Approved The Wolf in the Night

Name: Nathaniel Vash Amagiri

Alias: Iron Wolf? Night Wolf? Metal Wolf! No…

Age: 16

Appearance: Half caucasian, half Japanese, Nathaniel resembles his mother mostly, though he is told his eyes are reminiscent of his father. Though he is not overtly athletic his body is fit and toned from practicing martial arts with his grandfather.


Powers/Abilities: After years of training with his grandfather Nathaniel possesses considerable skill in both hand to hand combat and swordplay. After finding an old metal kabuki mask in his grandfather’s things strange coincidences involving the mask and other metal objects he touches have started happening. As yet unsure of what he is capable of, the idea to use what he suspects are newfound superpowers as a masked crime fighter is still only in its infancy.

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The Meaning

“Ojisan, why do I have to do this?”

The boy was dirty, battered and bruised with a small bamboo rattan in his hand. Despite his condition a fire flared in his brown eyes, some drive within him flaring into passion. His grandfather, wrinkled and withered but holding a rattan of his own, settled to the ground with a small effort and a huff of air before replying, words breaking through the veil of snow white whiskers around his lips.

“The Amagiri clan was a proud vassal of a noble shogun in ancient times, strong warriors and talented weapon smiths who were called upon by emperors and shogun alike for their amazing works.” He spoke with the cadence of one who had told the tale a thousand times. A thousand times hearing it never tempered the boy’s enthusiasm.

“But when one of their weapons took the life of their very lord, the Amagiri were cast aside and shunned, forced to ply their trade of blade and hammer in shadow and secrecy.” Ojisan pointed his rattan at Nathaniel, voice heavy with omen and honor. “As the last son of the Amagiri clan you must be strong, a warrior with no rival to protect what you believe in with the steel of your soul.”

“With the steel of my soul,” the boy echoed with wide, awestruck eyes.

The Mask

It had been nearly a year since Nathaniel had convinced his father to let him transfer to a public school. Even during the move his father had barely been around, boxes stacked inside his office door evidence of the amount of time he had spent settling into the new home. Even Ojisan had unpacked the boxes he had refused to let the movers handle, and though his pace was slow it made the cardboard lined wall inside Nathaniel’s father’s room all the more telling.

There were a few boxes without a place to go, unfortunately, though Nat tried his best to find places for the tokens his grandfather had kept in the shrine he kept in the garden at their old home. A few incense holders had been scattered about the suburban living room, and a statue of some shinto god or another could be found in hallways around the home. His grandfather had approved of his choices, claiming that, “The important thing is that they are honored, whether that is in a shrine or in our home.”

Nat wasn’t sure about the mysticism, outdated even back in Japan. Whatever the case was, he had nearly cleared the shrine boxes when he found it, a metal mask in visage of a wolf, surprisingly light despite its thickness and black as night with almost tribal markings in red. Nat’s fingers brushed against its polished surface, inexplicably drawn to the whirls of red within the black, drawn to it like a magnet as he lifted it from the wooden box that held it. He found himself lifting it to his face, a curiosity half formed as to whether it would fit, and what it would look like through the eyeholes of the mask.

”Ah, you found the tetsu ookami mask.” Ojisan’s voice nearly startled him out of his skin, causing Nat to drop the mask into the box with a heavy thunk. ”That mask was said to have been givene to the first Amagiri smith. After praying to the gods for forty days and forty nights for the knowledge to forge the greatest blades he was blessed with an audience with our ancestors’ patron deity, and given that mask as a reward for his character. It was worn for nearly a thousand years by our proudest warriors, in ceremony and forging as well as in battle.”

Nat had picked the mask up again during his grandfather’s story, absorbing each word as he always had while studying the mask with a tempered reverence. It didn’t show any signs of wear, no flaking of the color or rusting around the edges. With close inspection he could see the layers of damascus within the color, the steel itself apparently dyed in some way. Even an untrained eye could see that it was a masterpiece of metallurgy.

”You should keep it, grandson. You are the last son of Amagiri, after all. It is only fitting that you hold onto our ancestors’ legacy.”

The Mirage?

