|Natasha Cranston (Scenesys ID: 566)|
|Citizenship:||USA, Natural Born Citizen|
|Residence:||Cranston Manor, New York, USA|
|Education:||Chantemerle Boarding School, Geneva, Switzerland; Business degree.|
|Apparent Age:||30||Actual Age:||30|
|Date of Birth||27 April 1989||Played By||Natalie Wood|
|Hair Color:||black||Eye Color:||blue|
|Theme Song:||Taylor Dane - Original Sin ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXpWfd1BNkQ )|
Billionaire heiress and CEO of Cranston Multinational Shipping.
1 - Past:
Very little needs to be said about the original Shadow's career. Starting in the 30s, rumors abounded of a tall, shadowy vigilante with supernatural powers of stealth and intimidation and a pair of handguns that terrorized petty criminals and hardened mobsters alike, appearing out of thin air and laughter. Law enforcement wasn't happy about matters, but they had actual criminals to apprehend -- and shortly after, a world war to worry about -- so the official efforts to apprehend the vigilante never got very far.
This suited Lamont Cranston just fine -- he had no quarrel with the official authorities, he just had his own personal war to fight againt the evil that lurked within the hearts of Man with a convert's zeal and the abilities taught him by the Tulku until a climactic battle in 1964 that absolutely no one remembers except him -- and his wife, Margot Lane. Fighting night-time battles against evil is an easy decision to make when you have no one else to live for, but after thirty years he could feel himself starting to slow down -- and he did not wish to leave his wife a widow, nor his son an orphan. Thirty years of penance for five years of evil deeds was enough for him to forgive himself. He sealed off the entrance to the Sanctum behind a veil of illusion, its purpose done.
His son, unburdened by his father's guilt, never felt the calling and instead focused on turning Cranston Oriental Shipping into Cranston Multinational Shipping, expanding the reach of its trade network and making the world better with ethical business practices.
2 - Recent:
By the time his granddaughter was born, Lamont was well into his nineties and even though the Shadow's gifts kept him healthier than he had any right to be, he'd retired from public life entirely, and with his son and daughter-in-law kept busy traveling as they supervised the growing company, that naturally left him with a great deal of time to babysit. Young Natasha learned to read from forensic science journals and the Complete Sherlock Holmes. Bright and inquisitive, she loved the mysteries as much as she loved exploring the manor and its grounds, including the one spot inside that always made her pause and squint, as if trying to make out something she couldn't quite see.
Unfortunately, her father hadn't quite inherited his parents' sense for people; when Natasha was 12, the Cranston Multinational Shipping plane carrying her parents back to the USA was lost over the Pacific Ocean. When his granddaughter had finally cried herself to sleep, Lamont put on the coat and cloak one last time...
The guilty party turned out to be one of the directors on the board; Natasha's mother had been examining the accounts and gotten entirely too close to his side business of smuggling for his comfort. The man wound up paying for his crimes in like coin, but not before Natasha discovered her grandfather's secret.
There was a... Well, to call it a discussion would be understating things. Lamont did not spend thirty years doing penance to watch his granddaughter throw herself into the same dangers he'd faced... But Natasha was as stubborn as his wife had been, and as determined as both her paternal grandparents. Evil still lurked in the hearts of Man. The corrupt still preyed on the innocent. Someone should take a stand. Eventually, Lamont realized that his granddaughter was going to do this whether or he gave his permission or blessing, and an agreement was reached...
3 - Present:
Some accomodations were made, an old favour called in, and identity papers forged for "Uncle Kent", a hitherto unknown younger brother of Lamont, to take guardianship of the recently orphaned heiress, who promptly packed her off to "a European finishing school for young ladies" -- and in truth, she did spend several years there while her "uncle" contacted certain people in Tibet.
Upon finishing college, Natasha "took a sabbatical to see the world", eventually traveling to the same monastery where the old Tulku had instructed her grandfather. Meanwhile, "Uncle Kent" got busy laying the groundwork for her return: the Sanctum was restored to its former function, and its capabilities upgraded to more modern standards, and there were still /some/ people alive whose favours he could call in...
