Ebony (Leah Dawnings)
A Millenium city based superheroine, Ebony is a powerful brawler who is currently contracted with UNITY. Generally benevolent, she will almost always subdue her foes and bring them into custody alive, if somewhat battered. A jubilant young woman, she’s quite comfortable in her skin and body, however much they stand out, and she has been described as “impossibly cheery.”
- Transformation- Ebony can go back and forth between her civilian and superpowered form at will. As of late, however, she’s been spending more and more of a free time in the latter than the former.
- Invulnerability- Ebony is more tough than strong, and her durability is of greater note than her strength. Though the extent of her durability varies, she is always able to at least shrug off heavy ordinance such as missiles, and not give up an inch when struck by a large truck travelling at 60mph. At its height, she has survived collapsing buildings, city leveling magic spells, and collision with airplanes with a brush of her hair.
- Super Strength- Through both physical and magical enhancement, Ebony possesses a high degree of physical strength. Like her invulnerability, it varies, though across a smaller scale. She’s always able to bench press at least 30 tons, and at its height, 50 tons.
- Super Leaping- Through the use of her strength, Ebony is able to clear a little less than a quarter mile in a single bound. Not entirely an innate ability, Ebony spent quite a few months practicing her precision with the skill, not only for her convenience, but for the safety of those who might be where she is landing. She can determine her landing with a margin of error of only a few feet, weather permitting.
- Reinforced Lungs- Ebony is able to yell, shout, or even just roar to produce a violent shockwave in the direction of her choosing that can rip asphalt from the road up to fifty feet from where she is standing. This, and her invulnerability, allow to survive for hours in the deepest regions of the ocean without the need for an oxygen tank.
- Rune Weaving- An ability that has arisen only recently, Ebony is still practicing its finer points, but right now, she is capable of casting warding spells of moderate potency. By laying such a spell on the earth, she can erect an inviolable bastion that greatly enhances her magical defense.
- Wings of the Valkyrie- An ability that has only manifested itself once, and when Ebony was not even in control of her body, Wings of the Valkyrie bestows a blazing pair of wings upon the user, enabling flight.
Leah Dawnings was born to a poor, unmarried couple in Atlanta, Georgia on Februrary 14th, 1983. Her mother was a waitress in a low class bar and grill, and her father was an unemployed and recovering alcoholic. Neither parent treated Leah with malice, but neither one graced her with very much attention either. By the age of three, Leah was able to prepare herself simple meals consisting of bread and the normal things that go in between, as she might have starved, otherwise. The family consisted of only the three of them, and no living relatives.
Living in an impoverished section of the city, Leah had a poor public school system to attend, and a neighborhood fraught with gang violence, muggings and other depraved activities. Having to take bus lines to get to school, she often walked by these things, and had several close encounters with them as well. However, she has never been a direct victim, either through forceful self defense, clever negotiation or just plain quick feet.
Through hard work in school, and a fair amount of lucky coincidences, Leah was able to secure a full scholarship to a second tier university in Millennium City where she quickly moved with no hesitation. There, she declared a major in history with a concentration in the, then, new option of arcane artifacts.
Experiencing success in college, Leah won an internship opportunity to intern at one of Millennium City’s most prestigious museums. During her tenure, she gained familiarity with a wide variety of magical artifacts from cultures around the world and across time. Of them all, she developed a particular liking for Norse artifacts and became especially good with those types.
Late one night, being left to clean up after a field trip visiting the museum, Leah came across one of her favorite exhibits that had just arrived: a rune stone with an uncommonly large amount of engravings on it. Feeling confident in the experience she had accrued assisting the archaeologists in deciphering runes, she spoke aloud to herself, attempting to read the runes on the tablet. Individually, the words made no sense to her, and put together, they were further lacking in sense.
As it turned out, the runestone was the record of a powerful enchantment, which Leah had invoked. By speaking the words aloud, Leah had, in effect, signed the contract. In exchange for the use of one eye, she was infused with the same magical strength of the valkyries of supposed myth and was branded with a tattoo that runs along her arm. Completely inexperienced at using the enchantment, Leah transformed into her superpowered body right there in the museum, leaving herself blind in one eye and her clothes in tatters. Shocked, confused, and alarmed at what had befallen her, she scurried home after borrowing some prop robes from an exhibit.
