(To be continued...)
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Revision as of 18:06, 4 December 2017
|“||It's not feng shui. It's not old men eating fortune cookies and shitting diarrhea wisdom. It's not white folk miming spiritual depth in the New Age book isle. It's ripping your face off, leaping through a plate glass window because it turns the opposition's gills green! It's knowing exactly how many teeth, fingers, and toes you have to lose to get exactly what you want, and then anteing up! It's elemental audacity!||„|
|~ Kiyota, on Chaos|
Daimon Kiyota is the leader of the Korinto-Kai Yakuza syndicate and a major ally to the Dragon in the Funcom MMORPG The Secret World. Managing his criminal empire from his office above Zero's Wild Pachinko Parlor, he presides over all supernatural crime in Tokyo - even in the aftermath of the Filth Infestation. Though initially appearing comical and benign, later events prove him to be far more dangerous than his eccentricities suggest.
The Roaring Nights
The Yakuza kumicho's past is shrouded in mystery, but according to public sources, Daimon is the great-grandson of the founder of the Korinto-Kai, Ryuu Kiyota. However, the Bees find no mention of Ryuu ever fathering an heir, nor can they find any record of his death - or even any proof that he died at all. Though a grave exists with his name, the grave itself is empty, and the photograph attached shows that Ryuu is almost identical to Daimon - apart from his moustache and kiss-curl. Even more suspiciously, Daimon himself lets slip how he remembers the time when the Korinto-Kai was first established - before realizing his mistake and hastily playing dumb.
To date, it is not certain if Daimon is an immortal, a clone, or just a prankster. What is certain is that Ryuu formed the Korinto-Kai in the 1920s, drawing upon the ancient tradition of Bakuto: known throughout the eighteenth century as a society of outcast gamblers, the Bakuto had used their funds to expand into loansharking and eventually form the modern Yakuza; by the 20th century, however, the group and all its traditions had been almost completely assimilated by the more diverse variants of the group, and few identified themselves with the long-outdated label. It was believed the Korinto-Kai would eventually go the same way as its dwindling contemporaries - up until the founder decided to pay a visit to New York's criminal underworld around this time. The experience changed his life forever.
Once again, the specifics of his time in New York are unknown, but Ryuu returned to Tokyo with new tricks and new ideas for the syndicate. He'd also developed a liking for the American slang used in this period, and insisted on using it whenever possible - a habit that he shares with his "great-grandson" Daimon. Under his guidance, the Korinto-Kai moved into Tokyo and immediately infiltrated the local gambling rackets; they were the first Yakuza group to exploit the rising popularity of Pachinko , and they used the immense stream of funding the new craze generated in order to expand their businesses into the Secret World.
By the 21st century, the Korinto-Kai are in complete control of all magical crime in Tokyo, managing supernatural protection rackets, occult arms smuggling, and - of course - gambling. They are recognized as anomalies among the Yakuza clans of Japan, having no wooden plaque on their office door, no hallowed symbols, and virtually no respect for honor or tradition among their counterparts. Indeed, Daimon Kiyota himself takes great delight in mocking the very concept of rules and respect, instead cleaving to what he refers to as "the sacred obscenities," remaining as deranged and deliberately foolish as possible. Despite this attitude, Daimon has not only survived, but flourished: observers from rival crime groups, fellow secret societies and even the Orochi Group find themselves at a loss to explain the crime lord's inexplicable luck - and are even more baffled when his explanations point them to the Pachinko machine he keeps in his office.
By the events of the Tokyo Incident, Daimon's obsession with chaos and prediction has inspired the Dragon to seek out alliance with the mysterious Yakuza boss; for his part, Daimon loves the Dragon - though he believes that even they need a shake-up...
No More Dusty Paradigms
In the months leading up to the events of the game, the cult of the Morninglight arranged for a suicide bombing to be carried out on Orochi Tower, and were somehow able to acquire a Third Age device capable of unleashing a cataclysmic amount of Filth; though they hired the Phoenician Brotherhood to smuggle the bomb into Tokyo, the device would have never made it into the city without the blessing of its premier crime syndicate, as the Black Signal later points out. By all accounts, the Korinto-Kai's monopoly on occult shipments would have allowed them to easily detect the threat and intercept the device before it could be delivered to the Morninglight headquarters, and yet they simply ignored it.
