Raven Power Level: 11/13 (205/205) [Gold Reward Slot] Trade-Offs: +2 Attack / -2 Damage; +2 Defense / -2 Toughness Unspent Power Points: 0 In Brief: The newest holder of the mantle of the Raven, the third hero to bear this name has large shoes to fill as he steps into this role. Alternate Identity: Aleksander Garen Nakani (Birth Name/legal name); Svarog (Name assigned by the Blood Dragons) Identity: Secret Birthplace: Rustavi, Georgia Occupation: College Student (Freedom City College); Crimefighter Affiliations: Raven "family"; Claremont Academy (Alumnus); Blood Dragon Society (former) Family: Henrik and Maral Nakani (biological parents, deceased); Loren and Melissa Barbeau (adoptive parents) Description: Age: 20 (DoB: December 12, 1997) Apparent Age: N/A Gender: Male Ethnicity: Armenian and Ossetian Height: 6'1" Weight: 200 lbs. Eyes: Grey Hair: Black
Aleksander is an athletic young man, whose frame balances speed, agility, and power. Thanks to his "rigorous" upbringing and years of training under Callie Summers, he moves with an instinctive sense of balance and poise. His deeply bronzed skin has no blemishes, and his face is free of scarring. His forearms, hands, lower legs, and torso bear a scattering of small, light scars, the sort one would associate with intense martial training. The long, thin scars on his back, faded for years now, are decidedly not from training.
His grey eyes peer out keenly from slightly thick eyebrows, always observing. He doesn't have the furtive manner one would associate with a guilty party; instead, it's the keen observation of all those around him, and his environment. When he does focus on an item, person, or object, his gaze can be quite piercing indeed.
His face bears notable angles, but avoids the severity many might think such features would lend to him; his smooth, clean-shaven skin lessens the impact of his bone structure a fair bit. He almost seems to have trouble frowning, and quite often, Aleksander's smiling or smirking about one thing or another. If he becomes angry, though, it is somewhat like a storm rolling over the plains.
His dark hair has just a bit of curl to it, and while he keeps it neat, it reaches down to the bottom of his neck. Typically he just wears it combed back, but when training he'll keep it tied in a tight ponytail.
Typically, he dresses in comfortable, non-descript clothes with low-key colors. He tends to prefer pants and long sleeves year round, though in the summer he usually opts for lighter-weight materials than in the dead of winter. His only ornamentation seems to be an antique wristwatch; when pressed, he explains it was his birth father's, and is one of the few mementos he has of him.
Raven's costume is a finely-engineered piece of crime-fighting technology, and it looks it. It's a full-body suit that leaves only the mouth exposed, and while it's somewhat obvious that it's multiple layers, the outside is virtually seamless.
The whole suit has armor plating somewhat visibly sandwiched in everywhere, but covered with a solid layer of morphic molecules on the outside to smooth over its appearance. The suit's base color is black, with the belt (holding several secure pouches of equipment), chest symbol (a stylized raven, wings outstretched and beak pointed straight up, feet outstretched below), and a few lines on the gauntlets and greaves being a metallic silvery color. The inside of his cape is a dark grey-blue, helping blend in and break colors up a bit.The gloves/gauntlets, boots/greaves, pants, shirt, cape, and cowl are all separate pieces.
When at rest, the cape's edge is a straight line, but thanks to the combination of the electroreactive "frame" inside of it, and the morphic molecules, when in "glide mode", the edges take on the appearance of a raven's wings spread in flight, or at least a stylized rendition of it.
His head is covered by a smooth armored cowl that leaves only his mouth and chin exposed to the air. His eyes are covered by special lenses that appear, from the outside, to be somewhat milky-white when inactive, but faintly glow green when night vision mode is active.
The suit bears a very robust belt-and-harness assembly that includes a multitude of pieces of compact equipment. Using low-scale nanotechnology alongside hyper-efficient space-saving tech, these modules and pieces of equipment can quickly be activated and deployed, be it as handheld tools or as plug-in modules on his base suit (which has a multitude of subtle connection points for various modules). Some may alter the appearance of his suit in various ways.
