MADAME SHADE

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Notes from Freedom City setting for Madam Shade
Notes for other magic characters made in M&M2e

MADAME SHADE[edit]

aka. Graciella Barlow


M&M2e Stats[edit]

MADAME SHADE

PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 10 (0) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 20 (+5) WIS: 28 (+9) CHA: 16 (+3)

SKILLS: Bluff (+3), Computers 1 (+6), Concentration (+9), Diplomacy (+3), Disguise 4 (+7), Escape Artist (+1), Gather Info 3 (+6), Handle Animal (+3), Intimidate 8 (+11), Investigate 3 (+8), Arcane Lore 8 (+13), Law 5 (+10), Medicine 4 (+13), Notice 2 (+11), Profession 5 (+14), Search 2 (+7), Sense Motive 4 (+13), Stealth 5 (+6), Survival (+9)

FEATS: Attack Specialization (2), Critical Strike, Favored Opponent (1), Improved Initiative (2), Minions (4), Attractive ()

POWERS: *Device [hard to take] Vodoo Cloak [4], Force Field [10], Immunity: Life Support and Aging [10], *Magic - Vodoo Powers [12], base: 'Pain' Mystical Bolt (Paralaysis) [12] - DC:22:will, alt. spell: 'Healing Hands' (Heal) [8], extra: Total, , alt. spell: 'Charm' (Mind Control) [12], alt. spell: 'Touch of Decay' (Corrosion) [12], alt. spell: 'Fearsome Vision' (Emothion Control) [12], extra: Area (60ft), , flaw: Fear Only, , alt. power: 'Mental Torment' (Mind Blast) [6], alt. power: 'Swam of Flies' (Summon Minion) [12], Minion -Flys [Alternate Form - Swarm], , a. Enviromental Control: Distracting (Will 10) [3], b. Flight [2], c. Insubstantial [2], d. Obsure [2], e. Strike [2], f. Super-Movement (Wall Crawling) [1], alt. power: 'Vanish from Sight' (Invisibility) [2], alt. power: 'Awareness' (Super-Senses) [12], Awareness (Magic/Mystic), [ranged, sense] (4), Blindsight (4), Ultra-Vision (2),

COMBAT: Attack 4 [Unarmed +0 (Bruise)] Defense 4 (4 flat-footed) Init 13

SAVES: Toughness 12 (12 flat-footed) Fortitude 4 Reflex 3 Will 11

DRAWBACKS: Normal Identity -Was assitant DA in New Orleans, arrested under both identities [Freq DC 5] [Sev DC 5]

COMPLICATIONS:

Abilities 40 + Skills 14 (56 ranks) + Feats 11 + Powers 48 + Combat 20 + Saves 6 – Drawbacks -3 = 136 / 150

Personality[edit]

Arrogant and proud of her heritage, Madame Shade believes in the "do what you will" philosophy more common to Paganism than Voodoo. She is not liked by other practioners because of her determination to be independent even from the Loa spirits.

Physical Appearance[edit]

Madame Shade has mocha colored skin and medium length dreadlocks. In her civilian identity she dresses reather conservatively, as she thinks is proper for a lawyer. As Madame Shade she wears bright colors, a turban, and a mask to hide her identity.

Villainous Motivations[edit]

Graciella Barlow started out as a idealistic young lawyer who wanted to work with the system to bring justice to those who flaunted the law. Unfortunately, New Orleans was full of corrupt policitians and lawyers. After a few years as assitant DA she decided to take advantage of the system and gain power where she could. She still wanted to help those who deserved it, but she no longer had any faith in the system.

Allegiance[edit]

(who do you believe in or are you loyal to)

Madame Shade's first loyalty is to her city and her family. She has added the Band of Steel to the few people she trusts.

History & HeroicVillainous Origin[edit]

Graciella Barlow spent her childhood years in New Orleans, was a teenager in New York with visits to her Grandmother in the summer, and then moved back to the Big Easy after completeing law school. She became and Assitant DA. When her Grandmother died she inherited the fmaily house and all of Grandmother's Voodoo materials. This was when she started her career as Madame Shade(Also See Excerpt Below)

Battle Tactics[edit]

Madame Shade has a number of spells which allow her to use different tactics as the need comes up. One spell she prefers is Mind Control which allows her to turn her enemies against each other.

