Characters: Worm Worldwide Threats
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First appearing in 1992, the Endbringers have been unsystematically wrecking human civilization ever since. They are, in fact, nearly the one and only thing which will cause heroes and villains to team up to fight. Each of them attacks roughly once a year, and never at the same time. It is theorized that Eidolon was subconsciously creating them.
Starting in Cockroaches, the Endbringers have begun imprinting on various human factions and listening to orders. Some of them, anyway. All surviving Endbringers went dormant with Scion's death, but Simurgh is active again as of Teneral e.5
Tropes for the Endbringers as a group:
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The analyses that Tattletale and Blasto do on Leviathan and Simurgh, respectively, demonstrate this quite conclusively.
- Genius Bruiser: Capes fighting Endbringers are routinely warned that the big scary monsters are much, much smarter than they look. This even applies to the Simurgh, who looks pretty smart to begin with.
- Hazy Feel Turn: They've stopped their campaign of extermination against humanity, but they're hardly good.
- Nigh Invulnerable: None of the Endbringers have ever suffered permanent harm, up until Behemoth died. The general answer to the question of "Why didn't they try [tactic/power/weapons] against [Endbringer]?" generally boils down to "They did, and it didn't take."
- Outside-Context Villain: No one has any idea what the Endbringers are, where they come from, or why they are trying to destroy humanity. Even after everything else has been explained, all that is known is that they are somehow connected to Eden.
- Silicon-Based Life: The Endbringers appear to be made out of a crystalline material.
The first Endbringer to appear, on December 13th, 1992; has been variously called "Hadhayosh" and "Prathama" by different characters at different times. A forty-five foot tall, heavily muscled, heavily armored bipedal one-eyed creature with the ability to manipulate energy of all kinds (e.g. electrical, thermal, kinetic) while bypassing the Manton effect*
. Between attacks, it lies deep in the earth. Killed by Scion.
- Anti-Magic: Behemoth's core appears to shut off parahuman powers.
- Convection Schmonvection: Averted, anyone who isn't 100% invulnerable that gets within a 30 foot radius of the Behemoth will be roasted alive from the inside.
- Hero Killer: Has killed more of them than anything else, leading it to actually be called "The Herokiller" in-universe. It proves it during The New Delhi attack by killing Ligeia, Rime, and Regent. He also killed Phir Sē offscreen.
- Horned Humanoid
- Implacable Man: Dear lord. He is incinerated by Phir Se's "time bomb" in Crushed 24.4, leaving him "A skeleton covered in a veneer of meat." He's still moving afterwards, and as his flesh visibly regenerates, he's undeterred from his target.
- Instant Death Radius: The heat radiating from his body kills anyone within thirty feet of him pretty much immediately.
- Inferred Holocaust: While it hasn't been mentioned in-story, his attack on New Delhi has probably killed millions of people.
- The Juggernaut: Out of all the Endbringers, Behemoth appears to be the most unstoppable.
- Magma Man: Appears to be made out of lava, with obsidian for "teeth".
- Mighty Glacier: Behemoth is the slowest of the Endbringers, but is probably the most powerful physically.
- Zigzagged. While Behemoth is slow compared to Leviathan or Simurgh, his sheer size makes him able to cover ground fairly quickly. During the attack on New Delhi, he's noted to have enough strength to leap fifty to seventy feet forward at a bound before anyone but a speedster can react; since anyone who gets within thirty feet or so is cooked alive, all heroes keep a minimum safe distance of at least one hundred feet, preferably more.
- Pure Energy: His main power, the control of all types of energy.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Scion kills him by first ripping him in half before vaporizing him.
- Red Eye, Take Warning
- Smarter Than You Look: As shown during the fight for New Delhi Behemoth is far smarter than it's given credit for.
The second Endbringer to attack, appearing for the first time in the mid-1990s. Leviathan — also known as Jormungand or Jörmungandr — is a thirty-foot-tall bipedal, tailed monster. Its obvious powers are twofold: an 'afterimage' of water that follows behind it, appearing where it was moving as fast as it was, and large-scale water telekinesis
. It is obviously incredibly tough — a trait which masks the fact that it is actually Nigh Invulnerable
. Recuperates deep in the ocean between assaults.
Killed by Scion in the final engagement.
- Cyborg: Gained fins made of Defiant's nanotech due to an upgrade from the Simurgh.
- Hero Killer: Killed a number of capes during its attack on Brockton Bay.
- Lightning Bruiser: Faster than any known cape when in water.
- Making a Splash: Has the greatest water powers out of any being in the Wormverse.
- Not Quite Flight: Dashes up mist butts he creates during the final fight.
- Smarter Than You Look: He proves this responding to Armsmaster's ploy by letting Armsmaster think he's winning right up to the moment that he has the storm sewers explode open.
The third Endbringer to strike, appearing just after the turn of the millennium. Also known as Ziz. A fifteen-foot tall, flying, waiflike alabaster-white female human figure with pure grey eyes
, long platinum hair and numerous, asymmetrically placed, white-feathered wings. Her obvious powers are telekinetic; her less obvious powers are prophetic
, as she intentionally adjusts the events in places she strikes to set up the survivors to be walking Disaster Dominoes
that might fall months or years after the initial event. It rests between attacks in the thermosphere, three hundred or more kilometers above the earth.
Began following the Dragonfly and Taylor's group after talking to Taylor, Tattletale, and Canary. Present for the first and final engagements with Scion. Survived and went dormant temporarily.