Aleksander is an essentially normal human being. His time under the "care" of the Blood Dragon Society had them injecting him with various chemical mixtures meant to encourage the maximum potential growth, and he was fed a rigorous diet rich in some unique vitamins and minerals, but while he shows the potential to enter the very top tier of human performance, right now he shows no signs of mutation or any other true superhuman powers.
Instead, his body is in peak condition for a man of 20, and he possesses more skill than most would think possible for one of his age (due to his...rigorous...care with the BDS). Some might describe Aleksander as a "living weapon", and truthfully, they wouldn't be entirely wrong. His physical fitness and sheer skill make him a formidable close-combat opponent. He consistently displays athletic prowess at the upper end of the human spectrum.
Raven's costume is a masterful piece of crime-fighting engineering.
The innermost layer is a thick, comfortable layer of thermal-insulated morphic molecules that help Alek survive extreme temperatures.
Next is a layer of body armor, composed primary of thick, semi-rigid Kevlar plates that provide protection sufficient to deal with most regular small arms.
The cowl contains lenses that can activate night vision, meaning even the darkest night is as bright as day to Raven.
As well, an advanced communications suite is embedded under the armoring of the cowl. This system also works with some small microcomputers in his belt to give him up-to-the-picosecond accurate time, as well as precise geo-positioning data and magnetic north orientation readings.
The belt also holds a number of tools useful for crime scene analysis, a fold-out tablet computer useful for taking notes and such, and a simple collapsible gas mask that fits over his exposed moth and provides an environmental seal and several minutes of clean air.
The cape is composed of special electro-reactive morphic molecules that conform to a rigid frame when a very low but precisely calibrated electrical charge is run through them. While he has insufficient propulsion for true independent flight, Nevermore is capable of long glides. His ability for movement around the city is aided by special high-speed, high-power grapnel lines that are housed in his gauntlets (under the extra armor plating).
Raven's belt and harness contain modules and gear that let him adapt on the fly to the situation in the field. Raven has had practice figuring out the best pieces to use in any given situation, but it's still a developing technology, so it takes him a few moments to reconfigure his equipment.
Alek has full access to The Rookery, the large (hidden) cave-complex-based underground headquarters of the Raven, located underneath the Summers mansion. The facility is expansive and covers virtually every need a crime-fighter might have, with room for future improvements, as well as access to a large variety of tools, vehicles, and suits that he could draw on if needed.
The most (comparatively) subtle vehicle out of his current arsenal is The Talon, a high-performance motorcycle which is one of Raven's primary means of transportation across larger portions of Freedom City (with his grapnel/glider cape combo being used for more precise positioning in specific areas). While unarmed, it is a tough, fast vehicle that bears a solid security system to prevent bike-jacking. The overall construction is rugged, with the bike mainly sporting two seemingly over-sized tires (each with an independent electric motor for power), and a central "pod" with rugged armor plates, special steering "arms", and a simple voice-activated computer that has an always-updating navigation program. It is currently capable of speeds approaching the fastest performance road cars, though Raven rarely pushes it to that speed.
A more recent addition to the garage of the Rookery is the latest iteration of the Unkindness, the full-sized automobile of the Raven. The latest in a long line of vehicles, this version of the Unkindness is some great and terrible fusion of a race car, an APC, and a fighter jet. The dark vehicle is plated with enough armor to shrug off massive amounts of fire; the outer skin can be configured to either somehow hide the enormous automobile, or make it capable of completely ignoring anything up to the heaviest guns or explosives. As well, the wheels can be kept close to the body for greater transit speed, or spread out on variable-geometry "arms" that give the Unkindness unparalleled stability on even the worst terrain. With its advanced suite of sensors, communication, and life-support gear, it's practically a headquarters on the move. It's also armed with enough less-than-lethal weaponry to take out an entire company of soldiers and vehicles. The sonic disrupter cannon stores away behind the driver compartment of the Unkindness, and can be configured to either fire single "shots" at specific targets, or blast out a cone of dizzying sound accompanied by a multitude of bright, flashing lights. Strapped on either side of the "barrel" of the sonic cannon are the prongs for the Targeted EMP Cannon, a device that allows the Raven to disable most any modern electronics with just a few button presses.
