((Updated Feb 14 2011: Tweaked and added some information after having read the Mystic World Champions source book))
Aristonike is an angel and self-professed heroine. Whereas most celestial types are chaste and pure, Nike embodies the wild side of life. Tattooed, tomboyish, and a big fan of very loud music, she is nonetheless a staunch opponent of Evil in all its forms.
Neither an awesome towering presence nor a petite little thing, Nike presents a classical embodiment of divinity. At around six feet in height, she's certainly taller than most human women, but frequently finds herself dwarfed by the truly hulking heroes and villains of Millenium City. As one might expect of an angel, she is virtually flawless in a physical sense. Athletic and strong, she nonetheless still cuts a quintessentially feminine figure. Nike quite literally appears as a Greek hero(ine) of legend, like an ancient marble statue brought to life.
At odds with her divine figure are relatively mundane grey eyes and a haphazardly-maintained shag of fiery, unruly hair. Given her ability to alter her appearance seemingly at will, it is unclear why she keeps the simple, tomboyish look. Her face often appears heavily made-up, dark eye-liner and deep eye-shadow making her look anything but pure. Classically high cheek bones complete the look of a runway model gone awry.
Of course, it's a rare sight indeed to see anything but a grin plastered on her face. Ready to find any excuse to beam pearly whites, her expression is almost constantly one of unending exuberance and optimism.
As a supernatural entity, most of Aristonike's powers are innate and directly tied to her angelic heritage. She also frequently fights with her magical sword Damocles, a black blade particularly effective at toppling evil in positions of power and authority.
The majority of Aristonike's capabilities are due to her extraplanar origins. As an angel, she has access to a variety of abilities which behave much like spells. She has the limited ability to channel celestial energies to various purposes, usually to harm enemies or heal those in need. Other magical powers include limited teleportation and the ability to direct small storms of holy wrath at enemies.
Most of her prowess, however, lies in more physical abilities. Nike is extremely strong, disproportionately so in comparison to her classical figure and athletic build. In a fight, she often forgoes her spells and sword entirely, preferring to simply hammer the opposition into dust with a brute-force array of punches, grabs, throws or any convenient nearby object that an opponent can be slammed into.
Her supernatural strength is complemented by nigh-invulnerability. Although not truly invincible, most mundane harm -- be it bullets, knives, kicks, or a runaway freight train -- seems to have little effect on her. Even magic is usually less effective when used against her, as in combat she is often shrouded in a protective holy aura in addition to her innate resistance to hostile magicks.
Causing significant harm to her usually requires powerfully-enchanted weapons. With sufficient magical strength, a gun or a sword will harm her as if both she and the weapon were normal, although even then she is not easily dropped.
Her true weakness lies, paradoxically, in the enemy she is sworn to fight -- Evil. Unholy powers are anathema to her as she is to them. Demons, fiends, and other sources of outright evil can naturally harm her, though with hundreds of years of experience fighting them she's used to a little tussle. In combat, her array of spell-like powers and auras usually helps protect her from the worst of her vulnerabilities to evil effects.
Being a winged angel named for a winged goddess, it is only natural that she can fly. Two silvery-white angelic wings ferry her about, frequently used even to assist short hops from one side of a room to another. Nike will often fight aerially, using flight as a cohesive part of her battle tactics to confuse, shock, or simply slam into her enemies at high speed.
Aristonike is also an extremely adept dimensional traveller, particularly where the Astral Plane is concerned. She is capable of limited teleportation in any given physical realm via manipulation of its Lower Astral, and can access most dimensions and planes of existence by direct Astral travel. Her duties as an astral deva frequently involve rescuing or guiding those lost in the Astral Plane.
Most of Aristonike's physical entanglements with opponents are resolved with her fists. Although helped by her incredible strength, over the years she has developed a sort of crude martial art of her own. Practically, it's not unlike a mix of bar brawling, Judo, boxing and probably more than a little so-called "drunken mastery." Although she often relies on brute strength to get the job done, she is not unfamiliar with fighting opponents who are even stronger than she is. Usually she will prefer to fight such enemies with her other abilities, but if pressed she can hold her own in a close-range brawl.
Fighting with fisticuffs isn't always practical, of course, and in a serious engagement with minions of evil she will often go for her sword. No duellist or expert swordsman, she hacks through enemies with the crude, practical efficiency of a soldier, although she can frequently be seen adding dramatic little flourishes if she thinks someone is watching.
Of course, she's not averse to mixing the two styles when called for. An opponent may parry a quick slash from her blade only to be bowled over by an incoming haymaker instead.
Although Aristonike frequently changes her outward appearance, she can most often be seen armoured in a sturdy (though not unflattering) leather cuirass. Adorned with classical Greek imagery of lightning bolts and extending down into the iconic leather tassets, it only reinforces her image as a Greek heroine of old.
