|Richard Swift (Scenesys ID: 1004)|
|Apparent Age:||204||Actual Age:||204|
|Date of Birth||13 June 1815||Played By||Alan Rickman|
|Hair Color:||Black||Eye Color:||Blue|
|Theme Song:||"Sharp Dressed Man" --ZZ Top|
By day, a wealthy hedonist with a number of different aliases, a taste for the finer things of life, and the money to get them; by night, a sometimes-villain, sometimes-hero known as "The Shade"! Just as likely to rob a bank as save a civilian (only because the architecture of that building that was about to fall was too beautiful to allow the destruction of, you understand), The Shade is a rather baffling super-powered individual who only seems to be out for himself, no matter which side of the capes divide he stands on any particular day.
* 1815: Born in London, England.
* 1838: Involved in a magical incident in Tiger Bay, and incident in which 104 people lost their lives. Loses his memory.
* 1839: Living as a transient, is taken in by Piers Ludlow.
* 1840: Sinclair Ludlow, Piers's son, attempts to frame him for the murder of Piers's business partner, thinking him a mere transient. Swift's shadow powers manifest for the first time, saving his life, but also killing all but two of the Ludlow family (a pair of twins that were not there at the time of this incident). He will continue to have issues with the Ludlow family from this time forward.
* 1865: Rupert Ludlow hires hitmen to kill Swift. He is shot, but when Rupert Ludlow stands over him to gloat, Swift's powers activate again, killing Rupert.
* 1870: Visits America, takes a liking to Opal City. Meets Brian Savage, the Scalphunter and became unlikely friends with him.
* 1899: Brian Savage is murdered. Swift decides against any more than casual friendships from that point onward.
* 1916: During WW1, chooses to aid Canada. Under the alias of Louie Fox, falls in love with a woman named Marguerite Croft; however she was merely another Ludlow acting under an assumed name. She attempts to poison him and fails; Swift kills her.
* 1940s: After reading the exploits of superheroes, decides he will try to alleviate the boredom by becoming a supervillain -- "The Shade" is born. However, when Shade isn't robbing banks or making a nuisance of himself to the local superhero population, he's... saving lives?! He foils an attempted assassination of a superhero and his family by another Ludlow, who this time was masquerading as a superhero, as well as doing several more things to aid the superheroes that he spent so much time going up against.
* Present: After making several forays into joining various supervillain groups and it always ending badly, the Shade decides to go solo from now on. He no longer considers himself a villain, merely someone who enjoys the "joust", as he calls it, with the heroes. The Shade continues to be a pain in the butt to various superheroes at times, but also can generally be counted upon to assist when things go pear-shaped. Particularly if his favored "jousting partners" are in trouble.
A side-effect of his immortality, the Shade has come to regard "right" and "wrong" as arbitrary choices that have no bearing on life. He generally does not believe that doing good is an overriding emotion of mankind, but he does believe that there is perhaps a desire not to do bad. "No harm, no foul" would be a good way to describe his feelings on this. He is not "immoral", per se -- that would indicate that he wishes to purposely break rules and hurt people. "Amoral" might perhaps be a better way of putting it. He isn't necessarily "bad", and has no leanings towards either good or evil, but maintains a distance between such choices.
A problem with living potentially forever is that one soon grows bored with a normal existence. To that end, Shade sometimes chooses potentially dangerous hobbies and interests to pass the time. That's one of the reasons he often makes forays into crime -- crossing wits with the superheroes is a most enjoyable "joust", and often is the only sport he has.
Another side effect from such a long life is that one sees and hears just about everything in one's time. So if someone's looking for shock value from the Shade, the person is likely to be sorely disappointed. Cotton candy falling from the sky? Gorillas in regal attire taking over the world? Demons appearing and offering more power? Nope, Shade's seen it all. Well, except for the cotton candy falling from the sky. That might be a pleasant surprise...
The Shade considers himself to be an urbane, sophisticated chap, and it's likely few who know him would argue with him, whether they are ally or enemy. Despite the passing of the years, he has lost none of his witty charm...or his dry British humour. Shade is a man of another era, from a time when men were gentlemen. Even though he's living in the modern day now -- and has adjusted rather well to it -- he still retains that old suave Victorian charm that one so rarely sees in people nowadays.
