The Schwarzstrom
Schwarz looking angry. She does that a lot.
Schwarz looking angry. She does that a lot.
The Schwarzstrom
Player: @Fox Lee
Origin: Natural
Archetype: Brute
Threat Level: 11
Personal Data
Real Name: Nasya Schwarz
Known Aliases: Schwarz, The Black God, The Black River
Species: Human cyborg, deific avatar
Gender: Female
Age: Early thirties
Height: 8'1" (244cm)
Weight: 624lb (283kg)
Hair Colour: Black/very deep purple
Eye Colour: Dark red
Biographical Data
Nationality: Russian-German-Etoile Islander
Occupation: Paramilitary operative
Place of Birth: Germany
Base of Operations: The Rogue Isles
Marital Status: Uninvolved
Known Relatives: None
Known Powers
Electrically charged combat (technological), negative energy manipulation (divinely granted).
Known Abilities
Team tactics/strategy, general combat training. Extremely strong, extremely durable.
Equipment
Various mechanical body parts.
Notes: Thick Russian accent.

"…They pass a goblet amongst them in circle, for purpose not to praise, but rather to curse in the names of gods, good and evil, for every good thing praising a good god, and for every bad thing cursing an evil god. This god of woe in their language is called Diabolous or Zherneboh, meaning black god."
- Helmold

There's always a first. A first recruit, a first subject. A first failure. "The Schwarzstrom" is just that, to the project which spawned The Eclipse Wing; their first grand experiment, and their first terrible mistake.

Ever prideful, Nasya Schwarz would indeed have chosen death over brainwashing, given the choice - but, blamed for the project's failure, she was not afforded even this final right. However, she would also prove to be their first failure there. In her rage, Nasya somehow broke through Longbow's psychic reconditioning, turning on the project and killing hundreds before she was finally taken down.

Her actions, though, stirred something deep and primal, almost forgotten in the passage of time - Zherneboh, Chernobog, a dark deity created of the need to lay blame for the woes of the world. Feeling the woman's fate rouse his long-dormant anger, Zherneboh ripped Nasya from the world of the dead, imbuing her with echoes of the darkness faith had cast upon him.

The Schwarzstrom is a character created to fill an unexpected gap in the Eclipse Wing's ranks - that is to say, the original group included no giant, sexy Russian musclewomen, which seemed almost criminal to some of its players.

Schwarz was originally inspired by the character Kusanagi Motoko, of the anime Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The 2nd Gig, whose theme song inspired the group at large; however, as she spent more time in design, she wandered further from this concept, dropping the major's stealthy and cunning aspects in favour of more brute force. Still, this original inspiration is the reason that she still has quite a pretty face, and that she's probably a lesbian.

Personality

Outside of combat, Schwarzstrom is a calm, calculating sort of woman who seems to be in control of every situation. She radiates confidence, and is entirely unashamed to also come across as rather smug and disdainful of people who don't share her philosophies. She's generally restrained, emotionally speaking, and rarely shows anything beyond a wryly amused attitude.

Schwarz has a particular dislike of the classic "seductress" female archetype, and views women who rely on their appearance to get by, particularly in combat, as being utterly pathetic, with no pride or self-worth. She is not above being seductive herself - indeed, she's quite overtly sexual when the mood takes her - but she operates from a ruthlessly dominant angle, with none of the flirty or submissive overtures associated with the seductress type. She has more of an "I take what I want" approach, and does so purely for her own pleasure - sex is an ends for her, not a means.

She also has something of a fascination with the innocent, noble "hero" outlook shared by many blue-siders, seeing it as being childishly naive. It's something of a fetish - she certainly goes after those types when she's prowling the D - but also borders on an obsession, perhaps speaking of a deeper mental quirk. Either way, she rarely passes up an opportunity to besmirch the innocence of somebody who catches her attention.

History

Little that has not already been detailed. Nasya Schwarz was born in Germany, but raised in Russia, and became a soldier during her teenage years. Although she began her training in the army, her surprising physical prowess meant she was later scouted by more secretive organisations, for special operations. During her late twenties she was approached with an offer to participate in a special project designed to breed "supersoldiers" of even greater physical and mental strength than ordinary humans could achieve.

Following her time in the project, her death and bizarre resurrection, and her connection with Zherneboh, Nasya established herself as a mercenary in the Rogue Isles. Having taken the title "The Schwarzstrom" by this stage, she ran solo for some time before learning that other rejects from the project had established a working group, and joining the Eclipse Wing.

Affiliations

The Schwarzstrom is a member of the paramilitary supergroup, The Eclipse Wing, though she has no specific relations within the group as of yet. As with many other members of the group, Schwarz was once part of a secret Longbow training/modification program, and as such might recognise (or be recognised by) members of Longbow.

