Full Name: Amara Aquilla
Occupation: Full-time student at Academy of Tomorrow, Member of X-Factor
Mutant Abilities: Basic manipulation of fire and Earth, ability to generate and control lava flows in immediate surroundings, rapid redirection of heat and fire to enable basic flight
History: In the days of Julius Cesare, the glory that was once the Roman Republic was in its death throes. The institutions that helped set Rome on its path to glory were falling apart. The foundations of the republic were giving way to an empire where emperors would rule instead of law. While most in this era succumbed, a small group of Romans and their families fled. Guided by the mystical whims of Serena Gallio, they sought to escape the fate of the failing republic. Their desperation led to the creation of Nova Roma. Two millennia later, this became the home of Amara Aquilla.
Nestled in the deepest jungles of South America, Nova Roma is the last vestige of the Roman Republic. For centuries, it was protected by talents of its mystics and a limitless source of mystical energy from the mysterious Mount Anton. In this safe and secured environment, the legacy of Rome continued to prosper even after the empire that Cesare founded collapsed. And Amara Aquilla’s family became a significant part of that legacy.
As part of a prominent family with strong ties to the Nova Roman Senate, Amara was born into a world of wealth and privilege within a society that offered more than most. Her father, Lucius Aquilla, was a prominent senator whose family had established itself in the Nova Roman aristocracy. As a result, Amara had the greatest comforts Nova Roma could offer. However, these comforts couldn’t protect her from an early tragedy.
When Amara was very young, her mother began struggling with a mysterious ailment. This alone was cause for concern because Nova Roma was largely devoid of ailments due to the abundance of mystical healing. However, her mother’s ailment was unique. She had a latent mutant power that had been suppressed since she was a teenager. This practice was part of Nova Roman law. All mutants had to have their powers suppressed. This ensured that Nova Roma had no mutant conflicts. It also sometimes caused complications.
One of those complications afflicted Amara’s mother, so much so that she developed an intense fever. True to Nova Roman law, Lucius attempted to have Nova Roma’s mystics heal her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Amara’s mother died before she even had a chance to know her. She wasn’t even given the full story. Her father lied to her, saying her mother succumbed to cancer. It was the first of many lies that would create the foundations of a tenuous relationship.
After the death of her mother, Amara was left to raise herself. From a young age, she developed a curious and often adventurous spirit. She frequently defied her father and the caregivers who were supposed to look after her, exploring the world around her in ways that few other Nova Romans dared. She became incredibly curious about the outside world and often read everything she could, even when certain materials were forbidden. This further widened the divide with her father, eventually reaching a critical turn when she entered adolescence.
At age 13, Amara began experiencing fevers, just like her mother. This deeply concerned Lucius. He was reluctant to give his daughter the same treatment that failed to save his wife. But since it was part of Nova Roman law, he went through with it. He let Nova Roma’s mystics suppress her mutant powers. Again, she kept this information from Amara, telling her it was part of a condition her mother had struggled with. Amara made clear that she knew her father wasn’t telling her the full story. And his refusal to do so further drove him and Amara apart.
But despite the growing distance between them, Amara’s curiosity and desire to explore helped her thrive in certain fields. As the daughter of a senator, she was allowed to attend some of Nova Roma’s most prestigious schools. She was even allowed to travel outside of Nova Roma’s borders to study abroad. She showed a natural gift for embracing the outside world and connecting with others. For a time, she seemed destined to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a prominent senator.
However, this destiny was complicated by an increasing amount of scandalous behavior. In addition to being curious and outgoing, Amara developed some very promiscuous habits. While Rome was known for its traditions of reckless indulgence, Amara took full advantage of her wealth and status. She engaged in numerous affairs with men and women, often out in the open and with little remorse. Some of the affairs involved other prominent families. It led to numerous conflicts and clashes, which her father had to quell. With every affair, the tension between them grew.
It eventually came to a head the day the X-men visited Nova Roma. They came with the dire news that Selene Gallio, whose family had been exiled from Nova Roma for centuries, had returned. This crisis led to the stunning revelation of Amara’s mutant status. When Selene began tampering with the mystical energies in Mount Anton, she caused every mutant in Nova Roma to manifest their powers erratically. Amara was among them, but her powers drove her to go further.
Like her mother, her powers involved the manipulation of fire and Earth. But after being suppressed for so long, these powers also enabled her to create lava and control volcanic activity. It overwhelmed her so much that she sought out the power within Mount Anton, causing it to erupt. It would’ve destroyed Nova Roma and allowed Selene to claim the Blood Stones of Set, the source of its power. However, the X-men managed to stop her and save Amara.
In saving Amara, the X-men also destroyed the Blood Stones. This removed the power from Mount Anton that Nova Roma had relied upon for centuries. It triggered upheaval and change, but Amara committed herself to being part of that change. While she and her father remain at odds, the revelations surrounding the conflict with Selene have helped them mend the divide. And as part of her effort to help her homeland, she took her studies beyond Nova Roma’s borders and enrolled in the Academy of Tomorrow.
At the Academy, she began pursuing studies in international relations in hoping to help Nova Roma connect with the outside world. Amara also began participating in X-Factor, the masked mutant team that the Academy of Tomorrow sponsors. Her future role with the Academy and Nova Roma remains in question, but she remains outgoing and curious enough to seek the necessary answers.
Character Breakdown: Amara Aquilla grew up in a world of privilege and indulgence. And within that world, there were a lack of authority figures to discipline or discourage her from enjoying that world. By most accounts, she was spoiled. She had a rich family and endless opportunities to indulge in the excesses of Nova Roma culture. While she did take advantage of these opportunities, this life of wealth and privilege didn’t define her.
The influence of her father certainly tempered some of her spoiled tendencies. While he often busied himself with the affairs of Nova Roma, he was attentive to her and he did try to protect her. Amara didn’t always get along with her father, but she did respect him. She also respected the role he had and the importance of that role. It instilled in her a desire to learn so she could embrace that role as well. This natural curiosity and the resources granted by her family helped make her knowledgeable.
At the same time, the death of her mother definitely had an impact on her. With a father who was constantly working and a natural curiosity, Amara sought out others to embrace. This led to her being very promiscuous. And since she lived in a city and culture where the consequences of that promiscuity were tempered, she could freely indulge. This helped make her very outgoing. It also made her sexuality quite fluid, willing to engage with both men and women.
At times, she wavers between being a knowledgeable student and a promiscuous young woman. However, the manifestation of her mutant powers and the revelations about Nova Roma’s secrets regarding mutants had a sobering effect on her perspectives. The near-trauma and disillusion of these secrets have undermined her basic assumptions about the world. Being so curious, she seeks a better understanding. And with the influences of the X-men, she’s able to indulge those curiosities in a way that can still be excessive, but in a less reckless context.