To Be Finished
Character Design and Archetype
Current Role and Hooks
Costume and Appearance
Tall and lanky, perhaps Nicole's most distinctive feature is her curly hair which she usually wears long and unbound. As if to match this carefree style, she prefers easily worn casual clothes or dresses, things she could easily be presentable. She couldn't go wrong with solid, bold colors in any style and that makes up much of her wardrobe. She oftentimes sports eyebags and a perpetually harried look as she rarely rests long. A thermos of coffee completes the look. Additionally, she uses a pretty expensive looking powered wheelchair made of smooth silver steel and a high-backed leather seat.
As Salvo, her armor looks to be mundanely spray painted red and white, with hints of purple as highlights. Aside from that, nothing about Bellios seems normal. A repurposed magical suit of armor, while there still remains a hint of the knightly aesthetic from old legends it is as often disrupted with an array of weapons systems, limb hydraulics, exhausts grills, and a whole slew of whirring machinery that makes it more cumbersome and larger than a suit of full plate armor should be. Runes are etched in a variety of styles and patterns, some of which are repurposed from their original origins, customized step around to work with modern technology. The armor is hermetically sealed and does not reveal the wearer inside. It emanates a visible and crackling field of purple electricity, as the energy it produces escapes.
Seek Knowledge. Wield Power.
Those were the words Nicole lived by most of her life. It was the words the Whitfield family has lived by and died for for hundreds of years, since the first Whitfields arrived in the Americas to gamble their fortune as plantation owners, since even before then as they lived like nobles in the Old World. These words were writ in gold-plated letters above every door and fireplace in the Whitfield grounds, so that each member of the family may remember the reason for their existence. The Whitfields were many and spread across the world, as befitting a venerable and wealthy family, but those Whitfields who called California their home were those who could trace their ancestry straight and true. The purest and oldest. The heirs of a legacy that was yet to come.
It was this life and lineage, which Nicole was birthed to, third eldest among five siblings. As a younger sibling, she was not expected to inherit much and neither was much expected from her. She was left to her own devices, made busy with everything old money could buy. Servants in livery, the most expensive toys and gadgets, the richest food served in multiple course meals, yet she felt little, if any, parental love as a young child. She wandered the halls of the mansion alone, a small child who barely reached the waist of any adult, under the paintings of her ancestors, their eyes watchful and austere in the low light. Her parents were much too busy to take time off for her, always managing their holdings and grooming James, her eldest sibling when they were not travelling or locked inside their individual studies.
Lauren, her older sister was sent to study in boarding school before Nicole could remember, and at the times the two met, they were even more distant to each other than she and James. Perhaps then, this would have been a sad life, a childhood with little friends and love, but her personal caretaker took a liking for the young Whitfield, and it was from there that Nicole had experienced a semblance of warmth from another. Elizabeth Leon, her caretaker, took her under her wing, and began to go above and beyond the duties of a servant of Whitfield in attending to her charge’s needs. She was there whenever Nicole needed her - as her only playmate in games of tea or house, or as a shoulder to cry on when either Father or Mother scolded her childish antics.
It was the first time someone truly saw Nicole as more than just a valuable asset to the family. Elizabeth listened to her, and she in turn listened. She learned of her caretaker's family, of Elizabeth's three daughters, the youngest who was her age, and of her husband who was struggling with depression. Elizabeth's bedtime stories were not fairy tales, or fanciful adventure stories. They were of the ordinary, the mundane somehow made wonderful, for it was another world for Nicole.
Years passed and Nicole would grow to adolescence, soon sharing the mansion with two younger siblings, Gregory and Belle, yet like her older siblings spent less and less time with them as she grew older and was sent to an English boarding school. It was also during this time that she drew her parents’ interest. She was a genius among a family which prided itself on producing geniuses, and her intelligence was obvious for anyone with eyes to see. She soaked up information like a sponge and understood lectures meant for students a decade her senior, the many lonely hours she spent pouring over her family library now had paid off, and she had not stopped. Time and time again a servant or janitor would spy the library doors ajar, faint lights open in hours that ghosts roamed awake. They were how she spent her idle time when not with Elizabeth or playing with Gregory and Belle, and neither did she feel a recluse in boarding school, not as much as she did within the Whitfield grounds.