As Daimon himself later reveals, the Pachinko machine alerted him to the threat that the bomb posed - and the opportunity it presented. Kiyota had plans to take over Tokyo, to "strut up the coils of the Dragon" and take his crew "to the next level," and decided that the bomb was the ideal means of seizing power - and of dispersing the stagnancy that he believed had infested the city. So, he allowed the bomb into the city; however, he also took steps to ensure that there'd eventually be a means of repairing the damage it caused, and made sure that the Gaia Engine the Prometheus Initiative acquired in Antarctica had reached Orochi Tower before the Morninglight made their move.
On the day of the bombing, Daimon celebrated the end of the city's "arthritis," carefully fortifying his Pachinko Parlor in preparation for the aftermath of the disaster. As the Filth infested Kaidan district and the Oni emerged from Hell to exploit the crisis, countless citizens were forced to flee their homes in search of safe haven, finding shelter at the Jingu Clan's diner, the House In Exile's bathhouse, and - of course - the Pachinko Parlour. In keeping with the Yakuza's image as a charitable organization - one of the few tenets Daimon abides by - the Yakuza provided for the refugees they sheltered, providing them with food, bedding, and security. Daimon even provided them entertainment, encouraging his guests to gamble away their troubles on the Pachinko machines.
As the other local factions struggled to maintain their defenses and continue their newly-declared crusades against the invaders, the Korinto-Kai simply kept their guards in position while Daimon went about forecasting the next stage in his plan, seemingly unfazed by the carnage going on outside.
Do You Subscribe To Chaos?
In Issue #9, the players arrive in Tokyo to investigate the crisis, immediately finding themselves in a city on the verge of total collapse. Following directions from Masao Tanaka's emergency address, they eventually make their way from Susanoo's Diner to Jingoku No Yu Bathhouse, where Inbeda of the House In Exile is able to inform them of a possible lead among the Korinto-Kai; apparently, Inbeda has an informant among the Yakuza (later revealed to be Daimon's right-hand man Yamato) who has revealed them that his boss "is on to something big." So, in the mission "The Pachinko Model" players follow the trail of clues to the still-active amusement arcade - where they meet Daimon for the first time.
In this first cutscene, the crime lord casually reveals to all present that he already knows that Yamato has been selling secrets to the House In Exile. Once the treacherous lieutenant is successfully disarmed, Daimon challenges him to a game of Fugu Roulette: the two of them are to eat from a plate of cooked pufferfish, some of which have been properly prepared by a master chef and are safe to eat; the rest are still fatally poisonous. If Yamato loses, Daimon gets his phone and his list of contacts; if Daimon loses, Yamato gets to take over the Korinto-Kai. To sweeten the deal, Daimon even offers to come back from the dead and take him out for ice cream. However, even after watching his boss taking a three-portion headstart, Yamato can't bring himself to participate, and backs down - though not before being warned that the next betrayal will result in his family being invited for a feast.
With this over and done with, Daimon then discusses the nature of chaos with the players, suggesting that they "flirt with chaos" by allowing his Pachinko machine to decide their next course of action. To their surprise, doing so turns up the phone number of the Fear Nothing Foundation, a group later revealed as a Morninglight front; investigating deeper proves their involvement in the Tokyo bombing, and that all but two of them committed mass suicide on the day of the disaster.
Confused, the players return to the Pachinko Parlor, where they find Yamato - now missing two fingers - re-pledging his loyalties to his kumicho in a humiliating display of abasement. After shooing the terrified lieutenant away, Daimon belatedly realizes he's been conducting his conversation with the players in the wrong order, having found linear time too boring to bother with: formally welcoming them to Tokyo, he explains the situation in as much detail as possible, though he advises them not to worry about the corpse slumped against the wall next to them.
