Created by Scott Greengold
The Crimebuster, one Oliver Edgehill, is a man who developed supernatural powers as a result of his intense study of the martial arts. The exact nature of his powers are unknown, but they are nonetheless quite effective in the fight against evil! Thus far, he's demonstrated the ability to manipulate his chi, or very life force, to either make himself resistant to injury or to wield it offensively!
Body Armor (s): a curious side effect of his intense martial arts training, Oliver has developed an incredibly sturdy body, more resistant than most to physical injury. This translates into intensity 4 (+1) resistance to physical and energy-based assaults. This is more than enough to keep him in the fight against other martial artists - unless they, too, are superhuman; that's when the fun really begins!
Chi (w): the peak of his martial arts education, this handy supernatural talent allows Oliver to focus his life force into his palms, force he can use to inflict intensity 10 energy damage in melee combat. This energy, Oliver's very will made manifest, allows him a vast edge over other martial artists, as very few have managed to master this powerful, yet artistic fighting ability.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Achira Ryushutsu (w): this sword, both pommel and blade, are constructed from an unidentified, strength 18 metal - though the pommel itself appears to be made of mere ivory. Oliver can use the blade in melee to cause lethal, +4 damage with every assault, though he can strike with the flat of the blade to inflict non-lethal damage (which he prefers if he can at all help it).
While impressive in and of itself, the blade also has another ability - it allows Oliver to focus his Chi through it, to one of two purposes. He can either use the Chi to enhance his damage to armor piercing in nature (-2 vs. an opponent's defenses), or he can fire the deep green, emerald energies as a beam to any target within far missile distance, causing intensity 10 energy damage in the process.
Now, Oliver CAN technically focus his Chi through any object, really, but this requires him to pass an average difficulty chi action; his training with Achira Ryushutsu removes this restriction when using the weapon as his focus. Furthermore, if firing his chi as an energy attack, Oliver must also pass a challenging difficulty Chi action to pull the maneuver off; it's rather difficult, but not impossible.
Stun Stars (a): another weapon in Oliver's arsenal are his many stun stars. These steel throwing implements, also made from strength 18 materials, are coated in a special poison of intensity 10 effectiveness, made from eucalyptus leaves (carried in one of his many pouches), salt, and water; when struck by one of these, an opponent must pass an average difficulty Strength (poison) action or fall unconscious.
Boxing (s): Oliver is a trained fighter, able to put down most foes whether or not he is armed. If in unarmed melee, he may divide his pre-card play action score between two attacks, the last of which will occur as a contingent action (in other words, it happens after everybody else's actions have been resolved in a given exchange).
Intimidation (w): Oliver can combine his various combat skills to fight in the flashiest, most visually appealing fashion possible. This has the effect of intimidating those who do not in fact understand what he's up to, and when he's using this skill, he can cause them to avoid melee with him if he likes - if his ersatz opponents fail a Willpower (willpower) action when he demonstrates his prowess.
Martial Arts (a): naturally, Oliver is rather skilled in the fighting arts. Of course, it's not his ability to fight bare-handed that stands out so much as his skill with the blade. Regardless, in unarmed melee, Oliver can resolve attacks at a reduced difficulty level. This allows him to be quite versatile whether he's armed or unarmed in a scrap.
Repair / Tinkering (a): a carryover from his youthful days, this skill represents Oliver's incessant curiosity about, well, everything. When he's not keeping up his fighting skills or otherwise beating something up, you'll likely find him taking things apart - from watches to plasma cannons - if only to see how they work. When altering or fixing existing devices, Oliver should do so at a reduced difficulty level.
Thrown Weapons (a): while a devil with a blade in hand, Oliver is also quite efficient in the use of thrown weapons of any variety. Whether it be knives, hatchets, or shuriken (his favorite), Oliver may use such weapons at one difficulty level lower than is usually required. Of course, he usually only uses such weapons when subduing an opponent, but still.
Skill / Swords 3 (s): though he can fight unarmed or with several other weapons, Oliver truly shines with a sword in hand. He is a world-class swordsman, able to make attacks with such a weapon at a reduced difficulty. Of course, he may also benefit from an autotrump when engaging in swordplay, as he's one of the greatest experts in this form of combat on earth!
Weapon Specialist / Achira Ryushutsu (s): while he's more than proficient in the use of several weapons, Oliver truly shines when he's got his trusty sword in hand. Whenever wielding this weapon in combat, he does so at an additional reduction in difficulty, which works incredibly well with his extant Swords skill. In other words, this weapon is particularly deadly in Oliver's hands!
It probably goes without saying, but Oliver can naturally rely upon Master Lee for aid should he need it - though honestly, the shoe would probably be on the other foot these days. Furthermore, Oliver is a member of a rather violent, unnamed gang of vigilantes, and can also consider them reliable contacts as well - they may be rough around the edges, but this group definitely takes care of its own.
