The Widowed

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Retribution strikes swiftly from the shadows.
The Widowed
Player: @The Widowed
Origin: Natural
Archetype: Scrapper
Security Level: 50
Personal Data
Real Name: Abigail Plains (nee Morton)
Known Aliases: Widdy, Wids, The Widow, The Black Dragon
Species: Human
Age: 32
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 130 lbs
Eye Color: Ice blue
Hair Color: Cornsilk blonde, usually dyed ghostly white
Biographical Data
Nationality: US Citizen
Occupation: Martial arts trainer, former restaurant manager
Place of Birth: Deer Creek, Arkansas
Base of Operations: Paragon City, Rhode Island
Marital Status: Widowed
Known Relatives: Two parents, two brothers
Known Powers
Superhuman focus and proficiency in hand-to-hand combat due to harmonic attunement with her enlightened self, allowing such feats as striking with sufficient force to breach steel plate, dodging all manners of attacks at the speed of thought and resisting crippling blows and psychic attacks with the aid of the Zen No-Mind state.
Known Abilities
Superhuman athleticism; Can sprint at speeds approaching the 40 MPH range, leap up to two stories in height and maintain a constant running speed for miles without tiring. Is also a proficient climber, both with climbing equipment and freehand.
Modified Knives of Artemis stealth suit, light composite body armor, lockpicks, tiger claws and other climbing tools, miniaturized camera and other spy gear, fingerprinting kit, cell phone, short-range police band communicator, aquatic wear and SCUBA gear.
Theme Song: "Mitternacht" by E Nomine



Supergroup: Urban Bushido


While formerly vicious and sadistic towards violators of the law, such vices have subsided as the Widowed has reached out to her enlightened self and the martial arts principles of respect, diligence and honor. However, she remains bitter and vengeful towards the criminal element, taunting them with a caustic mixture of sarcasm, derision, threats and dark humor as she confronts them and strikes.

Character History

(Reference: Ashes to Orchids -- story in progress, City of Heroes Guru forums)

Though originally a loner, the Widowed now associates with a broad spectrum of fellow heroes.

In the year 2001, a brutal attack by common street thugs--allegedly connected with the Skulls--left local police sergeant Robert Plains dead and his wife Abigail critically wounded, near death and permanently disfigured, suffering permanent facial scarring and the loss of one eye. The two had been returning with their carry-out order from Paragon Pizza Pie when the gang members struck. Money and valuables were taken from the two victims, leading authorities to conclude that the attack was simply a random armed robbery--yet there remains the possibility that the attack was instead premeditated, possibly due to Sgt. Plains' occupation and his involvement with investigating the local street gangs and the Superadine trade.

After almost six months in a coma Abigail Plains awoke, only then understanding what had happened to her and that the attack six months prior had left her a widow, without children and deeply in debt. At this point she became considerably angry and apparently left Crowne Hospital in a furious state of mind. She sold her home, liquidated the remainder of her assets and disappeared off the community radar.

During this time she had clandestinely gone to live with Lao Hsi Po, a martial arts trainer for the local Tsoo families and an informant who had aided the police in an undisclosed number of investigations. Mr. Po and Sgt. Plains had established a semblance of friendship through the course of their acquaintence, and so Mr. Po was pleased to offer Plains' widow training in martial arts such as Tang Soo Do Karate. Abigail Plains became a most capable student and progressed swiftly through the ranks of martial proficiency, both to defend herself from violent offenders and to exact retribution against the criminal element, particularly those who would victimize the innocent.

In May of 2004, the Paragon City police force was investigating a new superheroine who would only address herself as the Widowed. She was witnessed snarling threats and calling for the heads of "those who had slain [her] husband" as she tore into the ranks of Skulls and Hellions alike. Since then she seems to have expanded the boundaries of her driving motive, claiming to strike vengeance for the sake of all people who have ever been victimized by violence and inhumanity. This far-reaching goal may account for her chosen operative name, which may serve as an allusion to all wives who have lost their loved ones to murderers, and not herself alone.

