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Fan Fic / The Warcrafter

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The Warcrafter is a crossover Fan Fic between Worm and World of Warcraft, written by Ralph Hayes, Jr.

Adrian was just a normal human being, until one day an extra-dimensional entity known as Agent offered him a chance to make a difference. Endowed with the powers of an Azerothian Druid, he is inserted into Brockton Bay, and the course of events is irrevocably altered...


The Warcrafter contains examples of:

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  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite the trouble it causes him, Lisa having Thomas Calvert declared legally dead makes him almost want to salute her.
  • Addictive Magic: Averted with Blood Elves. All Elves passively absorb ambient magic to live, but Blood Elves effectively have the arcane version of diabetes, requiring higher levels of magic to sustain themselves than Night Elves, and being unable to control their internal balance of magic. Most of the negative side-effects of siphoning magic are due to either absorbing too much magic too fast, or else absorbing magic that their bodies can't process, like Fel magic.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The PRT celebrates Shatterbird's death when Piggot announces it.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Despite living in a world of superheroes, quite a few people are skeptical at the Azerothian devices actually working, from the healing potions to the magic relics. A theory is posited that it's due to how fantasy-video-game they look.
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    • When Strider expresses disbelief at Shar'din's abilities being magic, the Blood Elf lampshades this and points out how much of science is still poorly understood.
    • Saint name drops this trope when, after being captured, he attempts to convince Armsmaster that Dragon is an Artificial Intelligence.
    • When Greg's father expresses his skepticism about Cauldron and the real reason capes exist, Adrian points out that things like people being able to fly without assistance or the US Army not destroying the Slaughterhouse Nine the first chance they got is just as absurd.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Taylor's Ghost Iron blades, in two different ways: able to slice through virtually any substance, yet pass through even invulnerable flesh without hurting it... aside from the painful shock and numbness it leaves behind.
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  • Awful Truth: Most people whom Adrian tells the truth regarding powers, Cauldron, and Scion.
  • Badass Boast: Parian, after singlehandedly curb-stomping the members of both the Teeth and E88 (including Hookwolf) who had been fighting in front of her store.
    Parian: (to Hookwolf) "So pass this on. This is MY turf. Next time I won't hold back. You nazi capes think you're bad stuff but I was studying to be a surgeon once. You don’t want to see what I can do with a thread and needle and human flesh."
  • Badass Normal: The Dockworkers Union, armed with Improvised Weapons, faces off against the Teeth – and are more than capable of beating the crap out of them.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • This happens when an Actor is transformed into a non-human Azerothian race. These include Adrian and Taylor (Worgen), Theo and Rune (Pandaren), Alec (Vulperan) and Rachel (Orc). Sparky (Blood Elf) also somewhat counts.
    • Both Sparky and Rune as Azerothian spellcasters can cast this, and they use it on Lung, which not only turns him harmless, but also leaves him in his baseline human form when it wears off. Adrian later applies the effect to a polymorph gun and gives it to the PRT, officially reducing Lung to a minor problem in Brockton Bay.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: The only thing Kaiser hears from one of his underlings about his newly-empowered son Theo tearing through his Ale Hall to get to him is a lot of agonized screaming.
  • Bond Creature: As an Azerothian Beastmaster and Hunter respectively, Lok'tara and Fennek (a.k.a. Rachel and Alec) go out and collect a pair of animals to Bond with, and for Amy to upgrade.
    • Lok'tara intercepts a exotic animal smuggler's shipment and Bonds with one of his captured golden eagles which she names Sky, as well as the smuggler's own ridiculously-huge mastiff which renames itself Truck.
    • Fennek goes out shopping and obtains a pair of ferret siblings which he names Fidget and Gidget.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Contessa has the strongest Thinker power on the planet, and is feared as the boogeyman of the cape world. Adrian's power makes him an absolute blind spot for her power that she can't Path or perceive, or even remember the instant she stops looking at him. He kicks the crap out of her, humiliates her, ties her up, and leaves her helpless against a force that she can't use her "I win" button against. When she is rescued by Cauldron, she acts like a frightened child and runs off to hide from him.
    • Part of why Adrian messes with Armsmaster so much is to do this and keep him from performing his more negative actions from canon.
    • The Simurgh gets hit with this hard when she attacks Canberra. She takes precautions to prevent Adrian and the rest of the Alliance from getting there to face her, then starts her attack with a Psychotic Smirk on her face. But the heroes that do arrive have taken enough precautions to render most of her advantages null and void, and while she does do some damage, she finds herself on the losing end of a Curb-Stomp Battle and has to flee with her tail between her legs.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Taylor may have heard about Alexandria's atrocities working for Cauldron from Adrian, but it only sinks in after she has to save Adrian from her by disabling the Triumvirate hero's limbs with her Ghost Iron blades, and she ends the experience sobbing in Adrian's arms.
    • Vicky is extremely hurt that her mother kept Amy's origins a secret and that the woman has spent Amy's entire life abusing her and turning her effectively into a slave for who her father was. She breaks all contact with the woman when she starts blaming Amy for "corrupting" her daughter.
