Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
Scarred by the loss of her one true love, forever changed by an alien virus, and cursed by Cruel Fate, the Deadly Nightshade is a jaded mercenary that walks down a path that is eternally stained with blood and strewn with corpses.
Marzanna Kriegvogel [Secret Identity]
Solo D10, Buddy D8, Team D6
Queen of Shadows
Body Armor D6, Comms D10, Computer D6, Hazmat Suit D10, Optics D8, Weapons D8, Zombie Jammer D8
SFX: Area Attack. Target multiple opponents. For every additional target, add d6 to your pool and keep +1 effect die.
SFX: Burst. Step up or double a Weapons die against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.
SFX: Dangerous. Add d6 to the dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die by -1. Step up physical stress by +1.
SFX: Protective Gear. Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from radiation, chemical, biological and flash-based and sonic attacks
SFX: Serrated Edges. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting “Bleeding” or “Crippled” complication on a target
SFX: Special Ammunition. When using Weapons to create assets and complications add D6 and step up effect die by +1.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown a Combat Shroud power and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. the doom pool to recover.
EXOFRAME – RECON CLASS (“Ghost”)
Flight D6, Grapnel D6, Hydraulics D6, Jumping D6, Running D6, Stealth Camo D8, Terrain Spikes D6
SFX: EMP Shielding. Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from electrical and magnetic attacks
Limit: Dead Weight. While swimming, change any Exoframe power into a complication and gain 1 PP. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power
Limit: Malfunction. Shutdown an Exoframe power and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. the doom pool to recover.
Enhanced Durability D8, Enhanced Strength D8, Mystic Attack D10, Psychic Resistance D10, Superhuman Reflexes D10, Superhuman Senses D10, Superhuman Stamina D10
SFX: Combat Sense. Spend 1 PP to add Superhuman Senses (or step up by +1 if already in your pool) and reroll all dice on an action or reaction
SFX: Healing Factor. Spend 1 PP to recover your physical stress and step back your physical trauma by -1.
SFX: Immunity. Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma or complications from poison, disease, aging, fatigue, being in a vacuum or extreme temperatures
SFX: Strike Witch. Spend 1 PP or take D6 mental stress to add Mystic Attack to your dice pool until the end of the scene
Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown either Revenant powers to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene
Limit: Fading Serum. Gain 1PP and take D6 emotional stress, then step down two Revenant powers by -1. Restore by activating an opportunity or during a Transition scene
Limit: Viral Infection. If Superhuman Stamina is shutdown, take d10 physical stress at the beginning and end of every Action Scene.
Crow Vision D8, Darkforce Attack D8, Darkforce Mastery D10, Dimension Travel D10, Mystic Sense D6, Teleport D8
SFX: Area Attack. Target multiple opponents. For every additional target, add d6 to your pool and keep +1 effect die.
SFX: Blackened Sight. When you succeed on a reaction against a close physical attack using a Shadow Demon power, you may turn your opponent’s effect die into a complication or physical stress at no cost, or spend 1 PP to step it up by +1.
SFX: Dark Matter. When using Shadow Demon to create Darkforce-related assets or complications add D6 and step up effect die by +1.
Limit: Daylight Vulnerability. Scale down all Shadow Demon powers by -1 step when exposed to direct sunlight
Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown either Shadow Demon powers to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.
Limit: Light Sensitivity. Earn 1 PP if you step up stress created by light-based attacks.
Acrobatics Expert D8, Combat Master D10, Cosmic Expert D8, Covert Master D10, Psych Expert D8, Menace Master D10, Mystic Expert D8, Science Expert D8, Tech Expert D8, Vehicle Master D10
Darkness There And Nothing More
1 XP When you stalk and slay a target who cannot see you, and then disappear just as quickly
3 XP When you manage to defeat an enemy before other characters arrive.
10 XP When you join a team despite knowing that your cursed life will affect them, or when you leave a team to protect them from the tragedy that surrounds you.
There Are No Innocents
1 XP When you first use your Indiscriminate Killer distinction to wound or kill a bystander whether deliberately or not without caring about the consequences
3 XP When other characters challenge your methods, or you rebuke another character for their methods
10 XP You win or lose a physical altercation with another character for challenging your way of thinking and actions, severing the bond or strengthening it.