Endbringer to strike, first appearing in Japan in 2012. Described by Weaver as being somewhere between Leviathan and Behemoth in size, black in color with a broad physique, a permanent snarl on his face, silvery white teeth, tendrils like the whiskers of a catfish marking the corners of his mouth, and lacking clothing. Khonshu also has features somewhere between leaves and fins, with elaborate designs at the edges, curling away from elbows, his wrist, his fingers and around his legs, making his fingers and toes into claws, and leaving dangerous looking blades elsewhere. His known powers include the use of circular fields in which time is either slowed or increased, and wide ranging teleportation.
Currently following a member of Teacher's group, which has been sold to Cauldron. Fought in multiple battles against Scion. May have survived the final engagement.
Classification: Mover, Shaker (?)
- And I Must Scream: What happens to most of those trapped in his time fields: locked in a relatively small area, unable to escape, and forced to slowly starve or dehydrate to death.
- Barrier Warrior: Uses time manipulation to block Scion's attacks.
- Bishonen Line: Is humanoid in shape like the Simurgh.
- Broken Streak: Khonsu is the first Endbringer not to be named after a Biblical/Talmudic creature. He also breaks the pattern of each Endbringer being about 15 feet shorter than the last by being between Leviathan and Behemoth in size.
- Stone Wall: Is focused mainly on defense.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Is unclothed, like the Simurgh.
- Get Back Here Boss: Constantly teleports away whenever things go bad for him. It gets so bad that the Triumvirate is forced to take turns fighting him.
- Meaningful Name: Much like the Egyptian god he's named after, Khonsu has control over time. He is also mainly defensive in nature while his namesake is also known as the Defender.
- Time Master: Speeds or slows time immensely in circular fields that orbit around him. People caught in them can be reduced to dust, skeletons, or bloody smears. He can also use the time-altering fields on himself to accelerate his healing.
- Villain Teleportation: Uses this to stay a step ahead of the capes harrying it, in his first appearance teleporting from Japan to Cape Verde all the way off western Africa. In Scarab 25.5, Taylor mentions that they've been trying to fight him days due to his teleporting.
Tohu and Bohu
The fifth (and sixth?) Endbringer to strike, appearing in Bucharest in 2012. Bohu manipulates the battlefield, setting up traps for the defending capes and also covering the area with a shower of flying blades. Tohu chooses up to three capes (Her three faces become distorted images of them) and copies their powers.
Bohu is currently following Taylor's group. Appeared for the final battle with Scion. Killed by Scion.
Tohu appeared for the final battle and survived. Currently dormant.
- Boss Arena Urgency: Bohu slowly fills the defending city with obstacles and traps, meaning the the longer the fight continues the harder it is for the defending capes.
- Dual Boss: Tohu and Bohu always attack together.
- Evil Is Bigger: Bohu is over one thousand three hundred feet tall, the largest of the Endbringers by far.
- Flechette Storm: Bohu's blades, which fly through the air in between successive alterations to the environment.
- Mighty Glacier: Bohu moves across the landscape like a castle being pushed, incredibly slowly.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Tohu has four clawed arms that take on traits of the people whose powers she copies.
- Power Copying: Tohu takes the powers and visages of up to three capes, who don't have to be present on the battlefield or even alive.
- Taken Up to Eleven against Scion: Tohu took to selecting Eidolon and Glastig Uaine as two of her three capes, and then deploying Eidolon as one of her ghosts.
- Trap Master: Bohu.
The Slaughterhouse Nine
A group of nine serial killer capes led by the sociopathic Jack Slash and the amoral child tinker Bonesaw that go around causing all manner of death and destruction across North America For the Evulz
, to the point that they have all have a kill order. Though it would seem that they have a plan to jumpstart the apocalypse beneath that reason.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
- Badass Transplant: The Nine often augment their members with improved organs courtesy of Bonesaw, making them even harder to kill.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Most of the Nine have powers that are pretty much impossible to use for good, and many were pretty nasty even before they got their powers.
- Carnival of Killers: Once served as such for the original Teeth before killing them off.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The cloned Slaughterhouse Nine appears to be giving the heroes slightly less of a hard time than in previous encounters, though this may simply be because they've improved since the Time Skip, as well as Jack purposely using them as fodder. Also, after Brockton Bay, the heroes know the weaknesses of some of the key members (e.g. Siberian's unpowered human body), and the Crawler clones haven't had time to develop into the Nigh Invulnerable monsters that the original was. It's later explained that this is also because their connections to their passengers aren't as mature.
- The Dreaded: The Slaughterhouse Nine invoke terror in all who encounter them.
- Fail O'Suckyname: Jack Slash purposely had the idea of giving people lame names so that they'd be even more terrifying as a result.
- Hero Killer: Often, with examples including Battery.
- High Turnover Rate: They're constantly looking for new members since at least some of them get killed every time they attack a city.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Send in the Clones: It's revealed in Interlude 20 that Bonesaw is growing a number of clones created from the genetic material of nearly every past and present member of the Slaughterhouse Nine. It turns out in Interlude 25 that she's successfully created 275 clones.
- Serial Killer: An entire group of them. In Taylor's words they're what happens when messed up people get even worse after getting powers.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Nine during their assault of a hospital attack the nursery first.
Jacob (Jack Slash)
"My interest is in the design of people. What makes them tick? What holds them together? All too often, it’s one little thing. In architecture they call it a keystone. The one stone that keeps the entire arch from collapsing. The weak point. And I’m very, very good at finding those weak points."
The present leader of the Nine, he has the ability to make the cutting edge of his knives extend as far as he likes outwards from their physical length. He is described by Dinah Alcott as the man who will set the end of the world in motion.
According to Scion
, his power is the result of receiving the weakened "broadcast" shard that allowed communication between the Entities, which grants him both his blade-projection powers and his instinctive Thinker ability
Trapped in an endless time-loop by Gray Boy's clone.
