Artwork by Kerry Connell
Name: Francis Albert Carlotti
Occupation: Order of the White Shield
Birth Date: May 27, 1952
Weight: 175 lbs
Place of Birth: New York, NY
You grew up in New York City's Hell's Kitchen as the youngest of five children. Your dad, Luigi Carlotti, was an alcoholic who could not keep a job and drank himself to an early grave when you were 10 years old. Your mom, Maria Carlotti, worked hard to keep you and your brothers and sisters clothed, fed, and in school. She was also a huge Frank Sinatra fan and named you after him. As a teenager, you served as an alter boy at St. Francis' church and developed a love for acting, appearing in several high school productions. After high school, you decided to pursue an acting career. You landed a few small roles in off-Broadway plays and in soap operas; however, your strong New York accent (that you have never lost) kept you from landing many roles. To help make ends meet, you began driving a cab, part-time.
By 1977, your acting aspirations had faded away and you were driving cab full-time. One night, after hours of chauffeuring the usual collection of oddballs populate the Big Apple after dark, you noticed an old book in the back seat of the cab. There was no clue as to who left it, so you decided to take a look at it. It was a collection of magic spells. While you had never believed in magic something about this book made you believe these spells would work. Finding several spells that could be completed using things you had around the house, you decided to try them out. To your surprise, they did actually work. You had a new hobby.
You began scouring occult shops for more books and for ingredients for some of the more complex spells you had found. You soon found that you had an innate sense for discerning real magic from what was, most likely, the inane babblings of mad men. There was a whole secret world out there that most people never even glimpsed. At first, you had trouble reconciling your Catholicism with magic until you realized that magic was just another of God's creations, one he chose to keep hidden. Of course, Rome likely wouldn't agree, but this new world was too intriguing to pass up. As your magical skills and knowledge grew, you found that you could develop your spells, first by modifying existing ones and then, from scratch. On October 31, 1978, your world changed forever. At about 10:30 p.m., there was a knock on your door. Figuring it was just some late trick-or-treater, you opened it. There, to your surprise, were three cowled figures who you knew, just from looking at them, were powerful mages. You invited them in, and after several hours of discussion about your magical experimentation, you found yourself accepting their offer to join the Order of the White Shield. You quickly put your affairs in order, and two days later, you were off to Tibet.
The Order of the White Shield, you soon learned, was an order of mystics, dedicated to maintaining the law and order of the mystic realms on Earth. The Order often fought mystical beings that tried to cause trouble on Earth, beings mostly likely summoned by the Cult of the Black Sword, an opposing order. The Order even had its own superhero, Brainstorm of the original SuperSquad, who upon finding out that in addition to own soul, he also had that of a former leader of the Order, took the name White Shield.
As the years went by, you rose through the ranks of the Order becoming leader in 1995. It was then that you learned that your order was to choose a candidate to become the Earth's new Template, the being who set the tone for life on Earth and its related dimensions. Your first choice was the original Challenger, but when he died, you, the White Shield, and other elders in the Order decided that any of the new SuperSquad America could do the job. Thus, they were recruited to fight the battle for control of the Seventh Cycle. They defeated the Black Sword's forces and chose Dynamo, their cyberkinetic, to be the new Template.
Unfortunately, choosing Dynamo, had unusual side effects. His rapport with technology upset the balance between magic and technology and magic began to fade. While the effect on Earth was minimal, the more mystical extra-dimensional worlds were undoubtedly suffering more. Not only was magic required to maintain the life force of mystical beings (including yourself), but if enough magic disappeared, creativity would also begin to wane. However, assuming that nothing else was done to upset the balance, things should be fine.
On July 11, 2001, agents of the Black Sword attacked the temple and kidnapped you, rendering you unconscious. When you regained consciousness, you were strapped in DeathGrip's machine being used to filter Earth's magic to some extra-dimensional world. SuperSquad America rescued you and you were transported with them to Eryratha, the extradimensional homeworld of Silver Bow's mother, where you and the Squad helped overthrow the evil sorceress Garlandra and established Silver Bow as the regent absentia of Eyratha to oversee the transition of that world to a more democratic system.
To resolve the problem with the magic/technology balance, DeathGrip's portal was modified to allow both Earth and Eyratha to draw upon the same pool of magic and now resides in the Order's temple where you and the other mystics watch over it. You also helped SuperSquad America establish a portal to Eyratha in the basement of their headquarters to allow Silver Bow and others easy access to that extradimensional world.
In September of 2001, you sent Nightingale (who took the name Jenny Shannon to honor Michael Shannon (aka the White Shield), a young woman raised by the Order and trained to use her sonic abilities both as attacks and as a somatic component of healing spells, to join SuperSquad America. So far, you are very proud of the job she has done as a superhero.
Note: This background is written in a second person style as it is the background provided to the player playing the character in the SuperSquad America event.