On her thirtieth birthday, the presumed-lost heiress of Cranston Multinational Shipping resurfaced in the city her family had called home for several generations, and immediately resumed control of the Board from the trusteeship that had been set up once she'd been declared missing... And sinister laughter once again haunts the nights of those who prey on others.
* 1989: Born to Kevin Cranston and Tanya Vasilyevna Cranston in New York.
* 2001: Orphaned at age 12 when the company plane carrying her parents is lost over the Pacific.
* 2001: Discovers that: 1) The accident that killed her parents wasn't one; 2) The non-accident was arranged by certain corrupt members of the Board of Directors; 3) Her grandfather was the mysterious vigilante known as "The Shadow" who supposedly retired shortly after WW2.
* 2003: Sent to the Chantemerle Boarding School by her legal guardian and uncle, Kent Allard.
* 2012: Graduates with excellent grades and an Associate's degree in business, promptly "takes a sabbatical" and vanishes from the map.
* 2013: Arrives in Mongolia and convinces the monastery that ministered to "Ying Ko" to take her in.
* 2020: Resurfaces in New York to the surprise and dismay of the surviving members of the board of CMS, taking up the reins.
There's really no kind way to put it. It takes a very specific kind of hubris to decide that the best way to defend justice and the innocent in this world is to personally put on a costume and go out onto the streets to pick fights with criminals. Natasha is self-aware enough to realize this, and that helps keep things into perspective, but it's still a fundamental part of her.
More than a decade of building her cover. Years of grueling training. If Natasha were the kind to give up easily on anything, she wouldn't be where she is now.
Janine likes to be slightly larger than life; loud, boisterous, gregarious, and something of a showoff. When she's not pulling urban running stunts around Hell's Kitchen or dancing Capoeira in the roda in Central Park, she's most often found showing off her dancing skills at a rave - the more informal, the better. She's generally fun to be around, even if she dances around questions like what she does for a living as deftly as she dodges a spinning kick from a fellow jogador. She's generally a kind and cheerful person, and her warm, carefree laughter can brighten up an entire room.
Natasha is well aware of how cruel the world can be, and of what evils lurk in the hearts of men (and women, and others; this is a more progressive age, after all). In response, she tries to be kind, when she can; to not turn away an earnest request for aid, to not add more suffering to the world if it can be avoided.
Ever since her twelfth year, Natasha has learned to let others see only what she wants them to see. The various personas she affects when interacting with others are as much a mask as the slouch hat and scarf are. Only the few people who know her secret identity are likely to see beyond them to the person she is.
As part of her cover, Natasha takes some care to come across as yet another wealthy but otherwise vapid and generally useless socialite, who tends to party a lot and spend entirely too much on expensive food and booze, living easy off of inherited wealth. It makes her a welcome guest to charity galas and fundraisers looking for rich (and stupid) attendees, and so far no one has managed to notice the patterns in her apparently frivolous spending or the fact that several of the less savoury organizers have come to various amounts of legal or vigilante-shaped grief shortly afterwards...
The Shadow's core ability; what she does is affect the visual perceptions of everyone in range. This ability is limited by the number of people affected, how long the illusions have to hold, and the degree to which their perception is distorted -- IE, becoming a blurry mass of mist and shadow is significantly easier when it's already dark outside; convincing a bunch of dazed would-be muggers that the person who beat them up vanished into the darkness is easier than turning invisible in broad daylight in the middle of a crowd, and so on.
The one exception to this is her own shadow, which will always show show what she truly looks like.
The Shadow does in fact age -- after all, her grandfather eventually got old -- but but ever since she took up the mantle, she has been aging significantly slower than normal. Combined with her fitness and health, Natasha physically looks to be in her twenties despite being in her early thirties. Of course, being a wealthy socialite it's not terribly hard to convince people that she's "merely" spending a great deal on cosmetic treatments to look younger than she is, and when asked she merely replies "Healthy living" which everyone accepts despite knowing it has to be a lie...
A combination of good genes, intensive training and the Shadow's gift means Natasha's general physical condition exceeds that of many Olympic sporters. She's not quite on the level of, say, Steve Rogers, but she's stronger and faster than anyone her size and build has any right to be -- a fact which helps confuse matters further when she's "at work".
