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Ethan of Heron (Scion comics by Crossgen) face closeup

Ethan of Heron


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Crossgen was one of the new super-hero comics publishers that emerged during the 1990s. But that was years after the big wave with Image, the Ultraverse, Dark Horse Heroes, etc.. Crossgen started in 1998. Like most such new shared super-universes it was interesting, had potential, and was ultimately short-lived.

Scion was published starting in 2000. It ran for a respectable 43 issues before the publisher went tits up. What was it about ? Heh, read on.


Background

  • Real Name: Ethan of Heron.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: King Dane (Father), Queen Mariella (Mother), Kai (Brother), Artor (Brother, Deceased), Ylena (Sister).
  • Group Affiliation: Freemen of Sanctuary Isle.
  • Base Of Operations: Sanctuary Isle; formerly Heron Dynasty on the planet Avalon.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond
  • Other distinguishing features: Large red and yellow mark, resembling Yin Yang symbol on outside right biceps.


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The World of Avalon

The world of Avalon is located deep in the reaches of space, outside the reaches of the Milky Way galaxy. The planet itself closely resembles Earth, with two main large continental bodies, massive seas, and two polar ice caps.

Its indigenous species include humanity, Earth-like animals (including horses), and several species of genetically created and maintained animals. Of particular interest is the so called “Lesser race”. This species was born out of the genetic combination of human and animal DNA. They were created by the dominant human race to serve as their slaves or in some cases, their servants.

Avalon is far more technologically advanced than modern day Earth. This is only to be expected. Avalon was settled centuries after the human race left Earth due to overpopulation. But despite the advanced technology that exists on Avalon, a façade of medieval pageantry dominates the behaviours and lifestyle of the populace that lives there.

Hence, most of their inventions are hidden behind the façade of medieval trappings. Thus on Avalon you will see swords, shields, lances, low-tech boats, and odd “planes”. Instead of rocketing through the air within the shell of a plane, the citizens of Avalon will fly upon the back of a winged dragon with technological enhancements (such as saddle, radar, etc).


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Realm of Avalon

The human race on Avalon has been dominated by two main kingdoms, the Heron and the Raven Dynasties, for centuries. The two kingdoms have been at war since their inception. But they eschewed open conflict for the last several centuries of their existence.

Ethan Heron leaps in

Instead, the two opposing dynasties took part in ritual combat once a year. This took place upon the small island that marked the location of a grand and mythic fight between the two survivors of their last battle. The two men battled each other for a full day and night until they both collapsed of exhaustion. The warriors then admitted that neither could win the conflict.

From that point forward, the island (which became eventually would be known as Tournament Isle) became sacred ground. It was the location for all subsequent battles between the representatives of the rival dynasties.

This lasted for years, until Ethan conquered the isle in the name of the Lesser races. Since then the isle has been renamed Sanctuary Isle, and all who wish to live in peace are welcome.

Not only two there are

During the course of his adventures, Ethan has discovered at least two other major kingdoms within the reach of Sanctuary Isle. One is a threat, the other may be a potential threat.

The former is an unnamed underwater kingdom. It is populated by a group of water breathing members of the Lesser race. They have refused contact with the upper world. They continue to keep their existence a closely guarded secret from all save Ethan and his ally Ashleigh.

The latter is the kingdom of Tigris. The kingdom of Tigris is populated almost exclusively by a race of people that closely resemble East Indians, in appearance and culture. Tigris is far more technologically advanced than their European cousins. They use robotic automatons to serve as their servants rather than a genetically created race of servants.

The nation of Tigris has outright expressed their desire to conquer the western lands that contain both the Heron and Raven Dynasties, and are preparing for war.


Powers and Abilities

Ethan’s Sigil allows him to manifest and wield an undefined field of radiant energy centred on his right arm. Normally, Ethan uses this power to form a heron marked blade that he wields within his right hand. The blade’s edge is quite keen. It is capable of slicing through flesh, stone or metal with little to no effort on Ethan’s part.

By channeling even more power through the blade itself, Ethan can extend it’s cutting edge. This allows him to affect distant objects that would normally be outside the range of the blade.

While he is most comfortable wielding his power in the form of a blade, Ethan’s power isn’t limited to this single effect. He can manifest his energy as forks of lightning or waves of radiant light if he so desires.

The upper limit of the amount of energy Ethan can generate via the Sigil, and channel effectively is unknown at this time. At this time, the largest manifestation of raw power Ethan has demonstrated was a burst of force great enough to completely separate two warring fleets of ships. However, this effort left him unconscious.

Ethan’s Sigil also enhances Ethan’s strength and speed. Furthermore, it makes him extremely hard to kill. It heals his wounds at a superhuman rate, allowing him to survive and recover from fatal injuries within moments and without any significant scarring.

Education

Finally, as a Heron Prince Ethan has been thoroughly educated in a variety of subjects including but not limited to:

  • Modern warfare.
  • Government.
  • Animal handling.
  • Sailing…
  • … and fencing.

As it stands, Ethan is easily the most naturally talented swordsman within his family, and perhaps all of Avalon. While wielding his Sigil generated blade, he is virtually unbeatable.


History

Wrote the history from Ethan’s point of view, leaving out some of the details around Skink’s involvement for his own character profile.

Ethan was the youngest scion of the ruling monarchs (King Dane and Queen Mariella) of the Heron Dynasty. As such, enjoyed the accompanying life of wealth and privilege.

His life had been a simple one, despite his station. With three older siblings before him (his brothers Artor and Kai, and sister Ylena) his responsibilities to the throne were diminished. And so he could turn his full attention to academia or any other pursuit that interested him.

