Knights of Albion
The following information is taken from the MI13 Interpol briefing provided Mr Dupris in the summer of 2015.
History and Culture
Rumours of ‘ninja’ organisations can be traced back all the way to the 1290s, originally as peasant and minor nobility organisations intent on avoiding the yoke of the Kamakura Shogunate. Forced to fight for Independence, and having to stave off attacks from the far greater military might of the Samurai led forces; they developed a less conventional approach to warfare, as well as being far more circumspect as to their exact location.
Several centuries passed in this fashion, with various ‘hidden schools’ honing their methods and learning to coexist, and sometimes collaborate, with the Samurai shogunate and the imperial forces. This state of affairs endured well into the 16th Century, but underwent a radical change with the coming of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
Legend states the Hand was formed from Ishiyama Sword School as a response to corrupt governments, and the growing influence of foreign merchants. According to their own propaganda, the five original founders of the Hand made a pact with supernatural powers in order to protect the traditional independence and way of life of their five clans. It will surprise no one that the accumulation of wealth and power, combined with a strong drive towards ‘cultural purity’ seem to be their main objective; though with a particular delight in the destabilisation of otherwise peacefully functioning communities.
The Hand has resurfaced throughout history, and have had a significant international presence. Unlike other Yakuza organisations the Hand have since become very active in wide variety of foreign territories. Sometimes they are clearly working for others, and other times they seem to be following their own agendas. With the rise of the Axis powers in the mid 20th Century, the Hand and Hydra worked hand in glove, though it was not always clear who was the glove…
The most significant presence of the hand is in mainland Japan, Hong Kong and New York. Their recent activities in London are a concern, but in all likely hood they are probably seeking to fulfil a specific contract for whichever faction of the criminal underworld has hired them.
The Hand are experts at infiltration. They always gather information about their targets before launching any attack. Forensic investigation of known Hand attacks have shown infiltration of target organisation for periods for up to a decade before launching their final assault.
They have a knack for impersonating individuals with a very high degree of fidelity; in some cases even managing to fool their own families for months on end, at least well enough to avoid formal sanctions.
Members of the Hand are most easily identified after death, as their bodies ‘vaporise’. At this time, the exact mechanism through which this occurs is not known.
The few times Hand agents have been captured alive they have never broken under questions. Para-human assisted questioning techniques that probe the mind directly have also been unsuccessful , often resulting in the death of the person being interrogated.
The Hand take an anachronistic delight in traditional techniques. Whilst they can and will use modern firearms and explosives, they have a definite preference for traditional medieval equipment. Despite this anachronism, they should not be underestimated, and their close quarters combat skills are formidable. When on tactical missions a deeply dark-red shōzoku is usually worn. Despite its outlandish nature this outfit does not seem to hinder them in any way when it comes to completing their missions.
The Hand have access to several para-human capabilities, including but not limited to:
Some but not all Hand have the ability to circumvent even the most advanced surveillance techniques. This goes beyond normal countermeasures and is assumed to be para-human in nature.
Some Hand members have achieved objective and eliminated targets in such a way that no other possible explanation is known to exist.
Smoke bombs are a standard tool for Hand operatives. However some have been known to deploy vaporous trails that are weaponised in some way. Subsequent Murder scene investigation have found no trace of unusual chemistry, and so para-human effects are assumed.