There she had other girls to gossip with, cute boys to sneak glances to, teachers to mock behind their backs. She just tended to develop a fixation for a problem she couldn't solve, or a theory that had caught her interest, and either would occupy the back of her mind, maddening and lingering, until she'd spend hours or days searching and solving, and trying and asking, until she could confidently say she knew all there was worth knowing about that topic. Only then could she dismiss those thoughts that gripped her. It was there that she came to love the wonders of the modern world, how intricate and detailed and interconnected everything was, if only people could see it. Physics led to engineering led to technology led to mathematics led to-- ad infinitum.
She was fourteen when she was summoned to the Whitfield mansion. She remembers, like all things, it was the middle of autumn and school was in full swing, yet she received a phone call. She was to drop all that she was doing and arrive at a earliest date, and she acqueised. A private jet was already waiting for her the same day she had received the call and she flew half the world to California. She was not the only one to be called. Her older brother and sister had already arrived, as had a dozen of her blood relations. The next few days saw a few dozen more arrive - cousins, and Aunts and Uncles - if she was to be technical. Almost every Whitfield of any worth gathered for the first time within the multi-acre estate.
It was unprecedented, and a little daunting for Nicole, even as Elizabeth and Belle greeted her home. Gregory had stayed in his boarding school in France.
All of the Whitfields gathered within a vast chamber buried in the underground vaults of the mansion, and all the servants and retinues barred from entry. They were in the center of the estate, ley lines tracing energies where beats its magical heart, and patterns upon patterns of arcane sigils and stones dotted the walls, lights tracing paths safe to tread, the family's scrolls and tomes arranged orderly rows. Clearly, this ritual had anticipated for some time, and prepared for with a meticulous patience Nicole knew her parents possessed in abundance.
She read what she knew, for she was not yet a full-blooded mage, could make only guesswork as to the reasons for trappings older than her grandparents, but what she saw indicated a technique that would converge every type of magic and energy present into the one point of chamber. A melding of sorts made larger than life for all those attending now as while they were all of the name Whitfield, and all knew the alchemical arts that so defined the family, decades and centuries had diversified their skills to the point of a sensory jumble. Like crossing a street in Los Angeles and picking out people of different ethnicities. Too many that it gets confusing, yet still holding many underlying characteristics in common.
They began. The lights were shut off, a candle in the center of the congregation. Nicole could just make out her father, mother, then James and Lauren standing at intervals apart. Young Belle then, was not to be a part of their destiny. First, there was chanting, occult languages in different tongues reverberating through the walls and melding into one sonorous note. She does not know how long they had stayed there. She does not remember, she would admit uneasily, what had transpired in the darkness, amid hooded figures, and whispering fell things. The candle had guttered into a cold flicker, and a cackling, wet and heavy and inside.
Her arms burned, and her throat cracked with smoke. She hurt all over but her legs, and when she awoke, barely aware, the chamber was on fire and Elizabeth was carrying Nicole in her arms, a bag stuffed with scrolls strapped on her shoulders. They ran from the chamber, out the basement and the mansion as everything burned. Nicole watched the mansion crumble in flames. Her legs refuse and Elizabeth carried her to the waiting paramedics, and she decided she was dreaming.
The authorities would say it was a stray spark that started the fire. An unfortunate series of events led to this tragedy, the official statement would read, leading to 43 deaths, mostly from suffocation and localized within the chamber, except for one teenager that was rescued by a heroic maid. They applauded Elizabeth and shifted through the rubble, looking for survivors. They did not find Belle.
Gregory would go missing shortly thereafter.
She worried about Gregory and went into mourning, for Belle most of all. She was released from the hospital, a certified paraplegic, to Elizabeth and her family in the meantime, who were her legal guardians now. She saved what she could from the remains of her family's capital. The vultures had picked at everything long before she left the hospital. Through means legal and not so legal, her family's once vast fortune had dwindled, taken by rivals, and those seeking revenge or restitution. And perhaps it was for the best.