Aleksander Garen Nakani should have been a perfectly normal boy born in the country of Georgia. And for about 6 months of his life after birth, he was.
Then, one day, he and his parents "disappeared". His father and mother were found weeks later, dead, their child missing, out well past city limits. Theories abounded. No one was ever charged, no conclusion made. Funerals were held. People mourned. Mementos were kept by parents/grandparents and other scattered family.
None were the wiser that Aleksander had been taken by the Blood Dragon Society to their base in Transylvania, Romania. They are a fanatical group borne from the last members of the Order of the Dragon. Born in fire and blood, they escaped the purge that wiped out most of their brethren and went into hiding. They watched as one of their own members became one of the most feared monsters of all time, a household name half a millennium later.
The Blood Dragon Society vowed all those years ago to protect Europe (and, eventually, mankind) from the "dark things". Unfortunately, their definition of what constituted a viable threat has varied over the years, and has never focused solely on supernatural threats, but instead included political or religious movements and individuals.
Worse, they vowed to use any means necessary, and have taken that vow seriously. They employ methods most would never condone, and in the last couple of centuries have begun taking orphans or other "won't be missed" children to train them from a young age to be perfect "defenders".
Aleksander was part of a new "trial group", selected based on genetic factors (in his case, the presence of many historically successful soldiers on his father's side, and genetics stretching back to some of the fiercest Sarmation warriors on his mother's side) that the Society believed would make them ideal warriors. These children, taken from all over the world, and being of all sorts of ethnicity, were brought in before their first birthdays. They were raised impersonally, granted single names based on mythology (Aleksander was called Svarog), and fed rigorous diets, supplemented by vitamin and chemical treatments intended to procure the maximum possible performance and growth. They were educated as soon as possible, trained from very early ages in tactics, stealth, sabotage, combat of all kinds, and more. Their minds were laced with subliminal programs to ensure obedience and efficiency. Psychics were brought in to aid all of these efforts, ensuring that the whole batch of 20 was far ahead of their peers in every way by age 10.
Alkesander was 11 when the Freedom League rescued all of the children from the clutches of the Society. The Raven, with the aid of Foreshadow, had tracked down the location of the Society's facilities. The stealthier members of the League infiltrated the base and ensured that the children were there and safe, and disabled much of the security. The rest of the League then swept in and thoroughly disabled any BDS troops still up and about, including a few of their more exotic members.
Raven herself was the one to open the cell holding Aleksander, who had been in solitary for a week because his young mind had shown itself to be (once more) resistant to the harsher aspects of the programming they were trying to induce on the children. It wasn't a conscious thing, simply an unusually resilient psyche that meant the next year would not be as harsh as it would for his fellows. But only a little less harsh. Thankfully, the BDS facility had included full medical and biographical files on the children there; the Society was thorough and meticulous, if nothing else. This allowed the League to track down what family remained...which was his father's father, who was by this point in no condition to take care of a child. So he would have to be adopted after his treatment.
It took over a year for League psychics and psychologists to help young Aleksander reach a point where they felt he couldn't simply be "switched off" or reprogrammed with a single phrase, and that he didn't treat the entire world like one long spy or combat mission. It still was a delicate enough situation that his adoptive parents, Loren and Melissa Barbeau, had to be specially trained and prepared to help him learn to socialize more normally. As well, his state of mind, as well as his near-reflexive fighting ability, necessitated him attending the Nicholson school for 3 years.
Thankfully, by 14 Aleksander was a comparatively normal, if quiet, boy. He was even attending a regular public school.
What Loren and Melissa didn't know is that the mental focus that previously had been forced upon the lessons of being a weapon, was now turned to investigating the Raven more. For almost a year, he'd been slowly tracking bits and pieces of information.