Skink care

To his family’s dismay, Ethan spent much of his time listening to the teachings of his servant Skink. Skink was an unusually intelligent hump-backed member of the Lesser race. He was sworn to serve Ethan from the moment of his birth until the moment of his death.

The two spent their days debating subjects like philosophy, government rule and the plight of the Lesser races that inhabited Avalon alongside their human brothers.

However, Ethan’s days of quiet debate and tutelage came to a roaring halt upon his 21st birthday. Upon this birthday, Ethan’s duty as a Heron Prince came into effect/ From then on, he would be required to represent his family and kingdom in the ritualistic combat that was to take place upon Tournament Isle.

Despite his fear, Ethan found himself looking forward to the day. Once it came, he would prove his worth not only to his family but also to himself.

The tournament

The fateful day arrived. Despite his careful preparation and anticipation, it began like all others. Ethan awoke to the playful teasing of his older brother’s Artor and Kai. They cajoled him out of his bed and into the needed preparation for his battle.

Ethan received words of sage advice from his entire family that day, from his worried parents to his hot tempered sister Ylena. They all expressed concern at Ethan’s choice for his second. He had chosen Skink for this honoured role.

Moreover, they were worried that Ethan had not truly prepared for his dangerous opponent, the Raven Prince Bron. Bron was a particularly aggressive member of the Raven’s royal family. He had faced and defeated both Artor and Kai in the previous years.

With their warnings fresh in his head and butterflies in his heart, Ethan pensively approached the arena, head down. Thus, he didn’t notice a strangely garbed member of the Lesser race approaching him.

A simple touch

As the being passed Ethan, it reached out a long large arm and grasped him gently about his biceps. A short shock of energy lanced through Ethan’s arm, and as he raised his head in surprise, the unfamiliar form wished him good luck and disappeared into the darkness that surrounded him.

Ethan had little time to contemplate his encounter with the strange Lesser. He was gently ushered into the arena at that moment and found himself face to face with the man that would, in mere moments, become his greatest rival. Bron stood waiting, arms akimbo and with a sneer of confidence upon his face.

Meanwhile, Ethan stood stock still. He stared at the massive crowd that looked down upon them from the arena walls, cheering and chanting the name of their favourite son.

Ethan was shocked out of his reverie when the referee started to explain the rules of the combat. He bade the two warriors to ignite their swords and activate their armour. The two men did as they were commanded and, when the signal was given, leapt into combat.

The battle

The battle was fast and brutal, nothing like the training sessions that Ethan had experienced with the blade-masters who taught him how to fight.

He was immediately overwhelmed by both Bron’s ferocity and words of scorn and soon found himself down on one knee before his superior opponent. But even as Bron’s winning blow started to fall, Fate interceded on Ethan’s behalf.

Ethan’s blade started to spark and glow with an inner fire. It had nothing to do with it’s technological enhancements. Bron’s eyes were drawn to the blade as the eldritch flame danced upon and down its form, and Ethan seeing an opening drove the blade into a vertical slice with all of his strength.

The blade tore through Bron’s armour, face and eye like a hot knife through warm butter.

The ravenous crowd fell silent as with a scream of pain, Bron fell to the ground clutching desperately at his face. Stunned silence settled on the arena, until Ethan raised his sword in victory and bellowed, “I won!” The Heron audience erupted with joy as their youngest prince was surrounded by his supporters and celebrated his victory.

From the jaws of victory

Even as his celebration was winding up, Ethan found his eyes drawn to medics who were tending Bron’s wound. The huddled heads shook vigorously and then as one they stood. The medic turned to the referee, who then announced loudly over the speakers, that the wound dealt to Bron was beyond the healers capabilities to heal.

This meant that Ethan had brought an illegal weapon to the contest and was therefore disqualified.

Ethan was dismayed and ashamed at the announcement. Further, he simply could not understand why Bron was hurt as badly as he was. He examined the sword alongside of Skink and his family, but could find nothing wrong with it. As he fretfully tried to ascertain what had gone wrong, Skink drew Ethan’s attention to a new mark that sat prominently on his right bicep.

Ethan peered down at the strange markt seemed to be under his skin like a tattoo but glowed with an inner fire all of its own. Instinctively, he knew that the sigil was the source of his immediate problems. Unfortunately for Ethan, even as the realization of the truth struck him, so did an enraged Bron.

Wounded man

Before Ethan could react, Bron’s vice-like grip wrapped completely around his throat, threatening to throttle the life clean out of him. Despite the severity of the situation, Ethan wasn’t truly concerned though. His brothers and parents moved with feline speed and wrapped strong arms around the enraged Raven prince separating the two after only moments had passed.

Ethan Heron with energy sword

As the two were separated, Bron immediately demanded restitution for the damage done to his face and the insult paid to both him and his family by Ethan’s perceived treachery in the arena. When King Dane immediately refused Bron’s demands, the Raven King, Viktor, implied that a refusal would be seen as the first step towards open war.

Ethan watched as his father gathered his resolve to refuse the Raven’s request. He realized that in the next few moments, he would become the catalyst that caused the flames of open war to erupt across the face of Avalon once again

In that single moment, Ethan made the only decision that he could. Before his father was able to respond Ethan knelt down on one knee and surrendered himself and his sword to Bron and the Raven forces.

Trapped in Raven lands

As Ethan found himself dragged away in chains, Skink begged the Raven Prince to allow him to accompany his liege into captivity. Bron cared little about how many prisoners filled the Raven dungeons and granted Skink his wish. With a final farewell to his parents, Ethan and Skink boarded the Raven ships and began their sentence of a year and a day.