Sleep Is Overrated:
Back in her college days, Natasha's roommate once asked her how she managed to still get all her homework done with the staggering number of "parties" she kept disappearing to. Natasha replied, with a perfectly straight face, that her grandfather used to travel in the Far East and a group of Tibetan Monks taught him the ability to function indefinitely on three hours of sleep per day. Her roommate's response was to throw a pillow at her face and the subject was dropped.
Natasha does not consider it her problem when people refuse to believe her when she tells the unvarnished truth.
The most common expression of her ability to "cloud minds" is her ability to go unseen and undetected by almost any known method. When she chooses not to be seen, she isn't -- living beings, electronic sensors, and even magical wards fail to notice her presence, or dismiss it as nothing important.
This ability has one significant caveat, however -- see under the 'Shadow' weakness for details.
Who Knows What Evil:
The other half of the Shadow's gift. When Natasha focuses her attention on someone, she gains an instinctive sense of their deepest motivation. Nothing so simple as surface thoughts or emotions or memories, but over the course of a confrontation or discussion she can zero in, instinctively, on what, in their heart of hearts, they want more than anything in the world. As a tool for unnerving a hoodlum into confessing, or obeying her command to turn themselves in, it is invaluable -- and it's exceptionally useful as a negotiating tool in the corporate world as well.
((OOC note: As with most mind-reading abilities, this is of course consent-only where other players are concerned.))
Natasha has trained herself to ambidexerity; she's carefuly to keep her right hand dominant when she's in her persona as Natasha Cranston, but she's equally effective with either hand, or both at once.
The circle of friends that introduced Jennifer to the joys of urban running also convinced her to try Capoeira. Jennifer enjoys the energy and joy in motion as well as the showing-off aspects of the style. The Shadow finds that a martial arts style consisting almost entirely of feints until it's impossible to tell where the actual attack will come from to suit her very well indeed.
Her "sabattical in Europe" was only partially a cover story - she did enjoy a thorough college education in one of the best finishing schools an impressive amount of money could buy. Aside from a with-honors Business degree she holds a minor degree in psychology, which she justified by pointing out that understanding what makes people tick has obvious benefits during business negotiations and HR decisions.
A bit of an overarching term for a combination of a diverse set of skills and an acquired way of looking at the world; Natasha knows how to examine a crime scene without disturbing evidence, how to look for clues in what is or isn't there to be seen, how to interrogate a stool pigeon, and how to connect seemingly disparate clues to find a lead.
Firearms were only a tangential part of Natasha's combat training; the vast majority of automatic weapons were dismissed as entirely too crude or inaccurate for her purposes. She does, however, share her ancestor's aptitude and preference for a pair of handguns -- accurate at the range she generally works at, and there's a certain style and intimidation factor to a pair of Desert Eagles that you can't quite emulate with an AK or submachinegun. She's no Deadshot, but she misses what she aims at only very rarely. The fact that she's aware of her limits and does not generally attempt ridiculous trick shots when there's an alternative helps with that.
Natasha inherited her uncle's suspect sense of humor; this is what she calls her preferred fighting style when "on the job" -- a mixture of the various martial arts she knows combined with the distortion of her enemies' perceptions to make blows seemingly come out of nowhere and appear to be anywhere other than where she actually is. It relies rather heavily on the Shadow's abilities to allow her to go toe to toe with significantly more skilled opponents - but on the streets rather than the dojo mat, what matters is whether you win, not how fair you fought.
Like most urban vigilantes lacking the ability or technology to fly, Natasha has developed and honed her ability to very quickly traverse terrain normal people would consider impassable. As Jennifer, she regularly practices this skill with Jennifer's friends and even without drawing on her heritage she's quite good at it. When she's acting in her identity as the new Shadow, fully drawing on her strength and using her shrouding abilities, it lets her flat out "vanish into thin air, save for the sinister laughter echoing from the walls"
Benjamin "Benny" Winters is a cab driver from Brooklyn, who actively enjoys playing into the stereotype. While he's getting on a bit in years, he's still one of the best cabbies in the Tri-State area. He knows the cities like the back of his hand, as well as every shortcut and thoroughfare, and when it's not a good time to take them if you don't want to be stuck in traffic.
