From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Loni Stephenson is a young archmage. Through many rough trials in his life, he's grown to be an outgoing, fun and happy young man. These days he spends most of his time as a student and a store clerk. Hero business has taken a back seat, mystical business still sits in the front.
Loni is fun and outgoing. Though previously much of a black-sheep and something of a jerk, he has grown into a kind, gentle and respectful man, though sometimes he is called "sassy" by both his friends and his enemies. He is honest to a fault and this sometimes get him into trouble with the likes of both men and gods. Loni has made a vow to never kill anyone, as he feels that there is always a better way and that he does not have the right to govern who lives and dies. He feels as if it's his duty as a hero to protect life, not destroy it, something villains use against him a lot.
Loni is about the height of your average man, lean and tone. He has milk chocolate skin and keen facial features. Loni has reasonably long, dark hair. He's been mentioned to be quite attractive by his peers, this could be attributed to his younger looking appearance. Loni's fashion sense is rather relaxed and casual. Loni's general choice of clothing consists of a black denim jacket, a grey t-shirt with a black crescent moon on the chest, fitted blue jeans and black and white sneakers. He also wears a necklace with gems in it, given to him by his very first love interest, Gregori Maric. His super suit consists of a black, short sleeved set of spandex that has the Theban symbol for "L" on his chest. He wears a short sleeved, leather jacket laced with Kevlar over top of the tights. The jacket is black on the outside and violet on the inside. The collar is slightly elongated and is popped. He wears black, leather gloves and a green metallic band as a belt. The suit is made complete by a pair of built in boots.
His new outfit consists of a pair of white tights with yellow trim. The suit comes with a built in hood, boots and elongated sleeves. His suit is also laced with Kevlar, to allow him to deal with gunshots. He comments that it's an added precaution, but not a necessary one, since when he is in battle, he is constantly generating a barrier of hard-light around himself.
Loni was born on October 31st 1991 in Greensboro, North Carolina. His birthday attests to his abilities as one of the most, if not the most magical day of the year. His family history dates back to early ages, starting with a very young mystic named Taji Lumen. Taji founded the order of the Lumen Mystic, a clan of mystics born with the ability to produce light from themselves. These mystics were also very skilled in the arcane and mystic arts. The clan diminished sometime around the 17th century and died out almost completely in the late 18th century. There are only a hand full of people who come from the Lumen bloodline, Loni being one of them. Loni, almost instinctively took an interest in magic at a very young age. He grew up as a nerdy, weird kid who was afraid to leave his shell.
When he was ten, Loni met his very first friend Samuel "Sammy" Windermere. Samuel and Loni, both interested in the same things, were near impossible to separate. Loni and Sammy both had a keen interest for magic, but Loni, thanks to his bloodline, was more apt to it than Sammy. They were both bullied quite often, but would just go home and laugh about it, busted lips and all. When they reached the 8th grade, Loni and Sammy both took up a self defense course taught to them by their gym teacher, Robert Ashwood. Loni, again was better at this than his friend. A few years later, in high school, they both had developed into an inseparable pair of weirdos, Sammy though, secretly harbored a deep jealousy of Loni constantly outdoing him even though Sammy thought of him as his closest and dearest friend. He only wanted to come out on top once. Loni, thought nothing of it though, considering Sammy his complete equal, and never ever held this over him. Unfortunately, this did nothing more then fuel Sammy's urge to be better than him.
When the boys had turned 16, Sammy had found a ritual that would evoke a spirit that could grant them power. Seeing this as a prime opportunity to gain more power than Loni and ultimately be better than him at something, Sammy urged Loni into preforming the ritual with him. Loni Reluctantly agreed. Once they had gathered the materials up, they had gone to an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town. There, Sammy insisted that he set up everything because it was his idea, Loni again reluctantly agreed. Once everything was set up, they had begun the ritual, and everything was running smoothly, until Loni sensed that something was wrong and something was very wrong indeed. Sammy had drawn out the wrong circle, and because of this, the ritual that was supposed to summon a benevolent spirit summoned a demon instead. The demon, named Doraamu, was enraged, and made quick work of Sammy. Loni, only wanting to save Sammy at this point, fought with all of his power against the demon. Unfortunately for him, the demon was far beyond his power, and he was crushed under Doraamu's might. Even when Loni knew he was going to die, he still met the demon with a vicious gaze, and his inner light did not die out. He finally died. Loni had gone to the afterlife, but this was short lived, as Doraamu used his power to snatch his soul back and chain it into his dead body. He didn't stop there, going so far as to posses the body and mutate it to give it life.