Ethan arrived in the Raven capital a short time later. He gazed upon his new home with amazement. Despite his situation, he realized that he was most likely the first Heron in centuries to actually stand within the Raven capital. His time for sight-seeing was cut painfully short as he was led to the deepest, darkest dungeon that Bron could find.

As he waited before the cell with his arms shackled, Bron descended upon him with the last portion of his sentence. Bron drew a wicked blade and opened a long wicked wound upon Ethan’s face, closely mirroring the wound that Bron himself had received during the tournament. Bron gloated as he left Ethan bleeding in the darkness, stating that Ethan would have no one to heal his wound either.

With that, Ethan was tossed unceremoniously into the cell. He landed with a grunt and watched as Skink was thrown in alongside him. When they had both recovered, Skink scuttled dutifully to Ethan’s side and comforted the young Prince. He then watched over him as the last several days events finally caught up with him and left him in a dreamless sleep.

Ethan awoke the next day in a groggy haze. He felt the warmth of the morning sun falling upon his face. As he stretched the kinks out of his back, he suddenly gave a start and realized that he was no longer in the darkness of his cell. Even more mysteriously, the wound upon his face was fully healed.

Ashleigh

He glanced around himself and found Skink waiting patiently for him to awaken, along with a young auburn haired woman who had been watching him as he was dragged into his cell the previous night. The young woman, who identified herself as Ashleigh, returned Ethan’s blade to him and claimed that she was responsible for his freedom.

She went on to reveal that she did not free Ethan out of the goodness of her heart, instead she arranged his release in order to gain his aid in another matter.

Ashleigh led Ethan deep into a nearby cave. There, they were witness to all manner of atrocities inflicted upon a massive group of slaves, from a variety of the Raven Dynasty Lesser race. Ethan found himself immediately moved. He almost launched into an assault on a Raven soldier that was whipping a young boy in front of him when Ashleigh dragged him away.

She then revealed that she hoped that Ethan would join an underground movement within the Raven lands. Their goal was to free the Lesser people.

She had surmised that since Ethan had allowed Skink to be his second in the tournament that the Heron Dynasty had a greater appreciation for the Lesser people that surrounded them. Furthermore, Ashleigh hoped that with Ethan as their representative that the Raven’s would be forced to change their ways.

Deeper underground

Ethan, though moved by Ashleigh’s plight, refused to immediately join her. He felt that his escape from captivity would give the Raven’s all the justification they needed to start the war they had obviously been spoiling for. Instead of helping Ashleigh, he felt that his people needed to be warned of the impending danger and that he needed to return home.

The two argued momentarily, but they found themselves standing in stunned silence when they emerged from the darkness of the cave.

Bron, along with a contingent of his soldiers sat waiting patiently for the pair to exit the cave. Ethan scanned the group quickly, searching for Skink. He found him tied to the saddle of one of Bron’s soldier’s steed. In a blink, Ethan’s blade leapt from its sheath and he had cut the soldier down.

With a graceful leap, Ethan stole the steed and attempted to make his escape. Bron’s men surged into motion behind him, even as Bron released his massive hound to run the escaped prisoners down. Ethan managed to escape the soldiers but Bron’s massive hound eventually caught up to him.

Just before the animal attacked, Ashleigh reappeared at his side and with a few quiet words, calmed the hound down and sent it on its way.

The fugitive

Despite his second rescue at her hands, Ethan still refused to join Ashleigh’s cause. Ashleigh barely contained her disappointment, but bore Ethan no ill-will. Before he left, she handed him a small holographic crystal that, should he change his mind, would lead him to the secret headquarters of the resistance.

Ethan Heron slashes with his energy sword

With that, Ethan thanked her for her help and along with Skink disappeared into the woods that surrounded him.

Ethan and Skink spent the next several days ducking Raven patrols. Meanwhile, they worked their way to the very same harbour that they had arrived at days ago. Ethan’s plan was a simple one. He would steal a boat, return to Heron lands and warn his family of the possible Raven attack.

When the two made camp one dark night, they were ambushed by a Raven patrol. They were nearly overcome by it, until a massive member of the Lesser race arrived and cut down the majority of the patrol.

Casus belli

He introduced himself as Exeter. Ethan assumed that he had been sent by the resistance to help him escape Raven soil. Unfortunately for him, his assumption was incorrect. Exeter was an implacable bounty hunter that had picked up Ethan’s trail after reading of the massive award for his head.

Exeter assaulted Ethan when his guard was down, and would have killed him if not for the timely intervention of Skink. Unexpectedly, Skink uprooted a stone wall and dropped it upon the massive bounty hunter. Taking advantage of the distraction, he and Ethan two took the better part of valour and escaped into the darkness of the forest around them once more.

A day later, Ethan and Skink arrived at their destination. But to Ethan’s horror, they were not alone. The entire Raven fleet was amassed in the harbour, and battle ready. Ethan realized that the Raven’s had to have been preparing for war long before his escape. To amass such a fleet, they would have to have been preparing before the tournament began.

Infuriated by the Raven’s treachery, Ethan surged down into the harbour, Skink in tow. They stole a vessel, but not before being confronted one last time by a familiar face. Exeter, the bounty hunter, lay in wait for Ethan and attempted to kill him once more.

This time, Ethan was prepared. With energy blazing through his Sigil, Ethan’s blade sung and blazed with energy as the two engaged in combat.

The fight was short and brutal. It ended with Ethan shoving his blade up to the hilt into Exeter’s chest. Even as the mammoth Lesser man fell silently into the harbour’s waters, Ethan jumped aboard the small sailing vessel and escaped into the sea.

War and Loss

The two companions raced as quickly as they could over the choppy waves of Avalon’s ocean. A massive storm, the likes that had never been seen before, had rushed over the ocean in the last moments before the small ship left he harbour.

