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Crazy Owners female ninja action figure

Decuria


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • The main illustration is a custom action figure by Crazy Owners. They no longer have a website, apparently, but their wares can be found on some specialized action figures sites.
  • My Legion setting needs more original villains. This one isn’t actually “original”, but I think she’s interesting anyway.
  • I started with the thought that, while Duo Damsel has a silly power, it wouldn’t seem so silly if she was Batman or Captain America. On the run from TWO Batmen? Thanks, DO NOT WANT.
  • Building on that idea, I eventually ended up with an evil alien mutant ninja (as one so often does).
  • “Decuria” is from the Latin (in my universe, at least, Cargg is populated by Terran colonists), and translates as “group of ten, class, division.” The masculine singular form “Decurion” is a low-ranking officer, a leader of a squad of ten soldiers.
  • It’s used poetically here, since there’s only nine of her at most. I’ll note that my Latin is appalling, so any corrections and improvements are appreciated.

Background

  • Real Name: Una Alornu
  • Other Aliases: Decuria, Hydra, Lorna Sola, Lorreina Solus, Anna Nova
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: unnamed parents
  • Group Affiliation: Triple Strike, League of Assassins
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile; originally Cargg in the 30th century, then the covert Lexorian Academy on Lexor
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Decuria is a mutant Carggite. Whereas normal Carggites triplicate – materializing two exact copies of themselves – Decuria can materialize eight exact copies, for a total of nine bodies. Each is possessed of all the strength, knowledge, and skill of the original.

Her Carggite physiology gives her about 3 times normal human strength, and she is a breathtakingly skilled martial artist, especially since training with Sadaharu (the second Black Dragon). Some of her martial skills border on superpowers. 

She often spars with herself in training, allowing her to practice unceasingly. Since each of her selves has identical skills and thought processes, they can coordinate with each other very well in combat (Fighting Array Schtick). This ability is bolstered by the empathic link between her duplicate selves, a sense which is much more pronounced in Decuria than in “normal” Carggites.

Decuria is also a skilled thief, cat burglar, and weapons master. She prefers traditional Terran martial arts weapons, but is more than willing to use a gun if need be. She doesn’t typically carry one since it won’t triplicate with her (the Carggite martial arts culture means some traditional weapons get made, but obtaining Carggite firearms is nearly impossible), but she will take away someone else’s firearm to use at need. She has been known to use a sniper rifle for an assassination.

Decuria is smart, organized, and resourceful. She makes excellent use of tactics and has a shockingly high HP total (because at least some of her selves can always be studying, training, etc.), which she uses in a balanced and intelligent way. Using stealth, speed, and flawless Team Attacks, she can mow down entire squads of Science Police in moments.


History

Una Alornu, alias Decuria, is a mutant born on the planet Cargg late in the 30th century. Cargg is a world with a triple sun whose natives all possess the power to triplicate themselves. Una’s mutation, which manifested shortly after birth, makes her power three times as strong as a normal Carggite. Instead of having three bodies, she can have up to nine.

The Carggite triplicating ability is at the heart of Carggite identity, as it is a power with some profound philosophical implications. Hence, most Carggites do not take deviations from the norm well. Una made everyone around her, including her family, very uncomfortable.

She grew up lonely, isolated, and keeping the company of her own selves. She also grew up facing rejection and sometimes aggression from her peers. She came to dislike ordinary Carggites, but also to fear their frequent abuse.

Decuria’s parents enrolled her in martial arts classes when she was 9, hoping she’d gain confidence and social skills. She showed distinct talent, but was forbidden to continue after an incident in which she badly injured several classmates. Una claimed she acted in self-defense but was charged with assault.

As a minor, she was given a suspended sentence, with conditions including a prohibition against any further martial training. She was also required to undergo mandatory counseling sessions, as it was determined that she had developed a pathological distaste for “normal” or “proper” Carggites.

Interestingly, her counselor noted at that time that she had developed a particular hatred of Legionnaire Duo Damsel. Her therapist guessed that this was born of envy for the Legionnaire’s popularity, and resentment that she was able to stay a Legionnaire even after losing one triplicate. This, in Una’s eyes, proved Luornu Durgo Taine to be “the real freak.”

For the next few months, Una seemed to be following the conditions of her sentence. She gave up martial arts, did her school work and community service, and went to counseling. She even seemed to be going out of her way to put those around her at ease, as she stopped creating more than two copies of herself at a time.