He used Loni's body to go on a murder spree, killing Loni's close family and a few random people. He did so in a very secretive way however, using his powers of toxic radiation to kill them. Doraamu forced Loni to watch, powerless from the inside. Once he had finished killing off those people, he cleaned up the mess himself (by making the deaths look like an outbreak of a serious virus), not wanting to be in a body that would be in jail. Satisfied with the amount of death he had just caused, Doraamu went dormant, leaving Loni to pick up the pieces of his now shattered life. When Loni came back to reality, he found that his body was mutated, he was no longer human. He was toxic and dangerous. Knowing this, he used his parent's money and moved up to Paragon City, in hopes of finding a way to fix himself. Still only 16, Loni took it upon himself to learn biology and in time, biochemistry, in hopes of understanding his body and the effects it would have on others.
Life as a Super
Years later, Loni had grown to the age of 19. Though still toxic, he had found ways around being such a danger, though they were taxing and often painful to him. He had learned his body and what it could do, and he used that knowledge combined with his magical knowledge to fight crime as a nameless hero. He also had been attending college for a year, but thanks to his knowledge on biology, chemistry and bio-chem, Loni had been recognized by the Paragon science department and was able to bypass the standard years in college and actually has his master's degree in all three fields. He's decided that he would acquire his doctorate in bio-chemistry because he wants "to be a magical doctor, like doctor strange or something." These are all amazing feats for such a young person. He has Doraau to thanks for all of this, because if not for him, Loni would have never cared about biology or bio-chemistry.
A few months into year 2011, Loni encountered an Archangel named Matthew, who was a general in the super group "The Legionnaires". Matthew did not see the demon inside of the young mage, and invited him to the legion despite his dangerous body. He even offered to use his own scientific knowledge to build him special accommodations in their base, so he could live a bit easier. Loni happily joined, quickly accepting the legion as his new family. Loni had not told anyone of his possession until one night, after they had gone into the shadow shard, where the Soldiers of Rularuu woke Doraamu. That night, Loni told the legion of his problem. From there, his condition would only get worse. Loni, in an effort to keep himself and the legion safe from Doraamu, locked himself in his room, and refused to come out. That is, until Matthew convinced him to come out, and the night he did, Doraamu surfaced again, mocking some of the legion's most powerful members. Loni, finally having enough of Doraamu and his horrible ways, asked Matthew to kill him, a request that he had reluctantly agreed to. He blasted Loni with his powerful energy, and literally blew him to pieces. This didn't last long, as Doraamu simply reconstructed his body, did more mocking and then went dormant again.
Loni had finally had enough, and started searching ways to separate himself from Doraamu. He'd found a ritual and immediately told legion mate Apex Crush about it. He went with Elltenia and a secretive woman called Fractured Facade to retrieve the required materials and the proper ritual instructions. Enraged, Doraamu took control and before the legion members could return, he literally poisoned the entire base and was prepared now to fight the legion, to prevent them from completing the ritual. Apex had preformed the spell and thanks to that, Loni was separated from Doraamu, and had found the strength to banish him to darker realms. Unfortunately, this was a bittersweet victory as Loni had to die again in order to be free from the demon, and since he was keeping Loni alive, Loni's body died too. Fortunately, Loni had enough spiritual potency to remain on the physical world as a ghost long enough to guide Apex through a ritual that would restore his body to life so he could inhabit it again. He then instructed him to create a blood seal with his own blood to seal his soul back into his body so he could be human again.
Now, human again, Loni has discovered and unlocked his family's bloodline power to produce and control light energy from his body. His new powers combined with his past has led him to chose the super name, Afterglow. He has quit his super group due to what he called unfairness and now works on his own.
Five years after an event that caused the utter dissolve of The Legionnaires and the subsequent self-exile of Loni, The Umbraxis Incident, Loni had been living a simple and quiet life as a hermit in South America. Scared and tired, the young wizard had gone into hiding, preferring not to throw his hat in with the world heroes and help on a much smaller scale. He'd began offering minor protection to a small village on the edge of Guyana and Brazil that was under constant strain of cartel related gang violence. He'd been quite used to this sort of thing, having spent a good portion of his life in Paragon dealing with minor gang activity. His help was never direct though. He would typically only ward the forests bordering the village against violence or occasionally beat up a small pocket of violent offenders. The village people didn't know much about the wizard living in their woods, some even came to fear him. The only knew that he had some fantastic powers. This, combined with the fact that he was a hermit there, lead to the village folk referring to him simply as "Bruxa das árvores" translating to The Witch of Trees. Eventually, word had gotten out about his little brushes with locals and called the attention of Huntsman, the hero hunter. Loni had been baited out of hiding by a bomb threat; a note given to him by one of the gang members he had beaten.The note detailed very intricate things bout Loni's past and his abilities. It also told him that later that night, several bombs would go off in the village. Of course, Loni sprung into action, taking the threat seriously as the person behind it knew full well who he was and clearly just wanted him to get out in the open. He took to the sky, opting to fly over the trees rather than through them, a costly mistake, as his attacker had been waiting for him. He heard the sound of a loud bang like a rifle and moments after was brought to the ground by a bullet. The bullet shattered his shoulder, but did not kill him. Soon after, Huntsman revealed himself, explaining that Loni had done a great job of staying hidden for so long, but got a little careless towards the end. After a brief fight, Loni was defeated. Just as Huntsman was about to fire the final shot, he was interrupted by a helicopter firing a hailstorm of bullets at him. Huntsman managed to escape, but not before swearing to his mark that he'd have his head.
