Sometime after, he was approached by a Skull member who promised him a future of opportunity and safety among numbers within the gang. With employment becoming increasingly hard to find, Tae accepted the offer.
On the night of his Black Wake initiation into the gang, Tae felt drawn to a specific crypt and a coffin within. Prying open the coffin with a crowbar, he discovered a recently deceased corpse with a black leather book placed on top of the chest.
Whispers echoed into his mind; purportedly from the book, beckoning him to pick up the book with promises of power. When Tae touched the book's cover, a sharp pain crept through his hand into his entire being. A quick glance within and Tae knew that it was no ordinary book, it was a witch's grimoire filled with spells. Picking up the grimoire, he emerged from the crypt and fled when he heard the rest of the Skull recruits gathering outside.
Safe in his room, Tae immediately delved into picking the grimoire apart for answers. Within the leather book's crisp pages, he discovered incantations after incantations with effects ranging from simple divination to darker arts like necromancy and demonic invocation.
The grimoire whispered to him, claiming he was the one it was waiting for. It revealed that Tae descended from a bloodline with a propensity for the arcane and it also sensed that Tae would be willing to do whatever it takes to break out of his pathetic life and hence it chose him by jumpstarting his magical affinity when he touched it.
Tae locked himself in his room for days, learning as much from the book as possible. And when more privacy was needed, he left his family home and family behind.
Using an invisibility spell and an unlocking cantrip, Tae snuck into an abandoned warehouse. In there he began practicing the darker magic and rituals. A particular page within the grimoire caught his eye: evocation of hellfire. Whispering the incantation, a spark of purple-reddish fire ignited in his right palm. The thrill of tapping into an otherworldly dimension was exhilarating and Tae soon developed an addiction to the infernal magic. This constant use of hellfire resulted in his right hand becoming charred and darkened.
Days passed, with his cash running out and desperate for food, Tae decided to break into a supermarket. In a food coma, he didn't notice the guard patrolling whom upon discovering the trespasser, pounced onto the scrawny Tae.
In the ensuing struggle, the grimoire whispered an incantation to him and Tae sputtered it out without hesitation.
"Tenebris ignis ardeat!"
His right hand that was trying to resist the guard's attacks glowed a purplish-red and suddenly the guard howled in pain. Tae watched as the man's facial features shriveled before combusting into the same hellfire he was practicing before. When the glow dissipated, Tae's hand now had a dark purplish patch.
Tae continued squatting in the warehouse, surviving on theft and honing his magic on random unfortunate individuals. The practice of dark magic and solitary lifestyle changed him physically: the purplish patch on his hand spread to the entire arm in which various bony growths adorned both the fore arm and shoulders. He also developed significant muscle growth from working out to cope with the physical strain from casting spells. By this time, he had already read the entirety of the grimoire and he wanted more.
He decided to turn his attention towards the fledgling magical heroes and the lower-leveled Hellions, Skulls and Circle of Thorns in the City. Tae would ambush his victims and magically torture them for information, relics or new incantations and spells; of which he would inscribe into the grimoire.
Then eventually, his thirst for knowledge and power overgrew his rationale. He stormed City Hall in an attempt to breach MAGI's vaults for the darker and much more satisfying magics. Inevitably, he was foiled by the Heroes and he fled into the Isles with a teleportation spell - biding his time and targeting other sources of power there.
In the Isles, he adopted the name Blackbook - an ode to the enchanted grimoire that now guides his way towards the peak of power.
The Black Grimoire has unlocked Tae's inherent magical potency and taught him the fundamentals of spellcasting.
He is able to cast spells of various levels from non-somatic cantrips to complex rituals proficiently. With his spells, he has demonstrated these abilities: telekinesis, teleportation, invisibility, illusions and conjuration.
More sinister spells at his disposal revolve around necromancy, life and energy absorption, mental manipulation and various curses and hexes. The cost of the constant abuse of dark magic is a physical corruption stemming from his right hand spreading inwards towards the body.
Tae's most destructive ability is to wield Hellfire; tapping into a mirror of Primal Earth plagued by perpetual hellfire. He is able to utilize hellfire in many different ways: concussive beams, explosive blasts, calling down a rain of hellfire and even fashioning hellfire weapons.
Hellfire is addictive and the thrill of being a conduit for the power excites Tae immensely. Hellfire burns hotter than normal fire and scars his victims' souls leaving their bodies and lifeforce burnt. It is difficult to be put out through normal means - magical methods work best.
The Black Grimoire
The Black Grimoire contains pages of spells that Tae uses in his arsenal. The book is sentient; often whispering to Tae and suggesting ways to improve his power. The book is also magically enchanted to have as many pages as needed, able to create empty pages for Tae to inscribe any new incantations. The Grimoire exists in a pocket dimension, phasing into reality whenever Tae calls upon it.
As Blackbook, Tae wears a chest plate and belt of his own design. The suit is made of an unknown other dimensional material that is resistant to blunt trauma and bullets.
- Is wanted in Paragon City for various crimes: murder, blackmail, theft.
- Various counts of assault, kidnapping and torture against new heroes in early 2019.
- Attack on City Hall and MAGI office in Atlas Park in late 2019.
- Resumed criminal spree within Paragon in 2021; increased threat level and targets.
- February 2021 - Attacked and drained the magic of a mid-level superhero in Founder's Falls. Victim still hospitalized to this day.
- Is also wanted by the Midnighter Club as the Black Grimoire is something they want to keep in containment.
- Has stolen or harmed members of the NPC magical groups on both sides of the spectrum: Legacy Chain, Mu, Circle of Thorns etc.
- People from magical backgrounds may know of the Black Grimoire's all consuming appetite for knowledge.