Her parents were elated, until they received word that three of her selves had been arrested for truancy and assault in another city. Una had circumvented the restrictions on her by sending six of her selves away, three each to two different cities, where they adopted cover identities and found new martial arts instructors.

For months they lived off the grid, successfully finding hidey-holes to live in and convincing adults around her (them) that she (they) were a normal girl(s) whose parents were just not around right then, but would be home any moment. This was the point at which she began referring to herself in the plural a good bit of the time.

At night her various triads would sometimes switch places, merging as they went to share memories and integrate skill levels, taking turns being “stuck” living at home. Una was 10 years old at the point when she was finally caught out, in the aftermath of a brawl at one of her new dojos. Apparently the brawl was started by Una, and involved an argument with a girl who idolized Duo Damsel.

Double Dragon

At her new trial there was talk from the authorities of incarcerating Una, while her parents pleaded for institutionalizing her instead. Una did not wait for their decision, choosing instead to escape and disappear into the Carggite underworld. The intrepid runaway soon hooked up with drug traffickers and smugglers, and little by little sank deeper into a life of crime.

She soon was recruited into a cell group of the Carggite terrorist organization Triple Strike, a group suspected by the Science Police of ties with the Dominion and the Dark Circle as well as organized crime. Triple Strike was not terribly well-funded or organized, and even given her age, Una’s skills and unique power made her stand out as a big fish in a rather tiny pond.

By the time she was 13, Una (now operating under the codename Hydra) had been shifted to one of Triple Strike’s central HQs. She was on-hand when the leadership reached out to organized crime leader Sadaharu (the second Black Dragon, a nigh-superhuman martial artist whose skills nearly rival those of Karate Kid).

Sadaharu’s League of Shadows had begun offering to hire out highly trained operatives to other criminal and subversive organizations. Those negotiations broke down as Triple Strike lacked the funding to bring the League on-board, but Sadaharu saw Una’s potential and offered her a place in his organization. She left Cargg with him and trained with the Black Dragon personally for a year.

The Dragon’s training was hard beyond anything she’d ever imagined. One of her selves even “died” in training, though the corpse faded away after a few minutes and after a few weeks she found herself again able to materialize nine bodies. Una became harder, tougher, more psychotic, and frighteningly skilled under Sadaharu’s tutelage.

After a year, he decided she’d learned as much of the Martial Arts as he cared to teach. Already she was formidable enough that with her split selves she could probably take him and his chief lieutenants down. But so long as he still knew techniques she didn’t, he counted on her greed for mastery to keep her from turning on him.

In the meantime, he only taught her very occasionally, instead sending Una
for further training in other skills by the Lexorian Academy (a secret school for super-villains hidden on New Lexor, with ties to the 30th century Luthor clan, the LSV, and the League of Shadows). 

By the time Una was 15 she’d become a skilled pilot and a formidable thief, pickpocket, and cat burglar, as well as a worlds-class martial artist. She began taking “sabbaticals” from school to accept assassination contracts via the League of Shadows, using her new nom de guerre Decuria.

Crouching Tiger

Decuria’s skills and successes were such that she didn’t even pop up on the radar of the Science Police or LSH for another 3 years. Even then, she was not spotted physically. A Science Police officer from Titan, with telepathic powers, heard the dying thoughts of her victim and mind probed Decuria.

She felt his mind touch and swiftly tracked and killed him, but not before he’d telepathically relayed a warning to his commanding officer. Decuria evaded SP searchers and made her escape, but her anonymity was lost.

In some ways she was glad; she took the opportunity to raise her profile (and her fee) by returning briefly to Cargg to settle some scores. 7 (or 21, depending on how you count) of her former acquaintances were assassinated, including her former counselor, her first martial arts instructor (who’d obeyed the court and stopped teaching her), the prosecutor and defense attorney from her first trial, and her own parents.

The first two assassinations were done quietly and privately, but she then began leaking statements to the media about her new targets and her grievances with the Carggite establishment. She ran rings around Carggite SPs, injuring many of them and killing 2 officers.

This raised her Carggite death toll to 9, a number she considers significant. As police efforts intensified and an LSH team was dispatched to Cargg, she vanished again, making herself scarce and pursuing merc and assassination jobs beyond the rim of UP space.

She’s only recently returned to the United Planets proper, in the wake of the “Legion of Three Worlds” event. News of the former Duo Damsel’s mutation during those events reached her, and the fact that the Heroine of Cargg has now surpassed Decuria’s natural power and can manifest dozens of copies of herself fills her with rage. She is currently planning her first Terran-based assassination.