Explorer, with bits of Youthful Exuberance: Oliver is generally curious about the world and his place in it, and often does things simply to learn something new - or to discover something previously unknown. Of course, he's also quite young, and takes these tendencies to extremes on occasion; he's cocky and brash, after all, and that can't help but show while he's 'on the job'.
When in combat, Oliver wears the outfit he wore the night he fought Wu. It consists of a black, reasonably close fitting outfit and a black scarf which covers from the bridge of his nose to the top of his shirt. The only addition to the ensemble (since that night) is the red sash which he now wears to denote his rank of Master. He wears this about the waist, tied off on his right side in a standard Gi knot.
Otherwise, when not in battle (or expecting to be), Oliver simply resorts to wearing a trench coat with which he keeps Achira Ryushutsu concealed. He has been using this for months now and no one seems to have noticed the blade's presence thus far - at least, until it was too late.
Personality (in the words of Scott):
Oliver is a reasonably outgoing man, having come to peace with the inner turmoil that marked his youth. He will often respond to those he does not know very politely but is capable of making the occasional joke to those he does. He now firmly believes that he is in a war against the evil Tong, and will more than likely believe any act he considers evil is Tong-based in nature until it is shown to him to be otherwise.
He has a flair for the dramatic in entrances, poses and the like. It is likely that he seems cocky and he does realize this, he just doesn't care. This is a left over from his wild youth days. Oliver understands the true value of life and will avoid killing at almost all costs. Though he uses a lethal weapon, his expertise indicates that the only time someone would die from his attack would be by his choice.
Oliver is a respectful man of 27 years and will be happy to engage in conversation with most anyone. He is a bit naive due to where he spent the last 15 or so years, and is more than likely to pump people for information as he has discovered a love of learning. He is an avid reader and has read many books on oriental weapons manufacturing - part of the job description, you know.
When in relaxed situations, Oliver can be found in meditation, using the spot-technique, practicing kata with either non-weapon or with Achira Ryushutsu or reading. He is extremely protective of his sword, which he wears strapped to his back, and will only let the most trusted of friends even hold it for themselves - and then only sparingly, since it is rather unique.
Real Name: Oliver Edgehill
Legal Status: American citizen with a small criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: member of an unnamed vigilante squad
Height: 6' 3"
Eyes: deep green
Weight: 235 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: none
Story (in the words of Scott):
As a boy Oliver Edgehill was more than just a bit spoiled and quite a bit more than a little wild. At age 6 he was brought home by the local authorities having caught him trying to sell a bike to a 13 year old. This would normally not have been a problem however the 10 year old that he had just beaten up to get the bike was still lying on the ground crying and bleeding from the lower lip.
Then there was the time when he was 10 that he decided he wanted to learn to drive! Needless to say his parents, both upper class snobs, were mortified when they learned that the police chase they'd been watching on TV - which had gone from upscale Stamford to downtown Bridgeport - ended in their sonís arrest. 16 months and over $200,000 dollars of damage, lawyers fees, and settlements later it was decided.
Oliver needed to be tamed. His father being a wealthy industrialist with many dealings overseas sent him to Japanís noted Mah Din Weh Academy.
Oliver did not much care whether he was in the States, Japan or on Mars. He felt as if the world had owed him something, something that had been taken from him long before that he always knew was missing. He could not name it, or even describe it, but he knew it was gone. He could hear it in his head just before he fell asleep, calling to him. He could feel it early in the day before he was fully awake.
There were incidents at the school, early on at least. When, at age 12, he took out the biggest bully in the Academy, a Japanese boy by name of Men Ji Ko, the staff took notice - mostly due to the fact that Oliver was 5 years the boysí junior. It was then that Oliver was brought to Headmaster Lee, the Dean of the Academy himself!
Master Lee was a kind, older man with an inner strength that belied his visually weak physical frame. Standing only 5í2 and weighing only 125 pounds Master Lee was hardly an imposing figure but to hear the boys talk about him Oliver thought that he was 10 feet tall and could breathe fire. The stories of his stare were legendary among the troublemakers. And now that stare, those icy blue eyes were boring into Oliver.
Master Lee asked the boy one question: Why? Why? Why what? Oliver thought. Why is the sky blue? Why am I here? Why did I break that kidís nose? Why donít I like sushi? He had no idea what the man meant when an answer came unbidden to him. "I know it is missing," he replied. Master Lee looked a bit perplexed but understood the answer.
Only one other had ever known at such a young age...and he had gone on to be one of the greatest martial artists known, and then one of itís greatest failures...even so many believed that he was the greatest ever, the master of Dim Mak Chen Wu. He knew? How could he know? It had taken Lee himself until he was over 40 to finally find that inner voice, his inner Chi and yet when the child spoke, Lee believed.
