Name: Shaw Madison Hunter (born Shawukay Redarrow) art work by Derilaan
AGE:54 (human equivalent 17 years)
DOB:28 November 1944 (28 Uktar 1315 Dale Reckoning)
Shaw Hunter is actually Shawukay Redarrow, born in the moon elven colony of Evereska, on the planet Abeir-Toril, known to select Earth people as the Forgotten Realms (Hunter In Dark). Shaw’s parents were members of the group known as the Harpers, who died in battle against her homeworld’s version of Black Mages fought on occasion by Section Seven (Destiny Unfolding).
Shaw was raised by her human grandparents, wilderness warriors who were retired Harpers themselves. Of the things that are known about Shaw’s earlier childhood are that she was tested using unknown means, in an attempt to determine whether she had an affinity for wizardly magic like her mother, and that at age nine the young half-elf heard the call of her grandparents’ Goddess, Mielikki, also known as the Lady of the Forest (The Song). For the next five years, Shaw lived in the local temple as she was instructed in the ways of her faith, while her grandparents continued to teach her the ways of the warrior arm of the Mielikkian order. When she turned fourteen years old, she was formally inducted into the ranks of the clerics of Mielikki (Hunter In Dark).
Shaw moved back to her family home to continue her ranger training, but with the added responsibilities of a priestess working at the temple. Over the next decade, she performed these duties until the time came when she decided that it was time for her to move on, and to find the path her life would take, although it was always her intention of following in her family’s footsteps and becoming a Harper (Destiny Unfolding). Shaw moved to Mistledale, and took up residence with her new teacher, Tamaran Oblashos, a Harper bard (Hunter In Dark). For three years, he assigned her what many would consider drudgework, relaying messages and taking notes and listening to rumors. In Shaw’s mind, however, it was simply training for the time when she was needed for something more.
That day came two months short of her twenty-ninth birthday. Needing a person with knowledge of woodcraft to infiltrate a village about to be raided by slavers, Tamaran reluctantly allowed Shaw to volunteer for the mission. She joined a small party of Harper agents, and eventually was left in the woods near the village to await the arrival of the slavers. When they came, Shaw allowed herself to be taken prisoner, only to discover the truth; the mercenaries accompanying the wizard slaver were not performing of their own choice, but under the influence of magic. The wizard had gone insane from researching ancient magics, leading him to become more paranoid and delusional as he used magical powers. Two days later, the wizard began killing prisoners in a vain attempt to discover what he assumed to be a rival spying on him. Unable to stand by any longer, Shaw broke out of her prison in an attempt to kill the wizard and end his madness. She failed.
What followed as twenty-one hours of torture, as the wizard used zombies, including a the body of a girl Shaw had come to care for, to cut her back every thirty minutes. A day later, her comrades attacked, but could not stop the wizard before Shaw, having come free of the holding spell upon her, killed the wizard using steel and magic in a fit of temporary insanity (Hunter in Dark). Shaw’s comrades were able to keep the half-elf alive, but she was still heavily scarred, both physically and psychologically (Born To Raise Hellmouth, Slayer In Black, Hunter In Dark), the latter of which still holds true to an extent to this day.
After being rescued, Shaw spent four days in a catatonic state; unaware of what went on after killing Jazartho (and to this day, she still is unable to remember the events between her call lightning spell and waking up screaming <Hunter in Dark>). The now traumatized Shaw accompanied her friends back to Shadowdale, where the mercenaries who had been hired (and unwillingly geased) by the Zhentarim were subjected to the justice of a Harper tribunal. However, upon the truth coming out (via testimony and personal observations from the Harper band), the mercenaries were eventually found innocent (in fact, more than two of them joined the Harpers after the way the Zhentarim had treated them). The most moving testimony came from Shaw herself, who fervently denied that the swords-for-hire had chosen to aid in enslaving the villagers of Bordertown. In addition, she refused to blame them for what amounted to a form of rape against her, as the man who had done the deed had died for violating the wizard’s orders.
Tamaran was livid that she was willing to go to such lengths for anyone who freely chose to work for the Zhentarim (even if it was supposedly to hunt orcs, which are worse than most humans of any stripe). When he confronted her on her attitude, she retaliated by bringing up the fact that she was the one who had been “on the scene,” not him. While they were arguing, a messenger came up and delivered a message to Shaw. Thinking that it was a missive from her Grandparents, saying that they were on their way back from their own mission to help her deal with what had happened, she read the letter. When what she was reading sank in, she lost her composure, demanding (at the top of her lungs) to know if they had been “turned.” When the terrified messenger told her they had not, she began to leave. Tamaran tried to stop her, telling her to focus on the hearing. When he said that the news of the letter didn’t matter (not knowing the contents), she assaulted him, leaving him lying on the floor and telling him to read the letter, and leaving his tutelage for good, but not before snidely saying (with a dark glare in her eyes) that she could not possibly understand how her Grandmother had hoped she might start a family with him.
Hours later, Shaw received a visitor to her room at the local inn, someone who wanted to talk to her. When she initially thought it was Tamaran, she cursed him very inventively. She quickly lost her rage when the visitor turned out to be Storm Silverhand, the Harper of Shadowdale. Storm had overheard her “conversation” with Tamaran (as several others did), and asked Shaw what she intended to do. Having no idea as to what she would do with her life (she wouldn’t go back to Mistledale, and she couldn’t return to Deepingdale because to her, it wasn’t home without her family there), she balked in answering. Storm offered her the chance to be a Harper, despite Tamaran’s promise that she would not be one (before she walked out on him anyway), because she personally didn’t want to see her family’s service to Those Who Harp end on such a sad note. Realizing that she still wanted this, and having no other direction to go in, Shaw accepted (Resolutions).
Storm moved Shaw into her home in Shadowdale (a farm with plenty of forest terrain, which Shaw fell in love with). She hesitated to teach the girl anything for a few weeks, instead letting everything that had happened over the month of September (the torture, the loss of Kadali, her mental retreat, and the deaths of her grandparents) sink in, so that the young girl might allow herself to grieve and settle her spirit. While Shaw did accept what had happened to her, what had happened to Kadali, and her own actions (killing Jazartho), she buried the pain of Myokar and Mishaya’s deaths, as she refused to let them go. Over a period of sixteen months, she started to heal to an extent, but not fully. This would have ramifications later on, when Shaw encountered Aunsalaur. Eventually, Storm knew she’d gotten as far as she would with Shaw. She told Shaw she’d done everything she could and pinned Mishaya’s Harper pin to Shawukay’s tunic.
Once she was formally accepted as a full Harper, the next ten years appear to have been filled with Harper missions, as well as religious duties as Shaw overcame part of her pain, but buried the grief and anger she felt over her grandparents. While specifics are not known about most of the duties she performed during this time, she has mentioned one mission, a three-month assignment in which she impersonated a waitress in a pleasure hall in Waterdeep (Be Careful What You Wish For). In that assignment, she worked on eavesdropping, trying to ferret out secrets without revealing her actions (although as it turned out, everyone employed there knew what she and her superior did “on the side”). During the Midsummer celebration, Shaw tried to rescue her friend Dornias (another half-elf, with whom Shaw had become friends) from a pair of what turned out to be doppelgangers. However, her efforts were in vain as the doppelgangers knocked her senseless and restrained her to one of the pleasure hall’s “toys” before Dornias, having experience with less than gentlemanly customers, freed herself and killed both shapechangers by clubbing them to death with a metal pole. Shaw had no problem with being rescued in turn, but had a great problem with the knowledge that her fun-loving friend would never let her live it down (Scooby Snacks, You Asked For It).
It was after a routine assignment that Shaw was approaching Elversult, when a chance encounter changed everything. An encounter with Aunsulaur, the vampire who had killed her family. In an attempt to avenge her grandparents, Shaw attacked the vampire, but was unable to land the final stroke that might have left her able to let go of her pain, instead losing two-thirds of her life force to the vampire (Born To Raise Hellmouth, Be Careful What You Wish For).
Shaw moved to Elversult to heal, and in time recovered enough that she felt she could finish the task she’d attempted a year earlier. She tracked down Aunsulaur, and in a fit of rage, left his lair in ruins. It was while tracking the fleeing vampire that Shaw entered a fogbank. When she emerged from the mysterious Mists, she realized that she was no longer in Faerun.
She was in Ravenloft.