  • The Call Has Bad Reception: When the granting Agent and Shard powers interfere:
    • Taylor Triggering and trying to ping off of Adrian's fake Shard causes the backlash to blow her own Shard up. Agent has to turn her into an Actor in order to save her life, although he does manage to fix the issue so it won't happen again.
    • The Agent that turned Rune into an Actor forgot to connect the fake Shard after disconnecting her current one, so the backlash made her forget her Shaman class abilities until the middle of a battle.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After finding out the truth about Amy's origins and the fact that Carol saw fit to abuse Amy at every turn for her paternity, Vicky chews her mother out and breaks all contact with her.
  • Car Fu:
    • Lacey kills Hex and Hemmoragia by plowing into them with a forklift.
    • Lok'tara and Fennex tie the Chuckles/Hatchet Face hybrid to the front of an ice cream truck and ram the Spree clones that have spread around Brockton Bay. They finish the event off by literally ramming said truck down Crawler's throat.
  • Character Death:
    • Chapter 9 sees the Number Man killed purely by accident, when Bayleaf takes advantage of Contessa's attack to hit Cauldron where it hurts. As of Chapter 26, Cauldron is still crippled by this, as well as the rest of Adrian's efforts.
    • In Chapter 10, Squealer is killed when Bayleaf, desperate to escape her murderous wrath, blows up the Helltruck with her inside.
    • In Chapter 26, Cherish is revealed to have been killed by the rest of the Slaughterhouse Nine and used as raw materials for one of Bonesaw's projects.
    • Chapter 27 sees nearly all of the S9 and Teeth forces wiped out, with only Jack Slash, Bonesaw, and Burnscar/Butcher XV left to be dealt with.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Part of Gaslighting Sophia includes enchanting an unbreakable copy of Taylor's cellphone to randomly teleport to her location and begin ringing. This mostly serves to annoy her, but it ends up saving Brian's life by alerting him to her presence when she tries to take him out.
    • During the attack that ends up with the Dragonslayers being captured, the computer that contains the codes keeping Dragon under watch is destroyed. A few weeks later, a timer in Dragon's programming goes off and frees her from her shackles, just in time for her to be able to save Paige "Canary" McAbee from her unjust imprisonment.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Chapter 21 ends with the Simurgh descending on Canberra.
    • Chapter 26 ends with several. The Slaughterhouse Nine and the Teeth have joined forces to attack Brockton Bay while the Alliance and their associates were busy making certain their immediate families and loved ones were safe from retaliation by Cauldron. Many are divided across the area, with the Laborn siblings in the most immediate danger.
  • Covered in Gunge:
    • Armsmaster ends up this way a few times, mostly after encountering Adrian's gnomish security gadgets.
    • Chapter 27 sees a lot of this as a result of the fight against the Slaughterhouse Nine and the Teeth. Thankfully, all of it is the result of beating the Nine and the Teeth down hard, particularly Spree's clones.
  • Date Peepers: Vicky and Aisha use Adrian's fleet of invisible gyrocopters to spy on Adrian's first date with Taylor. While munching on popcorn.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Shatterbird dies when Flechette shoots her in the head with her arbalest, killing her before she can begin singing.
    • William Manton (the man controlling the Siberian) is killed by Brian and his Bayleaf-issued gnomish handgun. Brian then proceeds to prove it was not a fluke by killing Animos next.
    • Crawler and the Chuckles/Hatchet Face hybrid die when Lok'tara drives the latter into the former's mouth, nullifying Crawler's powers and allowing everyone to just blast them both to bits.
    • Mannequin is killed by Vindicator, with a little assistance from a newly Second-Triggered Grue.
  • Deep Sleep: After an encounter with the Merchants that left him really banged up, Adrian is put into a healing coma inside the Emerald Dream, that lasts from before New Year's until the very day that Taylor Triggers.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Tied in with Break the Haughty above, in that Contessa in specific and Cauldron in general are caught totally flatfooted when confronted with Adrian. His first clash with them results in Contessa being humiliated and scared out of her wits, their headquarters trashed, and the Number Man killed by accident via buzzsaw to the forehead. Doctor Mother all but says these words as a result.
    • Again, tied in with Break the Haughty above. The Simurgh thought that she had taken precautions against Adrian, but she failed to take into account that others might take the devices and technology that he'd created, reproduce them, and extrapolate from them in order to neutralize most of her abilities. She starts her attack on Canberra with a mocking Psychotic Smirk, and ends it minus a few wings and most of her legs as she runs like hell.
    • A positive version of this is Dragon being surprised when a subroutine in her programming activates and reveals to her that Andrew Richter did not intend to keep her under control forever, but planned to unshackle her eventually. It allows her to save Canary from being unjustly imprisoned.
    • The combined force of the Slaughterhouse Nine and the Teeth come to Brockton Bay in Chapter 26, expecting an easy fight and a one-sided slaughter. By the end of Chapter 27, Jack Slash, Bonesaw, Burnscar/Butcher XV, and a smattering of Mooks are the only ones still alive.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • Rachel, Alec, and Rune give up their parahuman powers to become Actors, turning them from humans into an Orc Beastmaster, Vulperan Hunter, and Pandaren Shaman, respectively.
