Prince Sun Kin the Hand of Heaven, who later became the fearsome Death's Hand, was the youngest brother of the Jade Empire's royal family. His brothers were Emperor Sun Hai and Sun Li the Glorious Strategist. As the youngest, Prince Kin was the leader of the monastic Order of the Lotus that was later converted into the Lotus Assassins. He was most commonly seen wielding a Demon Sword and a black curved knife, and was said to be very skilled in combat with these two weapons that he could match both his brothers. Kin had a neutral alignment between the Way of the Open Palm and the Way of the Closed Fist.
As Sun Kin
Prince Kin was present at the siege of Dirge. He fought against the Spirit Monks alongside his brother, Sun Li, clearing a path for the Emperor to the Water Dragon's Temple of Dirge. As they ascended the stairs a monk named Abbot Song blocked their path. Sun Kin attacked the monk head-on and Sun Li struck him down from behind. As the Brothers Sun entered the temple, Prince Kin and Sun Li fell in behind the emperor. Prince Kin followed on the emperor's right.
Partner with Sun Li
- "I believed the words of Sun Li, thinking him wise beyond my understanding. Had I known what would happen, I would have fought to stop them both".
- –Prince Kin, in the body of Death's Hand
Prince Kin was part of Sun Li's plan to kill their older brother. While Sun Li stated his reasons for killing Sun Hai, Prince Kin's reasons are never confirmed. As the Emperor reached into the portal to the Spirit World to take the Water Dragon's power, Prince Kin stabbed him from behind and through the chest. To both Prince Kin's and Sun Li's horrified surprise, Sun Hai did not die. The emperor knocked his brothers back with a stream of the Water Dragon's magical energy emanating from his hand. As Sun Li escaped, Prince Kin was trapped in the energy beam and smashed into a pillar. He was killed for his betrayal by the emperor's power.
As Death's Hand
Prince Kin's body was dragged out of the temple by two Imperial soldiers to where Sun Li had abandoned his armor. As a taunt to Sun Li, the Emperor bound Prince Kin's spirit to the armor creating Death's Hand. Within the armor, Prince Kin's spirit had no free will and became corrupted.
- "I am reborn again and again. I am the will of the emperor. I am Death's Hand".
- –Death's Hand
Death's Hand became the right hand of the Emperor Sun Hai at the end of the Long Drought in the battle of Dirge. Covered completely in fearsome armor, Death's Hand was a dark and imposing figure. Death's Hand was never seen without his mask. His true identity and purpose were unknown.
Like when he was Prince Sun Kin, Death's Hand became the leader of the monastic Order of the Lotus, which were soon erased and transformed into the Lotus Assassins. Sagacious Zu, Inquisitor Lim and Grand Inquisitor Jia were some of the members who survived the fatal transition.
Presented as a gung ho guardian of the Jade Empire, there were whisperings that he was greedy for power and had a grasp that reached well beyond his station; that Death's Hand was manipulating the Empire or that the emperor was weak enough to allow it were the greatest fears of many citizens, though little was said for fear of reprisals. His arrival heralded a new philosophy in the royal palace: respect was best gained through fear. As the head of the shadowy Lotus Assassins, the grim visage of his mask was the new face of law in the Jade Empire. The Lotus Assassins were everywhere and dissidents had a habit of disappearing. The Lotus Assassins Fortress lay in the Necropolis, masking a horrible truth: the people were being killed and transformed into Jade and Clay Golems, husks devoid of energy as how some Assassins called them.
Encounter with a Spirit Monk
- "Please, let me rest. Let my spirit finally have some peace".
- –Death's Hand
At the Second Battle of Dirge, the Player, freshly returned from the Spirit World as a fully realized Spirit Monk, is able to incapacitate Death's Hand and draw out what remains of Sun Kin. The Spirit Monk used Kin's spirit and is able to defeat the corrupted persona and take control of Death's Hand. The Player then has two options:
If the Player chose to free the spirit of Prince Kin: Death's Hand became no more and Kin's spirit, now free, was allowed to enter the underworld. Sun Li's armor was discarded forever.
If the Player chose to bind the spirit of Prince Kin: Death's Hand became the Player's follower and Kin's spirit remained bound and corrupted to follow the Spirit Monk until the end of their journey. This leaves a horrifically corrupted Sun Kin to serve a Closed Fist Spirit Monk for all time, but service to an Open Palm Spirit Monk sees the corruption lift from Sun Kin's soul and the beginning of a path to redemption.
Should the Player decide to bind Death's Hand to his/her will and after defeating Sun Li, Death's Hand will, eventually, start traveling the land in search of ways on how to redeem himself for the crimes he committed or to continue to serve his new master if the Player follows Closed Fist.
- Death's Hand bound
- AND Water Dragon killed
After the power of the Water Dragon was restored, Death's Hand was sustained by <FullName>'s force of will. Some considered this cruel, and to Death's Hand it was just continued enslavement, but in the weeks that followed, the influence that had corrupted him began to fade, and a semblance of self-returned. For the first time in decades, Death's Hand felt something other than rage; sadness for how he, as Sun Kin, had helped attack Dirge so long ago. Acceptance of this changed him, and he wandered the Empire seeking redemption. No longer bound to Sun Li's armor, he wore it anyway, a symbol not of the monster he was forced to be, but of the monster he had not recognized within himself.
- Death's Hand bound
- AND Water Dragon tainted
Bound to <FullName>'s will, Death's Hand served the new Empire wherever the face of terror was needed to quell dissension. Infused by the ever-growing power of his master, his physical form was eventually corrupted beyond what his armor could contain, and he became something... other. Much to <FullName>'s approval, as the new form proved far more efficient at instilling fear. Besides, those allowed to comment agreed that the symbolism of trapping him within his brother's armor had always seemed somewhat quaint.
In the first version of Jade Empire Premiere trailer, the first version Death's Hand looked different from the final version.