Ever since Sarah was a little girl, her parents knew she was different from the other children. She saw things, figures and lights and other phenomena that no one else could see. While at first they attributed it to Sarah's childish imagination, it soon became clear that something else was at work when the sights not only persisted, but grew stronger as she approached puberty. Around the same time, mysterious occurrences happened in and around the household: slight changes in furniture arrangement, clothes shifting color without warning. Eventually, the Ackermans grew used to their daughter's mysterious power, adapting their lives around it and doing their best to make sure it remained secret from their neighbors.
Around Sarah's eleventh birthday, a powerful wizard known as Testament, the sole remaining member of a holy order, passed through Salem, his path coincidentally taking him near the Ackerman residence. He could feel the energy radiating off of her, even from a distance; he could tell Sarah for what she was, a natural wielder of magical power. Without hesitation, he approached the Ackermans about their daughter's condition, let them know that he would have to take Sarah away to hone her abilities - and he did just that, despite their objections. Sarah's parents called the cops, begged them to hurry, that some crazy man was taking their daughter away. By the time they arrived, though, it was too late; Testament was gone, and Sarah with him.
The next decade of Sarah's life was miserable. Testament subjected her to a wide variety of grueling training and exercises, shaping her into his apprentice and eventual successor to his position, that of the High Priestess of his order, devoted to protecting the world, no matter the cost. At first, Sarah refused to work with him, ignoring her duties and purposefully doing poorly at her studies. As she grew older, though, her hate for the man tempered itself into a desire for revenge and, to accomplish that, she would need the skills that he was offering her. With a new goal in mind, Sarah threw herself at her training with a passion, honing her body and her mind into the ultimate magical weapon, learning to channel her power through her body and empower it. Her training culminated in an arcane ritual to turn her body into a font for magical energy - the ritual scarring inspired the name she would eventually choose for herself: Scripture.
Scripture would eventually have her revenge against Testament when the man attempted to kill her and some of her allies during a mission to prevent a former High Priest of their holy order from summoning God to Earth. She had broken away from Testament a few months previous, living in Millennium City and helping aid the local superhero population in their war against crime; losing his apprentice, the girl he had spent ten years molding into his perfect successor, combined with the growing mental strain of his holy pact with Elysium, finally pushed him over the edge into a sort of cold insanity. Scripture, along with a small group of friends, retaliated, leading an assault on Testament's holy sanctum that left the ground permanently tainted, and the insane wizard dead.
With Testament's shadow no longer hanging over her, Scripture is finally in control of her own life, and has devoted herself to fighting back whatever supernatural force crops up to threaten humanity.
Appearance And Personality
Scripture is a petite twenty year old, standing at just five-foot-four inches and weighing about a hundred and ten pounds, mostly muscle. She has golden blonde hair that she wears down to her shoulders, and large blue eyes that shine ever so slightly with a magical glow. Her body is well-muscled from years upon years of physical training, and covered from neck to toe in a series of ritual scars, inscribed upon her body to help her focus larger amounts of magical energy into herself. The scars glow with a soft blue-white light whenever she actively makes use of this ability, even through her clothing, no matter how thick it is.
Scripture usually presents a kind, formal face to others, treating them respectfully even if they choose not to do the same to her. She has an incredibly formal manner of speech, rarely making use of contractions and avoiding slang; this is all result of her upbringing, as Testament demanded that she carried herself better than the masses she would be protecting. As such, she can sometimes seem overly formal to the point of being condescending, even if there's no ill intention behind her words or demeanor. In a way, she views herself as a servant to mankind, devoting her life to protecting them from the dangers the average person can't face; she would rather have the people she's guarding over like her than view her as rude and unwanted, since it makes the task that much more rewarding.
When she's around friends, or by herself, Scripture drops her formal attitude, relaxing considerably; it's almost like she's a different person entirely when she's not putting on a show for the rest of the world. She enjoys relaxing in front of the television and watching awful action movies or cheesy television shows when she's not nose-deep in one book or another. She has a large library, consisting of all sorts of books, from encyclopedias to fantasy novels to children's pop-up books - she's an avid collector and has no problems admitting to it.
Most of all, though, Scripture is a compassionate young woman, who truly loves the world and most everyone in it, even some of the villains that she's encountered in her time. She believes that everyone has some good in them, and that some just need a guiding hand to help set them on the right path. Of course, she's more than willing to be that hand when she honestly believes that she can help someone, even if its an inconvenience to herself. This can lead to her (sometimes forcefully) pushing herself into someone's life, whether they want her help or not, though everyone (so far) has appreciated her help after the fact.
Allies & Enemies
First and foremost among Scripture's allies is her a small white dove by the name of 'Oath'. Scripture first met the animal when the bird was suffering from a broken wing; unable to sit by while the bird was in such obvious pain, Scripture picked her up and brought her back home, to nurse her back to health. The two bonded greatly over that time and, when Oath's wing was completely healed, Scripture chose to take the animal as her familiar, tying the two together on a spiritual level and providing them both with a variety of benefits.
Scripture has gained in Oath a steadfast companion, a dispenser of advice, and perhaps her closest friend. At the same time, Oath has received a small portion of Scriptures' magical talent, the ability to speak, enhanced longevity, and increased intelligence. One is never far from the other; if Scripture is somewhere, you can count on Oath to be nearby, if she's not right there with the girl. When at home with little else to do, the two sometimes play board games, with their favorite being checkers.
Their relationship doesn't come without some downsides, however; while Oath does have some small magical ability, she's still just a bird and, because of their bond, Scripture can feel whatever pain Oath feels. If the bird were to die, it's possible that the same would happen to Scripture, and vice versa. Oath can also be used to track Scripture through their bond, if she were captured by a villain with the magical know-how to do so.