Much later, after awakening in a strange hospital bed, Loni was greeted by none other than a de-powered War-Pulse. He explained to Loni that he had been beaten to nearly an inch of his life, riddled with bullets and comatose for several weeks. He also explained that he had been looking for him for some time, so he was glad to have caught wind of the Huntsman's plans to find him. Pulse offered him a chance to regain his old title as a hero and join with the UN sanctioned security force known simple as Vigil. While Loni had initially declined, he knew that he had no where left to go on his own and that perhaps his time in hiding is over. He accepted, becoming an official part of Vigil with his friends, War-Pulse Hypatia Reed and Super Scarab.
Loni enjoyed being back in action. He had his friends again and felt on top of the world. That is until, The Huntsman returned. And this time, he had his sights set on all of Vigil for stealing his kill. Huntsman had designed a plan to lure the team out by preforming a series of attacks on shopping malls around the world. All in the same fashion; explosions and leaving obvious evidence it was him. This forced the Vigil into action, leading the team consisting of Lucky 7, Afterglow, Super Scarab and "Cass" to The Mall of America in Bloomington Minnesota, the largest shopping mall in the country. Here, they worked their way through a series of cruel games orchestrated by the Huntsman. He forced the team to comply by telling them that he would kill one of the hostages that he held if they did anything off the rails. To test this, their newest team member, Cass blasted out one of the mall cameras with her energy bolts. In response, Huntsman shot and killed on of the hostages from long range with a fifty caliber sniper rifle and warned the team not to try anything again. After surviving his twisted games (designed to tire the heroes out), he revealed himself to the group by shooting Cass herself with that same rifle. The shot was critical but did not kill her outright. Stephen, using all of his medical expertise was able to stabilize her while Lucky 7 and Afterglow battled Huntsman. Eventually, the two were able to overcome him. Defeated, Huntsman swore to the do-gooders that he would keep hunting for them, especially Loni, who responded by casting a seal on his body that kept him comatose but aware. He then promised Huntsman that it was he who would have the final laugh and proclaimed that he had some new serums to test out, and that he would make an excellent test subject.
Return of Doraamu
Time passed and the team had gotten better and better at their job, facing down such foes as General Dreadnought and The Steel Lotus. Eventually, The team had gotten word of a sorceress named Aetheria that had been planning to return the world to the dark ages due to her hatred of modern society and hot it turned it's back on the old ways of magic. For many months, the team did battle against Aetheria and her cult of mystics and monsters until finally, the team had caught a glimpse of her true plan. The team had caught one of the witch's spies that had infiltrated Vigil by way of sorcery. After a bit of coercive conversation (and light torture) the caught wizard revealed that her ultimate plan was to use the remains of a powerful demon in order to enact a ritual that would force the world back into the dark ages, ridding it of technology so that the world would have to appreciate and respect magic as the dominant force. Before he could tell anymore, his mistress killed him via remote magic. Loni was able to discern that she had been listening in on them this entire time and that's how she managed to stay so far ahead of them. He used his powers to trace the lingering magic on the now dead mage to pinpoint her location. This brought the team to the mountains of New Zealand. Before their jet could even get close, Aetheria summoned a fierce magical storm that threatened to rip the aircraft to bits. To save the group. the pilot, Ben landed the craft in a nearby field and told the group that they would just have to walk. After the long walk, which gave the sorceress enough time to prepare, the group arrived to face her. Loni was instantly shocked to see that the remains she was using were Doraamu's. He urged her to stop, but she continued and actually managed to wield his power. The fighting that ensued caused Aetheria to lose control of the weapon she had created. This combined with a container of his own essence in the form of Loni caused the demon to return to life. After taunting Loni, he made short work of his comrades and escaped to Yosemite Park, with the plan to infect the volcano there and cause a volcanic winter. Aetheria did offer to help fix her mistake, but an enraged Loni would not hear of it.
