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Joketsuzoku

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AMAZON BREEDERS
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Tribe of women heroes


Otherwise simply known as the village of the Chinese Amazon. While it is always referred to by its Japanese name, the name of the tribe in Mandarin would be Nǚjiézú (女傑族 Nyūchezū). From the dawn of civilization men and women have fought in wars to determine which of a people have the right to survival and land use. Always in the past victory went to the stronger side, the one that had the fiercest warriors with the best training. Sometimes it goes to the side with superior technology or firepower, but just as often it goes to the side that is the better prepared to achieve victory, and in the beginning that meant the side with the superior numbers.



However, long ago in our past, the Amazons arose to take their place in the world. In the beginning of all things men and women were regarded as equals, but there came a day when horse-borne nomads called Aryans swept out of the east to threaten their ancestors, and because they had number and horses on their sides, along with curved bows made partially from the bones of animals, the amazons had little chance of resisting. The men of one tribe chose to make a stand, however, gathering up all of their women and children and hiding them in caves until the crisis was over. They went out to face the enemy and were slaughtered to the youngest man-child old enough to carry a weapon. The enemy then mounted their heads on pikes and continued on in their rampages, laying waste to everything in their path on the way to the Mediterranean Ocean.



The women of the village emerged from their caves and saw the carnage of this slaughter. Then there was great weeping among the survivors as sons and daughters lamented their loss. All seemed bleak for the tribe, for the crops in their fields had been laid waste so that even a crow could find no sustenance, and it looked as though starvation would be their lot, a horror that would finish the work begun by the barbarian invaders.



Then She came in answer to their prayers, the Shining One known as Hippolyta, the daughter of the Gods of War and Love, Ares and Aphrodite, who was drawn to their plight from her home on Mount Olympus. She and her six warrior sisters gathered up the tribe and taught them how to survive, organized and led them into battle against their neighbors as they united other tribes to their banner, then founded the Matriarchy with Hippolyta as their leader.



Hippolyta was a just and wise ruler, entrusting the care of the people and the reservation of the Amazonian arts to the Lore Masters of their day. This was about four thousand years ago, by current reckoning, and being an Immortal, Hippolyta lived a long and prosperous life. She made the first deal with neighboring tribes so that the women could have husbands to lay with and beget children. Women assumed the positions of dominance over all aspects of their society while men were taught to respect their wives and mind their place, securing the household and helping to care for the children. This is still done today, centuries after the last Great Queen fell in battle fighting the Mongols, who had allied with the Amazon’s enemies of the Musk Dynasty. No Queen has ruled in Joketsuzoku for many generations, and the reasons for this are both political and complex and thus do not concern matters at hand.



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Suffice to say that the Amazon nation grew strong and dominated the region north of Anatolia between the Caspian and Black Seas, keeping our borders strong with horse-borne archers who could shoot arrows through the eyes of a bird at over a hundred paces. No enemy could resist us, no force on land could oppose our armies. The Amazons perfected many of their greatest techniques in those days as we worshipped the Mother Goddess in her many aspects and came to believe that our way was the best of any civilized peoples on the Earth.



But then came the Greeks, those arrogant, preening descendants of the barbarians who had first ravaged the amazon’s homeland. They disputed the borders of Amazon territories, threatened out trade routes to the Hittite realms with their piracy and then began sending their so-called Heroes to trouble them over successive generations. The first was Bellerophon, the mortal who mastered the great winged horse, Pegasus, and who allied with the Bird People to harry them from the land now known as Thebes in imitation of a great Egyptian city by the same name. Following him was the god Dionyseus, who it was said wanted Amazon held lands to grow his sacred vineyards--as much for the wine as for a place to have his followers, the Maenads (who were themselves renegade Amazons) roam freely within. So it was that the Amazons were forced once again to yield land that they had held for generations. This was far from the last indignity, of course, for when a Theban prince named Herakles appeared on the scene it became clear that the Greeks were a threat that they would have to deal with through other means than force of arms.



So it was that the Lore Master of this time advised Queen Hippolyta not to war with the boatload of strangers who appeared upon their shores one day as Herakles was fulfilling his Ninth Labor of atonement and would not be balked in his destiny. Hippolyta recognized Herakles for an honored kinsman and welcomed him into the holy city of

Themiscrya. She intended to give him the sacred Girdle of Ghea that he had come for, but her real interest in the man-god hardly needs anyone's tongue for elaboration.



