City of Heroes Profiles: Vellum

“A shadow slipping from corner to corner.
A glimpse of darkness in the night.
A curious little stranger in this strange world.
Only Vellum knows his own might.”

      I've been leveling Vellum for quite a while now. He is a Dark Melee/Dark Armor Tank created in 2009, around the same time my friend Bob created the super group House of the Wayward Soul. A living shadow visiting from a distant void, Vellum fit right in with the House's theme of strange and off the wall characters. He's been raiding the fridge, “borrowing” salvage supplies, and teleporter hopping ever since.
Vellum atop a building in Steel Canyon

      Vellum was created during a time of turmoil and altitist. Restlessly, I moved from character to character, experimenting with different power sets and trying to stay alive in a city that wanted my heroes (and villains) dead. I remember the first build, a haphazard application of slots to powers I didn't need. In particular, I selected the stealth pool power, which was later overshadowed by a similar invisibility power in the Dark Armor set, making it redundant. This was in addition to a myriad of enhancements that, while they fit with the powers, didn't play well with each other. In other words, while Vellum could do damage, he couldn't hit, couldn't block, and suffered from a massive drain of endurance every time he activated his shields or threw a punch. Vellum couldn't survive, and thus, was a failure of a tank. Out of frustration, I shelved him and moved on to other characters.
      Then “Drenivian” came to the rescue. Dren, also known as “Ed Boy” or “Edward” is a real life friend of mine (as well as that of Matt, Bob, and “Namiru”), whom I first met at the University of Wisconsin Anime Club in 2003. Dren was able to walk me through a quick repec of the character and also took me and Matt through some missions to learn how to tank properly. I also started crafting Set Invention Origin enhancements to improve multiple aspects of a power at once.
      But now we get to Vellum's origin. He is a living shadow from another dimension where only two light sources exist amongst the darkness. Every now and then, these two light sources cross over each other and wipe out most of the darkness between them.

      Vellum's people have been visiting Earth and other similar planets for quite some time now. His interest is in studying human society, and where better than Paragon City? Here, he can observe humanity at its best, and its worst, as well as how humans deal with attacks by outside forces. The Rikti are invading, although what they want is yet unknown to our hero.
      Being a living shadow, Vellum can take on various shapes and forms, including a flying beast. 

He's even able to manipulate darker colors to create his near human angelic female form.

 At first he was only able to travel and explore his surroundings at night, due to the brightness of an Earth day. 

Even then, he had to be cautious about traveling through underpasses and under street lights, for fear of disappearing. There is a solution, though. Vellum has begun pouring himself into human clothing and wearing a rubber mask. He hasn't quite gotten certain aspects of the human body down, particularly eyes.

      During his travels at night, Vellum has had his share of run ins with the Clockwork, in many of their forms.

 He's also had to tough it out with Trolls, villainous societies bent on world domination, and centurions. Civilians have nothing to fear from him, although his appearance maybe strange. So if you see an odd looking man with eyes black as a void, don't be afraid. It's only Vellum, and he's just curious about you.

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