Ferris Tetsuno-Gun
Real Name: Ferris Tetsuo Tetsuno-Gun
Age: 17
Identity: Secret
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
Date of Birth: January 23, 1993
Known Relatives: Yumi Tetsuno-Gun (mother, deceased), Young Ja Gun (father), Sho Tetsuno (maternal grandfather)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 162 lbs
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Grade: Senior
Dorm: Jones


To know my history, one must start with the history of Japan. I won’t go into great detail, because even grandfather can’t trace the path of the Tetsunokougake to their origins. I know that they are as old as feudalism in Japan, and they may be much older. They have been passed down from father to son (and occasionally to daughters) for nearly a thousand years. My ancestors were champions of the greatest shoguns of the Land of the Rising Sun.

We are not simply samurai, of course. The job of the Tetsunobushi (the ‘Iron Warriors’) was to lead the armies of course, but it was also to take on the fights that no others could handle. Japan has always been a nexus of spirit activity – it was not merely men who stood in the way of progress, but also the spirits of the dead who wielded great power over the living, nature spirits like the tengu and kappa, demonic oni, evil dragons. European knights fought the same creatures with different names, no doubt. But the Tetsunobushi have always had the advantage – our weapons were forged to fight men and spirits alike.

Of course, I can not claim pride in all of them. My great grandfather served the emperor Hirohito during the second World War. He committed foul deeds in the name of his daimyo, causing havoc and tears through China, Korea and the south Pacific. He was executed by the new regime of Japan after the war was over, and the Tetsunokougake were passed to his son, my grandfather.

Grandfather would not wear the bracers that had been given to him. He refused, despite the encouragement of his uncles and cousins. He was only a boy himself, but for all his horror at the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for all his anger at the Americans and Russians who took hold of his beloved nation, he knew what his father had done, had seen the atrocities, the brutality, and would have no part of that. The bracers were put away in a box where his family would not find them.

My mother, though, was a spirited girl. She was born in 1970 and raised with an eye toward tradition and history. She wasn’t all that interested. In her early teens, though, she found the wooden box in which my grandfather had stored the ancient armor. The bracers were made of leather with shining iron studs on the undersides of the wrists. Like a gleeful child she put them on and was pretending to battle some ancient menace when my grandfather found her. He chided her and took the bracers away, telling her that she should respect the spirits of her ancestors. He hid the bracers away again, but she went looking again soon enough.

When she found them, this time, she also discovered the secret – by clicking the studs together she discovered that she was covered from head to toe in an O-yoroi (a suit of samurai’s armor) made entirely of gleaming steel. There was a katana in a scabbard at her waist, and a longbow strung across her back. And now she understood why her father did not want her playing with the ancestral bracers.

She put them away, but remembered where they were kept. My mother was not happy in Japan, and when she turned eighteen she left the nation for good. She took her father’s box with her. She came to the United states and settled in San Francisco where she took to the streets in her steel armor. Through trial and error she learned to control the forms that her weapons and armor took, and was soon able to manifest wings that allowed her to glide over her adopted city, and adopted the name of Steel Butterfly.

She met my father in San Francisco. He was a Korean student studying engineering at Stanford University. They fell in love quickly. Two years later they were married, and a year later I was born.

I don’t really remember my mother. Shortly after I was born she resumed her brief heroic career, roaming the streets of San Francisco at night, gliding through the darkened alleys on gossamer wings of steel. She was unaware, however, of the curse on the armor.

The story, as my grandfather has told it to me, is that the first wielder of the Tetsunokougake struck down an innocent woman accidentally – she was fleeing from their enemies out of terror and sped directly into the path of the steel katana. It was an accident, or so the legend holds, but the woman’s spirit blamed my ancestor for her death – understandably – and laid a curse upon him. She would harry him, and all wielders of the katana, through the ages. More than one death of a Tetsunobushi has been chalked up to her intervention. She has come to be known as the Yurei.

Yurei tracked the bracers to San Francisco, and there she found my mother. Mom was not the first female wielder of the Tetsunokougake, but there had not been many others. Her gender did not stop Yurei from attacking her. Rather than attacking her directly, the demoness poured her spirit into the gunman my mother was fighting. She guided the man’s hand, and the bullet he fired went into one of the very few unarmored spots – it passed through one of the holes in mother’s Mempo (traditional samurai mask) and into her eye. She was instantly dead.

Her death was chalked up to gang violence, and technically that was true. With the death of its wielder, the Tetsunokougake reverted to their inactive form – the bracers – which were given to my father as one of mother’s personal effects.