A union between them, however, was not to be as the jealous goddess known as Hera stirred up trouble between the Greeks and the Amazons. The Athenian Prince Theseus convinced one of Hippolyta's sisters to elope with him, which added further fuel to the fire, the upshot being that many Amazons overruled Hippolyta and declared war upon the Athenians. That war ended very badly as the few who left for war returned in defeat with the news that Princess Antiope had been killed fighting on the Greek side and that her son was now the heir to the throne of Athens.



The final straw came with the fall of the Hittite city of Troy, which opened the way for the Greek raiders to ravage the coastline and disrupt trade entirely throughout the Anatolian region. The Hittite Empire began a slow and steady collapse, weakening their borders even further to new threats from all sides. It was plain that the Amazons could no longer hold onto their Empire, and at a great enclave it was decided that they should seek a new home for refuge.



The problem was that different camps had their own notions of where to go, and no one side had the unanimous backing of the full council. It was decided that the nation would be divided with different groups following their own leader. Hippolyta led her followers into the mists of time and vanished from the pages of history. Those who traveled east became the Nyanichiczu and founded a smaller empire, of which Joketsuzoku is one of the last remaining outposts. They have preserved the history of their culture for the past three thousand years, and in no small part the Lore Masters have been the cause of their culture's continuing survival.


Magic Items

In addition to having acquired many martial arts secrets, the Joketsuzoku are quite familiar with magic and a number of items that have enchanted natures are revealed as either in their possession or as having belonged to them.


Love Pill Bracelet: This beautiful bracelet has three pearl-like gems on it, each of which
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is a different hue of blue in the anime. The darker the hue, the more potent its magic: each gem can be plucked from the bracelet and then fed to somebody to cause them to fall in love with the first person of the opposite sex that they saw, for either a moment, a day, or an entire lifetime. Happosai stole this item after visiting the Joketsuzoku in his youth, though he tried to claim that it had been given to him by a girl he wooed there. Two of its pills were wasted when it appeared; the Instant pill was swallowed by Ranma (who fell for Cologne), the Lifetime by an octopus after Akane accidentally swallowed it and then regurgitated it (the octopus fell for Happosai, Akane avoided its magic entirely), and Shampoo tried to persuade Ranma to take the Day pill for her.


Nanban Mirror: Only present in the anime, this magical mirror can take any person nearby to any point in time or space they want by having a human tear shed on it. Happosai also stole this item from the Joketsuzoku in his youth; it is, in fact, a family heirloom of Cologne's. In the episode in which it debuted, Nabiki stepped on it by accident and broke it. Though Ranma, Genma and Happosai would make use of the broken mirror in a later episode, the episode turns out to all be a dream.


Woman Repelling Incense/Girl Away: In the anime, this mystical incense, which produces a stink that only girls can detect and which drives them away, was given to Ranma by Shampoo as a way to protect himself. In the manga, Ranma bought it himself at a Chinese drugstore. It was used as part of a plan to weaken and punish Happosai.


Reversal Jewel: When this ornate broach is placed on a person right side up, it forms the image of a smiley face with a curved ornament on its forehead. In this position, it strengthens the bearer's feelings of love, presumably by transmuting whatever feelings of dislike they may normally have for a person. Upside down, it forms the image of an angrily grimacing face with teeth bared; in this position, it converts love to hatred. Shampoo accidentally put this ornament on herself wrong side up and absolutely detested Ranma; Mousse describes her as hating Ranma "120 times more" than she normally hates Mousse in this state. Towards the end of the story, Akane Tendo had it placed on her right side up, which caused her to declare she loved Ranma and truly wanted to be with him.


Poison Cleaving Sword: This enchanted sword appears as a dao with a flower on the tip of its blade, with a small mouth in the center of its flower. It can speak and calls out to warn of the presence of poison; it may be used to absorb a poison attack utterly once, then it wilts and "dies". Whether this is permanent or it will eventually restore itself is unknown.


Poison Crushing Shield: This magical shield wards off poisoned attacks, but can be destroyed by applying medicine to it.