Description

Athletic, Decuria has a muscular gymnast’s build. She is not of exaggerated super-heroic proportions, but lithe, agile, and strong. She usually wears a black ninja outfit with full mask (think the faceless minions of the Hand, from the Marvel Universe).

She has short hair and fairly nondescript features, perfect for her occasional undercover work as she’s forgettable.


Personality

Decuria is controlled, intelligent, and an excellent planner who rarely departs from her “script” when on a job. She does occasionally lose her temper and on those occasions may go off-book; unfortunately she improvises well and is very resourceful.

Her “hot button” issues revolve around her outcast status on Cargg. She doesn’t like other Carggites, and she despises Duplicate Girl/Duo Damsel (whom she’s never met).

At her heart, buried on some deep level she’s not aware of, Decuria remains a lonely outcast who has never fit in. On a conscious level, she’s perfectly content keeping the society of her own other selves. Sometime around age 10 she began referring to herself in the plural, and often slips up, saying “we” instead of “I”, or “our” instead of “my.”

Other people don’t seem to be really “real” to her; they are irrelevant, tools or obstacles, to be ignored, used, or destroyed as appropriate.

She feels something for Sadaharu, something almost akin to affection, but not. He was the first to really recognize her potential, but she is savvy enough to understand that he values her as a tool, not a person. It’s an attitude that she appreciates and shares.

Decuria has toyed with the idea of killing Sadaharu and taking control of his organization, but she still hopes to learn further martial skills from him. Already she’s good enough, she believes, to take him and his inner circle out.

But “one-on-one” she’s aware that he still greatly outclasses her. She’s more concerned with honing her skills than acquiring wealth or power, so she’s willing to wait until she’s learned all she can. Decuria loves the martial arts and really only feels happiness when fighting.

In the meantime she’s building her rep and planning her “revenge” on Duplicate Girl. She’s fully aware that this may well draw the League of Shadows into conflict with the Legion of Super-Heroes, something Sadaharu has studiously avoided; she doesn’t care.


Quotes

“You will die at our hand.”

“We need NO help !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Decuria

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Psychopath/Unwanted Power
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 06 Occupation: Legionnaire
Inf: 06 Aur: 08 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 025 HP: 065

Powers:
Empathy: 06, Split: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Empathy is only between her Split selves (-2 FC)
  • No AP Loss per Split (+3 FC, x2 Base Cost)
  • Split Death causes no reduction of Attributes, Powers, or Skills (+3 FC, x2 Base Cost again). Each body that dies reduces the Split Power by 1 as if that AP had Burned Out and must be Recovered normally.
  • No Original Body (+1 FC). Each of Decuria’s bodies is considered equal. Unlike a normal Carggite, if any of her bodies is killed, she can still survive as long as at least one body does.
  • Each of her Split selves may earn HPs (+0)

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 08, Charisma (Interrogation, Intimidation)*: 06, Detective (Legwork)*: 04, Martial artist (AV, OV, Techniques, Mystic Arts): 09, Martial Artist (EV, RV): 10, Medicine (First Aid): 05, Military Science (Tracking, Danger Recognition): 05, Thief (Concealment, Locks and Safes, Pickpocketing, Security Systems): 07, Thief (Escape Artist, Stealth): 08, Vehicles (Space, Air): 05, Weaponry (Melee, Thrown): 09, Weaponry (Firearms, Missile, Demolitions): 07

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Fighting Array – Decuria gets an extra CS of Bonus when fighting alongside her Split selves in hand-to-hand combat, melee combat, and, very oddly, when using the Climbing or Gymnastic Subskills of Acrobatics)

Connections:
Underworld (High), Street (High), Triple Strike (Low), Sadaharu aka the Black Dragon II (Low), Lexorian Academy (Low)

Drawbacks:
MIH (normal Carggites), Minor Rage, SIH (Duplicate Girl aka Duplicate Damsel)

Equipment:

