This was such an in-joke, but: ninja. ALL THE NINJA, forever. I regret nothing.
Yves, Ninja Archangel of Destiny
A delicate flash
Of crimson cherry blossoms;
The world floats downstream.
It goes like this:
Ninjas are neat.
Yves is neat.
Ninjas are inscrutable.
Yves is inscrutable.
Ninjas own the night.
Yves, being sort of like a manifestation of God, more or less owns everything – including the night.
Ninjas say a lot of things that sort of make sense, and sort of don’t, but what they say is always way cool.
Yves does exactly the same thing.
Ninjas can kill you in umpteen different ways, using nothing but a hairbrush, three nickels and a book of matches that was run through the washer.
Yves… well, nobody’s ever seen him do it, but then, you wouldn’t, would you? He could do it, that’s all I’m saying.
Ninjas are always the last people you’d expect.
The only Superior deemed less likely (by any even semi-rational person) to be a ninja than Yves is Laurence, and I’m not sure about him, either. It could be a trick. Ninjas are tricky.
I think that I’ve made my point, here.
Servitors of the Ninja Archangel may not knowingly bring a person to his Fate, nor knowingly deny her from reaching her Destiny. Contrary to popular belief, it is not dissonant for Servitors of Destiny to admit that they are Servitors of Destiny, but none of them voluntarily admit to either that, or being ninjas, anyway.
Immaterial to game play: even a PC Servitor of Destiny will not be allowed to reveal the secrets of his ninja clan, to the point where they do not admit to being Servitors of Destiny. Yes, everybody knows (the black outfit is sort of diagnostic), but Heaven is usually willing enough to play along. Anyway, this means that you don’t have to bother with groups or organizations or any of that realism bunk: if you need a Servitor of Destiny, just open up a cabinet door or something, and he or she’ll pop out.
There are those who might wonder how the GM will be able to keep a PC from revealing the secrets of his or her ninja clan. It’s actually easy: don’t give any. Just say that the character might know all the secrets, but the player wouldn’t be able to understand (or explain) them anyway — unless he or she happens to be both an angel and a ninja in real life, of course. No, this is a serious (using the term loosely) suggestion: if you have a player that isn’t willing to play along with the gag, don’t use this Heresy.
Needless to say, if the player really is both a ninja and an angel, and can prove it, then this sleazy rationalization doesn’t work… although if you’ve got real angelic ninjas for players then you probably run a much weirder game than I could ever hope to duplicate. For that matter, if you’ve got that kind of real-life resource available then I’d like to ask a favor or two.
Choir Ninja Attunements
All Servitors of Destiny have three Choir Attunements: their canonical ones, Ninja (see below), and special Choir-specific special Ninja Attunements. The latter two cost 5 points each, and must be taken at character conception. Yves will sometimes give out Ninja and/or other Choir Ninja Attunements to worthy individuals serving other Words: figuring out how to wheedle one out of him is left as an exercise for the interested student.
The angel has learned secret ninja unarmed fighting techniques — no, really. Punches have a Power of 0 and an Accuracy of +1; kicks have a Power of +2 and an Accuracy of 0. Unfortunately, these bonuses go away if the angel is even carrying a firearm or powered weapon.
Seraphim Ninja can use the Truth to bemuse their opponents. The character must make an Emote roll at -2; the player must come up with a unique and new aphorism that is at least vaguely apropos to the situation at hand (it is suggested that the latter be strictly enforced). Up to (Ninja’s Celestial Forces) entities may be affected: the targets have their combat rolls reduced by 2 for two rounds. Any given target can only be affected by this Attunement once per 24 hours.
Cherub Ninjas are masters of vengeance. They may choose any one entity who has harmed or killed one of their attuned: from that point on, they will always know if that entity is still alive, and add +2 to any roll used to track him. The subject may be changed at any time, but rarely is: such flightiness is not the way of the ninja.
The Ninja gets extra attacks with a successful resonance -4 roll: divide the CD by 2 and round up (maximum 3).
Elohite Ninjas have an affinity for sudden strikes: if they spend at least one hour in motionless meditation, their first attack roll (except for firearms) is at double Power and Accuracy.
