History of the Modern Order
"On this terrible day, in my final hour, I shall let truth triumph and declare, before heaven and all the saints, that I have committed the greatest of all crimes. But my crime is this: that I confessed to malicious charges made against an order that is innocent so that I could escape further torture. I shall not confirm a first lie with a second. I renounce life willingly. I have no use for days of sorrow earned only by lies."
Those were the defiant final words of Jacques de Molay, thought to be the last Master of the Knights Templar. For the past seven years, upwards of 5000 knights of the order had been arrested, all as part of a plan for King Philip the Fair to seize the Templars vast wealth. What the king, and the people of Paris did not know, was that many knights had gone into hiding once the persecution began. A handful of these survivors watched as Jacques de Molay and Geoffrey de Charney, old men who had long served the order, were burned at the stake. With their deaths, a secret only known to those within the order died. The secret? That certain members of the order had somehow been gifted with the ability to call upon the power of the divine. Those with the gift went into seclusion, taking with them what treasures had escaped from King Philip's grasp.
The next 700 years were spent trying to quietly rebuild the order. Much of those early decades were spent simply trying to restructure the order, to better hide the identities of the few members that remained, and to try to bring in fresh blood as quietly as possible. Safe-houses were established, a network of residences across Europe where members could carry out their work in secret. It wasn't until 1783 that the order found a new purpose, a new mission for its members: to protect the innocent from the dark workings of the Circle of the Scarlet Moon. This shift in focus caused a split within the order, as some felt that their duty should only be to protect those of the Christian Faith. It is unclear what has happened to those that left, or if they continue to operate. Those that chose to stay became part of what is known to just a few in the supernatural community as the Modern Order of the Knights Templar.
From Orphan to Acolyte
Erin's parents died when she was barely a year old, and none of her extended family wanted to take on the burden of an additional mouth to feed. As a result, her early years were spent in a state-run orphanage in Manila. She could have faced a long hard life, probably winding up on the street, were it not for the intervention of Monsignor Mendoza. To everyone else in the neighborhood, he was just a man of the church who was famed to be able to say a prayer for someone and their ailments would disappear. In reality, he was a member of the Modern Order. He was paying a visit to Erin's orphanage, and felt that the child was different. He always trusted his intuition, and it had never led him astray before. The Monsignor made a few calls, and soon the child was taken out of the orphanage and into the care of the Order. Monsignor Mendoza became her legal guardian, caretaker, and mentor.
Erin found herself whisked away to Banda Aceh, Indonesia not long after, when the Monsignor was posted there. The child soaked up everything her mentor taught to her, and not just the lessons in how to use the power of the divine. When she wasn't in regular school, or in a training session, she was working alongside the Monsignor doing acts of charity, helping her fellow man. The two were present in 2004 when Banda Aceh was struck by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Erin was separated from the Monsignor in all of the chaos, and barely managed to survive. It was days before the two were reunited. Aside from being scared out of her wits, Erin managed to only escape with minor injuries. The Monsignor, however, suffered quite a few injuries, and to this day carries a limp as a result.
The next six years were spent helping with the recovery efforts throughout the devastated regions in Indonesia, then after that, another four years were spent in Sri Lanka, until finally, the Monsignor received a posting in the US, in Vibora Bay. The next two years were spent in intense study and training, preparing for her 18th birthday, when she would be promoted from acolyte to a full-fledged member. She was presented with a sword, which she named Gratia
Arrival in Millennium City
Normally, once an acolyte becomes a full-fledged member of the Order, they would be trained in sword fighting, which would be done under the guidance of their mentor. Due to the Monsignor's physical condition, it was decided that Erin would be trained by another member of the Order. She was moved to Millennium City, where she met her new teacher, a brusque, opinionated woman named Jane Claymore. Erin also enrolled in her senior year at Grace Memorial High School. Early on, she decided to use her training and apply it to hero work, registered under the name Faith.
Erin spent her first several months solo, working in Westside, primarily using her healing abilities to aid the underprivileged. She eventually crossed paths with a group of teen heroes called The Progeny
. She later joined them, and while some were dubious of her powers, as well as leery of bringing an outsider into their tight-knit group, she earned the trust over time. And over time, she grew to trust them as well. Ever since surviving the tsunami in 2004, she had kept people at arm’s length, fearing she would lose them somehow. The group helped her to relax, to ‘let her hair down’, and to allow others in. She even found love! In the Progeny, she found a new family. Sure, somewhat dysfunctional, but it was a family nonetheless.