She had canceled her boarding school. There was an itch her brain could not scratch, and a hunch told her she would find her answers by staying. She soon discovered a side of her family that sickened her. They were corrupt, and perhaps that was not a revelation with how rich they were, but in their dealings lives were lost and ruined with the act of a single handshake, and people killed from one spoken word of her parents. She dug into the books, into the diaries and records saved from the fire. She talked to the lawyers and phoned business partners overseas. The Californian Whitfields had its hand in every pie in the city, state, and a significant number in the country and beyond.
Oil spill cover ups, land siezures from the poor, money laundering, arms trafficking, financing the local Mafia, and shaking hands with Mexican cartels. The Whitfields were far worse among the magical community, yet just as insidious, where an overarching authority non-existent. It was a headache to have it all revealed and heaped upon her in a short time, and she cut every connection she could and gave all she could to the authorities. As the only Whitfield left, she had that right, even if many of her family's erstwhile partners did not see it her way. She walked -- rolled rather -- the streets now, instead of the halls of a mansion or an elite boarding school in a far-off country. They were concrete and now, and she couldn't ignore what was in front of her, even as her magic began to die a slow death for no discernible reason.
Seek Knowledge. Wield Power.
Her family had its reasons for everything they've done, excuses more like. But it was something to say to let them sleep at night, and she couldn't say they were deluded. Not when those reasons almost felt right, like this was just the natural state of the world. The strong prey on the weak. Predators eat. Prey flee. Humans fought wars and died and gave birth. And Whitfields learned and gathered.
She woke up one night as she felt eyes watching her. Bellios stood at the foot of her bed, unscathed. Her powers were all but dead by then, and when she had attempted to wear the armor, the recurring psychic backlash left her sick and vomiting food for a week.
By the coaxing of Elizabeth, she decided to fly to Freedom City and resume her schooling. She was frustrated and without hope, disgusted by her family's activities - a useless feeling, lugging an armor that did nothing but make her ill. Still, perhaps she could find a solution in the city of heroes and start anew, far away from the death of her family and the toxic they left. So she transferred half the money she had inherited with Elizabeth and her family, as much as it was a pittance compared to what her family once held, it was a large sum for them and it felt like the right thing to do to thank them for everything.
She flew out the next day.
She was eligible for Claremont, if just barely, and wasn't that cute.
For a whole year she was the most useless student to grace its halls. Stuck in a wheelchair and magic that fizzled pathetically, if she could even get it to work, she would have been kicked out if it weren't for her intelligence and ability to create tech and mystical devices. She brought with her the family scrolls, even if she could recall their contents easily enough, and could call on mystical energies that did not originate from within. Magic rituals and petty concoctions, she knew how to make them. Electronic riff-raff that would not have been out of place in a gadgeteer's arsenal.
All the while the familiar presence lay heavy upon her mind. It was the strongest pull she had ever, and it was directed in its entriety to Bellios. She let herself fall into that obsession, working for a year upon that construct of ancient arcana. She learned so much more than she would within the confines of a classroom, or the laughable practicums the teachers would give to her. She dreamed of bolts and runes, and incantations and coding. And when she was not buried within Bellios, within the confines of her work, she was formulating ways to improve it, to create more energy, more power, because it hungered.
For a year, barely anyone outside her scheduled classes saw her. During class, her presence was almost non-existent, her output just enough to pass.
But just before the end of the school year she rose from her fugue, as if she had fallen asleep or into a coma and had only woke up, though she remembered everything as clear as day. Groggy, head aching, her insides feeling like jelly, she looked up to take in her work.
And it was beautiful.
Powers and Skills
While Nicole is innately attuned to magical energies, it is her battle armor, Bellios, which allows her to focus those energies into the powers she uses as a superhero. Once an old and storied magical heirloom, her work on the armor has made it something more, creating within its essence a platform that applies both centuries of tradition and cutting-edge methodologies integrated in a dialectic unity. Bellios usually manifests her powers in set systems with a technological bent, as befitting her leanings.
Yet it is a thing as much of magic as the material world. Intersecting rune arrays tun electrical currents through chiseled patterns in the armor plates. Targeting spirits line up her Gatling guns and missile batteries as a handcrafted dimension, metaphysically tuned and coupled to Bellios, feeds alchemically-imbued ammunition to sate its voracious appetite for firepower.
