Limbo

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{ played by @Jon }

NAME: Ethan Holloway
AGE: 29
HAIR: Blond
EYES: White
OCCUPATION: Free Spirit, Shepherd of Souls
BIRTHPLACE: Olympia, WA
POWERS:

  1. IMMORTALITY:
    His unique condition, which keeps him locked in a logic-defying state between life and death, ensures that he will forever continue to exist, even against impossible odds. Despite a constant stream of failed suicide attempts, he never stops trying anyway.
  2. LIFE MANIPULATION:
    He can tap into a limitless source of pure life force for a number of purposes, including healing, energizing, animation, and more.
  3. DEATH MANIPULATION:
    He can also control the shadowy forces of death, which naturally consumes life force, causing corruption, chaos, and of course, death itself.
  4. SPIRITUAL CONNECTION:
    Ethan's relation to the forces of life and death allows him to perceive souls in a way that most people cannot. He can feel when a person's soul is severed from their body upon death, or when someone is close to dying. He can sense corruption in a soul, which can detect lies, or sense someone's intent. It also enables him to see, summon, and speak with the spirits of the dead that haunt the world of the living beyond the veil of death.

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Not everyone gets to be someone important. For a lot of people, life is pretty mundane -- they wake up, they go to some boring, soulless job, and they come home to rest before they do it all again the next day. It's easy to get lost in the blandness of mediocrity, and that was certainly true of the completely uninteresting Ethan Holloway. Never one for ambition, he perfected the art of coasting by through life just well enough to get by without ever really needing to put in the effort to stand out. For pretty much his entire adult life, he worked nights as a cashier at a 7/11, and he never dared to seek anything more for himself. Aside from the bizarre creatures who wander into a 7/11 in the middle of the night, he always found himself feeling out of place out around most people. Did that make him a bizarre creature of the night, too? Ethan himself always considered it to be real possibility.

Ethan generally kept to himself and didn't keep a lot of close relationships. He moved to Paragon City right after high school on a whim, leaving his only relative - his single mother - back home in Olympia. They text occasionally, but for the most part, Ethan remained completely isolated from family since he moved. By most social standards, Ethan was a loser. At the very least, he was completely forgettable to virtually everyone he met. In a way, it allowed him to be free; on the fringes of society, unnoticed by most, he was liberated from many things that hold normal people back, like shame, or fear of failure. Where most would get dragged down by negativity, Ethan somehow thrived. Still, a part of him always regretted doing absolutely nothing meaningful with his life, though he typically tried to not dwell on that feeling.

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Ethan's death came on a night like any other. He had just finished working his shift at 7/11, and geared up for the 2:00am walk home on the quiet, empty streets. Happy for a chance to listen to some music and tune the world out for a bit on his way back to his apartment. Unfortunately, he tuned the world out a little too well, and was too distracted to notice the vehicle speeding towards him as he jaywalked across an intersection, too impatient to wait for the pedestrian crossing light to signal for his safety. In that single instant moment when the car made impact, Ethan Holloway ceased to exist; to Ethan, however, that moment stretched out into eternity while his life flashed by in his mind's eye. As he watched, he wished he could have done something more with himself. At the same time, he felt peace knowing that none of it mattered anymore. And then he died.

After Ethan's death, the world went on as normal. 7/11 hired a replacement as soon as they found out what happened. His belongings were all auctioned off, and his apartment was rented out to a new tenant. His mother, though distraught about her only child's death, was unable to come to Paragon City and properly handle all of Ethan's affairs, or even pay for a proper burial. For a time, Ethan's body sat in a Paragon City morgue waiting to be cremated and disposed of. It never did make it to the cremation chamber; Ethan's body was flagged as a potential candidate for a medical research program, and was subsequently shipped off to the laboratory of Dr. Benedict McCobb, a Paragon City University professor whose experimental research aimed to cure death itself.

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Dr. McCobb had only experienced moderate success in his resurrection trials prior to acquiring Ethan's body. Though he was able to concoct the right chemical formula to reanimate dead tissue, he had a hard time counteracting the natural decay of corpses without the heavy use of preservatives, which had devastating effects to brain function post-reanimation. With Ethan, however, Dr. McCobb was determined to get it right. Once he was able to craft a new version of his reanimation serum to pump through Ethan that passed all of his simulations, he put it to the real test. Upon injecting it directly into Ethan's cold, dead heart, his body began to regenerate at a remarkable pace. After a moment of anticipation, Ethan awoke on the lab table, gasping for air as every cell in his body was jolted alive. Dr. McCobb was elated -- it seemed that he had finally accomplished his goal of curing death, once and for all!

It took a while for Ethan to fully process what happened to him. The last thing that he remembered was walking home from work. He remembered his life stretching out before him, and then feeling peace. After that, there was nothing... until he woke up in a strange lab with a weird, bald scientist he'd never met before. Once his mental faculties returned enough for him to properly communicate with Dr. McCobb, Ethan finally learned the truth about his death. Having also learned that the world had unsurprisingly moved on without him, Ethan agreed to stay in Dr. McCobb's laboratory for him to continue to study. As time went on, however, Ethan grew exhausted with his existence as a human lab rat. He wanted nothing more than to die once more, wishing to return to the peaceful nothingness he felt in death before being forced back to life. He even attempted suicide on more than one occasion, only to find it to be biologically impossible for him to do so. Every time he tried, the universe seemed to stop it like some sort of reverse Final Destination style force was protecting him. Not only that, but Ethan's body seemed to be immune to the effects of aging. By all metrics, Dr. McCobb's cure for death was not only successful, but permanent.

