From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The Crimson Muse is a powerful natural telepath, with the unfortunate disadvantage that the specific way that her powers manifested renders her unable to prevent herself from hearing the inane mental chatter going on around her at all times.
Muse is a powerful telepath and nothing more. This is a mutant power, which awakened in her when she was twelve years old, though she suspects that it was also active in her as an infant, fading before she could remember; this is from disturbed reactions and memories of her parents.
The power to examine and alter the thoughts and activity in the mind of another. "I read minds, Casval. Not tea leaves."
Muse continually hears the thoughts of the people around her. She finds these thoughts to be generally inane and distressing, and often far too informative; she tries to ignore them most of the time with mixed success. She is quite capable of performing more profound feats of mind-reading if the situation calls for it; she is able even to transfer entire minds.
Typically, Muse is only able to receive thoughts in a fashion she can access if they are auditory or visual; she does not feel other people's emotions, and must extrapolate the emotional content of thoughts by context.
She is extremely capable at reaching out and altering other people's thoughts, leaving them temporarily a vegetable, taking over their body and controlling them to attack people, and otherwise rendering those who displease her into animate, living sock puppets.
The Muse has a number of skills beyond her ability to read minds.
Muse attributes her ability to stay sane on her kinesthetic nature; she thinks by doing and "getting her hands on" things. As such, she often finds release through heavy physical exertion, and is as a result very physically fit.
Having dealt with the intricacies of the government and military from her experiences over the war, and feeling unable to go back to a "normal" life, Muse is quite skilled with the ins and outs of the bureaucratic systems of Paragon. She can tell you what forms to fill out and how to get free heroes housing from the city, stipends, how to requisition things, what people in what offices to talk to to get preferential treatment of your case load, and how much chocolate to leave on their desks to do it. She knows how to organize files to mesh easily with the city's systems and be easy to find things. She knows a large number of helpful legal loopholes for various situations, and while not a trained lawyer, can crack most situations that might come up in ways that a lawyer would find no fault in later.
Muse spent a great deal of time studying how to control her telepathic powers. While this would turn out to be fruitless, she is an authority on the matter, and has written and published several guides on the subject.
The Crimson Muse has had her personality greatly affected by the nature of her abilities.
Muse was forced to see people's memories, private and intimate fantasies, and imaginings since a very young age. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to shock her. On the other hand, her perception of a 'normal' level of innocence has long since been blasted away.
Keeper of Secrets
Muse knows a lot of things that she shouldn't, and sometimes worries that it may be difficult to keep her secrets and her public knowledge straight. As such, she errs on the side of caution, and generally seems to be mysterious and imposing as a result. She comes across as knowing everything - which more often than most can claim actually is the case - but prefers to manipulate people into discovering things for themselves rather than simply telling them outright.
While Muse discovers a lot of bad things about people in this fashion, she rarely takes action on any of it. "If I were to report every broken law I find out about, they would have to build walls around the city to hold everyone in. Wait a minute - they already have."
Muse's civilian life essentially ended with the Faultline incident. She rarely is seen "out of costume", only appearing in that fashion with great reluctance.
Muse generally has a disturbed sleep and annoying thoughts in her awareness at all times, leaving her rather short-tempered. She has a particular pet peeve of shyness and social nervousness, as the act of trying to work up the courage to tell someone something generates vast amounts of inane internal monologuing which annoys her to no end, particularly if the same thoughts are reciprocated by the other person involved. Two people looking longingly across the room at each other wondering if the other could possibly be interested in them, essentially, makes her pull her hair out and seriously consider screaming at them to go get a room.
Muse, after much experience and observation, recognizes that people are inherently nasty, perverted, brutish, self-centered, and short-sighted. She expects nothing more from people, and is occasionally delighted when people rise above this.
The Crimson Muse's powers awakened while she was in school, a young girl at the age of 12, rendering her suddenly cursed to listen to an endless stream of relived memories, perverse fantasies, creative daydreams, secrets, and internal rationalizations of lies which were now blindingly obvious. This rapidly rendered her to be outright spooky, and distrusted by those around her.
She spent several years of her adolescence trying to come to grips with her new abilities, and with her unwanted knowledge of what people are really like.
She learned the perils of altering people's minds and the need to avoid mind-altering substances while she was 15, when she manipulated one of her friends and a boy with a mutual attraction together during a party with alcohol that she had manipulated her way to attending. The couple has a horrible falling out, and left her friend pregnant; Muse has since kept a covert eye on the resulting child, operating as a sort of guardian angel, but stays out of sight, as the former friend now hates Muse and works in the cause of abolishing mutant rights and suppressing heroes in organizations which are secretly associated with the Malta Group.
The Muse Project
With the coming of the Rikti War, there was a sudden need for secure communications. The moment the attack struck, she walked out of class and volunteered; she was assigned a non-combatant role as a "Muse", sealed in a bunker underneath Skyway City as a living communications and command relay, working with others such as the air mage who would eventually become the disembodied Wind of the duo Magpie and Wind, and fellow telepath Vanessa DeVore.
The Muse Project was still in effect during the cleanup after the war, and as such, she was still operating as a Muse when the Faultline Incident occurred, obliterating her neighborhood.