Dane Whitman presents as an adult male in healthy physical shape. The client is a costumed adventurer who goes by the name of Black Knight. He has a history of working with such super hero teams as the Avengers and the Defenders. He also was briefly aligned with the corporate hero entity Heroes for Hire. He even spent some time with the international mutant group Excalibur despite himself not identifying as a mutant. Most recently, he was connected with the British governmental organization MI13.
The client’s medical records indicate a prominent physical abnormality: a literal stone heart. However, a physical battery shows no adverse signs stemming from this. Despite the improbability of it, there appears to be no signs that the stone heart has made him physically different in any other way. There is no damage to organs, even the brain, indicating blood flow is healthy. However, there seems to be an emotional toll, at least according to the client’s self-report. Although the heart being the seat of emotion is a metaphor, in the case of Whitman this appears to be at least somewhat literal. The process that rendered his heart a rock somehow affected his ability to feel and express emotion. No one on staff has been able to find any medical research that can explain this.
Further complicating the client’s emotions is his longtime connection to the talisman known as the Ebony Blade. According to legend and the client’s self-report, the Blade is cursed, a curse that alters the physiology of the user and drives them to madness the more blood it comes in contact with. (It should be noted that the changes in physiology the Blade causes are, evidently, entirely separate from the aforementioned stone heart)
The client’s history with such items added to his stone heart often creates a detachment between him and the actions he has carried out. He often seems to almost view himself in the third person. Additionally, as a man of science—the client has a Masters degree in physics and quite knowledgeable in several STEM-related fields—surrounded by magic, he often feels at odds with his very environment. Therapy currently is focused on helping him integrate all parts of himself in a way that promotes health, understanding, and responsibility for his choices while eschewing guilt and self-recrimination.
Dane Whitman’s next session is scheduled for June 25. Session details will be found in file ORIGINAL SINS #2.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Psychology intern at a small(ish) university in New York City. The only curse he’s familiar with whatever one that keeps the New York Mets down.