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Lady (Shadow Hearts)

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Kill...er
~ Lady's only spoken word in Shadow Hearts: From the New World.
Lady is the main antagonist of Shadow Heats: From the New World. She is a living amalgamation of Malice born of an attempted resurrection using the Émigré Manuscript by Graham Garland and Marlow Brown two skilled but inexperienced black magicians.

History

Lady's origins begin with the death of two siblings. Johnny and Grace Garland, who were killed in a car accident at a young age, their deaths left Graham, their father, devastated. Graham was a wealthy well-connected man and his plight attracted a man called Marlow Brown to seek him out. Marlow was an opportunist seeking to make a name for himself as a black magician and with his knowledge of the occult he offered to help Graham bring his children back to life. With Graham's fortune and Marlow's occult studies the two began research into dark magics and learned of a book called the Émigré Manuscript. The book had been used numerous times over the course of history, always with disastrous results, so it had been hidden away by it's creator the famed philosopher and alchemist, Roger Bacon. After five years of research Graham and Marlow found where Roger and hid it and stole it.

By the time Roger found out the book had been stolen and tracked down the two men, the ceremony was already being preformed. Graham had been working on materializing the malice from the undead and recently dead and tapping into the energy manifestations needed to fuel the ritual. For the rite Graham used Will as a source for it. Will is a primordial psychological manifestation one opposing the more commonly used Malice. Graham's ritual was the only time someone would successfully bring a person back to life with the Émigré Manuscript. In Graham's attempt Malice was used solely to remanifest the bodies of his children rather than using the actual remains or just conjuring them from the desires of the soul. Grahamn's first step subverted many possible complications, as all previous attempts relied on the bodies of the dead, with Malice used to try to reanimate it or lock in the soul, however as Graham only used the primordial Malice to create physical receptacle the Malice did not initially poison the ceremony and acted purely as a fuel source. Then there was the simple matter of calling back the soul to fill the forged vessels. It was however in the second part that Graham failed, not due to lack of skill or power but rather just a result of being emotionally ill-equipped.

The two main elements Will and Malice needed to be in balance. Malice for the physically body and Will to attract and seal the soul within it; With each of these forces being a crystallization of positive and negative traits of the soul. As Graham amassed the forces Grace began to awaken from death's embrace, Graham was so moved by his daughter’s return he stopped reciting the ritual midway through, much to the protests of Roger who was being restrained by Marlow. Grace looked across Graham's lab at her brother Johnny whose Will was quickly fading due to Graham's delay. In the delicate climax of the ceremony Grace transferred the Will connecting her soul to her body over to Johnny instead rather than see him die again or worse.

Johnny's life was saved and his soul was anchored to his newly formed body but Grace's soul was completely dislodged, the Malice used overflowed and was compounded into Grace's body, creating a living embodiment of the primal force of Malice that used Grace's body as an avatar. Graham had no idea what had happened, he saw his “Grace” get up from her apparatus and begin walking passed him. When he attempted to engage her she killed him without so much as a glance in cold blood for the slight inconvenience. Marlow and Roger learned from example and gave her a wide berth, Roger just by staying out of her way and Marlow by fleeing in terror. Roger was only beginning to fully understand what the Lady was but he knew full well it was not Grace Garland...

Shadow Hearts: From the New World

While Roger was busy trying to get the unconscious Johnny to safety and clean up the the more hazardous remains of Graham's lab, Lady roamed freely across North America unchecked. Over the course of her travels she encountered the Garvoy tribe of Native Americans. Most of the tribesman could tell what sort of monster the Lady was and put up a resistance against her, unfortunately for them as far as Lady was concerned this meant they were in her way and met the same fate as Graham. The tribe had two survivors that were told to keep out of the encounter a shamaness named Shania and her guardian Natan. Lady not only killed every last member of the tribe that stood in her way but burned their home to the ground, though Natan saw to it that she escaped, Shania swore revenge against Lady.

After much time and untold exploits, Lady encountered an escaped convict the cops referred to simply as “Killer” as he was wounded and hiding from the authorities. Lady dispatched with Killer's pursuers quickly and violently and then approached the dying murderer and kissed him. But Lady's kiss was not a sign of affection but rather a transfer method to spread the bound up Malice in her body into others highly receptive to it. Killer recovered from his wounds immediately and became supernaturally powerful; he did not know what she did to him and could not get an answer as Lady was mute and vague in mannerisms. However Killer was grateful and amoured with his beautiful and mysterious savior and followed her in her travels doing his best to help her adapt to the world she was still unfamiliar with.