Classification: Striker(?), Thinker
- Bare Your Midriff: A Rare Male Example.
- Beard of Evil
- BFS: Jack wields a four foot long claymore in lieu of his normal knives during his battle with Golem.
- Big Bad: Of the Slaughterhouse Nine arcs.
- The Corrupter: His specialty. And how he brings about the end of the world, by causing Scion's Face-Heel Turn.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: See The Social Expert, and the main reason he's in charge despite having a relatively weak power.
- Evil Is Sexy: Taylor describes him as looking very attractive.
- Expy: To The Joker, especially the version from The Dark Knight.
- Fate Worse than Death: Gets trapped in one of Gray Boy's time loops.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's surprisingly polite. Doesn't make him any less of a monster though.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Before becoming the leader and founder of the current iteration of Slaughterhouse Nine, Jack was originally just another thug, though even then he was feared.
- Gutted Like a Fish: Threatens to cut Theo from "cock to sternum" when they first meet.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Everything in the events that lead to his Fate Worse than Death was set in motion by him, from Golem, to Weaver, to the Gray Boy clone.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Jack Slash can cut down entire crowds with a single swing due to his ability to extend the edge of a blade an absurd distance, completely invisibly.
- Klingon Promotion: Jack Slash got his position by killing King, the original leader of the Nine.
- Knife Nut: His powers make them very handy.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Upon finding out that he will cause the end of the world, he decides that sounds like a great idea.
- The Social Expert/Manipulative Bastard: Jack Slash isn't the leader of a pack of the most deadly mass murderers on the planet because of his superpowers — he's the leader because he's frighteningly good at identifying what people need, what they want, and what they fear in order to steer them in whatever direction he likes.
- Shadow Archetype: To Taylor, both being parahumans with relatively weak powers who manage to get on top anyway. Both are also pretty good at understanding the strengths and weaknesses of others.
- Spider-Sense: How his second power works. He can sense and communicate on a limited level with other people's passengers, letting him know when and how they're about to attack. This has made him invincible for thirty years, and it's suggested that it's so subtle that he doesn't even know it exists. It only works on superpowered people, though, so when he's finally taken down, it's because of a PRT officer in Powered Armor.
- Sword Beam: He can extend the effective cutting edge of his knives to frighteningly long distances.
- Would Hurt a Child: Threatened to murder Aster and Theo in his Interlude, and has almost certainly murdered children before.
- Would Cut A Girl: Had no problems giving Tattletale a Glasgow Smile for mouthing off, and has certainly murdered women in the past.
Bonesaw laughed, and it was a sound without reservations, not shaped by social constraint or culture or self-censorship. It was the laugh of a child, free and without a care.
Be a good girl.
A demented but childlike tinker no older than fourteen who specializes in organic beings. She joined the Slaughterhouse Nine after they killed her entire family and had her revive them, only to do it again over and over until she broke mentally. Surrendered to the Protectorate after hearing about Jack Slash's fate.
- Ambiguous Innocence: Bonesaw in a nutshell. She's one of the worst serial killers in the Wormverse, but she doesn't necessarily do what she does because of malice. Rather, she feels the idea of a concrete moral system is absurd and doesn't apply to her, and she does what she does because she finds it fun and interesting.
- Subverted, it was just an act she played so Jack didn't kill her.
- The Atoner: After Jack is defeated, Riley gives up the name Bonesaw and dedicates herself to helping heal people.
- Back from the Dead: Bonesaw can bring people back to life if they're not too damaged.
- Becoming the Mask: Twice, first when she genuinely falls into the mindset she was initially faking to fit in with the Slaughterhouse Nine, and finally when her faked friendship with someone outside of the S9 becomes real and contributes to her Heel-Face Turn.
- Blondes are Evil: Or at least very demented.
- Cheerful Child: Which combined with her tendencies makes her ever creepier.
- Child Prodigy: Is very well versed in the workings of the human body.
- Creepy Child: A little girl whose power is basically that she understands bodies well enough to create Frankenstein's monsters. She makes a lot. And her "family" is a group of psychopaths.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Slaughterhouse Nine, a group of psychopathic killers, are viewed by Bonesaw as family. It's as disturbing as it sounds, and while most of the group are simply amused by Bonesaw's monsters, "Siberian's fondness for Bonesaw bordered on the maternal, like a mother bear for her cub."
- Even Evil Has Standards: In her own words, not even she is crazy enough to attempt making an Endbringer. Which makes her actually saner than Blasto.
- Gadgeteer Genius: While most of what she does is highly biological, her spiders and her spine demonstrate a lot of mechanical expertise as well.
- Giver of Lame Names: Bonesaw admits that she's terrible at naming her creations.
- Good Powers, Bad People: Bonesaw is capable of doing incredible surgeries, and can even bring back the dead if their body is intact, but is completely amoral and sees people mainly as toys for her amusement.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Bonesaw's inner monologue in her Interlude exhibits this.
- Heel Realization: Has one in Interlude 25, courtesy of Contessa and two years away from Jack.
- Mad Doctor/Mad Scientist: Bonesaw is a classic example — the 'art' she makes with her hands and her spider-robots starts at Body Horror and gets worse from there.
- Meaningful Rename: Riley's abandonment of the name "Bonesaw" reflects her desire to move away from the awful things she did as Bonesaw.
- People Puppets: Is capable of hijacking people's bodies in order to do her bidding.
- Perpetual Smiler: Always walks around with a smile on her face.
- Plague Master: Can easily create various diseases, and fills her own body with killer viruses in case she's cut.
