Tujiro XIV

    Character » Tujiro XIV appears in 28 issues.

    Tujiro XIV is a famous Kabuki actor and, secretly, a vampire. His abduction of Anson Spar resulted in Christine Spar becoming a part of the Grendel legacy. Hundreds of years later, he became Pope Innocent XLII, one of the most powerful people in the world.

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    Character History

    Devil's Legacy

    Tujiro XIV was known for his skill and charisma as a kabuki dancer; he ran a kabuki troupe that traveled throughout the world. His power was not known to the general public. Along with his fame he was involved with criminal dealings, particularly human trafficking as well as abductions and killing due to his own bloodthirsty nature.

    Tujiro in his kabuki costume
    Tujiro in his kabuki costume

    After a show in New York, Tujiro was introduced to Christine Spar and Anson Spar by Regina Anastasi. It seems that he took a liking to the Spars. During their meeting he pulled a lock of hair from young Anson, and licked the hand of Christine as she held it out to introduce herself. Later that night he hypnotized Anson by licking his stolen hair, then sent his lackey Yoshi Onagawa to collect the young boy. He presumably killed him, based on evidence that was soon to come.

    After Anson disappeared, Christine Spar did some research on recent child kidnappings and realized that many of the occurred at the same times and places as Tujiro's kabuki plays. Tujiro's troupe flew off to San Francisco for another play. Spar stole her "grandfather" Hunter Rose's Grendel mask and fork, then followed.

    She spied on them and found that Tujiro tended to travel with two flunkies, Yoshi Onagawa, whom she nicknamed the Shark, and Niccolo Estes. She followed them until she learned where their hotel was.

    The next night, having taken on the identity of Grendel, she broke into their suite after they left. She could smell him...a mix of flowers and dirt. She found a case filled with tubes. In each tube was one human eyeball. She found one that she believed was Anson's: so he must be dead. At that point, Tujiro and his flunkies walked in. They battled. Spar did well against his men, but then Tujiro lashed out at her so quickly that she didn't even see it. Then he tossed her out of the window. She survived and later killed the Shark in revenge.

    Tujiro, meanwhile, continued on as if she didn't exist. He caught another local boy and put him in a bag. He brought him back to his suite and opened the bag. Using his magic and hypnosis, he made the boy stand there listlessly. The boy had a patch over one of his eyes. Then Tujiro sank his teeth into the boy and drained him of blood. Chris was watching from outside the window. This is when she first realized he was a vampire. She left, unable to deal with this new reality.

    She bugged his car, and learned that not only was Tujiro a vampire and a kidnapper and murderer of young boys, he was also a slaver! His international customers were looking for someone, and Tujiro knew someone who would fit the bill perfectly: Brian Li Sung, the manager of the theater where his kabuki troupe was playing. Chris has met Brian earlier, and they had formed a connection. When she heard this plan over her listening equipment, she kept him away from where Tujiro was planning to abduct him from (without telling him why). When she was picking up Brian at the theater, Tujiro saw her, and they exchanged fierce glances. Tujiro now took her as a more serious problem.

    Tujiro stops the fork blade with his hand and moves at super speed
    Tujiro stops the fork blade with his hand and moves at super speed

    The next day, she knew they would try again, so she staked out Brian's apartment, looking for Tujiro. However, he appeared behind her without her noticing. Then she smelled him and tossed her binoculars at him. She attacked, and he stopped her blade with his hand. Then he hit her before she could react. She lit some trash on fire, and he kept away. She climbed a water tower to better control the fight, but when she looked around, she couldn't see him. He teleported behind her and punched at her, barely missing, and smashing a hole in the water tower. The water hurt him, and he teleported away.

    He next appeared in her room as she was talking on the phone, naked in bed. He warned her, cockily, that he was going to abduct Brian that night, and dared her to try to stop him. He taunted her, saying that he would keep both of her eyes, and resist eating the one. That was too much for Chris, and she tossed her fork at him, but he teleported out of the room. Spar told Brian all about Tujiro--who he was, and what he planned--that day. At first he didn't believe her, but she played him her surveillance tapes, and he finally believed.

    Tujiro without his clothes
    Tujiro without his clothes

    Chris and Brian lay in wait for Tujiro in Brian's apartment, and finally Tujiro came crashing into the room. Niccolo came in through the door. Spar was prepared. She had set some bombs under Tujiro's troupe's buses, and they blew up with a tremendous explosion. While they were still stunned, She pulled out a hose and sprayed him full-on. Tujiro reeled in pain and tore off his clothes, revealing that he was covered in hair all over his body.

    Chris and Brian dealt quickly with Niccolo. Tujiro threw a heavy TV at her, but she dodged. Then he leapt at her, and transformed into a fierce cat in mid-jump. He led her on a chase about the apartment, but eventually escaped by jumping out of the window, where they lost him. Grendel had won, for now.

    A skateboarding boy later found him alive and well, still as a cat, in an alley. This was his last appearance for centuries.