He would need training to find the control that Lee knew would be necessary but the boy was very young. Lee knew that the power could be controlled.
And so the training began. This was, in Oliverís life, the first time he had ever known true discipline. The regimen was impossible, he thought. Why should he have to just sit there and stare at a spot? To try and understand every aspect of it? What did that mean? What did that prove? And what was up with sleeping on 2 parallel sticks over a bonfire? What if he fell off?
Master Lee had laughed at that idea, saying something about a hot time on the town. Within the next 2 years Oliver began to grow, as is normally the case with 14 year old boys. Thanks to Master Leeís instruction his schooling was advancing at a rapid pace. His physical attributes were not far behind either. Standing 5'5" may not be huge for a 14 year old, but he could out lift most any boy in the Academy.
Add to that the concentration he was developing with the now-understood spot-technique, and the balance he learned through the drills and exercises given by Master Lee, and it was easy to see why Lee thought what he did. At age 14, the Martial Arts training began. Ken-Jutsu knew few Masters, but Lee was one of them. He hoped Oliver could achieve the level he believed possible, a level Lee himself couldn't even reach.
The boy's skin was now tougher, his body growing into a block of solid muscle and his mind able to grasp much more advanced concepts in both science and philosophy as he now studied most of the night, his need for sleep extremely low, his energy extremely high and his concentration extraordinary. For the first time in his life, Oliver had known peace.
This fact was not lost on Master Lee. The martial arts were coming easily to this one, he thought aloud and not for the first time. But can he truly learn to harness his Chi? To be one with his inner self? To truly become a Master? The next 3 years flew by for Oliver. He had grown well into his body and more importantly into his mind.
He was still just a bit cocky, Lee thought, especially when he felt he had proven something. Like the day Lee asked him if he thought his hand was stronger than brick. Oliver casually took the brick from Leeís aging palm, tossed it up in the air and proceeded to hit it 4 times on the way down, breaking it into a hundred pieces. Lee was impressed. When he looked at Oliverís hands however he was truly amazed.
There was not a speck of dust on them. His Chi had formed a barrier on his hand and acted to protect him. This, Lee knew, was the true power within the boy, the ability to channel his Chi. And that knowledge is what the boy now turned man had spoken of those years ago. The pose Oliver had struck after the destruction of the brick had reminded Lee of another martial artist he had known, the movie star Bruce Lee.
Master Lee hoped that this cockiness would not prove to be his students undoing and had on more than one occasion told him just that.
The next few years saw quite a change for Oliver. His power came into itís own, his body filled out into that of an adult and the cockiness remained. Being a master of Ken-Jutsu the sword had been Master Leeís weapon of choice and so it was with Oliver who was good with most weapons, he had the most uncanny accuracy with thrown weapons Lee had seen in quite a number of years.
However, it seemed that his Chi flowed through the blade of Oliver's katana and during more than one kata, a dance of beauty and grace Lee thought, a sparring dummy would find itself in many pieces, destroyed. Not from the force of the blows which stung it but the power of the Chi behind the sword. It was a terrible, yet beautiful thing to behold.
The night came in swiftly during the winter in northern Japan. This night brought with it a fog as dense as either Master or student could remember. It had gotten back to Master Lee a few weeks ago that word had finally gotten out about his prodigy. He knew it to be a matter of time before the Tong would try to get involved with Oliver, to try and bend him to their considerable will.
They came quietly, walking on the wind, a dozen of them. Ninja, mostly the Hand variant, and a leader. Lee was expecting them and had prepared Oliver with the knowledge that this night would eventually come. Lee knew that Oliverís training at his hand had come to an end. That unruly boy who had come to him, the wild child, had been tamed and taught.
He was now as powerful a martial artist Lee had ever known and tonight he would know his first true test. Lee had always instructed his student on the value of life. Tonight, Lee showed Oliver his final secret, the stun shuriken. Using a mixture of reasonably common materials and herbs Lee created a potion that when applied to the shuriken had a faint minty smell.
It was quite like the leaves of the plants from the front hedgerow at his old home in Connecticut, Oliver thought. The Master claimed that a hit with a shuriken dipped in this would take down a man no matter how great his size. Oliver was skeptical but he had learned long ago that when it came down to it, Master Lee was rarely, if ever, wrong.
So they waited. Lee had dressed in white robes with a red sash which denoted his rank of Master. Oliver went with a more practical black outfit, better for dark combat he thought, one that both fit his solid frame closely and allowed for maximum range of motion and a black scarf masking his face from the bridge of the nose down. Earlier in the day, Lee had given Oliver the katana he now had sheathed on his back.
Lee had said it was named Achira Ryushutsu, 'That which flows'. Oliver thought aloud and 20 of these so called 'stun stars'. Oliver was well within his concentration when he heard the first of the entrants, a group of 5 ninja had entered his quarters, the lived-in but well kept area Oliver had spent the last 14 years. The first attack came in form of a blow dart, which Oliver easily avoided.