My father is a good man, but frankly he was also a busy one. And mother’s death was devastating to him. My grandfather was invited to come from Japan and stay with us, and so Grandfather did. He did not, at the time, entirely approve of my father, but has come to accept that it was her own action that led to mother’s death, and nothing my father had done.

I was raised by the two men, and when I was eight, and my father was away, my grandfather presented the Tetsukougake to me. He had me put them on, and had me click the studs together – I was an eight-year-old samurai. I thought it was the most amazing thing, and managed to terrify our cat and destroy two ferns and a stack of dishes with my oversized katana before Grandfather taught me how to reverse the process.

Over the next several years I was taught to fight with a bokken, and taught how to shoot with a simple bow and arrow that my grandfather created from a yew branch. He taught me Japanese history and trained me in the ways of bushido, grinding the seven virtues into me until they became my second nature. During this time I was not allowed to even see the bracers – grandfather knew I would use them, eventually, if I chose the path of the samurai, but he would not send me out into the world untrained and vulnerable. That had killed his daughter – he felt great guilt over her death.

At thirteen I was given the bracers. We were moving to Minneapolis – my father had been recruited to work for 3M. When I went into my new bedroom in Falcon Heights, the old wooden box was laid on my bed and the bracers were in it. My grandfather warned me not to use them without supervision, and I respected his wishes.

One evening, while we trained with the steel weapons in the back yard of our new house, hidden by high fences, Yurei appeared to me. Grandfather could not see her, but I asked him who she was – this beautiful pale woman who was watching me hack at the wooden dummy he had built for me with my steel sword. He gasped in horror, and told me words to say to make her tell me her name and purpose, and when she revealed that it was she who had killed my mother… well, I lost my head, I am afraid. I was, after all, still only thirteen. I attacked her with my sword and she flew out of reach. Grandfather called me to heel, but I kept assaulting the woman who had flown into the training dummy. I was exhausted and sobbing when finally I listened to my grandfather’s words. The dummy was splinters on the ground, and Yurei was nowhere to be seen. I took off the bracers and put them in their box.

Grandfather began campaigning with father to send me away to private school, and at first I did not understand. I thought I’d done something wrong, but when he realized that I was upset by his desire to send me away he explained. He had heard of a school for young people who would be heroes, and he felt he had taught me as much as he could. This school, he told me, would train me to follow the right path, and would teach me to fight Yorei.

At 14 I came to the Steranko Institute. I was frightened to be away from my father and grandfather for the first time in my life, but it has been good for me. I am nearing the end of my junior year now, and I have loosened up a great deal – learned to be an American teenager, instead of a Japanese-Korean-American one. I follow the path of bushido, and I am a samurai – and I recognize the problems inherent in being a masterless samurai, even now. I am happy. I have friends.

But I will fight Yurei and avenge my mother. Someday. Soon.


I've got two sides, when you come right down to it. On the one hand, I'm a pretty normal teenager. A pretty normal AMERICAN teenager. I party, I listen to rock and roll music, I don't feel the need to express my individuality through loud-colored hair and weird clothing (look at some of my peers in Japan — they've got CRAZY hair and dress like the Fonz). I'm a little bit of a daredevil, too — I love all kinds of stuff that gets my adrenaline pumping, like skydiving or street surfing. I've been known to go a little girl-crazy, even.

But I am also a samurai. My dad and grandfather raised me in the ways of bushido. There is enough Korean and Japanese in me that I treat my elders with the sort of respect that you don't often see from kids my age. I live by the seven virtues and go out of my way to live up to the standards of my ancestors — if I don't, I'll hear about it. I make a good leader as a result, and adults trust me. So do kids, most of the time.

And one final important thing: I hate obake. Evil ghosts. Revenants. I am duty bound to defeat them wherever I can. One of them, an old family enemy, killed my mother, so there's a reason for it. They don't go away forever, but when my katana is through with them, they don't bother people for a good long time.


Links to logs the character is in here.