  • Carggite Swords (x2) [BODY 12, EV 05 (06 w/STR, 11 w/Martial Artist), Sharpness (EV): 01, Split: 02. Limitation: Split can only be used when held by a Carggite using his or her own Split.] Note: the swords were made on Cargg using specialized Unstable Molecules that allow them to split when held by a Carggite using his or her Split Power. They are designed for normal Carggites, though, and so cannot duplicate as many times as Decuria can. She wears two, which allows up to six duplicates to wield one blade at a time.
  • Carggite nunchaku [BODY 04, EV 04 (06 w/STR, 11 w/Martial Artist), Split: 02, R#02, Limitation: Split can only be used when held by a Carggite using his or her own Split.] Note: these were also made on Cargg using specialized Unstable Molecules that allow them to triplicate when held by a Carggite using his or her Split Power. She carries one set, allowing up to three duplicates to wield them at one time.
  • Carggite Shuriken (x6) [BODY 05, EV 03, Sharpness (EV): 01, Split: 02, Dart Bonus, Limitation: Split can only be used when held by a Carggite using his or her own Split.] Note: the shuriken were made made on Cargg using specialized Unstable Molecules that allow them to copy themselves when held by a Carggite using his or her Split Power. Like her other weapons, they are designed for normal Carggites and cannot duplicate as many times as Decuria can. Up to three duplicates can wield six shuriken at one time. (Typically the same three who have nunchaku.) Because of the difficulty in replacing them, Decuria will recover her throwing stars when she can.
  • Decuria will often use some small gear for her missions, such as:
    • Goggles [BODY 02, Split: 02, Telescopic Vision: 04, Ultra Vision: 08, Thermal Vision: 06, Limitation: Split can only be used when worn by a Carggite using his or her own Split. Ultra Vision is night vision only.] Note: made on Cargg using specialized Unstable Molecules that allow them to triplicate when worn by a Carggite. Up to 3 Decurias may wear them, generally one of each of her “sub-teams”.
    • Small Demolition charges (x3) [BODY 04, EV 11 (Area of effects 2 APs), EMP: Grenade drawback] Note: when Decuria splits her selves into three sub-teams, each cell carries one explosive apiece.

Strange and Mysterious Secrets

Some of Decuria’s martial arts skills are borderline superhuman and tinged with mysticism. This is represented by the Mystic Arts Subskill of her Martial Arts. Using it she can “cast” the following Martial Arts Rituals –

  • Suspended Animation [Casting Time: 1 AP, Necessary component: none, Suspension: 04]. This Art allows Decuria to slow down the vital processes of her body to feign death, conserve air, etc.
  • Neigong [Casting Time: 4 APs, Necessary component: none, Systemic Antidote: 03]. Decuria can channel her qi to fight disease and poison.
  • Qinggong [Casting Time: 0 APs, Necessary component: none, Gliding: 03]. Using this wuxia-like skill, Decuria can float gently to the ground from great heights, coasting on the wind.

Groupthink

Battling Decuria is something you really should avoid. If you can’t, it means fighting 9 incredibly skilled and impossibly hard-hitting ninjas who, without a word or a gesture, Team Attack with flawless precision. Those nine faceless ninjas never get in each other’s way, merging and splitting as needed. The visual effect is almost as if her bodies are flowing in and out of each other like mist. 

If one of Decuria’s bodies wants to attack a foe, but another body is blocking her path, she is quite capable of merging with her other self and splitting again on the other side. She will emerge in whatever position and orientation is most advantageous — splitting feet first for a leg strike, for example.

The constant splitting and merging makes it incredibly difficult to keep track of the number or position of Decuria’s bodies. Each body thinks identically, reacts identically, and is empathically linked. The resulting coordination is beautiful and terrifying to behold. 

In Game terms, Decuria has the Fighting Array Schtick, giving her Splits an extra CS of bonus on melee and hand-to-hand Team Attacks. Thus, when all 9 of her selves launch a Team Attack, her opponent(s) have a -5 CS to their OV. (For perspective, this puts her AV on even footing with opponents who have an OV in the 22-24 column, giving her good odds of hitting a super-speedster or Spider-Man, even when they’re actively Dodging.)

Decuria often splits into sub-groups for a mission — usually three teams of three bodies. Each “cell” of three still has the Fighting Array Schtick, penalizing the targets of their Team Attacks with a -3 CS OV. 

Typically, if Decuria is fighting a single opponent she will swarm the target, putting her Martial Arts into EV to maximize damage. If she wins Initiative she’ll Press the Attack for another CS against her opponent’s OV, though there’s generally no need. If she loses Initiative, she’ll sometimes (not always) Lay Back, sacrificing 1 CS of Bonus (which rarely matters given her Team Attack and Fighting Array advantages). 

Whichever selves get counterattacked (if the opponent is still alive) will use Acrobatics to Dodge that phase. Decuria’s hoped for result is that several of her selves will get in some telling blows immediately, and that any counterattacks will strike only air. 