Powers And Abilities
All of Scripture's powers are magical in origin and, as such, she is very flexible in what exactly she can accomplish. This is not without its limitations, however, as Scripture requires more time to perform more complicated feats. The one exception is magic that imbues her with increased physical prowess, due to the specialized nature of her training and the symbols inscribed upon her body. Spells she frequently employs include:
- Imbued Striking Strength: Scripture uses magic to increase the strength of her blows, allowing her to strike harder than her small frame would normally allow. This enhanced strength does not extend towards lifting or pushing heavy objects. She's able to punch through solid stone and dent metal with ease.
- Imbued Reflexes: Scripture has also enhanced her reflexes and reaction time with her magic, allowing her to avoid attacks with greater ease. Considering how small she is compared to what she normally fights, this is frequently more useful than being able to absorb attacks.
- Orb of Light: Rather self-explanatory, Scripture can summon a small ball of light above the palm of her hand to light up dark areas, with varying degrees of luminosity depending on how much magic she uses to fuel the spell. It can also be burst on command to dazzle foes with flashes of bright light.
- Sixth Sense: This spell allows Scripture to extend her perception to pick out magic and magical beings in the nearby area, usually in the form of a light magical aura surrounding the mystical anomaly in question. Given time to study, she can even pick out the purpose behind more simple enchantments.
- Binding Ritual: Usually employed against extradimensional beings, this ritual allows Scripture to bind the being to a spot or object, as long as it has been properly weakened and she has the time to complete the rather lengthy ritual. From there, she can either choose to release it or banish it to its home dimension, though the latter is difficult if not impossible when it comes to more powerful beings.
Weaknesses And Quirks
- Small: Scripture is a tiny, tiny lady. This provides some disadvantages when dealing with larger, more physically powerful villains, the most obvious being that she can be knocked around with ease. She also can't take advantage of some grapple maneuvers, while she's easier to restrain by similar means.
- Magic Takes Time: With few exceptions, most of Scripture's magic takes time for her to employ, with the more complicated effects requiring a longer time to 'charge', so to speak. She's open to attack while she's performing these spells, and interrupting her during specific ones might have a disastrous effect on her.
- Faith In Humanity: Scripture's faith in humanity can be used against her by more cunning villains; ones who feign a desire to change their ways can cause Scripture to lower her guard, allowing them to get a surprise attack on her.
Skills and Equipment
Scripture acquired a host of skills during her time training under Testament. Most of them are martial in nature, but also extends to knowledge of multiple magical methods, even if she cannot (or will not) employ most of them. She has also gathered a small collection of magical implements, with various purposes.
- Martial Arts: Scripture's main skill is her knowledge of martial arts, taught to her by one of Testament's associates that had practiced in the mystical city of Shamballah. She's been training intensively since she was ten years old, and she's actually more capable in a hand-to-hand fight than she is with her magic.
- Spellcasting: Scripture knows how to gather magical energy and employ it in a wide variety of spells, as well as recognize when magic is being employed and, going by the manner of casting, can even sometimes predict what spell the opposing caster is going to use.
- Rituals: Scripture's also familiar with various magical rituals and religious traditions, allowing her to better approach the sometimes-esoteric problems that crop up when dealing with supernatural threats. This mostly comes in handy when investigating supernatural crime scenes, as she can deduce the ritual used and what purpose it was used for.
- Ruby Necklace: Gifted to her by Lorekeeper, and worn at almost all times, even when not actively fighting crime. The necklace serves as a small repository of magic, giving Scripture a well to draw upon when she's exhausted herself. It isn't enough to perform more complicated spells, but it can be the difference between life and death.
- Enchanted Gloves: A pair of gloves that, when magic is channeled through them, gathers pure magical energy into Scripture's fists, giving her punches a bit more oomph in the form of bursts of energy upon impact. She only makes use of this against more durable or deadly foes, however, as the effects can be lethal.
- Scripture's favorite television show is Brutalitron: Oil And Sand, a violent action show that features gladiatorial robotic combat.
- Scripture rescued a small birdlike lizard from the villain Bazaar, who had brought it from its home dimension to sell it for exorbitant sums of money. She named it Quetzal, after the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl.
Comments from Scripture's superhero peers go here!
"Scripture is a bright and friendly young woman and I find her presence quite enjoyable. The World Above would be a much more tolerable place if there were more like her. I can't help but feel she will do great things in her life." - Lorekeeper
"Sarah is... the most important person in my life. She loves me and wants to help me without wanting to change me. She accepts me for my flaws. I don't know what I'd do without her..." - Impsblood
"Kid's got spunk. Coulda been one of my daughters." - The Wanderer
"How that twit Testament managed to train such a fine mage is beyond me... At least -one- member of the New Guard has potential." - Toxtira
"Scripture and Mortimer both mean the world to me. And, to date, the training and field experience I have been able to provide for the both of them is what I would consider to be my magnum opus." - Blaspherion
"Scripture's pretty cool. She's a well rounded Supermage who isn't stuck up or arrogant. She'd easily be the first person I'd turn to if I needed a mystical hand." - Canadian Fist
"Racer Red's girlfriend? She believes in magic or some crap, so she's probably a lunatic. Though she seems to keep a level head on other stuff, if I can trust what I've heard from her over Respond and Protect." - Blue Freedom
"Scripture, I don't know much about her. I've met her a few times, talked with her, and I guess I could safely say from those few encounters, that she's a good person. It's also good to get acquainted with other magic users within the heroic community. Feels less alone, we can help each other out -- even though I haven't exacly helped her yet, nor did she help me." - Natasha Roy
"I'm just glad she's alright and stuff after that thing that happened that one time. Terrifying circumstances, but walk with the win, right?" - Wicket