Back in the 19th Century, Clow Reed reopened the gates to other worlds. At last, after countless ages, the ???>* were allowed back into the world. Returned at last, they began to set up their ancient game: the Dead Man's Hand. 18 men and women whose souls bore the marks of time were selected: they became the Marked Cards, the players in a deadly game.
Four distinguished themselves as great heroes:
Doc Holliday, Ace of Spades - the finest shot in the world.
Bat Masterson, Ace of Diamonds - the man so clever he could get a horse to tie his shoes.
Wyatt Earp, Ace of Clubs - the strongest man in the West.
Rose of the Cimarron, Ace of Hearts - the woman who knew no fear, whom bullets could not harm.
These four became the Aces High, armed with great power to fight evil.
And four became terrors, seeking the power of the Dead Man's Hand for their own:
The Sundance Kid, King of Spades - the man so sneaky that no one could catch him.
Laura Bullion, King of Diamonds - mistress of disguise, the woman of a thousand faces
Queen Anne Basset, King of Clubs - the toughest rancher in the West
Butch Cassidy, King of Hearts - the nastiest bandit in the world.
These four became the Wild Bunch, thieves and plunderers - but still human.
Two became monsters - inhuman creatures hiding behind the faces of men.
The Red Joker and the Black Joker - the hands of the ????>*. Their duty was to defeat all the other Marked Cards.
Eight yet remained - the Queens and Jacks, lesser powers in the game, but still dangerous and clever.
These groups had been set against each other - to take up sides. Aces High or Wild Bunch - good or evil. Whichever was left standing won the Dead Man's Hand, the power of ???>**. How the game ended then is unknown - but what is known is that some of the players still survived. None of the Aces or Kings lived beyond human lifetimes...but soem say the Jokers did, and some say that one or two of the Queens and Jacks still live.
But what is known is that the Marked Cards have begun to reincarnate. Four teenagers - three girls and a boy this time - bear the souls of the Aces High. Soon, their horses will come for them, bringing them their true power - the power of the poker card and the revolver. And four more will awaken to their own darkness, to the power of the Wild Bunch. Who knows where the will rest will be - and what has become of the Jokers?
The game is beginning again - but this time, it's coming to Japan.
* - Dealers? Gamblers? High Rollers?
** - it is a mystery?