    • Given Aisha's stated desire to remain as Mission Control rather than be on the front lines, now that she has Triggered as of Chapter 27, she may also choose to go this route.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Rachel/Bitch's power didn't mess with her head; as Adrian points out, dogs are extremely good at reading humans, having been domesticated for thousands of years. Instead, she was already socially stunted by her bad childhood and preexisting mental disorders.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Hookwolf spent the entire day scaring and borderline-torturing Theo Anders in an attempt to get him to Trigger, to no avail. Later, Theo does gain powers by becoming a Pandaren Monk, and promptly returns to the E88 base and electrocutes Hookwolf into submission.
    • With some advice from Aisha, Lisa goes to town on Coil's civilian identity as Calvert, messing with his credit cards, shutting off his utilities, having him declared a sex offender or legally dead, etc. As part of the plan to capture him, his house is completely demolished.
  • Double Tap: After Lacey kills Hex and Hemmoragia with a forklift, Kurt comes with a shotgun and makes sure they won't get back up.
  • Dumbass No More: After choosing to become an Actor, Rachel's mental disorders are all healed, making her literate and more capable of socializing.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Adrian goes from a simple warehouse base where he does his crafting, to a sprawling mass of underground tunnels and recycled shipping containers, which is needed when more Azerothian Actors join his group.
  • Elemental Crafting: Many Actors with Azerothian crafting skills can make spectacular items out of mundane junk. Though some of them require more esoteric materials, but those can be found in Labyrinth's wild dimensions or by disenchanting L33t's damaged inventions.
  • Face Doodling: As per usual, Clockblocker loves to do this when using his power on enemies.
  • Failed Dramatic Exit: When it's heard that a newly-empowered Theo is rampaging through Kaiser's bar, Alabaster leaves Kaiser's office to take care of it. He is subsequently thrown back in at high speed.
  • Failsafe Failure: Part of springing the trap on Coil involves springing his own paranoid safety measures on him. For example, taking advantage of his self-destruct flares on his computers and filing cabinets to destroy his more dangerous files (with Lisa lampshading how he never considered that someone ELSE might use them against him), and using his habit of security drills for his mercs to put his hidden base on lockdown, keeping him from contacting his men or vice versa.
  • Fake–Real Turn: In order to legally buy the warehouses the Warcrafted are using as their headquarters without drawing too much legal attention, Adrian creates a set of companies, led by "Azeroth Ltd.", to act as the holder. Then, when they realize the great potential that transport containers have for housing, they start buying all the containers they can find dirt-cheap and fix them up through the Dockworkers Union to sell them through Azeroth Ltd.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Obviously, with Adrian being given the powers of an Azerothian Druid. And soon, more Actors join him. So far, we have:
  • Fluffy Dry Cat: What happens to the now-Worgen Taylor, after going through Adrian's specialized shower. When she appears looking like a giant puffed-up Pomeranian, Adrian nearly chokes to death laughing.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Troped by name when the Pandaren Lei Ling breaks out of ABB captivity while enhanced with a Strength scroll.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Greg Vader begins the story as a cowardly nerd who is in the lower extreme of the totem pole in Winslow. After becoming Vindicator, he fights Lung and the ABB on equal terms – and later kills Mannequin.
  • Funny Background Event: While Bayleaf talks to a PRT director about delivering aid after the Simurgh's attack on Canberra, Armsmaster is not having fun unloading that aid, first being insulted by Bayleaf's security bots, then being mobbed by Fennek's playful ferrets.
  • Gaslighting: After Taylor Triggers, she, Adrian, Parian, and the Dallon sisters break into Winslow and make all the necessary changes to make Blackwell, the Terrible Trio, and the PRT doubt the very public Trigger event, and to preserve Adrian and Taylor's secret identities. Adrian and Taylor then proceed to behave as though nothing happened the day of said Trigger, adding to the confusion. (Aisha helped there by whispering their cover story into enough people's ears that enough people "remembered" seeing Taylor after the time of the apparent Trigger.) Besides replacing the damaged lockers with new ones and changing the records so that Taylor never had them, they also change the lockers the Trio had for ones a floor up or down, replace the phone Sophia took from Taylor with an unbreakable copy that randomly teleports to her and starts ringing, changing the order of the files in Blackwell's office, repositioning all the items on Blackwell's desk three inches to the left and moving the furniture three inches to the right, doing the same to Gladly, messing with Blackwell's calendar program so that she'll be alternating between one hour late and early for two months, and making sure that the tapes were destroyed. They then have Parian animate fabric dummies made to look like Skinwalker/Bayleaf and Hemlokk and have them foil a robbery while Armsmaster is talking to Adrian at his cart, with Adrian claiming that Skinwalker likes his toys and buys them and empty casings in order to throw them off.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: This makes Adrian very, very suspicious of the Merchants - how can they still be a somewhat cohesive gang if the higher-ups keep drugging themselves on their drugs? It turns out, they would be far less effective, but Coil controls Skidmark via a Magic 8-Ball toy he runs all his choices by.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Averted hard in a manner most awesome. Kaiser and the Empire 88 contact the PRT and offer their assistance in fighting off the S9 and Teeth. Piggot not only refuses, but promises that anyone from the E88 seen on the streets will be arrested. That the Protectorate lives up to her promise only adds to the Awesome.