Shaw quickly sized up her situation, and set out to find a way to return to Faerun. However, she was quick to discover that this new place she found herself stranded in was nothing like her home. She discovered that this plane was rife with evil, often in the form of undead and other creatures that made the orcs, goblins and kobolds she’d grown up fighting look saintly by comparison. Over the next thirteen years, in between learning what she could of this place, and attempting to find a way back to Toril (a task she eventually gave up in favor of fighting vampires), she established a reputation as a hunter of the undead, vampires in particular. In the lands known as Barovia, Kartakass, and Sithicus, the name of the Hunter of the Harp was whispered as an inhuman avenger, determined to wipe the undead off the face of the Demiplane. Such actions proved to be a bonus for the people of Kartakass, where Shaw spent the majority of her thirteen years in the Demiplane of Dread. Undead were somewhat rare there, the Kartakan’s problem being a large number of werewolves and wolfweres, but the heavily forested nation appealed to Shaw’s nature. Little did she know that the main reason she survived in that land for so long was because the lord of Kartakass, a wolfwere, specifically ordered his wolfwere subjects (as well as his human agents), to leave her be as her hatred of vampires eclipsed even his own loathing of the blood drinking creatures. It was a lonely, dark time for Shaw, who had to allow her anger and hatred of vampires to manifest so that she could survive from night to night. The only salve for her pain was when she met another Torilian, the gold elf Jander Sunstar. He saved her from a trio of vampires and the two started becoming friends until Jander’s own vampiric state was revealed when they had to defend themselves from more Valachan vampires. Shaw couldn’t let go of fear, but she still craved his friendship (a craving returned by the gold elf). Although the two parted company, it was not until they had spent nearly two weeks together, at the end of which Shaw gave Jander a parting gift; her songhorn (she made the sacrifice in the hopes that it would help Jander retain his elven spirit even longer) (Silver and Gold).
Shaw estimates that in her thirteen years in Ravenloft, she eliminated around fifty vampires (she makes a rough guess), most of which were newborn or less than intelligent examples of the breed. The last of these was named Drevok, who she had been tracking for a month before fate forced her to look at what she had become, and where she was headed. A party of Vistani, Gypsies known to have mystical powers, were about to be attacked by a band of mercenaries from a neighboring nation. Shaw abandoned her tracking of Drevok to aid the nomads who, as it turned out, were expecting her.
Shaw was given a scroll, along with cryptic instructions as to what would happen when she used it. The next night, Shaw read the scroll, and entered the portal that opened, quickly followed by the vampire she’d let go the night before.
Shaw exited the portal into a desert, and in a quick but brutal battle, eliminated Drevok. She then began to walk, hoping to find civilization or someone who could tell her where she had arrived. Hours later, she met Jonathan Smith and Mark Gordon, a probationary angel and ex-cop from Oakland who told Shaw that God (He seems to prefer simplicity in his name) had assigned them to teach her about Earth, the world she was now walking on. Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed to accompany them. Over the next two months, Jonathan and Mark instructed Shaw on the ways of Earth, giving her lessons not only on how humans did things, but also on the legends of Earth, as she was shown that she would have to hide her elven heritage in a world where humans reigned, and had almost no knowledge of the mystical things that she accepted as reality. In time, Jonathan took her to meet a friend of his, and doing so would be the first step in changing Shaw’s outlook for all time.
The man’s name was Connor MacLeod, a master swordsman who had agreed to teach Shaw the fighting styles of Earth, in an attempt to help Shaw blend in on this world. Also present was Duncan, Connor’s younger cousin, who talked with Shaw about her past (as far as what Shaw revealed to him at that point), and being in a similar position (someone who had tried to avenge a murdered family member) was able to help Shaw begin the healing process that she had put off for half her lifetime (Born To Raise Hellmouth). The following weeks saw Shaw begin to loosen up as she became friends with Connor, and for the first time, met an elf named Tobabaird, who gave her ways to contact him or his people, who lived in America. Events quickly escalated, however, when a spirit came to Shaw in a vision, telling her something Shaw found quite impossible to believe.
The mother of her beloved grandfather was from this very world she had found herself on.
Jehanne, as the spirit called herself, gave Shaw the knowledge that she was here because of a prophecy that she was destined to be a part of. Shaw was also charged with guarding a sword that Jehanne had used herself in her mortal life, to give to another that would be involved in the prophecy. To do this, Shaw must go to California, and confront someone she would need to verify her story; the living descendant of her great-grandmother’s sister.
Shaw took on the task, but not without a great deal of trepidation over meeting kin from another plane. She had little time to think about it, as a man came to kill her teacher, Connor. In a brutal battle that followed, and nearly destroyed the barge loaned to Connor by Duncan, Shaw killed the man calling himself Raymond McGuire four times before beheading him with a stroke of Soulreaver. After Connor and Jonathan returned from errands of their own, Connor was forced to come clean on his secret; he was an Immortal human, nearly five hundred years old. Shaw’s own confession that she was half-elven, and from another world, seemed to catch Connor more off guard.
Returning to America, Shaw soon parted company with Jonathan and Mark when the spirit once again appeared to Shaw, telling her that the time had come to begin her destiny. After a tearful parting, and promises to try to see each other again, Shaw boarded a bus headed towards the western horizon. Her destination; Sunnydale, California.
On the way to Sunnydale, Shaw stopped in a northern town called Santa Carla. On an overnight wait, Shaw saw a great number of vampires, as well as the trio of young men who spent their nights fighting them. After a quick introduction (sans revelation about elves), an alliance was formed. Shaw helped the Frog brothers and their friend Sam over a two-week period before the time came where she could wait no longer, and headed to Sunnydale.
Once arriving in Sunnydale, Shaw took up residence with Ulric Johansen, a Catholic priest who happened to be a native of Finland, where Shaw’s own Goddess was once worshipped. This coincidence actually helped Shaw, as Ulric was a believer in angels and vampires, so a servant of a Goddess of his ancestors was hardly that much of a stretch. Shaw began her role, impersonating a foreign student at the local high school, where she met several people who extended their friendship to her. Not knowing what to make of such openness, Shaw was noncommittal. However, she recognized one of those she met as hunter of vampires in the town, so that contributed to her caution. Her caution, however, was not enough to keep the young man calling himself Xander from having his own suspicions about the new exchange student. In a game of runaround, Shaw and the Slayerettes attempted to get a feel for the other without revealing their own secrets. It was after Shaw’s hand was forced, in a mini-interrogation by Giles and having to defend the young Immortal Randi Jessup from a Cenobite, that she came forth to reveal the truth about her intentions. Fighting Spike and Drusilla alongside Willow after casting a shielding spell over Giles and a member of the Society of Watchers helped her case, as did suffering minor injuries during the fight. These actions put Willow firmly on Shaw’s side when it came time for Shaw to reveal everything there was to know about her coming to Sunnydale.
To Shaw’s surprise, as well as her relief, the Slayerettes were quite willing to accept her for being a half-elf from another realm, partially because they already had a fairy amongst their number. The sticking point that caused hostility from a Slayerette was that Shaw’s Earthly ancestor was none other than a long-lost member of Amy Madison’s line. The revelation was not taken easily by either cousin, but there was no time to linger over it as Shaw revealed that Randi, having been given the sword she was destined to carry, had been named as the last piece of the prophecy puzzle by none other than the woman known to the world as Joan of Arc. The Sword of St. Catherine had been passed down to Randi, because she would need it to defeat the demon known as Sinclair.
In her part of the prophecy (the focus of Born To Raise Hellmouth), Shaw fought a demonic assassin named Scorpion, whom Sinclair had sent to kill her in order to eliminate what he considered a dangerous wild card. He was too late, as Shaw had fulfilled the more important role she was to play, giving Randi the weapon she eventually used to take Sinclair’s head. Shaw, on the other hand, fared less well. The ranger was forced to run herself through with her own sword to prevent the demon from strangling her. She ended up on the Ghost Roads, a sort of pathway between this world and the next, before her ring of regeneration restored her to vitality. But, this was not before Jehanne revealed to Shaw that she had another destiny to perform, sometime in the future.
In the immediate aftermath of the events, Shaw was extended and accepted a proposal to join the Slayerettes, with the eventual goal of joining Section Seven. Despite her original plans to leave Sunnydale after fulfilling her task, the twin lures of becoming part of a larger group devoted to good and possibly forming a stable relationship with her newfound relative were too much for Shaw, who wished to end her lonely traveling, to resist. Over the next several weeks, Shaw worked with the Slayerettes and quickly became integrated with her new friends and teammates. While her friends’ education of Earth matters progressed fairly well, her relationship with Amy was not as good in its progress. Shaw and Amy both were waiting for the other to speak of family matters, a crossed signal that wouldn’t be corrected until nearly a month later (Hunter In Dark). When the call came for Section Seven to go to San Francisco to prevent the reanimation of the most dangerous vampire of all time, the dreaded Dracula (Witch Hunt and Slayer In Black), Shaw was surprised to find out that she was being assigned to guard the Hellmouth in the Slayerettes’ absence. While she felt honored by the trust shown to her in that regard, Shaw still felt as if she had been left behind.
The duty proved to be much less than boring, as an alien game hunter arrived in Sunnydale to hunt humans for sport. The young Predator quickly decided that vampires were much more fun to hunt, and quickly began cutting a swath in the local vampire population. As Shaw, Kendra and Joe N’Gato attempted to discern the alien’s intentions, agents of MIB showed up and discovered (through alien technology available to them) that the Predator was not the only non-human in the town of Sunnydale. In a confrontation, Shaw quickly outsmarted the MIB’s (twice), before being forced to call upon her friend Tobabaird for help. Luckily, explanations were quickly forthcoming, helped out by Agent I, also known as the Immortal James Stalking Rattler, having met Tobabaird on a previous occasion. The MIB’s offered to help Shaw fix the few holes in her background story, and as a branch of the United States Immigration Department, gave Shaw was amounts to permanent resident status in the U.S. When the present Slayerettes gave MIB and Noguchi, a former Special Forces operative who left Earth to join the Predators, a quick education in vampires, they joined forces to find the runaway adolescent who was actually helping in their duties. Coming from this were a form of alliance between MIB, Section Seven, and the Predators, who would be allowed to have controlled hunts for vampires on Earth.