Not because he hated her; just the opposite, Aleksander felt only the greatest of admiration for her. He wished to thank her without having to get mugged first.
But as his investigation continued, he came to an uncomfortable conclusion: Raven was growing older. Just as her predecessor had, she was starting to show small signs of aging. One day, perhaps soon, she'd have to give up the mantle. But to whom?
The day he figured out who she was, was the day Alkesander Nakani decided that if the Raven wouldn't appoint a successor, maybe one needed to approach her. So he dug deeper.
Eventually, he determined two facts. First, the original Raven had been Duncan Summers, who was now headmaster of Claremont Academy. Second, his daughter, Callie Summers, was the current Raven. This would explain all the various resources Raven had always had access to. But now...how to speak to either of them about it?
Finally, he decided on just going to Claremont Academy and trying to speak with the Headmaster, as he wasn't sure Callie would be at the Summers home. He skipped school one day and caught the bus to Bayview. He managed to slip onto the Academy grounds with none of the students or staff noticing, and ended up right outside Headmaster Summers' office.
At which point the retired hero invited him in to speak. Duncan explained that while he didn't know quite why Aleksander was there, he'd kept track of the boy, if for no other reason than to help alert other heroes if the Blood Dragon Society ever moved to try and retake him. But the boy's presence intrigued him, and he had a guess as to why he was here.
So Aleksander laid out his research, the results, and his belief that Callie needed a successor.
Duncan ended up calling his daughter into the meeting, and there were a couple hours of discussion (during which Loren and Melissa were called in as well). In the end, it was decided that until he was 15 & 1/2 years old, Aleksander would be undergoing rigorous "basic training" without stepping foot outside the "lair" under the Summers home. Loren and Melissa weren't thrilled, but recognized that between Aleksander's iron will and his rather unique background, they'd be unlikely to stop him.
So instead they partnered with Duncan and Callie to help make sure Alek didn't do something stupid to get himself killed.
By June of 2013, Alek was allowed on 2 patrols a month, to try and get him used to actually going through the motions of being a crime-fighter. He was primarily asked to watch Raven's back, but was sometimes allowed to take the fore and get some practice. Most criminals were at least smart enough to not mouth off to a kid in body armor who was working with the Raven. The ones that were were educated. Word started to spread.
In the meantime, in an effort to take some of the work off of Callie, and give Aleksander some independence on occasion, he was sent into the field as Nevermore (as he has dubbed himself) and transferred to Claremont, starting in the Spring 2014 semester. It was hoped that he would learn more skills related to working with other heroes, as well as broadening his own skillset for the purposes of crime fighting and prevention.
These hopes were well-founded, though Alek did not have quite the meteoric high school career that some alumni of Calremont did.
Nevermore made the rounds of Freedom City, working to aid Raven and sometimes even pick up the "slack" of patrols. He was given fuller access to the Rookery on his own (instead of only on mission prep or training). All these things helped him prepare himself.
After The Incident, Callie sat down with Aleksander and explained that he was ready. He tried to deny it, but she told him, honestly, that not only was he ready, but that she was tired. Years of fighting the good fight had started to take their toll, and with her new duties as Headmistress, and her father's slowly-declining health, she felt it was time to step aside. He'd been far better prepared than she had been, really, and the Incident had proven his mettle, even if it wasn't a situation she found ideal to have tested him with.
As part of the process of Alek officially becoming the Raven, he and his adoptive parents actually moved to the Summers estate. Loren became the designated manager of the estate itself, overseeing what regular staff there was, as well as organizing on-site social events or the like. Melissa, meanwhile, took to handling the financial aspects of the estate, investing and re-investing resources to ensure that both Duncan and Callie wouldn't have to worry about personal finances or most of the base financial costs of Claremont, with room to ensure Raven's mission is well funded built right into the budget.
Personality & Motivation:
Aleksander is a fairly quiet young man, but for all that he's gone through, he's actually fairly hopeful. He doesn't go for much in the way of exterior shows of emotion, but being rescued from the clutches of the Society, in the way he was, taught him that the world has good people, and those good people can make a difference.