It happened so fast, way too fast for Nathaniel to clearly remember much. He was walking home from school, chatting with friends about the day when the tires squealed and the truck lurched on the road as it passed. Something flew from the truck, long and heavy as it careened through the air and slammed into Nathaniel with enough force to drive his breath from him.

He woke in the hospital to two broken ribs and a lot of strange questions. Questions like, “How many pipes did you see?” and, “Was it straight, or curved?” Or his personal favorite, “Did anything seem unusual or out of place to you?”

A few people asked how he felt, if he needed anything, and some spoke of a possible law suit. It was all so confusing, so cluttered and chaotic. But he remembered one thing with perfect clarity, a single moment right as the metal hit him where his hands wrapped around the steel beam and it rippled at his touch. Like water stirred by the wind. He knew it had to be from the trauma, but it was so vivid in his mind.

His grandfather had left the mask by his bed, a piece of home. Nathaniel reached out and touched the lupine nose, and its surface broke in a lazy wave.

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Training Tracks


Nat sat in front of the massive steel beam with his eyebrows nearly meeting as he stared at it with a frown. There were others out there, more familiar with their abilities and too much to handle with what Nat was capable of in that moment. Each time closed his eyes he could see that twisted, bloodstained grin. His shoulder ached from the bruise that had yet to fade.

Despite how fresh that trauma was Nat had come to his den to train. To get stronger, so that he would be able to handle the monsters that still roamed the streets at night. The beam in front of him was enemy on this night, however, and though it did not fight back Nat felt nearly as overwhelmed as he had facing the man-eater. A soft grunt, almost a growl, rumbled in his throat as the would-be superhero glared at the thick metal.

”Ahhhh!” The growl became a scream as he shoved out at his nemesis, the place where his hands met metal rippling slightly as though made of some softer, more rubbery material. With a low screech the metal began to bend, indentions forming around Nat’s hands as he stepped into his shove to push the end of the beam farther back onto itself. Sweat began bead on his forehead as he pushed, gaining inch by blessed inch until a sound like a massive bell rang through the warehouse.

The broken end of the steel beam was still rippling against Nat’s palms for a moment, hundreds of pounds held in midair for a split second before Nat blinked and his power faded. With a crash the metal fell to the floor, and with a gasp Nat fell to one knee. As though he had run a marathon Nat took deep, shuddering breaths, stamina gone from the sudden, savage burst of his power that had, for just an instant, surpassed what he could reasonably manipulate with his body alone.

It took several minutes for him to recover enough strength to stand, and many more for his hands to reach down toward the broken steel at his feet. With a few more breaths he strained, using his muscles instead of his power to attempt to lift the steel. As he expected the metal didn’t budge, and his knitted eyebrows and slight frown returned as he studied the steel beam again.
There were others out there; no telling how many. He had to get stronger.


Nat practically collapsed as he flopped onto the couch he had brought to the Den a few days prior, exhausted from what had turned out to be an extremely eventful evening. Who could have guessed that teleporting would be a thing? How could he have prepared against not one, but two different people with that ability? He was still shaken by the sudden execution of the bank robbers, still furious over the way The World justified his actions, and worse set them up. Nat had put on a brave face, but now that he was alone his worries leaked out from the steel walls he had buried them behind.

Slowly he flexed his hand in front of his face. If he had been able to use his power more quickly; if he had somehow been able to subdue all of the thieves the moment he had entered the building… Even Phoenix’s takedowns were brutal, possibly leaving some of those men with future disabilities. The ones she had taken down were still alive, though.

Nat shook his head, trying to erase the image of the bullet tearing through the man’s skull from his mind’s eye like an Etch-a-Sketch. It wasn’t a successful attempt, but it was action enough to break through his exhaustion and sit upright. He folded his hands into his lap sullenly, staring down at them as he used his power to manipulate the chain at his waist. Metal rippled and flowed up to his elbow and over his forearm, links coiling and settling into his cupped palms as though alive.