3x3 NPCs[edit]

FRIENDS[edit]

  • Marie Barlow: Graciella's Grandmother and confidant. She spent her summers growing up living with Marie and learning what she had to teach. Marie died almost a decade ago, but it is possible that her shade might haunt the house she loved.
  • James Robert Lee: James and Graciella met in Law School and fell in love. They were both from New Orleans and both wanted to return to their home town and help clean things up. They became engaged after graduation, but when Graciella was arrested by White Knight, James broke up with her.
  • Nettie Frank: Graciella's best friend from elementary school. They lost touch when Graciella and her parents moved to New York, but picked things up again when Graciella moved back to New Orleans. She was going to be Graciella's maid of honor at her wedding. Nettie is a jazz singer who made a living singing in small jazz clubs around the city. She made one CD and it was looking like she might be on her way to the big time before the alien invasion. Graciella hasn't been in contact with her since the invasion.

CONTACTS[edit]

  • Logan Gardner: New Orleans Chief of Police. As Assitant DA Graciella Barlow worked with Chief Gardner and his officers in putting criminals behind bars. As the mysterious Madame Shade she used information gained from talking with his wife, who went to her for "advice," to blackmail him into overlooking some of her less-than-legal activities.
  • Professor Herbert Schaffer: Graciella's favorite Law Professor. He encouraged his students to debate and question everything.
  • Madame Marie Otando: Madame Shade buys supplies at Madame Marie's store. If Madame Marie needed help with those who misunderstand the practice of Voodoo, Madame Shade would be willing to assist her.

ENEMIES[edit]

  • White Knight: A vigilante working in New Orleans. The White Knight fought for the little guy, going after small time crooks and corrupt officials. The White Knight is the one who arrested Madame Shade after finding out that she was using her position as assitant DA and her voodoo powers to get the goods on city officials.
  • Baron Samedi: Madame Shade believes that humans are both good and evil, there are no extremes. She has heard of the struggle between Baron Samedi and Siren and in this particular case was rooting Siren. Her own personal beliefs have to do with choice. The zombie powder that the Baron uses takes away all choice and she hates the very idea. If someone pointed out that she had her own zombie under control she would shrug and say she never said she wasn't a hypocrite.
  • Adriana Schaffer: Spoiled white rich girl who Graciella knew in highschool and college. Adriana is Professor Schaffer's niece. They were both cheerleaders and then in the same sorority. They competed in everything from academics to boyfriends. Graciella was very tempted to cast spells on the woman once she became Madame Shade, but decided it wasn't worth it. Adriana tried to steal James away at their highschool's tenth reunion. Last thing Graciella heard about her was that she was working at a large art gallery in New York so she may have been killed during the invasion.

LOCATIONS[edit]

  • Old Barlow Mansion: An elegant old estate on the edge of New Orleans. When her Grandmother died, Graciella inherited the house and all its contents. Mrs. Marie Barlow was a powerful voodoo Bokor and she taught her granddaughter everything she knows. Marie always claimed that there were many spirits that haunted the estate and she may now be one of them.(Possibly former lair or future lair, but I haven't paid points for it yet.)
  • The Spotted Cat: A jazz club in Freedom City which was named in memory of a club in New Orleans. Graciella likes to spend time there in memory of her home town and her friend Netti. She's also a big jazz fan. The Spotted Cat features local, live acts every night. Listen for anything from traditional jazz and brass bands to retro be-bop, swing and blues. This smaller bar can be crowded – especially on the weekends – but the best view is from the street; the bands always play in the huge bay windows at the front of the club. This hoppin' hide-a-way isn't the swankiest joint on the strip, but definitely a memorable one. No cover but there is a one drink minimum.
  • The Southside Botanica: This small storefront in Lincoln is actually the most active Voodoo temple in the city. The store in front sells candles, herbs, trinkets, and charms along with simple household goods. A space in back and the main temple area in the basement serve the needs of members of the Voodoo community when they gather for worship.