Barely a day later, events once again took an unexpected turn. When confronting a hunter of Nightbreed, Shaw was hit with a taser. The shock seemed to have put her off balance, as she viciously killed Gib Cain in a fit of anger over his declaration that he would kill Oz, and a threat to her best friend, Willow. It wasn’t until a few hours later that Shaw realized that something more was at work.
Apparently, when Shaw had killed Raymond McGuire in July, she had somehow absorbed part of the headhunter’s Quickening. When hit with the taser’s electrical charge, the Quickening became active and Shaw, being mortal, could not handle the impulses and emotions given freedom inside of her mind. After following her first instinct, going to Steve’s house, Shaw was unwilling to interfere with the mission they had at hand. Feeling that the alternative, being unstable enough to harm someone in their absence, was not acceptable, Shaw fled Sunnydale in an attempt to solve the problem herself. A day later, when the Slayerettes returned from their mission, they came home to a dangerous situation; one of their own being effected by what Steve called a “Dark Quickening.”
Steve called Duncan MacLeod and Joe Dawson, alerting them to Shaw’s probable arrival in Seacouver in her search for a cure for the Quickening that was infecting her mind. At the time, Shaw had stopped in Santa Carla to pay a visit to her friends, Edgar, Alan and Sam. In a surprise development, Edgar and Alan were fatally wounded by a vampire, but turned out to be newborn Immortals, much to the shock of all. After giving the new Immortals instructions to call Steve for help with their new situation, Shaw headed north, bound for Seacouver.
The next night, Shaw saved Kenny, a formerly evil child Immortal, from another headhunter named Richard Markham, the first Immortal encountered by Steve St. Wolf when he first became Immortal (New Beginnings). After shooting him and taking him to a secluded location, Shaw quickly destroyed the evil Immortal, but the shielding spell she cast to protect herself from Markham’s Quickening mysteriously failed, forcing two bolts into her body. After nearly losing control of her temper, Shaw fearfully fled north, with Kenny accompanying her. When she arrived in Seacouver, Shaw called Steve’s residence to let him know what had transpired, but the Wanderer already knew, through the Society’s information network. When Steve convinced Shaw to return to the Hellmouth, the line disconnected before he could relay his orders. It was this incident that convinced Steve that there was more to the situation then first believed.
Shaw went to Joe Dawson to gain the information she hoped would lead to a cure, but upon finding out that the information involved Duncan MacLeod, the Slayerette decided to go straight to him for help, despite her fading control over herself. Shaw drove to Duncan’s, and in a talk, the Highlander convinced Shaw to wait for the others to come for her, rather than attempt to go home herself. A talk with Duncan brought out some facts about Shaw’s past, and Duncan helped Shaw sort out some of the emotions churning inside of her regarding her relationship with Amy, but Shaw fled when she misunderstood Duncan’s desire to make a pot of coffee. Having just learned about a lethal allergy to caffeine, Shaw panicked and fled for the airport.
Flying to New York, Shaw intended to seek shelter with Connor, but the half-elf was intercepted by Frank Iverson. The unexpected appearance of Angelus made Shaw go after the vampire, and led to her encounter with fellow vampire hunter Blade. After a fight between the two, Shaw took up shelter with Blade for the night while the arriving Slayerettes made plans to go to Connor’s antique shop in the morning. The Scooby Gang had learned, through Artemis, that the source of Shaw’s problems was none other than the God of War, Ares, whose plan was to force Shaw to forsake Mielikki so that He could enlist her as his mortal champion, much in the same manner as Artemis’ Amazons. Part of this plan was a measure of revenge on the Wanderer and the team for plans of His that the Slayerettes had foiled in the past.
Shaw called Connor and arranged a meeting in Central Park, but Ares anticipated this possibility, summoning the Headless Horseman from Hell and sending him after the Highlander. Shaw took her place beside her teacher, fighting the Horseman for all they were worth, but Ares’ magic continually healed the Horseman and allowed the demon to fight on. Shaw finally attempted to sever the Horseman’s spine, but Ares used magic to force Soulreaver to pass through the Horseman and into Connor’s gut, temporarily killing the Immortal warrior. After the briefest moment of shock, Shaw’s control finally snapped as she entered a berserker rage and began systematically destroying the Horseman’s ability to fight. After severing half his limbs, Buffy was able to penetrate the rage Shaw felt, but Shaw fled in fear of harming anyone else before Buffy could stop her. It was then that Shaw crossed paths with a Bureau 13 team that had mistakenly fired upon Amy in confusion while hunting the Horseman, and Shaw took lethal measures to ensure her cousin’s safety. Shaw attempted to electrocute the Ghostbusters, but realized her mistake when Amy herself shielded the new Federal Agents with her own magic. Shaw fled once again.
After spending the night in an abandoned church, Shaw decided to go directly to Connor, having learned that Ares would do whatever was necessary to keep her from going home. When she came to the shop, she was nearly disabled by the Buzz of four Immortals in close proximity. Ares tried to intervene directly, and abduct Shaw before her friends realized she was present. In the brief battle that followed, Shaw, Amy, Xander, Cordelia and Kylie of the Ghostbusters (with overt aid from Artemis), stopped Ares and forced him to abandon his plan. After he left, Shaw returned to New York with the team.
It was while waiting for the others to join them that Shaw, in private with Amy, finally broke down and told the story about herself to the one person she felt needed to know, if Amy was to accept her. After a few hours, and a long talk between the two, the cousins finally took the first steps towards the relationship they both wanted to have. When the time came to remove the Quickening, Ares reappeared, begging to be let out of the agreement force upon him by Shaw. When the Slayerettes were reluctant to force him to keep to the agreement (it involved nymphomaniac demons, a trip to Hell, and a lot of sex), Jenny was able to convince Shaw to mitigate his punishment. Shaw did so, leaving the God of War’s punishment up to Mielikki Herself.
In ensuing days, Shaw suffered from fatigue and nightmares, and under Steve’s suggestion went to seek counseling from a psychiatrist who handles such matters for the members of Section Seven. The Slayerettes rallied behind her, even going so far as to throw her a birthday party at the Bronze once they discovered that this day was less than a week from the end of the situation.
But, despite the crisis being over, Shaw and the Slayerettes continued to receive surprises. Among these was that one of Shaw and Amy’s ancestors had been a Watcher over a Slayer in the eighteenth century, and that their newest teammate Larry was himself the grandson of a Watcher who had watched Duncan MacLeod. Larry had been allowed to join the team under Shaw’s suggestion, and with Shaw’s recent “adoption” into the Clan MacLeod by Connor, the humor in the scenario was quickly obvious.
In the following weeks, Shaw attempted to avoid stressful situations, but such opportunities were rare. When alternate versions of Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Angel arrived in the Wandererverse, most of the team went to aid in ridding that Sunnydale of the Master. Shaw stayed in Sunnydale and accompanied a task force led by Amy to Los Angeles to aid Charles Gunn’s Lost Boys in ridding their neighborhood of a vampire street gang. While Amy led the assault group, Shaw stayed at the Teen Shelter used by the Boys as an infirmary, helping prepare for any counterattack by the vampires. When Amy’s group returned, Shaw used her healing spells on one of the Lost Boys who’d been captured before running down and giving Amy a minute-long hug (this after nearly having her heart stop upon seeing the hole in Amy’s armor) (Be Careful What You Wish For).
Over the next two weeks, Shaw started the process of coming out of her emotional shells, getting involved with a group in her Literature class run by two fellow juniors, Jessica and David, and becoming a running partner with Larry. She also prepared for that Earth tradition known as Christmas (although Shaw finds it easier to deal with the religious and family overtones than the whole commercialism thing). The Slayerette celebrated the Winter Solstice (an important religious holiday for her) by enlisting aid from Brenna, Artemis, and an Earth-born unicorn to play a joke on Puck, which was recorded onto an elven kiira (a memory stone capable of recording memories, although kiir (kiira is plural) is also the Espruar word for “star”), which turned out to be her Christmas present to Robin (Best Served Cold). Robin truly enjoyed the gift and realized that perhaps he was teaching Shaw too well. Shaw had already given a present to Amy, her Harper pin, as a dual symbol; the only thing she had approaching a family heirloom (and one she wanted Amy to have), and a sign that Shaw was committing herself to staying on Earth and learning what she could of her Terran heritage. In return, Robin gave Shaw his present to her; letters from her former friends and teachers from Faerun. It seemed that Robin had taken it upon himself to make contact (through an intermediary) with them and let them know of Shaw’s status.