Tension suit: A particularly nasty training device its not really a suit, but more like a harness that's strapped across the
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chest and wrapped around the back. A number of tight coils lead out from the harness to collars that are wrapped around the ankles, wrists, and the last around the neck. The coils have a great deal of tension to them, and it makes any movement sluggish, requiring at least three times the normal effort to make a move. It makes every single step a struggle



Techniques


Kachū Tenshin Amaguriken


Imperial Roasting Chestnuts in the Fire Fist


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This is not actually a special attack, but as a general speed exercise/enhancement. The name comes from the method of learning the technique, which eventually trains the user's hand speed such that one can snatch chestnuts from a fire without burning themselves. After the rigorous training the student will have developed an amazing speed, allowing him/her to throw a thousand punches in the time it usually takes to throw one. When a move is made by a master of this art, it seems like nothing more than a blur and the offense and defensive moves are nearly indistinguishable.



Bakusai Tenketsu


Explosive-Breaking Point-Hole


Like the Kachuu Tenshin Amaguriken, this technique is both a 'special attack' and a training exercise. The technique allows one to shatter rock, and other assorted inanimate objects with a single touch. The Bakusai Tenketsu is designed expressly to destroy rock. However, with modification, it can be used against virtually any material, though its effectiveness is directly related to how easily fractured the material is; that is, glass is much easier to break than diamond, which is easier to break than most metals. Additionally, the Bakusai Tenketsu works poorly on creatures with flowing ki, and creatures resistant to the same. Finally, it does not penetrate resistant materials, such as flesh, well. For this reason, it is nearly impossible to utilize on humans, even though bone has a relatively low fracture resistance.




The training for this technique is both relatively simple and extremely grueling. It won't be surprising that a non ki-adept would view this training exercise as completely insane. The training itself consists of tying the trainee and a largish boulder, with a diameter about the height of the trainee, to an overhanging branch of a tree and repeatedly slamming them both together until the trainee is able to perceive the 'breaking point.' The secondary benefit of this training exercise is the increased toughness it grants, to the point of becoming nearly invulnerable to regular kicks and punches. In the advanced stages of bakusai tenketsu the protection field it creates includes clothing. Skilled users are also able to use it on granular matter, like sand or the ground.




Hissatsu Shiatsuken


Certain Kill Pressure Point Massage


A massage technique that involves washing the victim’s head with a specially formulated herbal shampoo
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(#411) while pressing certain pressure points on the skull. This acupressure massage will suppress targeted memories of the victim's, and will further affect their mind by causing them to be unbothered by the fact that their memories have been manipulated if they somehow become aware of this tampering.


These memories can be recovered with a similar counter technique (and a different formulated shampoo, #911), or by considerable mental stress, brought on by being repeatedly reminded of any highly emotional suppressed memories. This technique requires the user to wash the target’s hair uninterrupted for about a minute, so it’s not easily done to anyone who is conscious and resisting.




Hohoemi Sannen Goroshi


Three Year Smile of Death


A technique that takes three years to complete and keeps the target in a state of constant pain and fear. The technique is normally used by married Chinese Amazons as a way of retaliating against their partner. The attacker constantly and subtly causes painful "accidents," which eventually turn the victim into a nervous wreck.




The Kalinar

It's a very ancient ritual dating back to antiquity, seldom used by Amazons below the rank of full master. It's a contest of wills, calling forth the Chi of the two fighters to test which one has the stronger will force. It's also seldom used because of the danger of its invocation, The danger is great for both of them, but greatest for the one whose will even slightly falters. The two warriors pit the strength of their life force up against each other, and if anyone hesitates or fails the challenge, then the resultant charge might destroy them.



Temporal fugue A combination speed time manipulation technique. Temporal displacement through non-linear projection. The ninja sends an image of themselves forward and backward in time then projects themselves into that image. This power enables them to be in more than one place at the same time for time bends to accommodate their wishes. This technique has all of the benefits of the kage bunshin with out its weakness, each body is just as durable and as the original, and since each copy is essentially the same there in no sensory overload when the jutsu is deactivated. Note that this technique requires a lot of skill and chakra to perform so the more temporal duplicates you create the less effective they are until they become no more then simple bunshins. When fully mastered the safest amount a ninja can conjure is twelve.


Temporal fugue is essentially a training technique whose main purpose is speed therefore is contains many different aspects. The second one involves controlling the speed which time flows around the ninja. Allowing them to move outside the normal time rate while opponent moves at their normal speed

Another aspect of temporal fugue is that it is able to slow the rate of time around their opponents until they are unable to move.