Through a series of criminal investigations and streetside interrogations, the Widowed uncovered the identity of the gang leader responsible for her husband's murder: Boxcar, a small-time thug who had since promoted himself to Bone Daddy after the coinciding homicide of his own leader. Boxcar had hence come to command a majority of the Skulls gangs in Kings Row and controlled all of the Superadine traffic through his territory. He had also followed his dead leader's footsteps in the dark arts of necromancy, providing Boxcar with influence in the spirit world as well.

Spoiler warning: Details about a player-created storyline, or information currently unrevealed about a character, follow.

In the end, however, the Widowed battered through Boxcar's minions--living and undead alike--and met Boxcar in a pitched battle. However valiant or desperate his efforts at defending himself may have been, Boxcar was distinctly outmatched without his lackeys and was soon struck down and placed at her mercy. Only then did the Widowed face her greatest challenge yet, neither in battle nor crisis nor feat but in the truest test of her character with just one decision: To kill Boxcar and exact an eye-for-an-eye vengeance, or to let him live and serve the principle of justice.

What could have been a descent into murder and villainy was averted when she chose to spare Boxcar's life and hand him over to the authorities. In doing so she learned from Boxcar--who would rather see his drug empire dismantled by the police than allowed to fall into the hands of rival gang leaders, and who was also determined not to take the fall for his crimes alone--that the Family had been concocting the Superadine for his criminal enterprise in a converted warehouse in Independence Port.

Intent on shutting down Boxcar's Superadine operation for good, she raided the warehouse only to find that the Tsoo were in the process of driving off the Family and stripping the clandestine drug lab of its equipment, an aggressive effort to place a drug trade monopoly in Tsoo hands. The Widowed was not expecting to encounter her mentor, Mr. Po, now returned to his roots as a leader of the Tsoo crime families. As saddened as she was to recognize her old friend in such a fall from grace, she was more saddened with the understanding that she would have to apprehend her old friend and bring him before the forces of the law, and that he would not go gently.

Even as her enemy, Mr. Po was determined to teach the Widowed one more lesson and challenge her with one final test in the martial ways, but with an ultimatum: She would either learn the unspoken lesson placed before her or she would fall in battle and he would escape justice. One of the principles of martial arts is the concept of mind over matter, that the mental drive of an individual can exceed physical limitations; Mr. Po's mental focus was great enough to encroach on the arcane, allowing him to strike with hands of iron and to control the winds nearby. Seeing her teacher in this state, some part of the Widowed's mind comprehended what was truly happening to him as Mr. Po quickly gained the upper hand, placing her on the verge of defeat. Only then did her insights become realized, a mote of enlightenment was achieved and her fists began to shimmer with a green radiance. She countered Mr. Po's assault and struck swiftly, and Mr. Po attempted to catch her fist with an open palm only for the punch to shatter the hardened bones in his hand. The Widowed turned the tide and defeated Mr. Po, and to her surprise he welcomed defeat and revealed that he could teach her no more. Just as he had focused his hands into the hardness of iron, she had focused her hands into the hardness of emerald, and just as emerald is harder than iron, so did her hands break his.

Spoilers end here.

Present Imperfect

The Widowed prefers to battle evil on her homeworld yet is not above jaunting to other worlds or time periods where heroes are truly needed.

After taking a month of rest to recover from the injuries sustained in her clashes with Boxcar and Mr. Po, the Widowed returned to the streets and the endless fight against society's predators. From her battle with Mr. Po she also learned another valuable lesson: One can learn as much from one's enemies as from one's teachers and mentors. Ever since that day, she has gauged the movements of the enemies she faces at close quarters, and if she finds and defeats someone who utilizes an attack or a defense which she hasn't yet mastered, she will demand that her fallen enemy teach her the maneuver. As long as the enemy's crimes aren't too great, she will usually offer mercy or compensation in return, often in the form of testifying favorably in court and angling for a reduced sentence. One more mastered technique is one more weapon in her crusade against criminality, she reasons; The technique's origins are hardly a concern to her.

The Cryogentic Connection

At one point the Widowed attempted to salve the loss of her husband by joining a computerized dating service. Due to a computer error, the Widowed was matched with Cryogentic, a mutant who was also looking for love in the wrong places. Rather than embark on a lesbian relationship (which would have been problematic, as the Widowed is both heterosexual and, though she was loath to admit it, emotionally married to her dead husband), the two decided to have a girls' night out, getting into drunken pit fights and generally making a mess of things. Though the two remain friends, the Widowed has been avoiding Cryogentic lately due to the latter's unstable personality and her apparent involvement with the criminal band Malice in Wonderland.

