From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|'Peace to thy gentle shade.'|
|Known Aliases:||Janine, Shadow|
|Place of Birth:||Unknown|
|Base of Operations:||Unknown|
|Negative Energy manipulation|
|Shape-shifting, Shadow blending, Shadow swimming|
|No additional information available.|
Shadeshifter is a shape-shifting "shade"-like character, like the ones you'd find in Dungeons and Dragons and various other mythologies. She is, however, as this article will illustrate, quite different from a typical shade. Obvious inspirations for her character come from villains like Inque and Clayface.
Shadeshifter's physical body is composed of concentrated negative energy; a viscous, jet-black liquid that is extremely cold to the touch. It is generally harmless to normal human contact; however, if ingested, one may suffer from a variety of detrimental effects such as stomach ache, fever, and even death. The substance also seems remarkably resilient to extreme temperatures and hazardous environments, but is not completely immune to harm. Prolonged exposure to high intensity natural light beams (such as the sun's rays) will cause Shadeshifter's body to deteriorate dramatically. Remaining outside in the desert during the day, therefore, would weaken Shadeshifter almost to the point of death. In addition to her natural resilience, Shadeshifter also possesses the ability to regenerate any damage sustained to her body, including wounds caused by light. The regeneration period depends on the wound, with bullets, knives, and the like taking only a few seconds and deeper wounds taking several days. Despite this, it is possible to incapacitate Shadeshifter with sustained assault from more "mundane" weaponry, but to truly kill her, one would need to somehow employ natural light.
Shadeshifter can take the appearance, voice, and in some cases, the smell of any creature she chooses. This ability may also extend to inanimate objects, but the Shade seems to prefer imitating living beings. She achieves this effect by manipulating the raw negative energy that composes her body, shifting her mass to fit the appearance of whomever she desires. It is quite possible that she can add to her own mass in the event she wishes to mimic a creature of substantial size, but instances of such are rare if they even occur at all.
This facade is not perfect, however. The Shade cannot mask the touch and texture of the viscous nether of her natural form, and anyone that would come into tactile contact with her while shifted would be rudely awakened to the fact that she is not what she appears to be.
Shadeshifter is never without the Ashen Veil somewhere on her person, and those who are sensitive to such would indeed be able to sense the taint of this particular Relic of Power around her. The Veil is responsible for Shadeshifter's power and houses an entity known as Volagrias. It is known by various names and titles, but the Deceiver is perhaps the most apt description of this outsider. Volagrias itself is believed to be formless, but it can choose to present itself however it pleases, most often in the guise of an unassuming woman in her mid-twenties.
Volagrias is different from its outsider kin in that it actually takes a curious interest in the affairs of mortal civilization, intervening with a subtle hand wherever it would suit the outsider's convoluted schemes. This often puts it at odds with its fellow outsiders; for where one might annihilate an entire race on a whim, Volagrias might sit silently and watch, nudging events here and there until the race eventually destroys itself.
Friends, Allies, Enemies
In truth, few have even seen Shadeshifter's true form, and fewer still claim to know of her nature or motivations. While it is possible she has made various acquaintances (and enemies no doubt) throughout the vast number of worlds she has visited, she calls no one friend. She views friendships and romantic relationships as shackles that would prevent her from experiencing the multiverse as she pleases. Some have called it a lonely existence, and others have even pitied her, but the Shade needs no other embrace than that of shadow.