Stories tell of a brave samurai in service of Oda Nobunaga who could fight against dozen warriors at once and had the strength of ten men. He was known as Tetsuo, the Iron Samurai, because he was never seen without his armor.
It is perhaps a bit inaccurate. Although strong, “strength of ten men” is a bit of an exaggiration. And the reason why he was never seen without his armor was because he had nothing underneath it; Tetsuo was the most advanced android in the world at the time.
The true story of Tetsuo begins much earlier than his legend. When Atlantis disappeared, before Rome, before the Tojan war, before the pyramids, the Atlanteans had automaton scouts exploring the world. What they searched for is a mystery, but one of these scouts was an android designated TSU-173.
By command, it travelled far to the East and kept to the shadows. After Atlantis suddenly disappeared, TSU-173 had already reached what would later become Japan, and there is where the android stopped. Without receiving further instructions, TSU-173 felt completely lost, so it hid.
And it hid.
And it remained hidden until a group of bandits found its hiding place to use as their own. TSU-173 wished to remain hidden, and so it killed the bandits and ran away before more of them showed up. But now that it had made its way to the outside, more people discovered its existance. Stories of a demonic warrior spread and a travelling monk eventually made his way to where TSU-173 was hiding.
The monk found TSU-173 and discovered that it was no demon. Instead of fighting, the monk took the android under his wing. He saw good in TSU-173, and decided to teach it about the society. TSU-173 could then more easily hide from it, or it could join it.
The years passed, and eventually the stories of an indestructable man, hiding in a monastery, spread to one Oda Nobunaga, who wished to enlist this warrior to his army. Persuasion was needed, but TSU-173 joined Oda and other special warriors. It was there that it was given the name Tetsuo.
Tetsuo is a warrior, made of metal and a digital mind, originating from an advanced culture. Although designed for scouting missions, Tetsuo has since then evolved into a more honorable warrior, a samurai even. As an android, Tetsuo has no gender. However, in the service of Oda Nobunaga, Tetsuo often pretended to be a male human, to avoid causing fright, and identifies as a male individual after getting used to it. He is not easily offended however, even if others identify him as neither male nor female.
Tetsuo is the first look into what Atlantis has to offer. He might struggle between being loyal to his Atlantean masters or Earth, where he has grown far beyond his original design. He is also a wellspring of historic information, should anyone meet him in the current age.
First and foremost, Tetsuo is a warrior. He has fought in almost every war which has involved Japan, including World War II. As such, Tetsuo will never back out of a fight for his own safety (but will protect his allies, even if it requires him to run). But he is also honorable; he will never fight an enemy that is unaware of their adversary.
Tetsuo’s loyalty might also come into question. Being an Atlantean android would raise some eyebrows if an Atlantean supervillain comes to Earth to cause trouble. And what if said villain convinces TSU-173 that Atlantis has plans to take over Earth? How would Tetsuo’s sense of loyalty respond to that?
Thirdly, Tetsuo is an android and he needs fuel. Although he can last a long time without it, eventually he is going to run out, and he’s been operating for a very long time. Although technologically advanced, Tetsuo does not run on solar power or renewable energy (kinda faulty design). In fact, his powersource is a rare mineral that has a special property to store energy. Without this mineral, or an alteration to Tetsuo’s internal design (which requires the necessary experties in the field of Atlantean engineering), this complication might come up once in every story.
Loss of Power: Tetsuo needs to acquire the rare mineral that keeps him in operational condition. The problem is, a villain has already acquired most of it in the country and is blackmailing Tetsuo to do as they want in exchange for the fuel that keeps him operating.
Story of a Blade: Tetsuo’s katana breaks during a battle. Tetsuo needs to find a new sword, one that fulfills his demand of a perfect weapon. A sacred sword is said to be located in a mountain monastery in Japan, but it is guarded by kenku warriors; Tetsuo needs to prove his worth to them.
Myrmidons: Military androids from Atlantis come to Earth with after hearing about Tetsuo. Although only a small group, they’ve proven to be a formidable adversaries, and they plan to capture Tetsuo to retrieve the historic data that he has collected, or destroy him to avoid any data on Atlantis to fall into the wrong hands. Retrieving the data would also require Tetsuo’s mind to be wiped clean, so neither option is ideal.
This is the first character in a series on my Patreon page to help me write down the Zygma World setting and hopefully get it some decorations. It is not the first hero I’ve published here from this setting, but as the first in the Patreon series, it comes with some freebies.
The background (like the one written above) is free and will remain that way. However, my patrons can also get exclusive character sheets and Hero Lab portfolios. For this first character, both the character sheet and the portfolio are free, as an introduction to that which is to come later.