If Decuria’s opponent is obviously superhumanly tough, she’ll sacrifice a couple more CS of her OV advantages to launch Critical Blows. (I ran a mock combat between the nine of her and Timber Wolf, and found she needn’t bother with the Critical Blow there — Timber Wolf shrugged off her shuriken, but his attack on one of the sword girls was Dodged, and the other five sword girls skewered him for 30 RAPs of damage. In a single Phase. Without burning HPs.)

If Decuria’s fighting a large number of mooks she’ll generally do a Team Multi-Attack, counting on her superior skills to mow down the cannon fodder. 

Decuria has also practicing synchronized climbing and gymnastics techniques. She can scale a wall in record time, for instance. One self sprints to a wall, a Split appears already standing on her shoulders reaching for the top of the wall, with the bottom self merging into the top self’s feet as soon as the top of the wall is touched. In this way, her bodies can Team Attack any climbing challenge or tumbling routine. 


Pluribus Unum

Carggite society is (pardon the pun) split as to how Carggite triplication powers work. Is a normal Carggite one person who becomes three (the prevailing view on Cargg, but viewed with skepticism by some off-worlder scientists) or three similar but distinct persons who can merge into one? The latter view is considered deviant by polite Carggites.

It’s unclear if most Carggite Splits are naturally identical in personality, or if they are very effectively socialized to repress and deny any differences. The minority view is that each Split-self is an individual and should be encouraged to develop individual preferences.

Carggite society very effectively marginalizes this idea, however, and most Carggite Split-selves behave identically. Carggites who are too overt about allowing their Splits to function as individuals have at times been institutionalized and treated for Multiple Personality Disorder.

Whether Carggites are considered one person with multiple bodies or triplets who can merge their bodies, all Carggites have some level of connection between their Split selves. Most can feel when another body is badly injured, for example. This sense is weaker in some and more acute in others, just as some people have sharper vision than others.

As already indicated above, Decuria’s Fighting Array Schtick is aided by the empathic connection between her bodies, which is much stronger than in most Carggites. It doesn’t quite rise to the level of Telepathy, as she can’t communicate in words. But it does enhance her ability to coordinate her bodies, and can be handy in various ways.

For example, she will typically split herself into three sub-teams while on an assassination mission, sending three groups of three to infiltrate a compound from different directions. (Sometimes, one or more teams might be tasked with creating a diversion or some other secondary task.)

The empathic connection allows these teams to maintain comm silence but still be aware of each other and able to support each other. For instance, they can feel each other’s fear or surprise if they walk into a trap. Or they can feel satisfaction emanating from the group that downs a target, and thus know that the mission is accomplished and all her selves can bug out.


Ex Una Plura

Most Carggites die completely when a single Split self dies. The only known exceptions are Decuria (though she’s kept this to herself) and Luornu Durgo Taine (aka the Legionnaire variously codenamed Triplicate Girl, Duo Damsel, Duplicate Damsel, or Duplicate Girl).

Durgo Taine’s Splits are rumored to have had some individual differences, both in personality and in eye color. While she was an icon on Cargg prior to the death of her first body, the fact that her other two bodies didn’t die made Carggite society look at her askance. This was exacerbated when she lost a second body years later.

Durgo Taine argues that not suppressing her differences allowed each of her selves to be stronger and more independent, ultimately strong enough to survive without the others. During the Legion of Three Worlds affair she spontaneously mutated and can now make seemingly unlimited duplicates of herself. Despite how much more powerful she is now, most Carggites consider this as proof that she’s abnormal and deviant.

In Decuria’s case, she has twice lost a body, but her other selves seemed completely unaffected and unconcerned (whereas Durgo Taine was badly traumatized each time). Each of Decuria’s dead bodies “faded out” after a few minutes.

For a few weeks after each incident, she could only produce 8 bodies instead of 9, but eventually her ability to produce nine bodies regenerated. (In Game terms, the loss of a body causes 1 AP of Decuria’s Split to Burn Out, but that AP can be Recovered normally.)

Interestingly, the unquestionably psychopathic Decuria shows no discernible differences between her Split selves, just as mainstream Carggite society says she shouldn’t. However, she does tend to refer to herself by using plurals even when all her selves are integrated, something normal Carggites never do.

By Chris Cottingham

Source of Character: Homemade, based on LSH characters

Helper(s): the writeups for Triplicate Girl, Elektra, Remo the Destroyer, Lady Shiva, and Silent Majority; also, for editing and general encouragement, Frank Murdock, Azrael, Ethan Roe, and Pufnstuff. The illustration is a photo of an action figure made by crazyowners.com (defunct), as provided by Seb Andrivet.

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