Silent Walkers

This Japanese organization dates back to the early 1600s. On the surface it seems like nothing more than a group dedicated to a particularly strict martial arts form called Shizuka Ni Ugoku (“Moving In Silence”). Students are taught a rigorous code of honor that is derived from the samurai code of bushido, and dissent is not tolerated.

The truth of the matter is that the Silent Walkers use their martial training, mental discipline, and philosophical beliefs to attempt to harness the hidden power of the human mind. They believe that through the perfection of mind, body, and spirit one can be granted the great honor and responsibility of psionic powers. Furthermore, they believe that anyone who achieves this end through any means other than their own is an affront before the gods.

Silent Walkers oppose natural psionicists, those who develop phychic powers using other methods, and rogue former members of this organization they collectively refer to as “oni.” The Silent Walkers believe it is their duty to hunt down and slay all oni. In recent years, they have toned down their stance on these matters. Although they still enforce them within the borders of Japan (much to the dismay of the Japanese government), the Silent Walkers have decided that psychics in the rest of the world are none of their concern. However, if a former member of their society flees the country, the Silent Walkers will spare no expense or effort to track him or her down. Once that happens, elite psionic assassins are dispatched to ensure that the oni does not teach any of the organization’s secret techniques to unworthy outsiders.

Another difficulty has arisen in the wake of the recent influx of Shadow creatures. The word “oni” is most literally translated as “demon” or “monster,” and the goals and positions of the Silent Walkers have often been misinterpreted by some Shadowkind who think that the group wants to hunt them down for no good reason.

The Silent Walkers is a closed society. It almost never accepts members who are not Japanese, and certainly requires that all its members give up worldly goods and cares to devote themselves to the perfection of mind, body, and spirit. Members may not requisition any equipment, but the organization does provide all necessities for its members.

Nakamura Blades

Hundreds of years ago, Nakamura Tenji, a swordsmith of legendary talent, petitioned to join the Silent Walkers. In return for his admittance, he agreed to make one hundred katana that combined both his old and his new training. The results were weapons that were more than mere reflections of their owner’s souls—they were gifted with life.

Each katana was unique, with a personality all its own. They are said to have chosen names for themselves based on their abilities—names which they reveal only to their owners. Known blade names include Blood Drinker, Reverence of the New Moon, and Speaker of Truth. The blades speak telepathically with their wielders, and will often offer advice and suggestions. They do not, however, have the ability to control their wielder’s actions.

To determine the personality of a particular Nakamura blade, roll on the following chart.

d20Personality
1Bloodthirsty
2–3Violent
4–6Angry
7–10Impatient
11–14Patient
15–17Soothing
18–19Insightful
20Peace loving

Some Nakamura blades are more deadly than others, but all give immense power to the people who wield them. To determine the abilities of a particular Nakamura blade, roll once on each of the following charts.

d6Enhancement Bonus
1–3+1
4–5+2
6+3
d%Special Ability
01–05Item can Sense Motive (10 ranks)
06–10Wielder has free use of Combat Reflexes
11–15Wielder has free use of Blind-Fight
16–20Wielder has free use of Improved Initiative
21–25Wielder has free use of Dodge
26–30Wielder has free use of Mobility
31–35Detect magical aura at will
36–40Detect psionics at will
41–45Wielder gains the evasion ability
46–50Wielder can see invisible at will
51–55Cure light wounds (1d8+5) on wielder 1/day
56–60Feather fall on wielder 1/day
61–65Wielder does not need to sleep
66–70Wielder does not need to breathe
71–75Spider climb for 20 minutes on wielder 1/day
76–80Charm person (DC 11) on contact 3/day
81–85Shield on wielder 3/day
86–88Invisibility (wielder only, up to 30 minutes per use) 3/day
89–91Fly (30 minutes per use) 2/day
92–94Heal
95–97True seeing at will
98–00Passwall 3/day

Type: Weapon (magic); Caster Level: 10th; Purchase DC: 45*; Weight: 6 lb.

*Nakamura blades are both highly collectable works of art and much sought after magic weapons. The Silent Walkers have retained control of all but a dozen of them. From time to time, one appears on an auction block, but the organization usually steals it before it can be purchased. Any nonmember believed to own a Nakamura blade immediately gains the enmity of the Silent Walkers.

Screen printing