Destruction of Doraamu
The team knew that they could not face Doraamu without some sort of outside help. Loni had informed the demon's weakness, like his own, is anything of holy or celestial origin. Hypatia Reed suggested that they go and consult the world tree Yggdrasil, which they had rescued from Steel Lotus. The tree saw the heroes fit to use his gifts, and gifted them several pieces of it's bark to forge weapons and armor with. It also allowed the team to use the Astral Heart, a powerful orb of pure magic from the realm of Asgard. Super Scarab and Afterglow teamed up to form several pieces of magical gear for the party to use, the main weapon being a combination of the R.H.E.A. and the Astral Heart. A cannon-like weapon that they would use to neutralize Doraamu's power so that he could be slain. Loni, however could not use any of these gifts, as he still carried the demon's essence within his soul and body. Even being around the items caused him pain. At the final confrontation, the team, armed with their new holy weapons made short work of Doraamu's defenses and descended the mountain to it's core, where the demon had already began corrupting the mountain, turning it into something like a giant nuclear zit. Loni, no longer afraid of his tormentor, confronted Doraamu in his true form. A sickly, mutant-like form of himself, oozing with the same demonic energy of his enemy. While the demon commended him for toughening up, he made quick work of Loni, casting his beaten body aside like a rag doll. The confrontation continued with Super-Scarab and Hypatia Reed, the former blasting the demon himself with the R.H.E.A. and severely weakening him before going toe-to-toe in an earth shaking melee. The weapon was destroyed, but the heart remained. Hypatia used her power over nature to undo most of the damage the demon had done to the area, eventually calming the volcano and stopping a disastrous eruption. Doraamu was beaten, but he had one more ace up his sleeve. His body began to reform and he revealed to the team that so long as his essence is on this plane, he will survive and regenerate, revealing to the others that Loni is the reason why he is able to survive. As he turned to leave, Loni got up and ran to the heart, exclaiming that he would no longer be used like a pawn by this demon channeling all of his power into the orb and out at Doraamu. Doraamu fought back, but was overwhelmed when Loni's light came forth and reacted with the orb. Doraamu was no more. The orb had turned Doraamu to dust, purifying him and Loni simultaneously and leaving Loni fully de-powered.
Sometime after the confrontation, Loni found himself completely restored to his factory settings. He was an ordinary human again, with little to no spiritual potency. Without his trademark sorcery, he would find himself struggling to find meaning with the rest of the heroes that he worked with. He would eventually get over this when Stephen reminded him that though he may not have any powers, his intellect and martial skill were irreplaceable assets. Using what knowledge of magic he had, he created magical artifacts of his own; An enchanted, runic staff capable of heavy blows and a series of ofuda-like spell tags. Loni proved himself a formidable fighter and a great asset to the team. Though not nearly as powerful as his counterparts, his knowledge in the arcane and his martial skill proved invaluable, just as his friend had told him.
All had gone quiet for the squad for some time. One day, Vigil headquarters had suddenly gone into lock down. The squad was called into the briefing room where the situation was explained to them. One of the doctors checking on Huntsman's body had been attacked. He claimed that Huntsman himself did it, but nobody believed him because Huntsman was still under Loni's "inner prison" spell. The team had gone to investigate, and sure enough, Hunts was still under the spell, fully restricted within himself. Perplexed, the team questioned the doctor, who told them that he was certain he had been attacked by Huntsman as they were the only two in there. They decided to drop the issue, but keep a strong watch on Huntsman's cell. This revealed that there was something going on in his cell. Two men, a doctor and a guard went into his cell and seemed to have a bout of hysteria, screaming for their lives and attacking each other. With whatever they could get their hands on. The team decided to bring in a psychic, Ruben to test the victims and he found traces of Huntsman's psyche in their minds. He explained that they were being influenced by Huntsman, which shocked the team as they were unaware of this power. Ruben suggested he go and get inside of Huntsman's mind to render it incapable of attacking anyone, an idea that the team agreed to. When he returned, Ruben was changed. He seemed to have a one track mind, and that was simply to speak with Afterglow. Loni met Ruben to discuss what happened when he was attacked by Ruben, who claimed that he was now Huntsman. Loni was able to make quick work of Ruben, but would need help with dealing with the new threat of a mental Huntsman on the loose. After he came to, the team asked Ruben to link Loni's mind with Huntsman's mind so that he could put a stop to this. Ruben agreed, afraid that Huntsman might come back and do worse.
Loni entered Huntsman's mind, where he confronted a laughing Huntsman. He told the wizard that he had planned this moment because he had all sorts of information on him, including his knowledge of seals and his unwillingness to kill. This entire setup was a trap for him. Huntsman explained that he was no psychic and could not do this under any normal circumstances, but he had help. He enlisted the aid of Aetheria; offering her several valuable artifacts in exchange for etching his bones with runes that would allow his mind to roam freely while his body remained on lock down BEFORE the confrontation at the mall and now Loni was stuck within his body with him. He continued to taunt him, showing him images of all of the heroes whose capes he's collected and then pulled Loni's repressed memories to the forefront, reminding him that it was he who killed his family. He told Loni that they could both be free if Loni simply killed him, which Loni could do by destroying his psyche. He summoned forth a knife and handed it to Loni, saying that a simple "stab in the brain" would do the trick. Confused, Loni asked why he would want something like that, to which the Hunter responded that he has no reason to live if he can't hunt. Initially, Loni refused, saying he would never bring himself to kill someone on his own, opting instead to stay strapped with Hunts forever. An enraged Huntsman said that he knew that Ruben was holding this link and could escape at any point, but Loni could not and that he would use Ruben to kill many more people just like Doraamu did with him. The wizard broke, and stabbed Huntsman almost immediately. But this too was a trap, because by stabbing the mental apparition, he released his own spell and freed the Huntsman from his seal. Loni was booted from the Huntsman's mind.Along with Ruben, but the hunter played dead, even using his mastery over his body to slow his heart rate to almost nothing. As the team came to comfort their friend, that has just broken a solemn vow he swore to himself, Huntsman had enacted his second plot to escape. He waited until Vigil was ready to dispose of his body before he went on a rampage and escaped the headquarters. With a pen. He left a note for Loni and the team written in bloody ink on a napkin. "WAY 2 GO KILLER!"