Her magical sword, Damocles, is almost always found dangling casually behind her hip. In an apparent break from her Greek origins, the sword more resembles a mediæval European arming sword than a Greek xiphos. The blade does bear a Greek name, however, recalling the legend of Damocles -- a man whom upon finding himself in the seat of power suddenly realised it wasn't as easy as it looked when a sword was suspended above him, threatening to come crashing down at the slightest mistake.
Aristonike's sword has similar implications for servants of Evil who seek power. A powerful magical blade in its own right, it is particularly effective against those who use power and authority for evil.
Perhaps her most treasured possession, she is almost never found without a flask or two of hard liquor for "emergency purposes." Generally filled with rum or vodka, she keeps the flasks around ostensibly to "help children in need" or in case she's "stranded on a desert island."
Aristonike is wild, mercurial, impetuous and has a flair for the dramatic. Although prone to the occasional fit of snarkiness, she is usually found beaming brilliantly at everyone and everything. Infectiously enthusiastic about... well, everything, she exudes youthful exuberance and optimism at almost every opportunity. Particularly fond of anything she considers "fun", it seems to be her personal mission to goad everyone around her into acts of epicurean excess.
It would not be inaccurate to say that Aristonike often has more in common with mischievous faeries and other impish fay-creatures than the angels she resembles. She cares nothing for rules and laws, and often goes out of her way to break them if she thinks it will be entertaining. MCPD officers have had numerous "talks" with her over her practise of giving tequila to schoolchildren, while Eric Deringer has expressed alarm at her tendency to stash LSD around his apartment.
Likewise, bouts of silliness and mischief are frequently brought on in the presence of those she deems "stuffy." Making childish faces behind someone's back and generally juvenile acts of rebellion are not uncommon.
Nike claims to hail from both Elysium, the heavenly plane of angels and goodness, and Faerie, the Land of Legends where the Greek pantheon (among others) makes its home.
Generally, she states that she's an agent of Aphrodite, Dionysus, and the Muses, and ultimately hails from Mount Olympus. Supposedly, she's been to Earth several times before, the earliest circa 1000 BC in ancient Greece. Since then, she professes to have "wandered the multiverse doing stuff that needs doing."
How an angelic creature came to be in the service of the Greek gods is unclear, although she does tend to bear a closer resemblance to the actual Nike, Winged Goddess of Victory, than to the more well-known Abrahamic angels. Aristonike also describes herself as a deva, a term typically associated with the Buddhist and Hindu spirits of Elysium.
-- Seems to hate cigarettes, despite abusing virtually every other drug in the known universe.
-- Terrifyingly embarrassed of her true, unaltered form. It can generally only be seen in times of great stress upon her magical capabilities.
-- "Discovered" heavy metal music upon arriving in Millenium City and has been completely enthralled by its attitudes and aesthetic.
-- Known to develop a furious temper when witness to corruption or abuse from powerful individuals.
-- Often seen hanging around with Naaheila, and usually trying to get her "sister" to drink.
-- Her hair tends to be as wild as Faerie, and although usually short, it seems to be styled differently every time she makes an appearance.
-- Has a fondness for aviators' sunglasses.
The following are OOC notes and information provided for the sake of writing it down, and for anyone who is curious.
Aristonike was originally a Planescape character. Her abilities and personality made for a natural fit for Champions, and I later discovered that the cosmology and lore of the two settings mesh together surprisingly well.
The original concept for Nike was born out of being sick and tired of seeing the same old pure, naive, and pacifistic or childish angel characters. Most seemed to belong to the Planescape ideal of Law, following all the rules and (in my humble opinion) being rather boring.
Nike was an attempt to break that mould. There are Angels of Mercy and Angels of Death, so why not an Angel of Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll? Hence Nike became an angel from the other side of the spectrum, one of chaos, wildness, zest for life and an all around "bad girl" who nonetheless still fights evil and helps the innocent (when she's not tripping on acid, anyway).
Whereas the typical angel may seek to uphold the status quo and preserve and protect order and justice, Nike actively seeks to disrupt power and organization. In true rock'n'roll fashion, she exists to "fight the Man, man" and consequently prefers to go after evil-doers in positions of power: corrupt rulers and politicians, those who use and twist the law to their own ends, and anyone who abuses power at the expense of the Little Guy. Freedom and rebellion from oppression in any form are central tenets of her character.
Lots of characters have a theme song or two listed. Aristonike has more of a "soundtrack" personality!
01. Ozzy Osbourne - Rock'n'Roll Rebel
02. Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
03. Eric Clapton - Cocaine
04. Blue Oyster Cult - Burnin' For You
05. The Doors - Break on Through (to the Other Side)
06. Judas Priest - Angel
07. Jimi Hendrix - Little Wing
08. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird
09. Deep Purple - Child in Time
10. Judas Priest - Breaking the Law
11. Deep Purple - Knocking At Your Back Door
((Anyone can feel free to add anything they like here))