friend to leave in peace.

Jiajing sought to detain and execute any opposition or possible threats against his rule. Shao Jun could only flee for her life.

Isolated, Shao Jun decided to leave the country in order to seek the help of Italian Mentor Ezio Auditore. She came up on the Villa outside Rome, where she was confronted by two men, demanding to know why she was there. She explained her story, and how the few Assassins that were in China were now destroyed. She sought training to seek revenge against those that were hurting her people.

She later discovered the companion was Nicolaus Meridius, a fellow Assassin. She stayed at the Villa for a few weeks, recouping from her journey. Ezio came to her to tell her she could travel with him, he knew a place to go. She was smart enough to let Ezio and Nico have their farewells without her presence.

Ezio and her traveled to Masyaf.

The arrived in the middle of the battle. Determined to show her skill, Ezio pushed her to the side told her to stay and strode into the middle of it. She knew then – he was the one that could train her.

She ended up Trained at Masyaf, holding her own against men who felt that a woman couldn’t do the job. It was Tamara that encouraged her, and Dastan laughed as she held her own against the ‘bigger’ men.

Before she left to go back to China she requested Ezio Turn her.

Sylum Inspiration: Kermit Griffin

Shogun: Member

Kermit was raised in Dallas Texas, his family had always been Chosen Ones. There wasn’t much to his childhood, after he graduated high school, he entered the military. He doesn’t talk about what he did in the Army or what he did the years between leaving the military and returning to Dallas to become a detective.

When Nicolaus, had become Nick Stokes and began to work as a Dallas PD, he kept an eye on the Clan Leader.

While Kermit worked cases, he would see Nico ‘protecting the site’ though it was obvious to Kermit, Nico was already working to get into Forensics.

When Kermit got wind of a possible drug ring that had connections to Brazil and was coming over the border, he began digging through leads and informants trying to find information. The further he got into the investigation the more dangerous it got. Him and Nico got into an argument, when he told him to back off from the investigation. The Clan Leader threw his arms up called him a stubborn ass, and stormed off.

When he got a lead from an informant he took after it, not telling anyone where he was going. It was then he realized why Nico was telling him to back off, he was dealing with a pack of Rogue Vampires.

And they heard him coming a mile away.

Sylum Inspiration: Peter Caine

Shogun: Member

Peter’s father Kwai Chang Caine, and his father before him were Shaolin Priests. Peter himself was raised in the Temple, studying the religion, until it had been burned down. In the chaotic aftermath, Peter had been separated from his father, leading everyone to believe that he had been orphaned. He was shipped around foster families, the families not sure how to handle the quiet spiritual boy.

After he graduated it high school, he went straight into the Police Academy. He graduated with honors and over the years moved up the ranks to Detective. He requested to be transferred to the precinct in Chinatown feeling more at home in the area.

After his partner retired, he was assigned a new guy who had transferred in from Dallas Kermit Griffin. He took the prickly attitude from his new partner easily and the two built a good partnership.

Though he had suspected something was different about him, but couldn’t figure out what.

While investigating the Chinese Triad, Peter had ended up shot. He laid on the ground knowing he was going to bleed out on the floor of the warehouse. In a few calm breathes he centered himself, ready to let go – his only regret was leaving behind Kermit.

Sylum Inspiration: Yasuke

Shogun: Hunter

 

Yasuke was taken from his home country of Ethopia and was sold into slavery.

He arrived in Japan in 1579 in the service of the Italian Jesuit Alessandro Valignano, who had been appointed the Visitor (inspector) of the Jesuit missions in the Indies. He accompanied Valignano when the latter came to the capital area in March 1581 and his appearance caused a lot of interest with the local people.

When Yasuke was presented to Nobunaga he suspected his skin to be have been coloured with black ink, Nobunaga had him strip from the waist up and made him scrub his skin. These events are recorded in a 1581 letter of the Jesuit Luís Fróis to Lourenço Mexia and in the 1582 Annual Report of the Jesuit Mission in Japan, also by Fróis. These were published in Cartas que os padres e irmãos da Companhia de Jesus escreverão dos reynos de Japão e China II, normally known simply as Cartas, in 1598.  When he realized that his skin was not coloured and in fact black Nobunaga seems to have taken an interest in him. At some point, although when is not clear, Yasuke entered Nobunaga’s service.