- Stepford Smiler: Is revealed to be one in her Interlude.
- Wetware CPU: Her spiders are revealed in Interlude 25 to work using interconnected lumps of grey matter, with computer chips for more basic functions.
He knew all too well that Shatterbird pretended civility, but she got as restless as Siberian when things got quiet, and she would look up from whatever book she read every thirty, fifteen or ten seconds, as if waiting for something to happen, craving it.
A telekinetic of silicon, controlling the glass through high-frequency sounds and one of the most successful members of the team at identifying new candidates for membership. She was born in the Arab Emirates and dosed with a Cauldron formula
, prompting the manifestation of her powers and the deaths of thousands. Eventually made her way to London, then America, joining the Slaughterhouse Nine. Captured by Regent, and abandoned by the surviving members of the Slaughterhouse Nine when they left the city. Killed by Vista and the Brockton Wards during the Echidna arc.
Classification: Mover; Blaster(?)
- Animal Motifs: Birds.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Her power gives her essentially perfect control over every piece of glass within multiple city blocks of her location. She has a much ... cruder effect on sand and the silicon in electronic devices.
- Flight: Whether she does so with her costume or via some other means is unclear.
- Glass Cannon: Literally and metaphorically. Her offensive capabilities are phenomenal, but defensively, she's one of the Nine's weakest members.
- Malevolent Masked Woman
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Her power works through soundwaves.
- Narcissist: She's defined by her ego, which is Jack's primary means of controlling her.
- Person of Mass Destruction: She can break (and then weaponise) glass over a radius of several miles. When the Nine arrive in a city, she invariably kicks off the festivities by demolishing it.
- Winged Humanoid: Isn't one, but her costume evokes it by having stained glass take the shape of a bird around her, topped with a bird mask on her head.
Crawler was one of the two group members who had yet to rejoin the group. He was engaged with a young man with a glow that suffused his hair and emanated from his eyes and mouth. White flashes appeared with little accuracy and devastating effect, carving spherical chunks out of the brute. This only encouraged the monster, and Crawler eagerly paced closer, his wounds closing together with a startling rapidity. So few things could hurt Crawler these days that Jack rarely got to see the regeneration in full effect. Crawler's healing powers appeared to play out in fast-forward when compared to even the regenerators who could heal wounds in seconds. Hundreds of pounds of flesh were replaced in one or two heartbeats.
A massive regenerator who in his original form was a rather small man at about 5'5". Every time he is harmed by something and survives, he becomes more able to resist it in the future. Killed when the PRT bombed him with some of Bakuda's ordinance, but Bonesaw makes nine clones out of him.
- Adaptive Ability: Crawler of the Slaughterhouse Nine is not only a regenerator, he becomes immune to whatever made him need to regenerate in the first place. He throws himself into suicidal situations for this very reason.
- Healing Factor: Even worse, he grows stronger adaptations as he heals. He wants nothing more than to grow stronger in this way.
- Nigh Invulnerable: By the time the story starts, he's so nearly invincible that even Scrub's blasts barely slow him. Though later on, the Crawler clones are too new and haven't adapted enough to be as dangerous as the original, making them easier to kill if enough firepower is used on them.
- The Brute: Crawler is considered one of the Nine's heavy hitters as well as Brute being his official cape classification.
- Combat Sadomasochist: As previously mentioned, he throws himself into suicidal situations so that his Adaptive Ability can heal him. Nothing pleases him more than being given a chance to get hurt, to the point that he secretly wishes that Siberan would try to seriously hurt him.
- Combat Tentacles: Crawler has tentacles on his legs for attacking people.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Crawler has eyes all along his torso.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Crawler purposely does this in order to make himself stronger.
- No Kill Like Overkill: The PRT killed him and Mannequin using tinker-made superscience bombs, and Dragon kills two of his clones by using nanowire to turn them into pink mist.
- Super Spit: His saliva is highly caustic.
- Was Once a Man: Crawler no longer even looks human due to all the adaptations he's had.
- The Worf Barrage: Crawler deliberately invokes this on his opponents, letting them hit him with everything they have and shrugging it off before becoming immune to it. Piggot uses this against him by convincing him to stand still and take a barrage of Bakuda's bombs, which prove to be too much even for him.
Alan Gramme (Mannequin)
What was going on behind that expressionless mask? Was he coming up with a battle plan? Maybe, maybe not. ... Or maybe, behind that hard shell, he was in the throes of mental anguish. Maybe he was spending every second of every day reliving the day he lost his family and his dreams to a nigh-unstoppable, malignant force.
Known as Sphere before he became a victim of the Simurgh. Was trying to solve all the world problems — famine, global warming, etc. — but flipped when his wife and children were killed and sealed himself away in a doll-like body. Also killed by the PRT with Bakuda's bombs. Cloned by Bonesaw.
Classification: Tinker/(Biomes, Terraforming, Self-contained Ecosystems)
- Arch-Enemy: To Skitter, first because she is too obviously trying to help people in her territory but afterwards because she kicked his ass.
- Blondes are Evil: Going by a young clone Mannequin was blonde before his Start of Darkness.
- Confusion Fu: Due to being mostly modular, his fighting style is never quite the same twice, and his flexibility and many weapons give him a lot of options. His clones seem to have distinct styles as well.
- Cyborg: Became one after his Start of Darkness.
- Do Not Call Me Alan: Mannequin hates being called by his first name as it reminds him of who he once was.
- Evil Is Petty: Few things bother Mannequin as much as seeing someone try to help others and succeed where he had catastrophically failed, which is why he decided to target the people under Skitter's protection.