Eventually, the strength of the storm won out. The tiny ship was battered to pieces, leaving Ethan and Skink helpless before the fury of the storm. As Ethan sank beneath the mile high waves, he thought he caught glimpses of motion within the darkness of the waters. He had little time to puzzle it out though, as darkness reached out and claimed him.

Ethan regained consciousness on the beaches of the Heron nation. As he struggled to his feet, Skink pointed out their saviours, a race of aquatic Lessers. Even as Ethan thanked his rescuers a familiar voice shouted his name. Ylena raced up the beach and embraced her younger brother, both shocked and relieved to see him safe, unharmed and back on Heron soil.

Shoving aside his own relief, Ethan bade Ylena to carry him back to their home so that he could warn their family. Ethan’s return was greeted with great joy, despite his news of the oncoming Raven invasion. The Herons saw it as an opportunity to strike a pre-emptive blow on their aggressors. They prepared an ambush for their Raven cousins.

D-day

The Raven fleet arrived a short while later despite their previous preparedness. The storm had worked in young Ethan’s favour. It held back the majority of the fleet just long enough for him to arrive home and warn his family. When the Raven army set foot on Heron soil, they were immediately beset by the enraged and prepared Heron army.

Ethan Heron delivers a giant energy blast

The battle was every bit as fierce as it was short. Ethan’s powers raced through him during the battle, making his blade the deadliest weapon on the field. His enemies fell before him by the score and he singlehandedly started a rout. While Ethan was occupied his oldest brother, Artor, sought out and confronted Bron who was leading a contingent of Raven soldiers.

It wasn’t the first time that the two had crossed swords, but previously they were restrained by the rules of the tournament. But this time, Bron’s blade was unfettered. The two fought a quick and vicious battle. It ended when Bron slit Artor’s throat in front of Ethan’s eyes.

Ethan’s power flowed through him like a torrent of fire, as he attacked Bron in a fury he had never felt before. Bron desperately attempted to fend off the young Heron warrior’s attacks. Nevertheless, he soon was wielding a shattered sword and prone on his back before Ethan’s anger.

It was only the timely arrival of his younger brother, Kort, that save his life. A blast of fire from Kort’s dragon separated Ethan from Bron just long enough for Bron to make good his escape.

The battle’s over

Frustration and a thirst for vengeance overwhelmed Ethan’s senses. He turned his fury on the Raven forces around him, including the slaves that they had forced into battle for them. He grasped a young Lesser male in his one arm and raised his blade, preparing to strike when Ashleigh appeared and bade him to stop.

She was dressed and armoured in Raven black and red. She chastised him for taking his rage out on those who were helpless to resist him before disappearing into the melee. With that, all of Ethan’s anger dissipated. He was left feeling nothing but grief. The battle was over, the Ravens were in full retreat, but Artor, valiant Artor was dead.

Ethan spent the next few days at home, grieving alongside his family and planning his next action. Once Artor’s funeral was over, he made it clear to his parents that he would return to Raven lands and take vengeance for Artor’s loss. He swore by his power that he would not return home until Bron was dead.

Vengeance

Ethan’s return trip over the sea was far less eventful as his first two. He arrived in Raven lands, Skink in tow, unannounced and with a simple plan. He would use Ashleigh’s map to guide himself to her side. Then he would use her knowledge of the Raven lands to lure Bron into an ambush and slay him there.

The two set out immediately, and over the next few days travelled much of the Raven countryside.

The map eventually led them directly through a small town. It was the centre of a draft of able bodied men for the now depleted Raven forces. As they surveyed the Raven forces that populated the town, they were both shocked to see Exeter standing beside a Raven Lord on a large stage. Apparently, the lord was overseeing the draft and Exeter was acting as a guard.

Ethan pulled Skink aside, hoping to steal a horse and avoid the massive bounty hunter. But his attempt at stealth failed. Exeter had spotted his prey once more.

Ethan and Skink were in the middle of their theft when Exeter came smashing through the wall of the stable. Thus, he blindsided the two of them. Skink was immediately knocked senseless while Ethan attempted to fight back. As always, tendrils of mystic energy snaked over Ethan’s blade but Exeter was prepared.

He had felt the bite of Ethan’s mystically enhanced metal once and had no plans to feel it again. Even as the blade left its sheathe, he struck immediately with his twin battle axes directing his full strength against the blade itself. A hollow ring filled the air as Ethan’s finely crafted tournament shattered into pieces.

Exeter, tasting the thrill of victory, doggedly pursued Ethan. Each swing of his axes forced Ethan into more and more desperate maneuvers to preserve his life. Even as Exeter’s final blow began to fall, Ethan frantically searched for a weapon to defend himself with but found none.

At that very moment, his Sigil flared to life once more. Its mystical energy surged into Ethan’s right hand filling it with light and hope, and coalesced into a glowing Heron marked sword.

Ethan Heron repels gorilla soldiers

Exeter halted his mighty blow and openly gaped at Ethan and his magic sword. Ethan looked with shock between the mystical blade, the stunned bounty hunter and a rather smug looking Skink who stood waiting at the side of the barn. Then, before Exeter could recover, Ethan pressed his attack. His new found power made quick work of the massive bounty hunter.

Exeter was rendered weaponless and helpless in four precise blows. The bounty hunter found himself once again humbled before Ethan. In that moment, he abandoned the hunt. Ethan showed mercy upon him, claiming that Bron was the only person he truly wanted to kill. After warning Exeter not to cross paths with him again, Ethan and Skink left him whole, if not hale.

