Kirpan

Group: Young Champions

Server: Pinnacle

Rank: Tovarich

Security Level: 21

Online Name: Kirpan

Country of Origin: India

Origin of Powers: Magic

Archetype: Tanker

Powers: Invulnerability / Fire

Battle Cry: Satyam Eva Jayate!

Movement: Super Jump

Favored Attack: Fire Sword

Favored Defense: Unyielding

Hated Nemesis:

Born a Kyshatria (warrior caste) in the state of Rajisthan in northwest India in 1954, Lochan Singh Rajput was born to be a warrior. The historic lands of the Rajputs once extended to the base of the Hindu Kush mountains and the family has been known as fierce defenders of the Indus valley against the continuous waves of invaders: Aryans, Moghuls, Persions, Turks. The Rajput warriors took opium before combat to remove the sense of fear, often fighting to the last man.

Lochan followed his family dharma loyally, training in the martial traditions of the Rajputs. But the world had changed. Seven years before his birth, the British rule of the Indian subcontinent had ended and his historic homeland had been split between the new Hindu state of India and the Muslim state of Pakistan. Lochan’s branch of the Rajputs retreated to the deserts outside the red and yellow sandstone city of Bikaner where they continued to prepare for the next invasion. Growing more isolated, Lochan’s family became raiders and revelers, striking across the Indian border into the Punjab area of Pakistan against both real and perceived threats.

But there was a growing unease in Lochan’s mind. Under the traditional four-caste system laid out in the Vedas, Lochan was, along with the Brahmin clerical caste, privileged above others. Growing up, he witnessed the oppression of the lower castes—and the deaths of his clansmen. The doubts forming in his mind came to a head when he was 17.

That year, Lochan’s father died in an accident. Shaken by the loss, but steeled to accept death as part of the warrior’s life, Lochan prepared the pyre and celebrated the funeral with drinking and dancing. When he lit the pyre, he felt the turmoil of emotions wrestling with his discipline. He kept his face stony in the flickering funeral light. He was only marginally aware that his mother had made her way through the ring of clansman to stand before the eight-foot tall flames. The inferno drew a wind down through the valley and his mother’s robes snapped and flapped. She stood tall; then, with a silent step, she leaped upon the pyre.

Lochan screamed.

The scent of newly burned flesh assaulted his nostrils. He felt his feet turning against the sand as the against strong hands holding him back from the fire. Tears blinded him.

It was the sati. Though a practice given up by most other modern Indians, Lochan’s Rajputs had preserved it—a deeply held expression of their warrior nature.

Lochan awoke with new vision the next morning. Moving through his village, he found he was fully aware of the oppression of the castes, of women, and the barbarism of his family. Giving up his station and family, Lochan traveled north and west, across the border. For months he wandered as an ascetic, a monk, seeking answers in the sand, in the harsh mountains of the Hindu Kush. He sought out teachers wherever he went; studied devanagari so he could read the ancient Vedas; read the Bible, the Qu’ran, the Buddhist texts; meditated for days on end. Whatever he studied, however, he came back again and again to his warrior nature. His study of the ancient mystic Vedas led him to new powers expressing his kyshatria nature. Roaming in the heat of the burning desert days and the icy peaks of the Hindu Kush, Lochan’s body became hard and unyielding. Studying the sutras of the Vedas brought him mystic power over fire, expressing itself in a blazing sword that sprung from his hand.

Eventually, Lochan found peace in becoming a Sikh. His new religion honored many of his Hindu beliefs, but did not recognize caste. Undergoing the Sikh baptism, he donned the steel bracelet, the half-pants, and the
ceremonial dagger known as the kirpan. By the late 1970s, Lochan found himself in the struggle for an independent Sikh state separate from Pakistan or India. His powers came into demand and Lochan reluctantly became a warrior once more, fighting against the class oppressors of India and against the religious zealots of Pakistan.

By 1984, Lochan had become weary of the fighting. He had seen too much suffering, too much violence and oppression. He found his sympathies drifting to plight of the “untouchables” of south Asia, the classless citizens without caste. In June of that year, militants fighting for the creation of Khalistan (and independent Sikh State), holed up in the Golden Temple, the most holy temple of the Sikhs. Under operation Bluestar, the Indian military assaulted the Temple. In the resulting shootout, thousands of Sikh militants were killed and nearly a hundred soldiers.

After Indira Ghandi’s Sikh bodyguards assassinated her in retaliation, Lochan fled the country, moving to Canada where a community of Sikhs had grown to over 100,000. Bitter about the Khalistan movement, Lochan retired and resolved to give up violence and conflict. For the next twenty years he became a recluse once again, delving into mysticism, teaching others, and constantly seeking inner peace and self-knowledge.

Then the Rikti War. For a time, Lochan welcomed the destruction, hoping that he would finally be free from the physical world and could join the True Name in eternal peace. However, through all of the ensuing destruction, Lochan did not die. Again and again he found himself in situations where there were innocents to protect. After the war, he found that all of his
old causes had been amplified. The oppressed of the world were poorer and with even fewer rights. Though humanity had come together to repel the Rikti invaders, new organizations had arisen—Crey Industries, The Council, and The Circle of Thorns—that sought to oppress others through the hoarding of money, knowledge, or power. And there were gangs that
upset order, preying on the innocent and weak.

Coming out of his seclusion, Lochan took up the name “Kirpan”—the sword of justice, the symbol of his faith—and his been fighting against injustice in the new world order. Moving to Paragon City he has struggled with the role of violence in his life, agonizing over what he sees as the dilleman between
paficism and righteous action.