Timeline: 2016 to 2017
• Faith becomes involved in an incident involving giant alligator men dragging people down into the sewers. It marks her first encounter with The Progeny, albeit brief.
• Some teen heroes, including Faith, volunteer to spend time with old and retired heroes of Millennium City. She and the young heroes wind up protect the senior citizens from the infamous Bloodshot.
• Faith becomes a member of the Progeny.
• When Strong Suit fears her father is no longer safe in prison, it sets her against the Protector's very own Peacemaker. Faith and other members of the Progeny arrive to back up their teammate, but ultimately the violent situation is diffused peacefully.
• Faith and many other members of the Progeny are forced to play a game of Truth or Dare just to escape their headquarters. Eventually they're set free, but not before there's a falling out between Faith and Kid Ballistic. He apologizes a week later, and the two become friends.
• A red, rampaging monster dubbed the Monsterback causes mayhem next door to the Arcade-O-Rama. Faith is among the group of Progeny member that responds to subdue the beast.
• Faith and Kid Ballistic start dating.
• Faith and other Progeny members help Kid Ballistic with a sting to catch a villainous young speedster named Quicksable. They manage to fend off a bank robbery, perpetrated by employees of the bank, and stop Quicksable before he can rob the vault.
• Luctus and Faith assist Fletcher in dealing with an attack at a museum. The assailant is stopped, but she is injured during the fight. She recovers quickly once she is able to use her healing powers on her injuries.
• The Progeny take a camping trip up to Lake Michigan, only to find themselves coming face to face with an army of giant spiders and a woman who seems to be connected to their presence. Faith and Kid Ballistic are the first to come into contact with the horde of arachnids, but are rescued by their teammates before they can come to a gruesome end.
• Faith and the Progeny team up with Deviate when rodents of unusual size attack the Mall of Millennium. The rodents are driven away, thus allowing spenders to go back to their sales shopping.
• When the Templars take an interest in the incident on the Progeny's camping trip, Faith arranges for her adopted father, Monsignor Michael Mendoza, to meet with the team. He reveals the identity of the spiderwoman encountered - Salei. She winds up being torn between defending her father or the Progeny when the Monsignor states that the teens are to be left out of further investigations into the woman.
• The Progeny are warned by Ghostbird and members of the Protectors of the World that they are officially targets for Salei's new age, proving that the Monsignor and the Templars know far more than they originally led the team to believe. Plans are made to keep both teams apprised of any new information as it becomes available, and it's theorized that Salei will strike on the next new moon.
• Kid Ballistic gives Faith Clementia, a high pressure water pistol for delivering holy water. They are promptly ambushed by Maniacs while test firing it in an abandoned section of West Side. The couple easily takes them down.
• Faith is tasked with joining the Monsignor and Lady Jane Claymore of the Templars to apprehend a demon-bound initiate named Juanita Bravo at the Demonhame located at a museum in Xochimilco. They are able to interrogate the woman regarding the mask that granted Salei her power and the archaeologist who discovered it.
• Lash invites Faith, Black Ice, Silver Scar and Deviate to a fashion show, failing to mention that they were to be bodyguards for fashion designer Brandon Albright. They come face to face with a villain called Fashion Maven, and find themselves on the losing end of the fight. The tables are turned when Kid Ballistic arrives. Shaky cellphone video shows Faith using her powers while out of her costume, leaking her identity as a hero belonging to the Progeny - the part about being a Templar however doesn't come up. Thankfully Black Ice's agent manages to keep the focus off the rest of the team, and only a handful of folks in West Side put two and two together about Erin Reyes and Faith.
• Investigation into Salei leads a team of Protectors and Progeny to Templo Mayor and Teotihuacan. Faith is among those sent to Templo Mayor. As the new moon rises, Salei's spiders attack! During the course of the fighting, Kid Ballistic, Kl'vin and HexBane are kidnapped and taken away.
