The Shade
The Shade
Played by: Pending
Name: Richard Swift
Codename: The Shade
Alias: N/A
Race: Metahuman
Team: None
Occupation: Hedonist
Additional Info: None

Richard Swift was born like many other young boys in London, England, though in 1808. His was a relatively well-to-do family and raised him well. Swift's life took a turn for the weird one pitch black night in 1838, in Tiger Bay. "A bad, dark part of London," as he would later call it. On this darkest of nights, Richard Swift stumbled into something that he never expected. A dark ritual was occurring. Swift was one of many victims of that night, though the rest were not so lucky as he. A grand total of 104 lives were snuffed out by whatever unknown dark ritual took place.

After the ritual Swift ended up in a daze, wandering London's most dangerous area. He was rich, he was vulnerable… and he made an easy target. Luckily for him, a handful of strangers came to his aid. A man by the name of Piers Ludlow took him in, treated him like a favored guest in his home. He was grateful for the Ludlows' assistance, and promised to return the favor as soon as he was able. However, though he was treated well and the whole family seemed nothing more than kindhearted people, something bothered him about the lot of them.

Swift recovered quickly in the Ludlows' care, but did not regain his memory. And they soon decided to use him for a nefarious purpose. Sinclair Ludlow, Piers's son, had killed his father's business partner in brutal, bloody fashion. Tthe Ludlows decided to kill Swift and place him at the scene to frame him for the crime. But when he was attacked Swift instinctually defended himself with his powers, and the resulting emergence of his powers killed all but two of the Ludlows (who were absent). He soon learned that this wasn't a one-time incident. And the Ludlows did not forget him, either.

In the year 1865, Swift came face to face with a piece of his past. Rupert Ludlow, still carrying the anger for the death of his family, hired hitmen to kill Swift. When they finally caught up with him, they caught him unawares and he was shot. He was still in the process of learning about his powers and was not as strong with them as he would become, and was thusly shot when he could not defend himself. Rupert Ludlow made the mistake of standing over Swift to gloat. It would be a fatal mistake. As before when his life was in danger, Swift's powers reacted, and killed Rupert.

Swift began to travel around the world; having realized he no longer aged, he decided that he would see the world, since he apparently had infinite time in which to do so. From eastern Europe to the Far East, Swift visited many places. And always tailing him were the Ludlows. In his years, he killed many a Ludlow, while further refining his powers. It was during this time that he came into possession of the cane that he carries to this day through unknown means.

The first time he visited America was in the 1870s. He soon took a liking to Opal City, where he met Brian Savage, known as the Scalphunter. It was an unlikely friendship…however the two grew to become the greatest of friends. Swift went on a variety of adventures after that, among them being hired to save a man's sister from a hypnotist named Lune (he did so by killing Lune and the man's entire circus troupe). However, the murder of his friend Brian Savage in 1899 put an end to the era of casual friendships for Swift.

During World War I, Swift chose to assist Canada. Under the alias of Louie Fox, he met and fell for a beautiful woman named Marguerite Croft. But she turned out to be yet another of the Ludlow clan, set out to trap and kill him. She attempted to poison him, which failed. Swift killed her. Already disillusioned with mankind, he only grew more jaded, deciding that amorality was far safer for his heart.

The 1940s saw something of a turning period for Swift. He had read of the exploits of the costumed superheroes, and wished to alleviate the boredom of living forever. It was then that he donned a costume for the first time. Sort of. A judicious application of shadow to hide his identity and "The Shade" was born. However, when he wasn't causing trouble for Jay, he was… saving lives?! Indeed, not only did he foil a plot by Ludlow pseudo-hero the Spider to murder Jay Garrick and his wife, but he also rescued the Starman of that era from an assassination attempt. To Swift, the heroes weren't an object of hatred. Quite the opposite; Swift enjoyed the "joust" of opposing a super-hero, physically or intellectually.

By the present however, had mostly left off with the whole "supervillain" business. He might commit a major crime that got the attention of a hero if he was remarkably bored, but generally he didn't bother. But now that there are new heroes to meet and test himself against, he just might consider getting back into the game.

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