ORGANIZATIONS[edit]

  • The Mayombe: While Madame Shade practices Voodoo, she has tried to walk a fine line between the Loa. The cult of Mayombe disgusts her and she did her best to thwart them when she still lived and worked in New Orleans. She sees Voodoo as a tool rather than a religion.
  • New Jersey State Bar Foundation Graciella Barlow was a member in good standing of the Louisana State Bar Association until her arrest. If the New Jersey State Bar is still active, she will have taken the exam and applied to join.
  • THE BAND OF STEEL, a loose cooperation of former super-villains now working with the Overshadow and his SHADOW cells to organize the resistance against the Star-Khan invaders and their Grue minions.

Excerpts from the Memoirs of Graciella Barlow[edit]

Confessions of a Modern Voodoo Queen[edit]

When I was a child in New Orleans my Grandma Barlow told me that she was descended from Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen. She never offered any proof of this, but considering the fact that Marie had 15 children it is quite possibly true.


I was the only one of Grandma Barlow’s many grandchildren who was willing to spend time with her. She repaid me well with stories and cooking lessons. I loved being with her and exploring her beautiful mansion on the edge of the city. No one ever explained to me how a family descended from slaves and free people of color could afford such a large and expensive house. Grandma would only say that it was given as a gift. A very expensive gift which still makes me wonder what price was paid in return. Or perhaps one of our ancestors used his or her skill with Voodoo Magic to force the gift to be given. The house is known as the Magnolia Mansion. Whenever I picture it in my mind it is surrounded by magnolia trees of every color.

I didn’t learn until years later that along with the cooking and stories my grandmother had been giving me lessons in magic. You would think that it would have been obvious, but I think my mother had told her not to talk to me about that part of our heritage. Instead of making gris-gris bags, she called bags of herbs, to be used instead of perfumes.

She also never explained to me why her handyman, Joe was such a strange man. I suppose I just thought that he was the strong and silent type. I also thought that he was in love with my Grandmother. Even though she was in her 60s when I was a child, she looked like a much younger woman. It wasn’t as unlikely as it might seem. It wasn’t until after she died that I learned that Joe was actually a “zombie.” Not the undead as some people might think, but a useful fellow that Grandma had used magical drugs and ceremonies to make into the perfect servant. I don’t know where he came from, but I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have any family.

Felicia Felix-Mentor, of Haiti, who died and was buried in 1907, later found wandering the countryside in 1937.
Mary Evans Picture Library.

When I was 13 my parents decided to move from New Orleans to New York. I think part of the reason was my Mother’s desire to separate me from my Grandmother. It didn’t quite work out, since I was able to convince Dad to let me spend part of my summer vacations back in New Orleans. Those were wonderful times. Living with her away from my parents was a teenager’s dream. Part of her belief was “do as you will” and she didn’t lay out a lot of rules for a young person on the way to womanhood. I had no curfew when I was in New Orleans and loved it when I invited friends over for a party. She would dance and drink along with the rest of us.

When I reached college age I decided to make my parents happy and went to Yale on a scholarship. I did well enough and decided to continue my education in Law School. I was pretty happy with my life, but then my Grandma died. To my cousins’ surprise and shock she left the mansion and all her worldly goods to me. It turns out that all of her money went into maintaining the house so there wasn’t much left over to divide among them. Since they never paid any attention to her while she lived, I don’t see why there were so surprised. They even tried to dispute the will, but that’s where Law School paid off. I wasn’t my own lawyer, but I had some very good friends that were already practicing and one of them made short work of the hack my cousins hired.

I finished my schooling and started my own practice back in New Orleans. It made a great front for what I was really doing, studying magic. Part of Grandma’s worldly goods included a number of grimores and notes on what she’d been up to during her life. It seems Grandma had followed in the footsteps of Marie Laveau and used her magic to learn prominent people’s secrets. All of their secrets were locked away in a safe deposit box at her bank. I inherited these along with everyone else. Let’s just say that my law practice grew quite a bit faster than some of my friends.

With all these tools what could I do but decide to become the power behind the throne in New Orleans. I’ve never been greedy, so I simply wanted power in New Orleans. I never planed to take over the country let alone the world. I took a position as assitant DA and used it for all it was worth.

I would have been perfectly happy blackmailing and magicing my way to power in my home town, but then these aliens invaded. We need to get rid of them so we can all go back to our own lives.



THE BAND OF STEEL
NECESSARY EVIL in FREEDOM CITY