Yasuke was taught Japanese, perhaps due to Nobunaga talking with him. He was perhaps the only non-Japanese retainer that Nobunaga had in his service, which could explain Nobungas interest in him.  

In June 1582, Nobunaga was attacked and forced to commit seppuku in Honnō-ji in Kyoto by the army of Akechi Mitsuhide. Yasuke was there at the time and fought the Akechi forces. Immediately after Nobunaga’s death, Yasuke went to join Nobunaga’s heir Oda Nobutada who was trying to rally the Oda forces at Nijō Castle. Yasuke fought alongside the Nobutada forces but was eventually captured. When Yasuke was presented to Akechi he said that the black man was an animal as well as not Japanese and should thus not be killed but be taken to the nanban-dera or nanban-ji. There is no further written information about him after this.

It was soon after, that Yasuke met Katsumoto who had admired his skills and gave him a new opportunity.  He took it without hesitation.

For more information contact the Vampire Council Library

Sylum Inspiration: Keumalahayati

Shogun: Member

 

Malahayati was a daughter of Admiral Machmud Syah of the Aceh Empire. After graduating from Pesantren, an Islamic school, she continued her studies at the Aceh Royal Military Academy, known as Ma’had Baitul Maqdis.

Following the fall of Malacca to Portuguese invaders, Aceh became a stronger faction and ensured that merchant shipping routes in the Malacca Strait remained exclusively for Asian traders. The kingdom’s leader, Sultan Alauddin Mansur Syah strengthened his military power by building a powerful navy to which he decided to appoint Malahayati, a widowed Aceh warrior, as his First Admiral. Aceh soldiers and the other generals had always respected Malahayati. She had also proved herself a legendary commander during several battles with the Portuguese and Dutch.

In 1599, Dutch expedition commander Cornelis de Houtman arrived at the port of Aceh. The Sultan accepted him peacefully until de Houtman insulted him. The Dutchman, who had already clashed with the Banten Sultanate in northwest Java before his arrival in Aceh, decided to attack. Malahayati led her Inong Balee Army in response to the Dutch challenge and after several violent battles, finally killed de Houtman on September 11, 1599.

In 1600, the Dutch Navy, led by Paulus van Caerden, robbed an Aceh merchant ship of its pepper off the Aceh coast. After this incident, In June 1601, Malahayati ordered the arrest of Dutch Admiral Jacob van Neck. After many incidents which blocked Dutch Navy expeditions and the threat from the Spanish fleet, Maurits van Oranje sent emissaries with diplomatic letter of apology to the Empire of Aceh. The emissaries were Admiral Laurens Bicker and Gerard de Roy. In August 1601, Malahayati met Maurits’s emissaries for a treaty agreement. A ceasefire was agreed and the Dutch paid 50 thousand gulden as compensation for Paulus van Caerden actions, while Malahayati released Dutch prisoners. After the agreement, the Sultan sent three emissaries to the Netherlands.

In June 1602, Malahayati’s reputation as the guardian of the Aceh Kingdom led England to choose a peaceful, diplomatic method by which to enter the Malacca Strait. A letter from Queen Elizabeth I was brought by James Lancaster to the Sultan, and it was Malahayati who led the negotiation with Lancaster. The agreement opened the English route to Java, and they were soon afterwards able to build merchant offices in Banten. Elizabeth I rewarded Lancaster with a knighthood for his successful diplomacy in Aceh and Banten.

For More Information contact the Vampire Council Library

It was soon after she met Yu Shu Lien, who sat her down and told her everything about herself and Vampires.  Giving her an option to be Turned.

She took the opportunity that was handed to her.

Sylum Inspiration: Ching Shih

Shogun: Hunter

Madame Ching or Ching Shih also known as Cheng I Sao, was a prominent pirate in middle Qing China, who terrorized the China Sea in the early 19th century. She personally commanded over 300 junks manned by 20,000 to 40,000 pirates —men, women, and even children. She entered into conflict with the existing empires of the time, such as the British Empire, the Portuguese Empire, and the Qing dynasty. She was one of the few pirate captains to retire from piracy and is considered to be the most successful pirate in history.