- The Faceless: Mannequin's face is completely blank, as his head is primarily decorative.
- Man in White: His constructed body is white, which further compounds his plain weirdness.
- Meaningful Rename: Went by Sphere before his family was killed and he went crazy.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Was trying to avert this with his work. Then the Simurgh showed up...
- The Speechless: Mannequin literally doesn't have a mouth or means of verbal communication, all self-inflicted.
- Start of Darkness: His family's death led him to become Mannequin.
- Was Once a Man: Before he turned himself into a self-contained puppetlike cyborg.
William Manton (The Siberian)
"The Siberian." A woman, naked from head to toe, her body painted in alternating stripes of jet black and snow white. She had gone up against the Triumvirate — Legend, Alexandria and Eidolon — on a dozen occasions, and she was still around to talk about it. Or around, at least. From what I'd read, she didn't talk.
An invincible, black and white striped woman with a fetish for eating people, although she does not need them for sustenance. Capable of bestowing her invincibility on anyone or anything she touches. Actually a projection created by William Manton. Killed by Dragon and Defiant in Boston, and then cloned by Bonesaw.
Classification: Brute; Master
- Arch-Enemy: To the Triumvirate.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Siberian can punch through any defense.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Siberian doesn't, or clothes for that matter. But it's not like she really needs them.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Siberian fights stark naked.
- Hero Killer: While pretty much all of the Slaughterhouse Nine are this, Siberian is of particular note due to being the one who killed the original Hero.
- Hope Spot: Darkly invoked- one of her favorite games is to hunt a target, wound them, and then let them get a small edge before catching up to attack them again.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Eats people out of a perverse sense of pleasure.
- The Juggernaut: Siberian's Nigh-Invulnerability makes her unkillable and absolutely unstoppable, which allows her to damage even heroes that have Nigh-Invulnerability. Only effects that are similarly inviolate can stop her, and even then they only cancel out the projection temporarily.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Siberian as a projection at least is completely immune to any sort of harm.
- No Sell: Pretty much any attack against Siberian will turn out like this. The only thing that has been able to stop her thus far is impacting something that Clockblocker has time-frozen.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Comes up so close to Bitch in her Interlude that their chests are touching.
- Killed Offscreen: Courtesy of Dragon and Defiant.
- Replacement Goldfish: It seems probable that she/he acts maternally towards Bonesaw because of what happened to her/his daughter.
- The Speechless: Is assumed to be this, but tells Bitch that everyone else who'd heard her voice ended up being killed by her.
"So I burned the pimp to scare him, then I burned him to hurt him, for payback over his hounding me, and then I couldn't really stop myself. I burned him to death."
A manipulator of fire who becomes less and less controlled the more fire she is using. Able to teleport freely through flames. Was incarcerated in the same facility as Labyrinth, once. Saw herself as Elle's friend. It was not actually mutual. Twentyish, dark brown hair, green eyes, and a vertical row of cigarette burns on each cheek
. Killed by Grue after his second trigger event.
Classification: Blaster; Mover
Cherie Vasil (Cherish/Butcher XV (Possibly))
She closed her eyes for a moment, listened for the music that came from his mind and body. The jangling, dissonant noise of alarm, the throbbing percussion of mortal fear, every part of his body shifting into fight or flight mode. The underlying notes spoke to his personality. His love of his family, his fear that he was about to leave them behind, anger towards her, a momentary anxiety that he was overreacting. She grasped this in the fraction of a second. Reaching for that mortal fear, she wrenched it.
A daughter of Heartbreaker who escaped and joined the Nine after she killed Hatchet Face. Detects and controls emotions. Trapped on the floor of the bay by Bonesaw before the Nine left town. May have become the fifteenth Butcher after Skitter and Bitch drove Butcher XIV into her despair-sphere.
- And I Must Scream: The Nine trap her for her treachery in an impervious, life-sustaining shell of Mannequin's design and sink her to the bottom of the derelict Boat Graveyard, where she is expected to live for several thousand (or tens of thousands of) years.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first action Cherish takes in her interlude is a mistake that nearly gets her killed.
- Delinquent Hair: It has a red streak in it.
- The Empath: She can detect people's emotions from across the entire city, both allowing her to track them and allowing her to detect their relationships with each other.
- Emotion Control: When she's close enough, she can induce emotional states in her targets at will.
- Motive Misidentification: As powerful as her empathetic abilities are, she makes a number of major errors in her analysis of the major players in Brockton Bay, including completely missing Skitter's actual motivations.
- Outgambitted: By the Nine.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: One of her favorite weapons.
A Power Nullifier
with superhuman strength and enhanced durability. Cherish used her range advantage to kill him; Bonesaw brought his corpse back to something resembling life. Cloned by Bonesaw.
Classification: Trump; Brute
Ashley Stillions (Damsel of Distress)
A relatively harmless villainess who makes her home in a small town while occasionally trying to extend her influence into the larger, neighboring cities—only to fail and return to lick her wounds. Damsel has space warping powers, capable of destroying any matter or construction, albeit with a minimum of control. She was recruited by the Slaughterhouse Nine to increase their numbers, only to be killed by Defiant
as he pursued them.
Classification: Mover; Shaker
Nicholas (Gray Boy)
One of the first members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, who Jack remembers quite fondly. Prepubescent in appearance, older than ten but younger than fourteen, with neatly parted hair and a private school uniform, complete with glossy black shoes. He also has a monochrome effect surrounding him, occasionally flickering with his body looking in a different direction. His power traps people in loops for all eternity, with only their minds continuing to progress. Bonesaw makes a clone out of him, which takes several of Foil's darts to the head and collapses. It is revealed that his original self was killed by Glaistig Uaine to make use of his psychic imprint.