Among the Lessers

The two picked up the map’s trail once more and within a days travel finally found the resistance’s lair. Though he initially met some resistance from the free Lesser slaves, a brief show of power persuaded them to speak with him. The slaves allowed him into their homes, as they were, and to see how they lived.

As he gazed into the hovels and laughable conditions the escaped slaves endured, Ethan felt pangs of sympathy creeping into his heart. Despite this, he still felt that he was obligated to avenge his brother. When asked if he were there to help them, he refused and demanded to see Ashleigh. To his disappointment, she was not present.

Upon coming to realization that Ethan had not arrived to aid their cause, the freed slaves turned him away.

As he rode away from the resistance’s lair, Ethan came up with a new plan. Undaunted by Ashleigh’s absence, he decided to steal into the Raven fortress itself using the very same route that he and Skink had used to escape from its dungeon several weeks previous. He would then find and confront Bron in the very seat of his dynasty’s power and slay him there.

The speaking dead

Skink counciled Ethan to caution. When Ethan outlined his rash plan to him, Skink spoke of a greater destiny that he felt Ethan was meant to fulfill. Despite Skink’s words, Ethan stubbornly clung to his plan and refused to be persuaded against the action.

When the two made camp for the night, Ethan found himself confronted by the spirit of his murdered brother, Artor. The apparition spoke to Ethan of three things before fading away into the night.

  • The first thing the spirit made clear was that the Sigil on his arm wasn’t given to him by accident, but rather he was one of many beings chosen to wield its power.
  • Second, it warned him of a greater conflict that he would be forced to take part in, one that he would need to prepare for.
  • And lastly, it told him that he had barely tapped the full potential of his power and that he would have to truly become a warrior to use his true strength.

The rest of his journey to the Raven Keep was uneventful. The two companions were able to infiltrate the Raven Keep with relative ease. They found the unguarded sewer shaft that led deep into the dungeons of the fortress itself.

Dungeons & Redheads

When Ethan arrived there, he quietly passed a line of cells, stopping briefly to look into the very cell he was held in only a few short weeks into the past. To his shock, he saw a beautiful red headed woman imprisoned within it. It was Ashleigh.

Ethan Heron slashes at a monster

Ethan cut Ashleigh free of the cell, with excitement and anxiety flowing through his heart. He still hoped to use Ashleigh’s knowledge to lead him to Bron when she delivered two pieces of information to him that completely changed the situation.

Earlier that night, Bron had murdered his father and ascended to the throne. In a single moment he had become the Raven King. While that piece of news was a shock to Ethan, the second piece of information was even greater. Ashleigh told him, that she was Bron’s younger sister.

A deep and unreasonable sense of betrayal filled Ethan’s heart. The lad wasn’t sure of what to make of Ashleigh’s confession. For some reason, he had hoped that she would have been a simple Raven soldier that could be turned. Instead, she was part of the Raven Dynasty itself.

Duel

Realizing that he could no longer simply trust Ashleigh, Ethan abandoned her and stalked to the Raven throne room with Skink in tow. Ethan found Bron waiting there, with an exotic looking woman with Eastern features. Ethan bellowed his challenge to Bron, and stated plainly that he had come to exact his own vengeance on the man who had slain his brother.

Bron, unperturbed, welcomed the challenge by the young invader. Ethan filled with rage, didn’t miss the smug satisfaction that Bron emanated and summoning his sword to his hand surged forward to attack his foe. The two came together with a ringing clash of technologically enhanced steel and mystic blade. As expected, Ethan’s magical blade gave him an edge.

As his temper and excitement rose his blade sang with even more power, taking pieces of stone from the walls and floor with every swing. Ethan overwhelmed Bron with the sheer power bequeathed to him by his mystic Sigil and the matching rage that burned in his heart.

Blow after blow rained upon Bron’s sword. Thus, he was forced to a single knee helpless before his superior and enraged foe. Or at least that was the way he wanted it to appear. Even as Ethan reared up in preparation for the final blow, Bron smiled and finally retaliated.

The air around Bron turned a deadly crimson, his eyes lit up with an inner fire. The ground beneath Ethan’s feet erupted as Bron shouted with defiance. A crimson wave of power exploded from and around Bron as he sent Ethan tumbling through the air.

Bron’s power

Even as Ethan fell stunned, Bron surged forward with his blade held high all the while shouting, “Did you think you were the only one touched by power boy?” Before he could recover, Bron drove his sword to the hilt through Ethan’s chest and pierced his beating heart. Ethan had a single stunned moment to look into Bron’s eyes before he dropped to the floor.

As his last breath left his body, he saw Skink’s concerned face standing over him. He heard Ashleigh burst into the throne room and try to come to his aid. Then darkness claimed him.

Imagine Ethan’s surprise, as the light surged back into his vision. Even as he heard Bron promising Ashleigh pain and doom, Ethan’s chest started to fall and raise with ragged yet rhythmic breathes as he struggled unsteadily to his feet. He swept his bleary gaze around and saw that Bron had turned his back to him while he was dragging Ashleigh about by her hair.

Ethan approached Bron from the rear as his strength seemed to grow with each step. Before Bron could make good on his threats to kill Ashleigh, Ethan placed a single sparking hand on his back. Ethan saw and heard the shock in Bron’s eyes as he unleashed all of the remaining power he could draw from the Sigil.

Bron was hurled across the throne room and lay stunned for a moment or two. Before Bron or his guards could react Ethan, Ashleigh and Skink dove through a massive stained glass window and into the open air outside the throne room. They landed in a small pond that the window overlooked. Then they disappeared into the night.

A new purpose

After finding one of Ashleigh’s underground allies, the three wounded escapees made their way out of the Raven city. They ran into the wilderness. Aimless and confused, they stopped briefly to consider their next move.

Ashleigh insisted on returning to the resistance, as Bron had arranged it that she had no where left to go. After murdering his father, Bron had shifted the blame to Ashleigh, using her well known sympathy for the Lesser race to frame her for the former king’s murder.

Despite her obvious peril, Ethan was still unable to commit to aiding the resistance. He felt that his duty still lay with his family. The two argued briefly, but finally decided to travel to the Northern resistance lair together. Once there they would finally part ways.

As they travelled, the two’s fondness for each other grew more and more apparent. That served to confuse Ethan’s loyalties even further. Despite this, he remained resolute … until they reached the Northern lair of the underground.

Underground railroad

When they arrived they found it in ruins. Not a single man, woman or child remained alive, save one figure that loomed over the corpses in the darkness. Exeter.

Ethan Heron makes a giant energy impact with his sword

Enraged at his actions, Ethan immediately summoned his power. He attacked Exeter with a zeal he thought he had reserved for Bron and Bron alone. To his surprise, Exeter didn’t even attempt to defend himself. Instead, he simply stated that he had not taken part in the atrocity that surrounded them.

Ethan stayed his hand and listened cautiously to the tale wrought by the bounty hunter. Exeter revealed that after Ethan spared his life that he had experienced a change of heart. The Lesser now sought to make amends for all the lives he had ended. After some soul searching and wandering, he found himself seeking the resistance to offer his aid.

Exeter had found them in short order. But even as he arrived a Raven force, led by Kort (Ashleigh’s other brother), swept through the lair and slaughtered everyone to a man. Exeter attempted to stop them, but even he was simply one man.

Ashleigh’s strike

Ethan believed the massive Lesser, and forgave him his past actions. The two approached the devastated Ashleigh, who was openly weeping over the bodies of her friends and allies. As Ethan approached, Ashleigh coldly bade him farewell as she knew he would be returning to his family at that point.

When Ethan asked her what she planned to do, she revealed that she would complete the last operation that the resistance had planned on executing before their doom. She would sabotage a genetics facility and hopefully destroy it before they could harm any more of the Lesser. Ethan’s heart went out to Ashleigh, and in that moment he couldn’t let her go into danger on her own.

Quietly and calmly, he told her that he would help her complete her mission and that home could wait a little longer. Exeter also insisted that he accompany the trio in the hopes that he could still redeem himself. With that, the trio became a quartet.

The four allies arrived at the laboratory without incident. They easily muscled their way past its defences and guardians. Then Ethan led the group deeper into the heart of the facility where they encountered a grisly sight. A large chamber containing the tortured and twisted bodies of Lesser slaves, whose only crime was to have been born different, lay before them.

The slaves were hideously deformed. Further, they were displayed like the proud trophies of some big game hunter. Confronted by the inhumane and cruel treatment of the Lesser slaves, Ethan’s choice was suddenly made clear. With a steely look of resolve on his face, he willed his mystic blade into existence and unleashed a wave of power that destroyed the lab.

As the remains of the once high-tech fortress rained down around them, Ethan turned to Ashleigh and pledged his full aid and support to her cause.

Trapped between two kingdoms

The four allies decided upon their next course of action. They would secure a safe location where any being who wished to live in peace, be they human or Lesser, could do so without fear.

Realizing that no such place would exist within the lands of the Raven Dynasty, they headed back towards the eastern shore of the Raven continent. They hoped that they would be able to secure safe passage off the continent while avoiding Raven patrols.

During their trek, they heard from the locals that the Heron dynasty had invaded the Raven Kingdom. Heron forces were working to establish a beachhead. From there they could hopefully launch larger successive attacks. When Ethan discovered that the landing party was being led by his remaining siblings Kai and Ylena, he spurred his companions on and rushed to their side.

He and his allies arrived after the majority of the skirmishes were over, but were still able to make contact with his siblings.

The reunion between the three remaining Heron scions was brief but emotional. Kai’s spirits were buoyed by Ethan’s return. He assumed that Ethan would be lending his strange new powers to their cause, rendering the Raven’s number advantage moot.

But Ethan told him that he would not be participating in the war due to his loyalty belonging to the resistance. Kai angrily dismissed him from his presence while calling him a traitor to his family. Ethan and his allies left Kai, Ylena and the safety of the Heron forces behind and continued eastwards towards friendlier shores.

Nadia and the sea

The four allies encountered another unfamiliar face when they happened upon a wyvern attack on their travels. A young East Indian woman was fleeing the horrific lizard when Ethan crossed her path. Before he could even count the number of reasons he shouldn’t become involved, Ethan had dove off of his steed, manifested his blade and attacked the wyvern.

Despite the beast’s fantastic strength and speed, Ethan made short work of mighty lizard. He drove his blade deep through the centre of its mass. The young woman was named Nadia Thindi, a traveler from the far of land of Tigris. Realizing that Nadia would only end up in even greater danger if left to her own devices, Ethan bade her to join their group.

Giant glowing Ethan Heron and a sailship

The five young allies eventually made their way to a Raven outpost. It looked out over the vast ocean that separated the Heron and Raven nations. With little effort, they took the outpost, and stole a submersible vessel. Using the vessel, Ethan and Ashleigh dove deep into the depths of the ocean. They were searching for the amphibious beings who had saved Ethan from drowning.

The two found the amphibious peoples’ home, a massive underwater city they called Haven, but not before losing their ship. Ethan found himself doubly in their debt when the sea-born Lessers saved both him and Ashleigh once again.

Perhaps it was this reason that he contained his displeasure when the people of Haven refused to allow the affairs of the surface world to interfere with their existence.