Mind's Eye Life Support - Astral Plane
Protection Armor Plates
Enhanced Save Wards
Weapons Suite Array
Flamethrowers - Hell
A child of two worlds, Nicole uses her genius intellect and natural predisposition to marry both the arcane and scientific. Naturally, to attempt such an endeavor requires her first to be adept in both ways of viewing the natural world.
While academically her creations are not true technomagic, the end result is practically indistinguishable.
She creates two bases, with each base formed from traditional technological or magical techniques. A limbic barrier is erected between the two bases and certain avenues threaded m to control their exposure and minimize backlash from the close interaction of two inherently paradoxical natures. This alone produces an incredibly unstable creation but there are more sophisticated failsafes and techniques Nicole uses to achieve her desired results.
Exposed to magic from the time of her birth, Nicole was given the best tutors money and influence could buy. Not to mention that her father and mother were both great masters in their own brand of magic. She learned to manipulate the world to her will, through the use of rituals and artifacts and runes, and her methods reflect this upbringing. She is the master-artist and the world is her canvas.
Her artifacts powered entirely by magic are fine things indeed, created by a master who loves her work and knows how to imbue magic from subtle musings to in-your-face destruction. Most of her work are built to last, yet at the same time they could look as delicate as a flower in bloom. Only when things prove too complex does she sacrifice aesthetic, cramming all that she wants even if the resulting piece looks like a frankenstein of metal and parts.
The realm of data and information streams is not as intuitive as physical artifacts but one could perform magic in the streams of code. Nicole manipulates systems, etches designs to greater powers and documents litanies and rituals in hidden caches. She can transport secured effects and creatures from the material world into her systems for greater results, and greater risk, timed to go off given once right inputs and conditions pass.
Runes. Words and gestures. Symbolic items. Time and places. These are just a few things that go through Nicole's mind as she begins her rituals. Beyond merely aping the rituals of masters and practitioners past, she is proficient enough to understand the fundamentals from many cultures and peoples and apply it in new and interesting ways. The more well-read and creative a person is in ritual magic, the more one can do, and Nicole is both very well-read and very creative.
Marrying age-old magical traditions to cutting-edge technology allows Nicole an unprecedented flexibility in her approaches and desired results. She could also use it in a relatively brute force manner, generating more raw power than what is possible with one or the other. In this way can she bypass many things were she to put her talents and resources into a problem, for few things can answer in kind against two worlds.
Ever since she had been exposed to learning about the natural world has Nicole been ever eager to apply her intellect to science's advancement. She specifically specializes in physics and engineering and has an interest in power systems and dynamics. Naturally, she knows the theories and how to apply it in technology.
As an engineer, Nicole must know how to connect her hardware through software. Aside from the various systems she is capable of for all her equipment, her work has brought her into contact with computer programs, hacking of all kinds, and the internet.
While Nicole has yet to professionally specialize in a specific branch, her experience and knowledge in branches of physics trends towards those which deals with energy, materials, and electronics, especially ones with an applicable bent, such as microelectronics, nuclear technology, mechatronics, and materials science.
The technology Nicole is most familiar with reflects her knowledge base. She knows how to create electrical and mechanical systems, in a no-nonsense approach. Power dynamics also interest her, especially as applied in systems both large and small.
Allies, Associates & Enemies
- Ajasoro Tafari aka Sara Kingdom aka White Lioness
- Alexander "Alex" Llyodd aka Facsimile
- Elizabeth Grey aka Masque
- Louise 'Lulu' Beaumont aka Crystal-Gazer
- Pan Barria aka Forever Boy
- Selena Kwon aka Gauss
- Veronica Danger
- Elizabeth Leon
- Doctor Rosa Thorne
- Sharl Tulink aka Citizen
- Abigail Storm
- Ashley aka Watchdog
- Astrid "Thursday" Torsten aka Ms Thursday
- Corinne Conrad aka Zenith
- Jack Huang Faretti (Junior) aka Ouroboros
- Judy aka Daystar
- Leroy Remilikun Ransom-Conte, 'Larry' aka Sun Dragon
- Reina Nightingale aka Aurora
- Aquaria Innsmouth aka Sea Devil
- Comrade Frost
- Professor Peculiar
- Emerald Spider
- Mr. Murk
- Red Moon
- Various Claremont Academy Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Students
- Mr Nobody
The Twenty Signs
- Dai Zhuo Sun
- Esquivel-Zarco Cartel
- Insigne Family
- Shchekochikhin Bratva
- July 31: Registration Day: 2 Fang 2 Furious: Salvo debuts in Claremont Academy accompanied by Citizen. She meets Huang and Corinne. The teenagers are escorted to the Danger Room where they are given a scenario from ArchEvil's Invasion and they quickly end up squabbling.
