Claw of Shadows
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|The shadow has eyes trained on you.|
|Claw of Shadows|
|Player: @Alicia Jewel|
|Threat Level:||50 (+1)|
|Real Name:||Sierra Black|
|Known Aliases:||Claw of Shadows, Claw, Agent Night Prowler|
|Place of Birth:||Kaynville, USA|
|Base of Operations:||Port Oakes|
|Marital Status:||Dating Jimmy Dawson|
|Known Relatives:||Claire Black (mother), Unwon (father)|
|Claws, Natural Reflexes|
|Slashing, clawing, dodging, etc.|
|Gloves with metallic claws in the knuckle|
|No additional information available.|
At first glance, it's rather obvious that Claw is not a normal person. Her face is very feline-like in structure, contributed by yellow cat-like eyes and sharp fangs visible when she's not wearing her mask. She has an athletic build with broad shoulders and a rather muscular body. Her most striking features, though, are her large black cat-like ears and tail.
Claw is rarely seen in anything but her stealth gear, which consists of form-fitting material designed for silence and stealth, a belt with a few "emergency" gadgets such as smoke grenades and blinding powder, and gloves with metallic claws in the knuckles. She almost always wears a mask over the lower half of her face. Her black hair is a bit shorter than shoulder-length, and part of it hangs over one eye. She is also known to wear a little black dress to formal events, but she never goes anywhere without her signature gloves.
Her "hero" disguise was a tactical Vanguard uniform colored black and blue. It greatly resembled her previous stealth gear. She had dyed her hair and fur brown and no longer wore a mask.
Claw rarely has a sincere word to say to anybody. Most of her statements are either insults or sarcastic comments--even the people she considers herself to be on good terms with rarely get anything but that. The few times she does give a true compliment, though, she tries to play it down. The only exception are the rare times she will brag about herself, and even then she tries to seem tame so as to not appear big-headed.
There are very few people that Claw truly care for. Said few include her boyfriend Jimmy Dawson, her mother, and two members of the Legion: Mad Manta and Blood Widow Ricki. She is willing to admit that she does trust a few others not to stab her in the back, but only because she is impressed by their power and/or sheer brutality. On the other hand, she hates Madcap Jester with a passion and is utterly annoyed by Deuce-Wild's impossible-to-understand slang.
Claw is ruthless in battle, stopping at nothing to watch her enemies perish at her claws. She kills indiscriminately, whether or not some of them probably deserved it. If Claw dislikes anyone and has no use for them, she will kill them, no questions asked. Claw's only "moral dilemmas" come along when she is asked to kill children, such as when she was hired to kill Etsuko Wakahisa, or when she is asked to kill a defenseless person. (Unless the person in question is only temporarily defenseless.)
She does, however, prefer to be stealthy whenever she can. While under the wing of Vanguard, she did whatever she could to preserve her image as a "hero" (or, at the very least, someone who wasn't a total criminal) in order to avoid being targeted. When assassinating a target, she prefers to sneak in, get rid of the mark, and then get out without any possibility of being traced. The thing she hides the most, however, are her emotions, and she hates when they get the best of her (such as when she admitted being terrified of a man taking the power of what was essentially a god).
For reasons unknown, she hates the Council. She also hates anyone who tries to remove her gloves.
Over 20 years ago, the alien race known as the Felis Extraterrestreanus planned an attack on Earth. They sent a single member of their race named Unwon to scout a small town they saw as the perfect place to begin the invasion. There, he met a human woman named Claire Black, whom he found himself attracted to. The two soon fell in love, and Unwon violated a great taboo among his people: he bore a child with Claire. Soon afterwards, though, he fled the planet, managing to convince his people that the planet was unfit to attack.
Claire was forced to raise her half-alien daughter, Sierra, alone. She taught Sierra to hide her telltale cat-like ears and tail from others. As she grew older, Sierra began to question why she was so different and why she had to hide her differences from others. Her mother finally told her the truth about her heritage and that her father had abandoned them. Sierra was saddened and somewhat angered by this revelation.