The day after Christmas, Amy drove Shaw to her maternal grandmother’s home in San Luis Obispo, California, where the active witches of the Madison line (except the trophy-bound Catherine, of course) were meeting for the holiday. Shaw got along greatly with the twelve-year-old twins Anna and Elizabeth before they even knew who she was, and the twins conned… er, convinced Shaw to accompany them, their mother, and Amy to a local Renn Faire they attended religiously. To Amy’s surprise (and the twins’ enjoyment), Shaw fell in love with the atmosphere of the Faire and went so far as to buy three separate costumes and register as a performer, although it was with the understanding that her duties on the Hellmouth came first (Joan and some of the administrators, being Gifted in their own right, had no problem with this, especially since Joan let it leak that her niece and cousin worked with a Grail Knight and a Vampire Slayer). However, despite the Twin Terrors’ begging, Shaw refused to join their tournament combat group, citing the fact that with over thirty years of experience fighting orcs, goblins, and vampires, it wouldn’t be fair for her to compete.
After returning to the house for dinner, Shaw was introduced to Amy’s grandmother, who Shaw saw as the head of the family (so to speak). After telling Eleanor who she was and giving much of her life story, Eleanor showed Shaw that her fears of rejection were unfounded by warmly accepting her into the family, thanking Shaw herself for solving the old family mystery (telling her that for the first time in a long time, the family was “truly together and united again”). Unfortunately, things were about to take a twist for the bizarre when the cousins returned to the Faire on Sunday.
Spike and Drusilla, fresh off of their betrayal of Angelus (in Born to Raise Hellmouth), arrived in SLO to partake of the Faire (or Faire goers, more accurately) and indulge themselves in some of the local vineyards (SLO is wine country). The insane Dru made the mistake of attempting to hypnotize Lizzie. Shaw bent ballistic on Drusilla, beating her down and all but killing her when the Metsanhaltija, spiritual servants of Mielikki, appeared and told her that she could not kill Drusilla. Instead, Shaw was told that it was necessary to restore Drusilla’s soul to her. Although this went against everything Shaw believed in, she knew that Mielikki would not order something like this without one Arvandor of a reason. Reluctantly, Shaw cast the spell required to restore Dru’s soul. However, it wouldn’t be until later that Shaw’s casting would show that it was more than the usual soul-restoration.
After Amy kicked the crap out of Spike, Shaw prevented his dusting and the two told him to meet them in Sunnydale in two days, if he ever wanted to see his Dru again. After hastily returning to Eleanor’s ranch, Shaw snapped at Amy about going back to Sunnydale. Amy was understandably hurt, but she didn’t push back, since she knew the problem was that Shaw was angry about having to cut meeting her family short. Eleanor talked with the frustrated half-elf, telling her that they would have other chances to get closer. She gave Shaw an open invitation to visit any time she wished, on her own initiative. She then gave Shaw a belated Christmas gift; a photo album with pictures of the various witches in the family, with the picture of Alison and Lydia (their common ancestors), in the front. The girls returned to the Hellmouth and the team planned to trap the sure to be enraged Big Bad. When the Prince of Peroxide showed up, he was neatly trapped and had his soul restored by the witches, although there was some confusion when Spike’s Cockney accent was replaced with something usually heard from a Merchant/Ivory film extra. Once he remembered everything, Spike’s first thought was to commit suicide. But he then realized he needed his Dru and went to stand by her bedside to awaken (after being stunned to find out that part of Shaw’s curse was that she would have her sanity restored).
When Drusilla woke up, Shaw found a way to prevent her from destroying herself. She took the vampire to see Ulric, who took Dru’s confession. Afterwards, Shaw talked with Dru a bit about her own guilt from the past (How The Big Bad Stole Christmas). A week later, Shaw finally worked up the courage to read the letters she’d gotten from home and talked that night with Amy about what she’d read (Resolutions). One of the other things they talked about was how Shaw held Amy in something of awe (because of her status as one of Artemis’ mortal champions, like the Chosen in the Forgotten Realms). In contrast, Amy said that she sometimes wondered why someone who talked to angels wanted to be related to her. That talk let them see the “human” side of each other, something that would let Shaw see Amy as someone like her, rather than the better person she thought Amy was.
The new year proved to be as hectic as the last one. Just after 1999 started, the team was called to Atlanta to deal with a group of vampires (which included Angelus, previously thought killed by Mike Hammer) who planned to take over the Southeastern United States. But to the team’s surprise, Angelus’ survival wasn’t the biggest shock. That honor belonged to the knowledge that when Kendra had temporarily flatlined in July, a third Slayer, Faith Reilly, was Chosen in Boston. The Watchers had kept this secret from the estranged Giles and Buffy and tried to make certain that Faith herself would never know the things the Council wanted kept secret.
As in November, Shaw stayed behind to guard the Hellmouth (with aid from Charlie and Larry). While the team was preparing for battle, Shaw was contacted by the Oracles, who stated that Angelus needed his soul back. After having done something similar only a while ago, Shaw was adamant about not doing this again. However, upon being made aware of the consequences of not complying, Shaw went against her instincts and cast a curse of her own. When the gang got back and reported that Angel had been killed by Kakistos after having his soul returned, Shaw was livid. She contacted Jehanne and demanded to know why he was not in Heaven. After pissing off the angel (something hard enough to do in its own right), Shaw asked for him to be given what he deserved. What he ended up with was the same mission, but in a different form.
The greater impact from the team’s Atlanta mission was the arrival of the newest member of the team, the new Slayer Faith, who’d decided to hook up with kids her own age instead of following her original impulse of going to work with Mulder and Scully. When she met Faith for the first time, Faith freaked Willow and Amy out by telling Shaw to “live long and prosper.” Shaw, seeing “something” in Faith that she couldn’t quite put her finger on, chose to thank her for her “well wishing.” Thus began a fast and surprisingly deep friendship that would befuddle much of the team until later that year (Faith’s Story, Soul Sisters, Soul Searching).
The other major event of the first month was the arrival in Sunnydale of Arrin Parkin and Drake the Silerwor. The headhunter started forming his own private army with the purpose of killing Immortals, but decided to eliminate the Slayer to remove that possible thorn in his side (he had no interest in her as he didn’t know the Slayer they talked about was an Immortal, and he didn’t plan on conquering the world). This put him at odds not only with the Slayerettes, but also with the Mayor, who saw Drake as competition for recruiting the local undead boys for employment. The Mayor and his assistant, Mr. Trick, tried to play both sides against the other as a means to keep attention from being turned to Wilkins’ Ascension. After the Silerwor was seemingly killed by the Rainbow Archer, the Chosen of Corellon left town, but not before giving Shaw some important information about her elven ancestry and a message from beyond the grave from her unknown mother (Another Run). He also gave Shaw a ring of filled with powerful heal spells, intended for use for the whole team.
After it was found out that Drake was alive and trying to lead the Slayer into a trap, the Scooby Gang launched a rescue mission to save Larry and his younger brother (Drake’s Play). Shaw and Oz took a risky chance, infiltrating Drake’s hideout by impersonating evil beings (in Shaw’s case, a dark elf priestess by using glamour, spells from Amy, and a tongues spell of her own) and catching Drake off guard. When the rest of the team began their assault, Shaw revealed her true self, mocking Drake that for someone who’d spent millennia on Toril, he should know that wherever he went, a Harper would be there to foil his plans. She wasn’t so cocky when Drake’s lieutenant shot her through the shoulder with a gun, but Shaw quickly cast a powerful blessing on Drake’s clothing, thus putting the demon into agony and forcing him to retreat. The Silerwor escaped yet again, but his army had been decimated a second time. The gang was furious with Shaw and Oz for taking such chances, but Shaw was more concerned about Amy’s reaction to her getting shot (Shaw tried to reassure Amy that being shot with a bullet was not as bad as, as Robin counted after reading Shaw’s memories, being shot by the eight arrows, three crossbow bolts, sling stone, spear in her gut, and dagger in the bicep that she’d suffered in thirty years of combat) (The Scooby Gang Strikes Back).
In February, things got even more interesting during four episodes. One of these was the attack on the Amazons when a madwoman tried to use servants of Earth’s moon Goddesses in a sacrifice to destroy the solar system. Besides the threat to her friends (Amy and Willow in particular), Shaw had two things on her mind. One was the jealously of her teammates, who were attending a new class headed by Professor Rhiannon Cathcart (as it was for seniors only and Shaw had salivated at the idea of taking such a class in Mythology). The other was that, for the first time, Amy told Shaw that her love for her cousin was returned by the witch. It taught Shaw that it wasn’t enough to give everything of herself to her family (blood or chosen); she unconsciously wanted Amy’s love in return and now knew she was indeed loved back (Daughters of the Moon). With Amy’s confession, plus her talks with Amy after the Atlanta mission and Buffy when the entire team was given the chance to drink from the Holy Grail, Shaw knew she was no longer a “teammate,” but rather a true member of the Scooby family.