She married Cheng I who belonged to a family of successful pirates who traced their criminal origins back to the mid-seventeenth century. Following his marriage to Ching Shih, “who participated fully in her husband’s piracy”, Cheng I used military assertion and his reputation to consolidate a coalition of competing Cantonese pirate fleets into an alliance. By 1804, this coalition was a formidable force, and one of the most powerful pirate fleets in all of China; by this time they were known as the Red Flag Fleet.

On 16 November 1807, Cheng I died in Vietnam. Ching Shih immediately began maneuvering her way into his leadership position. She started to cultivate personal relationships to get rivals to recognize her status and solidify her authority. In order to stop her rivals before open conflict erupted, she sought the support of the most powerful members of her husband’s family: his nephew Cheng Pao-yang and his cousin’s son Cheng Ch’i. Then she drew on the coalition formed by her husband by building upon some of the fleet captains’ existing loyalties to her husband and making herself essential to the remaining captains.

Since Ching Shih would have such a large force at her command, she knew she needed someone to assist her in managing the Red Flag Fleet’s day-to-day operations, but remain loyal to her and be accepted by the low-level pirates. She believed there was only one man for the job, Cheung Po Tsai.

Finally, in late 1809 and early 1810, her fleet suffered a series of defeats inflicted by the Portuguese Navy at the Battle of the Tiger’s Mouth, upon which she accepted an amnesty offered by the Chinese government to all pirates who agreed to surrender, ending her career that same year. She kept her loot and opened a gambling house.

For more information contact the Vampire Council Library

In 1810 she ended up meeting Lady Blossom, who told her about a new chance at life.  Like the pirate she was, she took it.

Sylum Inspiration: Lady Blossom

the-man-the-iron-fists-still03

Shogun: Spy Liaison

 

Lady Blossom was trained from an early age to work as a courtesan. Her skill set got her into the high ranking levels of Kublai Khan’s ‘pleasure house’. She became one of his favorite courtesans.

It was there she learned information, made connections, and worked through the system to make sure she was protected along with a few girls she took under he wing. When she discovered a spy within the house she used her position to approach Kublai personally. He rewarded her loyalty with her freedom, she chose to stay with the house to protect her ‘girls’.

It was through this she met Sifu, Hundred Eyes. She knew something was different about him from the beginning, and just because he was blind didn’t mean she couldn’t seduce him. He chuckled as she took her own pleasure from him, then demanded answers.

Never a man to truly lie, he told her the truth. He was a Vampire, who was there to watch Khan. He had the added benefit of watching over the young Polo.

She continued her alliance with Sifu, and when the time came requested to be Turned. Pointing out he needed her. She had an inside to Khan, he countered with the fact so did he as did Marco. She also had an in with the Queen, and knew which girls could be useful to get information from other sources, he countered with the fact no one notices the blind man sitting near by.

She finally pulled a knife and demanded. Sifu laughed as he fought with her. At the end he had her pinned to the floor. ‘Now that is why I’ll Turn you’

Sylum Inspiration: Niccolò Polo

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Shogun: Member

 

While in Constantinople Niccolò and Mafeo Polo the were invited to Masyaf to hear the stories of Altaïr and Darim.

When Masyaf was attacked by Mongols and Altaïr ended up Turning Niccolò and then helped the explorers escape by using the Apple to fend off the attackers. He gave Niccolò some of his books and sent them to Lealta.  Niccolò never told his brother about his Turning, instead continued on with life as if nothing had happened at Masyaf.

For a historical narrative of Niccolò – See Vampire Council Library

Marco was left behind with Kublai Khan as the brothers continued on their journeys. Maffeo was thrilled that they had left Marco behind, but Niccolò was contemplative and frustrated. After two years they returned to Kublai Khan, where Niccolò only wanted to grab his son and leave. When it was discovered that Maffeo was trying to smuggle out silk worms, Khan ordered the death of all of the Polos – Niccolò offered his own life, anything to save his son.

Kublai shocked by the outburst of the older man, sent Maffeo away, keeping Marco close by and demanded to know why he had even left Marco behind in the first place. Niccolò bowed low to the floor, forehead touching the ground, his soft words admitting because he had freaked out over what Kublai was to him.

When Niccolò looked up his eyes shown his true nature, along with his fangs. He explained that he was one of the undead, Turned by Khan’s enemies the Assassins. And his nature screamed at him to take what was his … the great Kublai Kahn. He panicked and knew that the Great Kahn would not hurt Marco and fled.