One day, Sierra felt brave enough to reveal her secret to a close friend. However, as soon as she revealed what she really was, her so-called "friend" began to spread her secret across the town. Eventually, the "half-alien freak" was run out of town. Enraged by this betrayal, Sierra chose to use her inherent speed and agility to turn to a life of crime as an act of vengeance against the humans. She eventually paid a technician to create a special pair of gloves that would conceal a set of claws like the ones used by her alien brethren. At this point, she adopted the title "Claw of Shadows."
During a rather daring break-in, Claw was apprehended by the police and sent to Zigursky Penitentiary. Some time after, a mass break-out was staged by Arachnos, who helped Claw and several others escape to the Rogue Isles. There, she chose to become an assassin-for-hire, using her acrobatic skills, natural stealth, and razor-sharp claws to take down her targets. These actions were noticed by The Union of Dire Ambition, who recruited her with the promise of more contacts and more wealth.
The Entropy Legion
Months passed, and Claw honed her deadly skills. The Union recommended her to a group known as the Entropy Legion; she agreed to join them only for the sake of getting more money and more people who don't completely hate her.
During her time in the Legion, Claw met a variety of interesting people who tend to fall into three categories: people she wants to stab in the face, people she can sort of trust not to stab her in the back, and people she can truly call her allies. Of course, the latter are few and far between.
One night, Claw suggest that the group raid her hometown, Kaynville, for some magical artifacts she knew were stashed away in the mayor's office. After a rather annoying submarine ride to the mainland, they arrived at their destination. Unfortunately, while stealing the relics, the mayor arrived: Cassidy, the same person who Claw had entrusted her secret to. A hectic battle ensued, in which it was revealed that Cassidy had developed psychic powers during Claw's absence. She and her bodyguards were defeated by the Legion; Claw took the liberty of spouting some rather nasty words at her.
Unfortunately, the Legion's troubles were not over yet--the Felis Extraterrestreanus had decided to pick that moment to invade, this time in full force. The Legion had to fight through an army of cat-aliens to get back to the sub, but the biggest kicker was when they rescued Claw's mom and dad. When the chaos had finally calmed down, Claw opted to stay in Kaynville for a short while to visit her mother.
The next several weeks were about as normal as things can get for a villain until Claw received a letter. For the sum of a million dollars, she was asked to assassinate a "ninja girl" known as Etsuko Wakahisa. When she discovered that her target was just a 14-year-old girl, though, Claw backed out, feeling that it "wasn't right" to kill a girl so young.
Etsuko began to do extensive research on Claw, even going so far as to find her address. She became a HUGE fan of Claw and was going to adopt the moniker "Blade of Shadows" in her honor, but it was already taken by another individual that Etsuko has sworn to stab in the chest. She became what could be called an obsessive fangirl, but the fact that she's willing to do anything that Claw says is enough to keep the half-alien from "finishing the job."
Claw signed Etsuko up for the Entropy Legion's Mentor Program to help her train to be a better villain. Or maybe she just wants the ninja out of her hair...
Agent Night Prowler
An ex-member of the Entropy Legion invited his former "comrades" onto the TV show "Are You Chosen?" It consisted of various trials that ended with one member of the Legion having to "confirm" their victory through a computer. However, it turned out that these computers were actually sending information about Arachnos and the Union of Dire Ambition to Longbow, making it look like that the Legion was selling this information to their enemies. Coupled with the fact that they were being blamed for the death of Statesman's daughter, the Legion had no choice but to consult Assembly Member #3 (aka Betty White). She struck a deal with Lady Grey to get the Legion "recruited" into Vanguard to protect them from those hunting them.
Claw, having already rented an apartment in Paragon City with her boyfriend Jimmy Dawson, agreed to join their forces. After receiving a new outfit (and a new hairstyle), she took up the moniker of Agent Night Prowler.