This event left Loni much more scarred than before. He now knew that, pushed far enough, he's a killer too. Even if he didn't actually kill Huntsman, he intended to and that was enough reason for him to doubt himself. He developed a deep fear and hatred of Huntsman, rivaling that of what he felt for Doraamu.
Time went on and the hunt for the Huntsman grew cold. Vigil had gotten word of a large number of mystics being attacked across the globe. They would normally leave this one to local heroes, but the culprit was none other than Loni himself, who was immediately brought in for questioning. He denied the claims of being a murderer, even after the event with the Huntsman. War-Pulse responded by showing him video footage of these attacks. The culprit was indeed Loni, or, someone who looked like Loni and using magic akin to what Loni used to use when he called himself Bio-Blight. He even refused to actually kill his victims. Loni explained that that could not be him because he lives in Vigil Headquarters and no longer has powers of his own. Vigil deemed this a doppelganger situation, not unlike the ones that many heroes experienced during the influx of heroes to Paragon. They assigned Loni, Scarab and Reed to investigate, seeing as he was the prime suspect, they also assigned their top intelligence agent, a man known as Freewarden to the investigation as well to keep an eye on Afterglow. The investigation led them to a museum in Dubai, where they encountered The other Loni, which confirmed that this was some sort of doppelganger. The real Loni explained that his double is indeed using the exact same magic he used to use when he was under Doraamu's influence. The double battled the team, eventually fleeing into the night via teleportation, much like the real Loni used to do. The team discerned that he was there to collect a magical artifact that came from Egypt, a dagger said to be blessed by the gods.
The investigation continued, but the double seemed to have been several steps ahead of the party. Somehow he knew exactly where the team was going to be, almost as if he could hear them. He had started to rob several artifacts from museums and libraries around the world like a common cat burglar. The team was out of options. They tried to catch the double but just could not keep up with him. Instead they turned to less conventional means, eventually deciding to seek out Aetheria to see if she had any involvement. She told the group that she had nothing to do with it and had much more important things to worry about and that if they didn't leave, she'd have all of their heads.
They arrived at yet another dead end, feeling ass though they were running out of time before something terrible happened. Loni personally felt that his double may be the key to gaining his powers back. Some days after the Aetheria meeting, the group was asked to meet in the middle of Central Park, Manhattan by an unknown caller who said he had information on the double and how he was evading them. They realized that this must be valid because this person could reach them even though they were off of all public frequencies. Following the instructions, they met a man referred to as The Cowl, a criminal mastermind with one of the largest underground black marker circuits under his belt. In exchange for a favor (of freedom from Vigil interference in his dealings), he revealed to the group that this double is no doppelganger, but the actual Loni. He also revealed that he isn't just attacking mystics and stealing their artifacts, he's attacking large criminal organizations and stealing theirs too and the backlash this is causing is interfering in his work. The Cowl finally revealed that the party should investigate the Steel Lotus again, as they have an artifact that "Loni" is looking for. Before departing, he told Loni to check on those victims. Some of them have come up dead.
Following the Cowl's lead, the team split, searching several underground rings, eventually finding the Steel Lotus again. They had been watching a very particular safe house in Shinto, Japan where they are said to keep several valuable treasures. They arrived at the safe house to find it already under attack by none other than the double. Loni himself was able to battle his double and defeat him using his martial skill and his superior knowledge of the double's magic. The double seemed frustrated with his origin man, almost to the point of tears. When questioned, he called Loni, Reed and Stephen "dummies" for not realizing who he is. Before they could question him further, a fiery portal opened in the room, and out came a charred, demonic looking man who referred to himself as Blightning. He attacked the group and activated a seal on the double and caused him to loose all sense of self and follow Blightning back into the portal. Before it closed, Blightning made comment to Loni saying that he was a fool for not wanting to be a demon or even have demonic powers.