Hundred Eyes backed his story about Vampires, having snuck into the thrown room. Stating he himself was one. Kublai demand more information, gesturing for Niccolò to rise. Between the two, they explained the way of the Vampires. Hundred Eyes told him he worked for Shogun Clan, keeping an eye on the Khan’s. Kublai was impressed at a blind man being a spy, as it worked so well.

Kublai Khan was to be Niccolò’s Mate. But all knew what was not an option. Kublai set Maffeo out of China, and in time Niccolò learned of his brother’s Turning. The two do not talk to this day.

Niccolò began to train with Marco, the two growing close. He was happy when Marco and Hundred Eyes Bonded. Though he wasn’t sure which one he should give his condolences to.

He sat back and watched his Mate grow old and die. The two had talked for hours on a daily bases, Kublai always asking questions about his travels and being a Vampire. When the Great Kublai Khan died, Hundred Eyes grabbed the father and son and fled to Japan. Though it took them another decade before they would arrive.

***

Dilios Note:  Ernesto has no idea about his Ancestor or that his family line is descendant down from the famed Polos

Sylum Inspiration: Liang Hongyu

Li-Gong-05

Shogun: Hunter

 

Liang Hongyu:  Liang’s father was an army commander at the frontier, from where the Song Dynasty was increasingly threatened by the Jurchen-ruled Jin Dynasty. He taught her martial skills. Liang’s feet were not bound. She was a master of martial arts. Several accounts stated she was a woman with incredible strength and a master of archery.

At certain point in her career, she met her husband Han Shizhong, though accounts differ on exactly how they met. The most believable version is that she met Han at a banquet where she was entertaining the troops that Han led. Han had led his men in crushing a rebellion in southern China, and Han had personally arrested the rebel leader Fang La. However, his superior stole his credit, much to Han’s displeasure. Liang knew the truth and admired Han’s victory. She saved enough money to pay her own redemption of slavery. After she was free, she became Han’s second wife.

The Jurchens soon started the total invasion on the Song Dynasty. Han formed an army to fight the Jurchens. Liang worked as a general in her husband’s army.

She is not sure how her history ended before her husbands, yet it continues in in the same way. She was devastated like him that their friend Yue Fei was ‘executed’ for treason. When he was the most loyal.

She was as shocked as her husband when Fei showed up and explained to them about how he was Turned. Her husband was Turned, and soon after he Turned her.

Sylum Inspiration: Nathan Algren

003TLS_Tom_Cruise_018

 

Nathan Algren is C0-Leader for Shogun Clan.  Nathan and Katsumoto have a unique relationship and the problems with arise with Nathan being from the West.  Because of his position in the Clan, Nathan’s bodyguard is Colonel Wales, though he drives him insane, Nathan has come to rely on the burly Meridius on many occasions.

The only true dark time Nathan had with his new home, was during World War 2, when he along with Kensei, Niccolo, Marco and Wales were betrayed and handed over the Japanese Military and taken to concentration camps. It’s something that bonded the five of them together, but they rarely talk about it. Though they did wish the destruction their Mates caused was recorded.

 

Character Introduction: Nathan Algren

003TLS_Tom_Cruise_018Shogun: Co-Leader

 

Name: Nathan Algren

Turn Date: 1872 AD

Sire: Moritsugu Katsumoto

Mate: Moritsugu Katsumoto

***

Nathan doesn’t talk much about his life before Japan. He fought in the Civil War, was a decorated officer, that saw too many of his men killed. After the war, he drank to stop the memories and barely held onto his rank and pension.

He was sent to Japan to help train the soldiers into an Imperial Army. Except they were kids and not even close to being ready to face battle. When they sent them anyway he rode in afterwards trying to save those he could.

He ended up taken by Takamori, the Shogun warrior holding back the Emperors advances. He hated the man instantly, yet felt a pull to him that made him want to do anything he asked. Takamori detoxed him, trained him, and then sent him to battle.

Nathan watched in horror as they were slaughtered now under true military soldiers. He carried Takamori’s sword to the young emperor and told his story. All of it. Including what war does to a man. Showed him the honor of Takamori’s heritage.

He returned to the village only to discover Takamori was actually Katsumoto, a Vampire and his Mate.

He was Turned and Claimed that night.

***

Image: Tom Cruise

 

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