Rumor has it that Bansidhe recently celebrated his 300th birthday, but only appears to be in his late 20s or early 30s. (Several paranormal specialists believe him to be among the first "mutants" of the human race.) His actual age is known only by himself and a few of his teammates. What is known, as he is very open about his past, is that he is a former arms dealer, drug lord and assassin. Unlike most superheroes, the Bansidhe has often told people that he does not consider himself a hero. In an interview, he was quoted as saying, "I am what I am because of all the bad things that I've done, in my life. When the time comes that men no longer embrace evil, my sentence will have been served."
Information that has recently been reported to PRIMUS, by Ban's team leader (the hero Rush), is that this Bansidhe is actually from an alternate reality. Rush reported that he had been sent on a mission, by Champions South-East team leader Patriot, to find any information that he possibly could on this reality's Banshee. After ten years, Rush returned - Bansidhe with him. According to Rush, it took him over ten years and searching through sixteen different realities before he found this Bansidhe and, through another hero's noble sacrifice, was able to convert him "to the side of angels". In the PRIMUS report, Rush also stated that he has yet to debrief his Bansidhe about our reality's Banshee. When asked why, Rush said that he did not feel that it was the right time. When PRIMUS contacted Rush's superior, Patriot had only this to say, "Rush has been a friend of mine for many years. I would trust him with my life and, as such, I trust him with the work that he's been doing with Bansidhe."
In recent days, it has been revealed that this reality's Banshee had been operating and acting as Bansidhe, unknown even to Rush (and Blur - the elder Eric Lawson). While the information surrounding this happening has yet to be declassified, what is currently known is that Bansidhe had been thrust into the distant future and sent back (by powers unknown) to prevent Banshee from killing two of his Champions teammates. Based on what Bansidhe was able to tell, he took over this reality's Banshee's organization and began funneling the villain's resources into private accounts, to help Rush shoulder the new team's expenses, but that the majority of Banshee's resources were "anonymously" donated to thousands of charities. It is also rumored that the Banshee was killed in the confrontation between he and Bansidhe, but there's yet to be any official confirmation.
What is primarily known is that the confrontation between the two men took place in Vibora Bay, reportedly on the cusp of Armageddon. Several of Bansidhe's friends acted very stoic, while questioned about the ordeal, with Rush saying, "It was a bloody fight. They found that they were completely immune to each other's powers and, as such, were forced into hand-to-hand combat. When I went to intervene, Ban told me not to interfere. That's all I've got to say." Given that Bansidhe has been seen in Millennium City, Monster Island, Canada, Lemuria, and primarily Vibora Bay, in recent days, it is still unclear as to why Rush acted so upset.
It has also been confirmed, by Bansidhe, that he is well over 25,000 years old and, quoting him, "I no longer age."
All other biographical information submitted in this PRIMUS report has been classified as above top secret, with only the heads of Champions International and PRIMUS allowed access.
A Hero Emerges
Within days of his appearance in our reality, Bansidhe found himself in a war zone - yet another Qularr invasion. Without being asked, he and Rush took to the streets with their teammates and led the team in a coordinated effort, with many of Millennium City's other heroes, to foil the invasion. Since then, he has tirelessly fought against many a threat to Millennium City, from street crime to organized crime and more, and has often been seen at Canada's Force Station Steelhead. When asked, by a PRIMUS field agent, why he pushes himself so hard and works such long hours, sometimes around the clock, Bansidhe answered: "Because those who prey on the weak and fearful need to be shown what it's like to know fear."
Said field agent, later, contacted Rush and asked him if he was aware of how many hours Bansidhe often works. When Rush inquired why the field agent was asking, the agent said that he was concerned that Bansidhe might be using illegal drugs to be able to function for such long hours. After Rush finished cussing the agent out, he explained (calmly, in this supervisor's opinion†) that, due to a recent occurrence, Bansidhe no longer needs to sleep as much as a normal human being.
† - This supervisor has since lectured the overly curious field agent to never again imply that any super-powered individual might be using illegal narcotics without sufficient evidence.
Powers and Weaknesses
While Bansidhe looks to be a normal human, he is far from it. Along with his ability to generate and manipulate fire and ice, he has proven to be extremely resilient and heals very quickly. He is also, like many other superheroes, able to fly at a fairly high rate of speed. Thus far, the limits of his power(s) remain untested.
Rumors fly that Ban actually has the ability to create food and drink, from nothing. While such powers usually stem from magic use, all indications point to the man having absolutely no magical aptitude.
Ice blast – Harnessing his ability to generate ice, Ban is able to shoot powerful blasts of ice at his targets.
- Ice Blast (rank 3)
Blizzard – Using his almost complete mastery of ice, Ban can create very localized blizzards around a target, greatly reducing the temperature within a fairly small area, causing his target(s) significant discomfort and drastically slowing movement.