Sanctuary

With that, they swore Ethan to secrecy regarding their existence and returned him unharmed to the surface. There, Ethan and Ashleigh finally admitted to their mutual attraction for one another and consummate their relationship in the darkest reaches of the ocean.

As the two returned to surface, Ethan pondered the nature of their predicament. They came to the only solution he could find. Upon their return to their allies, Ethan announced that in all of Avalon, only one place could offer the Lesser people the sanctuary that they so desperately needed and that he would take it for their own. Tournament Isle.

With that, the five allies immediately set sail for the Tournament Island. One would think it pure insanity for a group made up of three warriors, one tourist and a slave to attack an the island’s entire garrison. But Exeter’s sheer strength and Ethan’s raw power overwhelmed the skeleton crew of guardsmen who were actually present on the island.

With the flush of victory still on their faces, Ethan and his friends went about the onerous task of securing the tournament isle. Then they contemplated their next move. They all realized that when either of the Heron or Raven forces took issue with their occupation of the isle, that the five of them would be hard pressed to maintain their control of it.

Fleet action

It was only a short time later, that Ethan’s fears were realized. While he and his comrades had assaulted the tournament isle, both the Heron and Raven fleets had been on the move towards the isle for two very different reasons.

The Raven fleet had set sail in the hopes of unleashing an all out assault on the Heron forces after repulsing the invading Heron forces. But they changed direction after picking up the island’s guardsmen who fled before Ethan’s assault.

The Raven fleet, with Bron at the helm, moved to assault tournament isle. The Heron fleet that was originally headed towards Raven lands turned as well to intercept their hated enemies. To make matters worse, a Raven landing party had penetrated the islands defences. These were making their way towards the friends’ temporary barracks.

Faced with the imminent death of thousands of his people, and feeling ultimately responsible for the actions that led them there, Ethan took a final desperate gamble. He left the fate of his love and friends in Exeter’s hands, and set out alone on a small sea vessel to stop the two fleets.

Ethan Heron glowing with energy

Ethan maneuvered the small ship deftly through the warring fleets, dodging canon fire and flotsam until he found himself directly between the opposing sides. He spent a few moments soaking in the enormity of the situation that had unfolded around him, and allowed his emotions to run free.

He gathered up all of his feelings of frustration, helplessness, anger, and shame and fed them into the Sigil that sat prominently on his arm. He mixed them with his determination and hope for a better world and focused all of his will on stopping the battle. The Sigil reacted violently to his will, and it’s power threatened to consume him.

Finally as the power howled throughout his body and he felt it grow to a crescendo, he unleashed his will and power upon the ships that surrounded him.

The resulting blast of mystical force parted the seas around him, and shoved the two fleets a great distance apart. Silence returned to the seas as both the Raven and Heron forces shuddered in awe (and no small portion of fear) at the power that the young Heron prince displayed. The war that threatened to consume both kingdoms had been ended within a singularly bright display of power.

Rematch

When next Ethan regained consciousness, he found himself in a hauntingly familiar location. He was lying wet and in ragged clothes in the centre of the tournament isle arena. He shouldn’t have been surprised to find Bron awaiting him patiently, as he struggled to his feet, sword in hand and ready for battle.

After being thrown overboard by an errant cannon blast, Bron had swum to the shores of tournament isle, only to find an unconscious Ethan washed up there as well. Bron thought that there would be a satisfying sense of symmetry that their final battle would take place in the very place that their enmity had begun.

The two sparred orally for only moments. Then Ethan tapped what remaining strength he had to manifest his Heron marked blade fanned the battle was joined. Unlike their other battles, this one contained no surprises. Initially, the two combatants seemed equally matched, in temperament, skill and power.

However, as the battle raged, Ethan’s power began to surge once more through the Sigil. Despite Bron’s own mystic might, Ethan was the victor. After driving his power wrought blade through Bron’s chest, Ethan took a moment to savour his victory and then raised the blade high above his head.

Mai-shan

Before it could drop down upon his foe, a figure coalesced out of a brilliant flash of crimson light. It was Mai-shan, Bron’s advisor. She revealed herself to be member of the godlike race of beings known as the First. Then she held Ethan at bay long enough for both Bron and herself to teleport away.

Ethan nearly collapsed with exhaustion but was caught up by the entirety of his family. King Dane, Kai, Ylena, Skink and Ashleigh all surged to the arena floor to embrace and congratulate the young prince. They had witnessed the superhuman battle that had taken place from the arena’s stands high above the actual battle itself. They had watched Ethan finally and decisively defeat Bron.

With that Ethan had a conciliatory moment with his siblings. They had obviously made peace with the Raven princess as well. For the moment, Ethan had it all. He had:

  • Secured a sanctuary for the underground.
  • Protected his family.
  • Gained a small measure of vengeance against the man who had caused him so much grief.
  • And last but not least, got the girl.

Description

Ethan is an attractive young man of average height, with a trim, athletic build. He has long, straight, shoulder length blonde locks of hair and piercing blue eyes that command the attention of all that behold him. Ethan always dresses appropriately for the situation(s) that he finds himself in.

While participating in the traditional tournament battle on his 21st birthday he dressed in his ceremonial Heron prince garb. That consisted of a blue, yellow and white tunic, a long pair of white breeches and a pair of soft brown boots.

Initially, Ethan wielded a long one handed blade with an ornate hilt that has been shaped into a heron. With the destruction of the blade, Ethan uses his Sigil to create a blade of similar shape and design. The blade seethes and churns with a golden energy and leaves streaks of golden radiant light trailing behind in its wake.

When channeling the power of the Sigil, Ethan’s right arm is often wreathed in a pulsing torrent of energy that cascades in waves up and down his arm. The size of the halo is in direct proportion to the amount of energy Ethan is currently channeling.