- Handguns (usually H&K USP45 and Colt M1911), combat shotgun or assault rifle, automatic shotgun (usually AA-12), rifle crossbow (usually Stryker Solution) with custom bolts, additional melee weapons (trench knife, “Jack Krauser” knife, KCC machete, United Cutlery machete, Defender machete, Z-Hunter machete ), Kukri spear, Chainblade, and “Kunai” throwing knives
“From the darkness I strike. Fast and lethal. And by the time my foes can react … darkness there and nothing more.”
Real Name: Marzanna Kriegvogel
Current Alias: Mara, Nightshade, The Deadly Nightshade, The Shade, Ghost Killer, Belladonna, Queen of Shadows
Affiliation: SHADOW Company (Kill Team Edelweiss); formerly Order of the Dark Rapture, German Imperial Army, Obskura Korps, Waffen SS Paranormal Division, Thule Society, Revolutionare Zellen, MACV-SOG, Hydra (Department of Occult Warfare), SHIELD
Base of Operations: Usually mobile; Falcon’s Nest, Zurich, Switzerland; formerly Germany, ex-Soviet republics, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans
Alignment: Neutral (leaning towards Evil)
Identity: Secret (true name known to SHADOW Company and SHIELD)
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Mercenary, assassin, terrorist, soldier, dimension walker
Theme Song: “Fade To Black” by Metallica
Eyes: Stone Gray
Place of Birth: Lower Saxony, Germany
Date of Birth: 01 November 1854
Marzanna Kriegvogel’s story began in the mid-1800s as a daughter born to an aristocratic family in the town Hamelin in Saxony. Despite being a member of the nobility, the quiet black-haired, grey-eyed girl had no interest in what high society had to offer and turned her back on the norms expected of women at the time.
Always in her own world and having favoured the company of books and solitary trips to the forest at night over anything that her family’s riches could ever bring, she eventually developed a talent for stealth and a familiarity with the ravens of the forest. As time flew by, she became as nocturnal as the ravens themselves.
Her childhood was mostly troubled, having been shunned by her peers due to her disinterest in social activities and her sexual preferences, and even committing her first murders when she was only seven. With the exception of the young noblewoman named Artemisia with whom she shared a bond beyond that of a close friend, Mara stayed away from rest of society like it was the plague.
No living soul knew that during this period, Marzanna learned how to control the terrifying energy known as the Darkforce that gave her access to other abilities such as creating shadow constructs and teleportation (which she dubbed as “shadow leaping”). After mastering this power, she was able to explore other realms of existence both entrancing and frightening without suffering any physical injuries and became jaded by the horrors that she encountered.
Some time later, the wayward child made contact and became the apprentice of an ancient immortal warrior that called herself Shroud, a member of a doomsday cult known as the Order of the Dark Rapture whose immense knowledge of technology and fighting skills fascinated the young Mara. Much to her surprise and joy, Shroud offered her a spot among the alien hunters, an offer which the young Marzanna accepted without hesitation.
With the great risk of having her relationship being discovered and unwilling to ruin Artemisia’s reputation as well as the dangers she may be exposed to during her missions as an alien hunter, Marzanna runs away with her mentor, furthering her training and beginning an existence marked by endless horror and combat.
She discovers her penchant for bloodshed, pain, suffering and Death during the Franco-Prussian War where she, Shroud and her band of followers were hired by the German Imperial Army. They soon became much more organized and better funded, becoming the organization known as the Obskura Korps.
While posing as charitable religious sisters, she and Shroud tended to the casualties when in plain sight, but then acted as scouts and assassins when darkness fell. In the midst of the war, they not only clashed with their political enemies, the French, but clandestinely battled alien entities known as Starspawn and their minions.
For nearly decade and during the lulls of the Obskura Korps’ underground war against Starspawn, Marzanna used her dimension walking power to visit and spend time with her best friend turned lover Artemsia. Though Mara had promised to settle down with her lover when the time was right, the black-haired novice alien hunter was unsure if she could easily give up the fighting and killing that had exhilarated her.