- Snow Storm (rank 3)
Ice knives – When needing to "discourage" multiple enemy combatants, Ban can fling a couple dozen ice knives against those in front of him. While damaging on their own, when used in conjunction with his Ice Wall or against targets already close to hypothermia, the fan of ice knives can cause significant "biting" damage and even cause an Ice Wall to explode, with destructive force.
- Shatter (rank 1)
Ice Mist – A recently developed power that allows Ban to manipulate the water in his body to such a degree that he can literally transform into a "cloud" of icy mist. It is currently unknown whether or not he can take any action (other than simple movement), possibly chilling enemy combatants, while in this form - as it frightened him the first time it happened and he has since avoided using this ability.
- Vapor Form (rank 1)
Ice Shield – With his ability to generate ice, Ban can generate a protective ice shield that offers substantial protection against even the deadliest of attacks.
- Ice Shield (Rank 1)
Ignite – Once again revealing his mastery of fire, with but a snap of his fingers, he can cause a large circular area to ignite. With this ability, he has shown that his ability with fire has strengthened considerably, given that he can cause even water to catch fire.
- Flashfire (Rank 2)
Fireball – Harnessing his ability to generate fire, Ban is able to launch large fireballs, at his opponents, which explode and burn those close to the target.
- Fireball (rank 1)
Immolate – While Ban has never been afraid of foes coming into close quarters, his old method of dropping an ice patch and knocking them off their feet has turned into him using his entire body to generate a consuming flame, severely burning anyone within a few feet of him.
- Pyre (rank 2)
No known weaknesses.
Being Rush's co-leader and his stature intimidating, many would automatically assume Ban to be a "drill instructor" - but such could not be further from the truth. Standing slightly over 7', his teammates often refer to him as a "gentle giant". While a fierce combatant, around friends, allies and teammates, he displays a gentleness that belies his imposing size. When dealing with his rescued victims (especially of violent crimes), Ban is very soft-spoken and reassuring. When in social situations, he tends to be very quiet - almost to the point of seeming shy.
His wife (and teammate), Spirit, tends to be his voice (when they are together).
Given the classified level of his personal information and that no one has heard him called anything other than "Ban" or "Bansidhe" (pronounced "Banshee"), it is unclear as to whether or not he has a secret identity.
Bansidhe was first created in City of Heroes as a Fire/Ice (munitions tertiary power pool) blaster. During his time in CoH, Ban took on a life of his own. I found the whole thing a little humorous and, honestly, semi-embarrassing - because, when I'd sign onto him, I usually had a dozen tells (some asking for advice, some asking me to come to the "Hami raid" about to start or someone filling me in on information they thought I should know). Among my SG, we all joked about me getting a big head about it, with my voice being the loudest. Nowadays, I sit and think about Ban and I examine the past six and a half years, realizing just how much of me I've put into the character and how much of the character has become part of who I am. At the time of my making this PRIMUS Database entry for him, I'm also currently working on writing a novel about Ban and his life experiences. (As a side note, I'd have to say that writing the novel has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.)
When my SG and I left City of Heroes, Ban was the first character I created in World of Warcraft, but I decided that (since he's a mutant) his powers would have to essentially be stripped from him. For me, I didn't see it as crippling the character, but forcing him to use his other skills (having been an assassin, in his past, would have left him with a fair amount of training with melee weapons). In the first stories written, covering the SG's time in WoW, one of the major issues was having Ban come to grips with being "powerless", but the SG still recognizing him as the leader - powers or no powers.
After playing WoW for several months, I finally decided to roll a mage. Given that mages have three talent trees (arcane, fire and ice), I decided to add a whole new twist to Ban's story and what all he had experienced. The new twist was that my mage, named "Muerdin", was actually Ban - but much older. As the stories unfolded, it came to be revealed that, when the Champions (our SG name, from CoH was <Champions>) left Azeroth and made it back to Earth, the younger Ban - the "powerless" one - was actually going to be transported into Azeroth's distant past, while the elder (Muerdin) would be returning to Earth. Upon arriving in Azeroth's past, Ban realized that he was witnessing Azeroth's first days - primarily being witness to the titans creating the five dragon aspects. From that point on, he essentially witnessed all of Azeroth's history...but understood that he could never do anything to alter the course of the world's history.
If I do end up getting Ban's story published, I plan on pushing for it to become a trilogy, with the second book covering Ban's and the SG's time in Azeroth. (Also depending on the publishing, I may end up publishing random short stories, on a website, covering Ban's time on Azeroth.) With Ban, there are so many stories that could be told and, because of how much I've been enjoying writing his story, I suspect I could tell a thousand stories about the character and he'd still have thousands more untold.
Now, in Champions Online, Ban is back to being able to generate and manipulate fire and ice and is regaining confidence in his abilities. I find it exciting to watch how the character grows, in the game and in my writings, I think because of the fact that I've been playing him for a little over six years, now. So, now that "my" Champions and I are "back on Earth", I get the pleasure of once again watching Ban's super-heroic evolution and look forward to discovering what all is going to affect him and the hows and whys of it all.
- Full list of powers: