From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Date of Birth:||
1982 (age 31)
|Place of Birth:||
San Francisco, CA
|Base of Operations:||
Paragon City, Rhode Island
|[ Source ]|
Natasha Faraday developed an interest in archaeology at a young age from watching documentaries about ancient Egypt and also from growing up watching the Indiana Jones films. Aside from thinking how hot Harrison Ford was in those films, she became fascinated with the idea of studying ancient civilizations that have gone away with the passage of time. It was at that moment that she decided to become an archaeologist when she grew up. She studied history and culture in high school, and upon entering college began taking courses in archaeological studies.
Years later, Natasha Faraday developed a reputation as a real-life Lara Croft, respected by some for her research and discoveries of lost civilizations in South America, and vilified by others as a glorified grave robber who collected rare antiquities for the private collections of investors who financed her digs. Ms. Faraday takes these accusations in stride, preferring to let her work speak for her.
While on another dig in the Middle East, Ms. Faraday received a message from an anonymous client who was seeking an artifact known as The Amulet of Erebus; which he indicated was located in the underground city of Oranbega. Although the man didn't reveal who he was, he offered Ms. Faraday a substantial sum of money if she could retrieve the amulet for him; even given her an advance on her pay to finance the expedition.
Ms. Faraday was already familiar with the history of Oranbega, and about its inhabitants, the Circle of Thorns. The dangers involved in entering the realm of evil soul-stealing mages were tremendous, but the idea of sneaking into their home and "acquiring" a rare object of antiquity thrilled her more than the money her mysterious client was offering; although those funds would help finance her dig for a long time. She accepted the job, and departed by plane to Paragon City to begin her expedition in Oranbega.
Once in Paragon City, she gathered as much info as she could find about Oranbega, based on eyewitness accounts from people who had been abducted by the Circle and rescued by various superheroes. With the information she acquired, Natasha had a fairly good idea of where to find a hidden entrance into Oranbega and set out to locate it, and the Amulet of Erebus. Natasha chose to go along however, rather that risk anyone else lives other than her own. Locating a previous undiscovered entrance within a cave formation in Founder's Falls, Natasha Faraday then entered Oranbega.
To her surprise, the underground city was larger then she expected it to be; with numerous tunnels, buildings and chambers to explore. Not to mention the vast number of residents still within the city itself, both living and undead. Regardless of the dangers, she decided to press on and started exploring. After hours of sneaking around and searching Oranbega, she discovered a antechamber which appeared to contain artifacts like the one she was seeking. And after a through search of the vault, at last she had discovered the Amulet of Erebus; unfortunately, the Circle had also discovered her, having known about her trespass hours earlier and secretly observing her actions. Several guards, armed with crossbows and swords attempted to capture Natasha, but she quickly knocked over a lit brazier, which started a fire in the vault and enabling her to escape in the confusion.
With the Circle's guards in hot pursuit, Natasha ran blindly through the stone hallways, having been cut off from her escape route. Then after a quick turn, she found herself in a large chamber filled with several small rooms, sealed with doors of magical energy; a prison chamber with several people already imprisoned inside. Just as she realized the she was caught, the black gem on the Amulet of Erebus began to glow. Then black tendrils of energy began to pour our of the gem and envelop her body. Natasha found herself in mental communication with a "spirit" that had been bound to the crystal; and had responded to her feelings of fear and danger. It offered her the power to fight her enemies, rescue the captured people, and escape from Oranbega. Seeing no other way out of the situation, Natasha accepted the spirit's offer and the two beings merged into one.
Using her new powers, Natasha was able to defeat the Thorn guards who pursued her and free the people who'd been kidnapped by them to use as vessels for their disembodied spirits. After leading them back to the surface, Natasha returned to her hotel room to figure out what had happened to her. From the spirit, she learned that it was called a "shadow guardian"; a being from the Netherworld who was bound to the Amulet by Atlantean mages, to act as a protector of their chantry from invaders. Normally, the guardian would be joined with a dead body or one specially prepared and would be commanded by whoever wore the Amulet. Having joined with Natasha, a living being with free will, it hoped to free itself from its eternal servitude by granting her its power instead.
Natasha realized that her mysterious client had actually hired her to retrieve the Shadow Guardian instead. The Amulet itself was worthless, but a powerful shadow servant bound to it would be invaluable to anyone who could wield its power. She made a decision to keep the Amulet for herself, and use the Guardians' power as she did in Oranbega. The spirit agreed to help her, teaching her to use the powers she gained from it, including how to shape and mold her appearance; including make a pair of large wings which granted her the ability to fly.