Brennus is a Web Serial Novel about Basil, a teenage super-scientist. After discovering his power, his older sister and guardian Amy reveals herself to be one of the world's top supervillains, Mindstar. Much to her dismay, Basil decides to become a vigilante by the name of Brennus, and quickly finds two other superpowered teenagers to join him, Tyche and Hecate.Updates at least once a week on Sundays, with occasional additional midweek chapters.The author Tieshaunn has drawn inspiration from the Whateley Universe, Legion of Nothing and Worm.First chapter here. The story deals with both adult themes and some disturbed individuals, and should only be read by adults.Tropes specific to significant characters or groups can be found on the Characters page.
This story provides examples of the following tropes:
Absence of Evidence: The mysterious warehouse filled with sealed empty crates. Brennus finds it when he miscalculates his weight while Roof Hopping and falls down. It looks superficially like a warehouse - but there's no dust (except through the hole in the roof), all the records are blank paper, the computer has never been turned on, and no traces of human or robot presence that Brennus, Hecate or Tyche can find.
Achievements in Ignorance: Contriving relies on this, given that it works through the Placebotinum Effect or something similar depending upon the particular kind of contriving. However it gets a special mention because proving to the Contriver that what they're doing is impossible is a bad idea:
Only one percent keep their power;
Twenty-four percent lose their current power but gain another powerset;
Twenty-five percent of the time, they simply lose their power until they return to their delusions
Adorkable: Eudocia gets a d'aww moment when she quotes Harbinger during a time when Brennus is incapacitated.
Alternate History: Superpowers appeared in the 20s, and there have been quite a few changes since. Notable ones include:
Hitler lost control of the Nazi party to Weisswald ('Whitewood'), who was apparently so evil that even the Nazis considered him a monster - but they feared him too much to oppose him. His final act was to create the Spiteborn.
Martin Luther King, Jr. survived his assassination by manifesting powers.
The Cold War is ongoing, with a massive Iron Wall being patrolled. At the story's beginning, Desolation-in-Light attacks the Soviet Union, killing their leadership and potentially upsetting the political balance.
Various cities or countries no longer exist due to Desolation-in-Light attacks.
There is a base on the moon, and many other technological advances due to Gadgeteers.
A World Half Full: Villains outnumber the heroes four-to-one and devastating attacks from beings like the incredibly powerful Desolation-in-Light and the monsters called Spiteborn are a regular occurrence. The main positive about the setting is that the world has managed to avoid ending, thanks to some powerful heroes protecting it from the powerful villains. There is an element of optimism in the despair that keeps it from being a Crapsack World, as Brennus is starting out as a superhero.
Child Prodigy: Macian is this for technology, as a result of his superpower. Ember was a world-renowned child artist before his manifestation, to the point where he was tested for superpowers.
The Dark Age of Comic Books: Desolation-in-Light appeared for the first time on September 1st, 1986, marking the end of the Golden Age of Metahumanity. This corresponds to when Watchmen started publication.
Deflector Shields: Only two Gadgeteers are known to have developed forcefields - one of them is dead and the other rules most of Africa. Until Macian, at eight years old, casually hands one to a friend.
Dishing Out Dirt: Dunstkreis manipulates dirt and dust into spheres which orbit him, order and sizes roughly corresponding to the planets in the Solar System. Earthmaster was a God-tier geokinetic who could create earthquakes reaching up to an eight on the Richter Scale, and got taken out by a sniper while on the toilet.
Dying Moment of Awesome: Some rare metahumans are able to initiate a 'Swan Song', flaring their power to new heights at the cost of burning through it very fast - and after it's gone, it burns through their life. They don't know if they can until they reach the point of sacrifice (and subsequently forget, if they choose not to), so it can't be planned in advance.
Emotion Bomb: The Protege constantly emits waves of despair and shame, to the point of destroying the minds of anyone who comes close to him. The closest anyone has gotten in over five years was half a kilometre - achieved by a metahuman with a supposedly invincible mindshield, who subsequently went temporarily insane.
The Empath: The Protege is such a strong empath that he's the only known "sympathetic empath": he can even feel the emotions of anyone using remotely controlled technology in his range, which is about sixteen square miles. Ember uses his as a kind of Psychic Radar.
Enemy Mine: Attacks by the Spiteborn, Savage Six or Desolation-in-Light get responses from all sides. Legally, anyone who turns up to assist against an S-Class threat can walk away afterwards unless there's an extended kill warrant (not even a normal kill warrant applies).
Exposition: Lots of it. Amy does a fair bit in the prologue, but it's an in-universe Running Gag with Brennus.
Fake Memories: Mindstar explicitly says it's impossible for any telepath, even Mindfuck, to implant or remove long-term memories (although they can prevent short-term memories from moving to long-term).
Gadgeteer Genius: Gadgeteers like Basil are limited by the laws of physics, but thatís the only limit to what they can create when provided with enough time and resources. Gadgeteers can invent technology that is decades or even centuries ahead of normal humans. However, the speed of invention varies between Gadgeteers.