• Faith and Cait Sith join the Protectors as they race to Teotihuacan. With Salei at the Great Goddess's seat of power, and a barrier surrounding the ruins sucking the life energy from everything around it, the odds are stacked soundly against those trying to break in. It takes an orbital strike to finally shatter the barrier, allowing Faith and Cait to join their teammates inside. However, they arrive too late, as both Heartbeat and Kl'vin are dead. It takes a desperate act to end Salei once and for all.
• In the wake of her teammates' deaths, Faith finds herself unable to access her powers as she enters a crisis of faith.
• Faith winds up face to face with the Doctor, the infamous assassin turned drug lord. She is grievously injured, but manages to escape when the Maniacs arrive and start fighting the Men in White. Thanks to Kid Ballistic's hands-on knowledge of field medicine and Cait Sith's healing abilities, she narrowly manages to survive.
• Colleagues of the Chinese hero Longwang take Olevia, seeing as she is the current holder of the celestial dragon. Still coping with the deaths of their teammates, the Progeny were not about to let one of their own be taken away! Faith, Deviate, Hexbane and Silver Scar manage to stop the Chinese heroes.
• The Progeny intervene when an armored vehicle transporting a superhuman juvenile is ambushed by his brothers. This becomes Faith's first brush with the vampire cang calling themselves "The Ghouls." She is bit by Julian during the fighting, and for a time is subjected to visions she saw as a result of the vampire's bite.
• Faith and members of the Progeny suddenly find themselves placed into the roles within the story of the Nutcracker, with no memory as to how they actually got there. Faith is cast in the role of Clara, the romantic interest of the Nutcracker Prince. The story comes to an end when the Doctor, cast as the Mouse King, is defeated. The Narrator of the story is furious that the Prince is not the one to defeat the lead villain. It also becomes apparent he has a fixation with Faith.
Timeline: 2017 to 2018
• A shaky truce between the Progeny and the Ghouls is broken when the gang of vampires board the cargo ship Demeter and take its crew and dock workers hostage. Faith and members of the Progeny respond, only to find it all to be a trap orchestrated by the Men in White led by the Doctor and Killshot. Surprisingly, they are aided by Elias, leader of the Ghouls. The team narrowly escapes with their lives when explosives rigged on the ship cause it to sink. Elias goes missing after the incident.
• Faith becomes leader of the Progeny. She stresses that it is only until the dangers presented by the Ghouls and their vampiric master, Kostadin the Black, are dealt with, and which point she would gladly step down.
• Faith is taken under Sparrowhawk's wing, so to speak. She begins to learn how to dual wield weapons.
• Members of the Progeny seek out Faith's stalker, the mysterious narrator named Herr Drosselmeyer. But the man strikes before they can catch him, Faith is written into the role of Princess Aurora, trapping her in the story of The Sleeping Beauty. The team, with assistance from Fahrenheit of the Protectors of the World, manage to enter the story, save the girl...and in the end, find out that Drosselmeyer is actually a man named Ross L Meyer.
• Faith and Lash are ambushed at the mall by Kevin Anderson, one of the two remaining Ghouls. The fight ends when Lash hits him hard enough he is thrown clear to the shore of Lake Michigan.
• Faith leads Kid Ballistic, Terrific Tiger, Deviate and HexBane into the heart of Ghouls territory when Julian - the last remaining Ghoul - takes Cait Sith captive, threatening the faerie cat's life. The group manages to convince Julian that his dark master has been lying to him about the Progeny. Just as he accepts this truth, Kostadin himself arrives. Despite their best efforts, the teen heroes are outmatched and outclassed. Faith's powers return as she moves to sacrifice herself to save Julian from Kostadin. This gives the team the edge it needs to drive the ancient vampire back, but it isn't enough to outright kill him. The Progeny are forced to flee to the tunnels beneath West Side, first by rioting instigated by the Men in White, and finally by abominations born from Kostadin that pursue them. Julian gives his life to ensure the team escapes. This, and timely intervention from a shadowy organization known as Initiative Black, allows the team to survive the night.