The Sonic Star Connection

The Widowed first met Sonic Star during the Council Uprising. Both heroes had been busy fighting the Fifth Column gunmen who waged open war in the streets against the Council upstarts, all while ushering citizens away from potential hotspots and heated skirmishes between the two factions. It was in a besieged plaza in Galaxy City where fighting between the two sides had escalated that the Widowed and Sonic Star found themselves fighting back to back against mobs of soldiers who were attempting to overrun the plaza. The Council ultimately won their bid for control, but civilian casualties had been kept to a minimum thanks to the intervention of the Widowed, Sonic Star and countless other superheroes. Sonic Star and the Widowed have been friends ever since.

The Urban Bushido Connection

Valor or neurosis? The Widowed is fearless in her service to the greater good, facing the mightiest foes with little concern for her own safety.

Understanding that today's criminals are often yesterday's victims, the Widowed and Sonic Star joined forces to found Urban Bushido, an urban alliance of martially inclined superheroes charged with the task of training Paragon City's citizens in self-defense and crime prevention. Urban Bushido also maintains a First Alert crime prevention network consisting of countless low-level contacts and surveillance gear monitoring the criminal element from above, below and within; Urban Bushido will either act on their findings directly, pass the information on to the Paragon City police, Longbow or other superhuman alliances such as the Freedom Phalanx or the United Sanction Society, or both.

The Bloodywedd Connection

The Widowed feels entirely justified in her work and her actions but occasionally finds cause for regret. One such cause involves her part in the creation of the supercriminal Bloodywedd. The Widowed first encountered the Carnival of Shadows in Talos Island, not far from the Peregrine Island ferry. Though she was outmatched by the mystic harlequins and strongmen, the Widowed engaged them in battle anyway. She was soon driven to flight, but not before striking down one of the Carnival's psychic attendants so fiercely that the attendant's spirit mask was shattered, resulting in a psychic implosion which horribly ravaged the attendant's psyche and channelled three mad souls--two maddened during their forced servitude to the Carnival and one maddened even during his living days--into spectrally possessing the attendant during her state of weakness. After a stay in one of Paragon City's psychiatric institutions, the attendant would emerge as the criminally insane Bloodywedd. Bloodywedd has eagerly served as the Widowed's foil ever since.

The President Sebastian Kain Connection

Urban Bushido maintains alliances with a number of supergroups in order to maintain the presence of order in Paragon City and beyond. To this end, it was only pragmatic for the Widowed to befriend Sebastian Kain, the President of the Silent World Order and a powerbroker with influential ties to several other supergroups beyond that, including the United Sanction Society. The Widowed and President Kain have united in the past for such great feats as pushing back the invading Praetorian vanguard and expunging the Crystal Titan--champion of the Devouring Earth--from the Hive. When Bloodywedd and her criminal band Malice in Wonderland masqueraded as heroes and gained the city's confidence, Urban Bushido united with supergroups under Kain's influence--most notably the United Sanction Society--to unearth Malice in Wonderland's true objectives and prevent the supervillains from sparking a great disaster. Revealed as devils masquerading as angels, the members of Malice in Wonderland were rounded up, tried and incarcerated at Ziggursky Penitentiary. For Kain's connection to the Widowed and his alleged hand in bringing Malice in Wonderland to justice, Bloodywedd swore her enmity to both Sebastian Kain and the United Sanction Society and has remained a steadfast opponent and a thorn in their collective side since then.

Influence in the Martial Arts Community

The Widowed is the founder of Hei Long, the Black Dragon martial arts style. This martial arts style is designed for fighting modern enemies and incorporates various unarmed techniques and techniques for melee weaponry such as the bo staff and the nunchaku. The style attempts to find an effective medium between the athletic grace and swiftness of Kung Fu, the powerful attacks and direct defenses of Karate and the misdirection, stealth and "dirty fighting" of Taijutsu. The style is named for the celestial Black Dragon of Chinese legend, an ancient anti-hero of myth reputed for resorting to any means--no matter how wicked, unsavory or ignoble--in order to serve the greater good.

To contact this character's creator

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