    God and the Devil

    A New Role, and New Relationships

    Hundreds of years into the future Tujiro, still in the form of a cat, would encounter a brilliant student in his final year at Berkley named Elmer. Elmer intended to care for the mangy stray in his dorm room. Sometime that year Tujiro tuned Elmer into a vampire. It is unknown whether Tujiro was a cat this entire time, which seems to be the case, or if he was always able to turn human at will. If he was stuck as a cat, it is unknown why his stay with Elmer proved to finally be what he needed to turn human again, or why he chose that time to do so.

    At some point after the rise of Vatican Ouest, some sixty or seventy years later, Tujiro XIV would become Pope Innocent XLII. He would pour massive amounts of Church money into the continued construction of the church's tower, while having Elmer locked up in the largest spire, covertly work on the Sun Gun. The true use of this device is a little unclear. He told Pellon Cross that the Sun Gun was a massive weapon that Innocent planned to use to black out the sun. With world depending on solar energy for power, people would seek the church's assistance in their very survival. The Catholic church would become the sole provider of light and warmth to everyone, with an immortal Pope as their leader. However, Elmer later told Orion Assante that the Sun-Gun would actually destroy the sun, probably so vampires could walk around unimpeded during the day.

    Innocent is in a good mood
    Innocent is in a good mood

    He was cruel and had many "sinners" of the Church tortured as a matter of course. He had a variety of assistants, including Lucas Guillaume, a well-meaning and sincere priest, Ludrico, who was as corrupt as the Pope, Mother Aimee, a vindictive nun, and two boys, Stool and Piddle, who seem to have been vampires as well. He also had a baboon, Joseph, that followed him everywhere.

    He hid his vampirism all this time. He drank blood from a chalice, saying it was a special colonic. He wore a glove on one hand, and a fake robot hand over his other hand, so his claws would not be visible.

    While believing himself untouchable, the church's corruption would bring unwanted attention in the forms of both Orion Assante and Eppy Thatcher. Assante was a wealthy aristocrat whose family was excommunicated from the church because of the actions of his father. Bringing an end to the corruption within the Church became Assante's personal crusade. He sought to eliminate funds that the church received directly from the government, and was appointed head of an investigation into the Church's doings. At around the same point, Eppy Thatcher would appear as the vigilante and demonic Grendel. By this point the church had risen the icon of Grendel from a pop-culture icon to the personification of the devil. Thatcher was a brilliant but tortured soul. His parents abused him as a child due to their strict religious beliefs. As an adult Thatcher became addicted to the ability enhancing drug Grendel, and took up the mantle of Grendel in his crusade against the church.

    While dealing with Assante on his own (at first Innocent only considered Assante a minor irritant), Innocent found Grendel as a figure and as a symbol to be dangerous to his ambitions and to the church as a whole. Innocent hired members of C.O.P. for security in the church and semi-retired C.O.P. officer Pellon Cross to hunt down the Grendel personally. As time progressed, Assante's investigation into the church's doings continued to reveal documentation to the corrupt spending, and even hints of Innocent's grand plans. Grendel on the other hand was content to disrupt the church in whatever ways he could. He launched attacks during mass, stealing the church's collection plates, attacked the God's Market Bazaar below the church, pirated the church's televised broadcast stream, and even attacked the Pope and his men personally.

    Innocent is Challenged by Man and Devil

    Orion first confronted Innocent with the power of his new committee. He had consolidated his power some time before and hadn't had anyone cause him trouble in ages, so he was very angry at this irritation at a crucial moment: he needed to continue to raise money for the Sun-Gun. He used his influence to keep the Board (the central government) from giving Orion too much power. However, it didn't work.

    Innocent takes in a lot of money
    Innocent takes in a lot of money

    Innocent kept pulling in money, but Assante kept confronting him with illegalities. When Grendel attacked one of his sermons and stole his money, Innocent was enraged and hired Pellon Cross to take care of him. He also made Mother Aimee the head of the new Inquisition, which began interrogating and torturing people at a huge rate. However, while Innocent was seemingly still in control, his allies and enemies showed him no respect: Orion and Cross both refused to show any respect for his office, and Grendel made him into a public joke. Once he was so angry he jumped out of his chair at Orion. Once Orion found evidence of the plans for a nuclear bomb in the Church's archives, he got extra power from the Board: he could now eliminate the Church's TV specials, which hurt their fundraising abilities. He also found out that the Church was buying 600 tons of bananas for unknown reasons.

    After this, Innocent had Mother Aimee summon Orion's ally on the Board, Sherri Caniff, to the Inquisition. Orion was luckily able to prove the charge was false and she didn't have to go, but it was clear now that Innocent and Cross were going to go after Orion in any way possible. Cross next told Innocent that Orion was a member of the shadowy Deva Princes. Innocent had them arrested and tortured, but Orion had fortuitously quit just before, so he was not among them.

    In the meantime, Grendel attacked Innocent directly and stole his hat, insouciantly ripping it in half in front of everyone. Cross chased him but couldn't catch him. Cross went to talk to Innocent but ran into Lucas first. He questioned him about the Church's finances and the bananas. Lucas told him about the Sun-Gun; the bananas would be used to fuel it.