The Shade is a "sensual" person. Not "sensual" as defined in the colloquially accepted way, but the more literal definition of the word -- "devoted to pleasing the senses". He likes things that appeal to his senses -- only the finest art, music, food, clothing, and company will do. And with the accumulated wealth of almost two centuries, he certainly can afford many of the very best things that he so loves.
In his time, the Shade has also learned that no one has his interests at heart more than himself. Thus he is not at all hesitant about getting exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it. This can be an advantage for others, too -- if the Shade decides that he likes someone, he is likely to go above and beyond in order to ensure that person stays alive and unspoiled.
Perhaps it's the gentleman in him, but Shade does not like openly lying to people, especially superheroes. It's not a gentlemanly thing to do, and it's beneath him. For this reason, while he might be very careful with just exactly how much of the truth he tells, he will not openly lie. Lies of omission, however...are another thing.
"Darkforce" is the shadow-like dark magical force in the Shadowlands, a realm full of semi-sentient darkness. Shade's manifestation of Darkforce takes the shape of thick, viscous, oil-like liquid when not under his control. He can form it into shapes -- from simple tendrils, to hands and humanoid shapes, to flying demons. The latter is his preferred method of attack, summoning "demons" to menace his enemies. Without his cane, the Nightstick, his control over his Darkforce is significantly less, reducing him to only being able to summon tendrils and vague humanoid shapes.
Less teleportation and more creating a "wormhole" through the Shadowlands between two points in the real world, this is the Shade's primary means of getting around. When teleporting alone, his range is pretty well global, so long as he knows the area reasonably well. Or he can set up a "home" area that he can easily teleport to in a pinch. He can't really use it like short-range blinking; it's not a matter of distance, it's a matter of the power and time it takes to open the portals between the points he wishes to go. He needs a moment to "find" the place in his mind, and then another moment to actually open the portal. And he can be followed by those that are quick enough, or he can willingly bring people with him (though the portals must be bigger and "held open" longer for more people, so he needs longer to prepare this). Additionally, any passengers are cautioned to close their eyes and cover their ears on the trip. And hold your breath, just to be safe. Those unaccustomed to the Shadowlands' dangers can suffer psychological damage if they remain there too long.
While in darkness, the Shade can regenerate damage done to himself, including lost limbs. This is not instantaneous; regenerating a single lost limb takes a full twenty-four hours in complete darkness; in partial darkness it can take up to a week. This does not function unless it's COMPLETE darkness, which is difficult to achieve outside the use of his own powers.
Like all of his powers, the Shade's immortality is derived from the supernatural "accident" of 1838 that he was involved in. It has, among other things, rendered him immortal. The Shade does not age, does not contract illnesses, and heals faster than a normal human. Further, his durability and resistance to injury seems to have been greatly enhanced. Small arms fire, explosives, and even more than a few superhumanly strong punches have merely left him stunned. This does not render him unkillable; though killing him is difficult, it is still possible.
When one is immortal, one learns to disguise oneself relatively early, else one's secret gets out. And having many different aliases over the years tends to reinforce the necessity of this ability. Thus, Shade has spent a great deal of his life as an immortal entity learning how to disguise himself with both shadows as The Shade, and with makeup and costumes as any of his various aliases.
Back in the day (his day, anyway), men were expected to be gentlemen. They were expected to know which fork to eat what with, what not to say in public, what to wear, what not to wear, etc. And in his travels, he's been to a great many places, and learned a great many different countries' social "rules". Nowadays this behavior might seem odd, but it's a good bet he won't embarrass himself at a formal function. This is, of course, assuming he cares enough to bother.
The Nightstick has a sword-cane blade concealed within it. For this reason, shortly after he acquired it, Shade began to learn to use it. He has had a long time to perfect his skills with it, and is remarkably good with it. He doesn't often resort to physical fighting, but when he does, he can always use the sword in the Nightstick. Shade can also use other fencing type swords -- rapiers, foils, epees, and the like -- with reasonably good ability as well, but it's with the Nightstick that his skills truly shine.
There's always the chance that Shade will be shorn of a weapon at some point while fighting. And besides that, such a long life is boring without learning SOMETHING knew. Shade has gathered a good deal of material and knowledge from around the world, and has put together a mishmash fighting style for himself. It's nowhere near his full power, but his strength is impressive, so he's effective enough with this to handle a good number of street punks.
Another skill that Shade has picked up is the ability to hide. Mainly because when undertaking criminal enterprises, it's always best if one knows how to hide oneself. Between his long time practicing and his own control of the shadows themselves, he's gotten quite good at this little trick.