The dart was followed in by the other 4 attackers, 2 unarmed attackers, one who had drawn a pair of sai and the other who already had drawn sword. Bad form, Oliver thought, never draw your sword until it becomes necessary. Oliver caught the first thrown sai and used it to parry the downward strike of the katana. He turned the blade of the sword sharply, disarming the now reasonably alarmed ninja.
Turning his shoulder into the attacker, he flipped the man, stunning him - and then hit him again, knocking him out. The others went down just as quick, but Oliver heard the sounds of combat from Lee's quarters. There were enough bodies on the ground that Oliver couldn't count 'em all when he arrived, but he saw more than a few stun stars protruding from many legs and arms - and they had that faint, mint-like smell.
On the back wall a man Oliver did not know and Master Lee were fighting as fast and as complicated a fight as Oliver had ever seen. There were more subtle moves, fake feints and parries than Oliverís eye could follow. The pace of the combat was amazing but after a few minutes the strength of the assailant finally won out as he punched through a block, grabbed Lee by the throat and held him up by the neck.
Oliver shouted and the man turned toward him, dropping Lee. He wasn't the brightest assassin the Tong had, but he was more effective than the others, which made him popular in the seedy underbelly of Tokyo's nightlife. It seemed to Oliver that time slowed down right there. The leader turned and Oliver saw that he was wearing a white half-robe with open chest showing a tattoo of a fist closed, holding a bolt of lightning.
Oliver had led a reasonably sheltered life since coming to the Academy but figured it was a symbol of the Tong. As the leader approached Oliver heard Lee in a hoarse gasp say 'Beware Dim Mak' and then time exploded back to normal speed. Oliver knew what that meant. This was no ordinary man who was sent to claim him, this was Chen Wu himself.
Oliver was a superb martial artist, but Chen Wu was simply untouchable. After a several minutes of give and take combat Oliver found himself in an outmaneuvered into an unenviable position, being down on his knee having ducked a kick. Wu leaped over an expected foot sweep and Oliver looked up to see Wu's fist, encased in a crackling electrical energy headed toward him.
Oliver was able to roll with the attack, which more than likely saved his life, but the sheer power of the manís Chi left him reeling. He regained his wits a few moments later and heard Wu standing over Lee with his arms crossed, laughing about seeing Lee in the afterlife. Seeing Lee like this sent waves of emotion though Oliver. The sight of this intruder about to kill his Master awoke something in him.
He did not remember drawing Achira Ryushutsu, but it stood in his hand, pulsing with his Chi. Wu looked back, hearing Oliver regaining his wits and laughed. 'You need not fear, you shall be following your Master to the afterlife shortly!' Wu said. As he turned around a switch went off in Oliverís head. All of his life had been leading to this moment and now he finally knew the truth.
He leveled his sword and with a very calm look released his Chi down the dragon head pommel of the sword, through the blade which began to glow a deep green. The force that went through Wu was unlike anything he had ever felt, for the brief time he felt anything at all. The results of the blast of pure Chi were in. The winner was Oliver. With Wu out cold, unconscious Master Lee rose to his feet - awed.
There'd been stories of such outbursts; he remembered hearing of one from Thailand, of a fighter named Ryu who could fire his chi in 'fireballs', but never had Lee seen such a sight. Wu was on the ground - the Wu who had been thought the greatest martial artist of all, now unconscious with a smoking scar which all but destroyed the tattoo on his chest, at the feet of his student who was striking a rather dramatic pose.
'Some things never change,' Lee thought. Oliver understood the callings he had heard all these years, the calling of his Chi yearning to find release had finally done so down the blade of Achira Ryushutsu. The final pathway firmly opened in his mind at last, Oliver knew that his days of training were over. And that the Tong would likely not give up so easily.
After a few minutes spent binding Wu and sending the other chattel on their way with their tails between their legs Lee turned to Oliver, who had pulled down his mask to look on his Master once more. 'From what I have seen tonight, I feel it is time to bestow upon you the rank of Master of Ken-Jutsu, and with that I believe it is time for you to return home to use your gifts to help people, as this is your true path.
'Though any weapon should prove functional, Achira Ryushutsu will help focus your Chi. Take it with you and use it wisely. It is now your duty to aid in the fight against evil. Use what I have taught you against these same Tong and any who would help their vile cause. By word and by deed you are now Akuji Osaeru... the Crimebuster!'
Thus, soon after, Oliver returned to America, only to be embroiled in one bizarre adventure after another, slowly acquiring a tight group of allies with which to fight the darkness, whether it be orchestrated by the Tong or by any other evildoers. And, as time passed, the world began to know the name Crimebuster, and its villains grew to rightly fear it...!
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