One day when Mara failed to receive any of Artemisia’s correspondence, she left Shroud and returned to Hamelin. She found the town covered in a vile Miasma and its inhabitants horribly mutated and mostly reduced to rabid cannibalistic anthropomorphic rat-like beasts
- just one of the effects of what would later be known as the Insania Virus. After fighting through the chaos and making her way to Artemisia’s mansion, Mara found her beloved ravaged and broken, hearing her lover’s last few words before expiring in her arms.
Maddened by sorrow and rage after failing to save Artemesia, the already infected Mara confronted the Starspawn called the Pied Piper. Despite all of her training and equipment superior to the day and age (including a suit of powered armor), the Starspawn easily bests and mortally wounds Marzanna. Before the killing blow could be struck, the Pied Piper is fought then dispatched by Shroud although the latter was left a debilitated wreck. On the verge of a final death, the ancient alien hunter injected Marzanna with a large dose of the Amaranthus serum just as the void claimed the younger girl.
The concoction, a mix of Shroud’s antibodies, the purified blood of a slain Starspawn and pure extracts from Amaranthus flower petals, turned Mara into a Revenant, a creature that lingers between the world of the living and the realm of the dead. The treatment never truly curtailed her infection as it merely brought Marzanna back to a state of semi-life and yet bequeathed her with Shroud’s augmented prowess and near invincibility. After that, Mara never saw her mentor again.
With Shroud’s disappearance and the parting of her much adored Artemisia, Marzanna followed her lover’s example and took the name of a flower as her nom de guerre
- the Deadly Nightshade, which in the language of flowers means “silence”. Then with her newly acquired Revenant powers, she traveled the world, rooting out and destroying Starspawn and other foes with no care for the innocents caught in between.
For nearly two centuries of fighting in various wars, Nightshade has worked for numerous organizations, and at the same time encountering (and eliminating) countless enemies. She also meets some interesting individuals including James Howlett (Wolverine) and Captain America in World War Two and Frank Castle (the Punisher) during the Second Indochina War.
During an extermination mission in Colorado in the United States, she clashed with and proceeded to fight alongside Kimberly Anne Foxglove, a scientist and the Chief Executive Officer of SHADOW Company. Nightshade ultimately joined the then fledgling private military company, later becoming SHADOW’s most effective Disinfestor. Though more capable when working alone, she eventually helps Foxglove form the Edelweiss unit whose members have been exposed to the Insania Virus and then “cured” using the Amaranthus serum, transforming them into Revenants as well.
She currently serves as the primary assassin and infiltrator of Kill Team Edelweiss as well as one of the team’s two saboteurs. Depending on the mission, she also would take on the role of the unit’s sub-commander due to her exceptional knowledge of battlefield tactics, albeit with much disinclination. Even when not on an official assignment for the Company, she frequently uses her supposed rest and relaxation time by training for the next operation, performing mercenary work for third parties, and going on unauthorized purges.
Despite having renounced her highborn upbringing, she maintains the image of a gentle, comely and well-mannered young woman. This is where the façade ends. In reality, the former aristocrat turned mercenary is anti-social, quiet, and fatalistic. She is exceptionally aloof towards others to the point that she barely acknowledges the presence of those around her and cares nothing for what anyone says or thinks about her whether they be flattering praises or scathing insults. Her need for solitude is so immense that she keeps any form of contact to the absolute minimum and prefers to interact with others only when it suits her purposes.
While she is reserved and polite, she tries to avoid conversations, saying very little or nothing at all, choosing to keep her thoughts and opinions to herself. Her choice of words can lean towards intelligent and casual to implied disdain and sarcasm towards the receiving parties. So far, the only other person whom Mara has genuinely warmed up to was Marit Vinterwolff (Anemone) because of the other girl’s compassion and loyalty towards her, but also because Anemone bears striking similarities with her lost love Artemisia.
She is completely obsessed with the darkness, the mysticism surrounding ravens and crows, and her own epitome of Death which she nicknamed Cruel Fate
- traits that she earned from her mentor Shroud. She believes that the fall and ruin of humanity and the world they live in is inevitable and this form of thinking extends to her combat doctrines.