He also wears a girasol ring on his left hand, a souvenir from the time he inadvertedly wound up witnessing something he shouldn't have, and the black-clad man who saved him from the consequences. He moonlights as Natasha's personal driver for formal occasions, and is perhaps the only member of the Shadow Network who knows the Shadow's true identity.
Natasha is the CEO, heir and owner of Cranston Multinational Shipping, a global transportation company with a net value in the low trillions. While there was some initial uncertainty about her takeover when she returned from Europe, and she still has to prove herself in the court of public opinion, her legal right to the title isn't up for debate.
CMS and/or its subsidiaries have facilities in pretty much every city that has an international seaport or airport as well as anywhere that's a significant transportation hub on every major continent. As such, if she decides she needs to be somewhere or have something shipped somewhere, she can make it happen with a single phone call. Of course, while her staff isn't paid to question why, the phone call and request will be on record if an investigation ensues...
As the heir and sole majority stockholder of Cranston Multinational Shipping, ltd, her personal finances are... Significant. She's not Bruce Wayne or Lex Luthor levels of wealthy, but Natasha Cranston will likely never have to worry about money.
Of course, funneling any of it into the Shadow's available resources is trickier, but that's her own fault for hiring skilled and honest accountants.
Jen ('secret' Identity):
Natasha Cranston is in her early thirties, and a lazy socialite who has never worked a day in her life and only practices exactly as much fitness and yoga as is necessary to keep her youthful shape. A lot of the minor bruises and scrapes she might incur in her actual line of work are tricky to explain, as are the kinds of exercise that keep her in the physical shape she needs.
Janine ("Jen" to her friends, because she dislikes how snooty 'Janine' sounds) is a twentysomething girl that likes to hang out with a group of urban runners and a Capoeira troupe, neither of which knows where she goes when she's not around and generally doesn't care as long as she stands her rounds at the bar post-exercise session.
Ironically, her appearance as Janine is a closer match to her real self than her public appearances as Natasha Cranston...
Like most self-respecting vigilantes, The Shadow had an underground Sanctum underneath Cranston Manor. When he retired, he arranged for the other entrances to be closed off, and used his powers to conceal the main entrance inside the Manor proper.
While his granddaughter was training abroad, Lamont took the time unseal and modernize it a bit -- pneumatic tubes and a radiophone really don't cut it anymore these days.
Its current amenities include a top-of-the-line computer system, a compact but well-equipped forensics lab, a ditto gym, and a well stocked first aid kit that Natasha has not yet had cause to use.
At its height, her grandfather's network of people who owed him their life and could be counted on for simple favours extended throughout the city and all walks of life. Of course, the vast majority of them have died of old age long ago, with only a girasol ring and tall tales to pass on to their descendants. Natasha currently has her hands full trying to rebuild it, but it's as much a matter of getting "lucky" and spotting a "useful" person in distress to save.
((OOC: In terms of RP and scenes, the exact number and nature of the network's members will be kept nebulous; this resource primarily serves as an explanation for how The Shadow Knows; they're consultants and observers and very occasionally couriers, generally not active field agents))
Natasha has the Shadow's power. She has had extensive training in hand to hand combat, stealth, gunplay, psychology and investigation. What she doesn't yet have is a great deal of actual experience in the 'field'. Of course, one thing she absolutely can't afford is to act like she isn't sure of what she's doing...
For the kind of drama and symbolism the Shadow requires to strike fear in the hearts of criminals, a certain amount of confidence is necessary - you have to project absolute control over the situation if you want others to believe it, after all - and to a degree Natasha's is well warranted. She has training, intelligence, and the power of a legacy behind her. She knows what evil lurks within the hearts of Man. She can cloud their minds, strike from the darkness, move unseen... And she has yet to come up against anything or anyone that can challenge her abilities. This is likely to change, soon - the only question is whether she'll realize it in time to avoid getting embarrassed, injured, or in the worst case, dead...