    When Orion found out that the Church's financial documents were copies from a century ago, he got more power from the Board yet again. And this time, he had the Board give him, and themselves, immunity to summons from the Inquisition. Not knowing this, Innocent tried to summon Orion that day, only to be rebuffed.

    Innocent met with Cross and told him the details of the Sun-Gun. He asked for his help in getting the remaining ingredient: plutonium, which was highly forbidden after the nuclear war centuries before. Cross agreed to get it, which was very hard to do.

    Innocent and Grendel fight
    Innocent and Grendel fight

    Grendel broke directly into Innocent's chambers and attacked him personally. Surprising everyone, Innocent was able to hold his own against the dangerous tool of the Devil. Grendel managed to grab his false robot hand and flew off with it, taunting him over his later pirate broadcast. This seemingly random action had greater ramifications than Grendel knew, however. When Lucas came over to help Innocent, Innocent showed him his true vampiric hand underneath, then killed Lucas for his blood and ate his eye, remarking on how the eyes of older people were so tough. Stool and Piddle licked the blood from his hands. He was revealed in his full obscenity.

    Pellon Cross finally showed back up and gave Innocent the plutonium. Innocent attacked him, beating him down and turning him into a vampire, saying that he was one of the few who could truly appreciate it. Then he locked him up so his transformation could become complete. Cross later escaped. Innocent then traveled to South America to get his 600 tons of bananas.

    Orion, impatient with the Board, quit and gave a public press conference detailing everything he knew about the Church, then went underground, living in a base near Mt. Rushmore. Innocent used his contacts to start harassing Orion's beloved sisters, but they wouldn't let the C.O.P.s in. Mother Aimee had some ideas to further persecute them for the sin of incest. Finally the sisters agreed to go with Orion in exile, but when they did, they were chased and crashed into a trash truck, which killed them. Thus Innocent was able to strike directly at Orion's heart even if he couldn't find him.

    However, Grendel managed to continually harass the Pope. He had different pranks and acts of vandalism every day of Easter week, and the Pope was worried about whether the Sun-Gun would be finished on time. Elmer assured him that it would. Pellon Cross, meanwhile, had fully transformed into a vampire and had also turned his aides, Zebra and Kierch, into vampires as well. Together they created a small vampire army. Cross was angry with Innocent for double-crossing him, but he was also angry that Innocent had hidden and hoarded the "gift" of vampirism for so long. He believed that he and his cohorts were the first vampires in hundreds or thousands of years. This isn't quite true, since Tujiro had turned Elmer into a vampire, and probably Stool and Piddle as well. However, it is true that Tujiro was much more selective about who he turned into a vampire, while Cross wanted to spread it to everyone. He considered it a holy gift from God, and so Grendel was his natural enemy, but Innocent even more so for hiding the gift.

    Eppy Thatcher kicks Innocent XLII off the Tower
    Eppy Thatcher kicks Innocent XLII off the Tower

    The Tower came under attack from multiple forces. The vampire army clashed with the congregation, which had gone mad due to Eppy seeding the braziers of the Church with Arcana Prime. Orion's army attacked the summit, destroying the Sun-Gun. Grendel attacked Innocent himself. Eppy was decked out in new armor, made of gold and gems like the belt of St. Elvis. Grendel and Innocent fought intensely. Innocent couldn't believe that he had been hounded through the ages by the tool of the Devil. Finally Eppy kicked Innocent into the beam of the Sun-Gun just as it fell, destroyed. Innocent was disintegrated, and Eppy fell down in flames, seemingly dead.

    The other vampires survived, to create much havoc in later years. Orion became the next Grendel, and ruled the world as the Grendel Khan.

    Powers and Abilities

    Tujiro possesses a variety of vampiric powers (and weaknesses). His body is naturally covered in a soft white fur.

    He has fangs and claws, and survives by drinking blood.

    He is superhumanly strong. For example he is capable of effortlessly lifting an object weighing several hundreds pounds with one arm and throwing it across a room.

    He is superhumanly fast. He is capable of moving and fighting at speeds too fast for the human eye to follow.

    He is highly resistant to physical damage. For instance he was able to stop the point of Grendel's very sharp fork with the palm of his hand.

    He can teleport quickly and in the middle of combat. For example he could teleport out of the way of a spear that was thrown at him from 10 feet away. This power often creates the smell of sulfur.

    He can hypnotize people by licking their hair (and presumably other parts of their bodies) after plucking it.

    He can track people after he has licked a part of their body.

    His totem (the animal he can change into) is a cat.

    He is a skilled martial artist.

    He is resistant to, or immune from, aging: right before he revealed the Sun-Gun, he said he had been waiting for that moment for 800 years.

    Like other vampires, his weaknesses include water, fire, and the sun. Water causes him great pain. Fire can destroy him. He is able to walk around in the light of day, although he is more sluggish.


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