Amongst the other two events was the episode wherein a protection spell gone wrong caused many men to fall in love with Joyce Summers. After rescuing her from a love struck Oz with Larry’s help, Shaw joined in becoming Joyce’s temporary bodyguard until the situation could be resolved. However, Shaw didn’t get off free; having put Ulric to sleep (because she believed that he too had fallen under the spell; he didn’t) and letting Faith drive his car across the lawn (doing major damage to it), Shaw got to spend her weekend casting plant fixing spells on her front yard (Another Tuesday Night in Sunnydale).
The other mission was, surprisingly enough, to another world in the Wanderer universe, albeit one four thousand light-years away. For this mission, Shaw received several surprises of her own; meeting the Lord Tyr, the God of Justice from her homeworld (while Amy met Hecate, the Goddess she calls on for her witchcraft), meeting Xena the Warrior Princess (hey, they both hated Ares, it gave them something in common, however weird), and Shaw was stunned when Steve told her she was ready to join the team on a mission (her first mission as a member of Section Seven at large as opposed to the local Slayerettes). After the usual introductions meant to keep anyone from accidentally shooting various members of the team (like Oz <a werewolf> or Robin <capable of transforming into his fairy form when in combat>), Shaw neatly avoided any Vulcan comments from Jack Gerber’s Blue Berets by politely telling the ART unit that the first person who called her Arwen or Galadriel would get an arrow up his butt. On the mission itself, Shaw handled the assignment handed her by St. Wolf with great success. Acting as a liaison to the elves of Elvandar, in particular coordinating efforts with Prince Calis, a half-elf himself, Shaw worked with Calis’ unit in the forest of Elvador to wipe out the vampires infesting that part of Midkemia. Her forestry skills impressed even the elves of Elvandar, and Shaw in turn was touched by the acceptance they showed her, rather than the occasional prejudice she’d experienced from full-blooded elves of her own homeland. When the commando team SG-1 appeared through a StarGate, Shaw and her team took them prisoner (after a slight misunderstanding between her and Jack O’Neill which St. Wolf settled as the commanding officer). In the end, Shaw ended the mission with a new sense of belonging, beyond that of her teammates (although she could have done without the glances Amy and Cordelia gave several of their allies, including the already married Daniel Jackson and Prince Calis, in a transparent attempt at scoping out potential boyfriends for her) (Avatars of Sung).
The month of March passed as uneventfully as time can on the Hellmouth, although she did receive a visit from the college professor, Sydney Fox. When her companion, Sister Margaret Elizabeth, dropped what she thought was a charade and demanded that Shaw turn over the holy relic for which she’d come all the way from Paris for, Ulric told his “coworker” that he would not tolerate such treatment. Acting on the information she had that Shaw was extremely religious, Margaret Elizabeth threatened Shaw with excommunication, only to be stumped when Shaw told her to go ahead and excommunicate her. After her visitors left, Shaw called Steve, Connor, and Giles (the latter two to report what their long time “friend” had tried to pull). Although her first instinct was to berate Fox, Connor and Giles’ cooler heads softened her anger (spurred on by her secret fear that if the truth came out, she would lose her home <as was the case in Slayer in Black>), and Steve decided to deal with the issue as best he could. The next night, she, Brian, and Randi had to save Fox, the Sister, and Nigel Bailey from some vampires, revealing that Randi carried the Sword of St. Catherine and Shaw’s own racial origins. While Margaret Elizabeth made more of an antagonist of herself with her demands for the Sword, Shaw talked to and apologized to Fox, having learned from Connor (after being lightly scolded by him) that he had asked her to bring Shaw the information about Trinity College, as he cared about her future. In the end, Randi found the courage to stand up for herself and her brother, telling Margaret Elizabeth to kiss off (as politely as a devout Catholic could do so to a Censure), and the Sister left after her superiors told her that they would take a wait and see attitude regarding the faithful young woman carrying the Sword (not knowing about her Immortality) (Fox In The Hellmouth). And while Shaw’s own heritage became known to certain powerful members of the Catholic Church, the belief that she was a good Catholic (and being raised by a well respected, modest Father) led Margaret and Cardinal Bellarmine to consider her one of their own (with Margaret, it’s Shaw’s “official” records that cause her more discomfort, given the Sister’s former IRA affiliation and the supposed occupations of Shaw’s deceased parents).
The normalcy of March gave way to a hectic, strife-filled April. When a Guardian showed up on the Hellmouth, Mayor Wilkins hired Krtog and some Black Mages to cause havoc to keep Diana Tregarde from finding out about his upcoming Ascension. When Shaw and Amy came across the Mages at Weatherly Park, they called in the team as backup. When one of the Mages, recognizing Shaw as some type of Fey, cast a spell that drained a small portion of blood from her, the spell was completed, or so they thought. The problem was that being half-human, the blood was not “pure.” This caused a soundless explosion of magical energy that caused rips in the time/space continuum, scattering several of the Scoobies (Buffy, Xander, Cordelia, Willow, Randi, Faith, and Shaw herself) across several planes and timelines.
Shaw stayed in the Wandererverse, but ended up in Japan in the year 1778, finding herself in a fishing village being assaulted by vampires. Shaw helped the villagers eliminate the undead, the villagers accepting her because they thought she was a form of Japanese wood fairy or spirit folk; her pale skin, almond-shaped eyes, and black hair were actually an advantage for her. Another brownie point she scored was being injured after going in to wipe out the vampires herself, after she refused to allow the mortals to risk themselves. When the village’s bushi (warrior protector, like a town or county sheriff) arrived with proper samurai, Shaw’s role became known. She encountered hostility from Kentaro, a member of the powerful Tanaka clan, but his comrades Raidon and Yuki were inclined to accept her as a worthy fighter (if not as an equal). After securing a proper mount (in fact, it was an elvensteed named Sharillon that was stranded in Japan as she could not create a Gate to return Underhill), she went to meet the samurai lord, Hideo Koto.
The meeting went better than Shaw would have hoped, given her behavior towards both Hideo and Kentaro (despite some knowledge of Japanese customs gleaned from Connor, Duncan, and Steve, as well as Xander’s Usagi Yojimbo comic collection); she cared more about the vampires infesting the village than social niceties. She was also scared, being stranded two centuries (not to mention five thousand miles of Pacific Ocean) from home. Koto recognized her fear for what is was and, after Shaw finally confronted Kentaro over his attitude and treatment of her and threatened to kill him (her cold voice and eyes convinced Hideo her threat was not idle), he offered her a place to stay until her friends could find her and return her to her own time. She came clean about her “fairy” heritage but demanded two things; one, her temporal origins could not be divulged to anyone outside of those who knew already, and two, while she would use her sword in his service, it would only be against supernatural beings, not any human enemies. Hideo agreed and asked her to begin teaching his samurai how to kill the vampires, should they come across them. As she expected, that idea was less than warmly received by Kentaro and the other samurai in Koto’s service. After demonstrating her skills against three of the warriors (saving Kentaro for last), she was ready to begin teaching. Having a private conversation with Kentaro afterward, the two warriors agreed that the important thing was not their hostility towards each other, but rather the possible threat posed by any soulless demons in the territory. Shaw also asked him to begin teaching her more about kenjitsu in return, citing that she would not challenge his command of the samurai, as she did not see herself as the type to lead troops into battle.
Over the next three months, Shaw fought a number of vampires and finally learned the location of their lair. When scouting it out, she was horrified to learn that Krtog and his partner, Tanetal (a pit fiend whose name was known to her from her time in Faerun) were working on a plan to draw the wielders of the Slayer Swords to the prefecture in a plot to destroy the Swords for all time. As the ranger returned to inform Koto of the danger posed by the fiends, she came across Kentaro, Raidon, and Yuki fighting two other foreigners (as at that time, gaijin <outsiders> were banned from Japan under threat of death). Shaw recognized the younger, Spanish woman as a Slayer and knew that she had to go against her allies, despite her growing friendship with Raidon and Yuki. She moved them aside and, before either Slayer or Watcher could get used to the new arrival, Shaw cast an anti-magic spell to keep them from using their witchcraft against her (it was ineffective against the Slayer powers, however). Shaw managed to force the Slayer to surrender by taking her Irish Watcher hostage. When properly bound, Shaw asked to speak to Kentaro in private. The first thing she did was tell him who the outlanders were, which got Kentaro to breathe a sigh of relief (apparently, Slayers would not be killed at first sight, even if they were foreigners). The second thing she did was to inform him if he ever attacked her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother again, she would separate his shoulders, break his kneecaps, and cut off his manhood with his own katana.
After “debriefing” Maria Delgado and Margaret Madison on what was happening, Shaw asked Hideo to find out who and where the Sword Bearers were, stating a desire to remove the threat of Krtog and Tanetal before the fiends realized that they had a fairy vampire hunter and the Slayer to deal with as well. Hideo endorsed the plan and made the proper inquiries. The Bearers, properly forewarned, arrived in secret and a hasty plan of action was formed to take the battle to the demons before they were prepared. Shaw, in an attempt to secure aid, summoned Jehanne and had her learn everything (two centuries before Jehanne herself would tell Shaw these same things), with the caveat that the Archon make sure she not make mistakes that would ruin the timeline. Jehanne disappeared and Raidon learned how complicated time travel was, even for those who went through it. In the preparations, Shaw offered to bless all of the weapons carried by the samurai, allowing them to hurt vampires as they could normal people. Raidon balked, citing that it would be dishonorable to take such an advantage into battle. Shaw countered that it was not dishonorable to level the playing field. When he asked why she would use such logic, she punched him in the jaw and told him why.