Meanwhile an investor in Marlow's research named Professor Gilbert had become anxious to see the results and hired an amateur detective, Johnny Garland, to track down Marlow. Because of Marlow's connection to Lady both Johnny and Shania met while on his trail and decided to find answers together, although nether had any idea of Lady's former identity as Grace since Johnny's memory was still extremely hazy.

As Lady's whims brought her to Chicago she came upon the recently killed Edna Capone, sister of the infamous Al Capone. She had been killed by a rival of Al Capone's, Roy McManus. Lady kissed Edna's body and Edna recovered and changed the same as Killer, but unlike Killer, Edna was not as accepting of her own awakened Malice and became corrupted despite or perhaps because of her efforts to remain in touch with her humanity. After a tragic play out of Edna's consuming need for vengeance, Shania and Johnny were put hot on Lady's trail, as was Professor Gilbert. Shania was ill-prepared for Lady even with powerful spirit contracts on her side and was mortally wounded. Lady seeing Shania's anger revived her with her kiss of Malice implanting a corrupting presence that would consume Shania's soul if left unchecked as it eventually had done to Edna.

Lady, Killer and Gilbert

Lady, Killer and Gilbert team up.

Gilbert begged to tag along with Lady and Killer and would surely have met with a violent end at Killer's hand many times if he was not capable of interpreting Lady's primal needs to return to her true state of Malice. Gilbert showed her and Killer a seal known as The Gate. The Gate was a barrier to a primordial world of pure Malice that was sealed off by a spiritual filter long ago to keep from overflowing into the world. The Gate was, up until a few decades prior, unbreakable by any means, but thanks to Nicolai Conrad's release of the world's bound up Malice there was enough free range hatred for Lady to begin breaking into the Gate. Johnny and Shania were set to prevent the Gate from opening by releasing a seal similar to the one Nicolai had broken, but this one contained bound up Will. With Lady unable to leave the Gate's site, Killer went to deal with Shania and Johnny. Killer's confrantations with them caused Johnny toinadvertently tap into the forces of Malice that went into his resurrection and transformed into a creature similar to Lady temporally. The weakened Killer returned to Lady and Gilbert at the Gate but Lady adapted to the new element of Will by acting as a conduit for the excess Malice in the world and concentrating it on the Gate to destroy its seal.

While Lady continued her work, a highly agitated Killer demanded answers about her true nature and connection with Johnny from Gilbert. After Johnny and Shania had tracked down Roger Bacon and gotten answers on their end they set off to stop Lady once and for all at the site of the Gate. Killer was of course ready to defend her but even after a further transformation through Malice was killed protecting Lady as she opened the Gate. Lady was for the first time moved, after seeing Killer die she brought his body with her into the Gate but with Killer already filled to the brim with Malice at the time of his death Lady was unable to raise him this time. When Johnny and Shania met Lady deep within the Gate she was for the first time, crying. She brought down her full pain and hatred now acting out of lose instead of instinct. Lady does not turn back into Grace upon defeat after the encounter. If Grace's soul was at all bound by Lady's existance it was never able to manifest even in death. Upon Ladys death she disolves into the ether along with Killer but as they fade the two cling to eachother. Whatever creature Lady is, is granted resolve in death and reunited with her faithful bodyguard/pet.

Personality

Shadow Hearts FTNW Lady

Lady

For most of the game Lady is unassuming but for her power. She vacantly stares into the distance and does not talk or react to what others say. She is an animal that reacts purely on instincts. Though Killer appears to be in a one-sided relationship with her, she appears to be greatly saddened by his death as the one person that connected with her true malevolent nature and didn't back away.

Powers and Abilities

Malice of Lady

Lady's Malice

Lady has the power to move quickly over great distances, teleport herself and allies and can home-in on people and areas containing great Malice. She can absorb and dispel Malice in concentrated bursts of red energy. She can also choose to infect others with the same red energy to regenerate and empower them in the same way Malice was used to regenerate Grace; With no Will to offset the sudden bursts of Malice, those she infects become uncontrollably in touch with their evil sides and their bodies mutate into monstrous forms. Lady is also highly resistant to damage. Lastly Lady can summon or create hostile creatures that embody the Malice of local sources.


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