Fireball Zuo

The bounty hunter who took down Ho Sun and Black Scorpion (or so it is told) tells her own origin story..

by Chi “Fireball” Zuo

What does it matter where I came from? It matters what I can do, right? Okay, fine, you’ve been straight with me so I’ll be straight with you.

My parents were from Monsoon. That’s where I was born. But they wanted something more. I mean, who doesn’t, right? But most folks just leave it there, with the wanting and never get around to the doing. They did. They escaped. They found themselves among bandits, among some very unsavoury folk, but they persevered. They found me a teacher, an old monk that had once trained at a Wudang temple. He was probably a fraud but I was a kid. What did I know? He knew enough, turned out, for me to harness my qi.

Those bandits taught me lots. They taught me how bad people can be. They also taught me how to protect what was mine, how to fight dirty, and how low a person can get. My family lived with them quite a few years, my parents taking care of the armour and weapons, even teaching some shooting and swords.

Of course, you live with bad people, bad things are gonna happen. So they killed my parents. One drunken night, a bunch of them just came in and started taking our stuff. Maybe my parents thought that they had standing in the gang, I don’t know, but they tried to stop it. The bandits just gunned them all down right there in front of me.

I was twelve. I killed them all. Six of them in about as many heartbeats. I killed them with my fists, I killed them with their own guns, and the last I skewered on his own sword, a sword my mom had fashioned for him. All six of them dead. My parents dead as well. I packed up what I could and took off. I don’t what I was thinking, probably wasn’t thinking anything, I just went. Don’t know what happened to my teacher. Don’t much care. I had surpassed him years before this.

A few days later I took my first bounty. I had to hide my face back then – who’d hire a little girl – but the village was looking for someone to bring a bandit leader to justice and I knew him. I knew him well. So I hunted him down and brought him back – alive – to the authorities. They paid well enough and then they hanged him. Justice, y’know?

With the money from that bounty, I got my rifle cut down, turned into something like a pistol. It worked well. When I was sixteen, I had a second one made. I call them my Serpents. I had a reputation by then so I didn’t need no more disguises. Fireball Zuo, they called me ‘cause of how I used by qi. I liked it. I’ve been doing this going on fifteen years near as I can figure. I don’t have a grave to honour my parents – they did right by me, more than most I reckon. I honour them by being good at what I do. Justice is what some call it. That’ll do, I guess.

“Fireball” Zuo

When the smoke clears and the bodies lie motionless, there stands a firm and dedicated woman in a long, tan duster with a freshly lit cigar in hand. Fireball Zuo is considered one of the world’s elite bounty hunters and her name strikes fear into anyone hiding out from a warlord.

Homeland: Monsoon
Qi Power: Infuses objects with fire
Unique Features: Her pair of deadly sawed-off lever-action rifles, the Serpents, combined with her qi power to infuse each shot with explosive fireballs are known across the One Land.

Bounty Hunter d8+1/5/3
Wudang Disciple d6/3/2
Child of the Wastes d6/3/2

Always Gets Her Mark (Motivation): With a fierce determination that borders on compulsion, Fireball Zuo prides herself on always collecting on her bounties. Whenever she completes a bounty and gets paid, she also receives +1 Vitality per lead character.
Bloody Flashbacks (Hindrance): The death of her parents left a mark on Fireball Zuo’s psyche and it can easily return in the form of flashbacks. Whenever she witnesses an innocent’s death, she can only cause damage complications until the end of the third round after this hindrance is triggered.

Resource Slots: The Serpents (2x lever-action rifles cut down to the size of pistols; +1 steps or +2 damage each); Well-Connected (+1 steps); + 1 more
Vitality: 20
Bonus Challenges: Fireball Zuo has a number of bonus challenges she can use. These bonus challenges work exactly as regular challenges but can also be used for additional perks provided here. She starts each scene with 1 bonus challenge per lead character.
Damage Trigger: Whenever Fireball Zuo takes damage, she can immediately use a free detail with a d8 for any complication rolls.
Explosion: By spending 1 bonus challenge, Fireball Zuo can create an explosion with her qi power when fired from both Serpents and target a group of extras without spending Vitality or target multiple lead and supporting characters if they stand adjacent to each other. By spending 2 bonus challenges, she can instead create an explosion after an effective complication roll against one target (and make an additional complication roll using the same dice value as the first roll) that targets multiple characters or a group.
Failure Is Not An Option: Once per scene, Fireball Zuo can spend 1 Vitality to roll two dice for any complication roll specifically tied to that goal. You can choose from either of the two dice.
Rapid Reload: By spending 1 bonus challenge, Fireball Zuo can reload one of her Serpents (thereby removing any appropriate restriction complication) and fire it with an extra description in a round. This perk can be used at any point in a round, even if Fireball Zuo has already provided a description, so long as one of her Serpents is out of ammunition.

Submitted by Fraser Ronald