From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
My name is Joseph Trudeau. I was born in the town of St-Eustache, Quebec, in the year of 1807. In December of 1837, I joined the patriotes’ rebellion of Lower Canada for the sovereignty of Quebec in the battle of St-Eustache. Two-hundred militia men stood against the onslaught of over a thousand professional British soldiers. In our final stand, we holed up in the church and readied ourselves for our coming doom. The only sound we heard was the roaring flames that engulfed the entire town, along with the church. Although it has now been rebuilt, the original front face of the church still stands as a monument of our struggle, with every wound it suffered by cannon fire. Much like me.
In that battle I discovered something amazing and terrifying. From the flames I escaped unscathed. I found within me the strength of fifty men as I lifted myself free from the charred and smoking rubble of the church. Though my skin was blackened by soot, I was untouched by the fire. I crawled away into the woods, running as far as I could for what seemed like days. Finally I collapsed, exhausted. A farmer discovered me and gave me shelter. Several days later, British troops seeking scattered rebels knocked on his door. Suspecting him of hiding me, they torched his home and burned his fields. It was anger that drove me to their camps that night. They say I killed thirty men in my rage before they brought in the cannons. The first ball struck me in the chest and knocked me back. The second missed entirely. They never got to fire the third.
They gave me a name that night. They called me the North Shield, for the way gunfire and cannonballs simply bounced off of me. I became a legend that sparked countless others to rise up. To my enemy, I became a nightmare. I roamed the wilds, often finding the hospitality of brave farmers. For a year I prayed on the British, making my own effort in the rebellion. In December of 1838, the rebellion ceased. My great country of Quebec was merged with the rest of Canada, becoming just another part of the British Empire. After that I hid, eventually finding my way into a traveling circus. My abilities were accepted there, for a price. I became a circus freak, and for 60 years I roamed the land so that others could gawk at how strange and unusual I was. Even my employers started to wonder just what I was when I managed to pass all those years without a single sign of aging. I was a 96-year-old trapped in a 25-year-old’s body. I escaped from those horrid people and instead found myself in the city, submerged in the criminal underworld. I walked side by side with thieves and murderers, never partaking but always watching. I learned their ways and exactly how their black hearts ticked. I was eventually caught, of course, and they gave me a choice. It was either prison or the military. I chose the lesser of two evils.
Within a few years of serving in the Empire’s army, I deserted with my training and fled to France. It was 1914, the start of World War I. Taking on the identity of a dead Frenchman, I was drafted into military service. I spent the next four years deep in the trenches, pointlessly charging across fields of dead towards more trenches. Yet in all of this death and mayhem, I found hope. One day, as I lay in waiting in a trench, I spotted a French soldier doing something peculiar. He had suffered a grievous wound, and he was holding a severed finger up to its stump. Suddenly, a green light erupted from it and the finger re-attached itself. Smiling, the soldier calmly went to sleep. This was the first sign that I was not alone. This man, who most likely believed himself to be special and unique, was truly not. As was I. Unfortunately, machine-gun fire tore him apart the next day. This was a wound he could not heal, no matter how special and unique he was.
After the War, I traveled the world in search of others like me and the soldier in the trench. I found this quite difficult, as most were terrified of being revealed. Many believed that they were possessed by some demon or spirit. My research culminated in notebooks filled with stories about people who could create fire and ice, or fly through the air like birds. None of this mattered. As long as they believed themselves to be uniquely blessed or cursed, they would be useless to the world. War inevitably followed, much as it had for the past 137 years of my life. This War brought the greatest atrocities of all. Nevertheless, a ray of hope came from war once again. Super-powered beings, much like myself, were beginning to organize. Unfortunately, some were among the ranks of the enemy. Others came from America—The Freedom Phalanx—from Paragon City. I fought alongside them against the evil that our powers could also bring to the world. It seems that my abilities also forced me to forget about my past. I joined with Britain’s Dawn Patrol, siding with my oldest enemy. But this Britain was not the Britain of old. We fought a common evil, worse than anything I had seen in Quebec. The foulest weapon ever devised by man ended the war abruptly. The atomic bomb shocked and appalled the world, myself especially. This unnecessary use of force convinced me to follow the Freedom Phalanx home. I would travel to Paragon City and aid my fellows there, so that heroes, not bombs, could end conflict in the future.
The journey was a hard one. Returning to America was not something I ever wanted to do. It seems as though my abilities truly changed me, for the better. In Paragon City, I remembered my old nickname—North Shield. I donned a costume, sporting my old colors and the symbol of my home—the Fleur de lis. My abilities would soon be needed, as the Villain nemesis planned to wreak havoc on the United States. Quick action by the flood of heroes returning from the war turned the tide against him, and the forces of good vanquished evil. With super-powered heroes deputized to fight crime, it seemed I had found my true home. Unfortunately, all was not right. During the cold war, heroes were drafted by the Government to fight the Soviet Union’s own super-powered heroes. We were being used like weapons for their little game of cat-and-mouse. I was drafted myself into the service of the Government. In 1953, I was sent to assassinate the nationalist prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mossadeq. My failure to do so resulted in the suspension of my crime-fighting registration indefinitely. I found myself back in Paragon City, unable to use my powers for good. Suddenly, I thought back to my past. I found myself back in 1837, watching as the British overran my home and killed my family. Rebellion stirred within me once more, and I donned my costume and headed for the streets. I joined other heroes in an underground fight against crime. Fortunately, we were never caught. The cold War eventually ended and all seemed well in the world of heroes. Geneticists working with my blood discovered the source of my powers. I was a very early example of genetic mutation. Finally understanding my power, I took to the streets with a fervor like no other and developed my powers to their fullest.
|Councillors: Champion Woman • Doctor Spectro • Old Ranger • Raven Moonshadow|
|Hero: Amazing Trixie • Arcanist Ica • Blood-Eagle • Captain Midnight • Congressionalist • Diamondskin • Emerald Protect • Gods Speed • Gravijah • Heliodromus • Hero Paragon • Invictar • Moonlight Owl • Ms. Impossible • North Shield • Paradox Theory • Redbird • Shining Centurion • Solairis • Streetlight • Turbohawk • Winter Tornado|