With the mission concluded, Dragon players receive after-mission reports from Bong Cha in which she discusses Daimon Kiyota's mysterious past and equally mysterious nature: his place in the Dragon's predictive models don't make sense, his records are a mess, and his angles are "all wrong," even claiming that the Dragon should never have made their alliance with him. To all appearances, the Voice of the Dragon finds the crime lord deeply unsettling, but cannot explain why. Soon after, Daimon himself later texts Dragon players in the aftermath of the mission "Spiral," having hacked Bong Cha's phone just so he can pretend to be her; after quoting a few lines from Through The Looking Glass, he reveals himself and says he "wanted to try this on for size first," before ending the text without bothering to explain himself.
In the side-missions "The Korinto-Kai" and "Bank Heist," players continue working with Daimon, during which he continues to explain his bizarre and chaotic philosophy, and promises rich rewards in return for playing along. In the former of the two missions, players merely provide aid for the Yakuza's interests around Kaidan; however, in the latter, players actually break into the Faust Capital bank at Daimon's behest, and - after cartwheeling through laser beams and moonwalking across pressure pads - secure a single safety deposit box for him. To date, nobody has been able to figure out what was in the box, though Daimon did seem to enjoy recording the footage from the security cameras and uploading it to Youtube.
We're Going To Do Things Differently
During the events of "A Nightmare In The Dream Palace," the Black Signal is able to mislead the players into believing that Lilith was to blame for the Tokyo bombing, and opens the subway entrance to Orochi Tower for a chance to assassinate her; for good measure, he even signals the player with a message written on the side of the building in illuminated windows - a message visible to most of Kaidan. Soon after, the Jingu Clan, the House In Exile and the Korinto-Kai launch a massive attack on the Tower, invading the rail tunnels and overwhelming the automated defenses.
However, the three factions eventually converge in the Tower lobby, prompting a tense standoff between Gozen of the Jingu Clan and Inbeda of the House In Exile; with the former convinced that the Oni mercenaries cannot be trusted and the latter nursing a century-long grudge against the samurai clan, the assault on Orochi Tower is on the verge of collapsing into infighting - until Daimon Kiyota arrives on the scene. Playing the voice of reason for a change, Daimon is able to convince the two faction heads to declare a temporary truce and join forces against "The Evil Eight-Headed Farmer," before providing a mission briefing: while the united factions stand guard in the lobby, the players clear the way through the Tower's alpha, beta and omega levels.
For the rest of the issue, Daimon presumably remains in the lobby, keeping the peace between the factions from dissolving; he is not seen again until "Confrontations and Revelations," where he is able to disrupt the temporary impasse between the players and the Mitsubachi by leading Gozen, Inbeda and Akashi on a charge on the Orochi Group's elite defenders, allowing the players an opportunity to slip past and confront Lilith.
In the disastrous aftermath of Lilith's capture by the Nephilim, it's revealed that Daimon is likely the only player ally to emerge from the debacle victorious: not only has he managed to force two of Kaidan's most determined rivals into a reluctant truce, but he's used the disaster to seize assets that previously belonged to the Jingu, the House-In-Exile, the Orochi Group, and many others. And, as he later confesses, he even has a Gaia Engine readied in the Manufactory below the tower, fully prepared to cleanse the Filth from Kaidan. Players returning to their faction HQ find the Big Three in an uproar: the Templar Old Guard and the Illuminati Talking Heads are enraged that the handlers were unable to predict Daimon's rise to power or the victory that the Dragon won by allying with him, leaving Richard Sonnac and Kirsten Geary to bear the brunt of their wrath.
However, the true extent of Daimon's triumph only becomes clear to Dragon players: upon returning to Seoul, players discover that Bong Cha has been fired from her job and memory-wiped for good measure, allowing Daimon to succeed her as the Voice of the Dragon. Having strutted up the coils of the Dragon just as he'd hoped, the crime lord gleefully proclaims that his favorite faction is going to be doing things differently from now on: having decided that their tradition of predicting the future through chaos mathematics can no longer suffice in the face of the Filth and the Dreamers, they are now adopting Daimon's belief in elementary audacity on a massive scale.