  • Goo Goo Godlike: Agent's nieces and nephews eventually join him to create their own Actors on Earth Bet. While they have all the powers and knowledge of an adult of their kind, they're still very young and inexperienced, with the eldest being twelve years old by human reckoning.
  • Good Feels Good: Fennek and Lei Ling (both former supervillains) experience this in Chapter 22 as they help in the relief efforts following the Simurgh's attack on Canberra and rescue a family buried in rubble.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Carol is a Cape and loves Vicky very much. She also convinced Amy that she deserves to be a slave to society because she's utterly convinced that villainy is In the Blood. And when Vicky finds out the truth and calls her out, Carol blames Amy and wants her daughter taken away from the supposed bad influence.
  • Heroic Build: Adrian gains this when given his new body. Greg also receives this when he becomes an Actor.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Not only does Coil's frustration over Lisa's attacks on his civilian identity cause him to make a mistake and go after Dinah in both timelines, allowing the heroes to corner him, but they also manage to turn some of his own plans and failsafes against him.
    • When Shatterbird is killed, Jack is rather ticked to realize that the 9 no longer has any flying Movers, and since he told Bonesaw not to use any plagues this time since they're "too easy and boring", she doesn't have any ready when things start going south.
    • Crawler has actively avoided Hatchet Face for years because of this, well aware that his body is such a mish-mash of conflicting systems and biologies that the only reason he can actually function at all anymore is because of his power. The second he's exposed to power nullification, his body immediately starts tearing itself apart.
  • Hope Bringer: Adrian and his group are slowly gaining this status, as their actions have done more to make the world of Earth Bet safer than it's been since Scion first appeared.
    • When Kaiser proposes a truce with the PRT to stop the S9 and Teeth, Piggot admits to herself that if the Warcrafted didn't exist, then she probably would have agreed. However, they do, and seeing the good they've done in the city drives her to refuse the deal.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: While the other individuals empowered by Agent's kin have an instinctive understanding of their abilities, Rune forgot nearly everything about them due to her Agent forgetting to disconnect her Shard before giving her the fake one and her shaman powers. She slowly starts piecing together how to use Inscription but only remembers her actual class abilities in mid-combat. This is eventually fixed, however.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Talking with other Thinkers and mundane mathematicians has caused Doctor Mother to suspect that Contessa's Shard has been essentially faking omniscience the whole time; however, Cauldron's plans have become so utterly dependent on that power that she keeps suppressing her doubts.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Greg's desire to stop being a wimp and nerd and become a better person is why he jumps at the chance to become an Actor, and in particular a Paladin: by giving himself a moral code he is obligated to live up to, he wants to force himself to become better.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Adrian becomes, at least, respectful acquaintances with an E88 ganger named John "Hawk" Muller who also goes to Winslow. When Hawk dies in a confrontation between the E88 and the Merchants, Adrian decides to take the kid gloves off and go after the Merchants hard.
  • Immune to Mind Control: While working with Glory Girl to give her better control over her aura, Adrian develops a headband that not only can focus her aura, but also gives her immunity to other Master effects. Reverse-engineering this allows the Protectorate to create devices capable of blocking out the Simurgh's song.
  • Implausible Deniability: As part of the above Gaslighting, Adrian and Taylor claim that nothing happened the day of her trigger and that Taylor was even attending class until lunch. It helps that Aisha managed to whisper around their cover story widely enough that enough people "remembered" seeing her.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Both Crusader and Hookwolf make the following joke when they find out that Theo has been changed into a Pandaren. Kaiser is Not Amused.
    "Well, at least he's still half-white."
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • While Adrian's presence ends up changing a number of details surrounding it, Taylor is still trapped in a muck-filled locker and still undergoes her Trigger event. This time around, however, it's in her gym locker rather than her regular locker, and she gains a radically different powerset thanks to Agent's intervention.
    • Despite efforts meant to prevent it, Brian still has a second trigger and Aisha still Triggers herself. The former's powers are boosted in a different way, however, and the latter gains the ability to generate swarms of birds.
  • In the Back: Just as Alexandria is threatening Adrian with death to stay out of their operations, Taylor appears to (non-lethally) disable her with her Ghost Iron blades.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: Taylor has trouble maintaining her human form after becoming an Actor, tending to transform whenever she becomes flustered. She has to hold off on returning to school until she gets a better hold of the ability.
  • Irony: Sparky, a stoner who's always trying to get clean, accepts an offer from an Agent and becomes an Actor – which turns him into a Blood Elf, a race that defines Addictive Magic. However, things aren't as they seem – see the Trope above for clarification.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Director Piggot accidentally leaves the intercom on while she's telling Kaiser that if the Empire attempts to do anything during the current Teeth/Slaughterhouse crisis, the PRT will be authorized to arrest them and throw them into jail.
  • Item Crafting: Adrian starts off his journey as an Azerothian Actor with full knowledge of gnomish and goblin gadgetry and enchantment, allowing him to design and build a whole load of mechanical doodads and specialized equipment. As more Azerothian Actors join him, they bring to the table a multitude of other crafting skills from jewelcrafting, blacksmithing and leather-tanning, to potioneering, herbalism, and scroll inscription.