For Mara, words such as “honor”, “glory”, “compassion”, “justice” and “fairness” and any concepts of chivalry have no place in the warzone. She would take advantage of any unfair opportunity against her opponents and utilize just about any means in order to accomplish her goals. She shows no hesitation when maiming or killing unarmed, weak and helpless enemies and does so with silent glee. She is also not beyond the use of torture in gathering information or sacrificing allies to complete a mission.
In her mind, the entire universe is her battlefield, and hence, casualties and other losses are necessary, whether others agree or not. This mentality is evidenced by Mara’s absence of concern for the collateral damage and innumerable bystander deaths that resulted from her aggressive outings.
All those around her have found it terrifying to witness Mara erupt from a corpse-like serene and motionlessness state to a savage fury that she uses to annihilate anything and everything in her path. This seemingly uncontrollable blood-thirsty persona is heightened by the disconcerting silence that she displays while in battle. This aspect, more often than not, leaves both allies and opponents alike more traumatized than the carnage that she tends to leave in her wake. The only exception to this eerie quietness is when she is giving direct and quick commands and battlefield reports to her unit, and even then she does so discretely; usually via encrypted communication links and hand signals.
Even though Nightshade plays the part of the professional killer for hire, she enjoys her work partly for the material rewards, but mainly for the chance to cause as much destruction and chaos as possible.
To kill whoever she wants, and whenever she wants.
As much as she hates Starspawn and everything connected to them, she reserves much of her disdain for humanity in general, believing it was the people of Hamelin that truly killed her beloved Artemisia.
Abilities & Resources
Even as a young child, Marzanna Kriegvogel had a talent for stealth. She had a penchant for torture and murder that her a well-oiled machine that ended the lives of those who crossed her path and imparted terror on others. Her apprenticeship under Shroud and the Order of the Dark Rapture had gifted her with skills and knowledge that were far ahead of her time, while the combination of the Insania infection and the Amaranthus serum greatly amplified her physical and mental prowess, more particularly her reflexes, stamina and her five senses.
She is (so far) officially the first Revenant created using the Amaranthus Serum and like all Revenants, Mara already had access to Warp-related powers and was close to final death when revived by the serum. Her Shadow Demon powers (a name coined by Kimberly Anne Foxglove) gave her control over the mysterious energy known as the Darkforce. Among her many powers, Mara is able to teleport through shadows, remotely extending her senses by accessing the eyes and ears of normal crows and ravens, solidifying shadows and turning them into weapons, and gain entry to the innumerable existing dimensions including the Miasmas created by Starspawn. These Shadow Demon powers are less potent during the daytime, and even at night she uses them sparingly, preferring not to reveal her true potential until the time is right.
Having been active for nearly two hundred years, Nightshade had been a member of different organizations and had fought on numerous battlefields and trouble spots in the world, earning her a considerable degree of training and experience. Though skilled in various forms of combat and tactics, she excels in guerrilla-style warfare.
As a member of the Edelweiss, Marzanna has access to the best armaments and miscellaneous gear that SHADOW Company could offer. When not sniping targets from afar with customized crossbows, every so often she is seen engaging her enemies in close quarter skirmishes where she blasts them apart with firearms (preferring shotguns loaded with specialized ammunition) or cuts through them with wild abandon using her collection of blades.
Even when in stealth, Nightshade’s overall fighting style is considered extremely brutal. She is known to strike hard and fast to inflict devastation and Death in a short span of time. When given orders to, or when the situation goes against her, she would retreat and vanish just as suddenly as she had appeared. When the chance presents itself, she would re-appear and attack from a separate direction to finish off any survivors, repeating the process until only blood and darkness remains.
Nightshade is adept at using the immediate environment and especially complete darkness or nearly total dark conditions to her advantage, enabling her to reconnoiter, sabotage and eliminate her targets undetected. She is also known to mutilate the bodies of her foes (victims) and leaves them in the open for all to see. The latter tactic is employed as part of her own style of psychological warfare as well as her own inert but slowly rising sadism.
In the light of her extensive military and espionage background, her lone wolf and aloof attitude has netted her very few contacts and trusted friends outside the Company. With the exception of Anemone, her relationship with her fellow Edelweiss members is considered sketchy at the very least, though she can still count on them when the need arises.