• Ross L Meyer manages to kidnap Faith, taking her out into the middle of Lake St Clair, where he proceeds to use the tale of Swan Lake to trap Kid Ballistic in the role of Prince Siegfried and Deviate as Rothbart. When she hears the only way to end the story is for the Prince and Rothbart to die, she puts up a struggle and steals the magic book he uses to work his magic. She writes a new ending, where no one has to die, and gives her teammates their location. Lash brings them to Kid Ballistic's doorstep - literally, boat and all - and Ross is taken into custody.
• The Witch of Time Dominatriea warps space and time to replace the Protectors of the World with adult versions of the Progeny. Faith and the others begin to realize after a bit that this false reality isn't real. Heartbeat and Kl'vin, brought to life once more by the witch's magic, give their lives so that reality can be returned to normal.
• The manager of the homeless shelter Faith volunteers at is transformed as a result of depression and magical interference. She manages to talk him back, thus ending the spells hold.
• Faith and Kid Ballistic raid a Black Aces warehouse in West Side. They manage to destroy a stockpile of high tech, alien weaponry, but the man in charge - Black Jack - gets away.
• Faith goes to Flint, Michigan to visit the Monsignor. She is ambushed by one of Kostadin's abominations and used as bait against her father. For what purpose? To force him to give up Elias, who has been sheltered by the Monsignor for months now. The standoff comes to a close when Elias steps out and then destroys the creature.
• The Progeny meet to discuss information regarding Kostadin the Black. Faith suggests that the team focuses on training, and informs the team that Sparrowhawk specifically wants the Progeny to take charge of West Side.
• Faith and Kid Ballistic go head to head against Killshot in a showdown at Warehouse #7, an industrial club in West Side's docks area. The assassin is taken down, but later manages to escape police custody.
• Kid Ballistic proposes to Faith.
• Monsignor Mendoza gifts Amoris Gratuiti to Faith, a sword originally held by the first woman to join the Templars.
• Faith is among a team of Progeny members that take the Buster on a road trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when reports seem to match up eerily with things they experienced with the Ghouls and Kostadin. They run a military roadblock, then find themselves ambushed by an undead lion like creature. This creature, later called a Tsavos, seems to target Faith specifically, before it is finally taken down. The team takes some heat from members of Initiative Black, but are allowed to stay to help patrol the city streets. Faith is taken to the medics tents, where she puts her healing powers to use.
• Faith is in the medics tent when the Siege of Pittsburgh finally comes to an end.
• After several months of targeted killings, the Templars go into hiding. Faith chooses not to, in order to stay with Kid Ballistic and help her team.
• Kid Ballistic and Faith, through his craftsmanship and a favor owed by a jewelry shop owner, finally obtain wedding ring: a rose crafted out of a spent slug mounted on a simple gold band and the firing cap from a bullet set into a silver band.
• Sparrowhawk arranges for Faith to train under one of the world's greatest swordsman, Supreme Sky M, member of the Super Human Cyborg Force 5. As a result, Faith and Kid Ballistic spend Christmas in Tokyo.
• Faith intervenes when yakuza target Kid Ballistic while they are in Tokyo. She winds up clashing swords with Mugen no Ha, a swordsman who summons weapons from tattoos on his body made with magic ink. The fight ends when Supreme Sky M swoops in and the yakuza, Mugen no Ha included, flee the scene.
Timeline: 2018 to Current
• Black Ice's nemesis Red-Hot takes control of Lash via an ancient Chinese ritual. Faith and members of the Progeny manage to disrupt the ritual, but not before it manages to sever Lash's connection with the celestial dragon Longwang.
• The Progeny are investigating a new high-end drug that dangerously boosts the powers of metahumans. The young heroes manage to interrupt a deal in progress, but not before the substance is used by two teens. While the rest of the team manage to save one of the users, Faith fails to heal his comrade, whose out of control powers cause him to rot right in front of her.
• Faith and her team are forced to work along side Red-Hot in order to find and put a stop to 'The Alchemist' aka Mister Fu, the man behind the highly dangerous drug that has killed most of its users. In the battle that ensued, Faith's sword Gratia is completely melted. She and the others are taken in by MCPD when their enemy manages to convince the police he's just a harmless old man. On the bright side, his drug operation was put to a halt.