If there were villains out there who could move instantly, Nat had to be able to use his power as fast as thought. No, he had to use it faster, move the metals he manipulated like reflex. He couldn’t be caught off guard like that again. He had to be faster than whatever else he faced. With sudden violence he threw the chain away, all of his strength behind the throw. The majority of the steel remained coiled in his palm, a single link released to dent the warehouse wall. Again he threw the chain, releasing a single link from the rest in a flash, though before it left his fingertip it’s shape narrowed.

By the time Nat was softly snoring on the couch the entire chain had been expended, the vast majority of it molded into different shapes that remained buried into the distant wall. Though he slept fitfully, jerking and starting while in the throes of nightmarish memory and subconscious reconciliation, it was the best rest he had gotten since he come to the warehouse district.


The newscaster droned the repeated report as footage of the bridge, decorated with the cables of Nat’s handiwork, flashed across the screen before he pressed the power button with a frustrated sigh. The ADA had seemed grateful for what little he had accomplished, but cables and stilts were only getting him so far. The armor was a major boon, but the bruises he sported spoke of the danger guns still presented, and he had barely caught up to the van after it had barreled off of the bridge. He had been working nonstop to improve the amount of steel he could handle, the speed at which he could change it’s shape, but the limitations he faced seemed to follow him even as he broke through them.

The floor of the Den had been almost completely cleared, and a target of steel rings hung a few inches away from the wall farthest from the storage container near the entrance. There were glinting remnants of Nat’s practice scattered around the target, knives and spears and even arrows of solid steel scattered about as he tried desperately to find a way to bridge the gap his tactile manipulation created in a fight. Nothing seemed to work, though he had hit the target a few times with the aid of his power.
Stepping out from the area he had taken to calling “The Lounge”, Nat leaned against the rail as he studied the distance from the shipping container to the target. Nearly eighty yards was enough for most ammunition to reach maximum velocity, and too far for Nat to reasonably hurl any kind of steel. It was his greatest weakness, and though he could accept that he wasn’t invulnerable he couldn’t let his own weakness endanger those he was trying to save.
There was a flash of memory, a scent of something smoky and almost sweet as Nat saw the electricity that tore through his armor and several police officers around him.

Distance was his weakness, and he had to find a way to shore it up. More people would die if he didn’t. The metal rail beneath Nat’s hands practically hummed, buzzing against his fingertips as he racked his brain for a different solution. It wasn’t exactly a new sensation, but rather an awareness of something he had felt since his power first manifested. It was only while he was fishing people from the river that it came to his attention, a sensation when he touched the metals his power allowed him control over.

Nat walked down the steps to the floor of the warehouse with his fingertips trailing over the rail, gaze a thousand miles away. Approaching the target he looked down to a spear he had thrown from perhaps half the distance of the floor, and the knives that crossed atop it where his frustration had outpaced his wit. A hand went to his chin, while the other reached toward the haft of the steel spear. The moment his fingertips brushed against it the vibration began, though the rippling effect of his power had not taken hold.

Nat raised an eyebrow, and his gaze shifted back to the knives without moving the spear he was about to pick up. It was almost as though he could feel those too, the hum he had felt just before throwing them somehow different from the spear at his fingertips. Almost cautiously he called his power forward, the rippling effect spreading from where he touched the spear, though his eyes were keenly fixed to the knives near its head.

It was nearly imperceptible, at first, as the ripples slid over the surface of the steel and broke upon the knives. Again Nat activated his power, the ripple stronger, breaking upon the knives again before Nat stopped with a wicked grin. He hadn’t been imagining it. He could feel the possibility of what he saw. Convinced that he might have found his solution Nat picked up the spear completely, spinning it around his head with a fluid motion before striking the rail behind him. He didn’t look, relying on that extra sense, that feeling to guide him.

The clatter of the rail at the top of the stairs was all he needed, a cry of excitement erupting from his throat even before he turned around to see the effect of his experiment. On the floor of the warehouse the top rail rolled slightly from here it had fallen, severed by his power as he transferred it through the steel spear he had been holding into the structure of the iron rail. Satisfied with his progress, and perhaps a bit pleased with himself, Nat stabbed the spear into the floor next to him with an expression of confident satisfaction.

(More to come with further development)

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