Have you been wondering what the currency in Madripoor looks like? Well, it might look a little something like this.
Born in Saskatoon 1930, Lucien Basilières spent his youth in Montreal. Volunteering for the Army Special Force at 17, he was shipped to boot camp in Denver before being deployed to the fighting in Borneo in 1948. He would go on to fight with the 1st Commonwealth Division in 1950-1952 on the mainland. After returning to Canada, Lucien’s records indicate that he was assigned to an ill-defined unit that at various times appeared to be an attachment of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, a branch of RCMP Security Service, or an independent agency. It is suspected that Lucien was involved in anti-terrorist and espionage operations, many of which were extralegal or illegal.
Lucien was ousted from the Canadian military after the issuance of Canadian Forces Administrative Order (CFAO) 19-20, Sexual Deviation – Investigation, Medical Investigation and Disposal, which required members of the military suspected of being homosexual to be investigated and then subsequently released from service. The officer that headed this investigation was murdered, a crime for which Lucien was questioned but never charged. The case remains unsolved.
It is believed that for the next two years, Lucien used his skills on behalf of Aboriginal-based organized crime groups with connections to the Rizzuto crime family. The fact that he hastily left Canada in 1970 with false papers indicates a falling out with these criminal groups.
Lucien joined a group of “military advisors” made up of English, Welsh, and Dutch mercenaries expelled from or fleeing prosecution in southern Africa. He was working in this capacity in Pakistan during the alien contact labeled Deep Space 99. Most alien visitors to earth are the result of crash landings or other accidents, making enforcing the Covarrubias Convention, which requires the immediate extermination of all alien lifeforms on earth, relatively easy.
The DS 99 incident was one of the rare cases of intentional alien landing – seven ships carrying highly trained teams of alien explorers with a mission to study earth. Russian alien extermination teams were able to destroy five of the smaller ships and kill dozens of the explorers, but hundreds more were able to scuttle their remaining damaged craft and escape. Making their pursuit and extermination difficult is the fact that the DS99 aliens, dubbed HIET (humanoid intelligent extra-terrestrial) 277 are indistinguishable from humans in visible light (they are noticeably different in the UV band).
Lucien was captured by a splinter cell of HIET aliens and subjected to experimentation. Although HIET 277 are known to be human in appearance, Lucien claims that his main tormentor had a prominent lizard-like face and long scaled fingers. Whether this is an additional species associated with HIET 277 or merely the hallucinations of a man under intense pain and stress remains unknown.
Lucien claims that he saw other humans being experimented on, or merely tortured, many of whom died. Lucien does not remember escaping the facility or being set free, his next memory being waking up with his new form in the custody of authorities in Karachi. Authorities who had very little interest in dealing with a massive blue lizardman.
Left a stateless outcast, Lucien made his way to Madripoor where he makes a poor living as muscle for hire to various criminal enterprises.
The physical mutations of the alien experiments by HIET 277 on Lucien are obvious. He is now close to eight feet tall and weighs more than fifteen hundred pounds, not only because of the physical bulk but also due to hard calcified dermal deposits and superdense bone and muscle structure. His skin has been replaced with blue scales similar in appearance to the Martinique anole, although in function they are similar to the armored scales of crocodilians.
In addition to this enormous body size, Lucian’s ratio of arm-to-leg length is significantly higher than a similar sized human form would dictate. His strength, reflexes, and speed are all outside of human norms. He has not been formally tested but his observed abilities appear to be on the low end of the Briggs-Hollymere scale for NBHs. Due to his mass, scales, and dermal deposits, Lucian is highly resistant to physical trauma. Lucien’s vision encompasses a broader spectrum than baseline humans, extending into infrared.
His most noteworthy demonstrated ability is regenerative power, allowing him to heal rapidly to the point of restoring lost limbs and quickly recovering from injuries that would otherwise be fatal. Based on observations, it is speculated that Lucien can eventually recover from any damage that does not result in instant death (decapitation, massive heart trauma, some spinal injuries, etc).
The Shadow Lords have their origin in the 1937 invasion of China by the Empire of Japan. The Japanese Imperial Army brought coastal China under their control and they were followed by the yakuza as closely as lightening after a storm. All the local criminal groups either fled or were killed.
One of the survivors of this purge was a member of the Green Gang called Fat Yuan. Rumors say that he was half Japanese, the son of a powerful oyabun and his Chinese mistress. As the story goes, he was able to survive and escape the extermination of the Green Gang due to his superhuman abilities and inside information about the activities of those that sought his death.