• The Progeny find themselves being set up by parties unknown when Faith, Kid Ballistic, Terrific Tiger, Black Ice and Strong Suit investigate shots fired at Inner City Thrift and Exchange in West Side. They find the building positively infested by untold numbers of insects. When they finally seem to catch up to the person responsible, their quarry starts a fire that quickly spreads. The team manages to escape, but their reputation takes a nose dive when local media outlets begin to blame the fire on the young heroes!
• Faith, Kid Ballistic, Terrific Tiger, Starlet and Strong Suit, as well as Olevia Alvarez in one of her many personas adopted in the wake of losing her powers, respond to a hostage situation at a bank, pitting them with against the Men in White. Their well executed plan seems to be going well, but chaos ensues when Faith attempts to put a shield around one of the hostages...and inadvertently reveals her to be Renee, a vampire and formerly a foster sibling of the Ghouls. Tiger is critically wounded as the vampiress lashes out, then is promptly swarmed by insects - the work of the bug controlling woman from the thrift store fire. Lash regains her powers, and proceeds to jump into the fray. The end of the incident sees Renee driven off, Faith managing to stabilize Tiger enough to be transported safely to Mercy Hospital, and the Progeny being applauded for saving all but two hostages - presumably one being Renee in disguise and the other being the mystery bug woman.
• Faith, Dragonfly and Lash are forced to fight their significant others when a woman by the name of Kelly Anne Graves puts Kid Ballistic, Black Ice and Ace under her sway. Eventually they manage to get free, but not until after the woman manages to escape with Salome's Circlet.
• Sergio Loreto, a former Templar colleague, is dredged up from the waters of Vibora Bay, and it falls to the only Templar not in hiding to pick up his investigation where it left off. This leads to Faith asking the Progeny to take a drive down to Vibora Bay for assistance. It also conveniently gives most - if not all - of the members an excuse to spend Spring Break away from Millennium City.
• Faith, Kid Ballistic, Dragonfly, Black Ice and Egress enter the Django, a jazz club in the Easton Tangle, in disguise to intercept Jocelyn Cross, a broker in occult artifacts for DEMON. The group successfully manages to stop the transaction, incapacitate the buyers and trap Cross, and Faith becomes the new bearer for Claíomh Solais, a legendary weapon that Cross was attempting to sell.
• A number of the Progeny are lured into the alley by a shady spider man, with claims that he knew a woman who could tell their fortunes. Faith, despite being suspicious, comes along. The team makes it through one reading, and when it's time for Faith's fortune to be read, she calls the woman out. She turns into a giant snake woman, which the team manages to subdue.
• A simple warehouse raid goes horribly wrong when Faith and Kid Ballistic find themselves in Killshot's crosshairs. Faith's injuries leave her in a coma.
• Killshot leads a splinter group of Men in White - dubbed Men in Red - on an assault on Mercy Hospital, where Faith still lays in a coma. The Progeny manage to foil a frontal assault threatening the lives of healthcare workers and patients alike. Kid Ballistic is forced into a confrontation with Killshot as the assassin enters through a rear entrance. Initiative Black's Warhound intervenes, and the resulting fight sees the man injecting Killshot with a compound that nullifies his regenerative abilities. Kid Ballistic manages to save both Warhound and Faith's lives when he fires on Killshot, resulting in the assassin's death.
• Faith is pulled from her coma when the Monsignor returns from being in hiding and uses his abilities to heal her. The next few weeks is spent recovering. She finds out that the original reason for her adopted father's return was because he'd been diagnosed with cancer.
• Faith and Kid Ballistic go to pay a visit to the Monsignor after a team meeting, only to find squad cars parked outside of the boarding house he had been living in. The Monsignor was dead - murdered by a single wound that pierced his heart. A paranormal investigator with Initiative Black was able to determine that the man's killer was Kostadin the Black.
• Faith speaks before those assembled for Summit Hospitaller. She presents information gathered from journal fragments obtained by the Templars prior to their going into hiding. These fragments provide information regarding Kostadin Vankov aka Kostadin the Black.
• In light of what has been a rather dark first half of 2018, Faith and Kid Ballistic decide it's time to tie the knot. What is supposed to be a small, private ceremony becomes a bit of a Silver Age skirmish as Bendo and his Bendo Band attempt to take out the pastor officiating their wedding. The Progeny easily dispatch the geriatric villain, while the pastor continues the wedding during the fighting.