From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The Crimson Conjuress is a witch and black magician operating in the Rogue Isles. A former hero in Paragon, she is now Headmistress of Sigma Iota Nu, a small "crime school for girls" masquerading as a sorority at Aeon University.
|"I am the Heir to the Bathory bloodline, and no man is my master."|
|The Crimson Conjuress|
|Real Name:||Nadja Bathory|
|Occupation:||Visiting Professor, Aeon University|
|Place of Birth:||Confidential|
|Base of Operations:||Cap au Diable|
|Known Relatives:||Radu (brother), mother deceased, father's name unknown|
|Potent magic and especially necromancy.|
|Highly charismatic and educated.|
|Ritual magic paraphernalia.|
|Headmistress of Sigma Iota Nu, a small crime school for girls.|
Nadja and her brother Radu were born to a wandering remnant of the Bathory line, in a gypsy village on the mountain slopes of Romania. From an early age her connection to the occult traditions of Elizabeth Bathory, the infamous "Blood Countess," was made manifest -- Nadja could see and speak with the spirits of the dead, and like her ancient ancestor she displayed a peculiar ardour for other young girls. Her fellow gypsies considered her cursed, someone to be both feared and respected, and they gave her and her brother a wide berth.
As she grew into a young woman, Nadja's powers began to grow out of her control -- she drained the life out of a cousin by mere touch, and the newly dead would rise from their graves to attend her. Afraid of her abilities and fearing a peasant mob, she fled with Radu into the wild, where she had heard of remote hidden temples of ancient wisdom where she might learn to master her arcane gifts. In time, she found just such a place, but Radu abandoned the quest and came to America, where he intended to use his own personal powers -- which were far less intellectual and easily controlled -- for a life of personal gratification.
Some ten years later, Nadja left her isolated retreat in the Carpathian mountains and came to America looking for Radu. Her mentors had taught her self-discipline and mortification techniques which allowed her to keep her black magic in check, but it required extreme willpower and denial. She became a superhero in Paragon City, under the name the Crimson Conjuress. She soon attracted a bodyguard and personal servant -- an Asian martial artist named Callista, who was sworn to her service.
Self-discipline proved difficult in Paragon; financial problems were a constant for Nadja, and she had mixed success as a hero -- never really rising to prominence. She felt her Bathory bloodline as a keen attraction both to her bodyguard and her other female friends, but she was forced to abstain from sex if she wanted to keep her powers under control. Slowly she began to yield to temptation. Feeling that she needed a bodyguard and servant who was both loyal and invulnerable to harm, she began to build a girl-sized doll out of wood; the ability to make and animate magic dolls had been an old trick of her gypsy father. To make the doll into a real girl named "Kelli," Nadja sacrificed Callista's body and soul in a black magic ritual.
The Rogue Isles
The Crimson Conjuress and her new servant were captured by Longbow and imprisoned in the Zig, where they remained for about a year. Recently, however, she escaped with Kelli and fled to the Rogue Isles. Abandoning her quest for her brother Radu, she quickly found work as a visiting professor at Aeon University in Cap au Diable, where she is now teaching witchcraft and occult history.
Safe in the university, she used her new position to gather half a dozen young students into a criminal organization. A sorority, Sigma Iota Nu, was created to be the front for this small "crime school for girls." She hired an Executive Secretary to help with the day to day operation of the school, and attracted a couple of additional instructors including Dr. Greta Tam (alias In Absentia) and Charisma Calloway (a successful cat burglar). Although it is still quite young, Sigma Iota Nu has settled into a sorority house in Cap au Diable and the education of its young girls into a life of successful crime has begun.
Nadja Bathory is the heir to an occult bloodline derived from the Countess Elizabeth Bathory. This bloodline manifests in a prediliction towards necromancy and other dark magical arts, a prediliction which Nadja has spent years training. Her magical skills are significant and wide-ranging.
- The Crimson Conjuress is most famous for her small gang of undead minions, which include vile flesh-eating zombies, strong and resilient sword-wielding knights, powerful ghosts, and even dead sorcerers of the past. Many of these undead servants have displayed magical powers of their own, including soul-stealing or life-draining abilities.
- In addition to her undead servants, Nadja has successfully bound demons to her service for limited periods. These include both "Dark Servants" of the Netherworld and pedestrian succubi.
- Bathory can paralyze a victim simply by looking at him, and her gaze is so terrifying that her foes are often unable to raise their hands against her or her allies.
- While she does not display the easy mind-control abilities of some supervillains, the Conjuress does have the power to enchant and dominate the will of a victim through manipulation of the soul. The effect is transmitted through eye contact, tying the victim's soul to Bathory's own and creating a deep-seated desire to please. Bathory does not dictate the actions of those she has dominated in this way, controlling them like puppets; rather, the victims adore her and are averse to actions which they believe would displease her.
- Nadja has great control over the anti-life energies of the Netherworld. She uses these smoky vapours to conceal her and her allies and she can also create black and viscous traps for the unwary. By opening up a portal to the Netherworld, she can summon her allies to her across a great distance. By creating a link between her own body and the Netherworld, she can siphon physical harm away from her and to that dark dimension; this functions as a ward against many types of injury.
- The Conjuress can drain the life force from her foes, causing weakness or even death. She can use that energy to heal her own wounds or those of her allies. One manifestation of this are white "soul tentacles" which Nadja calls forth to surround and snare her foes; the victim's soul is leeched out by the tentacles. Because fragments of the victim's soul are preserved in the ectoplasm which makes up the tentacles, Bathory has limited access to the victim's memories, and can use this technique to acquire information from the those she has already slain.
- Nadja possesses some ability to see the future, which she channels through a Tarot deck. She has occasionally gotten precognitive dreams or glimpses of the future even while awake.
- The Conjuress can fly at great speed.
- As a student of magic for several years, the Conjuress is able to perform a large number of relatively minor magical tricks, including the creation of simple illusions, mind reading, or the detection of and communication with specific individuals over space and time.
Other Skills and Talents
In addition to her superhuman powers, the Crimson Conjuress is an expert on the occult and arcane lore. She speaks several European languages and has made a careful study of European history. She is well read in the classics, especially British literature. Physically, she is in excellent physical shape and she uses life-draining magic to preserve her youth and beauty.
- Source: While I don't normally make homage characters, the Crimson Conjuress is a fairly blatant homage to the Scarlet Witch, or at least the "dark" version of that character which we have occasionally seen in stories like "Yesterday Quest" or John Byrne's "Dark Wanda" run. Personally, I love the character of Wanda Maximoff, I wish that everyone had just kept what Kurt Busiek did with her, and I think Bendis ought to be shot, but no one at Marvel has asked me what I think. Now that she is running SIN, Nadja has taken on a bit of a White Queen vibe, with her sorority girls a bit like the Hellions.
- The Sinrority: Sigma Iota Nu is a crime school for girls masquerading as a sorority at Aeon University. There is a "mature audiences" warning for SIN; the teacher-student heirarchy at the school implies dominant/submissive sexual politics which are not suitable for minors.
- Radu: Nadja's brother Radu is a reference to Wanda Maximoff's brother Pietro, the superhero known as Quicksilver. Radu has never been played in the game, but it would kind of be fun if he was.