This specialy prepared ink allows the fusion between body and soul, which results in the gain of certain superpowers.
The Tsoo Ink is one of the biggest assets of the Tsoo, and the reason of many of the powers their soldiers have today. It is, obviously, the reason of being of the Ink Men.
It seems that Tub Ci learned the secret of this ink while in prison, from an old convict called Pha Xiong, a well-known tattooist in the Zig, who taught him how to prepare such ink.(1) It hasn't been discovered where Pha Xiong obtained this knowledge.
The components are rare Chinese herbs and the blood of the wearer's enemies (1 & 2), and the creation of this ink is a long and involved process. Besides, the tattooing process itself can take weeks. (1)
Different colors grant different powers: Yellow for mental powers, Green for strength, Red for superhuman accuracy and power. There exists a Blue ink as well, but its powers are unclear. Nowhere is mentioned if the components are common for all kinds of ink or if each one requires different components, and the Salvage obtained of Tsoo such as Tsoo Ink or Arcane Powder only mentions one color, like if the obtained component was only valid for such color.
- City of Heroes:
- The mission "Defeat all Tsoo in parlor" takes you to one of the Tsoo's tattooing places.
- All of the Ink Men's tattoos are supposedly prepared with this special ink.
- Tsoo Ink can be found as a rare salvage item that will drop off Tsoo gang members.
- City of Villains:
- The ink actually grants superpowers to the wearer. See the Tsoo in the enemies section for a list of such powers.
In Comic Book
Other Sources (Pen and Pencil game, Trading Cards game, etc...)
- City of Heroes Collectible Card Game
- The Tsoo Tattoo Parlor appears as Mission Card where any ranged attacks used are reduced in accuracy.
- So far, none
1: City of Heroes official website: The Tsoo
2: City of Heroes mission: Defeat all Tsoo in parlor
The source of most of the info for this article, and the best source available.
Irezumi is a real art, and is NOT related in any way with Tsoo tattoos (at least that I know), but I have chosen it as a well known example of asian tattooing traditions. Curiosities and sources for more info on tattooing (such as the chosen colors or animals) can be found there.