She said, “Because I love you, you son of a bitch!”
After two weeks of preparations, the battle was joined when Koto’s samurai led the Sword Bearers, the Slayer, her Watcher (a powerful witch in her own right), and Shaw in an early morning assault. As the chaos of war separated many of the combatants, Shaw and Raidon managed to stick together until confronted by Tanetal. He summoned a marilith (for you D&D fanatics, that’s the Type V demon snake lady with the six arms, serpent tail, and big hooters…), who challenged Raidon to single combat. Before Shaw could scream the dangers of fighting a marilith, Raidon found himself poisoned and dying before Maria and Margaret used their witchcraft to force Tanetal back. Shaw used a banishment spell to send her back to the Nine Hells, but when she tried to cure Raidon, he forced her not to. Telling her to let him die like a samurai, he extracted the most powerful oath he could, an oath to her own Goddess, that she would not heal him. His last words to her were that he did indeed return her love.
Shaw was overcome with grief that she channeled into anger. She used the pit fiend’s lawful bent to challenge him to combat and managed to deliver a devastating gut wound with Soulreaver. However, the devil was too strong for the sword’s disruption magic to work, and he launched Shaw away with a punch. Gritting his teeth as he grasped the blade and received a large discharge of electricity, Tanetal broke the Myth Drannan blade, releasing a massive blast of Seldarine magic that laid waste to several vampires and left him sorely wounded. As Shaw recovered, the Sword Bearers were killed by Krtog (using magic and sheer numbers to kill them). Shaw took up the Slayer Swords but, rather than focus on the dangerous Krtog, fell upon the wounded pit fiend with a vengeance, using both Swords of Destiny to cleave his head in half, sending his essence back to the Nine Hells.
The battle was going badly until Smaug and Fragnar, asked by Jehanne to take part in the battle, arrived to drive the remnants of the vampire army to the four winds (aided by Krotg’s retreating but only after vowing to get even with those who’d thwarted his plans). In the silence following the battle, and amidst the gathering of the fallen, Shaw covertly handed the Swords to the dragons, realizing that this was why she was in the past, to ensure that in time, Steve and Buffy would receive their destinies. She looked across the battlefield to locate her love’s body, but found out that it had been taken by the fleeing vampires. Shaw took off against Kentaro’s orders, going off on her own to search for the body.
Four days later, Sharillon trotted into Hideo’s property, carrying an exhausted, heart broken rider. Two days later, Hideo (who had carried her in himself) attended her in the quarters he had given her, only to find her packing. When he asked her what she was going to do (in a way eerily similar to Storm’s questioning twenty-five years earlier), she dully said she didn’t care anymore. When Koto expressed his disbelief, she said that she had been ripped away from her home, her family, and her time for this mission, only to have her first love die in the very battle she had come back to wage. To her, it was the last straw and she cared nothing for the fight anymore. Hideo, despite understanding and sympathizing with the grieving woman (having been told by his wife that she was not thinking like a warrior; she was thinking like a young woman who’d lost her love), told Shaw that if she gave up the fight, then everything that Raidon had died for would have been for nothing. Shaw told him of her oath and the fact that she could have saved him. Seeing that Shaw understood his code of bushido better than anyone could have given her credit for, Hideo accepted Shaw in his arms when she finally broke down into soul-weary sobs, the grief, exhaustion, and fear overcoming her control. He saw that his wife had been correct in one thing; the half-fairy girl saw him as more than a teacher or friend. She had come to see him as a protector and someone she wanted to be proud of her. A father figure.
Over the next two months, Hideo kept Shaw from engaging in any type of warrior activities (citing her loss and the end of the vampire threat). She engaged in taking over his library from the lord’s departed friend, Lo Si. During this time, she saw the man who’d been washed up on shore during a hurricane. She promptly went to Hideo and told him that Duncan MacLeod could not see her, and the lord knew without her telling why that it had to have something to do with her time travel. It was a short time later that Mielikki, knowing that it was time for Shaw to come home, arrived via time travel to take her home (having a certain Boston Bad Girl in tow with her).
After returning to the present (and aiding Faith in saving Connor and Duncan from a trap set by Jacob Kell and his cronies), Shaw was distant from the others because of what had happened to Raidon. She hardly even noticed that Buffy had managed to bring another universe’s version of Maria Delgado back to the Wandererverse (to save her life or keep her from being magically imprisoned again). Amy managed to get Shaw’s head out of her butt long enough to back her idea to have Maria go to her grandmother’s home to become used to the 20th century, rather than chance letting the Watcher’s Council get their claws into them (the idea was surprisingly endorsed by Edwin Giles, who declined to mention why he so quickly supported the idea).
It took Faith telling her to her face, a week after they’d returned, what was going on to get Shaw out of her funk. Wanting to repair her relationships, Shaw went to a girls’ night out with Faith. After making a stop at Victoria’s Secret, the Twin Towers of Tactlessness danced the night away at a rave. Unknown to Faith, the boy Shaw was dancing with slipped her a date rape drug and was preparing to violate her while she was in a drugged state. Faith went postal on him and his friend, going into a killing rage barely stopped when Shaw penetrated her anger and convinced Faith not to kill them, which would cause her soul damage that could never be undone. The two girls realized how deep their sisterly emotions for each other ran and embraced the feelings they shared, while they were also “scared straight” on two accounts; how close Faith had come to seeing her dark side, and how Shaw had almost damaged their relationship beyond repair (Soul Sisters).
The two so-called Soul Sisters barely had time to explore how deep their family love for each other was before Jack O’Neill contacted Steve for help, requesting Shaw’s aid in negotiating with some elves on the other side of a portal that was originally mistaken for a third StarGate. When Shaw realized the other side of the portal was Toril, she assembled a handpicked team (herself, Faith, Amy, Willow, Xander, Randi, Tobabaird, Duncan, Teal’C, and Peter Axon from the OSIR) to go secure her release. Her reasons were several, but the main one was that she would not stand for anyone in the American government learning the truth and exploiting the peoples of Toril for their own gain (bringing up the histories of the Africans, Native Americans, and especially the Tasmanians drove that point home). Upon meeting several elves from Evereska, Shaw asked to meet with Aeurulieth, who she knew to be living in Evereska from a letter from his wife last Christmas. When they met again, Aeurulieth revealed that he was in fact her half-brother, the son of their mother’s first husband. When she realized that it was her choice that nothing be changed in her life (in For Every Action) that had led to his not telling her, she told him the reason of his God’s ban on informing his sister of their bond. She also told him that she had nothing to forgive him for, because she now understood the depths of his treatment and the gifting of Soulreaver to her after their first meeting. Shaw was also introduced to her niece, Soraka, and her grandmother, Dalrania, who wielded the family moonblade (which Arrin Parkin had told her about in January (Another Run)). When Dalrania was angered by the fact that she had not been told that she had a granddaughter (as Aeurulieth knew years ago), Shaw stepped up to her newfound brother’s defense, stating that he had no choice in the matter. After a couple days of iciness on Shaw’s part, Dalrania asked Amy and Duncan for help regarding what she saw as her chance to know her granddaughter slipping away. Amy’s advice was that Shaw didn’t want flowery speeches or elaborate gifts (like the party Dalrania wanted to give to welcome the visitors <not just Shaw herself>), she preferred blunt honesty. Duncan’s talk was about how Shaw had something of a guilty conscience. He told Dalrania a little bit about the time travel episode, and Shaw’s attempt to prevent any problems caused by actions she might take. Thus given a better view of how Shaw was attempting to take the blame upon herself, Dalrania refused to give it. She and Shaw talked again and they decided to do what they could to bridge the gap of fifty-plus years.
Shaw also journeyed across Faerun with several of her friends (mostly Faith and Amy) via use of her grandmother and brother’s teleport spells (thus causing a lot of stomach aches for the teleport-sick Shaw), to visit friends and bring them up to date as to her activities and life. Among those she visited were Storm (although Storm came to Evereska to meet her former pupil), Tamaran, Ashallia (her teacher in clerical ways), her grandson Larselliez (letting Faith have a reunion with him, albeit without getting naked), Soryen and Yulin, and Dornias and the workers at Salaam’s Pleasure Hall, now being co-run by Salaama and Dornias. Shaw and Faith recognized one of the dark-haired barmaids working there and had a long talk with her (but that’s another story entirely) (Homecoming).