Resurgence of the Lumen
Weeks went past and the investigation into Blightning continued. The team took The Cowl's advice and decided to go back and check in with the people that had been attacked by the double previously. Sure enough, they were all dead, burnt to a cinder or maimed in horrible ways. The thing that stuck out about them were that they all wore a strange charm. Searching his occult database, Loni found out that this was a seal linked to the Lumen Mystics, his ancestral bloodline that he thought to be wiped out. More investigation revealed that there were ruins in the middle of Egypt that always seemed guarded by some mysterious weather phenomena. Some days a windstorm, others and blistering heat mirage. Nobody could ever get to it, but it seems that the last person to wear the charm was an Egyptian man that had just traveled from Egypt to America. Vigil mobilized the team and sent them to a neighboring village where they made their way to the area of the ruins. Sure enough, a powerful sandstorm kicked up and the party wizard instantly knew that this was a magical barrier made to deter unwanted eyes. He rationalized that if this was what he thought it was, then the charm must act like a key of sorts, and so he put it on and walked into the storm with his friends. Eventually, light shone from the charm and the storm ceased. Sure enough, there stood an immaculate, beautifully designed temple bearing the Lumen crest on it's highest steeple. As they reached the main gate, they were greeted by a woman named Amina who claimed to know exactly who Loni was and welcomed him with open arms into "his" temple. She explained to the group that they were Lumen Mystics like Loni, though not nearly as powerful as the light is not in their blood. They are more like caretakers for the temple, as Loni is the last true Lumen there is. The team explained to Amina that Loni has lost his powers, which she acknowledges, telling the team that she knows that currently, his power has been attacking them as Loni's doppelganger. She further explains that they were unable to find Loni all of these years because of the demonic taint that corrupted his light, but the moment he purified himself, they were able to detect him. She also commented that Doraamu is their clan's arch-nemesis and that fact that he is gone means much for the Lumen. The team is given a place to rest and recuperate while Anima reveals to them more secrets of Loni's bloodline. The rest of the team were all treated to the Lumen's vast collection of information about the world and magic in it.
Amina told Loni the truth of his situation, that he truly is the last of his kind and the only one that can fix this mess. She tells him that though he has come a long way, he will be unable to succeed if he continues on as he is now, commenting that he's not mentally or spiritually ready for what he has to do and that he must prepare. To that end, Loni and his friends are brought to a secret chamber in the temple that is used for meditation and communion with the cosmos. There the Lumen begin a ritual that will pull Loni and his companions into his mind.There he is faced with several demons of his that are blocking his ability to restore himself. The first is the Umbraxis situation and the loss of his friends and home. The second was his fear and hatred of the Huntsman, which was actually revealed to be guilt for trying to kill him. The final and most difficult challenge was overcoming his fear of Doraamu and the torture he went through for years. It is revealed to Loni that he has a bad habit of just trying to make things better for the day, instead of facing his problems head on. With a little help from Reed and Scarab, he realizes what he must do and releases himself from the ritual wit his friends.
Afterglow, The Celestial Archmage
Mere moments after the ritual ended, the temple was attacked by a horde of hellish demons sent by Blightning. The Lumen were able to hold them off long enough for Amina to locate the double and sent the team there via portal. She tells them before she closes the portal that they are in the Vatican, which is built on top of one of the original Lumen temples, which like all of the other temples, is sitting on top of a hell-gate like a cap. Should the team fail, Blightning will open a gateway to hell and unleash an army of demons onto the planet like none before him. Soon, the team is confronted by Blightning and Aetheria. She tells them that it is true that she had nothing to do with this originally, but she couldn't pass up a chance to enact her original plan and decided to get in on the fun. It was she who taught Blightning the hell-gate ritual and intended to see the team laid low so it could happen. Aetheria was defeated by Reed and made her retreat, but not before telling them that it was too late. The "light key" is already in place. Scarab did battle with Blightning, and almost had him beat, but Reed revealed to him that this was a trap and that both Lonis were required to open the hell-gate and that they had to stop their friend before he accidentally caused an apocalypse. They were too late. Just the two Lonis being in the same room was enough for Blightning to activate the gate and begin to unleash a swarm of hellspawn into the area. At the apex of their battle, Loni realized that this was not only his spirit, but his heart as well. He understood that the reason his double was so much like him when he was younger was because that is exactly what it is. At that moment, Loni threw his staff down and allowed his double to strike him repeatedly before simply saying to him, "I'm sorry." The double stopped cold in his tracks, asking him why he would say that to which Loni responded that he has realized that the double isn't just his power, it's the part of him that he thought died when Doraamu took over, And that when he tried to give his own life of his free will, he cast that part of himself out as well. He told the double that he did not have to come back to him, because he does not deserve to have him but that he just wants him to be at peace now. At this, the double reverted to a glowing child-like Loni and embraced his original. With a smile, the double joined with the sorcerer, restoring Loni to his full self, free of corruption and pain.
