From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Harbinger of the Night of Wisdom|
|Real Name:||Svenkr Hol(Host), The Antehelion(Nictus)|
|Known Aliases:||Spencer Holt(Host), He Who Lies In Earnest Eyes(Nictus)|
|Age:||Extremely old, exact age unclear|
|Eye Color:||Light purple|
|Occupation:||Prophet of Night|
|Place of Birth:||Shadow Shard(Host), Kheldian Homeworld(s)(Nictus)|
|Base of Operations:||Deep Space|
|Marital Status:||Single, disinterested|
|Known Relatives:||Mother, father and brother, all deceased(Host), countless Nictus 'offshoots' through space and time(Nictus)|
|Spectre possesses all the powers inherent to Nictus; dark energy manipulation, transformation, teleportation, and a limited degree of mind control techniques.|
|Svenkr grants Spectre little in the way of physical skills, but much knowledge of Shadow Shard technology and the workings of Factory Cubes. This knowledge added upon the Antehelion's already incredible span of memory and wisdom makes Spectre well-versed in all there is to know about the local galaxy and beyond.|
|Midnighter enchantments(Blackwand, Red Wisp invocation), Transdimensional technology(Nictus Cysts, Nemesis Staff and advanced teleportation devices).|
|Currently an Initiate of United Underworld|
((This page is currently undergoing major changes.))
"In your tongue, I am called That Which Came Before Stars - to you it must sound a melodramatic nonsense. But your mystics, fumbling in darkness, have called me Antehelion and I much prefer that name. It gives the illusion that my presence on your planet has something to do with your insignificant star. I have found such little lies to be an asset in introducing the weak to my faith."
The Nictus lord calling himself Spectre is a complicated figure. Once a member of the Vindicators, this fallen hero is now a rising presence threatening to intervene on the rivalry between Arakhn and Requiem in struggling over the souls of humanity. Eons ago, this Nictus claims to once have played a hand in forming the Path of the Dark. Now, he seeks to make good on the ideas which saw him exiled and imprisoned so very long ago; today, Spectre works towards teaching humanity of their place in the universe, hoping to convince humanity of the Nictus' right to rule, rather than forcing it upon them.
A Recursive History in the Life of a Nictus
Spectre's history is very long and complex, owing both to his magnificent age and convoluted factors of time travel. Suffice to say, sometime in the distant, distant past(thousands of years), That Which Came Before Stars was present during an event called the Grand Debate - when the Nictus ruling classes set down their plan for subjugating the galaxy in the wake of their seeming victory over the Kheldians. The Grand Debate was the origin of the Path of the Dark, and the subject of much of the debate was on how Nictus should carry themselves towards the 'lesser' races. That Which Came Before Stars was haughty and proud, and suggested that the Nictus shed their hosts and engage the sentients of the galaxy in philosophical dialogue to establish dominance. His idea was scoffed at, and when he insulted the Dirge of Entropy brazenly he was torn asunder - almost completely destroyed - and sealed in a Cyst to be cast across the galaxy.
As it happened, this Shadow Cyst slipped into a wormhole at the far corner of Nictus-owned space, cascading through the dimensional barrier into the realm we know as the Shadow Shard. However, 'where' That Which Came Before Stars emerged is not as significant as when, for time flows in strange arcs in some areas of the Shard. The Cyst, which was meant to support That Which Came Before Stars for only a short time, wound up being prolonged by a stretch of 'slow time' that baffled even the Nictus himself. During the passage of this 'slow time,' That Which Came Before Stars fell into a deep slumber. Somehow, during this time asleep, Midnighters made their first excursions into the Shard - upon discovering the sleeping Nictus, they mistakenly labeled him a demon and left him alone. In an attempt to translate his name through mysticism, they ended up giving him his more modern name: the Antehelion.
The Antehelion's future host was delivered to him by a hero by the name Timefarer, in a dramatic conflict spanning across Shadow Shard space and time. The Timefarer - along with a space hero named Parsec - had come to take some artifact from the Storm Palace, but in their haste they mistakenly acquired the attention of Rularuu's forces. Meanwhile, a minor slave revolt broke out among one of the local Factory Cubes, and the Timefarer and Parsec made the hasty decision to perform a rescue in the midst of the melee. In the battle, Parsec was incapacitated by Chularn, leaving the Timefarer with no way to keep a portal open. When the Antehelion began to stir as a result of the conflict, the Timefarer offered up a human slave as a host, giving the Antehelion his first taste of being a 'Warshade.' This nameless symbiote of the Antehelion helped the slave revolt escape into Talos Island, 1968 - Parsec's native timespace - but, in doing so, suffered a mortal wound. The Antehelion bade his time in his dying human shell, waiting for the Timefarer to leave before making his move. In the middle of Talos Island, the Nictus emerged out of a dying slave, entering that pitiful human's closest friend instead. The act was remarkable, but not much moreso than the regular cavalcade of the supernatural to grace Talos Island - at the time, ignorant of Kheldians, the public accepted what had occurred as an instance of magic, a brave warrior's soul finding a new host. This new body, Svenkr Hol, kept his 'spirit' relatively private, and would not exercise his radical new powers until three years later.