Malakite (Partially Restricted)
Malakim Ninjas have effectively unlimited vessels. Kill one, and they simply grab the next Generic Ninja Vessel/1 and come right back down. The killed vessel dissipates into nothingness as soon as no one is looking. Other Ninjas who take this Attunement get the dissipating vessel trick, but not an unlimited number of them.
Bright Lilim (Restricted)
All Ninja Gifters have +2 Charisma that is tied to the angel, not the vessel (thus, it functions even in Heaven). This stacks with any Charisma bought normally. Ninja Brights tend to take full advantage of this.
Kyriotate Ninjas are unmemorable: when not in combat, others must make a Perception roll at -3 to notice them at all.
Ninja Mercurians enjoy a free Role/5 (Nobody in particular, Status/2). This is literally ‘nobody in particular’: if the Mercurian sticks around in one place for more than a few days, he or she will be treated as if he or she had always been there. They won’t be particularly recognized – but they’ll pretty much fit in anyway. The Mercurian may also take a regular Role, if desired.
Yves’ canonical Attunements are all still used and given out; naturally, the Ninja Archangel has made a few more available…
Gravity becomes meaningless to the ninja, as long as he or she is actually touching an item somehow fixed in the earth. This is explicitly meant to allow the ninja to climb anything, run across rice paper without crumpling it, walk on water and generally do neat special effects; it is not meant to be abused, although the concept of ‘abused’ is being well, abused quite thoroughly anyway in this particular Heresy.
Night of a Million Billion Ninjas
The ninja are everywhere! Well, more or less. By making a Perception roll at -4, a Ninja Servitor may call upon any other ninja in the area to come to his or her aid. The number of ninja that arrive is inversely proportional to how badly a PC requires them, modified of course by standard ‘amusement value’ and ‘advances the plot’ factors.
This is the secret language of the Ninja. Well, not precisely secret: they aren’t shy about speaking it in front of others, but it doesn’t really matter: only another speaker of Ninjelic can understand the bizarre aphorisms and pointless poetry that makes up the “language”. This is handled in play by the player (who absolutely must roleplay it out) spouting off some suitable gibberish while handing the GM (or another player with the Ninjelic Attunement) a note with the actual message inscribed thereon. Note that the other players are perfectly within their rights to appropriately punish the overuse of this Attunement.
*Name courtesy of the Habbalite of Technology living in my basement at the time.
One With the Night
The ninja automatically succeeds at all Move Silently rolls (CD equal to Corporeal Forces -1, minimum 1) if done in shadows. The ninja may attempt to roll normally.
The ninja is effectively invisible to all purely mechanical and/or electronic security and sensor systems. This ability cannot be turned off, alas – but then, the way of the ninja is not the way of photo ops.
“With my Ninja Suit, I can go through the camp – Undetected!”
This Attunement allows the ninja to unobtrusively sneak into closets, wardrobes, giant vases, behind curtains, packing cases, cupboards – if the ninja can fit in there, he or she will be able to enter without disturbing the surroundings, setting off any alarms, or opening any openings. Locked hiding places require an Agility roll; but, if successful, the ninja will be able to open the lock from the inside when it comes time to spring out dramatically.
Functionally equivalent to the canonical Vassal of Destiny Distinction.
Professor of Ninja Studies
Functionally equivalent to the canonical Friend of the Sages Distinction, with the restriction that any knowledge so gathered can only be expressed in a fashion true to the Way of the Ninja (that is to say, in a baroque and convoluted style).
Grand Master Pimp Ninja Daddy
Functionally equivalent to the canonical Master of Divine Knowledge Distinction; this Distinction is sometimes given out more than once. Anyone who holds more than three Grand Masterships is officially known as a Great Googly Moogly Grand Master Pimp Ninja Daddy; nobody dares laugh. Incidentally, gaining the Malakite resonance via this Distinction does provide the immunity to Trauma, as well as full use of the Ninja Malakite of Destiny Attunement (if bought).
