Characters: Kaolin

Real name: Unknown

Occupation: Thief, spy, saboteur, assassin

Identity: Unknown to the public

Legal Status: Wanted by several world governments for numerous crimes.

Place of Birth: Japan

Known relatives: Steven Falk IV (a.k.a. Claymore, husband)

Group Affiliation: The Factory

Powers and Abilities: Due to exposure to an unstable radioactive alien artifact, the structure of Kaolin's molecules have undergone extraordinary mutagenic transformation. Her body has been changed from flesh and blood to a form of organic clay. As such, her body is extremely malleable and can be manipulated in a variety of ways. Kaolin can mimic the various physical states and properties of clay (dust or sand, slurry/semi-liquid or fired ultra-hard ceramic) without the external catalysts needed to achieve those states. No liquid or heat are needed to effect those changes in state as would be necessary with real clay and due to the organic nature of Kaolin's clay body she can attain physical states beyond those of ordinary clay. This allows Kaolin to assume a very elastic, stretchable form (in which she can stretch her limbs and other parts of her body), or a super hard porcelain like state (in which she can still move and is remarkably resistant to damage).

Kaolin is very adept at shapeshifting and often transforms her limbs or parts thereof into bladed or bashing melee weapons (with no complex movable parts). She is also able to assume the forms of simple inanimate objects (boxes, furniture, walls etc.) and even other people.

As a former student of Xuan Chang (the deceased Dauntless Tiger Grandmaster), Kaolin is regarded as one of the deadliest martial artists on the planet. Although she was cast out a decade into her training, she still possesses vast knowledge and training in what can only be described as the most lethal fighting system the world has ever known. Her physical attributes as a being of organic clay, only add to her combat abilities, making her especially dangerous. She has easily defeated super powered opponents; often many at once, and has even held her own in solo combat against Meridian and Burning Tiger (the present Dauntless Tiger master), both who are considered to be the top hand to hand fighters in the world.

Brief Personal History: Around the end of the 19th century an elderly man was accosted by two would-be robbers in a dark alley in a Chinese city. The robbers were teen girls from a nearby home for orphaned children and unfortunately for them, their prospective victim was Xuan Chang -- the then Master of the Dauntless Tiger combat system. When the girls regained consciousness they found themselves in a small shack, miles outside of the city with the old man standing above them brandishing a sword. He told the terrified girls that he was Xuan Chang, the Master of a martial art that was older and more secret than any other and he had chosen them to be his apprentices. He had seen the rage in their hearts and rage was the fuel that would help them to master his teachings -- but they had to choose. This was choice of life or death.

They chose life.

Master Xuan told the girls that he was the last living Master of Dauntless Tiger; a secret martial art so powerful that it was capable of altering the course of history; as it had when Genghis Khan and three hundred Dauntless Tiger trained soldiers carved out the world's largest empire. Dauntless Tiger masters normally chose one or two successors and the ferocity the girls showed when they attacked him had set them on this path. The next day Xuan started the girls' training.

Master Xuan honed their bodies through extremely strenuous exercise, diet and ceaseless repetitions of Dauntless Tiger's forms. He also honed their minds through the study of art, music, history, and mathematics. Everything the girls learned had a connection to Dauntless Tiger. Every note would connect to a movement, every event to a philosophy, every equation to a series of movements; a thrust, a parry, a leap, a strike. Master Xuan also encouraged the girls to attempt to injure him at any point in time. Their failure to accomplish that feat coupled with the beatings and mocking that would follow, kept his students enraged. This pleased Master Xuan as Dauntless Tiger was a style suited to those with fury in their hearts.

The girls thrived under Xuan's training and competed for his favor. A decade into their training, one of the girls sneaked off to a nearby village to steal from a government office; thinking this would impress Xuan. Her robbery was successful but she still killed two guards to see how the act made her feel. When she returned to the shack she found the Master was awake and furious. She had used her skills to murder innocents and had brought dishonor to Dauntless Tiger -- she was no longer his student, or welcome in his house. The student's last act of defiance was to attack her master one final time. Once again she met with defeat and left the shack, swearing revenge on Master Xuan and her former classmate.

The former student wandered the country for months; stealing to survive and getting into fights in every town and village -- until the night she was approached by a mysterious albino man who claimed to have a proposition for her. The man claimed that he'd been watching her for some time and complimented her on her expertise as a thief. He offered to pay her an enormous sum of gold to steal a specific gem from a fortress belonging to the Death's Whisper cult; a demon worshipping cult of assassins. It was an offer and challenge she couldn't help but accept.

The theft of the gem was a success and resulted in the gruesome deaths of several Death's Whisper members. However during the former student's escape, the case holding the gem cracked and she was bathed in the orb's strange light. By the time she rendezvoused with her employer she was near death.

When she came to, the woman found that her skin had turned chalk white and when she attempted to move, parts of her body dissolved into a wet clay-like substance. The albino man appeared and told her that the light from the gem had transformed her body and he was working to stabilize the effects. The man told her that his name was Legacy, and the gem he'd sent her to steal was believed to be the power source for an engine that belonged to beings from the stars.

In time Legacy stabilized the woman's body with a serum he concocted but lamented that he could not come up with a more permanent solution -- she would need to ingest the serum every couple months or risk dissolving permanently. She was thus tied to Legacy and found herself an operative in his service; a full-fledged member of The Factory under her new name, Kaolin. Eventually she learned to manipulate her new form; mastering the ability to shift between states and learning how to mold and shape her body. Kaolin's new abilities and Dauntless Tiger training made her a formidable agent in Legacy's service and she relished the tasks he assigned her; thefts, sabotage and assassinations. She especially enjoyed when she was sent to assassinate an aging Master Xuan. That mission brought her into conflict with her former classmate, who had become known as Lady Mao, and had assumed the mantle of Dauntless Tiger master. Master Xuan died while his students fought, robbing Kaolin of her revenge.

During World War 2, Legacy used cells from Kaolin's body to treat and heal the damaged body of an American soldier. Legacy assigned Kaolin to be the amnesiac soldier's trainer and eventually she and Claymore would go on to take part in many missions together. Years later they fell in love and secretly married. Together they are a nearly unstoppable team within Legacy's growing army.

Recently Kaolin sought out and challenged Lady Mao's successor; the new Dauntless Tiger master -- Burning Tiger of T.A.S.K.

Written by Damion Gonzales
Character design by Sean Isaakse