After a week and a half of catching up on old times (and new times with her family), Shaw and the others returned home, although with Elminster using a time travel spell (at Shaw’s request) to send them to mere hours after they had departed. It was fortunate that they did this, as the first thing they discovered was Colonel Maybourne, a government agent, trying to take jurisdiction of the portal from SG-1 and Section Seven. While St. Wolf prepared to use his ultimate trump cards to prevent this (with calls to Jack Ryan and, if required, Jed Bartlett), Shaw made the matter moot by using her sword to cut through the stone of the portal, ruining it from their side (Elminster had already sworn to use his magic to deactivate the gate from the Faerun side). The gang returned home, but Maybourne, pissed about being thwarted by the Wanderer, his maniac friends, and a pointy-eared high school girl, sent some information to an acquaintance of his, mentioning that there might be some non-human Spookies in Sunnydale, California.
After celebrating Easter vacation by spending the week at Eleanor’s (to spend some time away from her duties and to fully acclimate to everything that had happened the first two weeks of April) and getting to know Maria a little better, Shaw and the team were ambushed by the unlikely alliance of Mider, Maeve, and Shang Tsung, who opened a portal to Outworld and allowed Shao Kahn to invade Earth. While in hiding, Robin and his fairy friends were forced to reveal something to Shaw, Amy, and Joyce; the scroll detailing how the Game had gotten started was a fake. He revealed that the Eternals’ other plan to handle the end of the Game would have been to raze Earth of its people and magical energies. Shaw, thinking that Mielikki would be one of those Eternals involved, realized that if the worst ever happened, she would side against her family and join her Goddess in battle.
When Outworld sent numerous capture parties after the escapees, Shaw did what she could to help the others, although her lack of enhanced physical skills (compared to the other members of the team) began to show when she was getting beaten by Scorpion until rescued by Johnny Cage. When Amy was captured, Shaw finally broke under the pressure, telling Robin to send her back. He refused, instead having Liam Danahure take her to the grave of his favorite ex-wife to calm her down and get her focused. When the fairy armies attacked Kahn’s forces, Shaw used the spell turning powers of her new blade to destroy the prison holding her teammates fast. Her near berserker rage terrified Mider, Maeve, and Tsung (who’d dismissed her as a half-breed not worthy of considering a threat), although when they came to blows, Tsung readily broke through Shaw’s defenses and would have killed her had Liam not been there to save her.
After the fight, Shaw tearfully reunited with her family (Amy, Xander, and Cordelia especially), but she had seen some things that unsettled her despite her teammates being saved. Not wanting to bring it up to Steve or Buffy, Shaw sought outside help by talking to Gabrielle, discussing the Ripper and Gypsy Vengeance sides shown by Jenny and Giles during the Outworld fight, and how those dark sides (in particular, how the Ripper put her own Xander-tagged “Hulk Mode” to extreme shame) from the elders who often calmed her temper had rattled her. The Amazon Queen helped her by talking to her, and she came to accept that part of her teachers without much trouble. It wasn’t until later that Shaw found out that she wasn’t the only one who’d approached the bearer of Purity for such emotional aid.
Almost immediately following the Outworld battle, Shaw was one of those who were asked to help Angel find a newly risen Crow in Phoenix, Arizona (The Crow: Vengeance Never Dies). Aside from having a surprise reunion with Lo Si, Shaw also saw how kind Liam (who at first she was massively irritated by) could be when the situation called for it. Despite the fact she still treated him like Cordelia used to treat Xander, her attitude started to change a bit.
As the wacky April passed into May, Shaw was able to focus on school and the upcoming summer vacation. She got help from Jessica to land a part time job at Lawrence Antiques (Working Girl) and was shanghaied along with Faith to find a DJ for the Prom with two days’ notice (Prom Night). Shaw was distracted from it until Faith asked her what was on her mind. What was turned out to be that it had been a full year since she came to Earth (Year to the Day). After reminiscing a bit in the library, Shaw found a little bit of peace in that after years of wandering and months of hijinks on the Hellmouth, she had truly come full circle. And she’d come home.
Half-elf (Cha’Tel’Quessir of moon elven descent)
Shaw stands five feet five inches tall, and weighs between one hundred and one hundred ten pounds. Her body is muscular yet trim, like that of someone who often works out, but will still attract the eyes of many men due to her slim-hipped figure and the attractiveness of her face. Shaw’s face is typical of half-elves of moon elven descent, being pale to the point of being white, with her cheekbones having a bluish tinge. She has her mother’s hazel eyes, which are somewhat atypical of moon elves, whose eyes tend towards sky blue or amber. While her features would make her be known for a half-elf on Toril, on Earth her elven genes make her stand out as what most would consider beautiful or exotic. This exotic look is further brought out since her pale face is framed by black hair that, in its normal state, is very wavy, almost curled. Shaw prefers to wear her hair in a braid or tail, which ends up falling to the middle of her back.
As for distinguishing physical characteristics, Shaw has three. The first, obviously, is her ears, which while human-sized, come to a soft point as do those of elven blood. Since learning how to disguise it, this does not pose much of a problem to Shaw.
Harder to hide is the effect of her elven blood on her vision, which at night or in darkness reflexively slips into the infrared spectrum. The effect created by this racial trait is that Shaw’s pupils shine, much like a dog or a cat’s, but in a red color that is a telltale sign of her nonhuman origins. Normally, Shaw simply dons a pair of shades or sunglasses to hide this, and people have not seen fit to question her habit, possibly attributing it to her supposedly European background or perhaps, for older people, being a teenager.
The final area, and one that causes Shaw the most problems personally, is her back, which was heavily scarred over twenty-five years ago. Because of these scars, Shaw will refuse to wear anything sleeveless, or with a plunging back.
However, over the past half-year Shaw has become less of a prude when it comes to Earth fashions and has (thanks to help from Amy, Cordelia, Willow, and Faith) embraced her status as a young woman. Although she still has her preferences of going “fashionable yet functional,” Shaw will “gussy up” for the occasion, although her choice of wardrobe depends on where she is. When out with the team, she now gladly wears silk blouses, tight jeans, dresses, and even the occasional leather skirt (and she also likes leather jackets and boots <like the pair Faith bought her in England>). In contrast, when relaxing or exercising at home, Shaw prefers simple clothing like oversize sweat shirts (like those dancers wear), Chi Jeans or sweat pants, and socks or Bloch ballet slippers.
Infravision, the ability to see in the infrared spectrum and detect objects or people by their heat emanations when in darkness or at night; enhanced hearing (approximately fifteen percent higher than human norm); magical powers derived from her Goddess in the form of magical spells, the ability to bless objects, and the ability to “turn” undead beings by channeling the power of her Goddess into an area effect, sending undead fleeing or in some cases destroying them; animal empathy, the ability to sense the emotions of all animals in a 300’ radius; glamour, a form of illusion possessed by Earth elves which allows them to mask their true natures (thus far, Shaw only has worked on simple illusions, such as making her ears look human, changing her eye, hair, and skin color, and making an illusory vampire “game face”); mage sight, the ability to detect and see magical energies by shifting her perceptions (this ability is also possessed by Amy, a witch, and presumably Jenny and Willow as well); and Shaw is immune to demonic possession and all forms of disease (except for the common cold).
Shaw has numerous skills learned in her fifty-four years, among those are; religion (a knowledge of basics tenets and practices of the religions of Faerun, as well as some religions on Earth); herbalism (using herbs and plants for various medicinal uses); tracking; hunting; music (Shaw is a skilled musician and plays a type of flute called the songhorn. She admits her singing voice sounds like that of a cat in heat (in Born to Raise Hellmouth)); basic first aid (including dressing various wounds dealt by nontechnological weapons); bowyer/fletcher (the ability to craft bows and arrows); languages (Shaw currently speaks twenty-two languages: Common, Elvish, Kartakan, Thayvian, Sithican, English, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Latin, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Lakota, Navajo, Celtic (learning from Willow), Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese); basic computer skills; some knowledge of antiques and the antiques business (through Connor MacLeod and Steve St. Wolf, and she is now learning the business end of things from Robert and Carol Lawrence). Also, her association with Larry has given Shaw an even greater love of baseball (although without a women’s softball team at Sunnydale High School, it’s unlikely Shaw will get to try out for a team), and she has even gotten into a few pickup games at school (she prefers playing shortstop or third base).
Current Status: (include here if the person is immortal or not):
Active member of the Slayerettes and Section Seven. Junior at Sunnydale High School, employee of Lawrence Antiques in Sunnydale, California, performer for Southern Kingdom Renn Faire in San Luis Obispo, California. Citizen of Great Britain with no criminal record, granted permanent residence in the United States (under British law, Shaw possesses dual citizenship and is considered both a British and American citizen. Upon her “official” 18th birthday, she will become an American by the laws of England). As for Faerun, Shaw is considered a citizen of Deepingdale, although she is a recognized scion of the House of Redstar, a noble elven family from Evermeet (which the Scoobies take great joy in teasing her about). Shaw’s lifespan, like most half-elves, was roughly two hundred fifty years until February of 1999, when she drank from the Holy Grail with the rest of the team (albeit some initial reservations about accepting something dealing with another faith). Now, Shaw’s lifespan is somewhere along the lines of three to four hundred years.