Well, aside from Michael being a little less hostile, there wouldn’t be much of a change. More or less; obviously, Yves’ peers may be getting a little worried about this entire ninja business, but if things are still getting done they’re more than likely to just assume that yet another deeply inscrutable thing is going on that they can’t hope to comprehend, so just let Yves do what he’s going to do. It’s not like he’s not as nice as he used to be, or anything. But Michael will be a little less hostile. He can’t help but be a little less hostile: ninjas are just too cool to stay mad at one for long.
Allied: Same as canon
Associated: Same as canon
Neutral: Same as canon, plus Michael
All Superiors on both sides: “Err, right.” “To the shore, all waves are identical. Yet the waves understand the jest.”
Role in the War
Theoretically speaking, there shouldn’t be any change here, right? It’s still Yves, still his Servitors; they still go out and make the world better, one person at a time. Servitors of Destiny do everything that they do in canon, precisely as well as they’ve always done. It’s just that, well, now they’re ninjas, too.
True, this has had some effect on the way that they do things — for one thing, nobody ever keeps a book overdue from the Library anymore — but less than you’d think. Servitors of Destiny were halfway along the path of the ninja, anyway: they were already subtle and somewhat inscrutable workers used to working both behind the scenes, and largely on their own. Adding the ability to become one with the night and kick their opponents’ kidneys out through their noses was deemed to be more a refinement than anything else. Others might disagree, but quietly. It’s not considered wise to mock a ninja.
That bit about turning in books on time is meant in deadly earnestness, by the way. No group of Destiny’s Servitors embraced their ninjahood more enthusiastically than Yves’ Librarians.
Yves supports all of his canonical Rites. New ones include:
- Remove an obstacle from the path of Heaven.
- Become one with the night.
- Make the GM laugh with a (unique) ninja aphorism.
Chance of Invocation: 1
Unfortunately, the way of the Ninja Archangel is hidden to all but true ninjas – and the way is different for each ninja, and sometimes the path that one chooses is the not the path that one walks. To properly simulate this sort of thing, the player must come up with an appropriate action or item, subject to the GM’s approval: if one is found, roll one die. The number that comes up is the modifier to the Invocation roll.
History and Personality
Nobody knows how it happened. One day, Yves was Yves: the next, he was still Yves, only suddenly sporting a ninja outfit, and becoming one with the night. His Servitors followed suit, apparently gleefully. They show no signs of stopping any time soon, and by now it feels vaguely odd to even bring the subject up. After all, if the Seraphim Council was worried, they should have voiced their concerns right from the start, yes?
If this sounds odd, it might help understanding if one realizes that Yves has not become any more incomprehensible since he embraced his Ninja nature. He’s just incomprehensible in an entirely different way now. Never forget: to celestials, humans are weird. All of them. All of the time. So, from an angel’s point of view, an Archangel of Destiny who goes around in a black ninja suit is not particularly less bizarre than an Archangel of Destiny who wears tweed sports jackets and argyle socks. In other words: it’s not the first fashion change suddenly sported by Yves, and probably not going to be his last.
Of course, the new special abilities sported by his Servitors are a bit more of a cause for concern. The Archangel of Destiny does not give out frivolous Attunements and Distinctions; his Servitors have been turned into ninjas for good reason, even if nobody can quite agree on why. Speculation is, of course, rampant, and not helped by the fact that Yves’ explanations are only understood even dimly by the Seraphim Archangels. They decline to speak on the matter, but it has been noted by the interested that Michael has been looking more cheerful lately. Make of that what you will.
Hell has its own theories (mostly involving the onset of senility) – but a few painful episodes by suddenly and seriously kick-ass Servitors of Destiny have persuaded most of the Horde to not spout them off in public, much. It’s entirely possible that the entire point of this exercise is to seriously confuse the Enemy. Of course, that might just be a beneficial side effect of the process, as are the sudden suspicious looks that Hell is giving Kronos (after all, as Above, so Below). Servitors of Fate are starting to feel the strain; not a few are even taking martial arts training on the sly.
Other than that, Yves is still Yves, pretty much. Presumably he has all of the special abilities of his new Servitors, but nobody’s ever seen him be anything but kindness and serenity itself. Of course, now that he’s the Paramount Great Googly Moogly Grand Master Pimp Ninja Daddy of them all, you wouldn’t see him if he didn’t want you too, right? That’s sort of the whole point.
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