Personality

Ethan is not a complicated young man. He is direct, honest and possesses a compassionate nature that draws people to him without fail. Ethan is utterly loyal to his friends and family, and will doggedly pursue vengeance and or justice on their behalf should any ill befall them.

He is courageous under fire and will often leap into the fray without thought of his own well being. Unlike the majority of the nobility within both the Heron and Raven dynasties, Ethan truly believes in the rights of the common man and that there can be freedom and justice for all. That includes those of the Lesser races.

Ethan’s almost instinctive grasp of right and wrong often conflicts with the weight of his duty as a Heron Prince. Despite his own desires, Ethan often feels the heavy burden of duty to his family and can be torn between what’s right for all versus what’s right for the kingdom of his birth.

Man of action

His newfound powers has made his decision making even more difficult. These have not only placed him directly in the centre of a war between the kingdom of his birth and their sworn enemies, but they have also made him the potential saviour for all of the Lesser races and the unwilling hero of all he can see.

While Ethan seems to grapple with uncertainty at moments of time, once his decision is made Ethan will pursue it with all of the vigour and energy he can muster. This is despite the personal cost or consequences he may incur.

When faced with the choice of submitting to a years’ worth of potential torture in a Raven prison or send his people to war, Ethan instantly submitted himself to his bloodthirsty foe without fear or doubt. When he realized that his captors planned on breaking their agreement and attacking anyway, he immediately escaped his confinement and fought all the way home to warn his family.

His personal resolve is without equal.


Quotes

Ethan: “It’s my fault things are the way they are. I have to make them right and prevent further bloodshed.”
King Dane: “Ethan, you don’t have to do this. No one will think less of you.”
Ethan: “I will.”

“I want you to know I’m not turning my back on the underground. I do want to help you. But I swore to my family that I’d avenge my brother. You understand that, don’t you ?”

“BRON ! I’ve come for you ! I’ve come for VENGEANCE !”

Bron: “Fitting, don’t you think, for me to start my reign by killing you ?”
Ethan: “That’s ironic. I thought I’d END your reign by killing you.”

“I said I’d accompany you this far, all the while promising myself that I’d return to my family. After what I’ve seen, what I’ve done, I can’t keep turning a blind eye to the greater good and telling myself I’m doing it because of family loyalty. You wanted me to be a part of this Ashleigh, you HAVE me. Whatever you need, whatever the underground needs, from now on my first loyalty is to you.”

(While standing in a row boat directly in the centre of two warring fleets, and slowly tapping into the full power of his sigil)
“I am a prince of the Heron dynasty, yet I came here to claim the tournament isle as a sanctuary for the lesser races. But your war followed me here. Left to your own devices, you ravens and herons would destroy each other and anyone caught in between. I tried to view the conflict as something separate, something I could turn my back upon … I was naive to think such a thing. But understanding that I can’t ignore the war doesn’t mean I have to accept it. I was responsible for starting this war … AND I WILL BE THE ONE TO END IT !”

Bron: “Your outburst in the harbour must have taken a great deal out of you. Pity.”
Ethan: “I’ve strength enough left for YOU, Bron. Strength enough to see you DEAD for my brother’s murder !”


DC Universe History

Ethan’s place in the DC Universe should be in one form and one form only. After finally completing the task he was branded for, Ethan was mystically thrown through time and space. His trip back to his own planet and time period was interrupted though, by forces that were beyond the control of the being that branded him.

In the aftermath of one of the DC Universes cataclysmic events, Ethan appears in the streets of Los Angeles, lost, confused and seeking answers. There he ends up doing battle with the Sheeda alongside several other superhumans that as a group eventually assume the name, “The Seven Soldiers of Victory”.

After the Sheeda are defeated, Ethan becomes known as the third Shining Knight, fighting crime by himself or alongside his new found allies, all the while searching for a means back home to the woman he loves and the cause he lives for.


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Ethan of Heron

Dex: 08 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Prince of Heron, Ruler of Sanctuary Isle
Inf: 07 Aur: 08 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 025 HP: 050

Powers:
Energy Blast (ML): 12, Jumping (ML): 01, Invulnerability (ML): 10, Regeneration (ML): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Energy Blast: Can use an object as a conductive medium (+1).
  • Jumping: Catfall Bonus (+1).

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing, Dodging, Evasion): 09, Animal handling (Horses): 07, Charisma (Persuasion): 08, Martial Arts: 05, Military Science (Danger Recognition, Field Command, Tracking): 07, Thief (Stealth): 08, Vehicles: 06, Weaponry (Swords): 09

Advantages:
Confidant (Skink), Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (among Lesser Races), Schtick (Fast Draw), Schtick (Flashing Blades[Swords]).

Connections:
Heron Dynasty (High), Ashleigh of Raven (High), Exeter (High).

Drawbacks:
Authority Figure, Enemy (Bron of Raven), Exile (Heron Kingdom, Voluntary), Loss Vulnerability (All powers lost if his arm is removed above the Sigil), Public Identity.

Genre:
Action.


Design notes

I decided to limit Ethan to the Energy Blast power instead of loading him up with Sorcery or Repulsion in order to mimic all of his past feats, since I figure they could be reproduced with Energy Blast alone.

His biggest feat (separating the Heron and Raven fleets) could potentially be replicated by: Ethan increasing his EV/RV by spending HPs on his blast and executing the planned knock-back and multi-attack maneuver against the ships of the fleet.


By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Scion comics #1-25 produced by Crossgen Comics, created by Ron Marz.

Helper(s): Ethan Roe.

Writeup Completed: June 27th, 2011.

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