Most of us know the name Hanoi Shan from quips in Buckaroo Banzai, but he was a character in the novels (allegedly based on real criminal cases) of H Ashton-Wolfe, a writer in the late 1920s/early 1930s. Hanoi Shan was based on the classic Yellow Peril villain Fu Manchu of Sax Rohmer, and only turned up in a handful of stories.

Coming up in our Shanghai-based Hollow Earth Expedition campaign is an encounter with the nefarious Hanoi Shan, who is based heavily on Ashton-Wolfe’s character, but with a liberal helping of Fu Manchu on top.

HANOI SHAN (aka An Loi Shan)

Thought to be, if not the head, then one of the leaders of the Silk Mountain Triad in French Indochina and southern China, Hanoi Shan was once a highly respected man of science. Indeed, this doctor and philosopher had trained at the Sorbonne and was a native colonial superintendent for the French in his native Annam, based in Hanoi. He is rumored to have always had shady connections with the triads, but after a hunting accident that had left him in a coma for months, Shan’s personality changed. He became bitter, angry, and a fervent anti-colonialist. (There are those that think he was always so, and that his support for insurgents in northern Indochina led the French to attempt to kill him…hence the “accident.”)

He is a master of chemistry and medical science, fusing the modern Western science with ancient Chinese philosophy and alchemy — the result is terrifying. While his gang members use guns, bombs, and the usual assortment of hand weapons to do their job, the Silk Mountain is most dangerous when Shan employs his scientific knowledge and deadly female assassins to poison his victims, be it to addle their minds or kill them altogether. Recently, he has gotten more and more ambitious, linking with other anti-colonial forces from the Kuomintang to the communists in preparation to open a new and vicious war on those that hold the East captive!

Shan is a tall, elegant gentleman who looks to be in his 50s — although his followers subscribe to the legend that he is muh, much older thanks to his alchemical knowledge. He is well-educated, stunningly intelligent, and terribly polite. He is rumored to have studied in Tibet hypnotism and has the power to cloud men’s minds. He dresses in fine Chinese attire, and usually has metal “claws” on his fingers (possibly poison delivering.)

Body: 2   Dexterity: 2   Strength: 2   Charisma: 3   Intelligence: 5   Willpower: 4

Size: 0   Move: 4   Perception: 9   Initiative: 7     Defense: 4     Stun: 4     Health: 6     Style: 4

Resources & Traits: Calculated Attack, Kung Fu (uses his knowledge of accupressure to use INT as base), Contacts 2: French colonial government, anti-colonial movements; Diehard, Intelligent, Iron Will, Psychic Ability (Cloaking); Rank 4 (Silk Mountain Triad); Skill Mastery, Academics & Science; Weird Science, Chemistry

Flaws: Criminal, Callous, Obsession

Languages: Vietnamese & French (native), Cantonese, English, German, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, Tibetan

Skills: Academics 2/7, Athletics 2/4, Bureaucracy 2/7, Con 2/5, Craft, Chemistry 3/8, Diplomacy 2/5, Drive 2/4, Firearms 1/3, Gambling 1/6, Intimidation (Torture) 3/6, Investigation 1/6, Kung Fu 2/7, Linguistics 3/8, Medicine 3/8, Melee 2/4, Ride 1/3, Science 3/8, Stealth 2/4, Streetwise 2/5, Survival 1/6, Warfare 1/6