Professor Penumbra

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Professor Penumbra is a net.hero created by Lalo Martins.
Alter Ego: Adam Polcien
Aliases: None
Primary Writer: None
Status: Member of the LNH (Team 20)
Usability: General Use


Born in June of 1976, Adam Polcien's paternal grandfather (and thus surname) was Polish, but his other grandparents were Persian, Chinese, and Native-American. As a teenager, he had no idea which culture or social group he belonged to... until he discovered the BBSes, then the internet, and the world of the geek convention. For a while, he was in every single one (back when you could do that). It was in those that he had his first close encounters with the bizarre and became a neo-pulp adventurer, helping people and investigating strange cases.

He never could be bothered to actually spend a year of his life in college, but after somebody decided to give him an honorary degree, he put much of his time between adventures in post-graduate studies, and accumulated a nice collection of titles. Thus, he formally became a Professor. He worked freelance, but often teamed up with Kid Enthusiastic, the Saviors of the Net, and other net.heroes.

When The Killfile went up, his powers were subtle enough that they were unaffected, and continued working at cases that were below the radar. Eventually, he hooked up with Investigations.

About a year or so before the expiration of the Killfile, he started noticing a huge increase in Lovecraftian cults. (When the third multiple-murder investigation in a row ends up being ritual sacrifices, you start paying attention.) Apparently, word had gotten out amongst Dark Gods and other extradimensional entities with revenges to settle on Earth that the Killfile was about to expire, and they had started building up their forces. So Prof. Penumbra got to what he does best: learning. He got out all the grimoires and tomes he had in storage from a decade and a half of neo-pulp adventuring, and read everything, practicing and hoping he got it right.

By the time the LNH came together, he had about half a year's worth of experience fighting dark gods. Since then, he's become one of the preeminent mystical experts in the net.hero community.

When W.H.A.T.E.V.E.R. took over the US via social media algorithms and occupied the LNHQ, Professor Penumbra vanished, leaving the Atelier Penumbra inaccessible.


Intelligent. Practical. Straightforward. Very much in the Indiana Jones-esque adventurer-scholar mode.

Powers and Abilities

Low-level net.power of learning how to use things faster than normal (with a little experimentation, and bonus points if he has a manual). Self-taught in the mystic arts, using this power. Not the most powerful magician, but an experienced adventurer, and has some knowledge that very few other mystics do, due to learning them while The Killfile prevented the mind-destroying and/or soul-corrupting effects.

Keeps the bulk of the magical items and tomes he's found in the Atelier Penumbra, a workshop accessible through the LNHQ.


Lanky, with the odd skin tone of someone of very mixed race who almost never gets any sunlight (a grayish kind of beige), long straight dark hair, and dark eyes. Has a mustache, because you're just not taken seriously without one, but his looks rather floppy. Always wears an extremely old-fashioned 3-piece suit in a dark color, mystical implements and ingredients stuffed in every pocket, and a black or gray trenchcoat. Some piece of mystical jewelry around the neck, a lot of rings, and a walking stick that hides a ceremonial sword.


Often teamed up with Kid Enthusiastic in the old, pre-Killfile days; Kid E would come up with crazy gadgets, and Adam would often be the one actually operating it.

Had some kind of ambiguous relationship with Sexy-Disturbed-Sparkly-Vampire Man in the past, which ended badly.