At this point, all of the ruined Lumen temples of the world directed a beam of light toward the Vatican and Loni inside, accepting the young mage as the true Archmage of the clan, granting him the authority to seal the temple once more. Enraged, Blightnig jumped into the closing portal to be with the demons he considered kin. With their portal closed and their leader gone, the newly restored Afterglow set his sights on the demons currently running amok in the Vatican city. With a single declaration, Loni activated the temple that they were in causing a great light to shine from it, eradicating the fell beasts that threatened the world. Afterglow had returned to the fold, going to the side of his friends and thanking them for helping him to become himself or, what he considered to be a better version of himself.
The Lumen Mystics Restored
The team had returned to the Temple in Egypt, happily greeted by Amina and the rest of the mystics. Anime had brought Loni to the great hall of the temple, where a mural was etched upon the stone wall in the back. She told him that if he could read it, then he had become the true inheritor of the clan. Loni confirmed that he could read it and Amina revealed that only a true Lumen would be able to. She bowed to him, ready to accept him as their leader, but Loni would not hear of it. He told Amina that she and the rest of the mystics have been following the ways and teachings of the Lumen for years, but they missed the most important detail. The truth was etched in the wall before them, he revealed to her that this is no regular mural, it is a diagram and he can read it because he understands science of the blood. The diagram tells of how to introduce the light into the blood of the followers in case of an emergency. It tells that so long as the recipient has been a practitioner of the Lumen ways, the light can be bestowed in them. It is at this point, that Loni understood his purpose was not to be the last Lumen, but the first of the new generation of them. He then activated the temple that they stood in, showering all of the mystics inside with the light of the Lumen, thus creating a new wave of true mystics. He then declared Anima the new Grand Archmage of the clan, and granted her the authority to activate the temples as well, effectively giving up his new title. She at first said that it was his birthright and declined, but Loni told her that she deserved this far more than he did, and he'd have to learn the ways of their magic from her, as she studied their ways her entire life. She smiled and accepted his offer. Loni and his friends left the temple to return to Vigil HQ.
Powers and abilities
Hexes - Loni's specialty when it comes to sorcery is hexing. This is attributed to his accidental master, Doramuu. Loni's hexing can be done remotely or by physical touch. His skill with these are such that he rarely has to speak any words and can cast them via intense thought. While Loni does not believe in killing, he could literally cast a killing hex on anyone if he so desired, though this would cause a rather nasty backlash on him, as in any magical art, an equal price must be paid. For example, Loni could hex a person's car to make the axle break, or the breaks stop working. He could also hex someone in a way that cripples their health, a killing hex.
Charms - Loni is just as adept at casting charms as he is casting hexes. Charms can be looked at as the opposite of hexes wherein they alter something for a positive outcome. Loni often charms his teammates or others for things like fast healing or protection against harm. Loni often leaves charms in the places he visits frequently like, Spanky's or his apartment. Like with hexes, Loni does not need to say the worded spell for them, rather he can just cast them with thought. Essentially, charms have the same backlash as hexes, however since the intent is positive, so will be the return.
Seals - Loni has shown considerable talents when casting or undoing seals or banishing spells. One notable instance would be when he undid a binding seal on War-Pulse when he was being controlled by Umbraxis. He has been known to cast very powerful seals on even spiritual beings. Loni has even sealed himself for fear of Doramuu awakening and taking over his body. This would be useless, as Doramuu was the one who showed him these spells. He is able to cast seals that even some of the more powerful beings have a difficult time breaking. Seals work differently from charms and hexes wherein they do not alter something positively or negatively, they disable it. For example, he could seal a person's movements, or seal something within something such as a spirit in a rock. He cannot cast seals wordlessly however, and often times the seals will need symbols or other materials to be cast.
Reality alteration - As with most sorcerers, Loni alters reality via magic. He is very careful about what he alters however, as the backlash of such effects could be devastating. If he does alter something he is sure to put it back in place when he's finished.
Trans-location/Teleportation - Magic allows Loni to teleport himself, others and objects at will. While he can do this without words, he's stated that even he's not good enough where he'd confident in his ability to do so. Loni needs to know where he's sending something when he's using this ability. A picture or memory will suffice. When Loni changes his clothes via magic, he merely trans-locates his outfits.
Shape Shifting - Loni is able to morph himself and others at will. Thanks to his biological knowledge he is able to change into pretty much any human and then back, however, Loni will only cast these spells on someone else with their permission. He often uses this skill to transform into a woman just because he thinks it's funny. Using this power, Loni can alter parts of his body for various reasons, however, his body has to be able to support the change. For example, Loni could change his voice tone by altering his vocal chords. He could not, however give himself an octopus arm without changing the rest of his body to suit that transformation; extra blood vesicles, more muscle mass etc. He could not give himself gills without removing his lungs. Loni is knowledgeable in mainly human biology, therefore he could not shift into something in-human without long hours of research. If he did not, Loni could hurt or even kill himself.