While not anti-social, Alek prefers to ration his time with friends (which he makes slowly and carefully) and strangers. But when he is with them, his shell opens up at least a little bit; he has a tendency to be the dry wit of a group, making some quip with a completely straight face.
Alek will almost fanatically stand up to bullies, especially if he sees them picking on someone notably less capable physically (or socially, if it's primarily verbal bullying). He does not initiate actual fisticuffs, but he has been sent home a couple of times for, in his words, "finishing what someone else started". He has never shown regret for those fights, either. Thankfully he abhors the idea of taking a life or producing permanent injury, and so he's always focused on restraint, or temporary discomfort, to breaking bones or the like.
Alek tends not to get involved in discussions about politics or law or the like, beyond voicing a general dislike of "injustice", though with as young as he is it's still a nebulous concept (beyond "criminals running around not getting stopped").
Raven comes off as a gruff, no-nonsense crime fighter. He's willing to work with other heroes, though he's cautious if he does not know them, and might get slightly frustrated with those who have trouble with subtlety of any form.
To criminals, he's somewhat quieter than his predecessor, but still carries an air of menace and shadows. He is relentless and fearless, and lets them know.
He does have a bit of a tendency to try and put on a gravely bravado with older heroes, barring those like Midnight or Foreshadow who carry legacies similar to his own. To them he is respectful, though he's not afraid to voice an opinion. But to others he might be trying to over-compensate for his clear newness to his role, subconsciously trying to prove that he's worthy of the mantle he will be receiving.
To the average citizen, he's polite, if a bit terse, but always wanting to prove helpful in a moment of need. Powers & Tactics:
Raven will adjust his tactics depending on the number and quality of opponents.
For a large number of "thugs" he tends to just dive in and start taking them down rapidly, weathering their blows with his body armor while he delivers precise, powerful strikes.
Armed opponents are likely to be disarmed.
Those who seem to focus on power over finesse may well end up put in one martial art hold or another while he tries to choke them just enough to knock them out.
For a notably powerful opponent he is likely to attempt to remain in stealth until he can catch them unaware enough to get a couple of solid blows in. That, or try to work with someone else or call for backup.
Complications: Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier: While the particular cell that was "raising" Aleksander was dismantled, the Blood Dragon Society as a whole still exists. And they aren't the sort to let resources go to waste, especially ones that display the potential Aleksander has. At some point, or several points, they may try to retrieve Aleksander, not realizing that he's also Raven. The River Runs Deep: Aleksander was given a thorough de-programming by more than one psychic who was affiliated with the Freedom League, and was further taken through more mundane therapies and de-programmings by psychologists and psychiatrists. However, the scars of that time still remain. It is possible, if unlikely, that one or two "trigger words" may still be buried in his mind and activated, either by someone with sufficient knowledge, or someone with enough skill (not power, but skill) in the psychic arts. This would not turn him into a mindless drone, but it might be enough to leave him slower, incapacitated, or in some other way less effective than he should be. Secret (Identity): Aleksander's identity as Raven is something known only to a few (though fortunately or unfortunately, at least some fellow alumni from Claremont know). The risk is not only to himself, but to both the Summers, to his adoptive family, and even, in a way, to Claremont itself. Some Pretty Big Shoes: Aleksander's status as the new bearer mantle of the Raven is rather obvious to any who observe the hero. The general public (law-abiding and otherwise) lack a lot of the information about why the change happened, but by now they know it has. Some more experienced heroes might not take him seriously, or take offense to him attempting to "take over" the Raven's name (even with Callie's official blessing). Alek himself may sometimes have issues with confidence or second-guessing himself due to doubts over his "worthiness" of the role.