Fat Yuan fled south before the oncoming Imperial tide and began studying at the monastery of Four Winds outside of Vientiane. When Fat Yuan and his followers stole the mystical shadowknives protected by the masters of the Four Winds, it instigated bloody infighting that saw the destruction of the Four Winds sect and the deaths of the teachers Howling Over Thunder and Crimson Mask.
Lacking the resources to challenge the Yakuza directly, Fat Yuan and his followers traveled the Indonesian Archipelago, Polynesia, and Australia each recruiting their own followers – creating many small gangs that would eventually coalesce into the Shadow Lords. Their ranks were swelled by other Chinese gangsters who had survived the purge, but included a diverse cross section of criminals from across the region. This loose collection of criminal enterprises began to establish their own small spheres of influence in the Madripoor underworld.
The Shadow Lords are essentially cults of personality formed around a specific individual. As such, they usually disintegrate if that leader is killed or removed from power. Experienced members will break off from their parent gangs to establish their own independent outfits with the approval of their former leader. The Shadow Lords are not overseen by a central authority like the Mafia or similar groups.
Despite this lack of top down leadership, conflict between Shadow Lords is rare, unlike the mob wars between Yakuza clans, Mafia families, or Triads.
In contrast to those other organized crime syndicates, the Shadow Lords are small, consisting of fewer than thirty sworn members. Those members control front gangs, larger networks of criminal associations on the street. Due to the necessity of protecting themselves from larger rivals, the members never inform the operatives on the street that they are actually in the employment of the Shadow Lords.
When a group becomes too big and attracts the attention of their enemies, it fragments into two or three smaller groups. By splitting up and recruiting, they evolve and change their face and shape, keeping a low profile.
In essence, the Shadow Lords are a confederacy of criminal outfits that share the same goals. Each leader has their own culture, their own separate hierarchy, and what motivates them may be different, but they all help each other survive while they strike at the Yakuza. Due to their single-minded obsession with hurting the Yakuza, the Shadow Lords have not grown as fast as they could.
The Shadow Lords use every resource possible and are willing to take greater risks than rival syndicates. Compared to the larger crime syndicates, the Shadow Lords are far more likely to cooperate with outsiders. Besides their comfort with magical artifacts, this manifests by the Shadow Lords being one of the few organized crime groups that actively recruits “superhumans”, which are not welcome in more traditional enterprises.
The Coalition States of America “super-soldier” project is renowned to be the most successful in the world. Many people would be surprised to learn that the project (secretly dubbed “Godlike”) has only produced three viable outcomes. At the cost of dozens of non-operable results (“zeroes” as they are deemed by the research team) and hundreds of deaths. Even more surprising is that, despite that fact, it is the most successful program of its kind.
The common belief is that people with the gene that allows for chemical manipulation to exceed human baselines are one in a million. The truth is that they’re even rarer than that. The chances of someone having the necessary gene already being in the CSA military were exceedingly small. When Private First Class Amy Albright tested positive, the results were initially kept under wraps due to the high number of project failures. After she emerged from the program a complete success, she became a media darling.
A wholesome blonde girl-next-door type who had volunteered to serve her country that could fly at supersonic speeds and rip apart a tank with her bare hands? It was a public relations windfall beyond the wildest dreams of the military spin doctors. Her smiling face on 60 Minutes and the evening news did much to mitigate the (true) accusations of forced conscriptions and deadly consequences of the program.
She went from being the face of a public relations campaign to a true national hero following the release of the 1970 documentary “Angel” showing footage of her in action during the Argentine Conflict. The opening scene of a brutal looking staff sergeant explaining in no uncertain terms to his men that Angel One is a soldier and not “some mark in a pick-up bar” and will be treated as such in his unit unless they want a boot up their ass has become as iconic as the live footage of her turning the tide at Cordoba and saving the lives of thousands of CSA soldiers.
It is because of this movie that she is known mostly to the public by her callsign used during that conflict – “Angel” or “Angel One” rather than her focus group-chosen public persona “Iron Heart”. Angel One was reported KIA on March 4th, 1973, the details of which have not yet been released to the public. It is widely assumed that a new chemical weapon provided to Ñancahuazú Guerrilla fighters by German communists is responsible for her death. A sound clip of a CSA officer reporting “Angel One is down”, voice cracking with emotion, has become iconic.