Leader of the Hmong Tsoo
|Real Name||Tang Tub Ci|
|Known Family||Possibly dead during the Vietnam War. He's able to communicate with the spirits of his ancestors, though.|
|Primary Powers||Martial Arts|
Tub Ci is the leader of the Tsoo. His full name is Tub Ci Tang.
Villains can find him in the missions:
- Help Tub Ci escape the law from Viridian (Levels 45-50) as an ally.
- Secure the Conference from Viridian (Levels 45-50) as an ally.
Tang Tub Ci (perhaps originally Tub Xi?), was born in Laos in 1960. His family was among the Hmong minority population, many of whom were caught between American forces and the North Vietnamese Army. By age 10 Tub Ci was displaced, his village destroyed in one of any endless sorties. He appeared out of the blue one day within a US camp; somehow this tiny, skinny kid, half-starved, shirtless and shoeless, had snuck across a minefield and into the base.
A number of soldiers recounted how they took a liking to him. They fed him and clothed him, calling him “Tubby” because he was so rail-thin. Perhaps Tub Ci wanted to pay the soldiers back for their kindness, or possibly he wanted to lash out at the Vietnamese invaders he saw tearing up his homeland, but Tub Ci led a group of US soldiers to a hidden Vietnamese camp near where his village had once lay. When they told him they had destroyed the base, apparently his only response was to give a shy little smile.
No matter how often he was chased off the base by various officers, Tub Ci always found his way back. He proved himself several times over by acting as a guide and scout for the soldiers who liked him best; and he learned everything he could from them, from English to gambling at cards to learning how to fight.
When the US forces withdrew in 1975, Tub Ci was 15 and had spent a third of his life studying soldiers. What all he learned in that dirty, secret war may never be known, but he had a clear destiny in mind – he had to get to America, which was where his fortune and future lay.
By the end of that year Tub Ci had managed to scam and save enough money for a plane ticket and forged documents, and he landed in Paragon City. Despite having no destination and neither friends nor family awaiting him, by the end of his first night he was prowling the streets and alleys of Little Asia in Siren's Call, and had a job. At first, Tub Ci took on any employment he could – dishwasher, cook, janitor, messenger, anything. Although “fresh off the plane,” his survival instincts and linguistic fluency served him well. Ostensibly hired as menial labor in a large Chinese restaurant, he was quick to realize the business was a front for a Triad gambling den, and the bosses recognized his potential. Soon Tub Ci was running messages, acting as a lookout, and even carrying payoffs.
Tub Ci moved from one gang to another in those years, as opportunities arose for promotion and as different groups fell to a variety of costumed heroes. Although he felt some affinity for his own people, as a displaced orphan he could also be described as “rootless,” and some profilers have suggested this helped him move freely between different gangs.
It was only a matter of time before Tub Ci was arrested and ended up in the Zigursky Penitentiary. Inside, his battlefield and gangland experience helped him prove how hardcore he was. Tub Ci’s two-year sentence for drug running was extended by another eight years after he killed an inmate in a prison-yard brawl.
During his years inside, Tub Ci came across another Hmong prisoner – the older Pha Xiong, who had also lived through the Vietnam War and had fought with the French in the 50s and 60s. Pha Xiong was serving a life-sentence for murder in the first degree. His file is incomplete, but it appears he was a deadly master of martial arts, and known to have certain mystical powers.
Tub Ci spent several years in Pha Xiong’s company. Pha Xiong was known to most inmates as the “go to” guy for the wildest prison-yard tattoos, although the art he practiced on most inmates was of a common variety, paling in comparison to what he was truly capable of. His true art tapped into ancient magical traditions, and allowed the fusion of spirit and body through the tattoos. Tub Ci studied under Pha Xiong, and over the months he grew to learn a path to power.
At some point Pha Xiong shared most if not all of his secrets with Tub Ci. The greatest of which was the key to the tattoos of power. Each tattoo is inscribed by hand, similar to the Japanese irezumi style, and uses a special ink infused with rare Chinese herbs and catalyzed by the blood of the wearer’s enemies. Preparation of the materials is believed to be a long and involved process, but somehow Pha Xiong was able to do so even under the eyes of the warden, and it is suspected that he initiated Tub Ci into this sinister practice.
When Tub Ci was released in 1995, he was even more firmly plugged into Paragon’s underworld than ever before. Now his intelligence and fighting skills had been honed to a razor sharp edge, and this was enhanced by newfound mystical arts. Other people knew of Pha Xiong, and it was clear that Tub Ci was his heir – they sought him out to learn, and to work on his behalf.
It was in the late 1990s when the Tsoo emerged on the scene as a small but unified bunch under the leadership of Tub Ci, recently released from prison. Tub Ci claimed to have found his spirituality there, and he named his group after a word that he defined as “the destroyers."
Independence Port and Talos Island were under the thumb of Hong Kong-born Triads at the time, who harshly exploited other Asian minorities in the area, but this wouldn’t last for much longer: Tub Ci claimed he could no longer see his people, the Hmong, suffer; and while there was some truth to his outrage over the hardships they faced beneath the Triads he was certainly not motivated by altruism. Tub Ci’s ambitions were grand, and his Tsoo were a fearsome lot, heavily inscribed with mystical tattoos that gave them super-powered abilities. His lieutenants, the cruel sorcerers, were his most trusted brothers, many of whom had spent time with Tub Ci in prison. And when their martial arts, gun and sword play, and magics were not enough, Tub Ci showed his sorcerers how to reinforce their ranks with ghostly warriors they claimed as their literal ancestors. They broke the backs of the ruling Triads and slipped into power.
The Rikti War forced them into the simple task of survival for a time, but when it finally ended, Tub Ci consolidated his forces in the regions of Talos Island, Independence Port, and Steel Canyon. They basically own the drug business, gambling dens, and protection racket in those areas.
Tub Ci zealously guards the secrets of his power, teaching his followers only after they have proved themselves time and time again. He is proud and self-reliant, potentially to the point of his own demise. Tub Ci knows more about the currents of Paragon City than he lets on, but he is convinced he and only he can lead his people to glory.
Tub Ci is a true artist, and his work spreads across a living canvas. His great plans are still shrouded in mystery, but expansion of the gang is key.
The leader of the Tsoo, Tub Ci developed the magic tattoos the Tsoo use to channel their power.
- Tub Ci's Tsoo profile for a list of his powers