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Polychrome of the Nocturnals (Brereton comics)


Pollyanna Shale

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


These notes are almost 15 years old. But the Nocturnals character writeups updates have begun, so they’ll be completely overhauled soon. The first article of the overhaul is our Nocturnals “base camp” article.


  • Real Name: Pollyanna Shale
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Nocturnals
  • Base Of Operations: Doc Horror’s house near Pacific City (Northern California)
  • Height: Possibly inapplicable Weight: Possibly inapplicable
  • Eyes: Solid spectral green Hair: Light spectral blonde with numerous shades of pastel colours


Powers and Abilities

Polly is a ghost who came back through sheer willpower and wields significant paranormal power. Her abilities are quite diverse, but she prefers subtlety and restraint when dealing with the material world.

Polly prefers to use simple illusions, such as making people invisible or creating shadow or light – this is usually sufficient to handle situations. She has also used her Sorcery to heal people, put people to sleep, serve as a spiritual beacon, exert telekinetic force, teleport, manipulate electricity and light, possess machines, etc.

Polly is powerful enough to assume a solid form – in that form she can be touched, heard and smelled. In this form, unlike most haunts, she wears actual, physical clothes. She tends to levitate slightly off the ground (Air Walking) even when solid, though.

Ghosts in the Nocturnals world

Ghosts suffer from some limitations in the Nocturnal’s world – though Polly is quite powerful and ignores most of these. Ghosts cannot see or interact with other ghosts ; if spectres are present Eve (who definitely can see and interact with all walks of unlife) has to tell Polly what is happening. Polychrome can sense that something is here, but that’s about it.

Also, spirits cannot exist in the presence of Crim aura – and the Crim are a recurrent enemy for the Nocturnals. Polychrome thus cannot enter a place charged with Crim magical energy. Like many ghosts, she also begins to dissipate when exposed to daylight.



Pollyanna Shale was a minor thief and con artist in Nebula City, in northern California. An attractive woman, she became involved in a tense and complex love triangle involving a police detective and a crime boss ; this noir-ish story ended with Polly in control of the Nebula City underworld. She was then betrayed and murdered in unknown circumstances.

The emotions involved were strong enough to create a ghost, and it appears that she was murdered as she decided to forego her life of crime.

Ms. Shale came back as a classic revengeful ghost, seeking to avenge her murder. She also attempted to atone for her life of crime, so she could carry on beyond the grave with her last, fateful decision as a living being. Her quest for vengeance eventually took her close to Pacific City, where she met the young Evening Horror, a little girl with the ability to converse with ghosts.

They quickly became friends, and Eve’s innocence and charisma eventually led Polly to concentrate on the atonement part rather than on the revenge part.

Polly thus lost her nature as an avenging ghost, and instead changed into an unusual, quasi-angelic spectre. The partially transcended spirit joined the crew led by Eve’s father, the Nocturnals ; Eve nicknamed Pollyanna “Polychrome”, after a Frank Baum character in The Wizard of Oz.


Polychrome does her best to quell her bright aspect, as she is shy. Since she prefers not to call attention to herself, she does not normally assume her full, radiant form and adopts that of a spectral human, similar to her ante-mortem form.


Polychrome is the big, cool sister of the Nocturnals. She is calm and caring, and has obvious affection for little Eve. She’s often described as a cross between a reserved ghost and a low-key angel.

Polly is a pacifist, and generally tries to find more imaginative means than raw violence to solve problems ; she strongly dislikes hurting the living. On occasion, she can be a bit scary – letting some aspects you would expect from an ancient, very powerful ghost with great willpower slip by.

A web page accurately described her as “diaphanous and serene in appearance, ethereal in presence”.


“Be still everyone, I’ll handle this. Eve, don’t move, honey.”

(After bringing many ghosts to their deserved rest, with a smile) “Most are gone. There are always a few reluctant ghosts who can’t help but hang around, you know ?”

DC Universe History

The Nocturnals are no strangers to dimension travel, and there’s no reason why say, Eve and the Gunwitch couldn’t stumble on the DCU.

The DCU has also demonstrated that it can harbour large amounts of weirdness without anyone noticing ; thus Pacific City could easily exist somewhere in North California, far from most superheroes.

It might even not be completely of this Earth, flickering in and out but always staying close. Only people “in the know” and/or with high Occultist (Occult knowledge) skills would know about Pacific City.

Or it could actually be a part of Cynosure. He he.


Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 05 Motivation: Upholding Good
Int: 07 Wil: 09 Min: 09 Occupation: Free spirit
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 10 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 018 HP: 030

Powers: Air Walking: 00, Invulnerability: 10, Sorcery*: 07, Spirit travel: 07, Ultra-vision: 03

Bonuses and Limitations: Spirit Travel is Always On – though Polychrome is fully visible on the Earth plane

Skills: Occultist (Occult knowledge): 05

Advantages: Life support (full)

Connections: Nocturnals (High)

Drawbacks: Fatal Vulnerability to daylight, MPR (ghostly nature, see below)

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Nocturnals books

Helper(s): Nocturnals : A midnight companion ; Mark Ayen, Roy Cowan, John Colagioia.

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