Way of the Warrior They were called "Sohei", the greatest warriors of feudal Japan. Originally they were monks of the great temple Enryaku, built in the year 788 among the cypress groves of Mt. Hiei to protect the emperor's new capital of Kyoto from evil spirits... But the pressure of constant attacks of marauding samurai intent upon the treasures of their temple forced them to take up arms, and eventually the sohei abandoned the teachings of the Buddha to follow a path of war. And it was a bloody path. Masters of war, the sohei priests were mercenaries who fought constantly, leading the armies of conflicting samurai lords in furious combat. But the greatest rivals of the sohei were the warrior monks of Nara, and their terrible feud lasted centuries. In this great age of Japanese civil wars, the sohei became corrupted by bloodshed and ambition. The power and prestige of the sohei led them down paths of gluttony, debauchery, sin and death. In their pride, the sohei began to dream of themselves as the masters of Japan. Unlike the samurai lords who were careful not to bring their wars to the capital, the sohei sought to control the nation with the dual levers of their religious influence and their military might. By the 1400s the monks of Mt. Hiei were raiding precincts of Kyoto belonging to the very samurai clans that had once preyed upon them. It was then that the Shogun Nobunaga ordered the destruction of the Kyoto temple and its inhabitants. An unholy alliance of their bitter enemies, the Nara monks and the armies of the Shogun, finally defeated the sohei, leaving the survivors dispersed, powerless and in hiding. At last a new temple was built in Kyoto upon the ruins of the old, and the monks came home. Forbidden to practice their warrior arts openly, the monks returned to an outwardly tranquil way of life. But secretly they preserved the martial tradition and created a hidden order of shadow warriors. Today the sohei uphold a white banner in a tri-color war wagged across oceans, across time. Locked in a struggle with the black warriors of Nara and the red of the Yakuza, the sohei have sworn a crusade of righteousness in a world grown hostile to such nobility. Ana Ishikawa is an outcast of the sohei, a renegade from a society of renegades. And Shi is her story. Born of a Japanese father and American mother, ten year-old Ana Ishikawa witnessed the slaying of her family. The Yakuza left a coin with the Shi kanji on it, which means death. The child is spirited away and raised by her grandfather, Yoshitora. Shrouded in secrecy, Yoshitora trains Ana in the ways of the Sohei. However, Ana's life becomes one of constant inner conflict between her programmed mission of revenge and the Christian leaning she secretly harbors. With her conflicted soul weakened, this vengeful obsession consumes Ana's very being. Ana becomes a master of martial arts and weapons as she transforms herself to Shi - the living embodiment of Death. Shi is a comic book created by William Tucci, that has run for over ten years with a variety of publishers. One of the most treasured series in my comic collection, I jumped at the chance to do a case mod theme based on Shi and her story. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do. [Excerpts from Shi: The Way of the Warrior, www.crusadefinearts.com and Wikipedia.] This mod is on a pretty tight deadline, so things will be moving fairly quickly. This will be my entry to The Mod Shop's Comic Challenge. Also I do not have much in the way of a room or space to spray paint, and outside in Colorado, the weather is quite changeable and it is very dry and dusty. So this mod will be constructed with a minimum of additional paint. This doesn't preclude the use of other materials do get the effects desired, however. I am reposting this from my start on another forum, now that I have some progress to show.