- August 13: Ferris Wheels and Fishmen: Nicole accompanies a bunch of fellow students off-campus to Port Regal for some dockside fair fun.
- August 17: A Peculiar Proposition: In a rented room, Nicole meets up with her fellow magical practitioners for some summer evening potluck.
- August 30: Chrysopoeia Cosmetics: Nicole orders in the Chrysopoeia Cosmetics website for some very creative and unique makeup, both for use and for experimentation into alchemy!
- August: [Lost Expeditions]Castle Ravenloft: Nicole, along with other heroes, are deposited to a fantasy-esque world where she has to escape without the use of her armor or resources. Darn those Yellow Sign cultists! Never can do any ritual right!
- August: [Lost Expeditions]The Demonweb Pits: Another dimensional hiccup sends Nicole from the Prime dimension. This month's environmental vulnerability to shocks must have been craaazzy. No wonder Nicole hates inter-dimensional travel.
- September 9: In Anticipation of Meaning: In the middle of the night, Salvo comes across Mirror and Mary, his spirit friend. Both heroes are looking to do some research on their respective problems and maybe old, dusty books are just the way to go.
- November 6: Et In Arcadia Ego: Eldritch, the Master Mage, dies and his death sends ripples all across the magical world. Everyone who's anyone competent took note, one technomage named Nicole included.
- November 17: Room of Danger (sixth edition): Salvo and Replica get to do some good, old-fashioned super fight in the middle of an abandoned warehouse.
- December 2: Bonfire with Vanity: Beach party! Corinne is hosting one for Claremont students in her dad's swanky beachside mansion and grounds.
- January 1: Formatting Error - Act 2: Salvo's first on-screen appearance in Emerald City. She, Emerald Spider and Mr. Murk all enter the Bethlehem Heights Mental Hospital to investigate its mysterious warping.
- January 24: The Magic of Reading: Another forced inter-dimensional leap and this time with an annoying Brit narrator looking over her shoulder and a whole week without electricity or modern-day amenities for Nicole. Forced to do a stereotypical fantasy quest, she and Facsimile quickly find out that not is all as it seems...
- June 11: Knowledge is Power: The Terminus Invasion has been ongoing for days. Salvo and Terrifica meet up in Freedom City''s ASTRO Labs to find a way to shut down the portals spewing Omegadrones and other, more dangerous gribblies from the Terminus.
- August 29: Roomies!: It's nearing a new school year for Claremont and the final year for Nicole. She meets her new roommate. Astrid's the daughter of another dimension's Thor, wielding a magical bat and rocking in leathers and heavy metal.
- September 4: The Beast of America: More meetups! This time in the fourth floor common room of the Rita Kord Dorm. Some of the ladies she meets are nice, others get the angry eyes.
- September 5: Assemble!: Headmistress Summers calls the school's assembly. All the students gather and Nicole meets a familiar face she hasn't seen since for a while. The claws come out and so do powers.
- September 8: Welcome the Starlight Room: Nicole and Leroy go on a fancy first dinner date in the Starlight Room. That place is a dresses and suits place and the couple dress to show.
- September 21: Sundae Cup Sparks: Nicole brings Ajasoro, or Sara as she is called to protect her identity, to her an ArcheTech's charity HQ in Southside to convince the Dakanan princess to help the most affected by the recent Terminus Invasion.
- September 27: And Carnal Forbearance: Ethics class in Claremont and just like much in Claremont Academy it is tinged with the weird and super. Though the weird and super is merely confined to the topics discussed in round robin groups.
- September 29: Last Gasp of Summer: Another beach party! This time in the Danger's swanky beachside mansion and grounds. There's a yacht this time and Nicole can't decide on whether the al-Misri or the Danger's is better. Still, there's some talking with her friend Gauss and trying to catch up with the boys.