- The Dragon: Plays this to Jack after being cloned, until...
- The Starscream: He gets fed up with Jack's mounting failures and loops him during the final confrontation.
- Fate Worse than Death: His power traps people in a loop until, in his own words "the sun goes out." During this loop, the only changes to the affected parties are from what he inflicts on them (such as a cut or burn), and in the progression of their thoughts. Pain inflicted on them is repeated over and over and over, and they can only speak a few syllables at a time before being rewound.
- Make Way For The New Villains: What originally happened to him courtesy of Glaistig Uaine, applying retroactively in the story itself when Glaistig manifests Gray Boy's spirit.
- Older than They Look: Gray Boy's power prevents him from aging.
- Shrouded in Myth: Has yet to make a direct appearance in-story, before getting cloned, though going by Jack and King's reverence of him Gray Boy was particularly horrifying.
- Resurrective Immortality: According to Word of God, Gray Boy is automatically revived by his time reversion powers even if he suffers a lethal wound- though Foil's power seems to be able to bypass this effect.
- Time Master: In addition to keeping him alive, his time reversion prevents any aging. As such, he always looks exactly like he did when he first got his powers, clothing included.
- Walking Spoiler: A lot of things about his character are kept hidden for a long time.
Gabriel Maxberry (King)
The original leader of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a seven foot tall blond, who was killed by Jack Slash and Harbinger, later known as the Number Man. Cloned by Bonesaw.
His power works by transferring his injuries to everyone he's touched in a 24 hour period.
Classification: Striker, Brute
A former member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a tall, pear shaped, and fat clown with super speed powers with a twist. He has super speed in the head and legs, and super strength in the chest and arms. Unfortunately his powers had the nasty side effect of causing him to perceive the world too fast, leaving him unable to communicate. He has only managed to teach himself to make a sound that is similar to laughter, hence the name. This eventually caused him to lose his mind. His post-modification self
also has arms that zig-zagged, consisting of more elbow than arm that trail behind him like ribbons. Cloned by Bonesaw
Classification: Brute, Mover
One of the earliest members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, and Winter's lover. Powers up into a super-strong form by consuming the blood of multiple victims. Cloned by Bonesaw.
- BFS: carries a sword that is as long as he is tall — after he's hulked out.
- Hulking Out/Our Vampires Are Different: after he's drunk enough blood, Crimson grows into a form Weaver describes as "... Big, muscular, fueled by rage and impulse" and "... His flesh would be engorged, purple-red, the veins would be standing out. He’d be as hard as iron, strong. "
- Unholy Matrimony: With Winter.
One of the previous members of the Slaughterhouse Nine and a former arms dealer and slave trader, a white-haired woman with white irises edged in black, and Crimson's lover. Her power involved a dampening effect that caused locations to lose heat, moving objects to lose inertia, and humans to lose will. Cloned by Bonesaw.
Classification: Shaker (?)
A previous member of the Slaughterhouse 9, whose power makes people incapable of perceiving him as a threat. Cloned by Bonesaw.
- Jedi Mind Trick: When he uses his power on people, they can still see and interact with him, but they are unable to recognize him as a potential threat.
- Nice Guy: Averted, he's anything but.
- Shoot the Hostage: Being willing to do this is one way of getting around his power.
- The Nondescript: To the point that people can barely recognize that he's standing there in front of them if his power is "on".
A former member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, whose power allowed him to create insectoid parasites. Cloned by Bonesaw.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: It's hard to be a superhero when your power is making nightmarish bugs that breed inside people's bodies.
- Kill It with Fire: Breed died originally from someone shooting an incendiary missile at the building he was in.
- No Sell: His parasites are immune to Weaver's control, despite their insectoid shape.
- Orifice Invasion: His parasites can and will enter bodies through the mouth, nose, and anus.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else: Is described as fairly normal looking in appearance.
Former member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, with the ability to manipulate sound within a huge area. She used it to amplify her voice, alter it to match others, throw it to speak directly into people's ears, or cancel out sounds she doesn't want heard. Cloned by Bonesaw.
A former member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, and a Case 53. She has red skin, black eyes, and vents along her hairline, the back of her neck and down the backs of her arms. These vents can generate a poison gas which she forms into sold shapes that move at her will. If she chooses to release it or you break the shape it releases the gas. Cloned by Bonesaw.
One of the newer members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a minor regenerator with the ability to manipulate his own skin. He can extend this ability by flaying people and crudely stitching or stapling their skin to his. This gives him wider (if disgusting) reach and lets him bludgeon/asphyxiate foes, scale buildings and other applications. Cloned by Bonesaw.
One of the newer members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a dark haired woman wearing a black dress with skin as white as chalk. Her power appears to be location possession, being able to reform herself if destroyed from from any area she has 'infected' with her power. A breaker with the secondary benefits of not needing sleep or food. Cloned by Bonesaw.
Classification: Breaker/Mover (?)
A former member of the Nine who can turn invisible and undetectable, spewing an odorless gas that wears away at other's minds, causing headaches, ringing in the ears, watery eyes and eventual blindness, memory loss and coma. Cloned by Bonesaw.
Classification: Stranger, Blaster
A former member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a tall and narrow bald man with a pencil thin mustache and beard, spidery fingers, and clothes that look as if they were draped on. Has the ability to warp people into rabid monsters that can climb on walls. Dealing enough damage breaks the effect and returns them to their normal and unhurt self. Cloned by Bonesaw.
Classification: Stranger 4; Master 7
- Bald of Evil
- Baleful Polymorph: Seems to be his ability.