From here on, Daimon replaces Bong Cha as the faction contact for Dragon players.
Though at first he appears comparatively mundane compared to the eerily graceful Gozen and the monstrous Oni Inbeda, Daimon Kiyota quickly distinguishes himself despite his otherwise human appearance. Tall, thin and dark-haired, Daimon demonstrates his status as a Yakuza kingpin by dressing in expensive pinstriped suits and sharp lapels. Also befitting his status as a leader of a Chivalrous Organization with roots in Bakuto, he is tattooed quite extensively beneath his suit: though he never is never seen shirtless, some of the tattoos can be seen on his exposed neck and wrists.
Daimon's most distinctive feature is his smile: described as "a Cheshire Cat," he is almost never seen without a smirk, a smile or a grin on his face, usually accompanied by maniacal laughter. As the Bees themselves put it, "In his office at Zeroes Wild, Daimon grins, and the room cannot contain his grin."
Mischievous, excitable, prone to twenties-era slang and outrageously deceptive, it's hard to tell where Daimon Kiyota's faked mannerisms begin and where his real behavior begins. Over the course of a single meeting, he can swing between joking and threatening, explaining in all seriousness and telling tall tales, getting ready to rip Yamato's face off and moonwalking across the carpet; this unusual behavior may be intended to shock his audience and keep them off-balance, or it may be part of his deeply-held belief in elemental audacity - or perhaps both.
All in all, Daimon's one consistent trait is his fanatical worship of Chaos: throughout his lectures to the player, he insists on the necessity of abandoning all structure and dignity in favor of playing the fool, claiming that embracing madness and chaos is the only way to survive the Dark Days. He even points to incidents in which drunk drivers have survived car crashes that ended up killing sober motorists, claiming that they don't have any "brittle dignity left to turn to jagged glass in their blood." With this in mind, he has made himself as loose, adaptable and eccentric as possible. He is also vocally contemptuous of "cancelled stamps" "Mrs Grundies" and "bluenoses" like the Templars and the Jingu Clan, dismissing them as rigid and dull, their reliance on tradition making them both boring and impotent in his eyes. He even believes that tradition and respect "will get this planet dead" hence his devotion to tainting his honor with irreverence and cleaving to the Sacred Obscenities.
It is interesting to note that his bizarre habits often have a practical element to them: his demonstrations of cartwheels and moonwalks are actually previews of the actions that players must perform in the Bank Heist, while his insistence on predicting the future via a Pachinko Machine has proved to result in genuine prophecies; even his non-sequitur instructions to steal superglue and cigarette lighters from abandoned kiosks prove instrumental in getting fingerprints for the Faust palmprint scanner. Even Bong Cha - well-versed in the Dragon's habit of influencing events through minuscule variables - finds herself taken aback at Kiyota's proficiency of directing the future.
Perhaps as a result of his belief in the necessity of chaos, Daimon shows little empathy for those caught in his schemes: he has no regard for Bong Cha's plight after she is forced out of her job and mind-wiped - indeed, his text-message suggests that he knew it would happen, and gladly impersonated her for the sake of "trying her on for size." Likewise, he shows only the barest modicum of remorse for his part in the Tokyo bombing:
|“||I'm not asking for forgiveness - that's boring. You wanna party, sometimes you gotta blow out a whole lotta candles.||„|
|~ Daimon's justifications|
Powers and Abilities
On the face of things, Daimon Kiyota appears completely normal, especially compared with the mysterious samurai mistress of the Jingu Clan and the colossal Oni leader of the House In Exile. However, the Bees quickly begin disabusing players of this notion in the lore entries: the tattoos that Daimon and his underlings wear are infused with magic, presumably allowing them greater skill in battle; Daimon himself leads the charge on the Mitsubachi and even Gozen and Inbeda have difficulty keeping up with them. Furthermore, even if Daimon is not really Ryuu Kiyot or his immortality only applies to his lifespan, he has a near-supernatural ability to survive in the face of impossible dangers: having already managed to withstand the events of the Tokyo Incident unharmed, he casually finishes off a plateful of fugu; to date, it's not known if the fugu was as dangerous as Daimon claimed or if he was just bluffing.