Disarmed: Aleksander's belts (around his waist and across his chest) need to be removed to completely deprive him of his gadgets, but many of the individual items are hand-held, and can be disarmed as such. Others could be disabled on an individual basis, depriving him of that tool for a time. Abilities: 10 + 10 + 8 + 8 + 6 + 4 = 46PP
Strength: 20 (+5)
Dexterity: 20 (+5)
Constitution: 18 (+4)
Intelligence: 18 (+4)
Wisdom: 16 (+3)
Charisma: 14 (+2) Combat: 12 + 12 = 24PP
Attack: +13 Melee, +6 Ranged
Defense: +13 (+6 Base, +7 Dodge Focus), +3 Flat-Footed
Knockback: -4 Saving Throws: 5 + 4 + 6 = 15PP
Toughness: +9 (+4 Con, +5 [Protection])
Fortitude: +9 (+4 Con, +5)
Reflex: +9 (+5 Dex, +4)
Will: +9 (+3 Wis, +6) Skills: 140R = 35PP
Acrobatics 10 (+15)
Computers 11 (+15)
Drive 10 (+15)
Escape Artist 10 (+15)
Gather Information 10 (+12)
Intimidate 10 (+12)
Investigate 11 (+15)
Knowledge (History) 4 (+8)
Knowledge (Theology and Philosophy) 4 (+8)
Language 8 (Arabic, Chinese [Mandarin], English, French, German, Georgian, Japanese, Latin, Romanian [Native])
Notice 10 (+13)
Search 11 (+15)
Sense Motive 10 (+13)
Stealth 10 (+15)
Survival 11 (+14)
Attack Focus (Melee) 7
Benefit 1 (Wealthy)
Challenge (Fast Acrobatic Feint)
Dodge Focus 7
Equipment 27 [Veteran Award]
Jack of All Trades
Second Chance (Mind Control)
Second Chance (Mind Reading)
Takedown Attack 2
Equipment: 27PP = 135EP [Veteran Award]
The Rookery (Headquarters; Cave) (23EP)
The Talon (Vehicle; Motorcycle) [17EP]
The Unkindness (Vehicle; "Car") [95EP]
Powers: 5 + 2(1+1) + 24 + 14 = 45PP
Damage 4 (Feats: Mighty) [5PP] (Training) ("Martial Arts")
Ideal Human 0.4 (2PP Container [Passive, Permanent]) [2PP] (Training)
Speed 1 (10MPH/100 feet per Move Action) [1PP] Leaping 1 (x2 distance) [1PP]
Device 6 (30PP Container, Flaws: Hard-To-Lose) [24PP] (Technological; "Raven Costume")
City Movement 4 (8PP Array; Feats: Alternate Power 1) [9PP] Base Power: Super-Movement 2 (Swinging, Wall-Crawling 2) [6PP] Linked to Speed 2 [Total of Speed 3/50mph] [2PP] ("Grapnel Gun") Alternate Power: Flight 3 (50MPH/500 feet per Move Action; Feats: Subtle; Flaws: Gliding) [4PP] ("Electroreactive Glider Cape") Communication 5 (Radio, 5 miles; Feats: Subtle) [6PP] ("In-Built Headset")
Enhanced Feats 3 ( Second Chance 3 [Toughness Save vs Ballistics, Piercing, and Slashing] ) [3PP] ("Nano Weaving") Immunity 1 (Cold, Heat; Flaws: Limited [Half]) [1PP] ("Protective Thermal Under-Layer") Protection 5 [5PP] ("Armor Plating") Super-Senses 3 (Infravision;Vision Counters Obscure (Darkness) [Darkvision]) [3PP] ("Night Vision Lenses") Super Senses 3 (Direction Sense, Distance Sense, Time Sense) [3PP] ("Head's-Up Display")
Gadgets 2 (10PP Variable Power, Any Power, Multiple Powers At Once, Duration [Continuous], Flaws: Hard-To-Lose) [14PP] (Technological) ("Utility Belt and Harness")Example Gadgets:
ATTACK RANGE SAVE EFFECT
Unarmed (Normal) Touch DC20 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Physical)
Unarmed (Martial Arts) Touch DC24 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Physical)
Totals: Abilities (46) + Combat (24) + Saving Throws (15) + Skills (35) + Feats (40) + Powers (45) = 205/205 Power Points