The Shadow's ability to conceal herself with glamours has a limitation -- she can't conceal her "shadow", which is a slightly wider concept than a strict definition would suggest. The key is that she can conceal herself from most forms of active detection and observation, but she can still be detected and tracked by looking for where she has been, or where something isn't -- for instance, a shadow on the wall where the light doesn't fall; footprints in the sand or grass without a body leaving them; splashes in a puddle of water, and so on.
A laser tripwire would still go off, because her shadow would occlude the receptor when she passes in front of it; a sufficiently dense smoke cloud would be visibly roiling around an apparently empty space; someone with sharp wits and quick reflexes could keep track of her with a powered flashlight; she still leaves her scent behind...
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Natasha Cranston has 40 finished logs.
|Even if it's just dancing in the park||April 8th, 2021||Raven goes meditating in Central Park, and meets someone interesting.|
|A Dick Grayson Birthday Bash||March 20th, 2021||A birthday party for Dick Grayson's 27th birthday on the ritzy Lady Lovelace anchored passenger ship. Booze and cake and high society all in one.|
|Looking for answers in Shadowed places||March 16th, 2021||Oracle learns a great deal about Natasha, and decides she needs to meet this woman.|
|EXTREME HOTEL MAKEOVER||March 14th, 2021||Watch the worker bees raise a building in one week!|
|Raccoon Rescue Go||March 13th, 2021||Girl saved. Raccoon not saved.|
|A Fair Day In Central Park||March 3rd, 2021||The first truly spring-like day of the year and a small fair in Central Park are enough to draw a large crowd.|
|The Great Trains Robbery||February 21st, 2021||All bad guys captured. All loot saved. No one injured.|
|Forgotten Children||February 17th, 2021||Hero rescue children that were being auction off. Cinque stole financial and information from their servers.|
|Gotham U Winter Fest (And Steph's Birthday)||February 10th, 2021||A winter festival at the Gotham U campus draws people from all over. The funnel cakes were the hit of the event.|
|The Beast's Gambit||January 18th, 2021||The plans of the Beast's Paw come into greater focus as they manage to successfully achieve at least part of their objective with burning of Chinatown and the trap to provoke more violence between the gangs of Gotham. Still, heroes like Batman, Batwoman, the Shadow and the unlikely Harley Quinn prevent the loss of life from being as great as it could have been.|
|Let's Do The Time Warp Again (Part 1)||January 16th, 2021||Agent Carter and her SSR team defends the time bridge machine from a Hydra attack.
Hydra's goal? Capture the machine and capture SHIELD Agent Melinda May. They just didn't count on the fact that these SSR agents are the same people who will become the founding agents of SHIELD... and the family that inevitably represents. Needless to say, May's return trip home is all but assured.
|Stomping Squids Like It's 1949||January 7th, 2021||Agent May, Agent Carter, and a team of the best agents the SSR have to offer in 1949 raid a Hydra lab sat right in the middle of New York. The prizes include files that will have impact for decades to come, scientists who will doubtlessly wiggle free of imprisonment later (thanks to Operation Paperclip), and one primitive portal device that just may be the key to sending the time-lost SHIELD agent back home.|
|Tonight we drink in HELL.||December 29th, 2020||Two rich heiresses share their troubles over excellent drinks.|
|Santa comes to the docks||December 28th, 2020||Two Bats, a Shadow and an Harley remind Vinny and his thugs why smuggling stuff in kid's toys is wrong.|
|Wayne Foundation Charity New Years Eve||December 22nd, 2020||A lovely time was had by all, and a Happy New Year|
|The Shadow knows and the Oracle sees||December 14th, 2020||No description|
|Bludhaven, you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany.||December 8th, 2020||Kamala Khan, The Shadow and a mysterious girl with green hair (Spoiler it's Viv) disrupt a nefarious deal going down at Bludhaven docks. Things get a little mayhem-y.|
|Yippie-Ki-Yay Holiday: The Train||December 5th, 2020||Simon begins his deadly game with some of New York's finest heroes. The Shadow solves a riddle, Rave rescues civilians, and X23 sort of teams up with Bolo to catch a train and disarm a bomb.|
