Stormcrow normally appears as a slim, fit Caucasian man in his mid-40’s, with shaggy dark hair and a faraway look. When he manifests his abilities, he appears as a photographic negative of himself (and apparently naked), all black except for white hair and white eyes and mouth.
Amid the uncertain times in Motor City/Science City, John Duquesne had maintained a pretty normal life: a good job as an IT developer, a nice house, a loving wife and two great kids. Even with destruction that rained from the sky, and later that which came out of nowhere, the Duquesnes escaped calamity (thanks largely to a lakeside cabin owned my John’s parents, far from metro area). All things considered, life was unremarkably good.
And then a massive chunk of space junk fell on his neighborhood. Just like that. Some supervillain, he’d heard later, whose orbital something-or-other had malfunctioned or self-destructed. It crushed several blocks of houses, killing virtually everyone inside them, including John’s family. John was spared only because he had gone out to get some Happy Panda for dinner.
John was wrecked emotionally. They’d survived asteroids and pan-dimensional evaporation, only to die from some random piece of space crap? He fled to his parents’ cabin. Over the next several days, he may have talked to some people on the phone. He may have arranged a leave of absence from work, dealt with insurance and funereal arrangements. John didn’t remember, because it didn’t seem to matter. Eating was a conditioned reflex, sick sorrow a constant companion, sleeping an impossibility. After a few days, John reached a breaking point. Feeling as if he were coming apart, he ran outside and stood on the docks. Blackness overtook his sight, and he had the feeling he was flying or floating, fragmenting in the dark. In a final flash of rational thought, John decided he was either stroking out or going insane, or maybe he’d fallen off the dock and was drowning. Whatever; it would spell the end of his pain. He surrendered to whatever was happening.
The following morning, John awoke in a fallow field, naked and cold. Feeling blank, he heard the distant sound of a passing car, found the road it had taken, and flagged down some help. The farmer who picked him up figured John had gone on a crazy bender, and good-naturedly offered him a jacket and a ride back to the cabin.
He spent the day examining his mental state. He still felt full of pain, but he now had the desire to push forward, persevere. That night he stood on the docks again as that feeling of flying apart returned. Apprehensive but curious, he waited – and then he really did fly apart, for a while…
Powers & Skills:
Stormcrow knows little about his abilities other than that they seem to be magical in nature. Having never studied magic (and preferring not to), he uses his abilities instinctually, with not always predictable results.
Stormcrow can transform his body into a flock of crows (or is it the other way around?). As his consciousness is spread among the flock, he can coordinate their movements, and he has learned to perceive through the senses of multiple birds simultaneously. He can also focus his awareness into one particular bird and achieve a greater level of control and sensing. At will, he can recoalesce into human form. He can shift between forms quite rapidly, and his quirky style of close combat uses this to good advantage.
His self-taught magical abilities center on weather effects. He can summon clouds, fog, wind, rain, lightning, sleet, hail, or snow, or reduce the effects of them: the larger and/or more intense an effect, the longer it takes to summon or banish, and the greater the concentration it requires.
His other magical abilities are situational in nature, and usually are in reaction to other magical occurrences or situations. For example, he doesn’t “know” how to banish a demon, but by using his intuition and empathy, he may be able to work his way through it. Or not. It’s far from perfect, and Stormcrow is usually reluctant to do any “wild magic” except in dire circumstances. He is mystically attuned, and while he may not know the name of the tentacled horror lurking in the warehouse, he can tell it’s there from a long way away, and knows it’s something bad. While not quite a “spider-sense,” this attunement does seem to provide additional sensory information that helps him to avoid imminent peril.
Physically, John has very high-level athletic attributes, but more like a long-distance runner than a football player or soldier. He is somewhat stronger than the average human, and has physical endurance far beyond human level. His senses are very acute, particularly his vision. He has some training in martial arts, but prefers not to go toe-to-toe with anyone, and relies on his abilities when forced to do so. He does not need to sleep, although he does tend to spend time every day in a meditative state. He can go extended periods of time without food or water, far in excess of human limitations.
John is a high-level computer programmer. He’s not a hacker or a computer savant, but he is professionally trained and has years of experience with ultra-modern systems under his belt. He’s very good with children and devoted much of his free time to children’s charities. He also has an affinity for birds, and corvidae (crows, rooks, ravens, etc.) in particular.
A note about the crows: Crows are notoriously raucous and mischievous, and the birds that make up his body are no exception. On occasion, they will play tricks on him, such as leaving him naked when he recoalesces, altering his magic in some slight way, or swiping a trinket of some sort that winds up in his pocket when he returns to human form. They are more likely to do so if he has focused his awareness into one particular bird, leaving the others more or less to their own devices. While they have never intentionally brought him to harm, they seem to enjoy their pranks. Typically a few birds are left over after he returns to human form, and John has no idea whether this is because more birds have joined the flock, or just because magic.