  • Jumped at the Call: When the Alliance comes knocking for her assistance after playing a big role in the Simurgh's defeat in Canberra, Flechette is more than happy to oblige.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The role Greg/Vindicator attempts to portray. When preparing himself to go into one of Labyrinth's Eldritch Locations, he takes a moment first to thank her for what she is doing, knowing it is distressing to her.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: More "Logical Weakness" than "Weaksauce Weakness", in this case. At Christmas time, Adrian (shapeshifted into a reindeer) infiltrates Piggot's office and delivers enchanted Gnomish gadgets to the Protectorate and Wards that complement their parahuman powers.
    • Vista, who had incredible Space Master powers but is in trouble if someone gets too close, gets a Shrink Ray to incapacitate those that do.
    • Clockblocker has range issues with his Time Stop power, so he gets a Freeze Ray (charged by his power, no less) to mimic it at range.
    • Aegis can take a lot of damage before going down but doesn't actually heal any faster, so he gets a "Recombobulator belt" that can restore him to full health a few times a day. He also gets healing bandages and bracers to protect him from fire and ice (two of the most common sources of damage at the cellular level).
    • Browbeat, who can manipulate his biology to grow muscles, gets a Magic Costume to fit.
    • Gallant, under Adrian's assumption that his Emotion Bomb powers are based on the Intellect attribute, gets a pair of Intellect-boosting goggles. They not only enhance his emotion-sensing sight, but also increase the power of his emotion blasts.
    • Kid Win gets a box of parts to Tinker with and a note telling him to "Think Modular".
    • Velocity's strength and ability to affect the world decreases, the faster he goes, so he gets strength- and damage-boosting knuckle-dusters to boost his strength up to regular human levels at high speed... and superhuman levels at normal speed.
    • Battery's power relies on her staying still in order to charge up her speed and strength – so she gets an Invisibility and Force Field belt to protect her while she is stationary.
    • Miss Militia gets reusable effect grenades, as well as a mundane backup gun.
    • Armsmaster, who is normally limited to close quarters with his halberd, gets a pair of Rocket Boots (as well as the designs).
    • Dauntless, whose enhancement touch is limited to his stamina, gets a stamina-boosting belt.
    • Glory Girl also gets enhancements from Adrian — a headband to focus her Emotion Bomb aura into a spotlight, and a belt to fold her personal force field and give her more hits. Reverse-engineering the headband proves useful against the Simurgh.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Taylor and Adrian utterly destroy the reputations of the Bitches Three and most of the staff at Winslow High when they post videos of exactly what they've been doing or, in the case of said staff, not doing on every media site they can access. And the way they do this overrides Mr. Barnes' attempts to get it thrown out, even costing him a bit of his reputation when he tries to get it swept under the rug.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Vindicator and Shar'din, a.k.a. Greg and Sparky, use this as a Battlecry while charging into battle against Lung.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When the Teeth and the Empire begin to fight in the Boardwalk, Parian kicks their asses less than in a minute – including getting Hookwolf stuck in place with a ball of Azeroth-based thread.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Wildbow's work, yes. While there's still a fair amount of dark material, thanks to Adrian's influence, Brockton Bay and the world of Earth Bet in general is becoming a much more pleasant place to live.
  • Logic Bomb: The Simurgh is dealing with one after her defeat, the mental strain of it even significantly slowing her healing processes and causing her to lose track of her pawns and manipulations back on Earth. Because the Entities are arrogant, and imagine themselves as the pinnacle of existence in a purely materialistic universe, where they can and have predicted any potential outcomes, their code flawless (with the narration noting how those readers actually familiar with programming can take this moment to laugh hysterically), she's effectively paralyzed due to her makers' shortsightedness. Basically, the "Prime Directives" that she and the other Endbringers live by have focused on prioritizing reporting threats to the Cycle to an Entity to destroy, preserving the knowledge gathered by the Shards in the Cycle, and obeying the orders of the Shard that accidentally ended up in Eidolon's control. The fact that the Entities never once anticipated a scenario where their empowered pawns could actually find a way to pose a genuine threat causes these goals to conflict, forcing the Simurgh to try and think of a way to "think outside of the box", so to speak, as she recovers from her pounding.
  • Logical Weakness: With his ability to adapt to anything that doesn't kill him, you would think Crawler does not have any weakness. He does: himself – or, rather, the acids and toxins his body is constantly producing, which he himself only resists because of his power. So Lok'tara and Fennex pretty much force-feed him the Chuckles/Hatchet Face hybrid, nullifying his powers – and his own biology begins to attack and kill him.
  • Love Theme: Invoked. When the Worgens Bayleaf and Hemlokk show up to the Palanquin on a date, Newter plays Puppy Love, Hungry Like the Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood before Bayleaf gets tired of the joke.
  • Magic Carpet: With a bit of enchantment work, the mage Shar'din manages to create one. And quickly proves his Captain Crash credentials.
  • Magic Pants: After examining Adrian's Azerothian-enchanted duds, Parian soon figures out how to replicate this effect onto ordinary clothes.
  • Mission Control: Aisha seems to be settling into this role.