At the insistence of his fellow Shard survivors and Primal Earth friends alike, Svenkr - or Spencer, as he went on Earth - finally embraced his role as a hero, becoming the mystical Spectre of the Vindicators. In his years apprenticing under the Vindicators, he never became a full-fledged member; instead, the mission that would see him earn his rank went disastrously wrong.
Spectre was one of the first heroes of Primal Earth to set foot in the Shadow Shard, in the year 1974. He did so supporting Earth's special forces, who would go on to set up Firebase Zulu. However, his mission was not nearly so successful - Svenkr Hol's eagerness to 'save his family' among the Factory Cubes got the better of him, and he wound up losing many men. As he strove to try and reclaim the fight, something called to him far beyond the battlefield...when he pursued this rippling sensation, he found a lone monolith of smooth, indigo stone. A Shadow Cyst. His Shadow Cyst. Upon approaching it, the time-displaced Antehelion briefly awoke, looking directly at Spectre. Instantly, Spectre understood what was happening - Svenkr Hol had hailed from the Shadow Shard of the distant future! The humans being overrun, the humans losing under his command - they were Svenkr Hol's own ancestors. He was leading the first fateful excursion into the Shard, which would populate Rularuu's Factory Cubes with its very first human specimens!
The realization shook Spectre to the core, and in that moment of catatonia, the Antehelion took root in his subconscious. A blind fury overtook Spectre, and when he returned to the battlefield he turned the earth black, rent space and creature alike in his mad pursuit of vengeance against his fate. However, in spite of his ferocity he still lost the battle - what's more, he lost something of himself.
When Spectre returned to Earth, he confronted Parsec in his retirement home, blaming him for not telling him anything of his origins. Parsec claimed ignorance of the time travel, but Spectre could not be convinced. In his passion, Spectre disintegrated two of the staff coming to check on Parsec. He immediately discovered how good it felt to kill a human, and so he proceeded to torture Parsec to death, the first victim on what would be a killing spree. Spectre hunted down other apprenticing heroes, catching them off guard in the scant hours before his deeds could be discovered and broadcast. The Antehelion had awoken in him, and as Svenkr fell further and further from the light of consciousness, the Nictus grew more and more powerful. With Parsec's murder, he recollected his ancient conviction, his exile and his indignity...and he saw the future, a very dark future indeed.
Spectre set out to finish what he had started, to prove the validity of his claim of Nictus superiority. With a meager handful of like-minded Nictus recruited out of the Fifth Column and Council ranks, Spectre founded a new sect in the Path of the Dark. It was to be called the Path of Night, observing a more peaceful alternative to his contemporaries. Today, cultists on the Path of Night worm their way into positions of power, subtly pushing their colleagues into the worship of elder things from beyond our native galaxy...
Powers and Assets
Spectre's powers are the same as other Nictus, though his strength is decidedly lesser than others his age.
By drawing on the dark energy of the cosmos, Specter can draw power out of the void between atoms, manifesting it as caustic blasts. This energy can tear physical matter apart, and all the while it absorbs energy from the space around it - as a result, Nictus energies can even damage spirits and tear apart energy anomalies with brute force.
Like all Nictus, Spectre retains his past hosts' forms in his genetic memory, allowing him to alter his energy signature and take on their shapes and abilities. Currently, his catalog of shapes includes the Dark Nova, the Black Dwarf and the human forms of Askr Nu and Svenkr Hol.
The Merciful Path of the Dark
Spectre heads his own sect of the Path of the Dark - one devoted to the (generally) non-violent enlightenment of humanity. Officially, Spectre calls this sect the Path of Night or the Merciful Path of the Dark.
As of yet, this collective is quite small, numbering only a handful of down-on-their-luck humans and two or three other Nictus adherents. Chief among these fellow Nictus is the mysterious Wisp Mother, whose host hailed from a magical dimension of perpetual night. The name is actually her title, regarding her role as the matronly figure whom aids formless Nictus into and out of their Cysts when needed.
The United Underworld
The villainous organization currently led by Dominatriea, United Underworld is truly a force to be reckoned with. Among its ranks are masters of science and magic whose experience can impress even the likes of Spectre. For the first time since his exile, Spectre is finally cooperating with others without being the one in authority.
While the Underworld's technology and assistance make for a magnificent boon to Spectre's own recruitment efforts, complete trust has not yet been afforded by either party. Only time will tell if tensions will rise between Spectre's meager cult and the Underworld...