Codename: Tiny Librarian
Real Name: Emerald Faith Bleier
Origin: Ema grew up in the suburbs outside of Metro City. Her mother's side of the family tended to be short, and Ema was no exception. She reached a full 4'9" her sophomore year of high school, and never made it to 4'10". In order to compensate for her height and top the kids who teased her, she focused on classes. Her photographic memory allowed her to breeze through most classes, as long as she did all the readings. In fact, her ability to remember every passage she read gave her a new incentive to read: the more she read, the more facts she would know, and with a photographic memory, she could never be wrong. During middle school and high school, she cultivated the hobby of correcting her least favorite peers whenever possible. When she was in the fifth grade, her mother signed the two of them up for a mother-daughter class in self-defense. Ema loved it. Not only did this mean she could take care of herself, but if she took it a little farther, she could beat up all those mean kids who teased her about her height! Although she never made a habit of beating anyone up, she did pursue kickboxing as a hobby, picked up a few mixed martial arts moves along the way, and became something of a health nut, making sure to eat well and going to the gym at least five times a week.
Ema went to college not knowing what she wanted to do, but her love of books prompted her to apply for a job at the campus library. She soon realized that she really liked working at the library, and after a few discussions with her boss, she decided to pursue a degree in library science. Ema went to graduate school, then moved home and applied for a job at the Metro City library. After getting the job, she moved into an apartment inside the city limits, so that she could live within walking distance of the gym and her workplace.
One day Ema went into a used book store to look for something interesting to read. She came across a book she had never seen before, titled Magic for Morons. The odd title, combined with the seemingly unrelated cover art of a really cute kitten playing in the middle of an extensive chemistry set, was enough to make Ema curious. That evening, Ema began looking over the book. It was structured like a textbook, starting with a section about the basic theories of magic, and continuing into a series of instructions for casting increasingly complex spells. Ema found the serious tone of the book entertaining, but she was pretty sure that the author had simply made up all of its content. She stopped reading halfway through the second chapter and flipped back to consider a very basic identification spell. The spell required almost no expertise, and she was curious as to what would happen if she tried it. Laughing in amusement and embarrassment, she removed some hair from the brush on her dresser and tried casting the spell. The result was surprising. Not only had there been a result, which was enough to startle Ema, but more importantly, it told her that she wasn't human. Clearly she had done it wrong. Pulling a few more hairs off of her brush, she started out to cast the spell again. After several tries with the same result, she sat down and read the rest of the book in one sitting, hoping to discover what she had done wrong. It seemed that she had done everything right. One of the final chapters of the book contained a detailed list of magical creatures that existed in the world. According to the spell, Ema was some sort of fay, and according to the book, changelings or part-fay creatures tended to be rather small. While her close resemblance to her mother made Ema doubt that she was a changeling, she couldn't find any grounds on which to deny that she might be part fay. This knowledge was exciting, and a little bit creepy.
Ema began collecting books about magic, creating her own personal library, which contained everything from mythology to fantasy to non-fiction, all relating to magic. She read and remembered every book in her library, but she was reluctant to get rid of them. It wasn't long before she began experimenting to see what she could do with magic, and what abilities she might have inherited from her fay ancestors. Before long, she began to wonder what she should do with her newfound power. Of course, with heroes and villains everywhere in the city, the obvious answer was to go fight some crime!
o Level 1: Ema can cast very basic low-power spells, and has some knowledge of the theories of magic.
She has discovered that her fay ancestry allows her to become smaller or larger at will, by decreasing or increasing her body density, but she's not very good at it yet, and can't hold her modified size for much more than a few minutes. Becoming smaller than 1/2 of her original size or larger than 1 1/4 of her original size is extremely uncomfortable, and could result in personal injury if held for more than a very brief time. When compressed, her increased density is such that she is resistant to damage.
She is in good physical health, and is a pretty good kickboxer, but against a well-trained or experienced fighter, she would be in trouble.
She also has extensive knowledge of a wide variety of topics, simply because of her near-perfect photographic memory and passion for reading.
o Level 2: Ema is an ever-expanding walking encyclopedia, who now has a section all about magic. Her knowledge of magic includes a wide variety of spells as well as the theory and "science" of how magic works. Her ability to cast spells has increased, allowing her to cast somewhat more difficult and more potent spells.
Her experience with fighting has helped her figure out how to use her powers in battle, but her combat skills have not increased enough to make her an effective melee combatant.
She can now hold her expanded or compressed size for about twenty minutes at a time, and can compress herself to 1/4 of her original size, about 14 inches tall. When fully compressed, she can resist the force of blows from regular citizens, and she is less vulnerable to attacks by PEs or attacks with non-blunt weapons.
o Level 3: Ema can now cast extremely difficult spells to great effect, and has just begun to work on finding easier and more efficient ways to cast her spells. She can cast simple spells almost instantaneously and intermediate spells in a matter of seconds or minutes, but advanced spells can take a very long time to cast, depending on the power and complexity of the spell.
Ema can compress herself to 1/8 of her original size (about 7 inches tall) and can resist the force of small-caliber bullets or a car hitting her on the highway. When compressed or expanded, she can hold her form for over an hour. She has gained the ability to expand or contract her body parts independently of one another, and can expand her skin enough to allow her to glide or parachute through the air. So long as she does not expand any vital organs beyond 1 1/4 of her original size, she will not hurt herself.
Her fighting skills have improved somewhat, but she mostly relies on her magic in combat.
o Level 4: Ema can cast simple and intermediate spells quickly and easily, although she can extend casting time to increase the power of her spells. She can cast advanced spells much more quickly than before, but the casting time is still dependent on the power and complexity of the spell in question.
She can compress herself to less than 1 inch in height, at which point she is impervious to almost all physical damage. She can hold her expanded or compressed form as long as she is conscious.
Ema has gathered practically all of the books she can find on magic, and knows the contents of all of them.
She has internalized the rules of magic in order to improve her spellcasting, and remembers more facts about mundane topics than she ever imagined was possible.
Weaknesses: Ema can defend herself with spells and by becoming very small and dense, but she is vulnerable to all attacks that can affect normal humans. Even in her smallest form, she can be suffocated, electrocuted, poisoned or burned, and when she is not condensed, she can be damaged by anything that would harm a regular human.
Equipment: Her library!
o Civilian: Ema is a mere 4'9" tall, but otherwise looks like your average 26 year old woman. She has blue-gray eyes and short dark hair with orange highlights, and she wears glasses when driving or working at the library. Because she visits the gym so often, she is relatively well-muscled. She usually wears a button down shirt and slacks at work, or a t-shirt with jeans or sweatpants when she is at home. Ema doesn't usually wear high heels or platform shoes. Although it might be nice to be a normal height, she gave up when she realized that she was still shorter than 95% of her peers while wearing four inch tall heels.
o Costumed: Ema started out relying on her bright orange ski mask to hide her face and distinctive hair, but she has now put together an actual costume, which looks like this:
Miscellaneous: Ema's CAPE file says that she can use a wide range of magic, but does not specify how, and does not include the fact that she is not altogether human.