Schwarz also has a most unusual affiliation, with the ancient Slavic deity Zherneboh (also known as Chernobog, Crnobog, Czernobog, Cernobog or Zernebog). When Schwarzstrom regained her mind and fought to the death to escape her traitorous former allies at the project, the entity was stirred by her profound sense of self, and her rage at being made into the project's scapegoat, and sent her back to the world of the living.

While she lacks a clear means of communication with the deity - Zherneboh is ultimately a near-dead god, having been all but forgotten since the spread of Christianity - Schwarzstrom has a sense of his desires, and believes that he wishes her to be a sort of avatar - perhaps vengeance for the fact that he, too, was blamed for things beyond his control. She's not a servant, however; he has never tried to control or manipulate her, despite giving her both life and dark powers. In spite of this - or rather, because of this - she feels somewhat indebted to Zherneboh, and seeks to work toward his goals as long as they coincide with hers.

Her attitude toward him - which is rather bizarre, at least given the fact that he's a god - is ultimately sort of protective and sympathetic, almost motherly. She sees him as something of a kindred spirit, and knows that she's probably the only person nowadays who cares about him. As such, she feels an odd sense of duty to make his presence known, and the injustice done to him.

Powers and Abilities

Schwarzstrom has two distinct "super" powers. The first, the electricity which courses through her body thanks to her cyborg parts, is fairly straightforward; it serves to augment her physical might, allowing her to daze and stun opponents and take advantage of those weak to energy-based attacks.

The second, the ability to control the energy of the netherworld, was a sort of "gift" from the god Zherneboh. This power is hard to classify in scientific terms due to its divine nature, but mostly provides defensive abilities - protective shields, damaging auras, and so forth.

Like all the Eclipse Wing's members, Schwarz has extensive training in team tactics and leadership, and knows how to function as part of an effective unit. Her military background was also focused strongly on combat training. While her cyborg parts augment her attacks, granting them special effects and enhancing their effectiveness via the electricity which courses through her body, the sheer power of her blows stems from muscle power alone, won through countless hours intense physical training. Though she often tinkers with the inorganic parts of herself, she has never actually increased her strength by mechanical means; she merely uses her cyborg nature to increase her potential, allowing herself to eventually surpass the limitations of biology and humanity.

Also, due to her background, Schwarzstrom has a powerful resistance to psionics. Though this ability is often observed in those with "dark" powers, in her case it's a little more personal; her mind, which was able to break free from Longbow's brainwashing techniques, is like stubbornness incarnate to a psychic intruder. Far more savage than her calm appearance suggests, Schwarzstrom's mind fights like a wounded animal against any form of mental infiltration or control, rendering her all but immune to such techniques.

Equipment

In addition to her own mechanical parts, Schwarzstrom uses a variety of tools for non-combat needs, such as travelling. She prefers not to use any outside aids in combat, though. She has something of a philosophical outlook on the matter - technology built into herself by herself is different to separate items - though she still adheres to a philosophy of augmenting her existing abilities rather than simply building in more power.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Schwarz is extremely touchy around those with the ability to read or control minds (though she's not sensitive to psychics unless one actually tries to influence her). Though she is rarely at any risk of being affected by such powers, she harbours a hatred for those who would control others' minds, and finds it somewhat difficult to maintain her composure around them.

One might also consider her pride a weakness, though it is certainly an advantage as well. As mentioned, she is certainly the kind of person who would die before compromising her pride. Likewise, she can be outrageously stubborn on matters which are important to her, and is perhaps the least cooperative of the Eclipse Wing's current members.

Other Notes

I took a while deciding whether Schwarz should be Technology or Magic origin in-game. In the end I settled on Technology because - while her magical traits technically came first - origin relates largely to the way a character improves themselves, and I saw Schwarz developing mainly by tinkering with her cyborg parts, not by magical influence. In other words, her magical traits are fairly static - they give her certain powers, but she develops these purely through training. —Fox

Trivia

  • The name "Schwarzstrom" was pinched from the video game SoulCalibur, the title of a German mercenary band which was supposed to mean "black storm". This seems to be a mistranslation, however - "strom" is more accurately "river" or "current".
  • Secondarily, her name came from a deity of storms and winter from a homebrew Dungeons & Dragons setting. Though it was borrowed from the same source, this character had the name long before the CoV Schwarz did. It was Talen who pointed out, when I was looking for a name, that "Schwarzstrom" was quite perfect for an Electric/Dark character.
  • Those familiar with the Eclipse Wing would know that normally, its failures are lobotomised, not brainwashed. In Schwarz's case, it was hoped that she could be reconditioned and returned to serving as a normal soldier with no evidence of the project, something which could not be accomplished with such drastic methods. Her overcoming the psionic reconditioning is partially responsible for their later "total loss" stance.
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