From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
When the name Die showed up on the Virtue Name Watch a couple years ago I pounced on it, unsure of what to do with it but loving the sound. It took me a good three months or so to come up with the basic concept for her, then another two years to actually develop enough of a personality for her to make her playable. She really started to gel for me when I figured out what I was trying to do with her beyond walking magnetic tantrum, and summarized it in the form of her elevator pitch in the image caption to the right. I love villains who are incredibly powerful but lack the intelligence and ambition to truly be the threat they could be; I'm looking forward to letting Die evolve a bit and make the eventual transition from nuisance to real villain. -- Price
Ferrous Skeletal Deposits
The girl who would later be known as Die was born into both privilege and revilement as the daughter of Connecticut senator Sheldon Sheffield, a staunchly anti-metahuman politician who spent much of his career looking to reinstate Might for Right. When Sheldon's daughter was born with unnaturally gray skin on November 2nd, 1992, after her mother Sheila suffered through a difficult, life-threatening pregnancy that saw her afflicted with an unusually severe case of iron deficiency anemia, he was very reluctant to admit that he and his wife could have brought a mutant into the world. So reluctant in fact that, without consulting his wife, he announced that their child had been stillborn in a press release the next day.
Unfortunately, Sheila refused to go along with Sheldon's plan to give their mutant child up for adoption under a false identity. She had gone through so many difficulties to bring their baby girl to term that she was not going to give her up just for the sake of Sheldon's political ambitions. The Sheffields would keep their daughter and raise her in absolute secret and privacy, lavished with her mother's attention, gifts, toys and pets to keep her occupied and distract her from her essential confinement in their mansion.
For nine years, the girl's secret spoiled upbringing continued; she was educated by private tutors paid as much for their silence as their skill as educators, and in time even Sheldon's cold, politically-focused heart began to soften towards the girl. He briefly considered introducing her to the media as an adopted daughter in order to soften his public image and defuse accusations of being prejudiced against metahumans, until her powers began to manifest in small but definite ways that instead hardened his resolve to keep her a secret.
In the meantime, her mother's affection had grown cooler over time as her difference of opinion with Sheldon drove a wedge between them and virtually killed their marriage, turning it into a sham they sustained only for the sake of his ambitions. He blamed her for having "corrupt" genes, and she despised him for his unwillingness to acknowledge their daughter, and more frequently turned to drink to calm the stress of living an ever-complicating lie.
By 2005, at 13 years old, the Sheffields' daughter was confined to her own wing of the mansion, which had been gradually renovated with plexiglass and plastics to become a prison for the girl. The wing was also her private playground, filled with the luxuries her parents splurged on to keep her entertained and distracted, and the warped and mangled results of her bored experimentation with her powers. Shortly before Christmas of that year, the National Tattler broke the story of her existence, after a disgruntled member of the household staff delivered them photographs of the girl using her magnetic powers, along with his account of what he had seen of her upbringing.
The fallout was immediate and drastic, as Sheldon's spin machine tried to counter the evidence the Tattler had gathered. They claimed first that it was a fabrication, then that the girl in the photographs was the child of a family friend Sheffield was caring for, even tried to present Sheldon as a friend to mutants, letting his own home be used to test a safehouse program for "dangerous" metahumans, "despite great personal risk to him and his family". None of it worked, however. The evidence backing the story was too damning, and by the end of the first day after the scandal broke, Sheffield was forced to resign and most of his staff abandoned his sinking ship.
Sheila, now a complete alcoholic and a shrill, shrivelled shell of the trophy wife she'd once been, had grown more and more distant from her daughter in the years since her powers manifested, as she had fearfully embraced her husband's xenophobia after seeing the girl's magnetic ability with her own eyes. She had long ago shifted the blame for her artificial, hollow life from Sheldon to their daughter, and as their carefully crafted public lie began to crumble around them, Sheila snapped, storming into her daughter's sanctum in a drunken rage and screaming accusations at the girl, who was entirely oblivious to what was happening to her parents' lives.
Sheila's barrage of obscenities and accusations and weak (but nevertheless hurtful for its surprise) physical abuse broke through the teenager's ignorant, lonely, spoiled bliss and for the first time sparked her deepest hurt and rage. In the midst of Sheila's banshee-like screeching the girl realized, despite all she'd been given in her confined space, just how much of her life had been denied to her and for what incredibly selfish reasons. On top of all of which, she was being slapped carelessly around by this lush of a woman who hadn't been her mother in years, this haggard drunk screaming at her, "Die! You abomination, everything we have done for you, everything I went through to have you, to keep you, and you do this to your father, to me! You don't deserve this, you should just die! Die! DIE!"
The girl finally understood her mistreatment and she snapped, hurling outward with her power with such force that for the first time she tore out of herself the metal deposits that were fused to her skeleton, drawing them out through her skin into elongated spikes, horrifying both Sheila and herself. But the horror, shock and pain were not enough to distract the girl from the tantrum she would then unleash, tearing down the Sheffield mansion in a magnetic maelstrom and murdering her mother, all the staff on the grounds, and several of the police who responded to the initial 911 calls before hero intervention finally saw the enraged young girl knocked unconscious.
She was incarcerated in Ziggursky Penitentiary in Rhode Island, the nearest prison thought to have the means of keeping a threat with her power neutralized. When an Arachnos raid three years later made the mistake of freeing her, she adopted her mother's last word to her as her name.
Streets of Haven