|Yippie-Ki-Yay Holiday: The Terminal||November 30th, 2020||William Townley and his well-armed militia take over JFK International Airport during a raging snowstorm in the hopes of strong-arming a release of his brother, Jared, after last week's failed heist. Unexpected help shows up in the form of heavily-armed Falcone gangsters, the Venom symbiote, the armored tech raptor Ballista, and The Shadow herself. Local national guardsmen are found to be turncoats, the majority of the militia is slain under hails of gunfire or torn to pieces, and all but one hostage within the ATC tower is saved. William is arrested, but some men fled into the storm and managed to escape. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of these men...?|
|Banshee's Scream: Investigating a Terrible Scene||November 29th, 2020||A group discover that the Dark Banshee haunting the streets of New York City has something far more sinister in mind at F.E.A.S.T. and rush off to prepare for an imminent attack.|
|Shadows of Gotham||November 28th, 2020||With their meeting of the minds finished, the Dark Knight and the Shadow go their separate ways.|
|Gotham by Night||November 13th, 2020||A party for the rich and mighty in Gotham turns bloody when the Hand decides to make a move.|
|Showing Class After Class||November 7th, 2020||A chance meeting leads to a large gathering, an ominous portent...and a LOT of coffee flung in Peter Parker's direction.|
|Firepower||November 6th, 2020||An arm's deal was prevented but the clean-up remains. As do questions, questions about the Shadow, questions about the Beast and of course, was that really a giant mutant turtle?|
|Diplomatic Immunity||October 31st, 2020||While investigating an attempted assassination of a diplomats son, three mercenaries brazenly pretend to be SHIELD agents but are caught in the act.|
|For Betterment of African Trade and Economies||October 22nd, 2020||A conference on African trade and economy growth results in a casual meeting between Natasha Cranston, and T'Challa. Natasha caught comment on a shared Narobian-Wakandan school computing infrastructure initiative and inquired about it.|
|Shadows in the grass||September 24th, 2020||A humanoid turtle and a capoeira dancer who is more than she seems have a chat.|
|Abracadabra And- Hey Where's My Wallet!||September 19th, 2020||Street magician Jackson entertains while some kids begin pick pocketing the crowd. Hot dogs were eaten and a Turtle made an appearance.|
|What does the Shadow know||September 12th, 2020||Batgirl is out boosting the signal for her Oracle Array when she receives word of a deal in chinatown... and runs into the Shadow. Fate or folly, Babs is on the hunt.|
|Genosha: From the Ashes - expedited delivery||August 17th, 2020||Thanks to Power Girl's help, the CMS fast container ship _Amphitrite's Grace_ arrives in Genosha several weeks ahead of schedule with a cargo of supplies, fuel and temporary container homes.|
|Court of Owls: Gotham Society Fall Gala||August 16th, 2020||Drama and spilled drinks and rogues and fainting socialites, oh my|
|Memento: Chasing Butterflies||July 15th, 2020||Some shoppers converge over noodles, capoeira, and strange drawings.|
|Mojo's Arcade Legend: Crystal Scar||July 1st, 2020||The Champions work together to take the arena!|
|The Scottish Play||June 25th, 2020||Shakespeare in the Park! A very intense performance of Macbeth is given as audience members weigh in on the idea of power corrupting.|
|Super Match Game Ep102||June 22nd, 2020||Joan and Siobhan play Super Match Game with Bret, Damian, Natasha, Karen, April and Wade in a heck of a showdown, hosted by Greer!|
|Champion's Ring||June 8th, 2020||Ted Grant and 'Jenny' talk and practice self-defense tactics that may or may not help out with the agent network of the mysterious Shadow.|
|Genosha: From the Ashes - Shipping In||May 1st, 2020||Natasha Cranston shows up on Genosha with a freighter full of aid supplies, which are hastily unloaded.|
|Old debts and young Shadows||March 28th, 2020||No description|
|Hellfire Club Genosha Spring Benefit Charity Gala||March 24th, 2020||Schmoozing, boozing, donations and more. The Hellfire Spring Charity Gala is a huge success, benefitting Genosha.|
|Journalistic Imperilment||March 1st, 2020||Lois investigates Poseidon Shipping, and finds more than she bargained for.|
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Natasha Cranston has 40 finished logs.
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