Shaw has extensive training in medieval weaponry (over forty years worth). The weapons she is most proficient with are the longbow, longsword, shortsword, bastard sword, katana, quarterstaff, and dagger. She has also learned how to wield a Chinese pole arm with some proficiency. She has an intense dislike for the crossbow (although Buffy has convinced her to try a hand at the newer “pistol” style crossbows), nor does she care much for blunt weapons like the mace, club, or morning star (although she has trained with them).
Shaw has also spent a few months training with military style weapons, and is qualified (that is, under the strict standards of Steve St. Wolf) to use the M16A2 rifle, Uzi 9mm submachine gun, and the Beretta 9mm pistol. Shaw has also trained in and, for long range, prefers using a Heckler and Koch 69A1 single shot grenade launcher (using incendiary shells against vampires) because it’s easily handled and concealed.
In unarmed combat, Shaw has training and is considered brown belt (no black belts yet) in karate, judo, tae kwan do, and kung fu, with additional training in aikido, tai chi, fencing, kenjitsu, Zen sword, Philippine stick fighting, and wrestling. Shaw is an expert (but not a true master like the MacLeods, Steve, or Buffy) with the longsword, favoring a two-handed style common to rangers from Toril, partly thanks to the fact that Shaw is ambidextrous. Her own style is a combination of elven and human techniques learned from her grandparents, European type styles duplicated in Faerun, and Oriental styles from Earth. When using two weapons at once, it’s very difficult for most swordsmen to beat her (in fact, in sparring she will use only the two-handed style against Steve, Buffy, Xander, Cordelia, and Willow <citing that facing them with only one weapon is too dangerous at this point>). Despite her many skills, Shaw still lags behind the progress of her teammates and while still better with the sword, she nearly always gets her butt handed to her in hand-to-hand since Steve put a moratorium on the nut shots. Of course, as Faith once noted, that just forces Shaw to become more creative.
As we get ready to head into the second half of 1999 (and into summer vacation for our beloved heroes), Shaw has changed just as much between January and May as she did from August (her arrival on the Hellmouth) to January. She has grown beyond the need for hate and revenge, but also has grown up, seeing herself as a viable member of a team filled with heroes, mystical warriors, and the mortal champions of Earth’s Gods.
Having overcome the events of Hunter in Dark for the most part, and with help from her now extended family, Shaw has gone from the uncertain, emotionally battered warrior who lacked belief in herself (as Buffy said in Be Careful What You Wish For, she could have used a little self confidence back then) to a confident, proud young woman who has grown wiser, and found and accepted her place in the world, even one where she has to hide facets of her true nature. She’s gone from seeing things in black and white to someone who tries to find the truth behind the first glance. She has gone from someone who always looked to Amy for support to being able and more than willing to do things on her own. She’s made friends outside of the team and continues to do things without help from anyone else (Amy still wonders if it was a good idea in the end to introduce Shaw to the Faire).
As of May, Shaw’s relationships with her teammates and other friends are stronger than ever. She and Amy have the family relationship they both wanted, and she is becoming closer to the twins and Eleanor (who treats Shaw more like a granddaughter come home than a woman only ten years younger than herself), and Shaw has also started to accept the idea that she isn’t going to be rejected by her mother’s kin (just the opposite in fact). The ranger has also embraced the soul-deep connection she has with Faith, who she loves as much as Amy. Also in the higher tiers of her family are Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Brian, and Robin. While she cares deeply for Steve, Buffy, Giles, and Jenny, she still sees them as mentors/leaders and tries to keep some professionalism in the relationship. But for the most part, to Shaw there is no difference between her blood relatives and everyone else on the team. One blind spot this causes, however, is that she’s willing to do that much more to protect them, even if they’re more than capable of protecting themselves (or more capable than her as the case may be).
Outside the team, Shaw (and Faith) are coming to care deeply for David and Jessica, being their closest friends out in, as Faith puts it, the “normal world.” She is also becoming more attracted to Liam, despite her initial reservations. Part of this evolution is coming to understand that despite Callie’s visions, the future isn’t written, so it is her choice as to how things go along. She is currently hiding the growing feelings from the others except for Willow (her best friend), who has given into the temptation to tease her in private. Shaw is also coming to terms, perhaps for the first time, with her elven heritage. She’s always considered herself more human than elven, based entirely on her being raised by her grandparents. She accepts that she’s a half-elf (saying it like other people say they’re white, African-American, etc) and that’s that. But she never explored her mother’s side of her heritage because of her unconscious fear of being rejected. Now that she sees that isn’t going to happen, she has spent time thinking about the history of her mother’s clan (although the fact that they’re nobility still embarrasses her when her friends tease her about it). The side effect of this is that Shaw has begun digging into her Madison ties as well, going beyond the dry facts given to her by Amy for her birthday in November. Now, Shaw is looking at who they were and where they came from. In the end, she is learning more about her Celtic/Gaelic ancestry and embracing both halves of her nature. For someone who holds family in such high regard, it seems only natural.
As for her own personality, Shaw has come a long way in five months (more if you count the five months in the past), but she still has a way to go. She still has the temper that can evolve into a black anger when provoked too far (Blast For The Past). She still feels like, to an extent, that she needs to do more to hold her own with the team (despite her own accomplishments during the intervening time), perhaps because of her lower skills in the hand-to-hand department. This is countered by the fact that she has more experience than most of the team and has magical powers that the team relies on to keep their doctor bills down. While her belief in herself has grown tremendously since Hunter in Dark, she still has some progress to make. Faith has been a surprising help in that regard, as well as in bringing out the young tomboy that Shaw was until she was 28. Between her relationships with Amy, Faith, and Willow, Shaw has become a proud young woman.
Shaw also continues to improve in her school and private lives. She’s made the honor roll for the first time (which Amy assured her is a big deal) and she is spending a little less time with Amy and Robin as she becomes closer to Faith, David, Jessica, and grows more independent (as her membership with the Faire shows). But she still remembers what she was and sometimes fears that if something bad were to happen, she might begin slipping. She doesn’t keep a constant guard up against it, but it reminds her that she can still be a better person.
Which is exactly what she wants.
What is the one most important thing you can say about the character?
As I originally said, Shaw isn’t a perfect character. She has her faults and downsides. But at the same time, the character has grown beyond what she was originally. With the help of Steve (Pantovich, not St. Wolf), Mike, Jack, and everyone else in the Wandererverse, writers and readers both, we’ve seen everyone’s favorite pointy-eared sword swinger this side of Drizzt Do’Urden and Arilyn Moonblade grow through the stories. The changes were seen from BTRH to HID. In Wish, she’s still dealing with what happened two weeks earlier. But as the new year rolls around we see the changes. In January, she goes on a date (and learns two important lessons; she’s a woman and hasn’t allowed herself to be one, and don’t let your Amazon matchmaking cousin set you up with Jack the Ripper), is given a message from her mother (who is proud of her despite what Shaw was once like), and meets the sister she never knew she was missing (and who brings out the fun-loving, wacky teenager Shaw herself was). In February she becomes a full-fledged member of Section Seven and is accepted by elves that have no reason to accept her other than they face a common enemy (although she was disappointed that the one half-elf on that world was already married, despite what she might tell Amy and Cordelia to prevent another Jack type matchmaking disaster).
In April she finds herself separated from her loved ones and forced to once again stand on her own two feet. When she loses her first love, she tries to convince herself that the fight isn’t worth fighting anymore, if it only results in her losing everything again and again. She learns just how worthwhile it is the next week when she almost loses Faith to the dark side that she once allowed to run rampant in Ravenloft. Then she almost loses her family again when Outworld attacks. But in the same story, Shaw shows that her devotion runs deeper than even Robin could ever imagine (although in hindsight, allowing Mielikki to possess her and kick Oberon in the balls wasn’t the best of ideas). For once, she has to accept the berserker rages she fears so much and use it to her advantage to free the others.
As spring heads toward summer, Shaw starts moving on as an independent woman, getting a job and finally sitting back to reflect on how she’s changed during the year she’s been on Earth (Working Girl, Year to the Day). She realizes that she’s a better person than she was, and she’s happier than she’s ever been. But she also knows that she has to decide what she wants to do with her future, and whether or not it includes a relationship with Liam (it’s so obvious to the Scoobies that she’s falling hard and fast for him, but Shaw is still confused and somewhat in denial). She’s grown to the point where she’s willing to reveal the scars that were a psychological crutch for so long, even if it’s only in training with those who know. It once was that she would rather die than let even them know.
Unlike five months ago, when Shaw was trying to overcome being violated by Ares, Shaw is someone that the female Scoobies are glad to see has overcome her past and her faults to become the woman they knew was inside of her. Shaw is glad that she was still there, and looks to seeing more of her emerge as time goes on.
“I am what results when you cross an elven warrior with Scottish stubbornness and an Irish temper.”
“To try and find the same things I fight to give everyone else, like you. A home. Friends, family… someone to love.” <her answer to Alison Jarman when Ali asks her why she lives in Sunnydale>
Hunter, Religion Girl, Ladyhawke, ‘Kay, Redeye (from Faith), Lady Tuvok (also from Faith, which irritates Shaw, but that only encourages the Boston Bad Girl).