From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Real Name:||Mobutu Gizenga|
|Known Aliases:||Shamanu, Shay-man, Shramana, Samana, Shamani, Kam, Baksi, Sangoma, Nganga|
|Nationality:||African (unspecified region)|
|Occupation:||Tribal Shaman, Vodou Houngan, Witchdoctor|
|Place of Birth:||Shantiki, Africa|
|Base of Operations:||One Guardian Plaza|
|Manipulates the Earth to contain and entrap foes and for travel.|
|Fluent in over a dozen languages, (English is his least familiar), including Swahili, Zulu, Afrikaans, Arabic, Oromo, Amharic, and Hausa, and is a skilled open fire and raw foods cook.|
|Medicinal pouch belt compartments, drums, staff.|
|No additional information available.|
Shamanu is a fictional hero in the Virtue server of the online game City of Heroes. Mobutu Gizenga is the shaman, houngan, and witchdoctor who is known as Shamanu in Paragon City. Being a foreigner, he often has many culture shocks, in addition to those experienced by the people around him towards him. With a supportive role, Shamanu battles along with his teammates in the Guardians of the Golden Age to defend the city from its numerous threats. Shamanu has triumphantly become my main.
Shamanu is a humble man of many lands. His travels have shaped him into a friendly, peace-bearing soul, as communicating with stranger tribes is a very tense and often deadly ordeal, and keeping calm and quaint assists in these communications. And because of these talks, Shamanu has picked up over a dozen languages (including English, which is spoken in a thick East African accent) from the African tribes.
Automatically taking the role of a follower when cooperating with teams, Shamanu naturally holds the rear, as his heals and Earthen manipulation require him to have some personal room to fully engage his role.
Carrying a large skull on his right shoulder, it is said that Shamanu wears this as a reminder to himself of the death and genocide he has seen in Africa and thus pledging a vow to stop evil at all costs. It has also been said that this skull, and the face paint he wears, is ritual dress he acquired while studying Vodou for ceremonies such as that of a resurrection or any large heals he may conduct.
Shamanu also carries a belt with predominantly finite storage compartments. Within them, he stores his numerous healing powders made of plant and mineral spirits, which are pre-made before battles. A shaman understands the necessity to use both nature and spirit in healing, while using their lore of nature along with the ability they have to read auras, and applies their knowledge of chakras to heal. With that, he has learned of recipes used since ancient times to heal his allies. These powders react in many different ways to a person's body, but assist healing by opening up an increased energy flow to that area. During times calling for more healing in battle, he must sometimes break to create more and replenish his supply. He also carries, in the rear compartments, the supplies to create these powders as well as drums to perform magic rituals on the dust, as well as other rituals such as that of a resurrection, or sometimes to simply engage in song and dance. The drums also assist in altering his consciousness, an essential aspect of his ritualistic powers. Also known to be stored in his belt's pouches are a skrying stone and runes, for the purpose of divination. How the drums and medicinal creation supplies are stored in the small compartments in the belt are unknown.
Always in hand, he carries an oak staff mostly for ritualistic purposes. However, the staff is not only used in ceremonies; it is also a useful tool, if not essential. It can be used as a weapon for defense, for traveling, and used to direct energy. He attaches fresh, hard shelled hollow fruits to its head for blessings in the field, and occasionally for nourishment.
Aliases and Real Name
Not much is known as to how or why he is known as Shamanu in Paragon City, in addition to where the name came from. In the African cultures and various indigenous tribes he has passed through, many names have been designated to him by those people. What is known, though, is that they are all derivative of the name "Shaman" in some way from the languages of the people.
Although Shamanu's real name is not unknown, it is said that, in keeping with witchdoctor legacies, if his real name is spoken aloud within his vicinity, the speaker will be embalmed with a curse of 28 years per count.
The powers given to Shamanu after his first quest include, but are not limited to: trapping foes in deadly prisons of stone that slowly crush victims (but practices restraint to merely keep them incapacitated) and erect from the ground up, forming powerful earthquakes that shake enemies from their foundations, liquefying the ground to turn into quicksand that slows victims to a crawl, causing stalagmites to erupt all around an enemy, disorienting them, tapping into the geothermal power of the Earth, manifesting thermal vents in the ground that leave foes choking and helpless, and can even call upon the earth to form its own separate entity to fight on Shamanu's behalf.
Shamanu has no natural healing powers, but what heals he "throws" is due to various powders he creates made of plant and mineral spirits. These powders are stored in compartments placed around the belt he wears and are pre-made before battles. A shaman understands the necessity to use both nature and spirit in healing, while using their lore of nature along with the ability they have to read auras, and applies their knowledge of chakras to heal. With that, he has learned of recipes used since ancient times to heal his allies. These powders react in many different ways to a person's body, but assist healing by opening up an increased energy flow to that area. When healing allies, he simply opens the pouch in his belt to the specific powders he wishes to use and throws, or sprinkles, the dust onto whomever needs healing. Resurrections are more of an indepth process, requiring a performed ritual, accompanied by drums and chants, to revive the fallen heroes. He must chant magical spells during every healing process.
Because of his connection to the Earth and the power to manipulate it, he is able to control the ground directly beneath him to form a conveyor belt-like formation of apexes that propels him at speeds superior to that of the average human running. Recently he has been clocked at being propelled at a speed of 120 mph. These apexes produce temporary trails left behind where Shamanu has passed over, due to the friction of the ground moving at such a speed, and in turn, take time to cool down.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Shamanu is essentially a normal human being, weak to any and all forms of damage, although his will is strong. He truly becomes powerless when his shamanic connection to the Earth literally loses connection; once Shamanu leaves contact with the ground, he is powerless. If a foe were to simply levitate him even an inch from the ground, he can no longer manipulate the Earth.
As for his healing powders, time and his finite resources are a factor. If in battle too long, continually emptying his pouches of his various healing powders onto his allies, he will eventually run out and have to create more on the spot (which can be a lengthy process). In addition, every time he uses these powders, he must chant a sutra, which commune with the spirits. Rarely has Shamanu lost an ally because of these few seconds, but it is not impossible. Also, the only person's wounds he has difficulty healing is his own. The creator of these stocks are penalized with a decreased effect on themselves, while some of them require some of his own life essence per heal to assist those in need.
Once arriving in Paragon and the United States, Shamanu quickly became a prominent hero in his own unique way. He sought out a group of like-minded people that stood for the same ideals he practiced: The Guardians of the Golden Age. Upon acceptance, Shamanu quickly established himself as a brave and valiant hero, despite having a specific goal that needed to be accomplished in Paragon.
((work in progress))
- I've realized that my favorite characters are those that still are tied to real life events and practices, so I tried to put a lot of true practices and occurrences into Shamanu's life.
- The idea for him initially after being in-game and catching a book on shamanism on the bookshelf out of the corner of my eye. I couldn't help but look at it and make a shamanic hero.
- Some influence for the character came from the Alpha Flight character, Shaman, but only discovered him after looking for shamanic rituals for research.
- There's also a bit of Rafiki, from the Lion King, in there too.
- Learned the bare minimum of Swahili so that I can speak a little in-game.
- I'm in the process of learning how to demo edit, and learn 3ds max, so that I can make short films of his journeys.
This article about a character is a stub -- a small, but growing, work in progress. If you're the creator of this character, why not consider expanding it?