Attr: Str 14 (+2), Dex 18 (+4), Con 18 (+4), Int 14 (+2), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 14 (+2)
(34 pp)

Saves: Toughness +4 (+12), Fortitude +4, Reflex +8, Will +6
(7 pp)

Combat: Attack +4 (+8 Katana/+8 Yumi), Defense +4, Grapple +0, Init +11
(16 pp)

Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+12), Athletics 4 (+6), Concentration 4 (+7), Craft (Artistic) 4 (+6), Diplomacy 4 (+6), Drive 4 (+8), Intimidate 6 (+8), Knowledge (Theology & Philosophy) 4 (+6), Knowledge (History) 4 (+6), Language (Japanese, Korean) 2, Notice 4 (+7), Perform (Dance) 4 (+6), Perform (Singing) 4 (+6), Ride (Horse) 4 (+8), Sense Motive 4 (+7), Survival 4 (+7)
(17 pp)

Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Specialization (Katana) x2, Attack Specialization (Yumi) x2, Defensive Attack, Elusive Target, Improved Initiative x2, Instant Up, Leadership, Luck x2, Power Attack, Teamwork x2
(17 pp)

Tetsunokougake - Device 9 (Source: Magic, Cost: 4/rank, Total: 36 pp)

  • O-yoroi - Protection 8 (Extras: Impervious 12; Cost: 2/Rank+4, Total: 20PP)
  • Katana - Strike 8 (Feats: Affects Insubstantial (+1), Cost: 1/rank + 1, Total: 9 pp)
  • Yumi - Blast 5 (Feats: Affects Insubstantial (+1), Cost: 2/rank +1, Total: 11 pp)
  • See the Spirits - Detect (Supernatural) 1 (Accurate, Acute, Ranged, Sense, Cost: 1+1+1 + 1 + 1, Total: 5 pp)

(36 pp)

Drawbacks: Vulnerable: Electricity (Very Common, Moderate) (-4 pp), Vulnerable: Heat (Very Common, Minor) (-3 pp)
(-5 pp)

Attributes 34 + Saves 10 + Combat 16 + Skills 17 + Feats 14 + Powers 36 - Drawbacks 7 = 120 pp


My Name Is Ferris Tetsuno-Gun. You Killed My Mother. See, the problem here is that that's where the quote, however twisted, has to stop. Because the Yorei is dead already. She has been for centuries, probably. Generations ago, back when the first Tetsuronin roamed the hills of Japan, he killed a woman entirely by accident — or, at least, that's what Grandfather has told me. That woman became the Yurei, which means 'Faint Soul', approximately, and she has been hunting my family ever since. She has caused the death of more than one of my ancestors, most recently my mother, and someday I'm certain I'll have to face her too.

I Can See Dead People. In the words of ol' Haley Joel, they're everywhere. Actually, they're not quite as common as that poor kid had to deal with, not in my experience. But I can see them anyway, talk to them even, and they talk to me and sometimes, yeah, they want me to help them out with stuff — the younger ones, mostly. The old ones only want somebody to talk to. But sometimes I have to talk to them to calm them down — or take on a quest to get them off my back. Just another day in the life of a samurai.

I Can See Mean Dead People. Some dead people aren't real fond of the living. These are the guys they make Japanese horror movies about — The Ring, The Grudge, Pulse. When one of these guys rears his (or her) ugly head, I'm duty-bound to hunt them down and remove them from their current unlife. The way I understand it, you can't really rekill a ghost, but you can send them away for a good long time.

I Can See MY Dead People. I don't really look at it as losing my mother, because all I have to do is click my bracers together and there are all my ancestors — all those who wore the bracers before, anyway. When I am the Bushi, I have the guidance of my forebears. I also have to put up with their complaints. Like, 'Why isn't a nice Japanese boy like you married yet?' and 'Your great great grandmother would turn in her grave if she knew you weren't Shinto' and 'You could call your grandfather once in awhile, you know.'

I Live By The Code. Bushido is a way of life. I find ways to have fun anyway, but I live by the 'Way of the Warrior', which means holding to the seven virtues even when they're a pain in the ass: rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor and loyalty. Which means stuff like, 'I don't bust out the ol' katana and kick your butt if you're an annoying punk,' and 'I treat you the way you think you deserve to be treated, even if you totally don't deserve it.' It's tough to be a samurai, if only 'cause there are an awful lot of jerks who think they deserve to be treated like the last Emperor.

I Have No Master. Being a ronin seems like a great deal to most Westerners — all the books are full of stories about some knight who goes traipsing across the country, beholden to nobody. Or gunslingers who shoot down the bad guys. Heck, even super-heroes are pretty much masterless samurai. In my culture, though, it's got pretty bad connotations — even though I'm only half Japanese and all American. They call students who fail their college entrance exams 'ronin', and not because they're awesome solo adventurers. There may be no daimyos anymore, but ronin were subjects of ridicule in the chivalric period, and many Japanese will still look on me with some disdain.

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