Until she was 28, the entity now calling herself Evenina led a gritty existence on the streets of the Rogue Isles. She had been born in Paragon City, but had abandoned her heroic training as a Defender in her late teens when she heard about the highly successful rings of prostitution in the Rogue Isles. The money, it seemed, was much better over there, and being short of funds, Evenina took the chance.
Much of her daily life, then, was spent in the service of fat, lazy villains, some of whom were nearly impotent and some of whom enjoyed torturing her a little more than she liked. But Evenina got a strange backwards thrill out of doing this; her services cost them thousands of dollars an hour, which meant less money for them to throw around committing other acts of villainy. She liked to think of what she did as "crime-fighting" in a different way, because she kept them quite busy, drained their finances, and sometimes left them unable to think straight.
She continued in this line of work for several years, proving herself to be quite good at the dangerous game she played. This expertise gained her respect within the brothel she worked in--and some jealous enemies outside it. Several rival madams privately expressed their wish that Evenina be 'removed' from their game to make it more profitable for their own enterprises, and finally one evening, one of them accomplished it.
It was nearing 3:15 AM. Evenina had finished with her last "customer" about half an hour before, and decided to pop down to the 24-hour market a few blocks from the brothel. As she waited to cross the street, a band of hooded thugs jumped her and dragged her into a nearby alleyway. She at first thought their intent was rape, but it quickly became clear they wanted her dead, as they beat and punched and kicked her down. She scratched and fought, screamed aloud, and finally began to beg for her life as she had hoped she would never have to do. The thugs were deaf to her as well as merciless, and only when she lay on the concrete unmoving did they slink off and disappear.
Evenina knew she was dying, with the piece of awareness that had been left her. Blood oozed and dripped onto the concrete underneath her; the pain in her stomach and sides from where they had kicked her throbbed. No one knew she had left the brothel house, so it was not likely that anyone would find her soon enough.
A shadow darkened the alley, and Evenina cringed, thinking it was one of the thugs come back to finish the job. But instead, a hand the color of midnight skies touched her shoulder and turned her over, and she looked up into violet eyes so dark they were nearly black. "Come with me, dear child," said a voice, its tone thrumming with power and depth and wisdom. She found herself gathered up into arms that looked insubstantial, mere wisps of shadows, but they held her tightly, and her world faded.
When she next became conscious in the alleyway, Evenina realized that she felt no pain, and indeed felt stronger than ever. A few feet away sat what looked like a cloud of purple-dark smoke, arranged into the form of a humanoid being. "Uh--um, who are you?" she asked, hoping the thing was friendly.
"I am a Kheldian," came the gentle response. Evenina had the distinct feeling that the being was female from the tone of the response. "And you are very lucky I came along."
"Well, if not for my intervention, you would have bled out several hours ago." The shadowy form rippled with movement, and came closer. "You would have died. But I chose you for a special purpose, if you are willing to return to life."
"Oh, yes, anything," Evenina said, far too quickly--of course she wanted to return to life! She was just beginning to enjoy herself.
It seemed that the shadow's face smiled, faintly. "I'm not sure you understand what I mean. I am a Kheldian, as I said, and I'm the kind called a Warshade. We work within Paragon City as superheroes. If you chose to return with me, your consciousness would be melded with mine, and you would be given enhanced powers. You would no longer be part of the Rogue Isles; but, then again, you have never belonged here anyway."
Evenina's heart dropped. Go back to Paragon City? "You've got to be kidding. I haven't set foot in Paragon City since...since...ages ago. And all the stuff I've done since doesn't make me much of a heroic person. I'm--I'm a whore, not a hero."
"Do you find the life so fulfilling that you would pass up the opportunity to change it?" The shadow moved back a few paces, and seemed to be fading. "It could be you are right to refuse. But I truly thought--well, mayhap that does not matter anymore." The purple-black form shifted and began to move away, and Evenina, who had been thinking hard for the past few seconds, reached out with a sudden cry.
The form turned. "Yes, my child?"
Evenina hesitated. "Why...uh, why did you pick me, out of everyone on these isles?"
"Because I, too, have walked dark paths," it replied. "Even more painful and lonely than that which you have chosen for yourself. But I chose to come back to Paragon City, to become a hero again; even though I had done terrible things in my past, I was able to do so. I see the same potential in you. You could be a great heroine of your time, instead of a small-time prostitute serving those who do not deserve to be breathed upon."
"But I'm--you don't understand, I'm dirty, and used, and--and--" Evenina struggled with the words. "Heroes are pure and clean and good, and I'm nothing like that--at least, not anymore..."
"Not every hero has such a spotless past," the being said. "It is, perhaps, that which makes us the strongest of all; we have lived a life without goodness before, and never wish to return to it again." The shadow's arms stretched out toward Evenina. "I do not care what you have done in the past. I care about what you and I will accomplish together in the future."
Evenina sobbed, and stumbled forward into the violet arms, feeling as though she was being wrapped in a warm darkness; the next second, the world faded into smoke and she slept. When she awoke, it was to find herself in the hospital in Atlas Park. The attending nurse gasped and nearly dropped her clipboard at the sight of Evenina's open eyes, shrouded in shadow and a new, eternal wisdom.
As I created Ahra, I knew I wanted to create a polar opposite of her as well. I wanted to create an unlikely heroine, always in shadow as opposed to Ahra's radiance, as a Warshade, since the Warshade's powers come from shadows. Thus, Evenina came about as a small-time prostitute working in the Rogue Isles until her conversion via the Kheldian.
For inspiration on Evenina's conversion back to a hero, I drew on the New Testament, specifically the story of the Pharisee Saul being converted to Chrisianity on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:3-6. Evenina experiences a similar vision as Saul did, except that Saul sees Jesus, while Evenina sees a Kheldian--but the effect on both is the same.
The name "Evenina" is actually drawn from the word "evening," changing only one letter to make it a plausible female name. Evenina's powers come from the shadows, so it makes sense that her heroic name is one meaning dusk and approaching night, as Ahra's references dawn and approaching day.
Evenina can use both the Nova ("squid") and Dwarf ("lobster") forms as well as her own human form in combat, which makes her incredibly versatile. She can also play just a little team support with the Medicine power pool, but she's much better playing offense.