However, Kiyota's greatest asset is his access to the prophetic Pachinko Machine; at present, he appears to be the only man capable of consistently understanding its predictions, players finding its hints ambiguous and uncertain. Daimon himself hints that the machine is actually a surviving piece of Third Age tech, claiming that "The pachinko machine wasn't always a pachinko machine, but it always was."
|“||Jeepers-creepers, Yamato! You don't go to heels on the boss! Now something messy has to happen! Now, I got to promote some other schmuck and make him wear your dripping face, just so I don't miss you... so...god... damn... MUCH!||„|
|~ Daimon's measured response to being held at gunpoint|
|“||Yamato, who runs the Korinto-Kai? [...] Who sees the angles? Who hears the ball screaming in the machine? [...] Who rips the wings off butterflies? Who makes his own hurricanes? [...] When the thousand hells open, when the sky starts eating people, who'll protect you? Who do the demons look at and say, "FUCK! He's loony!" Who is going to drag this organization, kicking and screaming, into a new era? WHO, YAMATO? BEAT YOUR GUMS AND TESTIFY! WHO!?||„|
|~ Daimon demands a simple answer from Yamato: "you"|
|“||Apologies are a fine darb of a gesture and all, but I never know what to do with all those extra fingers...||„|
|~ Daimon's opinion on Yubitsume|
|“||Three gangs remain. We three low-lids are dudding up to the nines, getting all hotsy-totsy to melt the icy mitt of you global big-bads. Gozen and her refurbished bargain-basement samurai are courting the Reds. Inbeda and his syphilis-ridden demon mooks are bedding the Blues. Then there's me and my occulted gangsters, an island of misfit toys. Every one of us is a losing hand of Oicho-Kabu. Eight-nine-three! Eight-nine-three! Well, I'm ogling the Greens, and they're whispering sweet nothings like an opium pipe. Love at first sight. So this place is lousy with gods and devils and giant vampire squid suckers squeezing it all down to a Jupiter diamond. All the big players are in town... and I'm going to tilt the game.That's the setup, cat. Exposition on a plate.||„|
|~ Daimon explains the situation to the players|
|“||A crow sat on the rotten shoulder of a pendulum cadaver, swinging on the gallows noose. "Oh, bother," said the pendulum cadaver. The crow gave his face sharp kisses. "Mmm," said the crow. "Ouch! Hey! What are you doing?!" said the pendulum cadaver. "I'm just curing your unhappiness by changing your perspective," said the crow. "All I want in return is sweet jelly." The only thing a broken neck can do is nod, so the crow ate all of the sweet jelly out of the swinging stiff's skull windows. The wind blew. The pendulum cadaver swayed. And eventually, rigor mortis turned his frown upside-down. "Atta boy," said the crow. "Just remember, where you hang your head is home." (Laughs hysterically) Get it? No. I don't get it either. That's horrible!||„|
|~ Daimon's strange story|
|“||Things change. The cylinder spins. Some stamps get cancelled. We're going to do things differently: there's a time to contemplate, to model actions... THERE'S A TIME TO MAKE ACTION! We're going to rip the wings off butterflies! We're going to flap our own hurricanes! The dark days are gonna be the swingingest whangdoodle of a blow. Let's be mad flappers, you and I! Grab your glad rags! Let's get loaded and jive! (laughs, then sighs) The Fool's prerogative. We taint our honour with irreverence, because doing the impossible is a rudeness to reality, because respect will get this planet dead. And so we cleave to the sacred obscenities. (chuckles) It's our turn. The barrel puckers. The cylinder spins...||„|
|~ Daimon's speech upon becoming Voice Of The Dragon|
- In lore entries, Daimon serves as one of many references to Alice In Wonderland made over the course of Issue 9, with the particular description of his trademarked grin revealing him as the stand-in for the Cheshire Cat.