From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The Lightforgers are a long lineage of mutants who trace their origins beyond the beginning of recorded history. Only a handful of "true" Lightforgers are born in each generation, and fewer still master their abilities to full extent.
Currently, the only living person known to possess the Lightforger Flaw is Alexander Eisenstein, alias Extor Prime.
The Flaw is a peculiar genetic condition that bestows an array of powers upon those carrying it. Unlike most mutations that result in "superpowers", the Flaw initially manifests as a largely impractical ability to project simple images and flashes of light; this ability fades within a year of its manifestation if the bearer of the Flaw chooses not to use it.
Mastering the Flaw requires great mental discipline and constant practice. With enough effort, the mutation will progress, granting the Lightforger a multitude of additional powers, all the while inflicting profound - and irreversible - changes on the mutant's very being.
As the name suggests, the most basic set of powers bestowed by the Flaw revolves around creating constructs of solid light. Depending on the mutant's skill, willpower, imagination and the mutation's progress, these can range from simple geometric shapes to highly complex creations that can exist independently for a period of time and act on their own.
As far as post-human abilities go, Lightforging is hardly unique. The ability to create "hard-light" objects has been successfully duplicated through magickal and technological means, however never to the extent displayed by the oldest Lightforgers. These mutants are reputed to literally conjure entire life-like worlds, and sustain these constructs indefinitely with minimal effort. No Lightforgers wielding such power are currently present on our plane of reality, which is perhaps fortunate.
A secondary manifestation of the Flaw results in an ability to manipulate pure energy in a number of ways. The powers that result from this are highly dependent on the individual mutant's mindset and temperament. They range from projection of forcefields, plasma, energy and kinetic bolts, to blanketing entire areas in harmful radiation, to performing feats of healing and rejuvenation that are nothing short of miraculous.
This ability is the least documented and the most poorly defined of all Lightforger powers, and the mutants themselves do not fully understand how it works, or why it manifests the way it does.
Transcendence is the final step in the evolution of a mature Lightforger. During Transcendence, the mutant's organic body dissolves into nothing, and is replaced with a persistent solid-energy construct that now houses the Lightforger's consciousness. This construct can potentially look like anything. However, since the mutant's subconscious controls the appearance of this new body, most Transcended look exactly the same as they did before the evolution took place. They can temporarily change their appearance at will, but in most cases cannot sustain such transformations indefinitely.
Transcended Lightforgers are essentially immortal, and they have no basic human needs other than occassional sleep, necessary to prevent accumulation of mental fatigue. As it is the case with any energy being, the Transcended can be damaged and destroyed. However, as long as the mutant's consciousness is intact, he is able to reconstitute his energy form even from the point of near-obliteration. This process can take a long time, however.
This transformation normally takes place after many decades of practicing and developing the talents bestowed by the Flaw. For reasons unknown, the Transcended normally choose to leave the very reality behind and ascend to higher planes of existence shortly after the transformation takes place. This is perhaps for the better, as the presence of multiple beings of such godlike power would have had untold effects upon humanity, and perhaps the Universe at large.
Extor Prime is a notable exception to the rule, as his transformation was propelled by grievous battlefield injury and his stubborn refusal to die. Though physically he is Transcended, his powers have not yet reached the level attained by other Transcended Lightforgers, and will not do so for quite some time.
Lightforger records contain a loose power-level hierarchy, intended to help developing bearers of the Flaw understand their powers.
The Nascent are Lightforger mutants who carry the Flaw, but are not consciously aware of it. These individuals may sporadically manifest their powers in the most basic form, and gain awareness from such manifestations. Most Nascent will live out their lives without ever gaining awareness of their powers, and the Flaw will remain dormant, to be passed on to later generations.
These mutants are aware of their powers, and are actively using them. They are capable of projecting simple, intangible images and perform basic energy manipulation. If the Novice continues to use his powers and develop mental and physical discipline, the gifts bestowed by the Flaw will progress, improving the powers.
Novices are not physiologically different from regular humans with the exception of the Flaw gene.
Adepts are highly developed Lightforgers who have mastered substantial aspects of their gift. They are able to create persistent solid-energy constructs, and manipulate pure energy in many ways. An Adept's exact powers are significantly influenced by his mindset and personality; while some, for example, may become healers, others excel at debilitating opponents.
Adept Lightforgers are organic beings, but their physiology is supplemented by the ambient energy that they unconsciously absorb. This results in enhanced stamina, faster healing and longer lifespan.
Master Lightforgers evolve to the point of being intrinsically connected with the foundations of reality itself. The constructs they create are no longer temporary shapes wrought from pure energy. They are pseudo-real objects that are temporarily summoned into being by will alone; they can persist indefinitely or dissipate at the mutant's whim.
A Master, while remaining an being of flesh and blood, sustains himself purely on ambient and cosmic energy. Masters are known to withdraw from the world and become reclusive and meditative.
The Transcended shed their organic bodies and become beings of pure energy, persistent constructs housing a living consciousness. The Transcended are able to warp reality itself, and may step outside of timestream at will. Not much is known about the Transcended other than the fact that they have access to powers and knowledge that are almost godlike.
The Transcended ascend to higher planes of existence shortly after attaining their final evolution stage. In some cases, they may linger to finish their worldly affairs, but sooner or later they disappear, never to return.
Throughout ages, multiple Lightforgers have maintained records of their development, their practice regimen, and their lives in general. These records, in format of hand-written journals, have been passed down through generations. They have been amended, added to and meticulously copied - once more, by hand - by their inheritors. Each of these books carries a seal bearing a complex enchantment - a result of cooperation between an ancient Lightforger and wielders of magic. The spell physically protects the books from the ravages of time. It also enables those endowed with the Lightforger Flaw to understand the writing within regardless of what language it was originally written in.
The Midnighters established that five of these seals were originally created. One of them is in the possession of the Midnighter Club, meaning that the book it was attached to was destroyed. One journal is in hands of Extor Prime, and the fate of the remaining three is unknown.
Addendum: Projekt Sternlicht
Projekt Sternlicht (Project Starlight) was a long-standing attempt to artificially duplicate Lightforger powers by the Fifth Column. Initially established during World War II, the project involved genetic manipulation and experimentation on live subjects. These experiments resulted in failure and subject death, causing the project to be periodically abandoned. Though Projekt Sternlicht was repeatedly shelved, ambitious Fifth Column scientists would occasionally revive it, seeking to curry favour with Nosferatu and Requiem.
The latest attempt was the most successful, but likely also final. An obscure lab hidden in the ruins of Baumton produced an imperfect clone of a Novice Lightforger they captured; however, the success was short-lived as the lab was destroyed shortly thereafter, and all personnel killed. The clone is presumed to have perished as well, though no definite confirmation of its death, or current whereabouts, exists.