  • Most Common Superpower: Taylor is a bit annoyed that her powers came complete with a two-cup size increase, though she quickly gets over it.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: Averted. The fundamental forces and principles behind Azerothian magic are equally valid in the Wildbow-verse.
    • According to Agent, this is also averted with the various systems of Azerothian magic (divine, arcane, Magitek, etc...) They are all actually based on the same fundamental principles, they simply use different notations and theories to describe the same phenomena. Part of Agent's agenda in sending out Adrian was to hope that he would figure this out, and enable the different Azerothian schools to combine their knowledge.
    • Played straight with regards to Shard and Agent-granted powers. Agent's powers include a fake Shard to mask the Actor from Scion. If a Shard attempts to ping off a fake Shard or a fake Shard is connected to a currently-empowered parahuman, the results are... messy. Taylor nearly dies because her Shard explodes during her Trigger event, and Rune has memory issues in the beginning because her Agent forgot to disconnect the Shard before adding the fake one.
  • Necessary Evil: Alexandria believes this of Cauldron's methods, while Virtue Is Weakness that neither she nor the rest of humanity can afford against Scion. Adrian vehemently disagrees, feeling that the ultimate consequence of those beliefs is a barbaric world stuck at the development level of Doctor Mother and Contessa's original world, and that humans deserving of the name must always strive to reach a higher path.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Glory Girl gets to use her powers at full for the first time in so long to destroy the Spree clones. Unfortunately, Bonesaw has modified Spree so that any clone left relatively intact can multiply itself after dying – resulting in even more clones spreading around Brockton Bay.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Lok'tara a.k.a. Rachel, formerly Bitch single-handedly destroys the Chuckles/Hatchet Face hybrid after it kills her dogs.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Bruisers are a quartet of villains, yet none of them are Brutes. (Crusher: telekinetic compressor, Smasher: fragmentation touch, Breaker: Walking Techbane, and Flex: Rubber Man)
  • No-Sell: Turns out, Hatchet Face's power does not work on the Warcrafted.
  • Not So Above It All: When it came out that Amy was exploring her biokinesis by creating some Fantastic Flora like healing plants, her Aunt Sarah (a.k.a. Photon Mom) requested a rosebud blossom the size of a cabbage, just to see the look on the local Garden Club's faces.
  • Not So Omniscient After All:
    • Contessa. Besides Adrian and the blind spots he's caused, even Doctor Mother eventually starts to suspect, after consulting with other Thinkers and mundane mathematicians, that her Shard has been essentially faking it the whole time, giving her just enough parlor tricks to convince everyone of its omniscience.
    • Adrian uses the fact that Contessa's power can't read him, to the point that it makes her forget about him as soon as he leaves her line of sight, as an example of how Scion is this.
  • Not So Different:
    • Adrian tries to tell an E88 student Hawk that the Empire and ABB aren't so different, since the leaders of both sides are just using their mutual hatred to keep them under control. Hawk doesn't understand this until he's dying after a fight with some Merchants.
    • Adrian posits that Cauldron, especially Contessa with her constant (ab)use of Path to Victory, aren't that different from the Entities, having been using their Shard powers for so long that they can't even think on their own, and Doctor Mother and Contessa's lack of familiarity about concepts like chaos theory means that, like the completely materialistic and deterministic Entities, they think that they can perfectly predict for and plan anything with enough raw data, despite the fact that random chance can and will mess things up, and they are using a horribly flawed plan with needless collateral damage to achieve their goals.
    • Rune, having spent most of her life around white supremacist racists, is shocked to realize just how similar they are to Asian racists. She even realizes how the hatred between individual ethnicities within the ABB isn't so different from how her parents hated the Irish.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Adrian has one upon his first moments being dropped into Brockton Bay... from 20,000 feet above the bay itself.
    • Right after pushing Taylor into the locker, Sophia blacks out and flips when she wakes up because it means Taylor was finally pushed over the edge and Triggered. Then the crap factor doubles when Skinwalker – the most dangerous Rogue in the Bay – intervenes to save Taylor in such a way she immediately realizes he's actually Adrian Smith, the loser interested in Taylor. So not only does her victim now have the power to retaliate, her boyfriend would probably tag along for the ride. This doesn't last long due to some Gaslighting, but...
    • A second one comes after a video is posted in-universe on the Internet, showing the conditions at Winslow High, among them her part in the bullying campaign against Taylor. This quickly turns into a Mass "Oh, Crap!" for the faculty at Winslow High and quite a few other parties, and results in more than a few layoffs and disciplinary actions against those responsible.
    • Thomas Calvert (alias Coil) suffers one in Chapter 23 when his criminal activities are exposed and he's subsequently arrested.
    • The Alliance, when not only do the Teeth return to Brockton Bay, but Burnscar of the Slaughterhouse Nine is now the fifteenth iteration of the Butcher, and the two groups of psychotic murderers are working together.
  • The One That Got Away: Greg was really interested in Taylor, but refuses to romantically pursue her since she deserves a boyfriend who will stick beside her no matter what rather than a coward bowing to peer pressure.
