When Nidia was a child, she would tell people her bedroom was haunted. It wasn’t actually, but she wished it had been. The “ghosts” she spoke to were simply a group of imaginary friends that aided her in her missions to hunt down the “real enemy” – a group of ghastly entities known as ghost orphans. Ghost orphans were lost spirits who had roamed the Earth for hundreds of years, and would hide inside of human bodies in order to avoid being hunted down and captured by the respective members of two groups of spiritual assassins.
Nidia Sardis is a Veil hunter, which means she is specially equipped to hunt ghost orphans. She is a master swordswoman, and is trained in a number of fighting techniques. Her primary weapon is a special type of sword called a living-blade.
Nidia’s family belonged to one of these assasin groups. It was called The Veil, and from a young age she had been trained to hunt down ghost orphans using a powerful sword called a living-blade. This blade had the power to send the otherwise immortal lost souls into a heavenly afterlife. Nidia was barely in the first grade before her parents discovered she was a naturally gifted swordswoman, who had a peculiarly strong affection for her weapon. While other kids (even Veil kids) were playing outside or participating in sports and activities, Nidia was further honing her innate combat skills.
Despite being very charismatic and outgoing, she was mostly a loner – but that was due to her preference for having her living-blade in hand at all times. Afte rall, most parents (even Veil parents) weren’t exactly into the idea of setting up play dates with a little girl who was obsessed with practicing advanced sword techniques.
And so she would create her own play dates with her imaginary ghost friends, who would continually show their fondness for her by relaying “insider information” about their “evil cousins”, the ghost orphans. By the time she was 12 years old, however, she was no longer dealing with imaginary adversaries; she was battling the actual, paraphysical entities. Of course, the Veil would never permit a child her age to go out on hunts. She would sneak out at night, and spy on people she suspected of being ghost orphans; then use her living-blade to slay anyone she confirmed to be possessed.
It wasn’t until she was 18 that her activities were discovered by the expert Veil hunter Valerie Philadelphia – and that’s only because Nidia happily told her about it. She looked up to Valerie, and had hoped to impress her with full detailed accounts of her exploits. And while at first the experienced hunter was indeed angry and upset that the girl had put herself in danger, she could not help but be blown away by the sheer number of ghost orphans Nidia had caught – more than three dozen!
Nidia was chastised by her elders, but ultimately praised for her skill and tenacity. Then, like all Veil children, she was enrolled into Platinum City University, where she would receive a general education – and continue her training as a hunter. As an incoming freshman, she had already racked up more ghost orphan kills than all of her classmates, and even some of her young instructors. Her reputation as a proficient hunter preceded her, but so did her reputation for “talking to herself,” which was something she would continue to do for the rest of her life.
But even with her quirks and superior skill, she was no longer an outcast. Both her Veil classmates and the ordinary PCU students found her fascinating and fun to be around. Additionally, she was finally able to practice blade techniques with her peers, and thus, her skills began to grow even more. And of course, she continued to sneak out in the middle of the night to track down and slay ghost orphans on her own time.
It was during an event that would come to be known as the Seven Week Walk when Nidia encountered her first sonic wraith. At the time, it had been four weeks since thousands of ghost-orphan-possessed people had gathered at Platinum City University and began marching around the Central Administration Complex. For decades, the Veil had secretly operated a training facility and base out of the secluded Deep Wing of PCU, while several Veil elders – most notably legendary hunter Disa Philadelphia – had taken faculty positions with the school. Then, in the first week of a fall semester, a young student named Derek Loman had walked into a classroom, and prophesied that after seven weeks of ghost orphans marching around the college, the walls of PCU would fall, and the members of the Veil would fall with them.
It had been 4 weeks since the marching started, and Nidia, along with the other Veil students, had been instructed not to confront any of the marchers, as the elder hunters mostly disagreed with how exactly to deal with the situation. Nidia fell into the camp of those who wanted to attack the marchers and slay as many ghost orphans as possible, however, she complied with the mandates and stayed away from the marchers.
Instead, she focused more on her night excursions. But even that was beginning to become a source of frustration, as many of her would-be targets were participating in the march. She had made up her mind to go hunting in The Gap – an underground Platinum City settlement, where ghost orphans mostly lived without interference from the hunters – however, as she was on her way one night, she found herself in a back alley, face to face with a giant purple tank. And to her surprise – and delight – a ghost orphan just happened to be driving it.
But not just any ghost orphan – it was Troy Brothers, who just happened to be possessed by a special breed of ghost orphan: a sonic wraith. Nidia smiled with delirious joy, excitedly told her imaginary friends to get ready for some fun, brandished her living-blade, and attacked!
Troy’s enhanced ability to use astral projection made him more dangerous than your average ghost orphan – quicker, stronger and much more difficult to pin down. Their battle atop the tank was intense, but after a few moments, Nidia gained the upper hand. Troy was forced to go on the defensive, and after a few more close calls, he got free, jumped down into the tank and attempted to drive away. But Nidia was right back on him. She sliced a hole in the side of the tank, and attempted to slay him right then and there, but the orphan was able to unleash a sonic-blast of ghostly energy, sending her flying off the tank and against the wall of a building. He then trained the tank’s cannon on the young huntress and fired. She dodged the blast, then weaved in toward the vehicle, and used her living blade to slice its tracks, disabling its mobility.
Troy was forced to abandon the tank. But he still had a machine gun. The two of them battled ferociously for the next several minutes, until finally, Troy was out of ammo. He used his sonic ghost energy to keep Nidia at bay for a while longer, but eventually, the young huntress had him cornered and dead to rights. Before she could land the final blow, however, two more ghost orphans showed up: Troy’s cousin, Bernadette Brothers, and the most dangerous ghost orphan of them all, Virginia Ice. They immediately went after Nidia, who was forced to retreat, and barely got out of the alley with her life.
She finally made it back to her dorm room sometime around 4 in the morning. She was exhausted, tired, dirty and bloody. But she was also exhilarated by the experience! She texted back and forth with her idol, Valerie, for the next few minutes, telling her all about what had happened, then finally slid into her bed and fell asleep.