Just as Dr. McCobb anticipated, there was massive interest in Ethan's unprecedented condition. Buzz about Ethan spread around academia like wildfire, as people obsessed over the prospect of a potential cure for every ailment facing mankind. Though people's understanding of what Ethan could actually do was incredibly limited at the time, he became an incredibly coveted scientific asset almost overnight. It's no surprise that he became targeted by Crey Industries, who wanted to use Ethan to unlock the secrets of immortality for Countess Crey. They kidnapped him from the university to experiment on him for themselves, effectively ruining both Dr. McCobb's big debut, and his career in the process. It was while in the custody of Crey that Ethan was rescued by the heroes Ace, Occultist, Osiris, and Timeburn, who needed his unique capabilities to help with a dangerous rescue mission. Inspired by his rescuers, he joined them as the vigilante Limbo to form the Vanquishers, a group of powerful heroes who work together to make the world a better place, giving him a second chance to be something great.

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Having one foot in the world of the living while the other one's in the world of the dead has some unusual benefits. There is a veil of death that drapes over the world of the living, imperceptible to anything alive, but still every much present. This veil of death hides the restless spirits that live in fear and isolation among the living, unable to properly interact with the world that they see in front of them. Because of Ethan's condition, he is able to see through this veil completely, and as a result, the world he sees around him is much different than the one most others see. Ethan is capable of pulling others across the veil -- either living humans into the world of the dead, or spirits into the world of the living. However, if he doesn't take them back, they remained trapped in a world at odds with their very existence, which can disrupt reality if left unchecked. The worlds are not meant to be cross-contaminated, and Ethan must be very careful when doing so.

Limbo can also move himself beyond the veil of death at will. Because he is both living, and dead, he can exist in both worlds without consequence. Beyond the veil exists a world that looks similar to our own, but the rules there are entirely different. In ancient texts, this realm is ironically also often referred to as Limbo, although Ethan was completely unaware that it was a real place when he started using it as his own name. Ethan's gotten quite adept at navigating this realm, and learning the ins and outs of how it functions. After the amount of time time he's spent there (where time doesn't even exist), he's come to think of it as his secondary home.

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As Limbo, Ethan has found himself a comfortable niche acting as a hero for the dead. As one of very few individuals who can see the dead that haunt the world of the living on a regular basis, he's made it his own personal mission to seek out these souls with unfinished business to help them find peace and cross over into their respective afterlives. Though Ethan still remains desperate to die for himself, he finds some relief in that struggle through helping others achieve what he cannot. It turns out that ghosts don't have very many people fighting in their corner, and when word started spreading among the undead that there was someone willing to actually make a genuine effort to help them where few others would, they openly embraced him as a community. Nowadays, Limbo has become a staple component of undead society -- He may not be the brightest, the strongest, or even the most skilled, but spirits everywhere know that when they need help from someone in the world of the living, Limbo is one of the only ones they can trust.

Ethan is not alone in his effort to bring lost souls to the final resting places they belong. Assisting him is a mysterious entity called Haros, who typically manifests as a giant, shadowy wolf. Make no mistake, though -- Haros is much more than some simple animal. Haros is a fully sentient being called a Shepherd of Souls from the mystical realm between worlds who is responsible for bringing the souls of the deceased to the afterlife realm in which they belong. With Haros' guidance, Ethan has become a respectable Shepherd of Souls in his own right, a title that all types of undead recognize as some form of authority.

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Repossessed: Shortly after re-joining the real world as the vigilante Limbo, Ethan returns to his old apartment to track down some of his old belongings from before his untimely death. When he learns that Crey took ownership of his stuff after they kidnapped him, he tries to get it back.

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The Vanquishers: Ethan owes everything he has to the Vanquishers. If it weren't for them rescuing him from Crey, he'd still be sitting around in some lab getting poked and prodded for some scientist's experimentation somewhere. This group of heroes gave him the opportunity take his mess of a life and inject it with purpose, and as such he devotes himself fully to the team. Its members have become his closest friends and allies, and he'll do anything in his power to help them out whenever they need it.

Reanimator: After losing his career following Ethan's abduction from his laboratory, Dr. Benedict McCobb vowed to continue his experimentation independently to recreate the same serum that brought Ethan back to life. Unfortunately, he's had to start back from square one, as he lacks the resources his previous job as a medical researcher gave him access to. Ethan, however, is determined not to let him put someone else through the trauma of resurrection, and thus makes a point to stop Dr. McCobb's schemes whenever he reappears.

Slasher: A malevolent spirit who has been magically empowered by Satan himself. Ethan was drawn to the cloud of death that hung over Camp Hardwood where the ghost of the infamous murderer resides, and was shocked to discover that the spirit was powerful enough to actually kill Ethan, something that nothing else has ever been able to do. After getting brought back to life by a loophole in the rules of the magic that keeps Slasher bound to the campgrounds, the spirit was magically sealed away by the Occultist to prevent anyone else from being murdered. Still, Ethan hasn't given up hope on helping Slasher find his eternal rest.

Stand-In: A man who once died after an unfortunate encounter with Limbo early in his career. Though Ethan tried to save the man's life by transferring his disembodied soul into a new body, inadvertently teaching him how to possess new bodies in the process. In doing so, he did not consider the consequences... such as the loss of the man's family, who moved on after they presumed him to be dead. Stand-In blames Ethan for this, and vows to get revenge by stealing Ethan's body for himself.

Vexx Vandal: As a Christmas present to Ethan, Ace hired an expert assassin to periodically show up and try to kill him. Obviously, Vexx Vandal never succeeds; despite this, his attempts are always the highlight of Ethan's entire week when they happen. To Vexx Vandal's frustration, Ethan has come to regard him as some sort of close friend, despite their relationship consisting of nothing but attempts against Ethan's life. Ethan just really appreciates the gesture.



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