Green Thumb: Fleur is an S-Class one of these. Weisswald was along these lines, too.
Ludicrous Precision: Exposed, a villain, is 1.71837468991 meters tall and weighs 78.22223485771 kilograms. When asked the depth of the Diggerer's tunnel, Polymnia responds with 1.21134 miles beneath sea level. Brennus responds with 1.949462761 kilometers beneath sea level.
Mad Scientist: Contrivers are almost guaranteed to be this, due to their incredible creations fuelled by their The Spark of Genius and their above average chance of being insane. Gadgeteers can also fit into the Mad Scientist trope very well.
Nigh-Invulnerability: The Protector only died when Desolation-in-Light attacked him. Desolation-in-Light, Pristine, the Protege and Tartsche all seem to have variants on a particular defensive power that achieves this to various degrees.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Gadgeteers often run off of 'inspiration', and while their technology is technically reproducible it often suffers from this. For instance, Polymnia 'hears' all her inventions as melodies and symphonies: not exactly easy to communicate to mundane scientists. Hotrod sees his as stylized gears. Brennus uses pictographs.
Oh Crap: The reaction when Desolation-In-Light used her powers intelligently.
Origins Episode: An Ember of Hope handles this for Ember. "They Called Us Mad!" is the origin story of Lady Light and the Dark.
Person of Mass Destruction: Desolation-in-Light. Her attacks and the response to them are more like natural disasters than battles.
Physical God: Is there anything that the Protege can't do? This mysterious character seems to be basically omnipotent from what has been revealed so far. And lets not forget the whole mysterious God King of Mars. Who is he? Author: The God King of Mars.
Psychic Block Defense: Various kinds. People have natural defenses, which can render entry difficult or impossible without weakening them (a sufficiently strong psychic can force their way in, but will probably cause permanent damage). Amy installed a fair few shields and traps in Basil's head. One character in an interlude has varying degrees - being able to block psychics, or hide from them, or create a perfect fake front for them to encounter instead. Other powers protect against psychic invasion to various degrees.
Psychoactive Powers: Some powers grow stronger under certain circumstances, including emotions (generally related to the manifestation event).
Puberty Superpower: Not a hard-and-fast rule, but a general guideline. People who come into their powers before puberty tend to be more powerful; people who gain them after their teens tend to be less powerful. Mixed with Traumatic Superpower Awakening.
Set Bonus: Known as Heterodyning, some powers can be combined to get a result greater than the sum of their parts. Gadgeteers are particularly good at heterodyning with other gadgeteers; contrivers are very bad at it, especially with gadgeteers.
Shapeshifting: The Morphing power, present in various degrees: Amy can change herself superficially; Bakeneko can take any organic form but can't change her mass; Hemming can take any organic or inorganic form within a range of about one-tenth to fifty times his own mass.
Super Human Trafficking: Not uncommon. People with the Adonis trait (especially if it comes with little or nothing else) are targets for sex slavery. Other powers tend to vary depending upon the risk-versus-reward scenario, but the Califate pays top-dollar for Contrivers, and everyone wants a Gadgeteer. Used as a threat by a villain at one point. Amusingly, he threatens to sell Brennus to his sister.
Tartsche, although a lot of readers won't realize it, is technically Transcendent-tier. Although his power is only active when he's standing still, it is a perfect defense, and he can spread it to envelop anyone he's touching. He also got away with very minor derangements despite such a powerful ability.
Gloom Glimmer has a very powerful Adaptive Ability that gives her what it thinks she needs.
Queen Madeleine of Australia has seven God-tier powers.
As a lesser example, Mindstar has exceptional telepathy and telekinesis - but also has various secondary powers, including clairvoyance, to enhance her main power and shore up weaknesses (such as a line-of-sight requirement). Brennus outright says she won the Superpower Lottery.
Superpower Russian Roulette: Not all powers (or side-effects) are good. See With Great Power Comes Great Insanity below for some examples. Additionally, some people get a warped physical form, and others find their perceptions or attractions altered by manifestation. Can result in What Have I Become?, and post-manifestation suicides are not uncommon. Drugs and other things can influence a manifestation, making it far more likely to have negative side effects.
Teleporters and Transporters: There are superpowers in the setting that can do this, but the only Gadgeteer known to have managed to build a teleporter is dead.
The Nameless: When introduced, Macian has no name, not even a codename. He never needed one. When Henry insists on one, he picks the codename Macian, which means 'Maker'. Henry then helps him pick one for his younger sister. He picks Amanda.
The Notable Numeral: Tieshaunn (the author) is fond of this for villainous groups, giving us the Dark Five, the Savage Six and the Rabid Eight.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The chance of having a mental defect rises exponentially with the strength of your power (and is even greater for Contrivers). God-Tier non-contrivers have a derangement chance of seventy-nine percent. Luckily, sixty-eight percent of metahumans fall within the Exemplar (weakest) tier, which has a mental defect chance of less than eleven percent.