- October 5: Red Sky at Night: Red Team goes on a simulation in the Danger Room. They've got to save people and beat up monsters. All in a day's work for a superhero.
- October 26: Let's Fall in Like: The Fall Dance is upon the school and Nicole attends as a stag. She's got Bellios on the rooftop and soon Dio finds her there where they both then rant against Leroy.
- October 26: They Never Taught Us This: Ditching the Fall Dance, Salvo and Dio dig up Summer's secret subterranean cavern in search of something Dio is looking for in Earth-Prime.
- October 31: Fright Night at Claremont: Indigo Team has gone and messed up bad in Hallow's Eve. Now Salvo and friends must travel through Claremont Academy's basement before Baal could bing the idiots' souls to his designs.
- November 5: Through the Mirrored Glass and Back Again: Bellios is acting up after one of Salvo's fights against her enemies. Nicole has been fixing him for days and hasn't slept for that long. Now on the last leg of her procedure she acquires the services of her fellow magic-wielding students to get inside the armor and deliver the package.
- November 10: The Red Will Rise: Nicole and fellow Claremont students visit the Kirby for some modern art viewing. While inside, terrorists kidnap Corinne. Now the teenagers must use their powers to save her. Oh, and there's an adult hero here too.
- November 22: The Gift of Home: Nicole and Pan travel to Emerald City to celebrate Thanksgiving with the de Leons, the family of Nicole's caretaker. After dinner, the two Claremont students take a jaunt to a nearby store to buy groceries. Talking ensures.
- December 24: Giant Krampus 2: Krampus Campus: Giant Krampus attacks Claremont Academy! Worst decision of its life. Along with many Claremont students, Salvo rises up to defend her school and her schoolmates.
- January 29: My Name Is Terrifica. Ask Me Anything: Terrifica creates a thread in the superhero website. Nicole, using her Salvo account, reminiscences about their contribution in the Terminus Invasion. She also asks for some advice with her perfect memory and bad memories.
- January 31: The Essential Guide to Heroing: Nicole takes up a mentor program to be a mentor for a new student in Reina. Nicole takes her new mentee into the Danger Room where things soon go awry.
- February 1: With Black Curtains: In the first floor common room of the Rita Kord Dorm, students hang out and rest. Nicole comes in and talks with other students. Among them are Reina, Leroy, and Judy.
- February 20: New Arrival: Nicole comes across a new student in Claremont, Tyler, and interacts with him, along with Veronica and Alex.
- March 26: Sky-Pirates!: Nicole attends a field trip to a Danger institute in the middle of a nowhere desert. Then pirates attack! In flying ships! Now her fellow students have to defend the institute while Nicole performs some mad science and magic to unlock the secrets of the pirate's intended booty.
- April 9: Mud Pack: Davyd, a new student, arrives in Claremont. He gets a posse real quick and they come upon Nicole wrangling a homework for film appreciation class. Turns out even teen geniuses have a hard time thinking about some things!
- May 11: Happiness in Slavery: Nicole arrives in Emerald City's ArcheTech to perform a report about nanomachines. But the polished halls holds many secrets, many of which are quite hostile to prying eyes...
- June 21: Down in the Underground: A magical gathering is called by the current Master Mage, Phantom. It's the dinner to be in, the evening to be seen in.
- June 22: The Tale of Two Trees: Nicole and Corinne face off in graduation day. They speak with spite in their hearts and hostile barbs but Nicole literally walks out of the room on her two legs.
- July 1: Stellar School: Nicole goes on one last field trip with her best friend Selena. They watch the Ambassador Ortilac and meet the Xi.
- Mid-July: Everybody Make A Scene: Salvo arrives in the Freedom League satellite. She, along with several other heroes, must prove themselves ready to work with the Freedom League.
- Mid-July: Scene: Terrifica and Salvo: Salvo and Terrifica are tested for a spot in the Freedom League Auxiliary, but it is not their skill Comrade Frost wants to see but their character.
- July 28: Hammer and Scalpel: City Night Heist: Nicole and Selena visit Seoul, South Korea but they come across a millionaire's residential tower taken by soldiers looking for something secured inside.