Shade has traveled around the world for a good number of years. India, Vienna, China -- and more. To properly get around in these other countries, one needs to know the languages spoken there. Currently Shade is fluent in all the five so-called "romance languages" (English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish), Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. His skills in Swahili, Hindi, and other dialects of Chinese is somewhat lesser, but he knows enough to function.
Being able to avoid detection, as well as being able to detect others hiding nearby, is a useful skill. Shade has been hiding for so long that he knows the tricks of the trade as far as how mundane hiding goes. So now he knows to look for others using those tricks. It also comes in handy for reading people in conversation as well. One can't say exactly what needs to be said if one can't tell what needs to be said in the first place. This is one of Shade's little tricks for having lived as well as he has managed all these years.
Pickpocketing, picking locks, thieving, breaking and entering, prowling and sneaking around-- these are all things the Shade is good at. He's had a century or two to perfect his technique. Though he still has to distract any guards watching, disable any security cameras, etc., before he actually can do the breaking in. Unless he WANTS to get caught. Which is also not altogether an impossible notion.
Generally the Shade does not go by his real name unless it's in a conversational situation, meeting someone on the street that he didn't expect to meet again. Shade creates new identities as needed to keep his true identity secret. With his vast wealth, it's not hard for him to make a new identity. Some of those he's used in the past are James Black and Louie Fox.
Something else that's been useful to the Shade are the series of hideouts he has. Most of them are scattered about Opal and Keystone Cities (primarily the former), but he does not limit himself. One never knows when one will need a place to duck into when the stuff starts flying. These are well-appointed townhouses bought under various aliases that provide him little other benefit than a stylish and comfortable place to recover from getting his butt kicked in peace.
The Nightstick, as he calls it, is his link to the Shadowlands. While he can use his powers without it, for reasons unknown, this deceptively harmless-looking black cane with a silver bird's head for a grip seems to increase his abilities. Without it, he can only affect natural shadows, and is thus reduced to about a quarter of his normal effectiveness.
Two centuries is a long time to amass wealth. And that's exactly what he's been doing for most of his life, building his fortune. In his lifetime, he's made a rather large fortune for himself, through legal and not-so legal venues. Shares in stock, selling goods, taking contracts for hired killings -- he's been quite busy in his lifetime. While the overwhelming reason was more alleviation of the boredom of living for so long, it's managed to provide him with quite a fortune in the meanwhile.
One collects an impressive amount of memories when one has lived as long as the Shade has. However, some of his memories are extraordinarily painful. His mind has perhaps suppressed them, or perhaps they are truly gone. Among those are the method by which he received his abilities. Besides that, he truly has lived so long that sometimes he just flat-out FORGETS things -- names, faces, events -- particularly if they happened some time ago.
Bright lights in general tend to give him trouble. They can blind him and make it unable for him to aim attacks and direct his constructs (they are not at all sapient or sentient). Bright light also tends to instantly destroy his weaker shadow constructs. Concentrated light energy (lasers, light-based heroes/villains) will do more concentrated damage, both to him and his Darkforce constructs, that will take much longer to heal. Lasers and plasma weapons -- ESPECIALLY plasma weapons -- seem to be the best at causing serious, concentrated damage to him and his constructs.
While Shade is not powerless without his cane, it does offer him an advantage. For some unknown reason, only when it is in his possession is he at his full power. Perhaps it functions as a focus for his link to the Shadowlands, much like a mage's staff. But either way, it's only with this cane that he can access his pwoers at their fullest extent.
Another thing that is key to him is his shadow. If he cannot cast a shadow, then he is vulnerable. His shadow is apparently his link to the Shadowlands, and since his powers come from there, if he casts no shadow, he is cut off from the source of his powers. Not only can he not use his powers, but because when his shadow is taken away, he can be killed much more easily. There are magical and supernatural ways to literally separate the Shade from his shadow. This is particularly easy for another Darkforce manipulator. But there's also an easier way -- urround him with bright lights.
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Richard Swift has 2 finished logs.
|Stars and Shades||August 8th, 2020||A superheroics history student and a man who's lived it meet in a diner at midnight.|
|Memento: Lost in the Woods||July 15th, 2020||People converge to investigate leaves. Yes leaves. No clowns were harmed in the making of this scene.|
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