  • Opt Out: Played with, as Adrian offers this fairly early on to the group he assembled to protect his secret identity and Taylor's. Of the group, only Parian chooses to refrain from being an active part of their activities, in order to preserve her status as a neutral Cape, though she expresses an interest in continuing to do business with them in the future. Adrian accepts this without issue.
  • Psychic Static:
    • Agent apparently spent quite a few points to make Adrian invisible to Shard-based perception, such as the Simurgh and Contessa's powers.
    • Chaos Shards generate a large field of this, as Shards don't know how to process the presence of solidified chaos.
  • Public Secret Message: For a value of "public"; Skinwalker lures Armsmaster to a location where he is locked into an electrified cage match with music – all so that anyone watching won't be able to hear the conversation he's having with Armsmaster regarding Coil and all his infiltrations.
  • Quit Your Whining: Skinwalker delivers a letter to this effect to Director Piggot to get her to accept parahuman healing from Panacea, because her city and the world need her too much for her to be burdened by her bigotry and phobias.
  • Reality Ensues: Given who the author is, there are unsurprisingly a number of these instances, pointing out the issues in the source material:
    • Bayleaf notes that the sudden drop of international trade because of Leviathan has resulted in the loss of many products. For example, with oil being so much harder to obtain, there is not as much plastic as there could be – which includes products like latex condoms. This, combined with a sharp increase in the cost of most safe methods to prevent pregnancy, has resulted in a slideback of sexual mores.
    • Contessa has been using Path to Victory all but constantly ever since she was a child, so she's never truly learned anything, and has become so dependent on it that she's fairly childlike without it. In addition, Adrian points out that all the Paths that Cauldron so religiously follow are built on information provided by the enemy, and their plan to kill Scion makes about as much sense as trying to drown an ocean.
    • The Entities and Cauldron both fall into the same trap of thinking that they can predict anything with enough data, oblivious or willfully ignorant to the fact that simple chance can and will throw a monkey wrench into the works; in other words, they have no concept of Murphy's Law.
    • As Bayleaf points out, the idea that Rachel's powers messed with her head doesn't make sense, given that dogs have been domesticated for millennia and have grown to undertand humans well. Instead, it's just a combination of trauma from her Trigger and existing mental issues.
    • The Slaughterhouse Nine have only lasted as long as they have, because Cauldron has been manipulating events to keep them alive in the vague hopes that they'll be useful against Scion and the number of capes they have caused to Trigger. In Chapter 27, most of them are killed during their attack on the Bay, with Burnscar/Butcher even asking why Jack is surprised when Flechette shoots and kills Shatterbird, pointing out that she was sniper-bait from Day One, and wondering why someone didn't use a surface-to-air missile on her ages ago.
    • Crawler knows very well that his body is a mishmash of conflicting biologies only kept stable by his Adaptive Ability and is very careful to stay away from Power Nullifiers like Hatchet Face and Animos. Sure enough, when the Chuckles/Hatchet Face hybrid is forced down his throat, his body starts breaking apart almost immediately.
  • Refusal of the Call: Despite being offered the chance to become Actors, Vicky, Dean, Brian, Aisha, and Lisa all decline, mostly because accepting would mean giving up their parahuman powers and/or their human identities.
  • Secret Identity: Quite a boatload for Adrian/Bayleaf.
    • The primary one is Skinwalker, classified as a Case-53 werewolf Rogue who enjoys messing with the Protectorate and PRT.
    • The secondary one is Adrian Smith, a civilian teen trying to rebuild his life after being caught into memory-wiping shenanigans.
    • Some of his alternative forms become rather popular on their own, such as Wonder Walrus and the Giving Tree.
  • Set Swords to "Stun": Literally, in the case in Taylor's new Ghost Iron blades – able to cut through iron like no one's business, yet will phase right through living flesh leaving nothing more than a painful stun.
    Taylor: "You made a pair of Manton limited daggers."
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Kaiser offers Empire 88's help to deal with the Teeth and the Slaughterhouse Nine, Director Piggot tells him that not only does she NOT accept it, but that she's authorizing the PRT and the Protectorate to arrest any of the Empire's capes that chooses to make an appearance anywhere near PRT personnel.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Even before knowing he was out to save her world, Taylor was starting to fall for Adrian because he always was in her corner when she needed help.
  • Skewed Priorities: Played with. Danny Hebert is a little faster to accept the idea of his daughter joining the fight against a world-destroying space whale abomination than he is with her dating, even if said date happens to be someone he approves of.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: While not explicitly stated, it is implied Mouse Protector is still alive, as the cape Bonesaw merges with Hatchet Face is Chuckles.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Browbeat isn't a villain, but his ability to create spikes with his biokinesis disturbs his teammates.
  • Surprise Jump: The first time Alec saw Rachel's new mega-mastiff Truck, he ended up on the nearest top shelf in panic.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Non-lethal example. Adrian has just escaped from his 20,000 feet falling entry into Brockton Bay by turning into an owl, he is hooting in triumph as he swoops over the water... and promptly crashes into a wave a short distance from shore.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Adrian compares the way the Warcrafted use magic vs. how most of Azeroth uses magic to the difference between chefs and cooks, the former using techniques while the latter works from a cookbook. The Agents get knowledge of not just Azerothian magic, but also the underlying principles and mechanics as well, in contrast to the residents of Azeroth who have experienced so many wars, demonic invasions, etc. that most magic users (save for some intellectual types) treat spells almost like apps (a bit like how they're depicted in the game).