- Body Horror: His ability causes one victim's ribs to distend, and his arms to turn into claws.
- Lean and Mean: Is skeletally thin.
- This Was His True Form: Hurting people affected by his power seems to be the only way to reverse it. Though it is not as simple as it sounds as if you break the effect for one, the others would then tear the freed victim apart if nearby.
A mysterious organization that appears to have figured out how to give people powers.
Tropes applying to the group as a whole:
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Most groups, in a situation where they need to send an enforcer to bust some heads, would send a Brute or a Striker. Cauldron sends Thinkers.
- Bigger Bad: A lot of problems in the Wormverse can be traced back to them, but they haven't taken center-stage as of yet. Dragon herself rates them as being on the same level as the Endbringers and Slaughterhouse Nine in terms of their danger to the world. However, they're knocked out of the Big Bad role by Scion, and end up being more of an extremely amoral and surprisingly ineffectual Big Good.
- Five-Bad Band: While whether they're truly evil or not is ambiguous, they're certainly amoral.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: When their headquarters are invaded by the Case 53's that they turned into deformed creatures and abandoned on Earth Bet.
- Not Wearing Tights: No one in Cauldron's inner circle dresses like a stereotypical hero or villain.
- Story Breaker Power: Contessa and Number Man are probably the most powerful non-Endbringer Thinkers in the web novel.
- Super Serum: They make these.
- Supervillain Lair: The huge complex in which they work, which may possibly be in another dimension.
- The Syndicate
- We Are Everywhere: A lot of capes, heroes and villains alike, have ties to them due to their super serum ring. Notable examples include Battery, Coil, and the Triumvirate.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: They claim that their goal is to avert the apocalypse.
- As we eventually learn they allowed it to happen because they believed it was inevitable, and could only be postponed, which would only make things worse.
A famous early researcher into capes, and the one for whom the Manton effect — i.e. the inability of most parahumans to affect both living and nonliving matter — was named. Worked for Cauldron for some time, but when he tried to give his daughter powers using one of their formulas and failed
, he quit and used a stolen formula to become the Siberian
— which is why the Siberian resembles his daughter
- Despair Event Horizon: The loss of his daughter led him to become the Siberian.
- Killed Offscreen: Which causes the same to happen to his projection.
- Mysterious Past: What happened to him between becoming Siberian and joining the Slaughterhouse 9 is largely unknown, as are several other facets of his character which are hinted at.
- Tattooed Crook: He has a tattoo on each hand, one of which is Cauldron's symbol (the marking of the Case 53s)...the other was used to mark victims of the Simurgh.
The apparent chief of the organization, described as a black woman with long hair in a doctor's getup. Personally recruited Rebecca Costa-Brown, among others. Killed by Garrote via being crushed by her tentacles in Venom 29.7.
- Above Good and Evil: Gives off this vibe.
- Badass Normal: She never actually gains a power herself, but leads one of the most powerful organizations in the series.
- Determined Defeatist: She doesn't believe that Scion can be defeated, but she's still trying.
- Lack of Empathy: It becomes fairly obvious that Doctor Mother has a very poor grasp of the feelings of other people.
- Karmic Death: Gets killed by Garrote, a Case 53.
- Mad Scientist: It appears that she is in charge of recruiting (or kidnapping) and dosing patients with the Super Serums. However, it eventually turns out that not only is she not a Tinker or a parahuman, she's not actually a doctor; what little actual science is involved in producing powers is done using Contessa and the Number Man's powers.
- The Woman Behind The Man: Doctor Mother was responsible for Coil and the Triumvirate, among others.
- Not So Stoic: After the Undersiders and the Guild take control of three of the Endbringers, she's briefly rendered incapable of forming complete words.
- One Bad Mother: Doctor Mother is the woman behind various capes, and she's the head of an evil (Or at the very least amoral) organization.
- Smug Snake: She tries to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but it becomes more and more apparent to everyone but herself that she's failed the basic competence exam.
- The Unfettered: She's willing to do absolutely anything if it might save humanity from Scion.
- Woman in White: Tends to wear white outfits.
The Number Man/Harbinger
"He understood numbers, and through them, he understood everything."
A Thinker in the employ of Cauldron, responsible for managing funds for many capes, legitimate and not. He is described as a bookish middle-aged man wearing a button-up shirt and thin-rimmed glasses, his blond hair cut short to be easy to maintain. Was also the monitor for the Undersiders' bank accounts on the behalf of Coil. Once fought alongside Jacob — the man who became Jack Slash — as a member of the Slaughterhouse Nine in his former identity as Harbinger. Cloned by Bonesaw.
- Affably Evil: He certainly values politeness, and he seems quite annoyed by the active sadism of his clones, whose personalities were designed more on hearsay than any real information on him.
- Badass: Solely through Awesome by Analysis.
- Black Cloak/In the Hood: His original costume as Harbinger.
- The Cracker: Is a skilled hacker thanks to his powers making it child's play.
- Foil: To Jack Slash of all people, even still considering him a friend.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Is always seen wearing glasses.
- Good with Numbers: Doctor implies they don't need to test each batch of formula on multiple test subjects because because Number Man can whip out the percentages on the spot. In fact Number Man is so good with numbers...
- Combat Clairvoyance: ...he can predict exactly how someone will act or react, making him especially dangerous in battle, though according to him it works better at range so as a result...
- Improbable Aiming Skills: ...His power also makes him an excellent sniper, using ricochets to expertly put down opponents.
- Shatterpoint Tap: He threatened to do this to a superstrong parahuman's skull if he didn't back down.
- Measuring the Marigolds: As far as the Number Man is concerned, numbers are the only thing that's true, likely as a side effect of his power.