While working as a member of the Epsilon Squad, Claw and several others were sent to investigate a security leak that could possibly reveal their true identities. (Claw was more interested in this "leak's" offer to make them all look good in the public eye, though.) After doing a few heroic deeds, including saving people from a burning building and taking explosives from the Council, it was revealed that Cassidy had actually set up the scheme in order to get back at the Legion for what had happened in Kaynville and to further complicate--if not outright ruin--Claw's life.
Before they could finish the job, though, Cassidy revealed her "special guest:" Claw's own mother, who had been given psychic powers and hypnotized into attacking the Legion. They had no choice but to bring her down and nearly kill her, leaving Claw to grieve and worry for one of the only people who ever really cared about her. In a fit of rage, Claw "visited" Cassidy in her hospital bed and strangled her, leaving the mystery of how she discovered Epsilon Squad's true identity unsolved.
It's in the Blood
Eventually, Epsilon Squad was revealed to be the Entropy Legion, but by the time they were kicked out of Paragon, they had already eased the ire of the Union and Arachnos. Radium Blight was revived, and his soul was placed into a robotic body. This seemed to have the side effect of making him an insane megalomaniac who believed that every member of the Legion was capable of unlocked insane powers. Though Claw was reluctant to follow along with her boss's insane plans, this pursuit of power felt her leaving more powerful than ever before.
Perhaps it was fate that drew Claw's Aunt Shinara to come to Earth and visit Unwon and her niece at that moment in time. She explained that she had discovered a long-forgotten form of magic in the Felis's underused library that she believed was the reason Unwon had the intelligence of a mage but none of the power. It was essentially a school of "support" magic that the Felis had phased out in favor of raw power. Though Unwon was only able to perform the basics under Shinara's instructions, Claw's exposure to the "threads" that Blight kept babbling about helped to unlock her magical potential.
Powers, Abilities, and Weaknesses
Claw's main method of attack is to slash relentlessly at her foe with her set of metallic claws. What exactly they are made of is unknown, but it is known that they are able to cut through several common metals and alloys with some effort. The light weight of these weapons allows Claw to attack quickly without expending a lot of energy. She is also knowledgeable about the weak points of the human body, which is helpful for quick and stealthy assassinations.
Due to her alien heritage, Claw possesses what can be classified as "superhuman" reflexes, allowing her to dodge several attacks thrown at her as long as she can see it coming. Her large ears allow her to hear things from further away than normal, and her tail gives her an enhanced sense of balance. In addition, her light weight allows her to move quickly and quietly as well as jump rather high. However, she takes hits harder than a normal human would due to this lighter frame, and a knowledgeable enemy could use Claw's enhanced sense of hearing to his or her advantage.
Claw's suit is enhanced with stolen Vanguard stealth technology, which allows her to become nearly invisible to the naked eye as long as she is standing still. If she is moving, however, a faint outline can be seen, and she can still be sensed through other methods.
Concept and Creation
Which came first: the catgirl or the Stalker? I honestly can't remember which. Claw was one of my first characters and possibly my first villain. Her archetype comes from the fact that I've always been a fan of the rogue-type classes in MMO's, and the feline aspects of her come from the simple fact that I love catgirls. I wanted to have a somewhat plausible reason for her to be a catgirl, so I created the Felis Extraterrestreanus to explain her catlike features. The parental abandonment that came with that backstory gave her a reason to be a borderline-antisocial criminal, so I rolled with it. Her expanded backstory, including her friendship with Cassidy West and her relationship with her mother, came later.
Despite her constant spews of "I am not a cat," I know full well that Claw is 100% catgirl. No amount of backstory can change that, and as long as I don't fall into the stereotypes that catgirls often follow, I'll be happy to admit that.
- Her first name means "mountain range." This is not significant to her character at all.
- Her birthday is August 8th, the day that her "Secret Origins" arc was played.