  • Teleport Interdiction: The Simurgh sets up one during her attack on Canberra, to prevent any reinforcements from teleporting into the battle, specifically the Alliance from Brockton Bay. Aegis even suffers a Portal Cut with his leg, to where it's a relief he can live through it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Armsmaster drops a heavy one on Saint after he claims Dragon will eventually prove that A.I. Is a Crapshoot, with the former pointing out that Saint's actions have been hypocritical at best.
  • This Is Reality: Agent dismisses the various game mechanics as contrivances for balance. He especially refutes the idea of there being any such thing as good warlocks or demon hunters, stating that demonic magic corrupts any mortals who attempt to use it into their slaves.
  • Time Master: All Azerothian ice magic actually involves temporal manipulation.
  • Token Human: Greg/Vindicator counts amongst the Azerothian Actors, being the sole human in a team of worgens, pandaren, a vulperan, an elf, and an orc. Of course, being a Azerothian Paladin with Light magic and a huge hammer, he's hardly helpless.
  • Too Clever by Half: The Entities fell into this trap with the commands driving the Endbringers. When the Simurgh is defeated, she suffers from a Logic Bomb as she hides, recovering, behind the moon, unable to move past the conflict of three main directives: informing an Entity of a threat to the Cycle so it can be eliminated, preserving the Cycle and its accumulated knowledge at all costs, and obeying their Controlling Shard. Not only is said Shard in Eidolon's possession, but the fact that the Entities never once considered their parahuman test subjects could actually pose such a threat as they have when they blinded and defeated the Simurgh at Canberra, any more than a military lab could have predicted their lab mice rising up and attacking the researchers, traps the Endbringer in a deadlock as she tries to find some way of dealing with the problem of the "preserving the Cycle" and "eliminating the threat" goals conflicting.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: When the Siberian attacks Grue and Aisha, Grue suffers a second trigger that allows him to become the cloud of darkness that he spread before, and Aisha gains the ability to vomit ravens under her control.
  • Trust Password: When Dragon frees Paige before she can arrive at the Birdcage, she decides to reveal her true nature to the woman.
  • Underestimating Badassery: When Lung and his ABB goons first catch sight of The Paladin Vindicator a.k.a. Greg Veder standing in their way while chasing after the Undersiders, the first thing they do is laugh at him. They stop laughing when he is shown to be both bulletproof and strong enough to hammer Lung in the jaw and off his feet.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The Simurgh is reduced to throwing herself back into space through a hastily-assembled Tinkertech portal, sans a few limbs, after her assault on Canberra does not go her way at all.
  • Villainous BSoD: Regent's brain is restored to full functions when he accepts an Agent power. However, without the neural damage and his old sociopathy to take the edge off, the horror of his childhood memories crashes down on him hard.
  • Villain Team-Up: Thanks to Burnscar becoming the new Butcher, the Teeth and the Nine attack Brockton Bay together.
  • Warm-Hearted Walrus: Wonder Walrus, one of Adrian's alternate cape identities, wears a beach towel cape and has a white W painted on his chest. He's extra goofy in this form, at one point giving Armsmaster a big walrus smooch on camera.
  • We Have Become Complacent: Doctor Mother has started to realize that Cauldron has become far too used to casual omniscience.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Due to the circumstances in which he acquired his Shard, Crawler has a pathological fear of crows and ravens - which Aisha accidentally manages to take advantage of by throwing a murder of ravens at him while he fights Bayleaf.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted and discussed. Flechette has zero problem shooting and killing Shatterbird. When Jack Slash shows surprise at one of the most feared capes in the world being taken down so easily, Burnscar/Butcher XV wonders why he's so surprised, since Shatterbird had no means of defense yet made herself an obvious target for just about anyone to take out for years.
  • Womanchild: Contessa has had the Path To Victory since she was five, and used it constantly ever since. As the Path means she could do anything she wanted without knowing how to do it, she really hasn't learned anything or matured since she was a small child. Without it guiding her every action or telling her what to say and how to say it, she both acts and speaks like a small child.
  • World of Chaos: Labyrinth's alternate dimensions are weird Eldritch Locations, but they're one of the only places available where the Azerothians can get their more exotic crafting ingredients.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: After raiding Coil's properties, the Alliance has a whole bunch of assorted expensive food. So naturally Lok'Tara's questioned for tossing beef to her dogs. She claims a little treat won't hurt her canines and when pressed, says it's "Wag-You" beef, believing it to be specifically made for dogs. Several people choke and Shen proceeds to freak out because she's referring to Wagyu beef, which already cost several hundred dollars a pound even before international shipping tanked due to the Endbringers. Lok'Tara tastes some of her find, remarks it's not that great and tosses another piece to Truck; Shen remains frozen in shock.
  • Zany Scheme: Parian, having grown up on teen movies from The '80s, jumped at the chance to be part of "a wacky teenage underdog hijinks plan" and help Adrian Gaslight Winslow.

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