Hiryu Shoten Ha


Flying Dragon Ascension Wave


A 'cold ki' based wind technique. In order to use this powerful technique, a fighter must first learn the 'Soul of Ice' and ‘Body of Ice’ techniques, in order to be able to completely suppress his own hot battle aura and to produce a cold aura instead.


The first step to performing this technique is to get a rise of 'hot ki' from the opponent(s). This is usually accomplished by enraging the opponent to the point that they use a battle aura, although any kind of ‘hot emotion’ (such as lust or hatred) or normal heat energy will do.




The next step is for the fighter to lead the opponent(s) into a spiral pattern while giving off a cold aura in order to create an interweaving spiral of heated and chilled air. Upon reaching the apex of the spiral, the user pours cold ki into a corkscrew uppercut that forces the revolving currents of hot and cold energy to rise into the air, where the spiritual pressure from the clashing battle auras forms a destructive tornado of wind and ki that carries off any opponents caught within it.




The size and power of the tornado formed depends upon the temperature difference between the hot and cold wind currents, the amount of ki present in that wind and the number of revolutions in the spiral pattern that were completed before the user created the whirlwind. The tornado will also continue to feed off of any hot ki being emitted by the fighters within it, which will further increase its strength if those fighters will not (or cannot) calm themselves. Because this technique uses the opponent’s own battle aura against them, its power is directly proportional to the power of the fighters whose ki was used to form it. It is one of Amazon's most powerful techniques.






Splitting Cat Hairs


Utilizing the principles of temporal fugue the user creates separate afterimages that spin around the opponent at varying speeds while attacking the opponent. The greater the skill of the individual the more images they can create.


Soul of ice The user must learn to set aside their emotions, their anger, hate and fear, to let their ki remain as calm as the eye of a hurricane no matter what amount of anger and aggravation is thrown against them. They learn to cultivate a state of mind in which emotions such as embarrassment and anger become like drops of rain that wash off a duck's back! They ignore their own humiliation, disregard their ego and remain clear and focused on staying calm. It also helps the user sense changes in the temperature of the air as well as small air currents.


History of the kiss of death

The Amazon’s can be rather rigid in their observance of their law, but there was good reason for it at one time. It was originally possible for an outsider to challenge an Amazon to gain a position in the tribe. They wanted the best, and this was their way of selecting them, but that led to problems. Like all societies, there was a given limit to the number of warriors they could support. It takes a lot of farmers and craft men to support one person who does nothing but train for war. They are needed, but that does not change the fact that a village or a kingdom can only support so many. Some get around this by conquering other villages or nations. That works for a while. You gain slave labor, and can support more of your own people as warriors, but it is a losing proposition in the long run. You need to guard your conquest, and that takes more warriors, and then you need to take over another country, and another, until your own culture is eventually lost from the sheer number of those you share your land with. The mighty Mongols conquered all of China, and then were absorbed by that country’s population. The Amazons valued their culture highly, and had no wish to dilute it. They were satisfied with what they had, and had no wish to gain more, only to defend what they already possessed.


Originally any woman who could prove herself a warrior could join the tribe. After a while they realized they had to limit the number, or exceed their ability to support the fighters who did not contribute to the day to day needs of the village. A number was established, and that was the limit. To become a warrior, you either had to wait for an opening, or defeat a warrior and take her place. This was at first open to all. The Amazon elected to go for quality over quantity, and whoever proved themselves worthy could become an Amazon warrior. Any outsider woman could fight any warrior, and if she won, she would take that warrior’s place. This led to resentment as people saw their friends and themselves being replaced by people from out of the village. Understand, in those days the Amazons were not the fighters they are now. It was common for a woman from outside to wander in and defeat a warrior. Such is no longer common. The Amazons have grown very formidable, but that was not the case back then. Eventually, politics got into the matter. The village warriors agitated to have the laws altered. Because they formed the largest power block in the tribe, they got their way. It was decided that the outsider had to prove her worth by defeating the Amazon not simply once, but as many times as it took for the warrior to concede defeat. But the elders didn’t like being pushed around, and they added a little twist, the kiss of death. The Amazon warrior found that they had to face a girl who had already beaten them once, and who knew she would die if she lost the rematch. Not a few Amazons choose to concede defeat, rather than take the risk.

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