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In 1988, a Chinese couple, Heng and Yin Li, came to San Francisco with their infant son, Jiang. Ten years later, the couple died in the crossfire of a mob shootout. Jiang was left in the care of the seventy-year-old Long Yu, who taught him discipline and martial arts. However, in 2007, Long Yu was killed by the mobs, as well. Jiang became the hero Baihu, meaning “White Tiger”, waging war on the mobs. He wielded a bladed chain whip, which doubles as a grappling hook. He was also empowered by the ghost of Long Yu, though he didn’t know it, with tiger-like senses, including excellent hearing, better sight, and unparalleled sense of smell, reflecting when Long Yu had once been blessed with the wisdom and power of a dragon.
In 2009, San Francisco was plagued by a very unusual assassin. He was gaunter than any human, and made no sound at all, except a soft rustling. It was apparent his mode of killing was with a sharp, poisoned blade. Investigating the crime scenes, he discovered a faint smell of paper and resin, but dismissed it. After several attempts, Baihu finally tracked down the killer. To his surprise, the assassin was made entirely of paper, with bamboo bones, like a marionette. Its head was in the shape of a lantern, with a soft orange glow coming from within. Baihu shot a quick blow to the “Paperman’s” head, extinguishing the glow, and killing it with ominous ease. A few months later, Paperman reappeared. Baihu tracked him down again, only to find there were two Papermen. It was apparent that their objective was to kill him. He managed to dispatch them, getting away before more appeared. The next night, he was making his rounds on the rooftops, when he was suddenly surrounded by numberless Papermen. He began to cut them down two by two with his modified chain-whip, which he had prepared the day before to spew compressed flammable gas, sending the Papermen up in flames. For what seemed like forever, he battled them, when suddenly he turned to find that only one remained. It seemed to assess him, then ran off. Baihu followed it back to its lair, where he learned that these puppets were the creations of a magician, the true “Paperman”. Baihu fought through the bewitched marionettes, finally defeating the Paperman. However, the Paperman used magic to teleport away.
Soon after, in New York City, the Mime was investigating a strangely gaunt assassin, who killed with a poisoned blade.
Back in San Francisco, Baihu was visited, for the first time, by the ghost of his mentor, Long Yu. Long spoke not a word, but showed Jiang the magic used by the Paperman, and reopened the portal, teleporting Baihu from Chinatown, San Francisco, to Chinatown, New York, the same way the Paperman had gone. In NY, Baihu encountered the Mime, and they had a small skirmish, before coming to an understanding about their goals, and Baihu informed his new companion of the nature of the assassin and its master. Together, they began to track down the Paperman, Baihu following the smell of strong, Chinese paper, and bamboo.
They eventually found the Paperman’s hideout, and confronted him. However, the Paperman’s enchantments had gone beyond his control, and, at the sight of one under the protection of spirits, namely Baihu, the paper men turned on their master, killing him with his own poison, whereupon they all collapsed, lifeless.
The Mime thanked Baihu, who then followed the magical portal back to San Francisco.
[please excuse the badly scanned sketch]
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