June 7, 2016
158. XYLIA LAODICEA
Bronx, NY, USA, Earth (Core Reality); Early 22nd century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Xylia is a Veil hunter, which means she is specially equipped to hunt ghost orphans. She is a master swordswoman, and is trained in a number of fighting techniques. Her primary weapon is a special type of sword called a living-blade.
Xylia Ladocia is a member of The Veil, a group of assassins who stem from seven ancient bloodlines and have the ability, and more importantly, the commission, to hunt down earthbound lost souls known as ghost orphans, and release them into a heavenly afterlife.
Each of the seven bloodlines have garnered reputations throughout the years. The Houses of Ephesus and Pergamum, each of which have been wiped out over the course of the war, were known for expanding the reach of the Veil beyond hunting orphans and dramatic hubris, respectively; while the House of Thyatira – which is currently on the verge of extinction – was known for being trusting and generous to a fault. The House of Philadelphia is known for having the most noble and skilled hunters; The House of Sardis is known for being careful and cautious; and the House of Smyrna held the reputation as the bloodline that suffered through a number of traumatic, nearly catastrophic events, but had endured nonetheless.
WEIGHT: 117 lbs.
The hunters of the House of Laodicea, however, were known as the ones who doubted the supernatural call that was believed to have been placed on the members of the Veil by the Almighty Himself. And Xylia Laodicea embodied this reputation more than any of her bloodmates. While others, like her uncle Caesar Laodicea, continued to search for ways to convince themselves that the call was indeed real and authentic, Xylia spent much of her time trying to find reasons to walk away from her God-ordained mission altogether.
Ironically, this made her one of the most well-studied hunters in the entirety of the Veil. She scoured the history of the war and the mythology of the seven bloodlines, documenting contradictions and inconsistencies, and taking note of the numerous times in which hunters behaved in ways unbecoming of people who claimed to be doing holy work. By the time she enrolled in Platinum City University – as did the vast majority of Veil kids – her knowledge of the war rivaled that of even the most noted Veil historian, Reagan Smyrna.
In fact, Xylia requested that Reagan be her advisor at Platinum City University, and she met with her regularly, bombarding the professor with probing questions, and offering a ton of philosophical quandaries to debate over. It got to the point that even the other Laodicea hunters began to find Xylia annoying, as her brash and unfiltered way of communicating was very off-putting. She rarely cared how her words and attitude affected others around her, and often found herself with plenty of alone-time.
Despite all of this, she still hadn’t truly come to terms with the idea of walking away from the Veil. But honestly, that may have also had something to do with the fact that her lust for knowledge was only rivaled by her lust for blood. She absolutely loved the thrill of fighting. And the idea that her ancestry and her alleged mission granted her the god-given right to cut people down was just too much to give up. Hunters usually carried a single living-blade, which was the tool that enabled them to send ghost orphans to heaven. Xylia, however, carried two, as she had taken possession of her older sister’s weapon after she had fallen ill with a debilitating sickness.
One evening during her second year at Platinum City University, Xylia was on her way to meet with Reagan, but when she arrived at the the door of her mentor’s office she heard an intense discussion happening between Reagan and her husband, Peter Philadelphia, who just happened to be regarded as the greatest Veil hunter of all time. The young student stood by the door quietly, listening, as the couple argued about what sounded like a secret emotional (and potentially romantic) relationship Peter may have had with the leader of the dangerous ghost orphan marauder squad, Virginia Ice.
Apparently, Virginia herself had revealed this to Reagan, and despite no recent contact between her husband and her mortal enemy, the Veil historian was understandably struggling with the idea that the two could have ever had any relationship other than an adversarial desire to destroy one another. Xylia couldn’t believe what she was hearing. As the discussion ended, the young hunter hid, so as not to be seen when the couple left the office. For the next few weeks, Xylia spent all of her free time spying on Peter. During this period, a number of major events were happening involving the Veil, one of which was the Age of Serpents.
The divine spiritual warrior Seraph Solomon had come to Platinum City to stop the Age of Serpents from coming to past, and he asked Peter, along with his sister, Valerie Philadelphia, to travel with him throughout the city, as they hunted down and exorcised the evil spirits that would attempt to usher the world to the doorstep of destruction. Xylia was present when the trio of warriors encountered and slayed Walter Tubbs, Jocelyn Heredia, and Andre Leonard, all of whom were possessed by both demon spirits and ghost orphan spirits. And that means Xylia was also present when Peter and Virginia Ice shared subtle, but intense, moments during the exorcisms.
The Age of Serpents all culminated in a huge battle between a horde of ghost-orphan-possessed priests led by Bishop Cornelius A. Grippa, and a squad of Veil hunters led by Seraph Solomon and legendary warrior Disa Philadelphia. Xylia was anything but a spectator at this point. She fought alongside her fellow hunters with skill and ferocity, and in the end the heroes triumphed.
There was little time to truly celebrate, as it was apparent that more spiritually malicious beings were preparing to stage yet another attack on Platinum City, the Veil hunters, and the world at a large. As the hunters prepared for the next battle, which was prophesied to be just days away, Xylia had every intention to continue spying on Peter. However, the next day she received a call from her uncle, Caesar, who requested her presence for a special mission.
Caesar had secretly made a deal with a key ghost orphan named Eddie Valdera, in which the hunter and some of his family members would assist the orphans in carrying out the annihilation of Alva Devine and the reapers – a group of hellspawns who had come to Earth to hunt down and send the lost spirits to eternal damnation – and in return, Eddie would help Caesar gain earthly immortality. However, in order to carry out the mystical procedure, they needed the blood of a reaper, and Xylia was just the one to get it for them.
Xylia immediately agreed to take on the mission, and a couple of hours after meeting with Caesar and Eddie, she had tracked down the reaper known on Earth as Ravana to a lair in central Platinum City, not far from PCU. Xylia drew her swords, and charged into battle.
But there was one problem – Ravana wasn’t alone! Her fellow reapers, Teivel and Jezabella appeared out of the shadows. Xylia was surrounded; she had nowhere to escape. It seemed that this would be the young huntress’ final fight…