A few days after she was branded, days spent at home under the pretense of being sick, Leah began to practice with her enchantment, reasoning that if the magic was hers, then it was hers to control. With what knowledge she had of Norse magic, she was able to revert to her normal body and regain the use of her eye. As soon as she succeeded in this, a voice in her mind spoke to her, explaining further about the brand.
The voice introduced herself as the valkyrie who inscribed the runestone, and explained the purpose of the brand, called an Einherjar’s Covenent. The spell on the runestone was used by the valkyries to imbue those who they deemed worthy with immense power. As such, recipients of the magic had to fulfill certain requirements, or be destroyed by the spell. Having survived the branding, the voice explained that Leah was ready to begin training in the use of it.
At first, Leah was reluctant, wanting to have nothing to do with it, but the voice then explained that if left uncontrolled or misused, the covenant may destroy her anyway, suggesting that Leah at least learn how to go back and forth between bodies. Leah agreed, and so began her training under the tutelage of the spirit of an ancient valkyrie.
One year later, having become comfortable in the basics of her abilities, Leah had come to the decision to leave it at that, when a disaster struck her museum. During a regular exchange of exhibits between institutions, VIPER had struck, hoping to sack the vault of its most powerful artifacts. They took hostages, and were clearly prepared to execute any if need be.
After careful and stressful decision making process, Leah chose to invoke her covenant and attack VIPER head on in the museum. She was quite successful, beating them all down quite handily and with utter ease, though a few of the hostages sustained injuries in the process.
As she was assisting PRIMUS in taking them into custody, one of the reporters had managed to slip past the barricade with a camera. Horrified to be seen in no more than the tatters of the clothes she had on before transforming, she fled, leaving the reporter to give her a name, based on what he saw: Ebony.
Becoming a Heroine
The novelty of a black superheroine caught the public eye for a few brief news cycles, and the public was clamoring for an encore on social media. Not having expected to be so popular, Leah rethought her decision to not use her covenant, and considered how good it felt to be able to strike back at the same sort of people that made her life miserable as a child.
Firm in her decision, she put together her first costume with some of the props from her museum that no one would miss, and joined the superhero community of Millennium city.
The Einherjar’s Covenant is the magical source of Ebony’s powers. Though it resembles a tattoo, its bond goes beyond skin, and even if the flesh is cut, seared, or otherwise mangled, the brand will appear unblemished. In rare cases, particularly when Ebony is approaching the peak of her berserker rage, the brand will become a bloody shade of red, but normally, the brand is black.
Though the covenant fortifies Ebony’s body, causing her to grow a foot and fill out with muscle, its power manifests mainly through magical means. The covenant affords her a spectacular defense against physical phenomenon by both a strong body, and a magical shield, and a superb defense against the arcane as well, being a powerful magical spell in its own right.
Being magic, and thus, imprecise, the strength of the enchantment fluctuates. One day, Ebony may be a simple superhuman with respectable strength and durability, and a few days later, she may be an invincible colossus. The reason for this is unknown to Ebony. What she does know about the enchantment is that its benefit scales closely with her rage, and the enchantment will even induce rage, making it easier for Ebony to work herself into a frenzy.
In addition, it serves as the link between Ebony and the valkyrie whose voice guides her. The valkyrie selectively provides Ebony with information regarding her powers, often in the form of vague riddles. It was because of this that Ebony was unaware about her more magical abilities and relied on physical might to dispatch enemies for well over a year after she became a superheroine.
Ebony lacks much in the way of any particular equipment. As her invulnerability extends, to a lesser extent, to the items and persons within her absolute immediate vicinity, her costumes are usually made with simple cloth and leather that could be found at any textile store. Since it’s convenient, Ebony has considerably more costumes than the average superhero, lacking an iconic one.
What she has is quite standard among superheroes: a communication device in her ear, an expanding pack for the spoils of war, and a few assorted devices.