Divination - One of Loni's magical practices is divination. He is not as adept at this, as he fears that a malevolent spirit would come and show him something that he doesn't want to see. When Loni does this, his irises fade completely out and his eyes become a chalky white. Touching his body while he is in this state could be disastrous for him. One could break the bond with his physical body, and that means he could become a vegetable. As such, Loni is extremely vulnerable when he is in a divining state. No matter what form of divination he is preforming, he will always enter a trance.
Thanks to Loni's magical bloodline, Loni has the ability to generate and control light from himself. His inner light is also the source of most of his magical energy as such, Loni does not need to draw from outside sources to cast the vast majority of spells he knows. This inner light allows him to do a number of things. Should Loni be in a situation where his magical skill is crippled, he can still use his light powers, as they are technically a meta-human gift, not magic. The extant of this is unknown however, as this is a magical meta-human gift. The inner light seems to be a separate part of Loni all together. At one point, he was able to completely remove the power from himself and pass it onto another via enchanted necklace. As the inner light is the power source for most of his magic, Loni has a difficult tie using is inner light while using his magic. He often simply chooses one or the other to engage in combat.
Invisibility - Loni can create and bend a light field around himself in order to hide himself completely. Loni, being as mischievous as he is, generally only uses this power for spying on his friends and scaring them.
Force - Loni is able to generate light from himself and bend it in various ways, as such, he is able to generate various constructs of force the most notable being a shield or force bubble. He has stated though that he "can't just make anything", implying that this is a greatly limited ability. He also uses this ability when he's fighting hand to hand to add an extra 'kick' to his attacks.
Illusions - Loni can bend light in various ways to create illusions.
Blackout - He is also able to absorb the light out of anything in order to protect himself and teammates. The light he absorbs can be used to augment his power, but only by a tiny amount. This power can also be used to cause a small area of darkness.
Strength - This is a more innate talent of Loni's, but it can be attributed to the inner light. In times of need, Loni is able to use the light energy to augment his strength levels, though this is very dangerous to him because not only will he be forcing his body to do something it doesn't usually do, he does not have the muscle mass nor bone structure to support such strength. This ability often leaves him in a very critical state.
Light Bolts - Loni is able to fire blasts of intense light energy. These blasts feel like powerful currents of static electricity.
Hand-to-Hand artsLoni is a competent martial artist, having learned to defend himself at a young age. His middle school teacher taught him to defend himself using Aikido and a more defensive version of Baguazhang. By the time Loni was in high school, he had become good enough to fully defend himself. Even not, Loni still trains his martial arts skills. He is by no means however, a master at these arts. As such, Loni will only engage in melee combat as a last resort, and even then he fights defensively.
Staff fighting Due to a recent injury, Loni had lost almost all of his balance and physical skills. He contacted Greg again, with the hope that he could help him regain these things. Greg, wanting to go the extra mile, not only helped him to rehabilitate himself physically, he also is training him to fight with a bo-staff. Loni isn't very good with this style as of yet, but thanks to his previous martial training, he has quickly picked up on the basics.
Acrobatics Loni is a highly skilled acrobat. He has displayed a high degree of flexibility as well. Loni has been seen climbing up various constructs and objects, maneuver through harsh environments, evade damage, preform various acrobatic movements (Handstands, handsprings, front and back flips, somersaults, etc...)and even balance himself on precarious surfaces such as bamboo chutes.
"Afterglow" actually belonged to another hero in the game. Loni's Afterglow was always accompanied by a period either in front of or behind the name.
His super handle is also a sexual innuendo.
Loni was originally right handed, but after a near fatal head wound, Loni had to learn to use his left hand as his dominant hand. He is now ambidextrous, but medical professionals have determined that as he ages, he will slowly lose fluent motor functionality in his previously dominant side. -Loni is already showing signs of this, as he has a slight, almost undetectable limp in his right leg. He also notes having migraines and spotty vision at times.
Loni has died twice. He suggests that if one's will to stay is strong enough, then one will stay.
Loni does not appear his proper age due to his previous demonic possession.
While his immediate family is dead, Loni does have extended family in the world. One of these family members is also a meta human, though his power does not come from the Lumen gene. This is Loni's favorite cousin, Dion who is also known as "Blackout." While Loni is unaware of Dion's secret identity, Dion is aware of Loni's. This is due to the fact that Loni does not have a secret identity, and is actually well known as Loni Stephenson as well as Afterglow.
Loni has noted that there are probably other "cousins" that carry the Lumen gene in the world, but the are likely few.
Loni has appeared in multiple game universes, though he is never aware of himself. In Guild Wars 2 however, the Loni that exists there is actually aware of the Loni from City of Heroes. Likewise, from City of Heroes to Guild Wars 2. Both Loni's, on occasion, have had dreams of living in the others world as their counterpart. Loni Stephenson theorizes that this is him in a strange past life or a fantasy world. Loni Thule theorizes that this is but a reflection of himself through the mists. ((More to come!))