- Mundane Utility: With full knowledge of Number Man's power, his usage of it in banking comes across as this.
- Not Wearing Tights: Number Man purposely dresses as normal as possible, though despite looking like a nerd (Complete with pocket protector) he's still fairly intimidating.
- Semantic Superpower: You'd be quite surprised at what being "merely" Good with Numbers can entail.
- Teens Are Monsters: Going by the fact that his clones were teenagers, Number Man was only in his teens when he became part of the Slaughterhouse Nine.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Number Man believes his actions help to make the world a better place.
Capable of tearing portals through the alternate-Earths, allowing Cauldron to pick up test subjects for Case-53 from everywhere but
Earth-Bet and (when desired) leave them on Earth-Bet. Is effectively the gatekeeper to Cauldron's facilities, which are implied to also be in an alternate plane themselves. Claimed by Glaistig Uaine in Speck 30.6.
The Doctor's right-hand woman since the formation of Cauldron, if not earlier. Acts as her aide, bodyguard, and enforcer. She is described as an attractive woman of either French or Italian descent around Danny Hebert's age with slightly longer than shoulder-length black hair between wavy and curly. Her outfit consists mainly of black suits tailor-made to fit her body. Capable of single-handedly incapacitating Faultline's entire crew. Contessa's power appears to be some sort of precognition and/or Super Reflexes, but these are actually just facets of her true power, which automatically supplies her with whatever steps she needs to take to succeed at the task she visualizes, whether its combat, psychological manipulation, or Cauldron's long-term plans. Unusually enough she lacks the common Thinker weakness of being cancelled out by other Thinkers. In Interlude 26, it is revealed that her shard is neither "dead" (like Cauldron-supers) nor from from Scion (like all known trigger-supers). Seemingly killed fighting the Irregulars due to Mantellum's power, only to be revealed to have survived in Interlude 29.
- Achilles' Heel: Her power allows her to answer any question...but she doesn't know what is the best question to ask.
- Awesome by Analysis: Physically, she's no stronger or faster than a normal human, but her power allows her to effortlessly demolish entire teams of capes.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Contessa is always seen wearing a woman's suit.
- Combat Clairvoyance: What is seen of her fight with Lung's former gang suggests this, and she explains to Weaver that her power works by calculating the path needed to victory, and following through. It doesn't work on Endbringers, meaning that Taylor's crazy plan to recruit Simurgh completely blindsided her.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivers one to everyone she fights with the exception of Mantellum. She even gets bonus points for finishing off one member of Lung's old gang with an actual curbstomp.
- Dodge the Bullet: In Lung's Interlude, she dodges and parries several bullets at point blank range.
- The Dragon: To the Doctor.
- Dragon-in-Chief: A variation. Doctor Mother makes most of the overarching decisions and serves as Cauldron's face, and Contessa relies on her for direction because she never really grew up, but Cauldron's core plan and driving goal actually come from Contessa — Doctor Mother was just chosen as the face and official leader because Contessa was a child when they started.
- The Dreaded: Contessa is so feared by other capes despite not even knowing her name that she's referred to simply as "her". When Weaver asks Prefab her classification, she's simply told, "Thinker. Don't worry about the number. Just run."
- Enigmatic Minion: No one really knows Contessa's deal except perhaps Doctor Mother.
- Faking the Dead: How she avoids getting killed by the Irregulars.
- He Knows Too Much: In Number Man's Interlude, it's mentioned that Contessa's job is more or less to assassinate people who learn too much about Cauldron and attempt to release that information.
- Hero Killer:
- Shesingle-handedly incapacitated Faultline's crew, and upon meeting Weaver she handed her a total defeat, making it clear that she could've killed her at any time.
- Knife Nut: Contessa's Weapon of Choice is a stiletto no longer than a finger.
- Lady of War: Lung describes her as being very graceful in combat.
- Mundane Utility: Her power makes her pretty much invincible. It also lets her know how to tie a necktie.
- No Sell: See One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce.
- One Villain, Hold The Weaksauce: Contessa is immune to the Thinker weakness of being canceled out by other Thinkers. Certain beings such as Scion and Endbringers are immune to her ability, but even then she can still predict their actions by considering the situation as a hypothetical, though it is possible for them to surprise her. Unfortunately for her, Mantellum was able to counter her completely.
- Simurgh can trump it whenever she feels like by being a precognitive Endbringer, as seen when Taylor's plan to recruit the Endbringers actually works.
- Pet the Dog: Saves Taylor's life and sanity with a couple of bullets.
- After Scion is no longer a threat and Cauldron disbands, she tries to become a nicer person. Emphasis on tries, but hey at least she's making the effort.
- The Quiet One: Contessa doesn't talk much, and when she does it's quick and to the point. This is due to the fact that her power is being used to translate.
- Secret Keeper: The world believes she killed Khepri. She's happy to let them.
- The Worf Effect: Her offscreen match with Faultline's crew was impressive enough, but far more vivid was her curb stomping in 24.2 of Weaver and the Chicago Wards.
- Would Hurt a Child: Contessa had no compunctions about killing every non-Lung member of his original street gang, despite all of them being little more than teenagers at the time, and would've killed Weaver and the Chicago Wards if they hadn't backed down.
A parahuman reduced to an incorporeal form, who spends her time guarding Cauldron's main base. Duplicates herself in enormous numbers.
Classification: Master, Breaker (?)
- Left Hanging: We learn the backgrounds of the rest of Cauldron, but we never really find out what the Custodian's deal is. Presumably she was an early success, but it's never explicitly stated.
- Self-Duplication: Her multiplication power.